This is hardly living
This is my job!
Purgatony is an animated comedy web series by Explosm Entertainment, the same crew that brought us Cyanide & Happiness, as well as Studio71.
It's about Tony Pergatelli, an Office Drone at Purgatory, which is portrayed as a corporate office in the afterlife that bureaucratically judges who goes to Heaven and Hell.
It currently has only one complete season, made of eight episodes, that were produced in 2017, before being shelved for budget reasons. But now that it's been released to the public on YouTube in 2019, hopefully it'll receive enough attention for a second season.
The series provides examples of:
- Above Good and Evil: Death. He does care that souls are properly sorted into Heaven and Hell, but only because it's his job. He's completely detached from human suffering.
- The Ace: Chad Bradley is one to Parody Sue levels. Everyone loves him and he loves everyone, and he's perfect at everything.
- Affably Evil: Max is an interesting example. He's a Satan worshiper to the extent of a Card-Carrying Villain, and his life goal is to make it into Hell. But he's actually such a nice and harmless guy that the only place that'll accept him is Heaven. He compromises by working at Purgatory.
- Ambiguously Bi: Though by European standards, Chad Bradley wouldn't stand out much. Regardless, he smooches Tony habitually.
- Anti-Hero: Tony is an average joe, so he's neither good nor evil. Though he does try to do the good thing (kinda, he's insanely lazy) and sometimes, he makes impulsive and selfish choices (like when he condemed thousands of innocents to Hell just to spite Coach Carruthers).
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Death is a huge cloaked monster creature that sits on his throne, kinda like Snoke's hologram.
- Aristocrats Are Evil: Heaven is depicted as a social club full of snobby, upper-class douches, similar to Wall Street as portrayed in American Psycho.
- Baseball Episode: "Demons in the Dugout".
- The Bet: Pretty much the only recreational hobby in Purgatory is betting on who Tony Purgatelli sends to Heaven or Hell, as a sort of gambling racket. The reason they bet on him specifically is because Tony has trouble getting to know his clients, and thus his decisions seem random to the rest of his coworkers. It's explored in episode 7.
- Brainy Baby: Somehow, the stillborn baby Tony is given can speak perfectly.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: Episode 7 shows that Tony could be a really efficient worker if he wanted to, but he chooses not to out of sheer laziness and apathy.
- Broken Ace: Episode 4 reveals that Chad Bradley has a lot of crippling insecurities he represses with his unwavering confidence.
- Butt-Monkey: Tony is one to Cosmic Plaything proportions.
- Can Not Spit Itout: Episode 8 reveals that Tony had a Will They or Won't They? relationship with a sandwich store delivery girl named Pamela. They both loved each other, and neither had the courage to tell the other how they felt. Then Tony died, and Pamela moved on. Even when they met in purgatory, Tony decided not to tell her how he feels after learning she moved on.
- Cats Are Mean: According to Death, all cats go to Hell.
- Cessation of Existence: The Soul Shredder allegedly does this, and Death threatens Tony with this throughout the series. Death made it up, it's just a coffee grinder. He can't destroy souls, but he convinced Tony it did so he could motivate Tony through fear.
- Cosmic Plaything: Tony's your typical Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist, but in Purgatory, so he can't catch a break even in death.
- Couch Gag: Every episode's title sequence ends with its own unique quip from Tony.
- Crapsack World: Turns out it's not just life that's a soul-sucking drag. The afterlife is just as bad. So it's less Crapsack World and more Crapsack Existence. If it weren't so funny, it'd be a Cosmic Horror Story.
- Cuddle Bug: Chad Bradley kisses people on the cheek as a goodbye, whether they like it or not.
- Death by Childbirth: The baby in episode 7.
- Deliberate Values Dissonance: This Fridge Logic issue is addressed when Tony has to judge a historical figure like George Washington, who, despite being a hero, owned slaves due to it being acceptable in his time.
- Despair Event Horizon: Tony reaches one at the end of episode 8. Tony learns that, because he never worked up the courage to tell the woman he loved how he felt before he died, she moved on and fell in love with someone else. After presumably sending her to heaven, Tony asks Death to shred his soul and "make me not exist".
- Dirty Old Man: In Episode 5, Coach Cruthers reveals he knocked out Tony and used a Bed Trick to have sex with Tony's sixteen year old girlfriend.
- The Dog Bites Back: Episode 7 ends with this. The entire office has been treating Tony like dirt the whole season, and in this episode specifically are betting on him and trying to manipulate him for personal gain. So he rigs his last case so that everybody who bet loses all their prize tickets and he wins them all. He then uses them to buy out the entire prize shop.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Max is deathly pale, gaunt, and has black hair.
- The Eeyore: Tony always speaks in a tired monotone.
- Europeans Are Kinky: Max has some Germanish/Eastern Europeanish accent and is an insanely depraved devil worshiper.
- Evil Old Folks:
- In episode 1 Tony sent a man to Hell for killing an old lady in a car crash, and is disciplined by Death for this because the old lady was a Nazi. Sure enough, Tony has to review the old lady and she's wearing an SS uniform under her blouse. He sends her to Hell.
- In episode 5, Coach Cruthers repeatedly knocked out Tony as a child so as to play baseball in his place and win the game, effectively denying Tony a chance to develop baseball skills and inflicting brain damage on him in the process. If that wasn't bad enough, Cruthrs also knocked Tony out on his prom night and used a Bed Trick to have sex with young Tony's 16 year old girlfriend.
- In episode 6, when Tony is sent to Earth to get people to sign up to pre-approved packages, he spoke to a racist old woman who was pre-approved for Hell. She actually didn't mind this until she learned that her husband who died before her would also be in Hell.
- In episode 7, Tony at one point sends an elderly nun to Hell. While he might have just been being negligent, it could also have been this trope.
- Extra Eyes: Tony's supervisor Jeremy is an exaggeration of this trope, being a demonic ball of eyes with tentacles hanging from the bottom and kept aloft by bat wings.
- Flashback: Parodied. Due to Tony's brain damage from baseball, his entire past life is a blur, so whenever he wants to have a flashback, he has to strain really hard.
- Full-Name Basis: It's not Chad. It's not Bradley. It's Chad Bradley.
- Life Isn't Fair: Death however, is. As Death himself puts it he might act like a jerk, but everybody rich or poor is guaranteed one death...except those immortal jellyfish, but he's coming from them.
- The Future Will Be Better: Averted in episode 3. While Gif, Jif, and Jeff - three clones from the future - believe this to be the case and miss no opportunity to condescend the past, the future seems to be worse. Most notably, whenever one clone commits a crime all three are executed for it.
- Genuine Human Hide: Edward Friendly, a Serial Killer, wears a whole patchwork suit made out of human skins.
- The Ghost: God and Satan are never seen, only alluded to.
- Go-Karting with Bowser: In addition to "recruiting" mundane office workers from Earth (causing their workplaces to collapse), Death also employs angels and demons at his company. These different people are generally able to get along as coworkers and do their jobs.
- God and Satan Are Both Jerks: The afterlife is as bleak and unfair as life. Doesn't matter if it's Hell, Heaven, or Purgatory.
- Greaser Delinquents: Tony sends one to Hell in episode 1.
- The Grim Reaper: This show's version of Death is a sleazy CEO.
- Heroic Dog: According to Death, all Dogs go to Heaven. This is later confirmed when Tony visits Heaven on a business trip and stops by the dog section.
- He Who Must Not Be Seen: Death always mostly off-camera.
- The Hilarity of Hats: Death wears a giant sombrero.
- Historical Domain Character: Tony gets to judge George Washington in one episode, whom Tony believes "invented America".
- Hollywood Satanism: Max and his blood orgies.
- Horny Devils: A succubus tries to seduce Tony in episode 7, though it's only for The Bet.
- Horny Vikings: One of Tony's clients, a man named Harold the Heinous, is one of these. Naturally he goes to Hell.
- I Just Want to Have Friends: Max shows shades of this in episode 6. Apart from devotion to Satan, the other reason he lists for wanting to go to Hell is that he'll be an outcast in Heaven. At the end of the episode he's working in Purgatory and Tony agrees to be his friend.
- Jerkass: Death is a total prick.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Tony, befitting an Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist.
- Karmic Jackpot: In episode 7, when the entire office is betting on Tony's cases and trying to manipulate him, Max is the only one who tells him what's going on and who doesn't partake. In the end, when Tony rigs the last bet and buys out the prize shop with his winnings, Max reminds him of this and in gratitude Tony agrees to buy Max whatever prizes he wants. Max gets enough plastic spiders to cover his body, as well as a Chinese finger trap.
- Light Is Not Good: In episode 7, an angel named Dameon is a compulsive gambler who threatens to stab Tony for losing him a bet. He also claims that Harold the Heinous, a rapacious Viking, "had a beautiful soul" and should have gone to Heaven.
- Loser Protagonist: Tony is fat, short, lazy, depressed, and hates his (after)life and job.
- The Lost Lenore: Tony was this to Pamela, a woman who he loved but lacked the courage to confess his feelings to. She felt the same way, and after Tony died she opened her own restaurant and named it Purgatelli after Tony.
- Maternal Death? Blame the Child: A probably one-of-a-kind twist on the trope. The baby itself blames himself for "killing" his mother, and demands to be sent to Hell.
- The Mentor: Coach Carruthers was one to Tony.
- Miscarriage of Justice: There are a few.
- Episode 1 starts with Tony sending a hero to Hell, mistakingly believing him to have been a drunk driver.
- Episode 3 revolves around Tony reviewing three clones and figuring out which one should be sent to Hell for murder. They reveal that, according to Future Law, when one clone commits murder all of them are executed for it.
- Episode 4 has Tony send a man named Ken to Heaven, only for Death to reveal this was a mistake and send Tony to go up there and correct it. Ken reveals he deserves Hell for being bad to his family and friends.
- Episode 5 has Tony threw a baseball game meant to determine the fate of 40,000 souls, half of whom were children. As such all those souls went to Hell.
- Mistaken for Racist: In episode 1, Death tells Tony "you can't just send the whites to Heaven and the blacks to Hell". He was talking about moral alignment, but Tony was shocked because he thought it was racial.
- Moral Dilemma: Being an arbiter of Heaven and Hell, Tony faces these a lot. One of the most complex ones he faces is when he has to judge George Washington, who's a cultural symbol of nigh-divine purity in the United States, but also owned slaves.
- Motivated by Fear: Death forces Tony to be productive by threatening him with the Soul Shredder. Which is actually just a coffee grinder.
- Nice Guy: Chad Bradley, Max, and Pambla are all really nice. Makes sense how they're the only ones Tony gets along with.
- Nothing Is Scarier: Hell is this. It's never actually shown, but everyone who is sent there is consumed in flames and screams out in agony as they're sucked into the ground. According to Chad, everyone who goes to Hell gets two penises, just for them both to be eaten by fire ants and regrown every day.
- Not Quite Dead: According to the rulebook, Tony can send back certain dead babies, since they have no conscious thought, i.e. no morality, i.e. can't be properly judged.
- Open-Minded Parent: God is apparently this. In episode 6 He's willing to let a Satanist into Heaven for being a good person, and in episode 7 Tony reveals that being unbaptized, uncircumcised, or gay doesn't matter with regards to where a person's soul goes. The opening song outright says people are judged "on a good-bad divider", suggesting that a person's character is all that matters. well that and the competency of their case worker.
- Our Angels Are Different: Angels are no less fallible than devils. In fact, most of them are shallow douchebags.
- Our Demons Are Different: Demons act like normal people.
- The Paragon: Pamela Easily, Tony's lost love, qualifies if her case description is anything to go off. It lists her notable virtue as "many" and her notable sin as "burnt brownies", and the Note section outright stars with "A good human".
- Parody Sue: Chad Bradley is an exaggerated Ace to serve as a foil to Tony's Loser Protagonist.
- Place Beyond Time: "Time is irrelevant and has no meaning here!"
- Pointy-Haired Boss: Death isn't a terrible CEO, but he's not as responsible as he should be, seeing how an infinite amount of immortal souls are on the line.
- In Episode 5, Death plays a baseball game against the Devil and bet 40,000 souls on he outcome. All of those souls go to Hell without judgement, and it's mostly Death's fault. After this, Death apparently makes the same bet with dog-souls at the end of the episode.
- Pragmatic Villainy: Since Death is Above Good and Evil, whenever he does something that could be portrayed as nice, it's always actually for a pragmatic reason.
- Punch-Clock Hero: Judging mortal souls is just a boring, unfufilling office job to Tony.
- Punny Name: Tony's last name is Pergatelli, which Death comments on.
- Rage Against the Mentor: By the end of episode X, Tony hates his coach so much he lets thousands of innocent people burn in Hell without a sliver of remorse just to condemn him.
- Rape, Pillage, and Burn: Harold the Heinous's favorite hobby. Earned him a one-way ticket to Hell.
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: Max is a devil worshiper with a red shirt and black slacks. But despite his depraved hobby, he's actually not evil.
- Religion of Evil: Tony accidentally lets everything about Purgatory leak, which leads to a cult being formed around him.
- Robotic Torture Device: The Soul Shredder. Turns out it's just a coffee grinder, and Death only uses it to scare Tony.
- Serial Rapist: Tony sends at least two of these to Hell, and both of them mistakenly believed they were destined for Heaven.
- In episode 4, one of Tony's clients is a man named Edward Friendly who raped and flayed gay homeless men and wore their skins as a suit. After sending this man to Hell, Tony also had to review one of his victims.
- In episode 7, another client of Tony's is Harold the Heinous, a Viking who claims to have been "the best" at raping people on raids.
- Take a Third Option: In episode 7, Tony uses this when deciding where to send a baby who drowned during his baptism. Instead of sending the baby to Heaven or Hell, he sends the baby to Earth to have a second chance at life.
- Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Tony is kinda a dick, but also a Cosmic Plaything.
- Villain Song: Harold, a Viking whose case Tony reviewed, sang one of these.Harold: "Harold the Heinous!"
Nobody is insane as,
Harold the Heinous,
That's why he's famous!
He'll pillage your village,
And rape your-"
Tony: "Nope no no no no! That's enough!"Harold: "I' was going to say 'anus'."
- Wham Shot: Surprising for such a usually comedic series, there's actually a serious Oh, Crap! moment at the end of episode 6 where Tony leaves one of his files behind in the real world and a cult member finds it, which might essentially blow the lid on Purgatory's business.
- What the Hell Is That Accent?: Max has something of a Eastern European accent.
- Whole Plot Reference: Episode 5 is one to Space Jam. It's not subtle about it either.
- The Worf Effect: If Tony needs to be humiliated and Chad Bradley is the antagonist, Chad Bradley is perfect at everything. If Tony needs to be humiliated and Chad Bradley is on his side, Chad Bradley is useless.