We've all seen those alien invasion disaster movies that end with helpless humans somehow defeating the insect-like creatures in their futuristic spaceship, after which the good guys stand amidst the rubble and destruction, pledging allegiance. on the flag and talk of a long and difficult rebuild ahead.
Yes, but what if the only Earthlings left were a bunch of idiots who were so ill-equipped to take on such a huge task? That's the setup for Netflix's animated comedy series “Mulligan,” a light-hearted and evil antidote to all heavy, dark, live-action dystopian dramas.
It is a brightly colored, upbeat, and consistently funny satire in which cartoonish violence is played up for laughs, the plots are absurd but filled with sly social commentary and there is a barrage of pop culture gags, many variations of which are obscure. I mean, when was the last time you heard someone quoting the 1996 orangutan comedy “Dunston Checks In”, the plot intricacies of “Gremlins 2: The New Batch”, or 1980s wrestler Ted “The Million Dollar Man” DiBiase?
Nat Faxon voices Matty Mulligan, a likable but not-so-intelligent Boston lug worker who teams up with Miss America Lucy Suwan (Chrissy Teigen) to destroy the alien mothership and finally stop the massacre — but at the time, there were only 1,132 people on the planet. . “Now, we're rebuilding, or whatever,” said Matty, who agreed to become president of the United States, with Lucy as de facto First Lady. What could possibly go wrong?
Cut to the next day, with Matty sitting in the bombed-out Oval Office, clueless as to how he is going to deal with problems like lack of electricity, gas and water, lack of food, no internet, no schools, etc. , not to mention the inescapable stench and the question of how to restart the “Fast and Furious” franchise.
Dana Carvey does a stealthy job as old school politician Senator Cartwright LaMarr, who is speaking up for Matt's vice president with the goal of taking the top job. Tina Fey is Dr. Farrah Braun, a military scientist and single mother, while Sam Richardson is historian Simon Prioleau, an uber-nerd who has a crush on Dr. (Simon's anecdotes about presidents from Millard Filmore to Andrew Jackson to JFK to Reagan to Clinton to GW Bush always sound true and funny, even if historically they're dubious.)
The all-star cast also includes Ayo Edebiri from “The Bear” as a 12-year-old boy who convinces everyone he's a general in his 50s just by wearing a melting general's uniform; Daniel Radcliffe as a British party boy who appoints himself king because he is the last living British citizen, and Phil LaMarr as General Axatrax, the sole alien survivor of the invasion, who cannot believe these idiots captured him. (Cue the interlude where Dr. Braun bonds with the monstrous-looking but intelligent and sensitive Axatrax, and yes, there's the “Form of Water” reference.)
With each episode lasting around 25 minutes, “Mulligan” is a breezy chronicle of the strange misadventures of this unfortunate bunch, who often manage to make matters worse when even they seem unlikely. It's relatively small but very cute.