DVD Review: The Increasingly Poor Decisions Of Todd Margaret Series One

The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret Series One
DVD | Instant Video
Starring David Cross, Will Arnett, Sharon Horgan, Blake Harrison
MPI Home Video
Release Date: December 27, 2011

Todd Margaret (David Cross) is not a smart man, and his desire to succeed and impress those around him constantly gets the better of him. A compulsive liar who is completely unable to admit his mistakes, he ends up way over his head when a sudden job promotion lands in his lap by accident.

When his new, extremely aggressive boss Brett (Will Arnett) promotes the incompetent Margaret to head of UK sales for a North Korean energy drink called Thunder Muscle. The problem, well, the first problem, is Margaret knows nothing about sales or the United Kingdom, but that doesn’t stop him from taking the job and heading across the pond.

Things don’t go well for Margaret right from the start, and they go from bad to worse very quickly. With a single, suspiciously unhelpful employee, Dave (Blake Harrison) and a crush on cafe owner Alice (Sharon Horgan), the only person who shows him any sympathy, Margaret does his best/worst to to come out ahead in the increasingly awkward situations he finds himself in.

Co-written by Cross and Shaun Pye, The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret is a true hybrid of American and British comic sensibilities, which makes it refreshingly different, if mildly esoteric.

Todd Margaret is not a typical sitcom, so it’s not surprising to see it not get a wide reaching audience despite the comedic talent involved. Cross and Arnett worked together before on Arrested Development and though their characters are very different this time around, they still play off each other very well.

The show has some jokes that may not be obvious to first time or casual viewers. As explained in the disc’s bonus features, Cross decided the audience was smart enough to get the show’s humor without it all being explained to them. Those who might be in the dark about some of the cultural differences, a major source of the show’s humor, will have to educate themselves later. It’s worthwhile to do so as well. Not only will the knowledge make the show funnier to watch but, as Margaret quickly proves, being culturally ignorant is never a good thing. Margaret himself doesn’t know much, if anything, about British culture, but his attempts to fake it often result in making bad situations worse.

But don’t think for a moment that makes the show exclusive for comedy snobs, there is still plenty of toilet humor and foul language to mix it up.

Bonus features included bloopers, deleted scenes, a short Q&A with cast members and a featurette called “An Act of Todd” which involves Cross and Pye delving into the creative process behind the show as well as the challenges of working on a lower-budget production that crosses between two genres of humor. If nothing else, the bonus features are good insight into the challenges of creating a comedy that doesn’t fit the mold of network TV.

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