God’s Favorite Idiot, the new Netflix comedy by Melissa McCarthy and her husband Ben Falcone, was heavily criticized by critics.
Told in eight episodes, the comedy centers on Falcon’s Clark, a normal tech support worker, who, after being struck by a very special kind of lightning, somehow becomes God’s innocent messenger.
Suddenly blessed with an angelic glow, Clark is then tasked by the Almighty with saving humanity from the apocalypse. McCarthy stars as her co-worker and love interest, Amily, with Leslie Bibb and Kevin Dunn in supporting roles. Falcone wrote all eight episodes, with comedian Michael McDonald directing the series.
The show’s concept, which is pretty close to the hit comedy Evan Almighty, is one of several things that critics of the show, which debuted on Netflix last Wednesday (June 15), went to town in their comments, almost none. of which they were kind.
The show currently has a 22% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which is 3% lower than Mike Myers’ Netflix vehicle The Pentaverate, another show that took a mighty beating from critics.
John Doyle of the Globe and Mail (opens in new tab) called the show “One of the worst shows of the year”, adding that there are “… 30-second commercials on network TV with more daring and imagination than this God-centric bunch of nonsense”.
William Hughes of AV Club (opens in new tab) lamented the show’s “sometimes infinite willingness to get bogged down in the wordplay of office life”, while Variety’s Daniel D’Addario (opens in new tab) put the boot straight on McCarthy and called the show “…a waste of precious time in the career of a talented artist whose fans will follow her anywhere and who rewards them with so little of what she can do”.
Marya E. Gates from Playlist (opens in new tab) said that God’s Favorite Idiot was burdened with a “narrative that is too simple and overly complicated, underdeveloped characters, and fancy production design”. she was kinder than Anita Singh of The Daily Telegraph (opens in new tab)who accused Falcone of giving McCarthy “… carte blanche to do her trick of being loud, rude and generally insufferable, in the mistaken belief that everything she says or does is hilarious”.
Only Lucy Mangan from The Guardian (opens in new tab) had something nice to say, but even she added in her three-star review that God’s Favorite Idiot “wasn’t going to bother any awards panel.”
Analysis: Will Netflix care?
It depends on how many people watch the show. Given that it currently ranks third on Netflix’s 10 Most Popular Shows, it seems that many Netflix subscribers like the show even if critics don’t.
McCarthy and Falcone previously made Thunder Force for Netflix and worked together several times on films like The Boss and Superintelligence, which were commercial success stories.
Interestingly, Netflix initially ordered 16 episodes of God’s Favorite Idiot, only to downgrade that order to eight to judge audience reactions. If the reviews are worth it, it will be eight and eight only, but Netflix doesn’t make shows for the critics, if it did, it wouldn’t be making another installment of the erotic thriller 365 Days…