Entertainment To-Do List: Week of 3/26/21

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Pooch Perfect (CREDIT: Christopher Willard/ABC)

Every week, I list all the upcoming (or recently released) movies, TV shows, albums, podcasts, etc. that I believe are worth checking out.

Movies
Bad Trip (Streaming on Netflix) – Eric Andre strings Lil Rel and Tiffany Haddish along for his shenanigans.

TV
The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers Series Premiere (March 26 on Disney+) – Ducks never say die.
Solar Opposites Season 2 (March 26 on Hulu)
Pooch Perfect Series Premiere (March 30 on ABC) – Rebel Wilson hosts a dog grooming competish!

Music
-Evanescence, The Bitter Truth

Who Can Resist Taking a ‘Bad Trip’ with Eric Andre? Not I, Said This Reviewer

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Bad Trip (CREDIT: Dimitry Elyashkevich/Netflix)

Starring: Eric Andre, Lil Rel Howery, Tiffany Haddish, Michaela Conlin

Director: Kitao Sakurai

Running Time: 84 Minutes

Rating: R for Thoroughly Shameless Crudity, Nudity, and Psychoactive Drug Indulgence

Release Date: March 26, 2021 (Netflix)

I sure wish I had been able to experience Bad Trip in a packed theater, but at least my hearty laughs in my solo viewing experience were enough to fill my living room. This delightfully demented piece of guerilla filmmaking is basically a feature-length version of the man-on-the-street bits from Eric Andre’s anarchic eponymous Adult Swim talk show. Starring alongside Andre are a couple of famous funny people as well as dozens of unsuspecting members of the public. There’s a bit of a story (with the screenplay credited to Andre, Dan Curry, and director Kitao Sakurai), in which Florida Man Chris (Andre) has a chance meeting with his old school crush Maria (Michaela Conlin), who invites him to come check out her art gallery in New York City. He then invites his best pal Bud (Lil Rel Howery) on a road trip to the Big Apple, and they abscond in a car that belongs to Bud’s incarcerated sister Trina (Tiffany Haddish), who busts out and tracks down the boys with deadly intentions. The narrative actually hangs together a lot more nicely than I would expect in a prank film, but ultimately it’s just an excuse for a bunch of outrageous shenanigans.

Practical jokes can be hilarious, but ethically speaking, if you’re going to be a professional hooligan, you ought to be careful about who you select as the butts of your jokes. I approve of Andre’s mischief because he is consistently the target of his own pranks. He renders himself into every possible version of a fool, while the unsuspecting public provides another layer of humor by serving as witnesses struggling to make sense of the chaos unfolding around them. In Bad Trip, that chaos includes fake blood splatter, fake projectile vomit splatter, and fake semen splatter. (Shame is a foreign concept to Eric Andre.) The crowd might get hit by some shrapnel, but Andre’s the only one who’s truly suffering for his art.

Bad Trip unsurprisingly holds up when considered on a scene-by-scene basis. But it’s tough to sustain a narrative when utilizing a sketch-comedy sensibility. But shocker of shockers, it turns out that the script delivers some satisfying emotional payoffs to all of its characters. It helps that everyone involved takes a decidedly askew approach to the tropes of buddy flicks. For example, there’s a runner about the notorious 2004 Wayans Brothers cross-dressing comedy White Chicks that improbably gets its own little mini-arc and cathartic conclusion. We all need a space for our ids to run free every once in a while, and I’m so glad that Eric Andre and his cohorts have put theirs on display for all the world to see.

Bad Trip is Recommended If You Like: The Eric Andre Show, Jackass, Borat

Grade: 4 out of 5 Stolen Cars