Oh Netflix. I really wish I didn’t have to write about this, but here we are.
Netflix original series deserve the benefit of the doubt. Even if the genre isn’t necessarily my cup of tea, overall, I’ve found many to be well-written, well-acted, inventive, and pretty ballsy. So, a stoner sitcom isn’t something I’m gonna go looking for, but it has Kathy Bates and it’s on Netflix and funny is funny regardless of source material, so I thought…I’m at the gym. Why not?
Turns out, a BILLION reasons why not. Here are three of them:
- There’s a laugh track. I hate being told when things are funny. Most of Disjointed’s hackie jokes just didn’t land. But a couple of them did, and if it weren’t for the laugh track, I might’ve actually laughed at them. Get a live studio audience, or hire better writers to make rapid-fire jokes that require two or three viewings to get them all. The laugh track is over, Chuck Lorre. Let it go.
- Kathy Bates is wasted on this show. No, I don’t mean she’s acting wasted. Her acting abilities are wasted on this show.
- Dumb stoner comedy is not only dumb, it’s grossly outdated. It’s a ubiquitous genre that even dumb stoners don’t find funny anymore (dumb stoners, please feel free to weigh in on this one if you can see past your Doritos bag for a second. See? NOT FUNNY, VERY STALE). Why is Netflix trifling with this decrepit view of smoking marijuana? Furthermore, the show’s portrayal of marijuana dispensaries is beyond inaccurate.While I have never set foot inside of a bona fide pot dispensary in all of my 42 years, I was recently edified by a close friend who lives in Portland, Oregon, a state where both medicinal and recreational pot use are allowed:
“[Disjointed] is what Pat Robertson thinks a pot shop is. Kathy Bates getting soccer moms stoned in-house while Shaggy grows magic plants in the lobby. Truth is, life-long growers – and women and brown folk specifically – have been put out of business by legal weed. This is a booming new suddenly-legal industry so guess what the brand new entrepreneurs look like? If you said hippy woman in her 60’s and her son of color . . .well. *laugh track* There are 7 million white dude bros who stand behind counters and mansplain pot strains to you. They are given business licenses that have pictures of them with their baseball caps on backwards, and they have no fear of jail. That’s not to say there are not women. Often the dude bros will bring in a girl showing midriff who works the front desk (there is no cop at the front desk). She is there because no one would want to ask her what she thinks of the strains; that’s man stuff. There is nothing grown INSIDE a shop. In fact, there is comedy to be had in how the stuff is packaged and “named” and priced. There is comedy in that, in Portland, during Girl Scout cookie season, there are scouts who are smart enough to set tables up in front of shops FACING the front doors. Those girls, I tell you what, they are the real businesswomen of tomorrow.”
Netflix execs, LISTEN TO MY FRIEND SARAH PATZEL. Make a show about the Girl Scouts who sell cookies outside of dispensaries*. Make it accurate. Make it less about pot and more about those little entrepreneurial wunderkind who thought of it. Film it on location. Hire good writers to layer jokes. Don’t dumb it down for your viewers. And, please, for the love of all that is a covered in melted cheese, DO NOT ADD A LAUGH TRACK.
There. Now you don’t have to watch this clunker. Netflix seems to drop a series every other day. Just wait until next week, and try again. Maybe then you’ll hit jackPOT see it’s just not working and I’m really very sorry.
*Please submit suggested titles in comments below. My suggestion, of course, is ‘Pot Brownies’.