TURN AROUND AND BANG
First, I’d like to sincerely apologize for the delay between my postings. A rather bitter cold took me for a ride this past week, preventing me from keeping up with my Con Man reviews, but I’m back and ready to give you the full run until the season finale coming up this Thursday!
And what an episode to drop the ball on – again, I’m so sorry – but “I’m With Stupid” is easily the best episode that Con Man has done to date.
Still trapped in the boiler room of the Long Con with an ever-increasing cast of characters, Wray finds himself putting on a full production of Lou Ferrigno’s Of Mice and Men musical adaptation – the brilliantly named “I’m With Stupid” – complete with costumes, sets, and fully choreographed musical numbers. Ferrigno has finally acquiesced to playing the part of Lenny, our favorite Mo-Cap King Jerry Lansing (Nolan North) is chewing literal scenery as Candy’s blind dog, and Wray, for once in his career since Spectrum, is diving fully into a project that he actually enjoys working on (albeit a project performed in locked boiler room with no one watching.)
I have no other word to describe this episode than fun. Pure, unadulterated fun. You can practically feel how much they cast is enjoying themselves as the montage plays through. (I’d love to see a blooper reel from this episode alone.) It’s impossible not to smile watching these actors perform what is likely the most ridiculous thing they’ll ever have to perform in their entire careers. Leslie Jordan, playing the intimidating boxer Curley, standing on a soapbox while the ensemble sings that he’s “got you by the short and Curley’s” is worth the admission alone, but then Tyler Labine pantomimes killing Candy’s dog/Jerry Lansing with increasingly dangerous weapons.
And then Bobbie (Mindy Sterling) gets thrown around like a rag doll in silhouette. And then suddenly a magnificent tenor voice comes out of Lou Ferrigno’s mouth. Truly amazing.
After escaping the boiler room, the group puts on the show for the attendees of the Long Con to much applause, and the audience buzz brings the Spectrum movie one step closer to being made. Wray is fully on board with the “Off-Broadway in downtown LA” production of “I’m With Stupid” … but because it’s Con Man, when Wray goes up, he must come down – and hard: “We’re looking for more of a leading man-type for the role of George… but I’d love to put a pin in you for the touring company.” It all comes full circle for Wray with this pair of episodes, always the pin cushion, never the man.
Early on in the season, I had said that I was surprised at the number of episodes that took place outside of comic book conventions, given that Con Man’s main conceit is that the main character can’t get away from them, no matter how much he wants to. While all of the episodes this season have been pretty great, it’s no surprise that the best episodes (“Pin Cushion” and “I’m With Stupid”) evolved from the convention setting. Putting these wonderful actors together and letting them play off of one another is a recipe for magic.
Thankfully, based on the preview, it appears we’re staying in the convention setting and it’s the big one:
San Diego Comic-Con Shock-A-Con! There are only a few episodes left until the end of the season, and we haven’t even talked about what was going on in Doctor Cop Lawyer. With so many Hemsworths out there, I can’t help but feel a little afraid for our little sci-fi actor that could.
Rating: A. This episode concludes the two-part “I’m With Stupid” saga, and it’s everything I want it to be. It indulges in its absurdity, and you can’t help but love watching because of it.
- Bucky has the best line of the episode: “People are going to think that the Long Con is a scam!”
- The Tooth Fairy is still locked in the boiler room and that makes me really sad for some reason. Did he ever get his medicine?
- Tudyk’s face in that final scene as he stares at his reflection in the mirror encompasses everything he’s feeling right at that moment, and he sells it like no other. The off-screen audio of Lansing as Candy’s dog being shot is a nice touch.
- I want to know who Lou’s singing voice belongs to, but I didn’t see it in the credits. I also want to know how one gets that gig. Incidentally, I’m a classically-trained tenor, and I’m available for such projects.
Con Man is available for your consumption now exclusively at Comic-Con HQ. All of season 1 is currently available, while season 2 will release 2 episodes per week. The Con Man video game is available on iOS and Android, and the Spectrum comic book is available to download here. All photo credits to Comic-Con HQ.