Tacoma FD: Some Broken Lizard Alums Have a Show – HBO Max Review

I didn’t hear anything about this show for two seasons, so I’m spreading the news.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if you made a Super Troopers TV show… well, keep wondering, because that’s not exactly what this is. However, if you’re wondering what would happen if you took some of the minds behind Super Troopers and gave them a TV show about wacky people working at a fire station, then wonder no more. This show was created by Kevin Heffernan and Steve Lemme, two of the members of Broken Lizard, and in addition to writing and directing most of the episodes, the pair star as the leaders of the firehouse Chief Terry McConky and Captain Eddie Penisi. While both characters have the exaggerated qualities you might expect from Broken Lizard, they’re toned down a bit and humanized more, allowing for some episodes to actually have decent emotional moments. McConky is a bit of a blowhard but loves a good time and wants to be liked and Penisi wants to be having a good time, all the time, which usually gets him in trouble.

They’re the best in the business, but no idea which business.

The rest of the cast are similarly flawed and yet funny characters: The medic who is often a bit of a cynic, Granny Smith (Marcus Henderson); the part-time stripper and full-time lunkhead Ike Crystal (Gabriel Hogan); and the shy and insecure Andy Miyawani (Eugene “Pillboi” Cordero). After a few episodes, they’re joined by McConky’s go-getter daughter Lucy (Hassie Harrison) and the show explores a lot of the nature of sexism in firefighting through their interactions. Despite clearly having to work harder than many of the guys in order to get respect, Lucy also often chooses to play harder than them as well. 

When you get dosed while putting a fire out at a rave…

Part of the central gag of the show is that Tacoma, Washington has such a moderate climate and high rate of rainfall that fires aren’t much of a risk. Most of the time the calls that the firefighters are responding to are bizarre incidents involving things like Alpacas, raves, popcorn fires at a haunted house, and the occasional sex shop arson. However, a lot of what the show explores is how all of these people deal with their downtime and the bureaucracy of a mid-sized city. The show’s greatest strength is in reflecting how frustrating it can be to try and deal with the less-glamorous aspects of certain jobs and giving the characters ways to vent those frustrations in hilarious scenes. The humor is a little less stoner-y than in most Broken Lizard films, but it’s still pretty zany. If that’s not your taste, you probably won’t like it, but at least you’ll find out pretty fast. Personally, I think the characters are all pretty great when they’re interacting and the dialogue and situations are amusing.

Ah, the bachelorette party fire. Classic.

Overall, give it a try. I think this show does a good job of giving us a more emotionally relatable version of Broken Lizard’s comedy.

Star Trek: Lower Decks: Futurama Meets Star Trek… again – CBS All Access Mini-Review

We get a look at all of the fun and adventure that happens to the flunkies of the Federation.


Welcome aboard the starship U.S.S. Cerritos. Captained by the capable Carol Freeman (Dawnn Lewis) and staffed by First Officer Jack Ransom (Jerry O’Connell), Lieutenant Shaxs (Fred Tatasciore), and Doctor T’Ana (Gillian Vigman), they boldly go to all the places that other, better ships have just discovered. However, we don’t really care about them, because the party is down a few floors in the lower decks. It’s got Beckett Mariner (Tawny Newsome), a drunken ensign so disrespectful that she’s been kicked off multiple ships; Brad Boimler (Jack Quaid), an ambitious ensign that often takes Mariner’s abuse; D’Vana Tendi (Noël Wells), a medical ensign who is super enthused about being on a starship; and Sam Rutherford (Eugene Cordero), an engineering ensign who is adjusting to his recent cyborg status. Together, these four… exist. 

Someone is going to complain about the uniforms, I just know it.


I think at this point I’ve mentioned that I am a fan of Star Trek roughly fifty times on here, including putting multiple episodes on my 100 Greatest Episodes List, so I’ll skip most of my fanboying and just say that I was probably going to like anything that adds to the franchise that’s better than Enterprise (minus the Mirror Universe stuff). This was definitely better than Enterprise (Sorry, Bakula). 

Even coated in mucus, this show has more dignity.

When The Orville came out, I figured that was the closest that I would ever get to a mostly-official comedy Star Trek series, unless they actually made a show out of Galaxy Quest. However, while both of those mostly parodied the original Star Trek, this show couldn’t really try to do that, since the events of Star Trek actually happened here. By setting itself in the universe it was going to mess with, this show ironically had to be a bit more of its own animal. It reminds me a bit more of Futurama than those parodies, but the animation style is more modern and frenetic. On a side note, I think it’s interesting that the first season is set in the year 2380, meaning that, aside from Star Trek: Picard, this show is set the furthest in the future of any Star Trek series. At the end of the first episode, we even hear Mariner start to name drop many of the main characters of the original show and The Next Generation. I don’t think they referenced Deep Space Nine or Voyager, but it’s possible that, since Voyager only got back two years before this show, maybe the full extent of their adventures haven’t become public. 

Still, this isn’t the command staff that you’re used to.

The humor in this show is a little more graphic and a little more base than you might expect from Star Trek, but I still enjoyed it. It makes for a bigger contrast between the typically clinical and sterile settings that we usually expect aboard a starship and the messy, gooey, and sometimes a bit freaky things that Mariner and Boimler get into. Another aspect of the humor appears to derive from how much the crew has become immunized to the chaos that fills an average episode of a Star Trek show. They’re shown to carry on leisurely conversations while dealing with a viral outbreak akin to a zombie horde, which makes some sense, given how often crazy things like this happen. The show also takes shots at the other series’ common trope of attributing all of the successes to the command staff at the expense of the many other people that help keep the ship running and provide support. 

Fan theories will abound.

Overall, while we’re only two episodes into the show, I think it’s got potential. If you’re a Trekkie, you’ve gotta watch it. If you’re a fan of Futurama, you should probably check it out. If you’re neither… well, try it anyway.

If you want to check out some more by the Joker on the Sofa, check out the 100 Greatest TV Episodes of All TimeCollection of TV EpisodesCollection of Movie Reviews, or the Joker on the Sofa Reviews.

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