The Bottom Line
- Stars Matt Servitto, Henry Zebrowski, Craig Rowin
- Created by Dave Willis and Casper Kelly
- Airs Thursdays at midnight EST starting April 18, 2013, on Adult Swim
Henry Zebrowski stars as Gary, a soul condemned to Hell who has to spend his days in a cubicle as an associate demon. Gary is basically a bumbling office worker with red skin and horns (the show has what I can only assume are deliberately fake-looking makeup and visual effects), and he constantly screws up in his efforts to accrue more souls for his boss/dark lord, Satan (Matt Servitto). The idea of Hell, or any other mystical/mythical place, as the equivalent of a modern office is nothing new, and the limited premise is exhausted in the 11 short minutes of the one episode available for review.
Gary and fellow demon Claude hang out in Hell’s break room (where the vending machine offers eternal torment by never actually dispensing any items), and Gary’s “summon word” (used by humans to conjure his presence) is like a computer password that has to be changed every six weeks. The plot of the episode available for review is a haphazard mess that jumps from a random guest appearance by jam band Leftover Salmon, to Gary being summoned over and over again by a pair of stoners, to his accidentally condemning his mother’s soul to Hell. Unlike some Adult Swim shows, it does at least connect from one plot point to the next in a way that makes some degree of sense, but it still has no internal consistency when it comes to logic or tone.
Sometimes the humor is deadpan Office Space-style workplace humor, as when Gary has to figure out how to change his summon word without a manager’s approval, and sometimes it’s gross-out jokes, like the demons whose eternal torment involves having their heads in the office urinals. And sometimes it’s just completely nonsensical, which, by this point, is the surest sign that you’re watching a show on Adult Swim. None of these styles of humor ends up being particularly funny, and that combined with the bargain-basement production values give the impression that this is something the network just tossed on the air without much consideration.
In the end, Pretty Face will probably air its handful of episodes this season with little fanfare or attention, filling gaps in between repeats of animated shows and appealing to Adult Swim’s original core audience of stoners and college students. Given how much progress the network has made into clever, well-crafted live-action comedies, though, the step backward counts as a disappointment.