Something a little different premieres on the Comedy Channel this week; an animated ‘cop’ series set in the heady neon days of the 1980s.
Taking inspiration from the Duran Duran album RIO, the Ah-Ha video “Take on Me” with a fairly generous dose of Miami Vice, Moonbeam City stars 80s icon Rob Lowe as Dazzle Novak, an over-sexed and not very bright Detective.
His boss, Chief Pizzas Miller is voiced by Elizabeth Banks (Hunger Games, Pitch Perfect, Wet Hot American Summer), while his arch nemesis, Rad Cunningham, is played by Will Forte (Saturday Night Live, Last Man on Earth). Kate Mara (House of Cards, The Martian) completes the cast as the very capableChrysalis Tate.
Episode One revolves around Dazzle hunting down ‘crime lord’ El Diablo Malo (the bad devil), who’s running drugs through the shopping malls of Moonbeam City.
Having lost his title as the city’s top cop (his #1 cop mug has gone to Rad Cunningham), Dazzle has been given 5-days to bring El Diablo to justice, but is distracted by New Age singer Aiaiaia and becomes her manager.
Hilarity ensues, when Cunningham finds his own singer to compete for the Golden Dream Catcher and he and Dazzle become more concerned about the competition than catching El Diablo.
For those of us that can remember the 80s, Moonbeam City is mildly amusing. There are enough pop culture references and cheesy synthesiser music to keep you watching.
For a while.
But, towards the end of the first episode, the joke and the novelty start to wear a little thin.
To be honest, “Moonbeam City” seems a little lost, not sure whether it’s supposed to be ‘comedy’ or ‘satire’. As a comedy, it’s a one trick pony. As a satire, it squeezes every wince out of the neon-tinged 80s nostalgia.
Moonbeam City premieres on The Comedy Channel, 8.30pm Sunday November 15.