What do Christmas magic, the marvel of a kid’s creativeness, and SVU’s Detective Stabler pissing with a hearth extinguisher have in widespread? You’ll discover all of them in Glad!, the SyFy adaptation of a really twisted Grant Morrison comedian guide. And if you wish to see what’s maybe the precise reverse of a heartwarming vacation particular, go watch it on Netflix.
Right here’s the setup: Nick Sax (Christopher Meloni, most famously of Legislation & Order: Particular Victims Unit) is a disgraced ex-NYPD cop turned hitman. He’s semi-homeless, always drunk, and has the sturdiness and self-preservation instincts of your common Grand Theft Auto protagonist. After a bungled hit provides him a close to dying expertise, Nick begins seeing Glad, a tiny animated unicorn voiced by Patton Oswalt (who’s no stranger to animation, having starred in Ratatouille).
Warning: Even the trailer beneath is mildly Not Secure For Work and would possibly disturb younger children. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Glad tells Nick that he’s the lovable harmless imaginary pal of a lovable harmless little lady, who’s been kidnapped by a nightmare pedophile model of Santa Claus. Due to a medical cocktail delivered at gunpoint, Nick is the one one who can see him. With Glad’s incorporeal assist, Nick has to rescue the lady and uncover the conspiracy that led to her kidnapping, stumbling by way of the nightmarish circles of NYC organized crime, wicked torture fetishists, and (shudder) kids’s tv programming.
Regardless of the setup that seems like a contemporary model of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Glad! is on no account, form, or kind meant for youngsters. Inside the first minute of the pilot, you’ll see Nick fantasize about suicide, dancing with Christmas-themed curler go-go ladies whereas his disintegrating cranium fragments twinkle within the starlight. And that’s removed from probably the most stunning or disturbing picture in Glad!‘s eight-episode first season.
However that appears to be the purpose. The story juxtaposes the darkest tropes of the noir detective style with the saccharine hope of kids’s animation and worn-out vacation tales. The casting is particularly sensible: Oswalt is in high quality kind making the titular Glad basically a My Little Pony character hanging out within the final place you’d discover one. And it’s unattainable to not think about Nick Sax as Meloni’s iconic Elliot Stabler, crushed down by a long time of nightmare-inducing work and all however resigned to a bloody ignoble profession because the form of foul-mouthed bottom-feeder he used to lock up.
As a brawling, be-scarved, gun-toting hitman, Nick is actually indestructible to a level that strains believability—or a minimum of it could if the sequence didn’t make it clear virtually instantly that straight-up magic is in play. A memorable scene from the early episodes has Glad serving to Nick cheat at a poker recreation with drug sellers, whispering palms that solely he can hear. That’s earlier than Glad innocently stumbles right into a brick of cocaine, which in some way impacts his imaginary physique and sends him on a Daffy Duck-style manic episode. Nick abandons the playing cards and easily murders everybody within the room.
The surreal, indulgent violence of the sequence will distract you from what’s really a fairly fascinating little bit of darkish fantasy. Interwoven into the plot are a considerably stereotypical Italian-American mob household headed up by “Blue” Scaramucci (Ritchie Coster), an deliberately creepy kids’s entertainer Sonny Shine (Christopher Fitzgerald), and a straight-up terrifying torturer and fixer euphemistically referred to as “Smoothie” (Patrick Fischler).
The story doesn’t have lots for its feminine characters to do besides react to the insanity of the state of affairs. However in that restricted capability, younger kidnappee Hailey (a really promising Bryce Lorenzo) and her mom Amanda (Medina Senghore) kind a surprisingly shifting emotional core that retains the viewers invested within the endgame. Merideth McCarthy (Lili Mirojnick) is Nick’s former police associate, a fellow soiled cop but to be caught, and his reluctant helper contained in the NYPD.
On the finish of eight episodes, you’ll discover a conclusion that principally satisfies, whereas protecting the protagonists and a lot of the villains in play for doable additional shenanigans. There’s a second, Easter-themed season of Glad! that’s additionally on Netflix, and whereas its extra unhinged moments are presumably probably the most unbelievable issues I’ve ever seen on American tv, the lowered stakes and repeated beats make it much less fascinating. Glad!‘s excessive idea can’t survive for very lengthy earlier than breaking down, so it’s not the tip of the world that it received’t ever see a 3rd season.
Glad! is holiday-themed watching that always surprises, for those who can abdomen its extra indulgent dips into gross (in each sense of the phrase) conditions. Test it out for those who’re uninterested in Die Onerous reruns, and you want Olaf from Frozen would often pull out a Desert Eagle and ice some mobsters.