Tv Review: Jon Glaser Loves Gear Season 2 Episode 1

Jon Glaser is probably best known as Councilman Jeremy Jamm in Parks and Recreation, but the entire world should know him far more than they already do as he’s responsible for creating one of the best ever sitcoms ever made, the joyously beautiful Delocated. Based around the idea that a family in the witness protection unit had a reality tv show made about their lives, with Glaser wearing a ski mask and a voice modulator throughout, it started out strong and then in it’s second and third seasons became so funny that I tried to marry it. Sadly the priest I asked to perform the ceremony refused to let me be wed to a dvd box set, but one day, one day I hope my dream will come true.

Glaser’s also responsible for Neon Joe: Werewolf Hunter, which yes, is as good as it sounds, and also Jon Glaser Loves Gear which aired it’s first season on TruTv in 2016, and that series is as good as Delocated, so I may have to take up polygamy in the near future. It may sound like I’m overpraising both but they have made me laugh, and laugh incredibly hard, more than 99.38% of comedy out there. The series initially seems like a reality tv show where Glaser tries out various items of gear, from cycling accessories to fishing equipment to baseball paraphernalia and so much more, but his life intrudes on events and a strong narrative runs throughout the first season involving his wife Leslie (Miriam Tolan) and son (Eli Tokash), his best friend Steve (Steve Cirbus), and the actress and actor he hires to play his partner and child when they decide they don’t want to be involved in the show. Oh yeah, and John Hodgman plays Gear-i, a sentient version of an app akin to Alexa, who’s on hand to help or hinder Jon along the way.

Now the show is finally back for another dose of inspired lunacy, with Jon horrified when the Network head suggests that Steve should take over hosting the show and Glaser taking something of a back seat. Of course Jon being Jon he tries to screw things up for Steve claiming that the Network wanted to fire him but Jon fought for his corner, but now Steve has to do a life threatening winter outdoor survival challenge to prove his worth while Jon takes on beach volleyball. As is the nature of the show Jon never gets round to doing the latter, deciding he needs to become more like Steve if the network is going to be happy with him hosting the show, while Steve disappears in to the wilderness, possibly never to return.

jon gear 1

To say I laughed a huge amount would be an understatement, there were so many hilarious gems throughout the episode, from Jon showing off his marathon body, trying to kill Steve, now having a fake house to go along with his fake family, Gear-i’s flirtation with Steve’s drone sidekick Drone-i Malonie and the line “Jon, can you describe to me what the human orgasm feels like?”, Jon harmonising with the electric razors, his shitty fake tattoos, the sycophantic son, the terrible Pitbull tribute act Rottweiler, the 21 flex salute, and they’re a great deal of other fantastic moments too. Out of context they might not seem that funny, but trust me, within the story told here it’s exhilarating comedy at it’s very best.

The inventiveness in the show is astounding, it builds on all that was great about the first season and takes it up a notch as Jon’s insecurities cause him to make decisions that are morally repugnant, but ironically also attempt to be more likeable than before, even though he inevitably backs out of certain ideas which just gets funnier each and every time he does. The fictional version of Jon Glaser is such a unique character, okay, he bears some resemblance to Jon from Delocated in his over-confident nature but he’s not quite as deluded as that character was, or as prone to being obsessive over insane ideas, and as both were created by Glaser it’d be churlish to really consider it an issue. There are a lot of differences too, Jon in this is more humane, okay, in this episode he sends out a man to possibly die but he does show glimmers of guilty over doing so at least whereas Jon from Delocated saw many people close to him die and barely registered their deaths. And yes, Glaser’s a dick in this for sure, but he’s a lovable dick without any doubt and his antics a blissfully daft.

It’s a rare show where there are no negatives, it’s twenty four minutes and thirty three seconds of joke after joke making me laugh so loudly the neighbour banged on the wall twice. But for the next nine weeks they’re going to have to get used to it, or I could watch it in the daytime when they’re not in, it’ll depend on whether they threaten me with violence or not. If this isn’t in the top 3 (if not the top place) of my favourite comedy shows of 2019 then it’s going to be a stunning year for comedy, if you’ve any doubts about watching it then banish them this instant and buy season one, it’s a thing of utter beauty and will make you laugh an enormous amount, and somewhat miraculously this season looks like it’s going to be even better.

Alex Finch.
https://twitter.com/comedytowatch

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