Review: Creature Comforts (US)

Though I had not intent to review this TV show, I find it hard not to.

But to really explain, I have to explain how I found it. I’d seen the ads and thought it looked cute, if a little boring. So when I found it while flipping channels one day, I paused and watched. But after about five minutes I found it uninteresting and left it.

But high opinions of it started stacking up against my gut reaction. Two different bloggers at TV Squad had it on their “what I’m watching this summer list.” And though I disagree with Anna on the show being “drop-dead hilarious,” her opinion fell on the right side of the issue.

So when I saw that it was on again, I had to watch it. And this time I committed to the whole hour. No channel flipping.

By the end of that hour, I was actually finding myself chuckling softly at much of what was being said. That’s far below for my traditional threshold for good comedy, but it is a step in the right direction.

Part of what I began to notice and what Adam writes about in his review at TV Squad, that “it’s those animal conduits that allow the viewer to identify with the folks being interviewed. It’s not the actual physical people we relate to, it’s their stories.”

When I just watched the show for 5 minutes I was missing the stories. I missed the fact that these people (or their animal representatives) keep reappearing. They become familiar in a way they simply cannot be if you’re watching it for instant gratification.

And the animators are striving to keep those stories interesting. Sceneries change to optimize the joke. And the joke gets funnier when you recognize that subtle changes have occurred.

At the end of the day, I can’t lavish Creature Comforts with high praise. But I have to say that I’m impressed with it, and that I’m glad I gave it a second chance. My advice to anyone thinking of it: if you’re going to give it a chance, give it at least a full half-hour before you dismiss it off-hand.

It’s much more subtle than the TV comedy I’m used to. But that’s not a bad thing. It’s mostly just a thing.