It’s highly doubtful that any one of you will find this surprising: I am a huge fan of The Adventure Zone podcast; a D&D adventure from the McElroy Brothers, and their father. Anyone who is aware of those names most likely became familiar with them because of their other highly successful podcast My Brother, My Brother and Me (MBMBAM), their work with polygon and YouTube videos.
Last week the brothers launched a television show, also entitled MBMBAM, on the NBC streaming channel Seeso. As a fan, I sat down and quickly watched the first episode that night, then the other few (the entire season is up, as is now the norm).
I had no idea what to expect. MBMBAM is an “advice” podcast. They take listener-submitted questions, or mainly Yahoo Answer questions, then attempt to give funny advice based on each issue. It is a comedy podcast, and as their opening line of the show state “their advice should never be followed.” Needless to say, the advice they give, and a lot of the time the questions themselves, are rarely to be taken seriously. This is a strictly entertainment-only show.
How would they turn that into a 26-minute television show?
Well, the format has not strayed much from the podcast. They have a cold open with some jokes, read a question submitted by a fan, and then proceed to riff around the issue for a time. The main difference with the television show, compared to the podcast, is each episode is centered around just one question. They then spend the rest of the episode doing small skits and reality show parody interviews around their hometown to gain some perspective or answer for the audience.
Basically, it’s a skit show with a theme based on the fan-submitted questions.
The first episode was enjoyable, but I felt a bit let down in the end. It had funny moments, but at no point did I find myself sucked in or laughing out loud; not even a chuckle. Like I said, it was enjoyable, but there wasn’t much there.
I continued because I like them. They have a good vibe. I was pleasantly surprised at the next few episodes (there are six only in the first season). The shows do get funny and have some great moments. By episode 3 they find their groove.
Format-wise it actually takes some getting used to, especially if you are not familiar with a lot of the up and coming YouTube content being made. It’s out of the box, but enough segment oriented for you to get the idea. However, even those who are used to how new shows have pretty dry and awkward humor, with an extreme ironic edge, might not like this show. It’s more of a nod to fans of the podcast.
If you are already a fan, you will be an easy convert. Otherwise, watch the full season before deciding it is, or is not, for you.
I’m not sure what to expect come long-term with the show. The first season is too short to see if they will continue with this format really. That being said, I am glad it was only six episodes. The length of the season makes it easy to digest quickly. If I had to slog through 10 or 12 episodes, then I’m not sure if I would have come away with the same conclusion.
If you’re a fan, then you’ve most likely already checked it out and enjoyed it. If you are not, then I do recommend it if you are in the market for something new and different. Either way, their podcasts are great, and they truly are a talented and humorous group of guys.