John Mulaney & the Sack Lunch Bunch (2019)

From IMDb: “John Mulaney and his kid pals tackle existential topics for all ages with catchy songs, comedy sketches and special guests in a nostalgic variety special.”

What I liked:

  • When I was a kid, “children’s shows” didn’t talk down to their audience. Shows like Sesame Street, The Electric Company and 3-2-1 Contact (of which this show most resembles) understood that children were smart and had issues and questions of their own. Co-writer and show creator John Mulaney (who is only 4 years younger than me) grew up with those same shows and happily brings that depth to this show, albeit in the most gleeful way imaginable.
  • Yes it is a comedy, but there are some deep themes explored within the confines of the genre, mostly during some insightful testimonials.
  • KILLER musical segments pop up between skits, and every song is an exercise in astounding writing and whimsical bravado. My favorites are the bombastic, voodoo-vibed Algebra Song and the Schoolhouse Rock feeling Plain Plate of Noodles.
  • The best part of the show is the cast, which is made up of 90% unknown child actors. Each one gives an A+ effort for whatever their roles demanded.

What I didn’t like:

  • Even though it’s made up of many short skits, its total run time is one hour and ten minutes, which makes it feel a little long. Maybe they could’ve broken it up into multiple episodes.

Overall: A wonderful throwback to the smart children’s shows of before. If it ever became a traveling theater show, I’d absolutely see it live. For now, it’s only a Netflix special, which you can watch here.

Jose Zuazua is editor-in-chief of Quick Lunch Break Reviews. He has an associates degree in film production and has been published both online and in print for Los Angeles City College’s award-winning Collegian newspaper. He’s on Twitter and Instagram, and is also currently writing his first short novel.

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