26 September 2023

God’s Favorite Idiot

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Reviewed by Rama Gaind.

Creator: Ben Falcone, Netflix.

Labelled as an apocalyptic workplace comedy, God’s Favorite Idiot is laid back entertainment that does not require much energy to engage. It’s a series starring comedian, producer, writer and fashion designer Melissa McCarthy (The Starling, Mike & Molly, Bridesmaids, Gilmore Girls) and is created by her actor-comedian-filmmaker husband Ben Falcone (Tammy, Superintelligence, Thunder Force).

Falcone plays Clark Thompson, a tech support employee, who falls in love with co-worker Amily Luck (McCarthy) at the same time as he becomes the unwitting messenger of God.

Clark gets struck by lightning from an unusual angelic cloud, and suddenly he finds himself glowing. These strange incidents lead Amily and his co-workers to believe there’s a purpose behind the divine intervention. As it turns out, an angel tells Clark that his task is to stop the apocalypse and to spread a message of peace and unity in the face of increasing fiendish intrusion.

As for God, well, Clark enlightens his colleagues about every religious tradition in human history has correctly interpreted the celestial: “God is real, and God is good, and everybody is actually quite right about God. Meaning Jewish people, or Christians, or Hindus, or Muslims, or the other organised religions, or even the disorganised ones. Or people that are just spiritual.”

Plainly stated, however, life and human perceptions cannot be simply summarised.

The real-life partners have an easy, charming chemistry though the series lacks stentorian laughs and it’s not derogatory. It would not be wrong to say the frequent collaborators have a seraphic gift for lifting the spirits!

The first batch of episodes was made in Australia. Filming began in Byron Bay and Ballina in northern NSW in March 2021 and finished three months later.

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