Koala Man is an animated comedy series that follows a family father who lives a not-so-secret identity as the titular hero who possesses a burning passion to snuff out petty crime, despite lacking any kind of superpowers.
Michael Cusack, Sarah Snook, Demi Lardner, Hugh Jackman
Koala Man’s first season is an incredibly weird one to talk about, because it’s so inherently and intentionally silly that it’s difficult to point out what are it’s genuine issues and what are meant to be ridiculous moments without stakes. It’s both what makes the show so good and so bad at the same time.
To put it simply, it’s likely the most inconsistent season of TV that I’ve ever seen: you’ll go from a stupid but wildly entertaining episode like the pilot to one that’s truly about as mediocre and boring as TV can be, like the second and third episodes which are hardly funny and lack anything interesting enough to make it entertaining outside of the middling jokes at times. That occurs repeatedly through the show, but when it does actually succeed in being funny, it succeeds massively.
The first, fifth and eight (final) episodes are far and wide the best of the series so far without there even being a question: they’re funny, relentlessly dumb and effective portions of animated entertainment that work as silly sketches, exciting superhero comedy (I mean they even mock post credits scenes with a genuinely funny one at the end of the season that sets up what I hope is a second season), and nice little character building that make the cast likeable enough to care when it feels as if nothing of particular interest is happening. Which is, again, one of the show’s biggest issues.
That inconsistency really makes it difficult to get through at times, as you’ll have a delightfully humorous episode followed up by three mediocre ones, then the best of the season, followed by one that’s good enough to give you hope it’ll retain its quality, only to be let down again right after. With a season that’s only 8, 20 minute episodes long, you’d think we wouldn’t waste time with boring subplots but we unfortunately do, and the humour is such a gamble on whether it’ll be laugh out loud hilarious or cringe-worthy verbal vomit that you can’t figure out whether you like the series or not.
Yet, with that being said, the show can be fun when it’s at its best, and part of me would really love to see more if they mitigate the show’s flaws for a more consistent sophomore season. Hugh Jackman steals the show with his verbal performance as Big Greg, and the rest of the cast are all perfect fits for these increasingly likeable characters.
It’s not perfect by a long shot, and it’s mixed bag in terms of both humour and pacing weigh it down a lot, but likeable characters, serviceable animation, Hugh Jackman, humour that sometimes does hit as it’s intended and a weirdly entertaining villain make it a season of TV that I did genuinely enjoy, even if it needs to be improved largely to make a hinted-towards second season worth it.