MacGruber (Will Forte) was once the most outstanding Special Ops agent until he was jailed for unfairly gunning down his arch-nemesis, Cunth (Val Kilmer). However, it was only a matter of time before the country would need to call upon MacGruber for help. After a mysterious person kidnaps the President’s daughter, MacGruber gets a visit from Colonel Fasoose (Laurence Fishburne), who briefs him on the situation, offering him a full pardon from the government if he accepts a suicide mission. At first, MacGruber refuses but soon changes his heart when his fierce, tiger-like spirit awakens.
However, MacGruber can’t do it alone and begins to track down the team that helped him take down Cunth. Dixon Piper (Ryan Phillippe) now works as a driving instructor, and the woman who once owned his heart, Vicki St. Elmo (Kristen Wiig), is a bar singer and in a relationship with Colonel Fasoose. As MacGruber assembles his team and begins the mission, he soon finds that behind it all is Enos Queeth (Billy Zane), who is responsible for the bloody murder of someone close to him. This mission is different from anything before- this time, it’s personal. Can MacGruber get his revenge and save the world once again?
The good news is, if you’re a fan of the original film (like me), then you’ll be delighted to see the return of MacGruber in this new TV series. Just like the feature film MacGruber (2010), it should be no surprise that the series is filled with random one-liners, witty and crude gags, and general silliness. If you are not familiar with the MacGruber character or the 2010 film, there’s no harm in jumping straight into this series, thanks to a fun musical item and backstory offered at the start of Episode One. The fact that this series continues on directly after the feature film gives it a cinematic touch, as if we are viewing the sequel.
Each episode manages to bring something new and exciting. In each of the first season’s nine episodes, MacGruber continually has new tasks that put the team in various odd situations. The opening theme song was fantastic, and I was glad to rewatch it on each new episode. It reminded me of other spy themes, such as James Bond.
Carrying the entire series is MacGruber himself, played by Will Forte. The actor confirms that this character is his best work, and it’s evident the actor is having a great time playing MacGruber. Even some of the silliest jokes shouldn’t work here. Still, I couldn’t help myself from chuckling and laughing at various moments, even when the jokes were repetitive such as MacGruber’s obsession with the numbers ‘six’ and ‘nine’ or his continued desire to rip throats out of various bad guys.
While the plot is enjoyable, I will admit that the series does have a double climax which felt highly odd. The series could have easily ended with Episode Seven. It feels almost exhausting and strange when the series continues in Episode Eight. As for twists and turns, yes, MacGruber does have a few of these, but nothing comes with a surprise. Plot reveals are highly predictable long before they even occur.
Overall, it does amaze me that thanks to a Saturday Night Live sketch, the legendary MacGyver has spawned a spoofy character named MacGruber in a feature-length film and now a TV series. If you love the original movie (like myself), you will be delighted and grateful for this new series. Once again, everything on-screen is silly, random, and fun. Jokes that shouldn’t be funny are, primarily, thanks to line delivery and total commitment from actor Will Forte. For me, the TV series exceeds the film. Sure, most series reveals are highly predictable, but moments of gore and action are unexpected and shocking. So as MacGruber would say, I’m here to ‘spread the word, you freaking turd’ this new series comes recommended.