Ugh. If “Comic Book Men” doesn’t pick up in the next couple episodes, I might have to drop it from my watch list. The series’ premiere left much to be desired, and the second episode’s retelling of Kevin Smith‘s “Clerks” was boring and, frankly, an unsurprising move.
Smith lost his originality long ago, and this new show of his, I’m convinced, will only truly appeal to his hardcore fans. Of which there are many, but I doubt enough to carry the entire series, especially on AMC.
Like last week’s episode, this week’s features a number of sophomoric jokes, bits about geek culture and a number of throwbacks to Smith’s films. Basically: Nothing new, nothing to applaud and nothing worth spending time on.
Yet, I did. I feel like I need to give the show a fair shake. And only giving it one chance with one episode (last week’s) isn’t fair when there are probably eight to 12 episodes in the first season. So, after a couple more gos, I’ll make my decision on if I’ll stick with it.
I’d say the episode had a couple high points (customer with Adam West‘s Batmobile, and customer who brought in Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber from “The Empire Strikes Back“), but I can’t help but feel every scenario is staged. Last week’s episode gave me a couple vibes like that, but this one felt completely forced. Even if it is Smith’s shop, which gives it a celebrity connection, it’s just not believable that these people with these cool collectibles would be going to a comic shop to try to sell their possessions. If anyone knows anything about selling things rooted in geek culture, it’s that you won’t get much from comic book shops. They simply don’t have the money to be throwing around.
Furthermore, there’s a scene where a customer comes in with an entire run of DC Comics’ 1985 classic “Crisis on Infinite Earths.” The reason he’s selling? Because he’s inspired by Smith’s decision to sell his own comic collection to fund his first movie. Boof. If that’s not scripted, I don’t know what it is. And it’s further testament to Smith’s ego.
At one point in the episode, actor Jason Mewes (Jay to Smith’s Silent Bob) comes in and causes havoc in the shop. He messes with product, annoys the shops’ employees and even simulates a sex act between two toys. This is another reason why this show is painfully staged, and likely written by Smith because this is his idea of humor.
“Comic Book Men” so far lacks everything it needs to be likeable. “Pawn Stars” might be a scripted mess at times, but the main characters are fun to watch. “Comic Book Men” has none of that, even though it’s trying so damned hard to be an “alternative” “Pawn Stars.” I don’t expect the show to stand out, but I do think it could do a lot better.