Review: ‘Enlisted’ – ‘General Inspection’

Senior Television Writer
06.08.14 8 Comments

A quick review of tonight's “Enlisted” – and thoughts on the show's panel at the Austin TV Festival – coming up just as soon as my inspiration was a pimp who is a mermaid…

“Enlisted” made its first public appearance a year ago when the pilot was screened in Austin, and may have made one of its last ones over the weekend when a packed movie theater audience got to watch the final three shows, including “General Inspection” and the ones set to air over the next two Sundays. Without giving too much away about what's coming, the theater got awfully dusty during the final scene, and not just because of everyone's awareness that this was probably the show's final moments.

Now, both Kevin Biegel and Mike Royce suggested that there's still hope of it surfacing elsewhere, and that the show's big social media presence is “helping to keep us alive,” according to Royce. The odds against that sort of thing are long, and the show's brief life so far is both a plus (it's new enough to not feel like damaged goods) and a minus (it won't have people howling as loudly as something like “Community” or “Chuck” when those shows were in danger). But it was terrific to watch those episodes with a crowd, and to hear stories about production from Biegel, Royce, writers Sanjay Shah and Katy Purdee, and actors Angelique Cabral, Mort Burke and Michelle Buteau. Unsurprisingly, many of the stories centered on Parker Young, about both his youth (the crowd started booing the thought of their beloved Randy when Biegel told them that Young had no idea what “Donkey Kong” was or who Bill Cosby is when he got the script for “General Inspection”) and his fondness for pranking. (He scared Cabral half to death pretty much every day of production.)

As for “General Inspection,” it was another episode showing just how successfully “Enlisted” had hit its stride, giving them the confidence to do something like the live-action “Donkey Kong” gag, while also carrying successful smaller running gags like Derrick's soup obsession. Clearly, they were hoping for a big-name guest star to play General Murray, given the big entrance the character was given (maybe someone with the same last name?), but the mood swings that his actions inspired in Sgt. Major Cody were funny enough on their own.

What did everybody else think?

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