AMC’s Comic Book Men: Review
I’ve had a love hate relationship with all things Kevin Smith; I was once a huge fan of the man and I still believe Clerks and Chasing Amy are very good films and I still enjoy them to this day. I find the rest of his catalog sophomoric, bland, uninspired and smelling of ripe shit. Then there is Kevin Smith the man who I admired as someone to look up to because of what he made himself into and it was inspiring to someone like me. Also I think he’s a very creative writer and a hell of a public speaker, but he took that persona, turned it up to 100, got on twitter and warped into hyper sensitive wind bag. Needless to say, I’m no longer his biggest fan but I decided to give his latest endeavor a chance, all be it a reality show in the vein of Pawn Stars; a show called “Comic Book Men” Now I enjoy comic books, and I am a man, so maybe this will appeal to me, but I doubt it. I understand that this is just an attempt to rake over the nerdy overflow of The Walking Dead demographic which I’m sure they failed at with “The Talking Dead” which is a rant for a different day. Well strike two for AMC in an attempt to follow The Walking Dead with something worth while because This show is uninteresting, board-line insulting to comic book fans, reinforcing stereo types and all while being unbelievably boring.
The show is a mish mash of ideas, with Kevin Smith and his employees/friends attempting PG rated witty banter while faking a podcast cut into hijinks inside his New Jersey Comic Book store aptly named “Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash” It’s the same set up as a Pawn Stars type show where people (actors) enter the store and attempt sell useless crap while the Clerks wink at the camera. All this, wrapped in between a sub plot of which uninteresting Clerk could sell the most action figures and crappy memorabilia at a flea market.
Problem with Kevin Smith right now is it’s been close to 20 years of the same schtick. I get it, your a nerd who likes Star Wars and likes to wear loud ass hockey jerseys, problem is it’s old and this pony is out of tricks. Speaking of not interesting, lets talk about the cast! I have some friends that I find funny and endlessly entertaining that I know if I put them on TV, people would not be as enamored as me, which is the case here. I’m sure they’re all cool and funny guys, but on TV to people who don’t know them, they’re just the creepy guy that works at the comic store.
Realism: We’re all aware that these shows are staged right? (god I hope so) Well this was pretty poorly staged. If your not being beaten over the face by every Kevin Smith product ever produced from Comics and DVD’s in the fore and background of every shot, your treated to customers bringing in toys related to a comic book Kevin Smith is currently developing. A guy tries to sell them a “Six Million Dollar Man” figure and then they sit around and talk about how great that show was, it was just the best ever! Oddly enough, Smith is working on a comic book for the six million dollar man and wrote a rejected screen play for a movie.
Bottom line is this show didn’t really offer anything to anyone. I got mildly interested when they discussed some aspects of the history of comics but then someone said something stupid, everyone belly laughed and the conversation became dormant. The only thing this show was successful at was showing you how boring it is working in a comic book store. I worked in a comic book store when I was younger and I can tell you the witty conversations about your favorite super heroes are few and far between and the fans you talk to usually have an agenda that makes things uninteresting. Also people trying to sell you their personal garbage isn’t fun on tv or in real life. The only thing that was exciting about working a comic book store was when a buddy of mine would show up and we’d watch the extended cut of Robocop on VHS when no one else was in the store.
I think a more interesting concept would have been the plight of trying to keep a comic book shop up and running while the industry is floundering. Get some people who are as interesting as Randell and Dante who have personal drama and conflict in their life and then maybe you’d have an interesting show. Nice try.