"Conspiracy theories and masturbation. I suspected there was a connection."
REVIEW: Going to series, the Lone Gunmen gain a pretty cool opening credits sequence and two confirmed cast members. One of these is Yves Harlow, the sexy pain in the neck thief with which they were at odds in the pilot, here giving them their next assignment - I'm not sure how her presence can be sustained in the current set-up yet - the other is Jimmy Bond (the opening sequence is a kind of spoiler then), a naive humanitarian inventor who becomes the newspaper's financier. She's a femme fatale we know very little about. He's, well, a cartoon character. I'm sorry but with the Gunmen themselves rather one-note, the last thing we need are a cipher and another caricature. And Jimmy is definitely of the latter disposition. I mean, he's particularly dim, and I'm not sure the actor is up to the task of giving him realistic depth. I wish there'd be a true moment when the Gunmen blew his mind and made him realize his whole world was a sham, but instead, it's a comedy moment which leads to him becoming very shouty. It's all so broad.
Speaking of broad, the show is still obsessed with slapstick comedy. We've got Langley vomiting in a golf bag (puke humor? really?), Jimmy's blind football team as an excuse for more pratfalls, and more besides. I'm unimpressed. The comedy works much better when it takes its brow up a notch. I'd need a third episode for confirmation, but making each opening teaser a movie parody, taking a badass scene and taking the air out of it, is a great idea for a running gag. One where the slapstick IS justified. Here, for example, we get Frohike doing a scene from The Matrix, speaking in a bad dub as part of an elaborate con, and it's quite entertaining. And the character-driven comedy works too. Langley trying to sell more papers by putting a sexy Lone Gunwoman on the cover, for example, or the guys trying to hide their investigation from the dead hacker's mumsy mother, or simply mocking the fact there's a real guy called "James Bond". That's why Jimmy's cartoonishness doesn't seem necessary to me. The simple contrast between his gee-whiz attitude and the Gunmen's depressed sense of futility should be enough to fuel the comedy.
As for the plot, well, I have a hard time understanding why the baddie would kill every super-hacker in his path, knowing he'd need another for his next arms deal. But the story does allow Langley to shine as a hacker, and I particularly liked his "audition". It's hard to convey hacking in a visual medium, but TLG does a fairly good job of it, even if it's mostly lots of windows opening. The illegal whaling plot from the teaser seemed more interesting to me, giving the Gunmen more agency. Although as much as I want those crazy openers, I wonder if they don't take too much time away from the A-plot, necessitating shortcuts down the line, like the villain's uncertain motivation, Jimmy's miraculous fix for the newspaper, and the less than clever way in which the crucial clue was discovered in the golf bag. Hopefully, the show will find its groove before long.
REWATCHABILITY: Medium - Still a live action cartoon as far as I'm concerned, though a frequently entertaining one. Really makes me want to watch Leverage again though.