Is ‘The Unauthorized Bash Brothers’ the Funniest Thing on Netflix?
Every Netflix subscriber knows how hard it can be to find something that delivers exactly what you want. When you search for a thriller, you’re probably thinking more Silence of the Lambs rather than Limitless or The Perfection starring Allison Williams. But guess which movies Netflix recommends?
That right there has been a problem for the streaming service, though to its credit the film selection has improved in recent months. As for great original comedies, Netflix’s roster got smaller with the end of American Vandal following Season Two.
Enter a new offering from Andy Samberg and his Lonely Island crew. With the premiere of the 30-minute “visual poem” The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience, The Lonely Island has the most hilarious thing going on the streaming service.
You don’t have to be a fan of hip-hop, baseball, the 1980s Oakland A’s, or Miami Vice style to enjoy this suite of music and absurd interludes. But we guarantee there’s something for everyone in this wild ride.
Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco’s thirst for steroids and quest for love
Things get off to a rollicking start when Akiva Schaffer (Mark McGwire) and Samberg (Jose Canseco) introduce themselves on the first track, “Uniform On.” If the contrast between the flamboyant Canseco and insanely boring McGwire doesn’t get you laughing, the Beasties Boys parody will.
It’s impressive how many jokes the Lonely Island can pack into a few bars of music. For fans of the trio (which includes Jorma Taccone), that isn’t anything new. From “Lazy Sunday” on at SNL, the group’s digital shorts have always been wild rides.
The other brilliant thing about the trio is how solid their music has been over the years. You find yourself singing along to tunes with ridiculous subject matter, but you’re unable to do anything about it.
That tradition holds with “Uniform On” with its riffs on bad sex, meathead gym culture, and the ’80s ballplayer lifestyle. Unlike on SNL, The Lonely Island doesn’t have to bleep its NSFW content here, and the result is glorious. You’ll know right away if this material is for you. (It is.)
‘Unauthorized’ doesn’t lose steam as the saga continues.
After the first two blockbuster tracks, you start to worry the gang might run out of material. However, they have been working on Bash Brothers tunes since the 2018 Clusterfest, and had 10 songs in the can when they started filming. It doesn’t lose steam at all in the second half.
Guest appearances by Maya Rudolph, Jenny Slate, HAIM, and many others keep the visuals entertaining. (Sterling K. Brown lip-syncs a Sia vocal early on in the special.) You’ll get references to ’80s girl-groups and ’90s West Coast hip-hop along the way as well.
How funny does it get? We’ll let Jose and Mark speak for themselves. During one dramatic vocal, they pause for some call-and-repsonse introspection. “Where is the limit?” “There are no limits.” “What is the goal?”
“To make dad love me,” they rap, with building intensity.
“To make dad love me!”
“TO MAKE DAD LOVE ME!”
“TO MAKE DAD FINALLY LOVE ME!”
If that doesn’t work, you’ll have to settle for “bench. pressing. bodacious babes. in bikinis.”