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One thing the new mockumentary “Frankenstein’s Monster’s Monster, Frankenstein” does quite well is prove that there are perks to appearing on a streaming service’s signature hit.
David Harbour, the stolid and familiar presence from Netflix’s “Stranger Things,” is given the opportunity to cut loose here with a broad, loopy half-hour that feels a bit like one long comedy sketch, with all that implies. He’s evidently having a great deal of fun playing his fictional late father, a pompous theater actor who acted in his own play about Dr. Frankenstein and recorded the piece for posterity. But even half an hour is a generous amount of time to give to a story that feels, well, sketchy, with reversals whose pile-up is more novel than truly funny and with jokes that feel underwritten at best.
Harbour - Day - Information - Father - Theater
Harbour also plays himself in the present day, working to uncover more information about his father and his theater career, a question that’s neither funny nor revealing. His putative father’s theater isn’t bad in an interesting or funny way; it’s just increasingly dull, wasting the great comic talent Kate Berlant at that. (Berlant recently appeared in Netflix’s “I Think You Should Leave,” a superlative variety series from which this program might have learned something about restraint; the sketches were tight and brisk and the episodes a mere 15 minutes apiece.) And the introduction of theater jokes about, say, the principle of Chekhov’s gun, come to rankle: If writer John Levenstein is so willing to show off what he knows about...
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