The mockumentary format has been thoroughly examined by television over the past decade and a half. It began with the UK version of “The Office”, created by the brilliant Ricky Gervais, and has included shows like “Parks and Recreation” and “Modern Family”. While most shows that took on the mockumentary format have received critical acclaim over the years, “Review With Forrest Macneil” continuous to be one of the most underrated shows on television, even as it premiered its Series Finale this week.

Reviewing life

The premise and format of “Review” is extremely fascinating, and is adapted from an Australian television series “Review with Myles Barlow”.

Andy Daly stars as Forrest MacNeil, the host of the fictional review show whose only purpose is to review life experiences.

In each episode of the show, MacNeil takes on two to three life experiences that have been “randomly” selected from audience requests. The fictional requests are quiet bizarre and taxing on the host, including segments about reviewing addiction, racism, blackmail, and even divorce.

The premise of the show is definitely original enough to garner an audience, but that's not the reason why “Review” really stood out during its three season run. The true character of the show involved examining the toll the series took on the personal life of its fictitious host Forrest MacNeil.

MacNeil is a true workaholic who will stop at nothing to carry out the review assigned to him, no matter what the consequences to his personal health or his family life. Combine that attitude with the diabolical minds of fictitious audience members who force MacNeil to the limits of his own being, and you have one hell of a dark show on your hands.

The unexpected finale

The third season of the series includes only three episodes, a strange decision that perfectly matches the tone of the series overall. Before the finale, MacNeil had pretty much given up everything important in his life in order to keep the show going, as he believes he is doing extremely important work for the sake of humanity.

It will be fascinating to see how he reacts to the series finale and it is completely reasonable to expect it to be the darkest episode out of the 21 episodes in the series so far. If you haven't watched “Review With Forrest MacNeil” yet, you are truly missing out on one of the best things on television. Treat yourself to a daring examination of what it means to be alive, and what it takes to do your job well.

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