Season 1, Episodes 1-8
After being teased nearly three years ago, the long awaited series from Regular Show creator J.G. Quintel, Close Enough finally has arrived. Initially produced for TBS, the show found a new home on the new HBO MAX service (along with other fantastic shows such as Search Party and Doom Patrol; both of which having their latest seasons debut on the service) after being shelved for a few years. The series follows a married couple – Josh and Emily who live in a cramped apartment in Los Angeles with their daughter Candice and their friends Alex and Bridgette – a divorced couple. Just like Regular show, abnormal events ensue over the eight episodes/sixteen segments.
To answer the all important question; is this a true spiritual successor to Regular Show? The clear answer is yes, very much so. In fact it felt more like a spiritual successor to Regular show than what Justin Roilands new show – Solar Opposites at Hulu was for Rick and Morty. The show follows the same ten minute an episode format Regular show had as well having some completely wacky event happen half way through the episode where it’s resolved by the end. If that’s what you’re looking for, you’re in luck. It’s also very clear Quintel made use of the older age rating, but not in a way that was heavy on sexual content or language. The show does contain much more adult content that would’ve failed to pass the Cartoon Network censors if they were done on Regular Show, but at no point did it ever feel excessive, which is something a lot of adult animated sitcoms don’t usually do. The main characters were fantastic, while Josh and Emily are more normal looking than Mordecai and Rigby, they still are unique fully fleshed out characters that are always likable and two characters you want to root for no matter what.
However there are some criticisms I have with the show, the big one being (and this is a personal gripe, not necessarily the shows fault) a lack of a story arc. Granted it’s only the first season of the show and regular show was the very same for the first few seasons (with no real arc until towards the end of the show), but judging the mature take I think having an overarching storyline would’ve made much better sense but instead it just turns to be a different situation each episode never or barely mentioned again. The other big problem was that each episode was either a hit or a miss, while for the most part, the episodes were hits (especially the episodes Perfect House, 100% No Stress Day and Robot Tutor being among my favorites) there were a couple that really didn’t work all being of poor execution of a seemingly great idea. Fortunately it’s a minority situation. It’s also pretty easy to tell that a few jokes are slightly dated, considering this was meant to be released in 2017/2018, I’ll look over it but TWO different references to fidget spinners and a parody of the music video for “Turn Down for what” just had me cringing to be honest.
Aside from a few hiccups, this was a great start for a show. Whether we’ll get another season or not (I honestly doubt it, if Warner Brothers have delayed the show this long), I honestly would continue watching it.