‘Mulligan’ Review: The Netflix Comedy Series Lacks The Zing Factor


A baseball enthusiast and an incompetent person in other works of life is declared President of the United States after he successfully defeats the aliens invading Earth. Netflix’s new dystopian animated series Mulligan follows what happens after the alien invasion during the questionable administration of Matty Mulligan. The premise of this satirical comedy was quite interesting from the get-go, but it simply fails to be funny. There are a few gags thrown here and there, but overall, it is not the laugh riot that one would expect from a post-apocalyptic comedy drama. Mulligan is supported by a group of varied experts from the remaining 1132 humans that managed to survive the attack. He made big promises to the public, and just like every other president, he struggles to keep his word.

Matty Mulligan was living his dream in a world that had crumbled. Becoming the president of the United States and stumbling upon the opportunity to live the dream with Miss America, Lucy Suwan, was quite a wild ride for him. He met the beauty pageant winner during the alien invasion and fell in love with her while fighting the enemies. Therefore, it was an absolute no-brainer for him to choose Lucy to become the First Lady. The possibility of playing an active role in fixing the world excited Lucy, but when it came to Mulligan, she was unsure. He was quite the hero when they first met, but over time, she realized that the man she was engaged to could not think beyond himself. While Lucy had some figuring out to do, Senator Cartwright LaMarr was happy with the progress of his grand scheme. The senator wanted a president he could manipulate, and Mulligan was just the perfect candidate for that. Mulligan was the perfect combination of a hero and a dumb nut; he had the support of the people, but he was too stupid to understand the intricacies of politics. LaMarr wanted to bring back the good old days of America, when no one cared about the environment, and it was okay to drill any piece of land for oil. Throughout the series, LaMarr executes one plan after another as the self-appointed Vice President to attain his mission.

Mulligan soon realized that being president was not the fun job he assumed it would be. Fulfilling people’s expectations was getting a little out of hand, to put it mildly, and upon Lucy’s advice, he formed a committee of experts to help him deliver his promises. Since most intellectuals and scientists left the planet in Jeff Bezos’ space ark, the selection pool was limited, but they found a few promising ones. The committee consisted of scientist Dr. Farrah Braun, who had already started working on generating clean tap water. As a mother, she struggled to find a balance between her scientific endeavors and taking care of her children after her nanny melted away. Jeremy from the British Embassy also made it into the committee, though he was more bothered by the cultural impact of the destruction, which ranged from expressing annoyance at the death of electronica to the declining possibility of popping a Molly and listening to silence. Joining the team of experts was history professor Simon Prioleau, and while he was enthusiastic about discussing his post-doc thesis, the attention of the President immediately diverted to General Scarpaccio. Tactfully donning the oversized military uniform of General Scarpaccio, Jayson, a teenager, was declared the military head. The team also consisted of a dentist, a backup vocalist for The Carpenters, who was assumed to be a carpenter, and a shoe store owner. Simon and Farrah soon realized that they were the only intellectuals left on earth, and they initially worked together before Simon decided to rediscover himself. Apart from the experts, Mulligan consists of the only cyborg left on Earth, TOD-209, assistant to Dr. Farrah Braun and nanny to her children. The leader of the alien troops, Axatrax, is held captive in the White House, and all his time is spent understanding the human race. The journalist on wheels is another comical addition to the Mulligan world.

There are multiple pop culture references throughout Mulligan, from a planet (unintentionally) named Cardi B to a “Shape of Water” love story and, of course, the internet cake trend, to name a few. Disappointed by humans, Farrah found herself attracted to the captured alien residing in the glass prison. Axatrax was surprised that even as an intelligent woman, Farrah did not have the upper hand when it came to romantic relationships. Farrah introduced him to the fact that smart women were considered a threat in the human world. Axatrax was intrigued by the female menstrual cycle and was quite shocked to learn that menstruating women were not granted leaves. While the captured alien seemed a lot more sympathetic, it turns out using a woman’s emotion to one’s advantage is not an alien concept to Axatrax. The hopeful slicing of the boot, thinking it could be a cake, was a funny take on the internet trend where everything holds the potential of being just a realistic-looking cake!

Mulligan had some good moments, but they were so scarce that you will want to give up on the show at some point. The political and pop culture references, the post-apocalyptic world, the peculiar characters—Mulligan had pretty much covered every ingredient required to make a good satire comedy, but it lacked the punch that is needed to make it memorable. Voicing Matty Mulligan, Nat Faxon managed to make the character as annoying as he was meant to be. Daniel Radcliffe as the delicate King Jeremy was delightful and hilarious, and Tina Fey is brilliant as the scientist and mother, Dr. Farrah Braun. Overall, Mulligan is an average watch that will hopefully get better if it returns with another season.

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Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni has worked as a film researcher on a government-sponsored project and is currently employed as a film studies teacher at a private institute. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies. Film History and feminist reading of cinema are her areas of interest.

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