Thursday, March 12, 2015

TV: Danger 5

If you liked the absurdity of viral hit "Too Many Cooks," you're probably going to like "Danger 5," an Australian comedy TV series that parodies '60s spy-fi shows (in season 1) and '80s movies (in season 2):

Set in a surreal version of WWII, "Danger 5" follows a group of five headstrong super-spies: straight-arrow Tucker, uptight Claire, the happy-go-lucky Pierre, tough American Jackson (played by series co-creator David Ashby), and uninhibited Russian Ilsa. Each episode, the team tries to disrupt one of Hitler's dastardly plots (like arming the Nazis with "superior golden superweapons, made of gold") and, of course, to kill Hitler. All the while, they battle Nazi henchman (who are based off of real-life villains, like Josef Mengele) and internecine squabbling.

Director Dario Russo and the rest of the "Danger 5" crew take great pains in replicating the look and feel of the material they're aping, whether it's a comically fake scale model of the Eiffel Tower or '80s action movie-inspired big hair and backlighting. The upshot of it is that "Danger 5" feels like it comes from the eras it parodies, which makes the humor hit a lot harder. Also critical is the fact that the cast is playing it Nielsen - that is, completely straight. It gives a nice contrast to all of the Nazi dinosaurs and Japanese robot super-soldiers on screen.


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