When I sat down to watch this latest Netflix special from the always-reliable Patton Oswalt, I certainly didn’t expect to walk away from it with such a variety of conflicting opinions. It’s wonderful that Oswalt seems so relaxed and happy overall, because, as anyone who has seen any of his other specials knows well, the last few years have been personally difficult for the affable comic. Here, he looks great, his energy is strikingly peaceful and confident, and he owns the stage with hard-won presence. But at the same time… the truth is, his material here just isn’t that funny. There are some amusing diatribes and stories being recounted (in particular an extended bit about a wallpaper contractor that takes several unexpected turns along the way) but mostly they’re just passably amusing anecdotes. It’s not his best work by any stretch of the imagination, and while it’s not exactly a waste of time or anything, it just left me unexpectedly bored and I found myself checking my watch a few times. Maybe it’s the downside of having such a strong body of work, but I was disappointed by the tepid and rather undercooked material here.
Rating: ★★★ (out of 5)