In this week’s episode of the cop drama spoof Angie Tribeca, the team finds themselves being split apart by individual wants and needs. Tribeca (Rashida Jones) is on the hunt to find out what happened to her former lover Sargent Pepper (James Franco,) while her partner Jay Geils (Hayes MacArthur) is tasked with finding out who could be responsible for the death of a boy band singer.
The biggest problem about the last few episodes of Angie Tribeca is that it seems to be trying to hard, yet too little, to define itself as something other than a ridiculous comedy spoof. Since the introduction of Franco’s character mysteriously disappearing, it’s consistently served as a bit of a running gag hanging over Tribeca’s head. And now that we finally get a glimpse as to what really happened to Sargent Pepper, it only comes off as a bit confusing and not nearly as humor inducing as this twist should be. Sure, Franco and Jones have their moments creating good jokes together, but if the writers really wanted to make this show have some semi-serious back story, they really should have delivered some substantial punches to fill his absence. Even Heather Graham’s character, who makes a brief appearance in a jail scene, doesn’t get enough time to shine as she did in her previous episode. She does deliver a few good jokes here and there, but she’s capable of more than she received, and she definitely deserved more screen time.
Additionally, the boy band subplot doesn’t take advantage of its easily provided jokes either, settling for the occasional chuckle here or there instead. There’s an entire scene where Officer DJ Tanner (Deon Cole) decides to infiltrate the boy band by posing as the new designated “bad boy.” This sounds like a potentially gut busting idea, especially with a scene where he has to prove he has the dance capabilities to be the next member. However, as opposed to the camera focusing on his “amazing dance abilities,” it focuses on Geils’ and the manager’s reactions to his moves instead, without showcasing a single one of Tanner’s potentially ridiculous maneuvers. Just to be blunt, the decision to do this was completely terrible.
Angie Tribeca is starting to miss the point of what makes it so funny. It’s not the love triangle subplot or having your leading lady go through personal turmoil, it’s the ridiculous stories and the silly jokes that stem from them. Some of those jokes do still pop up ever now and then in “Boyz II Dead,” but they’re not nearly as hilarious as previous episodes would have you believe. With a so-called “twist” in Franco’s re-introduction that will leave just about every long-time viewer confused or uninterested, this episode of Angie Tribeca is almost a complete miss.