MRS. DAVIS Review: I Want a Divorce
Betty Gilpin and Jake McDorman star in a series created by Tara Hernandez and Damon Lindelof, debuting on Peacock TV.
"Don't underestimate just how stupid this gets, sweetheart."
The first four episodes debut Thursday, April 20, on Peacock TV. Subsequent episodes debut weekly. I've seen all eight episodes.
Smugly irreverent, looney like a novel by Dan Brown (The Da Vinci Code), the show barrels out of the gate with an outrageous opening sequence, filled with heads and limbs getting chopped off, spurting blood in gallons.
Without any context, it's clearly meant to signal the all-consuming, world-shaking importance of protecting something that many people are willing to die for. Really, though, it's just a set-up for a exhausting show that is shrouded in mystery in order to conceal its one-joke premise.
The titular character is what people in the near future call the Artificial Intelligence that somehow has brought an end to war and poverty. Simply by plugging in an earpiece, Mrs. Davis will, whatever, it doesn't matter; Mrs. Davis serves as an all-powerful substitute for god in a godless world, in a universe where the A.I. rules and controls mankind, and where "Jay" is represented as a perfectly nice fellow who runs a cafe in "heaven" (?!), or something like it, with the mighty "Boss" ensconced behind a door marked 'do not enter.'
The religious parable is wrapped in an action-adventure series revolving around a nun, Simone (Betty Gilpin), who does not profess any specific religious beliefs, except for her not-so-holy devotion to the good-looking dude she calls Jay (Andy McQueen). The first episode details Simon's resistance to listen to urgent requests from Mrs. Davis, the urgency increasing as Mrs. Davis causes damage to those around Simone, until finally Simone listens and is given a mission to accomplish. In return, Mrs. Davis agrees that Simone can permanently disable her.
Along the way, Simone reunites with her ex-boyfriend, Wiley (Jake McDorman), who is on a counter-mission of his own, which parallels what Simone ultimately wants to achieve: the destruction of Mrs. Davis.
Super busy as it is, the show twists and turns as it jumps around in time, adding to the intended confusion. At its heart, the show mostly flails like a whining child, complaining and complaining, and then yelling some more. Betty Gilpin keeps her head above the churning water, by turns appealingly sassy, mournfully adrift, and achingly romantic.
She's the only saving grace in a show, created by Tara Hernandez (The Big Bang Theory, Young Sheldon) and Damon Lindelof (not known for a light comic touch), that desperately needs more than a few jokes and a constant barrage of profane and vulgar dialogue.
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