Season 1, Episodes 1-4
Life is meaningless and nothing we do matters.
For any creative person, working a desk job is a literal living Hell. Typing up TPS reports or pretending to enjoy Susan’s tenth story about why the office is going with Kroger brand coffee cups rather than K-cups can be interminable. But, for most of us at least, we try to make the most of a horrible situation. Enter Comedy Central’s Corporate which makes the uninteresting world of desk jobs as surreal as an episode of Black Mirror.
Created by and starring Jake Weisman and Matt Ingebretson, Corporate follows the two men trying to climb that coveted ladder of hierarchy. Along with the aforementioned surreal nature of the show comes a gritty reality in both dialogue and actions. The characters work for an all seeing conglomerate, Hampton DeVille, that’s a mixture of Apple and Google (dubbed a $500 billion corporation), creating toddler sized tablets while also trying to convince the CIA to start a war by using a PowerPoint. The company has power beyond that of mankind and they know it. Leading the charge is Lance Reddick’s Christian as he rolls through the sheep that purchase the company’s products with no remorse. Aparna Nancherla, Baron Vaughn, Adam Lustick and Anne Dudek round out the cast.
The first four episodes contain a good mix of jokes and stories that never take themselves too seriously. Jake, for instance, gets reprimanded for abusing an HR-based reporting app. He later gets hit up by the same HR rep for free pain medication after a spinal surgery (lumbar support at work is really important). While there’s no overall message to gleam from any of the episodes, Corporate doesn’t seem to want to give one out in the first place. Yes, it’s taking full aim at the lifestyles Americans in particular tend to lead – the safe, stable, soul crushing jobs in exchange for decent wages – but it’s simultaneously not looking for an answer. Corporate is nuanced satire with a striking wit.
The writing from Ingebretson and Weisman and their crew is fast and frenetic. Jokes come quickly from all characters; even Reddick’s ultra-serious boss. It’s fun to see who can do what in every scene. Pat Bishop directs a bulk if not all of the episodes and his work is heavily noticeable when it comes to the chaotic sequences throughout. One such instance has Matt seeing a ghost worker as she dips in and out of reality. It’s all a very good watch.
Should you watch Corporate?
The show has a lot going for it. Its dark nature works well with its goofy tones. The dry humor may not be fore everyone. Yet for those with an affinity to fall for Office Space mixed with Man Seeking Woman, this is the show for you.