'Miracle Worker: Dark Ages' Episode 2 full of hilarious medieval equivalents to modern inventions
Stretching modern-day concepts to fit the backward period setting has lent itself surprisingly well for comedy in 'Miracle Workers: Dark Ages'
Simon Rich's vision for 'Miracle Workers: Dark Ages' is to talk about the problems of today in a medieval context. Stretching modern-day concepts to fit the backward period setting has lent itself surprisingly well for comedy. We saw this in the season's trailer itself when Prince Chauncley (Daniel Radcliffe) asks the bard who follows him along to play or skip songs like he was talking to Siri.
Episode 2 'Help Wanted' is peppered with such examples that play out delightfully, starting with the first scene itself, where Alexandra (Geraldine Viswanathan) aka Al and Maggie (Lolly Adefope) are taking part in a pub quiz. The emcee gives participants a little reminder about cheating. "Use the honor system guys, no looking up answers on The Oracle," he says, before the camera turns to The Oracle, an old guy, who is the period's version of Google, intoning, "I see all".
Then, after Alexandra discovers "Doctor" Goodman is a complete fraud (who once made a man with the flu eat his own penis as a "cure"), she is ready to out him. To keep her quiet, the doctor gets her into the "Time 100" list of people with the "most buzz". The period-appropriate "Time 100" list turns out to be a scroll that has her image and a write-up about her that instantly raises her status in her small town.
Of course, the piece de resistance is when Al speaks to "the media" as a "whistleblower". The Dark Ages' broadcast news happens to be the town crier presenting a "Good Morning, Mirkford" talk show on a stage surrounded by the townsfolk. At first, since the town crier thinks he is doing a feel-good morning segment on a "Time 100" celebrity, the accompanying musician standing near the stage plays a jolly little introductory tune.
But when Al informs him that she is there as a whistleblower, he gestures to the musician who then plays a tune that is tense and more suited to an investigative journalism program's interview segment. Later, after Alexandra has outed herself as a fraud doctor too, the Oracle calls her a "b***h", exactly like how the internet pillories people who have been named and shamed.
It is a delightful conceit that works splendidly to backdate some pretty modern-day inventions and ideas and we can't wait till the "iPod" bard shows up.
'Miracle Workers: Dark Ages' airs Tuesdays on TBS at 10:30/9:30c.