'Miracle Workers' Episode 3 sees Simon Rich employ lowbrow toilet humor with highbrow satire
We are now at Episode 3 of 'Miracle Workers: Dark Ages' and by now it is clear the template that Simon Rich has set for this season -- mixing lowbrow toilet humor with some highbrow satire.
In fact, Episode 3 exemplifies this. We start with Lord Vexler's (Karan Soni) rags to riches story that frames the latter narrative where his networking skills on a diplomatic mission pales in comparison to Prince Chauncley's (Daniel Radcliffe) because unlike the prince, he is peasant-born.
While the prince has hobnobbed with royal brats across nations when they spent summers at the "Forbidden Mountains", Vexler was selling vegetables. Despite his time spent at the castle, he also fails to recognize the "Dangur" wine which is not "danger" wine but rather a rare rhino blood wine. The episode gets a bit serious on the ride home when having mucked up the diplomatic mission, Lord Vexler is in a funk. When the prince tells him one little mistake won't matter, Lord Vexler tells him exactly how the nobility keeps getting chances despite making mistakes, while people like him don't.
It is a fair assessment of how privilege shapes every aspect of our lives because opportunities flow to the ones with the "right" pedigree. But since satirizing our society can mean diminishing comic potential, Rich jazzes things up with, what else, but toilet humor.
He introduces the marvelous "SHITCON", perfectly appropriate for a period setting when people pooped and peed on the streets and in homes. In fact, it is a wonder why Rich did not take real accounts of the Palace of Versailles stinking heydey to pad up the humor in this episode. At the convention, we also see showmanship ala Steve Jobs style -- only this time, words like "disruption", "ingenuity" and "breaking chains" is tagged to something as basic as the Hole-in-the-ground™.
Eddie Shitshoveler's (Steve Buscemi) business takes a hit and one client tells him "The Hole™ is a money-saver and the kids love it, it's fun for them!" Perplexed about why people would give up the ease of defecating anywhere they liked, Eddie fights dirty and introduces "snakes in people's holes". The double entendre slips by almost unnoticed till a few other characters repeat it and it gets funnier with each blank-faced iteration.
But all ends that end well with Eddie expanding his business into "Hole Maintenance", for a more holistic approach to shit shoveling for a whole new world.
Miracle Workers: Dark Ages' airs Tuesdays on TBS at 10:30/9:30c.