October 8, 2008

Slacker Lab Rats Fails to Deliver on Notion’s Promise

By David Kronke

"Testees" may be the most sadistic situation comedy in history.

This series, about human lab rats who allow themselves to be subjected to pharmaceutical experiments and trials, is ruthlessly cynical and yet (after one episode) fairly unfocused.

What could be an inspired idea just seems to be a forum for flatulence and lactation and enlarged male-member gags and worse.

Decent comedy can come from such low-rent inspiration, but tonight's episode doesn't quite convince a viewer that the show will aspire to much beyond its penis and rectal discomfort gags.

Peter (Steve Markle) and Ron (Jeff Kassel) are slackers who make ends meet by acquiescing to horrific experiments at global nemesis Testico (the show is rife with such puns).

Testico's stock-in-trade is dangerous protocols that will deform its test subjects: Tonight, Peter discovers he's pregnant.

The show's humor can be agreeably deadpan, but "Testees" isn't a satire about corporate avarice and incompetence; it's just about humiliating its characters as much as possible. Its creator and co- star, Kenny Hotz, worked for a season on "South Park." Clearly, he learned all about the show's bad taste and nothing about its clever social insight.

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