Close Enough review – a strange but endearing animation on HBO Max Not so far

3.5

Summary

Close Enough is very weird, and not always to great effect, but when the surrealism is earned and the endearing characters are allowed to revel in it, J.G. Quintel’s strange efforts feel worthwhile.

J.G. Quintel’s Close Enough has been sat on a shelf for ages, and any show that is forced to wait around for the convenient launch of a streaming platform deserves some kind of attention, almost irrespective of how good it is. Luckily, Close Enough is quite alright, and even if it wasn’t it’s so reliably weird that you probably wouldn’t be able to tell either way.

Blending a family sitcom with animation, this is an exercise in being playful and weird; in resisting the urge to grow up and be conventional, which applies to its endearing characters and also its anarchic sense of self. There’s a twisted surrealism to Close Enough that makes watching it easy and often a treat – you really never know what’s around the next corner, and that’s a welcome feeling in any show.

Of course, that scattershot oddball energy doesn’t always amount to a winning gag or a memorable set-piece. Sometimes you wish the show would settle down a bit, but it virtually never does. This is, on balance, probably for the best though, as most bizarre interpersonal relationships are better off for the presence of street urchins and giant rats and suchlike. The weirdness is often earned, which is more than you can say for a lot of indulgent idea-first sitcoms like this one.

Quintel has made something weird here, then, but that’s expected. Putting that aside, what’s also here, even if it’s occasionally only intermittently, is a fun, likable comedy. You can’t have too many of those.


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Jonathon Wilson

Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.

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