Neil tries to get hip in “The Sac”, while a road trip with Arpi and Jayden almost saves what is otherwise a mediocre episode.
This recap of Mr Mayor season 1, episode 4, “The Sac”, contains spoilers.
It’s difficult to know where to stand on Mr. Mayor. You can’t ignore this level of talent, and there must be a reason that names like Ted Danson and Holly Hunter were attracted to the project beyond the appeal of a paycheck. I think the show’s genuinely funny at times. But it also does very little for me. Once each episode is over, I’ve forgotten almost everything about it. Beyond a few decent gags, there’s just nothing there to latch onto, no lasting appeal or ideas. It’s a strange thing.
Mr. Mayor episode 4, “The Sac”, is less about a political issue as the previous episode was and more about Neil’s relationship with Orly, which has potential but manifests mostly as Neil trying and failing to be “hip” by parroting social media slang and trying to get his daughter to open up to him the same way she does to the followers of her secret Instagram account. It’s a relatable issue, just bungled in the execution.
Luckily this is only one of two subplots in Mr. Mayor season 1, episode 4, and the other, which sees Arpi and Jayden basically on a road trip, is a lot better. They’re the two weirdest characters on the show – the opening, in which Arpi makes demands of Alexa, who we eventually learn is a woman who lives next door, is a highlight of the episode – and they bounce off each other well. Everyone seems to realize they’re in a dumb sitcom, but Holly Hunter and Bobby Moynihan seem the most determined to make the best of it. It also feels like there’s some genuine development for both characters here, or at least development in their relationship, which is needed since nobody in this show has really changed since the premiere.
Despite the relationship between Neil and Orly ostensibly being important, it really seems to me that the show overall works better when the Mayor’s doing Mayor stuff, although I did chuckle at the idea he’d been looking up underage girls for his catfishing Instagram account on government servers. Mikaela’s horror at that development got a few laughs from me, even if Mikaela seems to exist entirely at this point to be Neil’s translator for Orly. Surely there’s more for her and Tommy to do?
Whatever. As I say, there’s plenty to laugh at, and the show’s writing is cleverer than its sometimes cringe setups might suggest. But it just doesn’t seem that interested in doing much of note with its premise and characters, which can only feel like a massive waste with this much talent involved.