This Just In: ‘Newsreaders’ Season 2 Premiere Is Hilarious (And Not Racist)


The headline news for tonight’s (Thursday, October 23rd) midnight premiere of Newsreaders season two on Adult Swim is Alan Tudyk (Firefly, Suburgatory) has joined the cast as the new host of the news magazine mockumentary. Tudyk’s straight-faced delivery of the lead story on the new dancing trend sweeping the nation lends an air of gravitas to the proceedings. The actual terminology for the trend is not suitable for a website you could be reading at work, so for the purposes of this review, we will call it “Frak Dancing.” The completely made up craze involves teens copulating on the dance floor and is supported by hippies, guest star David Hasselhoff and those who find needlessly blurred images on the news funny. So basically everyone.

As wonderful as Tudyk is as the series’ new anchor, Newsreaders‘ best skewering of current news magazine trends comes from a segment exploring whether or not we are living in a post-racial America. News outlets of all types love conducting social experiments on unsuspecting citizens to see if they would intervene in domestic disputes, help out the homeless or just generally not be jerks. The premiere takes the challenge to a whole new level by recruiting none other than Lost‘s Harold Perrineau to help expose the rampant racism in everyday society. Would a white man let Perrineau play with his dog in the park? Well…yeah. Would an old lady lend him her cellphone? If she has a good plan she would. Without spoiling the outcome of the results, the report’s findings are unexpected indeed. However, I am happy to reveal Perrineau’s penchant for comedy is still mesmerizing.

Newsreaders was already a terrific part of Adult Swim’s lineup in its premiere season, but given the amount of paranoia sweeping the news world at the moment, the series suddenly feels timelier than ever before. News magazine shows and their bloated, overblown content are inescapable and fluffier than a bunny rabbit. While the actual shows can be humorous, they are also depressing because they are real and people are attempting to get actual news from them. Newsreaders gives us a much better outlet to laugh at those other shows expense because with its wonderfully bizarre segments, the series reminds us the world is full of smart comedians who can relieve us from the trumped up anxieties of the reality presented to us by Newsreaders non-scripted counterparts.

Living in a 24/7 news culture, Newsreaders is a much needed antidote to real life sensationalism. The short, but oh so savory nuggets of humor Newsreaders offers up are refreshing. They allow us to laugh at the absurdity of the current cultural climate while also showcasing the talent of comedians like Tudyk, Perrineau and Ray Wise, whose segment on what is cool is so full of satirical, curmudgeonly wittiness, I do not even want to touch on it here. It is best watched unspoiled.

If you are in need of a laugh, a bit of positive news and the beautiful site of Tudyk delivering absurdity without ever cracking a smile, then the Newsreaders season two debut is a can’t miss event. Besides, where else will you get such stirring stories about youthful delinquencies and confirmation that people, for the most part, do not suck?

Newsreaders season two premieres tonight at midnight on Adult Swim.

Follow me on Twitter @sljbowman