Frankly God expected more from humanity, and his patience is wearing a little thin. The Devil, on the other hand, is simply delighted. Together they have a plan: one man will be given a chance to prove whether or not mankind is worth saving. But there's just one catch... The Devil gets to pick him. Enter Bob An ill-tempered, melodramatic, paranoid icon of mediocrity. Caught between the forces of divinity and deviance, with the weight of the world on his shoulders, there's nothing left to do but laugh.
aside, the eternal struggle between good and evil may be too heady a subject for a primetime animated series, but God, The Devil and Bob
certainly gave it a run for its money, and did so with irreverent humor. Unfortunately, the laughs didn't translate for some sections of the country, and complaints from affiliates caused NBC to pull the show after just four episodes; viewers that missed G/D/B
during its initial run in 2000 can now explore the entire series on this two-disc set. The premise (courtesy of creator Matthew Carlson of Malcolm in the Middle
) has God (voiced by James Garner) striking a wager with the Devil (Alan Cumming): if just one person can convince him that the world is worth saving, he'll spare humanity from destruction. The Devil is allowed to choose the candidate, and true to form, he picks the least likely person to determine the fate of the world--self-centered, slow-witted autoworker Bob Alman (French Stewart from 3rd Rock from the Sun
). Reluctantly, Bob accepts God's challenge, and tackles Hollywood ("There's Too Much Sex on TV"), free speech ("Bob Gets Involved"), adultery, and even the Almighty's love life ("God's Girlfriend"), while trying to avoid the temptations of Satan.
Though often clever and well-voiced by its all-star cast (which included Laurie Metcalf from Roseanne and The Simpsons' Nancy Cartwright as Bob's wife and daughter, respectively), it's difficult to say if G/D/B might've survived its initial season, had it been allowed to show all 13 episodes; the scripts are often as glib as they are provocative, and lack the overall quality of similarly "grown-up" cartoons as South Park and Family Guy. At final glance, G/D/B is an interesting failed experiment for animation fans. The two-disc set includes commentary on five episodes by Carlson and executive producers Harvey Myman, Neil Thompson, and Gary Murphy; digital storyboards and a 20-minute making-of documentary are also featured in the extras. --Paul Gaita