The problem with making a cartoon about the Donald Trump presidency comes down to the problem with covering the Trump presidency itself, it’s instantly dated. This has been discussed in other news outlets but Trump creates chaos so fast that what was big news last week is suddenly old news today. It’s hard for content not to feel dated quick.
In theory a cartoon about Donald Trump created by Stephen Colbert should be an instant success. There’s really no better person to do it. But with 17 episodes at a half hour each the cartoon, much like Trump himself, quickly wears out its welcome.
Though it originally aired on Showtime the cartoon looks like something out of the Golden Age of MTV, which is a good thing. That subversive Beavis & Butthead vibe totally works given the context of the show.
But there’s beauty in brevity. The shows could benefit from being half as long or half as many episodes. It’s like a Saturday Night Live sketch that goes on for far too long. What’s worse is there really isn’t a hero in the mix. No one in the show, just like in real life, is all that likeable so there’s no one for the audience to root for when the credits roll. You kind of feel bad for Melania and Jared but then you realize who they are in real life and that goes away.
That being said there are some moments of pure genius. The way Colbert portrays Sean Hannity and Donald Trump Jr. is fantastic. Even Donald Trump is so well done that you wonder whether they just pieced together sound clips of him for the show (they didn’t, thank the amazing voice work).
Given that Trump is in office for the foreseeable future (or at least until Mueller catches him) Colbert has plenty of material for multiple seasons. With just a touch of tweaking and a shorter run-time the show could be truly great.