Close Enough TV Series Review

JG Quintel is back and almost as good as before.

One of HBOMax’s first original series recently released on Netflix internationally. Close Enough was made by Regular Show creator JG Quintel and was originally slated for release on TBS in 2017. However, due to unknown reasons the show was shelvedfor several years beforefinally finding its way to Warner Media’s standlone streaming service.

When I first saw that Close Enough was an HBOMax exclusive, I thought that the show would never see the light of day in the Asian market and if ever it did land here it would be on another streaming service like HBO Go.

I was surprised to see the show get listed on Netflix for premiere. For once, JG Quintel’s content wasn’t going to be delayed or censored like it usually is on Asian Cable TV.

Having Close Enough on streaming was the smartest thing that Warner did. Now we have an unhinged version of what Regular Show could have been if the show wasn’t on Cartoon Network and placed on Adult Swim instead.

Not Regular but Close

Close Enough goes morbid when it wants

It’s inevitable to compare Close Enough with Regular Show because it looks exactly like Regular Show but with more emphasis on humans and more vulgar. That’s the best way to describe this show. With Regular Show, Quintel and the rest of the crew had to be creative with getting away with soda as beer and ordering something online while drunk.

On Close Enough there is no longer a restriction. Characters can cuss as much as they want and we can get more adult situations that we could never do in Regular Show like getting caught by your kid when you and your wife are having sex in the car.

However, despite all of the insanity in the show we still get hints of heart. I loved the episode Skate Dad which talked about Josh’s desire to connect with his daughter through skateboarding. Maybe it’s because I can relate to Josh’s situation or I just have a bias towards JG Quintel’s work.

I love the struggles of Josh and Emily as parents and struggling growing up no longer being able to do the same stuff you used to do as a kid and trying to find the balance between being a grown-up and having fun. I’m probably rambling. Basically, I was learning how to grow up when Regular Show was airing and Close Enough pretty much landed on the perfect time in my life where I need to look at what I really want to do as a grown-up while never forgetting to have fun.

Animation

You’ll never see this on CN unless it was Adult Swim.

The show may only have eight episodes but Close Enough is filled to the brim with visual gags and jokes you’ll understand if you’ve seen Regular Show. You’ll have to pause your video sometimes to see it.

The show as a whole is uniquely JG Quintel. It has hints of Regular Show but a little more grounded. Being slightly more grounded than Regular Show doesn’t mean we don’t get bits of insanity from the program. We get visual gags that would never run on Cartoon Network.

After watching the show twice or thrice, you realize that while the animation style looks the same the movement is much smoother compared to Regular Show.

The Format

Similar to Regular Show, an episode of Close Enough runs for about 20 minutes with two 10 minute segments. I was hoping for more long-form storytelling instead of the split segments like Regular Show, Certain plot points could easily be forgotten with the fast pacing that JG Quintel has used for years.

Yes it works, but I wanted to see some variety to the running time instead of the same segmented style.

The Writing

Finally, the writing of the show is still in top form. Many of the Regular Show crew followed Quintel to Close Enough but I don’t know if the years of delays means that there will be a completely different crew come season two.

Observe the credits and you’ll notice familiar names like Sean Szeles aka the writer of Party Tonight and Minty Lewis aka the voice of Eileen.

The Close Enough crew is basically the Regular Show crew freed from the chains of a PG rating and I’m all for it. No longer do we have to wait for an Asian edit of Margaret putting on the Mordecai and The Rigbys shirt. We can get as many dirty jokes as possible.

What I love about the writing is the fact that the crew doesn’t abuse the fact that it’s unhinged now. The only thing I didn’t like about the show’s writing is the constant stream of pop culture references which I feel would make the show dated. I really hope we get better writing without the reliance on references that could easily make the show feel old.

Character Work

The voice acting is perfect on Close Enough. JG Quintel is basically himself as Josh, Gabrielle Walsh as Emily reminds me of a more realistic version of Margaret if she and Mordecai ended up together. Jessica DiCicco as Candice provides the perfect manic energy that a kindergarten kid would have.

Kimiko Glenn as Bridgette is hilarious. Maybe it’s the fact that my age is in between Bridgette’s and Emily’s that I could relate the most to her character. Kimiko Glenn as Bridgette is struggling between staying as a kid or taking responsibilities as an adult and I feel that straight up. Jason Mantzoukas as Alex is such a stark contrast from his role as Adrian Pimento who is a cop gone off the rails. Alex, on the other hand, is a PhD holder who’s also struggling to grow up.

The character names can be forgettable at times but the traits of each character are memorable enough. Maybe I need to watch the show again to get a better grasp of the show.

Final Thoughts

Close Enough will inevitably be compared to Regular Show but I’d like to show how the series differs from Quintel’s previous work.

  • More puns
  • Lots of pop culture references
  • More well-rounded characters
  • Dirtier Jokes
  • Darker Comedy

Overall, I still enjoyed Close Enough but I can’t help but compare it to Regular Show because of the voice acting, animation style and storytelling.

Final Score: 3.5/5 ⭐⭐⭐

Close Enough is now streaming on Netflix.

Steven Maxwell Tan is co-founder of The Geeky Juans and its weekly podcast. He and Jude Cruz talk about their love for wrestling and video games along with a wide variety of episodes ranging from comics to cartoons and beyond. He’s a fan of the Anaheim Ducks hockey team and the Moomin franchise. You can read more of his geeky thoughts on Twitter @steviesaidyup.

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