We’ve had pilots from Ron Weasley, Doctor Who and ever Shaggy but this could be hard to ever top for most star power in an unpicked up t.v pilot. In the distant year of 1999 we have Jack Black then and up and coming comedian, relativly unknown outside of the comedy circtui butonly a year away till “High Fidelity”, Owen Wilson a bit part actor from a number of projects but only a year away from “Shanghai Noon”, Ben Stiller one time t.v actor, one time Emmy winner and only a year away from “Meet the Parents” and Dan Harmon a guy known for singing about masturbation and yet only ten years away from Community, I know that seems like a relatively long amount of time but the show’s just that good and no I haven’t seen Rick and Morty yet. All of them got together for a television pilot called ………………………….
The premise is simple, Jack Black plays an astronaut called Jack who was involved in a tragic accident that left him exposed to ‘solar’ rays. While you would expect this to leave him blind and bitter it instead left him with as the smartest man on Earth, at least while the sun is up. NASA in their eagerness to capture him left him with a slacker buddy permanently merged with his motor bike. Together they travel the country visiting strip clubs, hooking up with cops and fighting evil aliens that have possessed short order cooks via the radio. Or at least they do in this episode.
Now you probably don’t need me to point out to you that this is a comedy, the question is is it funny and that’s a hard one to answer. See as you may have noticed from my many, many reviews that I will pepper these with sarcastic comments and “witty” riffs as I go along. The problem is that the show seems able to anticipate all of these from blood being ketchup to pot jokes when they talk about his mind being baked. Now I’m gonna assume you’ve read more reviews of mine than this and so I leave it up to you to decide as to whether that makes me as funny as these guys or if a good portion of them are just kinnda obvious and low hanging.
Either way it doesn’t make it bad as we romp through a pastiche of “kid friendly” 80’s adventure series with a kitt who can’t talk while driving because when he does his headlights dim in relation and thus they can’t see the road. Yes it’s a very self aware episode from opening on episode fourteen to Ben Stiller waving his Emmy and bragging how they’re gonna be bigger than Star Wars. Would he have been right? Well we’ll never know for sure. Not only did it not make it to series but it didn’t even air. You have to feel sorry for the executive who didn’t lock these guys down to a contract but let them leave and become some of the biggest names of the 2000’s. But then again this is Fox, what were you really expecting.
Now the pilot exists on the wilds of the internet on pretty much every video service you can imagine and probably a few more than that. What you can expect is a light-hearted comedy that takes on the old road adventure shows like A-team and Hulk and blends them with the comedy of the “frat pack” for a decent half hour of television. It’s hard to tell if this one would have worked as a series as they would have crashed up against the repetition of being hunted down by Ron Silver each week with only so many ways to lampshade the plot before you end up repeating yourself. It may have also kept them off the silver screen or at least limited the roles they could take making this like a world where Clooney got type cast as a small screen doctor and never got to make hits like ‘Batman and Robin’ or ‘Ocean’s 12’ and wouldn’t that have been a shame.
Now Heatvision and Jack could always return one day though doubtfully with the same all star cast. There have been murmurings of a movie and gossip of a cartoon series but until either of them arrive you’ll have to make do with a poor quality video rip on youtube.