Mulaney – Halloween Review

Halloween is one of the more entertaining times of the year, simply for the random theme episodes that appear during TV shows. Some of the best examples of these Halloween episodes are the Treehouse of Horror episodes from The Simpsons and the Psycho Halloween episode from Two Guys, a Girl, and a Pizza Parlor. The thing that made these episodes special was the pure craziness that happened during the course of the episode. Random characters would get murdered only to return during the next week, or entire civilizations would be destroyed. Mulaney’s third episode was focused on the holiday of Halloween, but it seemed to have a hard time deciding whether or not to fully embrace the potential weirdness. So, what was the result?

The Halloween episode of Mulaney, ironically titled Halloween, focuses on the death of John’s neighbor, as well as the upcoming contract renewals for Lou Cannon’s game show writers. Both of these plots are tied together by the simple fact that the neighbor kept giving John joke ideas in little notebooks. In order to avoid getting fired on Halloween, John decides to lie and say that all of these jokes are his own. Of course, Lou loves these jokes, so he tasks John with getting 100 more before the stroke of midnight. This leads to a little bit of grave robbing and some other shenanigans.

While John is searching for jokes in the dead neighbor’s belongings, Jane is trying to convince the landlord that she is the secret widow of the neighbor in order to obtain his $40 apartment. This storyline leads to a slightly irritating musical number by Jane where she describes stereotypical retiree furnishings. Thankfully, this musical number only lasts a few moments, so it’s not too tiresome. Jane does have a few moments that aren’t terrible, but she is still not a great character.

Speaking of irritating characters, Andre makes some more appearances during the episode, but he actually has some fun moments. Andre spends the entire episode trying to figure out a Halloween costume that won’t make teenagers beat him up. This quest leads him to try dressing up like a piñata, a ghost, and a little brother that visits homes belonging to… adults that may also be felons. The jokes weren’t amazing, but they did provide some entertaining moments.


So, where was Motif during this Halloween episode? Well, he was spending the entire episode filming the apartment to find out if it was possessed by ghosts. Strangely, Motif is in fewer and fewer scenes as the show progresses. I’m not sure why, but it seems that the creators are hiding Motif. Basically, Motif’s only contributions to the episode were some masturbation jokes and a bit about an Ouija board. Motif’s bits were funny, but he needs to be included more in the show.

Halloween is by far the best episode in Mulaney’s short season. There were multiple jokes that caused some laughter, and there was more randomness that broke up the episode’s sequences. One such bit was a random scene making fun of hipsters that watch horror movies in graveyards. There was no reason for the joke, but it was entertaining. In addition to these throwaway jokes, Mulaney also had better scenes with Lou Cannon. The second episode involving Cannon was almost unbearable, but he was a lot better with the Halloween theme and the random costumes.


Mulaney seems to be slowly progressing towards better humor and writing as the season progresses, but is it too little too late? The show has potential, and the writers seem to be getting better with each episode. If the writing team can keep making better episodes with more original content in them, I will continue to watch the show.