4.09.2020

And now, the HBO docuseries, McMillions

I just finished the last episode of McMillionsa six-part HBO docuseries about a con man who scammed the McDonald's Monopoly game from 1989-2001and I've decided that this is the most confusing documentary I have ever seen in my entire life.

- First and foremost, every single person in this documentary is named Jerry. And "Uncle Jerry," the most 🍝👌 name of them all, isn't even the mobster Jerry! That's Jerry Colombo. Then there's Jerry Dan. Jerry Stan. Jerry Tyler Moore. Jerry Delano Roosevelt. All this documentary is is a group of Italian-American men named Jerry sitting around their kitchens talking in vague generalities about things that happened in the '90s while manic G-men pop in and out to explain the math. So much math. Too much math. Not for me.

- I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's back up. Because the opening title sequence was also entirely too long. I don't understandjust because Netflix invented the Skip Intro feature, that means every other streaming service has to put their fingers in their ears andLA-LA-LA WE CAN'T HEAR YOUpretend that this technology doesn't exist? Do you need me to open-apple page source this for you, HBO? Because Skip Intro is an important part of how I consume streaming media now. All my attention span can handle these days is a hot guitar riff and a single title card, at best. Derry Girls gets it. Fleabag gets it. McBillions does not.

- Per the 14-hour Unwrapped title sequence, it's worth noting that Mark Wahlberg produced this. I want to like Mark Wahlberg because he's handsome and in movies I enjoy, but he also beat a Vietnamese guy so hard his one good eyeball exploded. So, that's always distracting.

- This has nothing to do with the quality of the show, but can anyone confirm or deny if the small dog next to Uncle Jerry's wife throughout the series is dead or alive? She spends most of her interview in a wide-shot nervously rubbing her fingers together on top of what looks like a small terrier in a sweatshirt, but it never moves. Six episodes, and it never twitches an ear, never sighs, never moves a muscle. If this woman has a hyperrealistic adult plush comfort animal, that's fine. She's earned it. But much like the Mark Wahlberg thing, I just think it should plainly acknowledge before the episode.

- It's distractingly weak that the FBI named this mission "Operation: Final Answer" just because McDonald's happened to be running a Who Wants to be a Millionaire? promotion at the time. THAT'S NOT EVERGREEN BRANDING, SIR! They just left so much good hamburger-related material on the table. Operation: Hamburgler. Operation: CONald McDonald. Operation: Well Done. It just really makes you appreciate the subtle genius of "Operation: Varsity Blues."

- Do you or do you not think Special Agent Doug Mathews and McDonald's senior director of global marketing Amy Murray had sex? Because in the movie version I just cast in my head starring a young Matthew McConaughey and Elizabeth Banks...they do!

- Final summation: I am decidedly not smart enough to launder money, and I think that's fine. I can barely do my own taxes and I'm a single human with one W2 and a subscription to TaxAct. I have no business laundering money. I watched this show over the course of a coronaweek with my sister, and we had to pause, without exaggeration, every 15-minutes so she could explain to me what was going on. And it's not like the show doesn't have helpful graphics—it does. Mark thought of everything. There are just too many people involved, and everybody took a different percent of a different percent of a different percent of money, and I still have no clue how they're all connected. Like how in the name of god did Mormon John Goodman and his country-singing friend get involved? And how are they connected to the guy who lives in Florida and did amyl nitrate with best-selling author Harold Robbins? Please comment again. Not for eNgAgeMeNt mArKeTinG reasons, but because I miss the community and as Becca pointed out, you guys are smart and funny. Xplain 2 me thnx.

20 comments:

Victory said...

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Chrissie said...

Well damn, I can't beat what Victory/Friv3 said above, can I? Also, I just checked and - Jesus Christmas Christ - the intro for the first episode ends at 2 min and 37 seconds long.

I'll leave you with this: You are one of the products that makes me most satisfied. It could be because you are with the treasure, and who doesn't want treasure? I won't ask you to money-launder it, though.

Chrissie said...

Oh! And the Jerrys are played by Michaels! Not kidding.

G said...

lol @ Chrissie and also all the Jerries, serously!

K said...

I had been meaning to watch this and after reading this review I dug in. I think I have 1-2 episodes left but Woooo Weeee.....that escalated quickly.
I am watching it on Hulu and I can forward through the intro, but then they do a recap of the last episode which I don't need because we are all binge watching it and just saw it 3 minutes ago.
And for some reason all I can think of is Uncle Leo from Seinfeld when they say Uncle Jerry. Leeeeeo!

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