Those of us who survived our twenties know what it’s like to feel aimless and like you’re wasting your time with at a crappy job instead of pursuing our dreams. Those of us who are queer sometimes have the added issue of trying to figure ourselves out and if the world will accept us.
The pilot episode of Marvin? introduces two aimless, queer friends: Dave (Cameron Tharma) and Sam (Sarah Rose) who are trying to get their lives together. The two are living in Amsterdam, working dead end jobs, and numbing their existential pain with lots of weed. Dave is desperately trying keep his strict India mother off of his back and find a boyfriend who likes and accepts him. Dave will need to learn to love and accept himself first.
Sam is his easy-going friend who is dependent on weed to get her through the day and has been crashing on his couch for over a year. By the way she’s characterized in the twenty-minute pilot episode, she doesn’t really care about much but getting high and helping Dave find himself.
Their lives take an unexpected turn when they purchase a refrigerator, they named Marvin. The purchase coincides with a dog sitting job Dave agrees to for a self-absorbed acquaintance (Sven Ironside) he has a crush on. When the dog runs away, they find a magical replacement inside of Marvin. When Sam misplaces a recently purchased bag of weed, she finds a brand new bag inside of Marvin. The pilot ends with the friends being perplexed, and a little frightened, of their new refrigerator.
The Marvin? pilot is the type of pilot episode I love watching sweet, to the point, and sets up the characters and world in a way that makes sense. It sets up a simple conflict for the characters, and it’s through that mundane conflict that something extraordinary is introduced to their lives.
Cameron Tharma and Sarah Rose are a pair I enjoyed watching on screen together. The two believably portray two friends who are just trying to find their way in life. Dave and Sam are just trying to figure out their shit, and although they tease and give each other crap, they care for one another deeply. They’re the type of easy going, non-judgmental friends we all deserve. Although it isn’t touched on much in the pilot, both characters are also queer. This will bring a fresh and much needed new perspective and help bring representation that is long overdue.
Another strength worth mentioning is the show’s setting. This could have easily been set in New York, Los Angeles, etc. I feel like the setting of Amsterdam is unique and we get breathtakingly beautiful shots of the city in the first episode. It also makes me curious about the characters and how they came to live there. This is another question that will make viewers want to tune in for episode two and beyond.
Marvin? is off to a great start with a pilot that interesting, full of quirky characters, and a has a premise that leaves you wondering what kind of chaos the titular magical refrigerator will wreak in the lives of the characters.
The Marvin? pilot is the type of pilot episode I love watching sweet, to the point, and sets up the characters and world in a way that makes sense.
Writer. Video Essayist. Film/TV Critic. Pop Culture Enthusiast.
When he isn’t writing for Geek Vibes Nation or creating content for his YouTube channel, Tristian can be found typing away at the young adult novel he has been working on for three years.