TV Review: Quibi’s Reno 911! revival

Last Updated on August 5, 2021

TV Review, Quibi, , comedy, Thomas Lennon, Carlos Alazraqui, Robert Garant, Kerri Kenney-Silver, Wendi McLendon, Niecy Nash, Ben Garant, Thomas Lennon, Kerri Kenney-Silver, Ben Garant, Reno 911, 2007

Plot: RENO 911! let viewers ride shotgun with the courageous men and women of the Reno Sheriff’s Department as they lay down the law and put their lives on the line. The RENO 911! camera doesn’t blink – and when the bullets start flying, the Reno Sheriff’s Department will be right behind you.

TV Review, Quibi, , comedy, Thomas Lennon, Carlos Alazraqui, Robert Garant, Kerri Kenney-Silver, Wendi McLendon, Niecy Nash, Ben Garant, Thomas Lennon, Kerri Kenney-Silver, Ben Garant, Reno 911, 2007

Review: Either you love Reno 911! or you don't. Inspired by the long-running FOX documentary series COPS, Reno 911! was the brainchild of Robert Ben Garant, Thomas Lennon, and Kerri Kenney-Silver, veterans of the MTV comedy troupe The State. Premiering in 2003, Reno 911! aired on Comedy Central for six seasons (and the feature film RENO 911! MIAMI) before calling it quits. Now, eleven years since leaving the air, the cops of the Reno Sheriff's Department are all back and have not missed a beat. Despite airing on the unique bite sized streaming platform Quibi, the revival of Reno 911! is exactly how you remember it and doesn't feel forced or past it's prime at all.

Unlike most sitcoms, Reno 911! is not driven by a traditional narrative. Yes, there are a cast of characters but their relationships, back stories, and development are secondary to the situations they find themselves entangled in. Like the original run of the show, the Quibi version follows the Reno officers as they investigate multiple crimes over the course of a given day. On the Comedy Central version, each half hour episode had anywhere from a dozen or more independent scenes that worked because they were quick and funny. A talented roster of actors made appearances, several of whom return for the revivial.

With Quibi limiting each episode to ten minutes or less, Reno 911! has found an ideal platform for their storytelling. The three episode of the show I watched are essentially two or three scenes of the various officers investigating cases. These range from a bank robbery where an armed Jewish mercenary group save the day to a right wing radio broadcaster played by Patton Oswalt protesting gender neutral bathrooms. The camera style and approach doesn't miss a beat and if not for the relevant contemporary pop culture references, these episodes match the original series. In fact, aside from one or two actors the entire cast looks exactly the same as they did a decade ago.

There are some new additions to the cast including Paul Walter Hauser (RICHARD JEWELL) and a lot of returning favorites like Michael Ian Black, Toby Huss and Weird Al Yankovic. The biggest benefit of being on Quibi versus a cable network is that there is no longer a limitation on nudity or profanity, but Reno 911! doesn't go there gratuitously. Well, they do, but it is only in service to the joke rather than just for shock value. The series also utilizes the Quibi viewing modes with portrait versus landscape taking on different angles or totally different takes from scene to scene. In portrait mode, the show makes use of appearing like a social media feed whereas landscape retains the traditional TV format.

TV Review, Quibi, , comedy, Thomas Lennon, Carlos Alazraqui, Robert Garant, Kerri Kenney-Silver, Wendi McLendon, Niecy Nash, Ben Garant, Thomas Lennon, Kerri Kenney-Silver, Ben Garant, Reno 911, 2007

Reno 911! works perfectly on Quibi and shows that this cast have the same chemistry in 2020 as they did when the series started 17 years ago. The only difference is now you can take them with you. While everyone from Niecy Nash  (TNT's Claws) to Wendi McLendon-Covey (ABC's The Goldbergs) have found new shows to star in, they all made a concerted effort to reunite for this revival. And at no point does it feel artificial or forced. This is a worthwhile return to the not so mean streets of Reno, Nevada replete with ridiculous characters and infinitely quotable moments.

Reno 911! premieres new episodes daily beginning May 4th on Quibi.

TV Review: Quibi’s Reno 911! revival

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Source: JoBlo.com

About the Author

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Alex Maidy has been a JoBlo.com editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. A Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic and a member of Chicago Indie Critics, Alex has been JoBlo.com's primary TV critic and ran columns including Top Ten and The UnPopular Opinion. When not riling up fans with his hot takes, Alex is an avid reader and aspiring novelist.