The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret

by Philip Chiappini on December 30, 2011

in Television

How many times have you watched Arrested Development?

Actually, a better question might be: How many times have you become fed up with what passes for comedy on TV lately and then decided to re-watch Arrested Development?

I was getting geared up to restart Arrested for the umpteenth time when Todd Margaret waltzed into my life.

My brother-in-law has been telling me about IFC’s The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret for quite a while — the first season originally aired in October of 2010. Regrettably I didn’t pay him much attention. However, last week I caught the final minutes of an episode while waiting for a rerun of Arrested Development to start. Just five minutes was all it took and I was completely hooked. Todd Margaret is comedy crack!

The show stars David Cross as Todd Margaret, an idiotic, pathological liar who is sent to England to sell a toxic energy drink, Thunder Muscle. Will Arnett, also of Arrested Development fame, co-stars as Todd’s extremely vulgar boss. While Cross and Arnett essentially play the same characters in everything they’re in, being on IFC (unedited) gives them the ability to take their characters to the extreme.

Almost the entire first season takes place in England making this a true comedy cross-over. We get a full on dose of British comedy staring American comedians — I guess Arnett is Canadian, but we won’t hold that against him (wink wink). Normally I don’t like comedies on premium channels because they use their unedited status like meat cleavers, smashing the subtleties of good comedy; while some of the better network television comedies triumph by finding creative ways to circumvent the FCC and occasionally surprise viewers. Todd Margaret is by no means subtle, but it doesn’t beat the audience over the head for shock value. It gets the audience to a very dark place relatively quickly, but the amazingly funny journey gets us to believe this place exists — I know it exists because I lived in England for a while and met Todd’s neighbor personally.

Is The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret better than Arrested Development, the marker I now judge all TV comedy by? That’s a stupid question. However, if you love Arrested and are ready to go on an insane journey that sends GOB and Tobias overseas, than this is your ticket. But you better get cracking, The second season starts January 6. Season one, available on Netflix Instant Watch, is just 6 episodes long, each episode runs only 20 minutes, leaving you plenty of time to catch up.


Philip Chiappini has complex opinions of the most trivial of topics. Digital Marketing/Web Analyst by day and Blogger by night, Philip specializes in “calling it as he sees it.”

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Paul C. January 2, 2012 at 1:00 am

I’ll have to re-watch season one before beginning season two. Watched it long enough ago to have forgotten the details. Thanks for the write-up.

Howard Decker January 4, 2012 at 10:14 am

The good thing is that is was a short season, so you can blast through it in a week or less. Thanks for reading!

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