Stew Mulligan might have been a cleverer name for the title character in the new Netflix end-of-the-world cartoon called “Mulligan” than Matt Mulligan.
It just seems like a lost opportunity, but one that is so minor that only the TV Blog, which has an irksome gift for 20/20 hindsight even when totally uninvolved in the process of making anything, would bother mentioning it.
In my own defense, Mulligan Stew is the first thing I think of whenever I hear the word mulligan, which is almost never. Plus, I have never had Mulligan Stew.
But here it is on the title of a new animated comedy about the small population of humans who survived a cataclysmic attack by advanced alien spaceships manned by giant bugs.
Mulligan has another meaning in addition to its designation as a stew said to have originated in hobo camps around the turn of the 20th century.
Interestingly, no person actually named Mulligan is associated with its invention. I love Wikipedia!
The other meaning is golf-related. My dictionary defines this “mulligan” as: A free shot sometimes given a golfer in informal play when the previous shot was poorly played -- in other words, a do-over.
This is likely the true meaning -- or, at least one of them -- of the show’s title because it is about the efforts of this attack’s survivors to build a new America, to essentially take a mulligan and take a free shot.
By happenstance, their leader for this mulligan remake of the United States is a guy named Mulligan, who is basically an idiot.
But it just so happens that this idiot singlehandedly stopped the alien invasion and destroyed their entire invasion force with a single grenade.
As the result, he is made President of the Destroyed United States by acclimation. And there’s your show.
The show’s voice cast includes Nat Faxon as Matt Mulligan, Tina Fey (who is also an executive producer) and Dana Carvey, who provides the voice of the grizzled southern senator Cartwright LaMarr who tries to undermine President Mulligan and seize power for himself (pictured above).
So what’s the verdict on “Mulligan”? A show like this one resists labels as black and white as “good” or “bad.” Let’s just say that it’s ridiculous, which in this case is a compliment.
“Mulligan” starts streaming on Friday (May 12) on Netflix.