Last night it came to my attention that Adult Swim has made the first nine out of ten episodes of Eagleheart's third season available on YouTube for viewers to watch free on both a monetary and moral level. It's a strong publicity push for the season's big finale which airs on the 16th. So that's the news portion of this article. You can watch the third season of Eagleheart for free. Go here and get started. Or stay a bit longer as I tell you why this is something that should be experienced.
I watched some of Eagleheart's first season and none of its second. The show was pretty much wall-to-wall absurd jokes and sudden doses of comic violence, but none of it engaged me enough to generate loyalty. I've always admired Chris Elliott, but I also think his style lays somewhere slightly to the left of funny. Get a Life is amazing, for instance, but it always seemed like its very existence was the center of its humor rather than strong jokes. After a handful of Eaglehart episodes, I felt I had an understanding of what the show as going for and stopped watching.
But on a recent episode of the Nerdist podcast, I listened to Elliott discuss the grand idea behind Eagleheart's third season and found my curiosity toward the show rekindled. Rather than jump from one unrelated eleven-minute tale to another, season three would follow one epic storyline. This isn't the most novel change out there, but the idea of narrative consequence grows a lot more intriguing from a show as absurd and negligent of reality as Eagleheart. Even more convincing was Chris Ellott's clear enthusiasm for the new material.
So last night I hesitantly began watching Eagleheart season three, ready to jump ship the moment I got bored. By the third episode I had tears rolling down my eyes. I haven't seen anything this funny in a very long time.
Eagleheart season three plays with all kinds of jokes, but its greatest strength is the way it frequently takes what would normally be an absurd throwaway and commits to it so strongly that it grows into straight up surrealism. There's a bit late in the season concerning a group of shunned 1920s era shoe shiners that starts off pretty silly but just keeps getting weirder and bigger until you have something that's not only hilarious but seriously badass as well. There's another bit that simultaneously features mutants, a gory suicide camp, and probably the best satirical explanation for goofy prog rock lyrics I've ever heard (and I've heard at least two). This kind of stuff happens over and over again.
Meanwhile, there are tons of other, smaller jokes to take in. Even these tend to show a remarkable high quality and keeps with Eagleheart's relentlessly weird tone. There's so much of this stuff that most of the more typical and quaint jokes (the characters at one point hang out in a town called "Mill Brook" for instance, which I think is supposed to be a play on Mel Brooks' name), don't even come across unless you're really paying attention.
Maybe Eagleheart season two displays this writing level as well, but it lacks season three's continuity and story arc, which radically changes at the drop of a hat yet demands a good memory and frequently repays such attention with great jokes that wouldn't be possible in a standalone format. Just as Eagleheart season three excels at exploding absurd premises across one eleven-minute episode, it also explores some at a slower pace across the whole arc, making it very fun to binge watch.
But at the same time, each episode of the season, especially in the latter half, manages to have its own mini-story and focus. One is presented completely from a first person perspective, for instance, and another basically stars a really funny Joe Estevez instead of Chris Elliott.
This is like the comedy version of American Horror Story, where each new step captures and discards what would be the entire premise of a normal show. Maybe other shows are doing this too, and I just have no idea. If so, please let me know. I haven't had this much fun watching a series in years, but I also watch very few television shows.
If you have a couple hours, I highly recommend you watch this. You don't need to know anything going in. A couple episodes are twenty minutes long, but most only take eleven minutes.
The episodes became YouTube available on the 13th, and like I said earlier, the finale airs on the 16th, which means this may be a limited time opportunity. I should also add that I obviously haven't seen the final episode yet, but even if it were a black slate for eleven minutes, I would still be very excited and impressed with what I saw of Eagleheart season three. Having said that, my anticipation for the finale is pretty extreme.
If you need any more convincing, here's a trailer for the season as a whole: