Bad moon rising: “Moonbeam City” review

“What is this shit?”

Audiences will be asking themselves some form of this question while watching the first episode of the disappointing ’80s-nostalgia wet dream, “Moonbeam City.”

Set in fictional “Moonbeam City,” the parody cop series evokes the visual aesthetic of Miami Vice with its animation. The architecture shining with neon, the characters’ flashy clothes and the ocean setting in which the show takes place successfully convey a Miami-like metropolis taken to the utmost extreme.

Rob Lowe voices Dazzle Novak, a despicable character. The humor is supposed to come from what a self-centered narcissist Dazzle is, but that fails.

With most archetypal characters, there is at least something which redeems them. Take a character like Sterling Archer from FX’s “Archer”; he may be a drunk, misogynist parody of James Bond, but at least he is still good at being a spy. Dazzle Novak has no redeeming qualities— he’s not even good at being a police officer. He’s just an asshole and a waste of time to watch.

Dazzle’s rival, Rad Cunningham, voiced by Will Forte, might be one of the few things worth mentioning about “Moonbeam City.” Forte brings a manic energy to Rad and a scene where Cunningham confuses cocaine for grip powder may get a chuckle out of some.

That gag and an ’80s sex scene between Dazzle and his one-and-done love interest are the only laughs in the episode.

What’s the point of even giving a brief plot summary? Something about Dazzle going undercover to bust up a cartel? The episode was so forgettable, it would be just a waste of time to read.

“Moonbeam City” has no substance to match its style. Don’t bother with it.

George Johnston can be reached at [email protected] or @gjohnston786 on Twitter.