History of the World Part II is a satirical comedy TV series streaming on Disney+. The series is a sequel to Mel Brooks’ classic History of the World Part I. The original film lampooned the epic film genre, including the sword and sandal epic and the period costume drama sub-genres.
The four main segments consisted of skits set during the Stone Age, the Roman Empire, the Spanish Inquisition, and the French Revolution. Other intermediate skits include reenactments of the giving of the Ten Commandments and the Last Supper.
Based on the first three episodes now streaming, History of the World Part II is faithful to the concept of the original film, albeit with updates to reflect modern day culture in 2023. You will recognise the standard operating procedure for any Hollywood productions in this day and age.
For one thing, the cast is definitely more diverse than it was 40 years ago. While this will most likely trigger right-leaning folks, you need to remember that this is a parody, so does it matter if Luke is a Black man in the Jesus skit? The other noticeable change is that there is significantly less risqué humour than what one normally gets in a Mel Brooks film. Also predictable.
These differences aside, History of the World Part II may be watchable but contains nothing memorable. Comparing this to any of Mel Brooks’ timeless comedies is a losing proposition. There are genuinely funny ideas presented here but never quite go far enough. The comedy seems somewhat stifled, to be honest.
But that is par for the course in 2023, isn’t it? Irreverent humour in the Mel Brooks style was a rarity even back in the day so why would anyone believe that History of the World Part II would do anything else but reflect modern sensibility. Enjoy it once and then forget all about it.
Watch now on Disney+
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