We gave it an F
Like Monty Python’s Flying Circus, the members of the television comedy troupe Kids in the Hall create a menagerie of zanies, many of them in drag. Unlike the Pythons, they have virtually no individuality as performers: They’re rubber-faced ciphers who specialize in impersonating clichés. (Overall, they show less personality than their wigs.) Their first — and, to judge from the evidence, probably last — screen comedy, Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy, is a frenetically hyperbolic farce about a nerdish scientist (Kevin McDonald) who invents an antidepressant called Gleemonex. The drug gets marketed without being tested, and an entire nation is soon hooked on happy pills. The time is certainly right for a send-up of psychopharmacological mood enhancers, but it’s no exaggeration to say that Brain Candy doesn’t have a single good laugh. The satire lurches from one target to the next, yet whomever the Kids happen to be caricaturing (ditsy housewife, suburban closet case, Vedderish rock star), they show an unparalleled genius for reducing each foil to smug, toothless camp.