Comedy Central’s clever ‘Corporate’ skewers the streamers


One of my favorite niche comedies is midway through its third and final six-episode season, and I am savoring it. Comedy Central’s “Corporate” is a brutal satire of the high-stakes mega-business world and everyday office culture, and its Kafka-esque journeys into absurdity are, I find, irresistible. It’s a bit like the short-lived but sharp “Better Off Ted,” and a bit like “The Office,” but then it’s very much its own nihilistic self.

The action is set at an Amazon-like company called Hampton DeVille — yes, that’s close to Devil — that is run by a lunatic named Christian DeVille, played to perfection by Lance Reddick. This season’s premiere, called “Pickles 4 Breakfast,” is a good one to sample, if you’re curious about the show. Turns out Hampton DeVille has a failing streaming service called Hampton DeView, and Christian is desperate to make that service take off. He goes begging for the streaming rights to “Gilmore Girls,” but he is turned down. So he decides to spend billions on a just-ended “Game of Thrones”-styled blockbuster show called “Society Tomorrow,” which he and most of the staff are obsessed with.

At that point in the episode, the satire turns its sly eye onto those who were so upset by the finales of “Game of Thrones” and other popular series. Christian and his staff are sickened by the finale of “Society Tomorrow,” so, since Hampton DeVille now owns the show, they decide to redo the finale. Some have their own ideas of the best ending; others are constructing an ending based on data about what viewers prefer.

I shouldn’t get any further into the plot details. But it is a timely and clever take on the ever-growing and ever-more-confusing streaming world, as well as the neverending struggle to create popular content. “Corporate,” which airs Wednesdays at 10:30 p.m., is a fierce and sharp little show, and I will miss it.


Matthew Gilbert can be reached at matthew.gilbert@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.



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