REVIEW: Reno 911! Finds Its Ideal Format in Quibi's Revival | CBR

Eleven years since going off the air on Comedy Central, the cult classic comedy series Reno 911! has been revived for a new season exclusive to the newly launched premium stream service Quibi. Reuniting the creative team and main cast, the fictional law enforcement officers of Reno, Nevada are still up to their old, wacky hijinks, over a decade later, without missing a beat. And, in the mobile device-oriented, short-form digital platform, the fan-favorite comedy series’ revival may have found its perfect format to mount a hilarious comeback for modern audiences.

For the uninitiated, Reno 911! is an unabashed spoof of reality law enforcement television series like Cops, following the police officers of Reno, Nevada, candid-camera style, for a typical day of protecting and serving the local populace. Much of the principal cast from the original series is there from the outset, while — in keeping with the rest of Quibi’s original programming — each episode runs for less than ten minutes. And with its wacky, irreverent sense of humor, the exceedingly bizarre sights that the Reno Police Department encounters on daily basis are undercut by how comedically inept the officers are as they seek to defend their jurisdiction within the bounds of the law.

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Despite the eleven-year hiatus, the cast hasn’t missed a bit nor has its characters shown any personal growth in the interim time; they are just as emotionally and mentally stunted and wholly incompetent on the job as they ever were. And all of the actors transition back into their respective roles seamlessly. The series truly feels like no time has been lost at all since its original series finale in 2009. And with topics ranging from body cameras on police officers and Second Amendment rights to race relations and online political conspiracy theorists, the series does not pull its punches on its timely, relevant content — albeit as targets to be comedically skewered with no apparently heavy-handed political agenda of its own as there are jokes in the new season that are bound to offend anybody on either side of the political spectrum if they choose but never from a mean-spirited sense.

The real boon is the change in format for Quibi. Each episode never outstays its welcome to a fill a thirty-minute timeslot as it had previously for television. Several episodes in this new season run for less than seven minutes and all of them run for less than ten. This sense of pacing to accommodate its shortened runtime in keeping with Quibi’s ten minutes or less prerogative makes the episodes fly by and none of the sketches feeling like filler material. And no longer on basic cable television, the creative team takes advantage of the lifted content restrictions to embrace profanity and more risque humor to hilarious effect right off the bat.

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Perfectly accessible for new audiences and just as hilarious as ever for fans of the original series and spinoff film, Reno 911! has found a perfect format in Quibi, resurrected for mobile audiences in short-form episodes to deliver its wacky take on law enforcement hijinks for a new generation without compromising what made it great in the first place. For those on the fence about subscribing to Quibi, the Reno 911! revival certainly makes a strong case for the platform being able to resurrect fan-favorite shows in addition to its own original programming. And the format actually elevates the series instead serving as creative or logistical impediment — this is perhaps the only way Reno 911! could return after so much time away and it’s certainly all the better for it.

RELATED: Quibi Releases Content Free on YouTube

The Reno 911! revival features the return of creators/stars Robert Ben Garant, Kerri Kenney-Silver and Thomas Lennon, along with Cedric Yarbrough, Carlos Alazraqui, Wendi McLendon and Niecy Nash. It premieres May 4 on Quibi.

Reno 911! is back for all-new episodes on Quibi, without missing a beat and just as timely — as hilarious — as ever.

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