As a consequence, the characters take on a galvanizing new life, becoming more convincing, clever and nuanced. There’s Roger, for instance, slipping into Foghorn Leghorn schtick in the middle of a wonderfully illuminating and deeply cynical session with his shrink.
There are some inspired set pieces in this opening chapter, too. The dizzying disaster that is the memorial service for Roger’s mumsy represents a series highpoint. It’s like the Marx Brothers crashing into “Who Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”
There isn’t a single misstep in this absolutely sterling chapter, from its exotic tropical opening to its devastating denouement set in a driving snowstorm.
I say that with confidence. Just don’t ask me what year it is.