(Credit: Netflix)

'Jonas Brothers Family Roast': Netflix’s failed tryst with roast humour

Netflix’s burgeoning comedy content has an ever-growing fanbase who are definitely loving the new comedy specials and shows that the streamer has been consistently adding. Despite the recent controversies regarding Dave Chappelle’s comedy special The Closer, the streaming service’s tryst with roast humour reached its peak when they announced the release of Jonas Brother Family Roast.

As the title indicates, the nearly two-hour-long show involved the Jonas family and their close friends roasting the eponymous band, all in the name of good humour. 

The Jonas Brothers’ claim to fame, like most 1990s kids, was Disney. After Camp Rock, their debut appearance on the channel, they became somewhat of a teen sensation, alongside Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato and more. This three-member band comprised brothers Kevin, Joe and Nick who later disbanded in 2013 for them to focus on their solo careers before regrouping in 2019 with a hit track ‘Sucker’.

A fleeting sensation for most, the Jonas brothers, despite their poor quality of music, have remained quite popular among the masses due to their beautiful bromance, family dynamics and feel-good factors. A family band filled with good-looking and seemingly nice young chaps is always likely to find favour. 

Hosted by the hilarious Kenan Thompson, the show included their beautiful wives Danielle Jonas, Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Sophie Turner who all took turns taking a jab at the brothers, and their respective husbands, in particular. While Kenan started the show off quite strongly, poking fun at their youngest brother Franklin ‘Bonus Jonas’ Jonas, the show also featured Lilly Singh, Pete Davidson, Niall Horan, Jack Whitehall, Dr. Phil and John Legend. 

Frankly speaking, the roast was not funny.

Whitehall and Davidson were the saving graces and they resuscitated the show from being a complete bore-fest. While Davidson, was in his skit-version, Franklin Jonas, thanking his brothers for paying for his birthdays and Christmas gifts, Whitehall cracked jokes about how he was able to maintain his “man hymen” intact in school due to his fanaticism with the Jonas Brothers music. In a memorable moment, he even flaunted an epic Jonas Brothers tattoo on his chest that left the audience in tears. Priyanka Chopra Jonas was terrific in her roast and brought up her controversial marriage with Nick and compared the band’s fragile popularity with her own, while also calling out Nick Jonas’ gigantic, narcissistic ego.

Turner, too, made fun of the Jonas purity ring tradition while Danielle poked fun at her husband, Kevin, who is undoubtedly the least popular Jonas, or as John legend said, “the weakest link”. Legend’s song was another highlight of the show as he compared them to The Beatles, calling them an absolute failure in comparison. 

However, apart from these acts, the show was lame, flimsy and largely unfunny. The brothers failed to make their jokes land, despite their forced attempts to poke fun at the disbandment, fragile egos, penis sizes and other private jokes. Even their father seemed to force a pained smile, possibly regretting the decision to take them for that first Disney audition. The skits were amateurish and juvenile, lacking structure or incisiveness. Clearly, the Jonas Brothers have not outgrown their Disney phase. The one with Niall Horan was presumably the worst besides the segment with Dr Phil and Lilly Singh. 

What confuses me is the presence of Dr Phil on a roast show. Give the poor man a break, he already suffers a lot by poking his nose into other people’s affairs. He stuck to calling the wives of the Jonas Brothers beautiful while his son asked him to “suck it”. His segment seemed like a Shakespearean comic relief wherein the actual performers got a break in between their performances.

Lilly Singh’s performance was equally embarrassing. From being an inspirational brown queer woman to being absolutely obnoxious, her insult comedy on the show is absolutely atrocious. It seems overdone and she has nothing new to offer. While Whitehall and Singh both try to land the same joke about the Jonas Brothers’ music helping them garner interest in the same sex, the former’s joke is effortlessly funny while Singh somehow misses the mak. Take a cue from Priyanka, Lilly! 

I completely agree with Whitehall when he said, “These guys are like covid virus and if this second wave has taught us anything, it’s that as a society we cannot eradicate the Jonas brothers. We must just learn to live with them. And pray they don’t mutate.” While we cannot ignore the roast, let us sincerely hope for the Jonas family to never regroup for roast humour ever again!

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