David Cross is returning with three new episodes of 'Todd Margaret' tonight; join us on /r/ToddMargaret!

Root for yourself. Root for yourself when you watch Todd Margaret.

This show is like a big Rorschach test. Each character exemplifies a personality trait exaggerated and being projected through a magnifier, and the real problems behind each character's motivations only unravels once you reach the very end of the series. Brent Wilts, grade-A asshole, is an insecure man masquerading as a soulless corporate go-getter. The very final scene - the emotional gut-punch of the show - shows him breaking down and crying in the most unexpected way and at the provocation of the smallest thing. It's a heavy scene. You've seen him be non-stop and unflinching for two seasons/two years straight, and in the end it all boils down to him escaping back to his simple life and sobbing, punching the walls, completely shattered. That's some insane character "development" for a twelve-episode cringe comedy television show. You are now, or have at some time in your life, been a bit of Brent Wilts, to whatever extent. If not him, then you have been, or you are now, a bit of a Todd Margaret.

He's a pathological liar, sure, but you know it goes deeper than that. He just can't bear to face the embarrassment and so he lies to get out of whatever that situation is that's making him that way. When he's on Thunder Muscle in the first episode, you see a side of him that you don't see in the rest of the series, ever. That's him without any qualms, jumping around, going nuts. Not lying, not doing anything questionable, just a happy, carefree man. But in his regular reality, he just can't catch a break because he's not giving himself one. He can't bear to own up to anything, so he doesn't - it's not that he lies to elevate himself to be something bigger or better. He lies just to live up to whatever the image the next person has of him. There's a scene in the final episode where he does improv in the courtroom; that's who Todd Margaret is, deep-down; a "yes, and" man. Go back and see all the lies he tells. He's not making anything up for the sake of it. He's making up things because he can't stand to say no and correct somebody.

You are now, or have been at some point, Todd Margaret.

A lot of "surreal" art just simply takes a regular thing and pushes it into the dream world. And like dreams, it's all rooted in reality, but reaches out to its impossible extremes. That's what Todd Margaret does. These personality flaws are perhaps best seen in Dave Mountford in the series, as his character is the one that "changes" most obviously between the first two series; in the first one, he just seems like a troublemaker, setting up Todd to fail for his own amusement. By the end, you know he's the son of a Lord, punishing Todd for the pettiest of things. And yet - it's still the same thing. He's setting up Todd to fail for his own amusement. None of his actions in Series 1 are that different from Series 2 (where he was ready to see Todd Margaret get hanged, and have the fucking death penalty re-instated) in that his motivation for both acts were the same. Again, same intent; magnified actions.

You are now, or you have sometimes in your life, been either Brent Wilts, Todd Margaret, or Dave Mountford. When you failed to stand up for yourself, when you failed to be able to face embarrassment, when you failed to let go of something someone did to you, you were one of these characters. David Cross, in a offhand comment, called the series "hopefully eye-opening." And that is why. So root for yourself. When we were kids we were taught tales with morals, but the saccharine bullshit caused us to completely disregard every aspect of it, and growing up and maturing somehow started to mean becoming gritter, less perfect, more jaded. Todd Margaret is a cautionary bedtime story for adults. It's ridiculous, but in-universe, it all follows coherent logic, mirroring real-life trajectories and presenting them to you in enlarged extremes.

So root for yourself. Real life might never be as bleak as this show, but fuck, is nuclear annhilation not a very real threat at any given time? Have people not punished people for the littlest things, in the cruelest ways? It's all very, very real. And it could all happen to you and happen around you at any given minute. And much like how viewers of this show will want to shout at the screen and scream at Todd to not do that, you FUCKING idiot, nobody really realises the sheer stupidity and the utter misguidedness of whatever's happening, unless it's happening to someone else and not themselves - unless someone else is fucking up, and not themselves.

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