The Coincidental Critic

Exploring the art of storytelling.

Marco Polo


My favorite scene in “Marco Polo” was when Phil attempted to teach the Nigerian family how to play Marco Polo.  The family was so excited, but Phil got so frustrated.  It was entertaining to watch Phil struggle with the language barrier when all he wanted to do was play a game.

I always love any scene with Phil.  His character has great lines and is always put in humorous scenarios.  I loved the scene when Phil was in the “hotel bar” with all the lonely dads.  Phil can be so naïve at times, and it’s entertaining to watch him interact with the other characters.

I like watching Jay’s relationship with Manny develop.  In “Marco Polo,” Jay advised and consoled Manny about Manny’s relationship with his new girlfriend, Sam.  I like seeing Jay in this nurturing role.  He has become a father figure for Manny.  It’s refreshing to see a strong stepfather-stepson relationship like this, especially when we’ve been able to watch it develop since the very first episode.

I was not impressed with Rico Rodriguez’s performance as Manny in “Marco Polo.”  In fact, it was a very poor performance.  His speech felt forced and lacked expression.  While Manny said he was excited to have a new girlfriend, he didn’t appear excited.  Manny is such a hopeless romantic, and I would have expected him to be overly ecstatic, not super calm.  Rodriguez also appeared very disconnected from his scene partners.  It was evident that he was just waiting for his cues to say his lines and not interacting beyond that.  I’m hoping that this is a one-time thing and that Rodriguez’s acting improves in the next episode.

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