When Peacock announced Pitch Perfect: Bumper in Berlin, a series featuring one of the movie franchise’s most polarizing characters, there was a great deal of skepticism.
Adam Devine is a phenomenal actor, but there were questions about whether a series following Bumper could live up to the success of the movies.
Devine slips back into the Bumper role as though he’s never been away. Bumper remains as endearing as ever as he navigates a very different chapter of his life.
When we left Bumper in the movies, I bet he never imagined his career would be at a standstill all these years later.
We pick up with his attempt to move to Berlin to revive his career thanks to one of his videos going viral in Germany.
It’s a compelling hook for the series and allows viewers to see a very different side to Bumper as a fish out of water.
He’s still cracking jokes and lacks self-awareness, but for those reasons alone, longtime franchise fans will be able to see the similarities between the Bumper of the movies and the series.
No matter what he does, he always finds himself in terrible situations.
It adds to the comedic tone that doesn’t subside throughout the six-part freshman season.
The series also serves as a decent entry point for new viewers, offering plenty of new characters and stories.
Sarah Hyland is on board as Heidi, a young woman with big aspirations of being a singer-songwriter.
There’s an immediate connection between her and Bumper, thanks to them being two ex-pats in a country far from the U.S.
Heidi is a much different role for Hyland, and the actress shares a lot of chemistry on-screen with Devine.
Flula Borg returns as Pieter Krämer, and he’s more colorful than ever as he tries to help Bumper navigate a different lifestyle.
Jameela Jamil steals the show as the flashy up-and-coming pop star, Gisela, who we quickly learn shared a past with Pieter.
Gisela has a villainous streak and finds herself going head-to-head with Bumper to be the most-talked-about pop star at the German Unity Day concert.
The most vital aspect of the series is that it manages to nail the tone of the movies while charting a very different course for some of these characters we met several years ago.
There are also some comical musical numbers thrown in, as well as an original song with all the makings of a hit. It’s super addictive.
Pitch Perfect: Bumper in Berlin is a worthwhile follow-up to its predecessors, but it doesn’t quite reach the same quality.
It’s hard not to think the series would have been better told as a 90-minute movie because the whole series feels a little bit disjointed by the amount of filler.
Fans of the movies will find a lot to love about the series, but don’t go in expecting a serious story. At its core, Pitch Perfect is a lot of fun that you shouldn’t take too seriously.
The series premieres Wednesday, November 23, with a special sneak peek set to air next week on NBC.
Check out the official teaser below and hit the comments with your thoughts!
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.