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Krapopolis Review: Dan Harmon's New Show Lacks His Usual Magic

Despite a winning premise, the Fox animated series struggles to find a funny, consistent tone

Kyle Fowle



The idea behind Dan Harmon's latest animated series is that it can take a while to build civilization when there are a lot of competing interests, egos, and messy humans involved. It's apt territory to explore considering how long it took for Krapopolis to get built and make it to air. Harmon signed a deal with Fox back in 2020 to create a new animated series, and since then the premiere has been pushed back multiple times. Interestingly enough, despite the constant setbacks, Fox has also renewed the show for two more seasons before a single episode has even aired. 

That means Fox is banking on Krapopolis being a staple of the network, and that hope is likely built on the popularity of Harmon's success with Rick and Morty. With that show and Community before it, Harmon built a following, which is increasingly rare these days, and Fox is hoping that fans will continue to check out whatever Harmon puts out. With that said, I'm not sure that Krapopolis will appeal to fans of Harmon's previous shows. While the series features some of his trademark thematic musings about humanity and kindness and what it means to be connected to other people, Krapopolis isn't nearly as fresh or sharp as Harmon's previous outings.




  • Voice cast is good all around
  • Harmon's usual themes are explored


  • Just not that funny
  • Often feels flat and jokes land with a thud

Krapopolis is set in a mythical version of Ancient Greece, where Tyrannis (Richard Ayoade) has dreams of building the world's first civilization, where war and bloodshed are cast aside in favor of democracy and humanity. This is, of course, easier said than done, as Tyrannis must deal with his overbearing, egotistical mother/goddess Deliria (Hannah Waddingham), the chaotic Hippocampus (Duncan Trussell), the whims of the human species, and even a tribe of cannibals. Tyrannis wants to bring everyone together, insisting that civilization is the way of the future and that cities and empires are the next big thing, but his message fails to resonate, in part because he lacks the charisma or vision of a true leader.

If some of this sounds familiar, you're not wrong. Despite the mythic setting, Harmon is dealing with some of his favorite themes here. There are outcasts of all types who must find ways to work together, to connect with each other despite their differences. Harmon is musing on ideas of humanity, community, and what we owe each other in terms of grace and compassion. The problem is that most of this is surface level philosophizing at best, at least in the first three episodes that were made available to critics, and unfortunately you also won't find yourself laughing too often at the jokes here, as they're mostly flat, trite observations that don't really have a punchline; Tyrannis even says that one of his jokes "isn't laugh-out-loud funny" in the premiere, which is a regrettably fitting descriptor for much of the show's humor. 

While the voice cast is doing good work, and the first three episodes do have their moments — the premiere in particular contains a hilarious fight sequence where nobody involved actually wants to fight but feels obligated to — it's simply hard to imagine any current fans of Harmon's work sticking around with this one. There's a chance that viewers unaware of Rick and Morty or Community will stumble upon the show and find it to be an affable, watchable 30 minutes, but for those who've truly anticipated a new show created by Harmon, Krapopolis won't live up to the hype. 

Premieres: Sunday, Sept. 24 at 8/7c on Fox
Who's in it: Richard Ayoade, Hannah Waddingham, Matt Berry, Pam Murphy, Duncan Trussell
Who's behind it: Dan Harmon (creator)
For fans of: Rick and Morty, F is for Family
How many episodes we watched: 3