Matt Rife’s “Natural Selection”: A Defensive and Underwhelming Special

Comedian Matt Rife’s first Netflix special, “Natural Selection,” falls short of expectations as it oscillates between uninspiring dick jokes and a defensive stance against online haters.

Matt Rife’s Netflix special, “Natural Selection,” opens with a controversial joke about domestic violence, setting the tone for an hour of comedy that is defensive, aggressive, and lacking in originality. As a young comedian who gained fame through social media, Rife’s special grapples with the challenges of engaging with his fan base while also facing criticism from online trolls. However, the material fails to deliver thought-provoking insights or develop into well-crafted jokes, resulting in an underwhelming experience for viewers.

Uninspiring Dick Jokes: Rife’s reliance on dick jokes dominates a significant portion of his special. Whether focusing on size, masturbation, or making women orgasm, these jokes lack depth and fail to explore the complexities of sexuality. Instead, they serve as a safe haven in a comedy landscape where topics like politics, race, and gender feel treacherous. While the audience responds with laughter, the material lacks substance and fails to offer new perspectives or underlying themes.

Defensive Stance Against Online Haters: Throughout the special, Rife adopts a defensive posture towards his audience, particularly those who criticize him online. In one segment, he recounts an unpleasant flight experience and expresses his frustration with online commenters who hold him accountable for his actions. Rife’s animosity towards these critics is palpable, but his material lacks the humor and depth needed to transform it into compelling comedy. Instead, it comes across as a rant against those who challenge him, revealing his own defensiveness and inability to engage with differing opinions.

Lack of Risk-Taking: “Natural Selection” is marked by a lack of risky material. Rife’s desire to reach a broader audience seems to have led him to retreat into safe, conservative premises. While his previous YouTube specials explored more contentious topics, this Netflix special fails to venture into new territory. The absence of thought-provoking ideas or shifts in perspective leaves the material feeling stale and unremarkable.

Dialogue with the Audience: Rife’s special attempts to engage in a dialogue with his audience, but it falls short due to his reluctance to allow them to have a voice. The editing of the special deliberately avoids shots of the audience, denying any opportunity for crowdwork or capturing their reactions. Rife’s resentment towards his fan base is evident, yet he still relies on their approval and engagement. The special’s closing moments reveal his contradictory desire to distance himself from the audience while also seeking their validation.

Conclusion: “Natural Selection” ultimately disappoints as Matt Rife’s defensive and underwhelming Netflix special. The reliance on uninspiring dick jokes and the aggressive stance against online haters result in a lackluster hour of comedy. Rife’s reluctance to take risks and engage with differing opinions hinders the development of his material, leaving viewers unsatisfied. Despite his desire to prove himself as a comedian, Rife’s need for audience approval remains evident. As he navigates the challenges of fame and social media, it is clear that his comedy is still driven by a desperate hope for validation.






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *