Donald Glover debut ‘Mystery Team’ has landed on theGrio on demand

Written by on July 21, 2023

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Just in time for Black Comedy Month, which is August, Donald Glover’s debut film, “Mystery Team,” is available to watch on theGrio’s app on demand in what serves as a nostalgic and exciting look at the now Emmy-winning multi-hyphenate star’s beginnings in comedy.

The simultaneously charming and raunchy film, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival back in 2009, came from the minds of the comedy group Derrick Comedy, which consisted of Glover, D.C. Pierson and Dominic Dierkes, and follows a “mystery team” of high schoolers. Formed in their childhood, the three nerdy, amateur high school mystery solvers have a bit of local fame, with many residents turning to them for day-to-day, mundane conundrums.

This January 2009 photo shows (from left) “Mystery Team” actor D.C. Pierson, director Dan Eckman, producer Meggie McFadden, actor Donald Glover and actor Dominic Dierkes at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. “Mystery Team” was Glover’s debut film and is now available on demand on theGrio app. (Photo: Matt Carr/Getty Images)

The film kicks off, however, when the mystery team, while gearing up to graduate from high school, is presented with a murder case. What follows is a hilarious and occasionally crude comedy that fuses together common mystery tropes — think “Sherlock Holmes” meets “Scooby-Doo” — with a late aughts sensibility, like popular Judd Apatow films of that time.

What is evident in the film is the comedic timing and genius of the Derrick Comedy squad, which was first formed in 2006 as an internet sketch group. With roots in the Upright Citizens Brigade, a well-known improvisational comedy group and training company, Derrick Comedy’s skills shine bright in the film, specifically through one-liners and banter between characters.

“Mystery Team” also presents the feature film debuts of some popular actors today: Aubrey Plaza (“Parks and Recreation,” “The White Lotus”), Ellie Kemper (“The Office,” “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”) and Bobby Moynihan (“Saturday Night Live”).

Mostly, the film serves as an exciting look at a young Glover on the precipice of his career in entertainment, made during his days writing for the hit NBC series “30 Rock,” but before his eventual acting success on shows like “Community” and his Emmy Award-winning series, “Atlanta.”

While “Mystery Team” is, of course, nowhere near as polished or boundary-pushing as his later work, it remains a comedy filled with genuinely funny bits, solid jokes and plenty of promise from the three young leads.

You can check out “Mystery Team” in the on-demand section of theGrio app.

TheGrio is FREE on your TV via Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku and Android TV. Also, please download theGrio mobile apps today!

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