Ever since the long, long ago failure of Cavemen, a TV show that somehow managed to squander its limitless potential as a Geico commercial spin-off, audiences have had to do without a prehistoric comedy series. And yet now, an animated show called Human Discoveries coming this month from Facebook Watch, is ready to try once more to learn from past mistakes and evolve into a brand new vehicle for lots of gags about the things our ancestors didn’t know how to do that we take for granted.
Set 10,000 years ago, Human Discoveries stars Anna Kendrick and Zac Efron as Gary and Jane, a pair whose names are far less exciting than cartoon pals like Trog (Lamorne Morris), Ugg (Paul Scheer), and Minerva (Jillian Bell). As the trailer makes clear, most of the jokes are centered around early humans figuring out how to move beyond sheer survival to discover hallmarks of human society—like eating cooked meat, living alongside wild animals, and, uh, accepting the absurd confines of a rigidly defined patriarchy.
The jokes used in the trailer aren’t especially creative, excepting a pretty good bit that sees the characters doing keg stands on hollowed-out logs filled with “consequence-free” trash wine before waking up with brutal hangovers. But the talent attached to the show, which sees Kendrick and Efron joined by the reliably funny Morris, Scheer, and Bell as well as Ed Begley Jr., Stephanie Beatriz, and Lisa Kudrow as a talking deer, is enough to warrant more interest in a real fossil of a premise.
We’ll see for ourselves soon enough when Human Discoveries’ first three episodes premiere on July 16th at 9 p.m. EST/6 p.m. PST.