After two particularly charmless episodes of Monsters at Work, I think I would have been happy to just leave this series in the Disney+ dustbin of forgettable streaming series, but I went ahead and give episode 3 a look and, in retrospect, I’m glad I did. It’s a much better indicator of how good this series can actually be.
Now a member of MIFT, the Monsters Inc. Technical Crew or something, Tylor is assigned to repair a child’s room damaged by a monster during a comedy bit, but when the door goes offline, Tylor, Val, and Duncan are trapped in the human world while Mike and Sully find themselves once again babysitting a child in the Monster World.
On paper, the idea of Mike and Sully ending up with another human child may seem repetitive, but Monsters at Work not only provides a good reason why it happens, but wisely relegates it into a B plot while the A plot is something new, different, and logical. I like that the show is asking logistical questions like, “What happens if Monsters break something?” This is the kind of story I want to see more of.
Beyond that, I get the feeling that Monsters at Work is really trying to put effort into making characters grow as people… or… monsters, I guess. Tylor hasn’t wanted to be at MIFT since he got to Monsters Inc and hasn’t thought about how his dismissive attitude and impatience is affecting others. It was good to see Val put her foot down, even if it was passive-aggressively, and win his respect and notice. I get the feeling that Tylor got some much-needed real world knowledge and Val became much more sure of herself.
Mike and Sully, however… I kind of feel like these two are being character assassinated and, again, I know that this is a kids cartoon and I shouldn’t go in expecting Shakespeare, but I also shouldn’t go out of the episode thinking, “Wow, Mike is a gigantic douchwagon!” either. I know that Mike has always been a little sleazy, but I’ve never thought of him as a full blown narcissist until this episode, at least.
Still, episode three definitely showed a sizable uptick in quality now that the characters are where they need to be. Monsters at Work has earned a reprieve. Let’s see if they can keep it.