Have you ever wanted a show that is just like South Park, but without the social commentary or well thought out humor and just relied solely on poop jokes and crude humor? If so then Drawn Together is the show for you.
Drawn Together aired on Comedy Central in 2004 and ran for three seasons which in my opinion is two too many. A movie was released in 2010 to finish off the series after being canceled in 2007. The show featured several stereotypes of cartoon staples, such as a racist adaptation of Pikachu, a bigoted Disney Princess, a gay Link parody, and a sociopathic Superman rip-off. It was marketed as the first “animated reality show” taking the form of other shows like Big Brother and the Surreal Life where the eight characters had to live in one house. Of course they would go on bombastic adventures and compete in challenges from time to time. Being an animated show, the challenges were exaggerated to the max like in one episode the team had to find a cure for polio (injecting one of the housemates with polio beforehand). That was just one of the many episodes that exploited shock humor. The pilot episode featured a full on make-out session between the two female leads, Princess Clara and Foxxy Love. In fact, that scene was used to market the show almost entirely; every promo I saw featured a clip of this scene.
I remember thinking this was the funniest show ever back when it aired. Of course I was 12 at the time and thought anything with curse words was funny. It kind of works in a way, the more adult jokes that are stuffed in a product, the more childish is looks. That’s because adult jokes that rely on crude humor are just that, crude. They have no set up and the punchline boils down to dicks and vaginas. Now before you go on saying “But Wizard, what’s wrong with a little crude humor? Maybe you should take that stick out of your ass before judging this show” and to that I want to say, first off, rude.
Secondly I see no problem with using poop humor if that’s your thing. South Park has become famous with that kind of humor, but DT merely uses it for shock value. I could see the creators sitting around writing jokes to see how far they can take their comedy, all while playing with house money. All in all I would say it hit the target demographic of 12-16 year olds who want to feel grown up, and for what it’s worth I liked it at the time (again, because I was 12 and stupid).
It would seem that Netflix is really stepping up their game in terms of content lately. They are making a lot of original dramas and comedies such as House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, but now they have stepped into the realm of animation. Now this isn’t the first original animated show Netflix has aired, but it is the first one that is worth looking at (Sorry animated adaptation of Turbo, but…really…even your feature was shit). I am of course referring to Netflix’s newest original show; Bojack Horseman.
Now when you think of a washed up has-been from the nineties that is still trying to make a splash in today’s Hollywood scene, you might think of someone like Pauly Shore or Bob Saget, but not this time. Instead we are treated to a tiered one trick pony (literally) named Bojack Horseman, star of the fictitious sit-com “Horsing Around”
Voiced by Will Arnett (Arrested Development), Bojack is a cynical has-been who has been out of work for years. Joining in his shenanigans are his freeloading house guest Todd, played by Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad) and a ghost writer writing down the horse-man’s tragic story Dianne, played by Allison Brie (Mad Men). It is very odd in my opinion to have what is essentially an all-star cast. I mean you have actors from some of today’s greatest comedies and dramas playing in this animated cartoon about a washed up celebrity horse-man. It doesn’t get much weirder than that. If I had to guess I would say this is Netflix trying to assure that “Bojack Horseman” is a success, but is it?
As I have said before, Bojack is a washed up celebrity trying to get back in the game after about 20 years out of the spotlight. The jokes range from outrageous to downright crude, but not in an over the top way like Drawn Together. Honestly the first two or three episodes are pretty “meh”. The jokes are pretty stiff and the characters seem two dimensional. However, the pace and overall quality picks up after a while and the show really takes on a new identity. It almost makes a transformation mid-season from a straight comedy to a borderline satire of the Hollywood system, or I might be reading too much into this.
The animation is nothing to get excited about, but it fits the attitude of the show just fine. All the actors fit their roles nicely, which is not to say that Will Arnett is washed up or anything. In fact it was pretty refreshing to hear Aaron Paul’s voice again (in what is essentially Jesse Pinkman, but without the depth or the development). There is only one season of “Bojack Horseman” out right now, but I would not be opposed to seeing more episodes.