I have heard over and over that this show was awesome and iconic for its time but I never saw it when it came out. I was in college at the time so this came out a couple years after I stopped watching MTV animation. Until recently I also had nowhere to watch it either. It was driving me crazy to hear people like Kate Leth rave about the show and make inside jokes about it when I had missed out. Finally, I get to check it out and see what all the fuss is about. This show would have been right up my alley. The show is a parody of teen dramas like 90210 and Saved by the Bell. Every episode is a “special episode” that deals with some teen issue and parodies how horribly most shows dealt with real issues. Honestly, they could have stopped there and it would have been a really entertaining show. What they add is that all of the teenagers in the school are clones of famous people from history. The main cast includes clones of Abe Lincoln, Gandhi, Joan of Arc, John F. Kennedy and Cleopatra. Abe Lincoln is a weak-willed guy who is just trying to be popular. Gandhi is an ADHD hardcore partier. Joan of Arc is a goth. John F. Kennedy is a womanizing idiot. Cleopatra is obsessed with popularity and getting it no matter what. Seeing our heroes bent into twisted reflections of their real-life counterparts is really weird but strangely funny too. I definitely recommend you seek this out as it is only one season long.
I was going to pass this up but then I heard that Seth Green had creative control on it. I was a big fan of Robot Chicken which made me smile at its worst and made me laugh until I was breathless at its best. I wanted to see his take on the WWE roster. I was also intrigued because the show is a hard R while the animation looks incredibly childlike. The show is about all of the WWE stars as children at a sleepover summer camp. The camp is run by Vince McMahon who voices this caricature of himself. He comes across as somewhere between Daffy Duck and Yosemite Sam. He’s insane and money hungry and it is really funny what they get away with. The counselors are made up of Triple H, Stephanie McMahon and various legends. The show is really adult but it never goes too far at least not in the first five episodes. Obviously, the show is funnier if you know the performers in question. It gets even funnier with every scrap of backstage knowledge you know as well. It is definitely a love letter from fans to something they love but obviously they know it’s not perfect. Obviously, those stars cannot be expected to voice their child counterparts so the voice actors they got are really good and add to the cartoonishness of the show. It features performers from now all the way back in the eighties and there are plenty more used as gags in the background. Every episode so far is on the WWE Network but that is as it should be because nobody but a WWE fan is going to want to watch it.
This show came out right in the middle of the Grunge movement and various other similar movements surrounding the rise of the unpopular kids. It stars an low key, annoyed teen girl who does not buy into what is popular. She alternately uses sarcasm and unbridled honesty as her weapons against those who would try to put her down. Normally I would see her as horribly anti-social and she should just try to get along. However, everybody around her is either corrupt or horribly incompetent including her family. The only person who seems nice is her best friend Jane who is just as bitingly sarcastic and disaffected. This was in the nineties when our ideas on mental health were even worse than they are now. Nobody realizes that being depressed or being different is natural especially for hormonal teens. The animation is actually not great and is pretty ugly and rough. Beavis and Butthead didn’t have the best animation either at least compared to other Liquid Television shows and what other studios were doing. The strength of the show is the voice acting and the offbeat writing. Like Clone High it is very exaggerated but it somehow feels pretty true to my experience in high school. However, the do not really depict us nerds and geeks in the best light from the get go. I liked it but it did not live up to all the hype that surrounds it. I guess I just had to be there. I recommend it because it is pretty funny.
Music of the Week:
Extol – Inferno
– I finished Person of Interest Season 4 and I am hungry for more
– I also finished Once Upon a Time Season 5 and it was really good
– I watched more Charmed I had missed
– Started listening to The Worst Idea of All Time podcast again
– I picked up The Following season 2 again
– I am almost finished with Dark Matter season 1
– I am excited for The Magnificent Seven
– This week’s theme is “Parodies of Childhood – Animated”