Well played…

Over the last decade, almost every network has tried to replicate the success of The Simpsons, and most of the time, the animated shows they create flop within a season. But at least they get a whole season unlike today’s show.

The show lasted from May 31, 2000-June 7, 2000. By my count, that’s a week. Only two episodes were ever aired, and only 6 were ever produced. So it would seem this is possibly the worst television show ever produced, but amazingly, it’s not. It’s absurd, funny and a bit crazy, but it’s from Kevin Smith. What else did you expect? Fraggle Rock?

Of course, I a talking about the ill-fated Clerks cartoon. Starring the original clerks, Dante and Randall, as well as Jay and Silent Bob — all voiced by their original voice actors from the movie — as the show’s main protagonists, and Alec Baldwin as the antagonist/wannabe supervillan Leonardo Leonardo.

I never watched the original run of the show, but a quick scan of the internet’s most trusted source tells me that when it was aired, the episodes were aired out of the intended order. The first episode aired was in fact the fourth episode, where Jay sues Dante and the Quick Stop for $10M, and not to spoil the ending, the Jury finds in favor of Big American Party! And the Second episode aired was in fact the actual second episode, which was a clip show parody, referencing the actual first episode.

Amazingly, this scene does not take place in Russia.

The other four were released on a DVD with commentary and other special features, and I recommend grabbing that if you can. The other four episodes are pretty funny.

The animation style is pretty good and easy on the eyes, and the writing/development was done by Smith and a former Seinfeld writer named David Mandel.

On a personal level, I watched these around 2005 while working at a Tim Horton’s and could pretty much easily identify with Dante and Randall, feeling I was a mixture of both, though not as troublesome, and I didn’t have a multimillionaire villain with his own Odd Job trying to take me down. The show didn’t resonate with test audiences (or audiences period) but I definitely took away something from it. As well as having a few laughs.

Alec Baldwin does a smashing job as the villain, Leonardo Leonardo, and this is perhaps one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen him in. And, of course, Tara Strong makes an appearance as the giggling girls that embarass Dante, quizzing him about his sexual history while giggling excessive ly.

The scowl heard by dozens.

So, if you just skimmed down and looked at the pictures, here’s what you need to know. Watch this show. It’s good. If it were to come back ever, I would watch it again.


I’m living for the weekend!

Hey everybody that’s here from Girls With Slingshots! I hope you’ll stick around for a while and read some posts!

Today, I’m going to talk about what might possibly be my favorite Disney cartoon of all time, The Weekenders.

It aired on ABC’s One Saturday Morning, then on the Disney Channel, and it’s original run lasted 5 years, from 1999-2004. The show revolves around four friends — Tino, Lor, Carver and Tish — who always hang out on the weekend. They usually start at the pizzeria, and head to the  arcade or the mall, or somewhere else 7th graders hang out.

Tino, voiced by the awesome Jason Marsden, is the implied leader of the group — he gets first billing in the show’s intro — and generally keeps the group together, thanks to the advice of his mom. He was very relatable, and developed a lot during the series, eventually getting over a fear of clowns.

Clowns?

So what did the Weekenders mean to me growing up? Not much to tell you the truth, I don’t remember liking this show as a kid — in fact, I don’t even know if I watched it as a kid. But I did watch it in my later teens, say 16 or older, while I was still living at home, and a few times after that. And I have to say I found the writing to be pretty spot on. When I compare this to my childhood, there’s always these archetypes that show up in life. You had a friend who was the jock, the cool guy, the brain or the leader. Well, in general.

Which one am I, guys? I’m the cool one right!

So what else made the Weekenders special to me? The voice cast, along with Jason Marsden, includes Phil LaMarr as Carver, Kath Soucie as Tish, and Grey DeLisle as Lor. That’s a lot of talent that brings these characters to life, and I think that’s what makes these characters so good. When voice actors as good as these do a role, you sort of forget that it’s an actor behind the mic. To me, it doesn’t sound like Max, Phil and Lil, Static Shock and Penny the Squirrel got together to do a show, it sounds like Tino, Carver, Tish and Lor.

Oh, and before I forget, the theme song was done by Wayne Brady, who sounds like he just made it up on the spot. Which kinda rocks. Wayne Brady needs to sing more theme songs.

So did you watch the Weekenders? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments section and as always try to guess what my next post will be about.

Join me next time, when I’ll be talking about a more adult show, that didn’t last very long. But I’m keeping Silent about it until then.

It’ll be better than that book for sure. Look at his face.


Underappreciated Undergrads?

When I think of my favorite cartoon from when I was a teenager, Undergrads usually ranks pretty high up there. The MTV cartoon, released in Canada on Teletoon,had it’s original run from April to August 2001.

The main character, Nitz, finds himself in his first year of college at the generic State U (not to be confused with U State!) and unsure of what to do. The show is all about Nitz’s and his three friends, Rocko, Cal and Gimpy, trying to get through their first year of college, and pretty much covers every aspect of college life in your first year.

Like finding Stray Cats outside your friend's campus!

When I compare this show to my first year of University, I think I lived it pretty spot on, but I’m not sure if that was just life imitating art or not. Maybe this show primed me so much to expect those things, that I went ahead and did those things anyways.

So what did I like about the show? I’ll start with the voices. The four main characters were voiced by the show’s creator, Pete Williams, according to his imdb page, but I was pretty sure that Rocko’s voice was redubbed, but I can’t find any evidence for that. The side characters are memorable, including Kimmy Burton, and Jesse who made we want to break up with my then girlfriend to find a girl like her at college.

I was primed to get on this!

So was Undergrads as good as I remembered?

I’m inclined to say no. I still like it, but the show’s downfall was the fact that it only had 13 episodes. After years and years of watching them, they tend to get pretty stale. I mean there are definitely some parts that make me laugh still, but I can only take so much of a good thing.

What? He doesn't like the show anymore?!

Join me for my next post about a kid who keeps a journal.


Damn that kid and his douchebaggery!

There was a block of cartoons on Teletoon I watched fairly regularly. They were The Oblongs,  Undergrads, and Mission Hill.

While I’m sure I’ll write about all three of them, today I want to talk about Mission Hill.

Mission Hill was set in the eponymous, fictional neighbourhood of Cosmopolis. The main cast all shared a loft, and shared that same late 90s slacker attitude. Of all three shows I named, this one was probably my favorite. The voice acting was better than Undergrads, and the writing, in my opinion, was way way better than the Oblongs. The theme song by Cake didn’t hurt either.

Look at all those untucked shirts!

The animation style was fairly simple, but worked for the premise of the show. My favorite part of their style of animation was the added extras, like actual daggers flying out Andy’s eyes, or a sight line showing where he was staring.

The voices however, we’re very keen. Staring what I would say are minor celebrities, the cast had a lot of chemistry. Andy French was played by Wallace Langham, who has a very impressive resume. Andy’s brother Kevin was played by Scott Menville aka Teen Titan’s Robin. Another notable cast regular was Tom Kenny, voice of none other than SpongeBob SquarePants. He voices Wally, the Old Gay man who lives upstairs with his partner Gus.

According to the DVD commentary, this was the first Gay kiss on TV.

The story revolved around Andy, who was a struggling cartoonist, trying to kind of make his way in the world, between ska shows and malt liquor benders. He works at a waterbed store, and lives with his brother Kevin, and roommates Jim and Posey.

The biggest problem with this show, that led to it’s cancellation, was the fact that it aired when it did and where it did. In the US, the show aired on the WB, in 1999, with very poor ratings. If this show were to air today, I think it would go over like gangbusters. I’ve always said if I won like 50 million dollars, one of the things I would do is get this show back on the air. I guess the timing was wrong for this type of show. It was cancelled after 13 episodes.

On the DVD, the special features include animatics, and behind the scenes looks at the show, so I recommend picking it up. If you don’t I’ve got one word for you.

You are one, unless you watch this show.


Way way back in the 1980s

It’s time to talk Clone High. This short-lived series ran just under a year (November 02 – April 03) with an episode count of 13. The show focused on the lives of 5 clones of historical figures: Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, Ghandi, Joan of Arc and Cleopatra.

The show was essentially a play on the teenage drama, and was set at Clone High. So if you’ve never seen it before, you’re a terrible person imagine Degrassi with clones.

Just like my high school!

Look at all those smiling clones.

This series sticks in my mind because the humor in it was so self-referential, usually involving jokes about the clones’ past. Abe, whose historical counterpart was possibly one of the greatest leaders of all time, is a normal wishy-washy teenager, trying to score with the cheerleader and lacking any leadership that would have been endowed by his genetics.
But the true comedic genius came from a slew of guest stars, including Tom Green, Jack Black and my personal favorite, John Stamos.

image

Damn him! With his jet black hair and winning smile!!!

So why should you watch this show? It’s got sweet animation, a funny voice cast and the story is solid throughout 13 solid episodes.
If you can find it on DVD, I recommend you buy it. Hell, buy two and give one to me.

Did you watch Clone High? Let me know about your experiences in the comments section, or on Twitter, @imprintex.

Stay tooned, on Wednesday we talk French.