Tag Archives: cartoon network

Super Recaps: Tom Goes to the Mayor (WW Laserz)

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Tom Goes to the Mayor and all the images you see in this recap are owned Warner Bros and Adult Swim

Created by Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim

Welcome back to another episode of Tim & Eric’s Parks and Rec where we take a look at the show that gave the duo their start!  We begin the episode with good ol’ Tom Peters waiting to see The Mayor while he’s in a meeting with City Council over a web cam (The Mayor Cam if you will) to explain his plan for an education grant that the city received some time ago.  Sadly, all The Mayor could come up with is putting a monkey inside of an éclair (okay…) which City Council isn’t sold on, and they’re running out of time to use the money or else it will be returned to the federal government.  If only someone would walk through the door and give them a brilliant idea…

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“Heeeere’s Tommy!!”

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Super Recaps: Tom Goes to the Mayor (Bear Traps)

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Tom Goes to the Mayor and all the images you see in this recap are owned Warner Bros and Adult Swim

Created by Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim

We’re back with another recap of Tom Goes to the Mayor!  Okay, TECHINCALLY this is the first one as the one we did before was for the online shorts they did prior to getting an ACTUAL show, but whatever!  This is the TRUE pilot for the show which begins with good ol’ Tom Peters, having just moved to Jefferton with his wife Joy and his three stepchildren, going to see The Mayor of Jefferton to run some ideas by him.  The best way to describe the pilot is that it’s rather blunt with what it’s about; essentially the blueprint from which most of the episodes of this series will be built upon.  You have some minor crisis in Jefferton (usually made up), Tom comes to the Mayor with an idea on how to fix it, the Mayor exploits Tom’s desire to be successful by twisting his ideas into something horrific, and Tom ultimately goes along with it until it all comes crashing down on his head.  We’ll be seeing this kind of story throughout this recap series, but most episodes tend to throw a bit more conflict or motivation than what we get here which leads to an episode that lacks any real subtly or ambiguity, but at the very least it does lay the groundwork for character dynamics and several of the running gags.  Speaking of which, Bob Odenkirk has a cameo in almost every episode and the one he has here helps to set up the primary conflict.  The Mayor is watching an infomercial on his computer starring Mike Foxx (Odenkirk) who has a Scared Safe program to raise awareness for all the things that could kill children including Wind Poisoning, Sand Rash, and Deadly Crickets.

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“Eye Poking, also known as Giving the Moe, is the fourteenth number one killer behind Communism and Electric Swirlies!”

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Super Recaps: Tom Goes to the Mayor (PROLOGUE)

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Tom Goes to the Mayor and all the images you see in this recap are owned Warner Bros and Adult Swim

Created by Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim

For every generation of comedians out there, more often than not you can trace their roots back to a specific cultural touchstone that they all seemed to grow out of.  In the seventies, we had National Lampoon which gave us Harold Ramis, John Hughes, Al Jean and Mike Reiss (two of the most influential voices on The Simpsons), John Belushi, Chevy Chase, and even Bill Murray.  Saturday Night Live has been around for decades, but in the eighties we got Eddie Murphy, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Norm Macdonald, Jan Hooks and several others.  Hell, half of the most beloved animated shows of the nineties were created by people who started out on Ralph Bakshi’s Mighty Mouse cartoon from 1987, including John K, Bruce Timm, Jim Reardon, Rich Moore, and Andrew Stanton!  I think we’re still waiting to see how this will work in the age of YouTube (The Smosh guys and FRED are probably the biggest breakout stars and yet they haven’t really penetrated the mainstream, though the Homestar Runner dudes have done well for themselves), but in the decade awkwardly referred to as THE AUGHTS we had our own generation touchstone in the form of Adult Swim.

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Those cheeky bastards!

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Jumping the Soapbox: Top 20 Episodes of Aqua Teen Hunger Force – Part 2 (10-1)

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Welcome back to my list of the best Aqua Teen Hunger Force episodes of all time!  We covered some great episodes last time, but the best is yet to come!  Well, at least what I think is the best, but then I’m always right about everything and my opinion should DEFINITELY be taken as fact!  Anyway, let’s get to it!

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10) Space Conflict from Beyond Pluto – S1 E6

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Frylock establishes contact with alien lifeforms and is invited onto their spaceship to barbeque and share a six pack.  However, the nefarious Plutonians have other plans in mind once he arrives!  Not fully thought plans, but they tend to involve melting people!  Frylock, realizing that the life he’s come into contact with may not be intelegent, beams off the ship but not before Master Shake somehow finds his way aboard; giving the Plutonians a much less perceptive target to unleash their evil schemes upon!

As I’ve said before, the incompetent conquerors from Pluto are two of the best characters the show ever came up with and this first appearance of them is one of the high points of the entire series.  It’s not just great for establishing the Plutonians and their shtick with the show concept being the melting room which also serves as some sort of holo-deck for Master Shake to explore the wonders of a sea filled with pizza as well as a horse’s anus, but it’s also a fantastic Master Shake episode on top of that with the scam he tried to pull on Carl being sharply written and laugh out loud funny.  The only thing I can say negatively about this episode is that it is in fact an early episode of the series and is at a point where Carl didn’t quite sound right which is a bit distracting, but other than that it’s a great deal of fun and a wonderful introduction to these villains.

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“Pepperoni!?  I wanted pineapple!!”

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Jumping the Soapbox: Top 20 Episodes of Aqua Teen Hunger Force – Part 1 (20-11)

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Aqua Teen Hunger Force and all the images you see in this editorial are the property of Adult Swim

If you were growing up right at the turn of the millennium, Cartoon Network was probably as influential to you and your taste in entertainment as YouTube is to everyone else nowadays.  The ingenious thing about that network is how seamlessly it managed to keep its audience intact for YEARS after you’d think they’d drop off simply for having such good transitional programming for those who were getting older.  It started with Toonami which brought anime and somewhat serious drama for those who were getting tired of silly stuff that the likes of Gendy Tartakovsky, Craig McCracken, and Maxwell Atoms were churning out (not to say those shows weren’t substantive; just that tweens aren’t exactly looking to those kind of shows to feel grown up), and then it led seamlessly to Adult Swim which had the naughty shows on that you craved when you were getting old enough to stay up that late.  The greatness of Adult Swim and its monumental effect on animation really cannot be underestimated, and while it’s shine has faded somewhat in recent years, we’re gonna reach a point where it’ll end up with a whole generation of animators inspired by those shows the same way that many of the creators OF those shows were inspired by Warner Bros, the Fleischers, or even Ralph Bakshi.  I really could go on about Adult Swim and so many of its shows, but today  we’re talking about probably its most enduring creatin; Aqua Teen Hunger Force.  Now sure it wasn’t among the FIRST run of series for Adult Swim (it’s somewhat a spinoff of Space Ghost Coast to Coast), it’s one of the shows that gave the programming block its identity and made it a cultural phenomenon.  In fact, it’s such a massive series with so many great episodes under its belt that I couldn’t simply make a list of the ten best episodes of the series!  No, I had to do TWENTY, and we’re gonna start with the first half that list right now!!

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20) Bible Fruit – S5 E9

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Frylock makes some new friends online and invites them over to the Aqua Teen house.  When they arrive however, he is surprised to learn that not only are they fruits but  that they have a dark past that they are trying (and failing) to overcome.

What better way to start this off than with the most disturbing fruit since those Claymation California Raisins?  In an episode that’s actually quite ahead of its time considering Sausage Party wouldn’t come out for another eight years, this hilarious and often unsettling episode looks at three fruits compensating for their problems with drugs and alcohol by having faith in a higher power.  Now the big guest star here is David Cross (along with Kristen Schaal and H Jon Benjamin) under the pseudonym Sir Willups Brightsly Moore who previously had a guest spot all the way back in season one as Happy Time Harry in the episode Dumber Dolls.  While that episode is really good and was just barely cut from this list, I feel that Cross’s performance as Bert Banana in this one is by far the better of the two.  He may have done a great job as that sad and useless piece of shit Happy Time Harry in Dumber Dolls, but the character didn’t have much depth to him and so Cross’s performance is somewhat one note.  Here, he’s given SO much more material to work with as someone TRYING to hold it together but is quick to succumb to his worst instincts.  Now I’m not sure if Cross himself has a history of alcohol dependence (his first book is called I Drink for a Reason which may just be titled that way for a goof), but his feelings on religion have been made VERY clear in his standup comedy and it almost feels like the role was written with him in mind because of that.  It may not be for everyone as making light of people with SERIOUS addition is not the kind of humor that everyone can enjoy, but it’s easily one of the best episodes with a prominent guest star and manages to find that right balance between tragedy and hilarity.

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“I did THREE of those God Damn chipmunk movies!  I’VE EARNED THIS, right Mr. Wrench!?”     “That’s right Mr. Banana!!”     “Burt, you’re talking to yourself again.”     “You know what will help with that?”     “Is it booze-”     “GET THE BOOZE!!”

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An Open Letter to Adult Swim/Toonami

Dear Adult Swim/Toonami:

     Bringing back Samurai Jack turned out to be a pretty fantastic idea. It was an even better idea to allow this to happen by bringing in Genndy Tartakovsky instead of simply taking the rights of the show (owned by Cartoon Network) and hand them to some kind of mercenary with no real understanding of what the show is or what made it interesting in the first place. I think we can all agree that it was a success all around. Critics loved it, fans loved it (except for that one or two things here and there) and the ratings were pretty terrific. I believe I speak for plenty when I say that this is a new standard for what it means to successfully re-boot a long dormant series (Yes, I know calling it a re-boot is a bit inaccurate given that it’s a continuation of the series that Mr. Tartakovsky had always intended to deliver one way or another, but that’s a bit beside the point). It managed to stay faithful to the original series while expanding our understanding of it in exciting, unexpected ways. You have my gratitude, as well as that of many, many fans because of this.

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Samurai Jack: A Retrospective

    It’s only been a week, yet I’m still processing the fact that Samurai Jack is over. That his big comeback has left us as soon as it arrived, and in its wake, it left something spectacular: a revival of a beloved TV show that remains true to the spirit of the original while updating it in all the right ways. Outside of the recent comeback for Mystery Science Theater 3000 on Netflix, I don’t think I’ve seen anything quite like this, but even then, the evolution of Samurai Jack is one less of superficial style (all in all, it’s the same), but rather a narrative one. In recent memory, when you see a franchise get a new life, you expect it to draw inspiration and some basic building blocks from its predecessors, but other than that, it feels like a totally different creation. Sometimes that new direction is for its benefit, such as what Marvel Studios has been doing with its movie adaptations. Other times, you end up with something like the live-action Transformers movies. Still, this comparison feels inaccurate. Samurai Jack 2017 isn’t just a revival or a re-adaptation, it’s a continuation of the show’s original continuity with the intention of wrapping up a story that was left open-ended. Over the course of the last few weeks, I’ve reviewed each episode, covering the in-the-moment developments as they were presented to us. I feel like I’ve covered plenty of ground regarding the show’s evolution and sense of theming, but now that it’s all said and done, we can see how far we came and take a look at the season as a whole so we can appreciate what made this conclusion of Jack’s story such a success. But first, we must take a look at what came before…

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