CN Monday: 05/23/2011 (Recap)

Posted: May 25, 2011 in Uncategorized
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Tony here. Time for your weekly Recap of Cartoon Network’s Monday Night Line-up on the date 05/23/2011. This week the line-up consists of new episodes of  The Amazing World of Gumball, Regular Show, MAD, and The Problem Solverz. Note that this blog defines “Recap” as a short summary of the episode and a brief review/opinion of it, as opposed to the “Bit-By-Bit” recapping style of sites like TelevisionWithoutPity.com. Minor spoilers below. Let’s get started.

First on The Amazing World of Gumball: In “The End”, Gumball and Darwin believe the world is about to end and try to spread the word. While their rational mother and sister laugh it off, their bumbling father believes them and they all take hasty action. This episode was just hysterical throughout. Unlike the dreadfully forced The Problem Solverz, Gumball perfectly nails the straight-up weird randomness style of humor in a manner similar to the painfully underrated My Gym Partner’s a Monkey. The very plot of the episode was very timely, as the hysteria over the faux Rapture occurred just a few days before this episode aired. Loved all of Gumball’s chaotic attempts to make his last day on Earth worthwhile. I give it an A. In “The Dress”, Gumball…well, Gumball runs out of clean clothes and is forced to go to school wearing his mother’s dress…and is mistaken for a new girl…who Darwin subsequently…FALLS IN LOVE FOR.  Jesus. Maurice. Christ. This episode was so fucked up. It was beyond Getting Crap Past the Radar. It was Tyler Durden splicing dog porn into a fucking children’s movie. From the very beginning, we get a blurred-out Gumball schlong walking around and hiding in his father’s shirt, Darwin falling in love with his own brother–and the whole thing is TV-Y7. But oh my God was it so amazingly and hilariously disturbing. I could not stop laughing throughout any of this episode. It was just so mind-boggling insane and messed up…I don’t know how Gumball keeps doing it, but in a short half-hour it is able to outshine nearly every animated show on TV right now. I give it an A+ .

Then on Regular Show: In “Over the Top”, Skips is shocked to find out Rigby is able to defeat him in arm wrestling, surpassing him as reigning arm wrestling champ. But Skips’ attempt to find out how Rigby is beating him goes a bit, well–over the top.  This was a fun episode, and a nice return to lunacy from last week’s “regular” episode. Skips is an interesting character to have as the focus of an episode, and his immortality is brought up once more–this time, with his grappling with death himself (who has one arm much larger than the other, a very dirty joke I hope was intentional and not just my mind being in the gutter) in an arm wrestling match. Also, I loved the title of this episode, a reference to Sylvester Stalone’s arm wrestling movie Over the Top. I give it an A-.

Next, on MAD: In “The Social Netjerk / Smallville: Turn Off the Clark“, sketches include a parody of Thor entitled Jersey Thor, snakes playing a parody of Scrabble, and a spoof of The Social Network that, unlike most of MAD‘s “leading” sketches is just a straight up satire, not combining it with any other media. Despite the potential of that sketch and a few well-adjusted jokes, it was a tad disappointing, as was the rest of the episode, which–starting with a very bland and unfunny opening MAD News announcement–felt weak. Two sketches stood out for me: “Airbender Technical Institute”, a funny mash-up of Avatar: The Last Airbender and ITT Tech, and Smallville: Turn Off the Clark, where Smallville gets revamped by Julie Taymor as a Spider Man: Turn Off the Dark-type musical. I give this sketch special credit for doing its research, and for summing up the disappointing nature of the series as a whole. Still, a weak episode. I give it a B-.

Finally, on The Problematic Seizurez The Problem Solverz: In “Badcat”, Horace, Roba, and Alfe enlist the help of Tux Dog in order to fight a new supervillain, the titular Badcat. I find it difficult to review The Problem Solverz week after week because the show never improves the problems it has–the delirious animation, the ugly character designs, the obnoxious characters, bland voice acting, etc.–but just tries and adds new things to improve it that do not cancel out the negative elements. Tux Dog, for example, is actually an alright character, and scenes with him are actually rather good. But this show is just so nauseating and, frankly, boring. I find it nearly impossible to enjoy this show despite any bright spots in the plot, like the Tux Dog character. I don’t dislike the plot, and I don’t have any plotholes on it, but I just do not care at all what happens. A few jokes land, but The Problem Solverz continues to be uninteresting and ugly. I give it a F+.

Overall I give this week’s CN Monday line-up an A-. Be sure to check the line-up next week, starting at 7:30p.m. on Cartoon Network. And be sure to read more of Toons with Tony with new posts daily.


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