Tony here. It’s time to review the newest episode of South Park. The episode, “You’re Getting Old”, aired on July 8, 2011, on Comedy Central. Season 15 has been a funny, insane season thus far–and it looks like it’s time for a rather interesting mood whiplash. Oh, and MAJOR FUCKING SPOILERS below. Let’s get started.

In “You’re Getting Old”, modern music–“Tween Wave”–strikes the town around Stan’s 10th birthday. The music is electronically based and sounds literally like people taking a shit. All the parents hear what the music really is, except for Randy, who–typically–tries to be young and hip and fakes admiration for the moment. Stan himself begins actually hearing the shit in both Tween Wave and even old music. He is diagnosed with being a cynical asshole.

Now until this episode reached around the 27 minute mark (I’ll get to that in a bit), the whole thing was hysterical. A very brilliant satire on modern music with a twist that a lot of people seem to forget–everyone’s music from their youth is considered shit by everyone except for the people whose youth it was. Well, except for Randy of course, who refuses to except that the kids’ music is shit and that he’s getting old. The treatment of Stan’s cynicism was well-done and definitely spot-on–I hate to admit it, but at some points I actually saw a bit of myself in new cynical asshole Stan, specifically when he observes how absolutely shitty the movies coming out these days are. Now about 90% of this episode is just literal shit–poop is everywhere, and it’s definitely disgusting, but the humor serves well nonetheless. Maybe a lot of the fart gags which were just farting and nothing else, but the poop jokes had a purpose to them so they didn’t feel just purely disgusting for no reason.

And then shit (I’m saying this as much as the episode now aren’t I…) hits the fan. In the last about 2 minutes of this episode–once again, spoiler alert–things start getting super serious. Sharon and Randy argue about how Randy is always pulling the crap he does all the time trying to be hip and ignoring the fact that he’s getting old; ignoring the fact that week after week, the same old thing happens and it just keeps getting more ridiculous; that things change; that neither of them are happy.

The episode ends on a closing montage that is heavily open to interpretation, and is not taken comically. Sharon and Randy divorce, Stan moves into a new house with his mom, Stan sees literally nothing but shit everywhere he looks and he is lonely. And this is how it ends. South Park spends half an hour making shit jokes and then goes insanely deep and serious. What’s literally trying to be said is slightly ambiguous, but here’s what it’s definitely implying–South Park is getting old, and Trey & Matt are aware of this. The ending of this episode could mean so many things, but this is the mid-season finale–meaning we won’t know until October. Maybe nothing will change and this whole thing was just to make a commentary on the creators’ opinions on the show right now. Or maybe they’re serious. Maybe they’re changing things from now on–perhaps Stan will now be an offside character, like when Kenny was temporarily kicked off the show after “Kenny Dies”; maybe the show is gonna be some weird, deep mix of drama and poop jokes for the rest of the season or maybe even the rest of the series run (it’s been renewed through season 17).

Sure, there were some problems–what were those two Southern hicks obsessed with freeing britches there for? But this felt legitimately important, more than when the show does an edgy satire on religion or world events. This was a satire and commentary that offered the laughs before ending with a huge bang. And it worked. It worked really well. I give it an A+.

South Park is taking a mid-season break for a while and will return in October later this year. Be sure to continue reading new Toons with Tony posts almost every day.

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. SPOILERS below. Let’s get started.

First on The Amazing World of Gumball: In “The Pressure”, Darwin feels pressured to kiss a girl after incidentally being caught up in a relationship with one of them. Like with “The Dress”, this episode nails Gumball’s absolutely amazing mixture of genuine child characters with absolutely fucked up plots and surrealism. I could not stop laughing this episode, and was absolutely astonished when the series flat out has Darwin and Gumball kiss (albeit they cut away). The things this show is able to get away with, and the way it’s able to handle it so unflinchingly and so well is really a feat all alone. This show is hilarious, and–picking itself up from last week’s slightly below-average installments–stole the night. Unfortunately, they’re rationing episodes now, so they only aired one, which left a rather off half an hour gap in the CN Monday block, but that’s another discussion really. I give it an A+.

Then on Regular Show: In “A Bunch of Baby Ducks”, Mordecai and Rigby find a bunch of baby ducks in a fountain and (not sending them to the moon) try and figure out what to do with them. Now while not as good as last week’s episode, this was still a good episode. The jokes worked, the ducks were entertaining, and the big typical “irregular ending” was insane and hysterical, as always. A sizable installment which I have no complaints about, but no exaggerated praise or more elaborated comments about. Bottom line–a good episode. I give it an A-.

Next on MAD: In “ArThor/The Big Fang Theory”, we have sketches parodying Arthur, Thor, Yu-Gi-Oh, Yogi Bear, and more. This episode was a tad underwhelming. The opening sketch was funny, though the inclusion of Rango was random. While they ended up fitting him into the plot with a joke, he seemed out of place, like they had nothing to do with him until that last gag. “Yu-Gi-Bear” was a clever sketch that I enjoyed, as was “Alvin and the Monks”, the two of which seemed to be the saving graces for this episode. The closing sketch, “The Big Fang Theory”, was a mash-up of The Big Bang Theory and–you guessed it–Twilight. Look, MAD: I know your job is to lampoon popular media. And I know Twilight offers loads of possible jokes and satirical material. But calm the fuck down. They’ve done a Twilight bit practically every week and frankly it’s becoming tiresome and–as in this week’s parody–is downright unfunny at times. Pick it up, MAD, you can do better than this. I give it a B.

Finally on The Problem Solverz: In “Magic Clock”, a Problem Solverz fangirl (lol, like those exist) begins following the team around during their latest mission to retrieve a stolen magical clock, though she is too obsessive–particularly in her romantic fascination with Roba. Okay, time to go all long-winded here. Remember last week when I said that a small positive element in last week’s episode was that the plot was actually followable? Well, here’s the problem–“Magic Clock”‘s plot is indeed very easily followable, but that’s because it is basic, rudimentary, and rooted in stereotypes and archetypes. Once again this show just cannot solve its fucking problems without creating new ones in the process. This was predictable and–as always–dumb throughout. The fangirl was the most basic form of obsessed fangirl and creepy stalker, and while her line “Your shadow is so attractive, Roba” is a funny line, that’s it. A few funny lines here and there is not enough to support this crumbling show. This show admittedly makes me sad. I am embarrassed for this show, because I watch it every week and I see as it tries to improve its problems, but it’s just failing so miserably. It fixes a fault by making it something worse, or it adds in something else to try and cancel out the negative elements without actually taking out the negative elements. I want this show not to get renewed for a second season–not because I hate it, which I do, but because I simply think it needs to be taken out of its misery. I give it an 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.

Tony here. Time for the end-of-the-week Sunday Wrap-Up. It’s here that I look back at the week in animation and say what I thought worked, what I thought failed, and what I thought was the best-of-the-best of week. (You’ve probably noticed a lack of actual reviews this week. I’m hoping to make up with that with this, but next week I’ll try and squeeze in reviews with recaps and perhaps some new stuff, like DVD reviews) Some spoilers follow. Let’s get started.
On CN Monday, we had new episodes of:

  • The Amazing World of Gumball — Two very solid episodes (“The Spoon” being the best of the pair) which were not quite on par with last week’s, but still managed to be fun, funny, and awesomely weird. Hot Dog With a Mustache is the next Chuck Norris. I give it an A-.
  • Regular Show — An absolutely spectacular episode of the show and a massive improvement of the last two week’s slightly underwhelming episodes. Did what Regular Show does best and turns a basic premise into a way-out-in-left-field, bonkers plot in the future which had me cracking up throughout. Best episode of the night. I give it an A+.
  • MAD — Definitely one of MAD‘s more on the ball installments. Great sketches littered throughout, with both of the title sketches being majorly funny. The show does a lot of Twilight parodies, but “TwiSchool Musical” was definitely their best one to date. Also, both the writing and animation of the “Avenger Time” sketch managed to impress me, offering both a good chuckle and sizable technical feats (like the bit with ’60s Avengers). I give it an A.
  • The Problem Solverz — Louder, more hyper, and less containable than any episode of The Problem Solverz so far, this actually managed to somehow show growth for this drab show. With so much going on the show managed to slip in actual moments of comedy, and somehow made a plot that was actually followable for the most part. As the episode eased in, the jokes stopped being funny and plot became the same-old boring crap, but there’s only so much to be expected from this show I guess. I give it a D+.

On CN Tuesday, we had new episodes of:

  • Scooby Doo! Mystery Incorporated — A pretty good episode that had some laughs and a clever twist. I’m not big into shipping but the romance factor of this episode offered a nice development for both Shaggy’s and Velma’s characters. Felt a bit underwhelming at points, but definitely nothing to complain about. I give it a B+.
  • The Looney Tunes Show — Definitely better than last week’s episode, but delivered solely because literally every scene or moment with Daffy was gut-bustingly hysterical. I don’t know how they did it, but they’ve finally found what they want to do with this incarnation of Daffy and they’re making it work in every possible way. From his inevitably-memetic van, his Bob Fosse outfit, him constantly trying to sneak attack Gossamer, Daffy made this episode. Unfortunately, it seemed they were padding for time and had to add a rather weak b-plot with Bugs and Speedy which didn’t really resonate, and there was a rather unnotable Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner skit at the end as opposed to a Merrie Melodies short. When Gossamer finally sung, I wasn’t really sure what they were trying to do, but Daffy alone is enough to like this episode. Best episode of the night. I give it an A-.

On Comedy Central Wednesday, we had a new episode of:

  • South Park — “WHAT A TWEEST!” That’s literally all there is to say about this episode of South Park. Insane, off-the-wall, and legitimately shocking, there wasn’t really any straight satire as it was just a truly original and surprising story. The gags on split personalities, both actual and just Butters’ playtime personas (Porn Star Butters???), and all the jabs at Asian stereotypes were just hysterical. Something the show has been known for since its creation is how unpredictable and shocking it is. This was originally for its vulgar comedy, but now that that’s sort of become commonplace, it’s nice to see that the show can mange to remain as shocking and clever as ever. I give it an A.

On The Hub Saturday, we had a new episode of:

  • Dan Vs. — Definitely not a poor or even underwhelming episode, but it did feel like a minor step down. The jokes were funny, though quite not as laugh-out-loud funny as they should have been. They also pretty much did everything they could with Elise’s parents two weeks ago, so everything with them in this episode just seemed recycled. Nonetheless, I loved how Dan brought Mr. Mumbles with him the entire time, and the bits with the bear were entertaining. Not a bad episode but not really anything of note in the grand scheme of this show. I give it an A-.

So overall, the Best of the Week were:

  1. Regular Show — “The Night Owl”
  2. South Park — “City Sushi”
  3. MAD — “TwiSchool Musical/Avenger Time”
  4. The Looney Tunes Show — “Monster Talent”
  5. Dan Vs. — “The Family Camping Trip”

That’s it for me. Yay for actually doing this on time for the first time, though I still apologize for the lack of reviews this week. Maybe next week we can have it both ways, hm? See you next time.

 

 

 

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 Quest”, Anais’ doll is stole on the bus and taken by Tina the Dinosaur, so Gumball and Darwin go to Tina’s house to try and retrieve it. Note that I actually sort of missed a few brief parts due to not paying attention, but overall this was sort of a weaker episode. I still love these characters and I enjoy the sincerity of them–Gumball and Darwin are not mean-spirited; they are genuinely nice, well-meaning people, and that’s what this show is. Well-meaning. And rather hilarious. Not as funny as last week’s, but still a success. I give it a B+. On “The Spoon”, Gumball and Darwin are caught up in a robbery at a gas station, where they are tricked into thinking the robber is a good guy trying to gather money and items for a charity for bald people. This episode was hysterical, about on par with last week’s. Gumball’s dad as surprisingly grown on me–despite being basically a one-note bumbling dad archetype, he’s very amusing and the show knows what to do with him to get a very well-deserved laugh. Gumball’s and Darwin’s genuine childish nature is also something that I appreciate in this show; these feel like real children, and their honest obliviousness and good intentions make them both likable and hilarious. Also of note: the sausage with a mustache? Absolutely amazing. I give it an A.

Then on Regular Show: In “The Night Owl”, Mordecai, Rigby, Muscle Man, and High Five Ghost compete in a radio contest in order to win a car they all agree to share. But the evil nature of the radio host, The Night Owl, begins coming into play and things go a bit, well, irregular (lol horrible puns). Now this is more like it. I admit to being rather disappointed by the last two weeks episodes of RS; they were good, but they just didn’t do it for me. “The Night Owl”, however, was just perfect. Every joke nailed it, and the whole thing was fun, entertaining, and actually quite exciting. It also did what I think the last two episodes did not due–it led with something regular and dissolved into something completely off-the-wall, unpredictable, and insane. That’s the Regular Show way, and it’s what makes the show so fun and entertaining. I give it an A+.

Next on MAD: In “TwiSchool Musical/Avenger Time”, we have sketches parodying Sonic the Hedgehog, High School Musical, and Disney Channel actress Demi Lovato. This was also a major improvement over last week’s episode. While the filler sketches were fine themselves (especially “X For Demi’s”, a parody of For Dummies books and Demi Lovato), the two leading and closing sketches were absolutely spectacular. MAD has done what must be a dozen Twilight parodies already, but this one was definitely their best. The sight gags worked well and the satire itself was amusing. “Avenger Time”, which combined The Avengers with Adventure Time, really worked for me, and for once MAD‘s animation was actually impressive. It was clever and actually very funny. Definitely a great installment. I give it an A.

Finally, on The Problem Solverz: in “Fauxboro”, the guys stumble onto a problem themselves when they notice everyone in town has become mindless robots who don’t wear pants. I have more to say about this episode than I do most TPSz episodes. First off the bat, this was, for the most part, a slight improvement over the rest of the series. This was more insane, loud, and hyper than any episode before it, and this, well, makes it more annoying, but it also means with so much things going on, certain things are bound to be funny. Alfe actually managed to have some actually funny lines in the beginning. And another I thing I must note is that this episode’s plot was actual followable. The core problem of this show, past the bland characters or in-your-face attitude, is the sheer dullness of the plot. The show is impossible to follow because it is so isolating to the audience that it results in disinterest. But this episode’s plot was actually comprehensible, which I give it credit for. Still, that was about it. Plot was dumb and random nonetheless, and the whole thing seemed louder and more uncontrollable. Despite the surprising improvements, this episode was still a piece of Alfe. I give it a D+.

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.

Tony here. Time for the end-of-the-week Sunday Wrap-Up. It’s here that I look back at the week in animation and say what I thought worked, what I thought failed, and what I thought was the best-of-the-best of week. (Yes, I know, for the EST, it’s not Sunday anymore, but I am a forgetful little shit, so I’m just gonna go by the PST where I get an extra 2 hours. CHEATING IS FUN.) Let’s get started.

On CN Monday, we had new episodes of:

  • The Amazing World of Gumball — A spectacular episode which made this whole night memorable and fun. It got so much crap past the radar it was unbelievable, and the writing is top-notch. Best episode of the night by far. A+.
  • Regular Show —  A good and fun episode supported largely due the absolutely lovable characters on this show. It’s how you can get away with Skips killing Rigby (!) without the entire audience never wanting to look at him again. A-.
  • MAD — A weak episode with a handful of sketches that redeemed it. “Smallville: Turn Off the Clark” gets credit for doing its research and for being genuinely clever. Overall, one of MAD‘s softest outings. B-.
  • The Problem Solverz — This show never improves on its flaws; all it ever does it try and add some positive stuff without actually, you know, removing the bad parts. Problem Solverz remains boring and awful, and I cannot even care about it enough to even bitch about it. Tuxdog is a slightly entertaining character and he was a very small saving grace. F+.

On CN Tuesday, we had new episodes of:

  • Scooby Doo, Mystery Inc — I haven’t been following this show at all and I sort of regret it. A great episode here; surprisingly dark and sporting a very clever Saw vibe. I personally think they need to tone it down with the shipping stuff. It’s a bit in-your-face and unnecessary. Best of the night. A-.
  • The Looney Tunes Show — Weaker than last week’s but still a step in the right direction. It more-or-less succeeds in geling the Looney Tunes characters in a sitcom while maintaining their character traits. I think they totally messed up Yosemite Sam, though; in stead of making the sitcom-ness work around his character, they stripped away his anger and made him just a basic unwanted house guest archetype. The Merrie Melodies was also very disappointing, but a lot of jokes stuck. B+.

On Comedy Central Wednesday, we had a new episode of:

  • South Park — This episode was able to balance satire with random lunacy in classic South Park fashion. Totally off the wall, we had send-ups of annoying depressing Sarah McClachlan commercials, the NCAA, crack babies, The Social Network, and Slash, who may or may not be real. It felt a bit directionless in hindsight, but it was all about pure fun and resulted in a very, very entertaining episode that continues a winning streak for this season. A.

On The Hub Saturday, we had a new episode of:

  • Dan Vs. — Yet another classic installment that places highly in this series’  best episodes. The sight of Not!Dan is, well, completely fucking disturbing and shall haunt my nightmares for weeks to come, but there were so many great jokes and nice character moments that made this a winner. This was one of Dan’s crowning moments, and I actually hope we see more of Not!Dan sometime in the future. A.

So overall, the Best of the Week were:

  1. The Amazing World of Gumball — “The End/The Dress”
  2. Dan Vs. — “Dan”
  3. South Park — “Crack Baby Athletic Association”
  4. Scooby Doo, Mystery Inc. — “Escape From Mystery Island”
  5. Regular Show — “Over the Top”

That’s it for me. Once again sorry for the delay, but be sure to continue reading Toons with Tony, which updates regularly almost every day.

Tony here. Time to review the latest episode of The Looney Tunes Show, the latest incarnation of the classic Looney Tunes franchise. The new episode, “Fish and Visitors”, aired on Cartoon Network yesterday, May 24, 2011. I actually was planning on lumping together a review of this with a review of Scooby Doo, Mystery Inc. to make a full CN Tuesday Recap, and while I do have a few things to say about this week’s episode of that, I’m still not a well-informed enough fan of that show to properly critique it. Spoilers follow. Let’s get started.

In “Fish and Visitors”, Yosemite Sam moves in next door to Bugs and Daffy and installs solar panels to run the electricity in his home so he can be entirely self-dependent. And of course, thunderstorms start brewing constantly, leaving Sam without power. Bugs, taking to the hospitable neighborly-code-of-conduct, lets him use his and Daffy’s house when his power goes out, despite Daffy’s rational (!) objections. Sam becomes an unwanted house guest and mooch soon, after a long-lasting storm leaves him without power for days.

I consider this sort of a notch down from last week’s phenomenal “Jailbird and Jailbunny”, but nonetheless think of it as a step in the right direction–at least tonally–for this series. The whole premise of this series is “Looney Tunes as a sitcom”, and it is this change that has led people to be so turned off and critical of it since it aired. A big problem is that these characters were not made to be sitcom characters, and so rewriting them as such while still being faithful to their roots is a challenge that requires careful, polished writing. The first two episodes of this show stumbled on that front, but by “Jailbird and Jailbunny” the show seemed to know what it’s doing. This episode did not deliver on the same level comedic-wise as “Jailbird” but reached the same level tonally.“Fish and Visitors” was able to take a sitcom premise and make it gel well with Bugs, Daffy, and company.

Again, the jokes did not land as hard as they should have, or as well as they did last week–the whole thing felt sort of in between episode two and last week’s episode. That’s not to say there weren’t some good jokes all around. The exchange: “I’d hate to be Yosemite Sam right now.”  “I’d hate to be Yosemite Sam ANY time.” was just brilliant, and while the joke was later repeated in the episode in a new way (“Believe me, you won’t like me when I’m hungry.” “I don’t like you NOW.”) it still managed to be funny. Hey, if a joke works, nothing else can really be said.

The plot was a straight-up sitcom plot without any major surprises or twists, but it remained engrossing and entertaining enough to make you, well, give a shit despite the predictability. Yosemite Sam’s portrayal is, meh…hit or miss. They got the anger better in his “Blow My Stake” Merrie Melody a few episodes back, and here he’s more-or-less downgraded to a jerk mooch who never once throws wild tantrums or fires his gone off in fury (and don’t tell me, “Oh, it’s a kids’ show, they can’t do that”–because they’re able to do it in the Looney Tunes reruns which are rated TV-G as opposed to this show’s TV-PG). That was really my only problem with this episode.

Oh, that and the Merrie Melodies cartoon. By no means do I hate this as viciously as practically everyone else on the internet does, but this episode’s short was just lame. The shorts serve no purpose whatsoever and come off as only sporadically-funny, pointless dribble to fill in airtime before the commercial break. This was Henery Hawk’s first appearance in several years and the material he was given–a off-kilter, uncatchy rap song–failed on several levels. I’ve been fine with the previous Merrie Melodies, but this was just flat out weak. Also, it’s really been bothering me that these shorts appear in the middle of the episode. This just literally interrupts the entire flow of things by cutting things off before the commercial does, throwing off the whole timing of the episode. These shorts need to just be at the end of the episode–I’d say put them in the end credits, but Cartoon Network cuts those off. The placement bothers me more than the blandness of the short itself.

Overall, not a bad episode, as it was able to properly blend the characters with sitcom plotting and humor unflinchingly, but it was definitely a notch down from last week. I give it a B+.

Watch The Looney Tunes Show every Tuesday night at 8:00pm on Cartoon Network, and be sure to continue reading Toons with Tony for animation updates and opinions.

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.