Posts Tagged ‘CN Mondays’

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. (I unveiled a new rating system a few days after I did the reviews for a few of these shows, so I’ll be adapting them accordingly from their letter grades.)  Some spoilers below. Let’s get started.

On CN Monday, we had new episodes of:

  • The Amazing World of Gumball — Yet another hilarious outing for the show. Focused a lot on the dynamic of the family and gave equal screentime to storylines involving each of them trying to become more functional. Gumball and Darwin’s plot worked the best, though Richard’s plot had some amazingly hysterical sight gags. 9.8/10 (Best of the night)
  • Regular Show — Felt like a season one episode almost. The jokes worked and I loved the staging of Mordecai and Rigby getting too smart for everyone else. (Though I admit the grid was a bit too much like the one from “Don”). It was pretty clever how they set up what could have been a completely different episode plot–Rigby re-attending high school–and simply brushed it off. 9.3/10
  • MAD — Most of the sketches surprisingly weren’t parodies of anything specific, sans the titular two. Of those two, the first one was good and funny, while the second failed to do anything with me–mostly because of a few minor research errors related to The Office and some generally missaimed jokes.  Also both of the titles were really a stretch. My favorite was “Seattle: Los Angeles”, which was absurd, hilarious, and amazing, and one of my favorite MAD sketches, but the whole thing was more-or-less just solid. 7.9/10.
  • The Problem Solverz — I have no idea what it is–perhaps it was my love of Japanese culture which this episode owes a lot to, or maybe I’ve simply adjusted to this show’s horrid colors and madness–but I actually found this episode totally decent. The surrealism actually sort of felt well-done at points, a lot of it being with Professor Sugar Fish, a wacky Japanese cereal mascot (again, my Japan bias) and nothing really upset me; not even the loud voices or colors. This season’s almost over, and they’ve finally made an episode I didn’t hate. 6.0/10

Then on CN Tuesday:

  • Scooby Doo! Mystery Incorporated — Sadly I missed the opening, but I did hear that there was a brief cameo of Scrappy and Flim-Flam as statues, which is amazing. Rest of the episode was alright but nothing totally notable beside that opening. Still pretty cool to see more development with the overarching series mystery–this time involving Angel Dynamite. 7.0/10
  • The Looney Tunes Show — This episode felt a lot like a classic short. We opened with Bugs and Daffy tunnel-traveling, which offered a huge nostalgic blast. Then the main plot had Bugs and Daffy competing over an attractive Hollywood scarlet (Bugs being the obvious and continuous victor throughout), and accordingly Daffy was sort of refitted from his typical dumbass routine on this show to a much more Chuck Jones-esque Daffy. That’s what made this episode work; not to mention it was pretty damn funny. 9.4/10 (Best of the night)

On Disney Channel’s Saturday Toonin’ block, we had a new episode of:

  • Phineas and Ferb — Both episodes were fantastic. I liked the first–“Candace Disconnected”–better though. Joel McHale guest starred as a deadpan prototype Norm head and served as the episode’s strongest comedic anchor. Plus all three plots managed to entertain, which is always good in my book. The second–“Magic Carpet Ride”–was also good, but the main plot (while rather beautiful) felt sort of weak. Candace’s plot showed us some interesting new locations, while Doof’s showed us a new side of Roger. First: 9.5/10; Second: 9.2/10.

And on The Hub Saturday, we had a new episode of:

  • Dan Vs. — One of my favorite episodes, definitely. Every joke worked perfectly, and the escalation of the entire thing was much more slow-burn and allowed the jokes to be more subtle. Hortense was a funny new character and her voice (provided by Tress MacNeille) was hilarious on its own. Lots of continuity nods, with a reappearance from my favorite recurring character, Crunchy, the hippietastic hippie. Plus I actually felt sorry for Dan. Just a perfect episode. 10/10.

So overall, the Best of the Week were:

  1. Dan Vs. — “Burgerphile”
  2. The Amazing World of Gumball — “The Painting”
  3. Phineas and Ferb — “Candace Disconnected/Magic Carpet Ride”
  4. The Looney Tunes Show — “Casa de Calma”
  5. Regular Show — “More Smarter”

That’s it for me. We’re nearing the end of the season for a lot of shows, so expect some emptiness in Sunday Wrap-Ups in the upcoming weeks. See you next week.

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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.


Tony here. Time for your weekly Recap of Cartoon Network’s Monday Night Line-up on the date 05/16/2011. This week the line-up consists of The Amazing World of Gumball, Adventure Time (repeat), 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.

First on The Amazing World of Gumball: In “The Third”, Gumball believes he and Darwin need to add a third person to their group. After sifting through their choices, they end up adding Tobias, a rich kid who charges the two $20 to be their friend and ends up hogging all of Darwin’s time. There was some nice character development with Darwin and Gumball’s brotherly friendship, and a lot of great gags involving Adrien the balloon. I give it an A. In “The Debt”, Gumball thinks Mr. Robinson has saved his life, and is determined to pay back to him. Set up as a cliched, run-0f-the-mill ’70s sitcom plot, this actually turns into a much more entertaining set-up as we see a lot of focus on Mr. Robinson’s attempt to but on his final stage performance. This episode really delivers due to the show’s simply astonishing animation. Though the character designs are basic, the show is crazy ambitious, mixing traditional animation with stop-motion and CGI on live-action backdrops. The CGI is possibly the most impressive–the animators do an astonishing job capturing the feel of puppetry in the animation of Robinson and his family. Lots of good jokes in here, too. I give it an A-.

Adventure Time was a repeat this week.

Then on Regular Show: In “Really Real Wrestling”, Mordecai and Rigby discover Pops has a ticket to go see Really Real Wrestling, which is basically  just WWE with mutants. Unfortunately, while: performing their own wrestling moves, they end up hurting Pops’ back and forcing him to stay in bed. But naturally, Mordecai and Rigby (and Pops unknown to them) sneak out to see the show anyways. The plot isn’t as extreme as most RS episodes, and actually borders on predictable, but the jokes are clever. I was, however, sort of disappointed, considering Pops is the show’s most consistently funny character, and this episode failed to deliver on some much-desired Pops lines. I give it a B.

Next, MAD: In “Pooh Grit / Not-a-Fan-a-Montana”, sketches include a parody of True Grit with Winnie the Pooh characters cast as characters, a talk show with Cobra the Commander from G.I. Joe, amongst others. This episode featured a surprising amount of strong sketches. In a faux commercial, a combination of Big League Chew gum and Pokemon, entitled “Big League PikaChew”, is advertised; combining a funny pun with some genuine shock humor, this was an admittedly disturbing segway. My favorite of the night was likely the Bob the Builder/Handy Mandy “clash”, where Bob the Builder calls out Mandy for ripping off his show. “Oooh, you just got built!” “Not-a-Fan-a-Montana” was also spectacular; though a Hannah Montana is not a particularly timely subject, but the idea of Miley Cyrus being overshadowed by the rise of Justin Bieber certainly is. Lots of nice ridiculous twists in this one. MAD‘s not about structure or cleverness, but with a lot of pop-culture references zooming along every second, lots of stuff are bound to stick, like in this episode. I give it an A-.

Finally, we have The Problem Solverz: in “Mayan Ice Cream Caper”, the Problem Solverz are called upon to stop the destruction of an ice cream factory by the hands of the owner. Horace falls in love with the owner’s daughter, which mixes things up as the true purpose of the destruction attempt is questioned. Coming to no surprise, I despise this show. Flashing colors and hollow surrealism make this show just impossible to follow and desperately intolerable. This episode delivers the same old same old, as the annoying characters scream their lines in their grating voices and the plots run into the ground with predictability and pointlessness. Granted some lines stick (such as Alfe’s, who is 99% of the time completely intolerable, “SQUIRREL CHEEKS!” gag), but it only amounts to a chuckle. I give it a D-.

Overall I give this week’s CN Monday line-up a B+. 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 each week.