Posts Tagged ‘Looney Tunes’

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 do apologize for not having practically any posts at all this week, but I’ve been busy partaking in a South Park marathon and haven’t really had the time.) Some spoilers below. Let’s get started.

On CN Monday, we had new episodes of:

  • The Amazing World of Gumball — Not this show’s very best episode, as it had its fair share of faults, but lots of jokes were especially inspired and the whole thing was typically goofy and hilarious. Darwin and Gumball seemed a tad too mean-spirited, but that could easily be justified by factoring in their naivete. 9.2/10 (Best of the night)
  • MAD — This episode felt really short, and unfortunately the few sketches that were shown almost all fell short. The opening “Force Code” sketch completely lost me, as I have not seen Source Code and nothing was done in the parody to make it accessible to those who had not. The ending “Flammable” sketch, a surprising musical skit parodying Katy Perry’s “Fireworks”, and the “GleeCR” faux commercial were the only redeeming graces, as everything else was more miss-than-hit. 7.7/10
  • The Problem Solverz — The show’s in-all-likelihood series finale was just as bad as every episode before it. This finale was surprisingly meta and addressed the hatred beamed at it by using it as a plot device. This was a shock and something I can actually totally admire. But the show ended with all of its problems in tact–horrible animation, ugly designs and colors, dull storytelling, hallow surrealism, annoying characters–and I never laughed once this entire episode. I’m glad this show is over. 4.9/10.

On CN Tuesday, we had new episodes of:

  • Scooby Doo! Mystery Incorporated — I…did not see this episode. I never watched this show before I started this blog, so I can never remember when it’s on. Still, um, I heard it was a pretty good episode. No score available.
  • The Looney Tunes Show — Offers the first portrayals of this show’s versions of Taz, Granny, Tweety, and Sylvester. Taz was alright, as was the others, though I find it sort of weird that Granny is reverted to a completely stereotypical deaf old women as opposed to a kindly little old lady. The jokes mostly worked, the best of which obviously fell to Daffy. Not the show at the top of its game, but still a pretty damn entertaining episode as the show’s writing starts to finally finds a solid foundation. 9.3/10.

On Comedy Central Thursdays, we had two new episodes of:

  • Futurama — Good news everyone! Futurama is back after a several-month-long break, with TWO new episodes. The first, “Neutopia”, was probably the weakest. The plot sort of felt like a series of events that never got detailed enough as opposed to a complete story, and the gender battle scenario felt a bit retreated. Despite this, there was a great cluster of jokes that are typical of a Futurama episode, and from that standpoint, it was able to deliver. Then the second, “Benderama”, was the better of the two, as the story was better delivered, with just the same amount of laughs to be found. Plus, there’s always good to be found in an episode that focuses on Bender. First one: 9.0/10. Second one: 9.4/10.

On Disney Channel Friday, we had a new episode of:

  • Phineas and Ferb — Both of these episodes were just so…meh.  The first, ” Bad Hair Day”, did something I like–that being, mixing things up. It was a change of pace that didn’t follow the typical format and had a pretty good sense of fun. But it was just unfunny. Typically the show offers a big bundle of laughs, but here, even Doofenshmirtz’s plot didn’t bring anything notably funny to the table, and I only surmounted a few chuckles through the whole thing. The ending musical number even wasn’t really as funny as it should have been. The second, “Meatloaf Surprise”, just felt off and weird. Once again, I barely laughed at all, as none of the jokes worked. Davy Jones of The Monkees made a cameo, but even this was wasted on a pretty bland song with no true joke to it. Also Jamie Oliver was there for some reason. Overall, these were surprisingly bland and pretty bad episodes. I guess every show needs its rotten batch. First one: 6.2/10. Second one: 5.9/10.

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

  • Dan Vs. — A great, fun episode with a lot of good jokes packed in. Dan’s vendetta towards the magician allowed for some really good skeptic scenes with him and plenty of magic-based gags. Elise got some surprising development here, as we see she has had a fear of magicians since she was eight-years-old; it was a nice change of pace and for once Elise managed to remain as funny as everyone else. All the jokes worked, and Dan’s character seems to just get better and better with each episode. 9.5/10.

So overall, the Best of the Week were:

  1. Dan Vs. — “The Magician”
  2. Futurama — “Benderama”
  3. The Looney Tunes Show — “Devil Dog”
  4. The Amazing World of Gumball — “The Laziest”
  5. Futurama — “Neutopia”

That’s it for me. A pretty hit-of-miss week for shows, with lots of great installments but also a lot of disappointment. Also, I’ll try and have more articles this week to make up for the lack of them last time. See you next week.

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.

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. (Note that there was no new Dan Vs. episode this week, so this might feel a bit lopsided, but that’s out of my control unfortunately. Fucking The Hub…) Minor spoilers below. Let’s get started.

On CN Monday, we had new episodes of:

  • The Amazing World of Gumball — Similar to “The Dress”, this episode managed to nail the perfect level of weirdness, inappropriateness, and genuine portrayals of children. Not to mention it was hysterical. Definitely up there with the best episodes of the show so far, and the ending was so messed up it had me in hysterics. CN is now recycling episodes, so there’s only gonna be one segment a week in stead of two, which sucks. Best episode of the night. I give it an A+.
  • Regular Show — Not a particularly bad episode, but not an excellent one either. Sort of in the middle, with perfectly fine and funny jokes and a typically great “irregular” twist ending. It didn’t do much for me, however, so I wouldn’t really call it anything special for this show, but it was funny and entertaining nonetheless. I give it an A-.
  • MAD — Underwhelming. The opening sketch was funny, but it seemed to be stretching to make jokes worked, though the “Yu-Gi-Bear” gag was amusing. The ending sketch (yet ANOTHER Twilight parody) failed for two reasons: 1) it was overall unfunny and 2) MAD has been doing Twilight sketches practically every episode and they’re just straight up running out of fucking material. Some things worked but this show needs to pick it up. I give it a B.
  • The Problem Solverz — This show is becoming depressing. You can see as it tries and tries to improve its flaws, but it just fails so miserably. It creates a followable plot but in doing so it relies on cliches and stereotypes. The fangirl bit has been done so many times before and this show does nothing knew with it. Nothing worked, sans a single funny line, and I just want this show to not be renewed for a second season simply because it honestly needs to be taken out of its misery. I give it an F-.

Then on CN Tuesday we had new episodes of:

  • Scooby Doo! Mystery Incorporated — Fine episode but with a predictable reveal. Nonetheless, it was a fun ride with plenty of funny gags. Vincent Van Ghoul was an entertaining revival of his character, this time being voiced by Maurice LaMarche doing a pitch-perfect Vincent Price impression. The recurring gag with Daphne being super hungry was pretty funny as well. I give it a B+.
  • The Looney Tunes Show — Looks like this show has finally gotten into its groove. It knows what works, it knows what doesn’t, and it knows just who to give all the best lines to–its increasingly amazing incarnation of Daffy. The Batman gag was just one of many hysterical gags this installment had to offer. The storyline (your typical “high school reunion standards” plot) worked because it was written around the characters and not vice versa. The Merrie Melodies short was the best MM so far (though its title–“Cock of the Walk”–is…unfortunate), while the Wile E. Coyote gag was…meh. Still the Best of the Night. I give it an A.

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

  • South Park — An episode that felt honestly important; surprisingly dark, thought-provoking, and self-reflective. Comprised mostly of (actually funny) shit jokes used to represent the poor state of modern popular music and mock cynical hipsters who despise everything, the episode also acted as a commentary on Trey and Matt’s status on the show. The ending–which must be seen as it is is truly effective–could have all been a throw-off thing to get a message across or maybe just a jokingly-serious gag, but this felt important, and was one of South Park‘s finest half hours. I give it an A+.

So overall, the Best of the Week were:

  1. South Park — “You’re Getting Old”
  2. The Amazing World of Gumball — “The Pressure”
  3. The Looney Tunes Show — “Reunion”
  4. Regular Show — “A Bunch of Baby Ducks”
  5. Scooby Doo! Mystery Incorporated — “Nightfright”

That’s it for me. Once again, yeah, this felt empty with no Dan Vs. this week, but hopefully everything will be back on par next week. See you next time.

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 a review of the latest episode of The Looney Tunes Show, the latest re-imagining of the classic animated shorts. The episode, “Jailbird and Jailbunny”, aired last night, May 17th, 2011, on Cartoon Network. I’d lump this together with Scooby Doo, Mystery Inc. to comprise a full CN Tuesday recap, but I don’t follow Mystery Inc. enough to give a full critique of it week-after-week, at least not yet. Let’s get started.

In “Jailbird and Jailbunny”, Bugs, Daffy, and Porky visit the Grand Canyon, where Daffy throws his empty can of soda into the canyon and faces charges for littering on federal property. Due to his incompetency in defending his case and embarrassing behavior to defendants, he and Bugs are sentenced to spend time in prison. Needless to say, hilarity ensues.

All over the internet, since the second images of this series began to show up, people have teared apart this show for any reason they can think of. Be it for the new sitcom approach, the new character designs, the voice actors, or even for being fucking “liberal”. Some of these complaints, however, ring true-in its first two episodes, The Looney Tunes Show did not deliver on the hilarious, tongue-in-cheek humor that the promos promised. By no means bad, these two episodes were certainly not as good as they could–and should–have been, with issues with characterization, and simply not being funny enough.

Fortunately, the third episode has atoned for the mistakes of the previous episodes and delivered a clever, tonally solid episode which nails just the right amount of hilarity and tongue-and-cheek humor.

The Looney Tunes Show is, unambiguously, a sitcom. The plotting, therefore, typically runs off as stale and almost formulaic, with Bugs and Daffy downgraded to mismatched sitcom pals. “Jailbird and Jailbunny”, however, was a breath of fresh air, as we see the two in prison, a set-up that truthfully does feel something like an old school Looney Tunes short. Interestingly enough, Bugs also seemed more in tone with his previous characterization from the shorts in this episode then in the previous ones, dropping the Straight Man routine from the previous two.

And perhaps most importantly, this episode was flat-out hilarious. From the opening gag of Daffy pointing out ludicrous names on vanity license plates at the gift shop to the recurring gag of Porky Pigs’ lack of pants, this episode delivered on the laugh-out-loud funny jokes missing from previous installments of this show. Not much can be said, really, about this except that it really is legitimately hilarious.

I understand there’s a lot of, shall we say. . .mixed reception over the Merrie Melodies shorts in this new show. Positioned as basically kid-friendly SNL Digital Shorts, with Looney Tunes characters singing/rapping comedic songs. Deemed way to out in left field for Looney Tunes, there is vocal criticism of these recurring segments for being simply unfunny and out-of-tone. I, personally, have no problem with them, but I also sort of feel spoiled–I’ve seen thus far all the aired Merrie Melodies songs before the episodes have aired thanks to online previews, and so I really haven’t had the experience of seeing the bits with fresh eyes. This episode’s “Blow My Stack” was catchy and worked in some clever under-the-radar comedy, though its not particularly what I’d call a “gem”.

The final act of this episode sort of dissolved back into the whole “sitcom” bit, with Bugs and Daffy chained together, but the jokes kept on moving and landing rather well. The animation, too, was astonishing. I enjoy these character designs for the majority of the time, though Porky’s design could use some reworking. Still, the whole thing is smooth and bright, with some really impressive storyboarding on display as well, which really helps with the show’s timing and visual gags.

Definitely the best episode of this show so far. I give it an A.

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.