Posts Tagged ‘Review’

Tony here. Time to review the latest episode of Dan Vs. The new episode, “Burgerphile”, aired Saturday, June 18, 2011, on The Hub. There was no new episode last week, which sucks, but what sucks more is that there’s only two more episodes of the season left (if current schedules are accurate). Spoilers below. Let’s get started.

In “Burgerphile”, Dan gets terrible service at the drive-thru for Burgerphile. Enraged, he declares revenge on the fast food joint, and stages a protest inside the restaurant. Right off the bat—I loved this episode. A lot. It’s definitely somewhere in my top 3 episodes of this show from its whole run thus far (“The Animal Shelter” remains in the top spot). To elaborate…

This episode was outrageous. Every single joked just worked perfectly. Some of my favorites: practically all the jokes with Dan and Hortense, whose nasally voice was provided by Tress MacNeille and is so funny that every word she says makes me chuckle; Dan’s surprisingly peaceful protest of chaining himself to the store’s counter and refusing the leave; the manager’s fear of returning to Maryland (viewers from that state must be so pissed); and the cops seeing Chris and Elise together and saying that Elise must be Chris’s nurse.

The laughs were plentiful and the story worked. There was lots of continuity nods, too. Burgerphile has been mentioned previously in the show, the human persona of the werewolf appeared again, and we had another appearance from Crunchy, the hippie, who is my favorite recurring character. The animation is slowly increasing in quality too—the show’s budget is clearly cheap, but it always delivers on well drawn character designs and set pieces, and here we had lots of well-animated fight scenes and character movement. I loved the escalation of the whole thing—most of the episodes of this show employ this, but this one gave it all a sort of slow-burn effect. This makes the jokes much more ironically rooted and subtle, and in fact actually allowed for us to legitimately sympathize with Dan’s plight for once. Every episode seems to show more and more growth for the writing staff, and this episode seems to display the show at its peak. And with its record so far. I would not be surprised if it stayed here. I give it a perfect 10/10.

Be sure to catch Dan Vs. every Saturday on The Hub at 8pm EST, and of course always check in on Toons with Tony for new reviews, recaps, news, and more.

Tony here. Time to review the latest episode of Disney’s Phineas and Ferb. The new episodes, “Candace Disconnected” and “Magic Carpet Ride”, aired Saturday morning, June 18, 2011, at 9am EST on Disney Channel. This was apart of a new (and horribly named) Disney Channel has created for this show and Fish Hooks entitled “Toonin'”. (I’d review both, but since this was too early I didn’t watch this live so only watched this show online; maybe next time). Also, it’s here where I’ll be trying out a new grading system, so leave feedback in the comment section if you like this better than the usual A-B-C-D-F grades I usually give. Some spoilers below. Let’s get started.

First up is “Candace Disconnected”. In this episode, Linda tells Candace that if she loses another cell phone she refuses to buy her a new one. Naturally, Candace proceeds to accidentally break it, but Phineas and Ferb jump in to create a new one for her. Meanwhile, Doofenshmirtz invents a device to pick up his daughter Vanessa for him. This episode was phenomenal, definitely the best of the season so far and one of the show’s best installments in general. The main plot featured a funny recurring gag where the boys’ main scheme (described as being their biggest and tallest) is only shown off screen. Lots of lampshades were hung and subversions, well, were subverted throughout. I especially loved the twist on Doof’s jingle (“Doofenshmirtz’s [*deep voice*] basement”). One of the best parts of the episode was Norm’s prototype head, voiced brilliantly by guest star Joel McHale, whose stark deadpan and malicious verbal beating of Doofenshmirtz was hysterical. The gag about Monogram being severely technologically impaired was funny, as really any Monogram-and-Carl joke is. Definitely the crowning moment of the episode was the completely random and non sequitur moment where Doofenshmirtz and Perry dance to an exercise video for a minute straight. Yes it served no purpose, and yes it wasted time, but that’s what made it so hilarious.  I give this episode a 9.5/10.

After that was “Magic Carpet Ride”. In this episode, the boys are inspired by Lawrence’s favorite childhood program The Pinhead Pierre (previously seen in the “Out of Toon” episode from season one) to make a flying carpet. Meanwhile, Candace decides to use fortune cookies to lead her to busting her brothers; and Doofenshmirtz once again tries to sabotage a ceremony for his brother Roger, this time as retribution for Roger ruining his magnum opus back in art school. Another great episode–though not quite as funny as “Candace Disconnected”, it still delivered. The boys’ flying carpet plot was actually rather brief, devoted mostly to a montage set to “Aerial Area Rug”, which was co-written by Book of Mormon co-helm Robert Lopez; the song was a great parody of “A Whole New World” from Aladdin (of which this a-plot is a loose homage to), while the montage itself was well animated and actually rather beautiful. Candace’s subplot was actually really good, despite the usual Candace-looks-for-new-way-to-bust-brothers schtick which Stacy herself even rolls her eyes at. The new locations like the Chinese restaurant and the fish market showed more of the town and allowed for diverse set pieces. Doofenshmirtz’s plot had a good back story, this time showing more of Doofenshmirtz at college (he apparently went to an art school, which explains his poetry days in “Unfair Science Fair”). And might I note how simply brilliant the bits where Doofenshmirtz’s Stain-inator fires globs of staining substances at people, all of which were amazingly well timed and–as Doofenshmirtz noted himself–showed that his machine had a “sense for irony”. The episode didn’t feel quite as funny as the previous episode (mostly because of the lack of laughs in the a-plot) but was still well done. I give it a 9.2/10.

Unless Disney changes the schedule for this show for what would be like the 15th time, you can catch new episodes of Phineas and Ferb every Saturday at 8am EST as part of the Toonin’ block. And be sure to continue reading Toons with Tony for animation updates and opinions.

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 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 to review Saturday’s episode of Dan Vs. This new episode, “The Fancy Restaurant”, aired Saturday, May 21st, 2011, on The Hub. My apologies on the lateness in this post–I lost track of time and was not able to write this (or the Sunday Wrap-Up) yesterday as I intended. That being said, it is my intention to get this out as soon as possible, and to post the Sunday Wrap-Up later today, despite it not actually being Sunday. Be sure to watch the episode before reading this review, because MAJOR spoilers below.  Let’s get started.

In “The Fancy Restaurant”, Dan is appalled to learn that his favorite sandwich shop has been replaced with a snooty fancy restaurant that–GASP!–does not even sell sandwiches! Naturally, Dan seeks revenge.

This episode spares no seconds on the laughs, opening with a simply outrageous fantasy with Dan and a talking, female sandwich (it’s as weird and hysterical as it sounds). Lots of other funny gags throughout this episode, including Dan constantly thinking the valet is asking for a high five when he sticks his hand out for a tip and the repeat of the opening gag, but twist to feature the sandwich fucking leaving him after an affair. That old Simpsons quote, “You want a realistic, down-to-earth show… that’s completely off-the-wall and swarming with magic robots?” is something that I think really applies to how this show is able to perfect a low-key, almost realistic world and brim it with over-the-top lunacy and utter insanity.

Also in the mix is some well-done character development and continuity. We get to see Chris and Elise have their own storyline that actually manages to not diverge into Dan’s insanity until well into the second act. The concept of both of them forgetting their own anniversary lead to some genuinely nice and sweet moments for their characters. We also get some callbacks to things like Dan’s love of sandwiches, and some mentions of Dan’s past revenge schemes that ended up ruining Chris and Elise’s previous anniversaries. I shudder to think what “that thing with the nuns” was.

Admittedly, the stuff with the dungeon chefs was a tad confusing and out-there, but I felt it worked as a nice and funny moving point for the story. Some of the characters felt a tad too much like the hobo from “Technology”, but as the episode progressed we got some more individualized personalities and jokes from the group. I especially liked the recurring bit with the one chef slapping another one for incompetency. Pimp-slaps amuse me.

Not much to say on the animation here. I’ve always been impressed with the show’s smooth character designs and crisp, on-the-note storyboarding. The animation itself flows well and it never stilted, but nothing of spectacular note.

This was yet another good episode from this show, packed with hilarious jokes and delivering fully on entertainment. I give it an A.

Be sure to watch Dan Vs. every Saturday night on The Hub at 8:30pm EST, and be sure to keep reading Toons with Tony, which updates practically every day.

Tony here. South Park has been back for its fifteenth season for a few weeks now on Comedy Central, and I’m here to review  the newest episode, “T.M.I”, which aired last night May 18th, 2011. The season thus far has been hurling out good, funny installments thus far, and this episode continues that run. Spoilers below. Let’s get started.

In “T.M.I.”, the South Park Elementary staff posts how much the students have grown based on their physicals, but Cartman mistakes the measurements for a tracking of all the boys’ penis sizes. This enrages Cartman as he convinces all the boys to remeasure themselves so they can repost their actual sizes. This jump-starts a chaotic series of events leading to the formation of the Pissed Off and Angry Party, a group of disgruntled anger-management patients with small dicks.

I’ve been hearing a lot of complaints about how weak this season has been so far–especially last week’s “Royal Pudding”–but I must say I disagree. All of the episodes so far are entertaining and quite hysterical, especially last week’s episode and applying again for this week’s one. This was a very funny, classic episode of South Park throughout, delivering on some deliriously clever satire with some hella (“STOP SAYING HELLA, CARTMAN!”) funny gags.

The storyline moved along very well and in classic South Park fashion, building on unexpected, crude storytelling to end up getting a message across. It’s a true testament to Trey and Matt, this episode–when you peel back the layers of jokes and stories, it’s a one-note joke: people like the Tea Party are bitching about everything because they have small dicks. But its the true reveal of this satirical message that leaves the biggest impact, and it’s really quite brilliant. One of the best satires this show has done in years.

Lots of good lines and jokes throughout this episode. Loved the whole bit at the anger management meeting, with caricatures of Tea Party members and disgruntled teenage homeboys complaining about their problems that reveal to be all based on their, well, small dicks. Butters barely appeared in the episode, but every time he did he delivered some hysterical lines, like when Cartman was measuring his penis in the bathroom, but it was “a bit chilly”. “Butters, we can’t do this if your penis is gonna be a shy turtle!” Oh, and loved when the Pissed Off and Angry Party listed their random demands.

This is definitely moving along the season in a good direction. I didn’t like it as much as last week’s “Wedding Pudding”, but it’s pretty damn close. I give it an A.

New episodes of South Park airs every Wednesday on Comedy Central at 10pm EST. Also be sure to continue reading Toons with Tony, with updates practically every day.

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.