(Review) The 2016 Pilot of Cartoon Network’s Upcoming Series ‘Summer Camp Island’

You often find an original pilot of a series that is set to be shown on TV screens near you. I find it as a way to prepare ourselves and get a taste of what a series has to offer. Of course, series creators usually do some tweaking and changing to their program and you will most likely always see something different between the pilot and the final product.

Today, we’re looking at Summer Camp Island, which may be exactly what it sounds and much more. This cartoon was created by former animator and writer from Adventure Time, Julia Pott, and was greenlit and set to air on Cartoon Network in Summer 2018. Above anything, Julia is known for her unique animated shorts that can be found on YouTube. I must say that she has done a good job at creating her own style, so much that you can spot a series created by her from a mile away.

sci-cartoonbuzz-rating

So what has Pott unleashed on us with her 2016 pilot of Summer Camp Island exactly? How about a Summer camp full of bizarre and unusual situations? The camp counselors are popular girls who know magic (aka WITCHES), talking pajamas, monsters under the bed that are nosey and more oddities that you just don’t find at a normal Summer camp. Not to mention it’s all on an island. All of these strange happenings seems to overwhelm a fourteen-year-old anthropomorphic Elephant named Oscar, who misses his normal life outside of camp, so he plans a sleepover for himself and his best friend Hedgehog, who he also happens to have a crush on. Bad news for Oscar, because Hedgehog invites some others to the party including Max, an anthropomorphic badger who plays the role of the typical careless and jerk-ish teenage boy in a backwards hat and hoodie. Max is clearly the apple of Hedgehog’s eye and she gives him all of her undivided attention, which infuriates Oscar and ruins his original sleepover plans.

Just like the overall series itself, the world inside of Summer Camp Island is a roller coaster ride of strange and peculiar emotions. You can’t help but empathize with main character Oscar and feeling like a third wheel when someone you’re crushing over is all over someone THEY are crushing over. The series did a great job of totally spinning a kid’s usual experience at a Summer Camp into something out of a trippy dream. Trippy, as in almost everything was coming to life, including a pair of pajamas and a slice of pizza. Although, I do have to say that for a teenager, Oscar is a bit too child-like. So much that if his mother didn’t reveal his age in the beginning, you wouldn’t put him past ten years old. The same goes for Hedgehog, who I think shows her more mature side when Max is around. I’m not implying that they should act reckless, ride skateboards or drink coffee just because they’re teenagers, but the sleepover activities kind of screamed fifth grade.

With all of that being said, my B- rating does not change the fact that I 100% still want to see this show happen on Cartoon Network this Summer. I have to admit that the “nice guys finish last” lesson that came in plain sight at the end of the episode really surprised me. I was expecting the typical “good guys finish first” followed by a monologue from Hedgehog about how she doesn’t really like Max and that Oscar is the one she loved all along. Or Max ends up screwing things up with Hedgehog and her feeling magically bounce to Oscar. Really relieved that things weren’t so predictable with this one, but poor Oscar. The animation is something that is unique, but it’s going to take some getting used to of course. It’s definitely a different style from the series airing on Cartoon Network at the moment, so it makes me wonder whether the series will fit or not. We’ll just have to wait and see! We’ll keep you updated for an official release date for Summer Camp Island.

Fun Fact: Summer Camp Island is set to be the second series in Cartoon Network history to be solely created by a woman.

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The Unforgettable April Fool’s Day Episode of As Told By Ginger

as told by ginger april foolssource: Nickelodeon

In the midst of the popularity of Nickelodeon’s animation lineup, Nicktoons, As Told By Ginger was a show that dominated when it came to surreal pre-teen struggles. Ginger Foutley, a slightly awkward, yet smart and responsible pre-teen took on the ultimate battle of junior high: crushes, mean girls and the constant pressure to gain popularity. By her side stood her best friends Dodie, an over dramatic girl who desperately craves popularity, and Macie, a small and nasally girl who’s obsessed with health risks. The trio of friends have had their share of situations, drama and has even had their friendship tested. But among all of that, was the ultimate and twisted mind game of a prank that was played on April Fools Day.

In season 2 episode 10, Ginger plays what was suppose to be the ultimate April Fool’s Day prank on Dodie, to get her back from the year before. I’m talking love games, and things could get pretty messy. It all started when Ginger forged a love letter that is supposed to be written by Dustin, the weirdest guy in their school, to Dodie. But when Dodie reveals that she has actually had a secret crush on him for awhile, Ginger realizes that her April Fools prank may have backfired. Even worse, Dustin ends up declaring his love for Macie in his very own letter. This causes drama between Dodie and Macie and things get crazy, all while Ginger is feeling guilt and regret because her prank caused major conflict between her best friends. Or so we thought it did, but there was a huge twist revealed that ended up being a prank on not only Ginger, but to the viewers that watch. And the mastermind behind it all was Darren.

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If you’ve watched the entire episode from beginning to end, then you remember when Ginger was telling Darren all about her prank. Which isn’t really smart on Ginger’s end, because lord knows why she would even tell Darren, who’s also a member of their friendship circle. Darren pretty expressed to Ginger about how he doesn’t think her prank is a good idea and that she’s “playing with fire”, but little did we know, he was serious. Serious enough to let Dodie, Macie and Dustin know about the whole thing beforehand and be able to plan his very own prank with the help of those three, that made Ginger’s prank look amateur. Towards the end of the episode when Darren’s prank was revealed, Ginger attempted one last try at getting her friends good by fake crying and expressing how much their prank caused her emotional turmoil and distress. Really Ging?

Darren won me over with this episode. His character is always winning me over with his words of wisdom and keeping Ginger and the girls from freaking out, but I feel like he took a stand this time. He saw something that would potentially be a dangerous game played by Ginger, and put his own little fun twist on it. Plus, it taught Ginger a lesson and pretty much saved her behind. I’m starting to wonder what if Darren didn’t play his prank back on Ginger? What if Dodie really got that letter by surprise, and really thought Dustin liked her, only to find out he doesn’t? If you’re a fan of the series like myself, then you know the over dramatic level that Dodie is on. The love games that were played could have done some real damage.

Of course, there is always that meanwhile side of an episode of As Told By Ginger. Carl and Hoodsey play their own prank on their arch nemisis Blake Gripling, which backfires on them as well. What a lousy year that was for the Foutley kids to pull April Fools pranks. Carl tells Blake that he sold is beloved tonsils, only to find out that Hoodsey’s mother Joann actually threw them away on accident. This led to Carl and Hoodsey searching the dump and getting trapped in it. There’s a lesson in this episode for those who are planning to come up with their own devious pranks: keep it to yourself or it might backfire! Don’t make the same mistake Ginger did.

Family Guy Is Getting Dark: “Send in Stewie, Please” Recap & Review

Disclaimer: Hello, I am an article that contains spoilers. Continue to read me at your own risk.

family-guy-bring-in-stewie-please.pngsource: FOX

I don’t know what it is about this show anymore, but it looks like the usual antics of this crazy animated family is about to take a sudden twist. Or perhaps it already has. We’ve seen Family Guy get real before, but the episodes in season 16 seem like they have just had bigger breakthroughs after breakthroughs. Shocking things that you would have never thought would happen on Family Guy, pretty much happened. There seems to be this modest, low-profile pattern that keeps happening when long running cartoons reach their “teen” seasons (10 and up). South Park has went from a show about vulgar and satirical humor, to having epic story lines in their newer seasons. I mean, South Park will always be the way that it is. But the ongoing story lines that are longer than two or three episodes is something that I never thought I would see. Even people notice that a show like SpongeBob Squarepants is getting a little on the dark side. It could just be a shakeup on the writing teams of these shows, but things are getting real and I think I can add Family Guy to this list.

Like I said, Family Guy has gotten real and dark before. With the grand who-dun-it style episodes like “And Then There Were Fewer” part 1 & 2, to Brian’s shocking death in “Life of Brian”. This latest episode did involve a death but it was more on the psychological (literally) spectrum and seeing Stewie Griffin on a whole other level. It really reminded me of one of those long, unedited interviews with celebrities where we see a side of them that we have never seen before. In “Send in Stewie, Please”, it’s almost as if we are truly meeting Stewie for the first time. Stewie has been sent to his school’s child psychologist for pushing a classmate down the stairs. As the psychologist is trying to make sense of Stewie’s actions, doing what a normal psychologist does, Stewie turns it completely around and begins to attack the psychologist’s personal life based on a photo he has seen of him and his husband.

family guy stewie therapysource: FOX

When that little plan doesn’t work, Stewie breaks down and opens up, and we learn some things about Stewie that we’ve never thought of or have always wondered. First off, Stewie does not label himself as gay exactly. He states that he does believe that he could be sexually fluid, when he was telling the psychologist about how much he likes (but not like-like) the boy who he pushed down the stairs. Of course throwing in how he thinks of himself as “less gay” than he was before. Stewie went on to wholeheartedly reveal how he thinks that no one understands him and how he doesn’t fit in with the other kids. For that reason, Stewie has suppressed his true self, and even his true accent. Yes, throughout the episode the psychologist who is actually British, also tried to make sense of why Stewie, someone who’s not British, has the accent. Stewie finally confessed that his British accent is fake and revealed his real accent. At that moment, you could probably hear millions of people around America gasping, but not surprised. The psychologist was pleased to see that Stewie has accepted his true self, stating how he is now just like everyone else. That single comment didn’t sit right with Stewie, who realized at the end that he truly does not want to be like everyone else, reverting back to his faux accent. Here comes the dark part so buckle up. The psychologist soon suffers from a heart attack towards the end of the session and asks Stewie to hand him his medication. Stewie states that since he’s the only one who knows his secrets, then he must let him die. Stewie watches him die, carelessly and seemingly without remorse. The episode then cuts to Stewie’s bedroom at night, when Stewie woke up screaming from a nightmare. Brian comes in to see if he’s alright, then Stewie asks if he could sleep beside him that night. Stewie begins clearly showing guilt and remorse for letting his psychologist die.

family guy send in stewie pleasesource: FOX

For someone who used to shout about world domination and attempt to murder his own mother at numerous times, I have definitely seen a dramatic change in Stewie. This episode is definitely on my list for one of the most shocking Family Guy episodes to ever air. As a fan of the series, “Send in Stewie, Please” has helped me have a better understanding of Stewie and his personality. From his rant about Bethenney Frankel to rapping a Hamilton song, Stewie yet again wins me over with being my absolute favorite character on the show. I give this episode 5/5 stars (A+). Though long running shows often tend to make dark and shocking revelations, it’s what makes the show worth watching after so many years. The closing scene is what really won me over. The worrisome look in Stewie’s eyes prove that he did get something out of his session with the psychologist. Maybe he did change when it comes to empathizing with others. At the end of the psychologist session, Stewie made it clear that he doesn’t need to change how he’s always been, but what if he did after all?

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‘Boots’ Tells the Story of a Cat with a Serious Hoarding Problem

bootsFrederator Studios & Sony Pictures Animation

Frederator Studios has really released something unusually entertaining with this animated short that was uploaded to their Cartoon Hangover YouTube Channel on November 21, 2017, a part of their GO! Cartoons series. Just last year in November 2017, Frederator teamed up with Sony Pictures Animation to create another cartoon incubator that gives viewers the chance to discover new cartoons and also gives the creators a chance to be discovered and have their cartoon short episode on display to millions of subscribers. Frederator is the culprit of producing great animated shorts that turned into successful long-running series such as The Fairly Oddparents & Adventure Time. Previously, we reviewed the first episode of the GO! Cartoons series “The Summoning”, created by Elyse Castro. Let’s see what cartoon was let loose right after.

Introducing Boots, a yellow cat who’s often jolly but seems to be unsure of what can truly fulfill his happiness and the empty void that is his heart. Instead, he collects many unnecessary items in his home that he has grown to be attached to, which is a very unfortunate disorder known as hoarding. Boots (Alison Cowles) even has the inability to let things go in his dreams, which we come to find as the episode begins and he wakes up in a nightmarish panic. He proceeds to go on with his morning by greeting and passing by the many odd items that he collects in bulk: Tupperware, toilet paper rolls, clocks. You know, the usual things that should be stacked high in everyone’s house. As he finishes drinking his morning Joe from one of his many, and I mean many mugs, he heads outside to greet his rotting porch pumpkin. That is when he discovers yet another item that he truly needs, a red chair that his neighbor Chad (Casey Hime), a very egocentric monkey, threw out. Boots doesn’t believe in throwing anything out and goes through the stressful and dangerous attempt at stealing the chair, which Chad catching on to his plan and trying to sabotage it. Finally, Boots simply swallows the chair whole and coughs it up to add it to his collection of other chairs.

What a ride that has been. Just watching this episode gave me a roller coaster of feelings that range from pleasant to concerned. Boots is an adorable character. There’s no doubt about that part. From the way he talks to how cheery and optimistic his attitude is towards things, Boots is someone who I want to cuddle forever. He says hilarious one-liners that made this episode very enjoyable. Plus he’s a cat, he automatically gets all the love and respect from me. What I am really concerned about is that… he clearly has a serious hoarding problem, to the point where his neighbor Chad briefly mentioned that he noticed a stack of boxes in his home and asks him if he’s moving. Followed by persuading him to “go forward” with moving because he pictures Boots living somewhere farther away. Yep, Chad is that snobby jerk of a neighbor that we all have had before.

“Any-who, enough about you. I was just getting ready to go on my botox-lipo cruise.” – Chad

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In all seriousness, Boots is one of those characters that you’ll get attached to and can’t help but be concerned for due to his inability to throw things away due to his emotional attachment to items. As Boots declares his life as “complete” when he successfully apprehends the chair, that was proven to be untrue when he takes a gander out of his window. One of the best (but morally worst) moments in the episode is the musical number that happens when Boots discovers yet another item that he falls in love with tricycle with a missing wheel. He dances around the tricycle and sings about how it’s the missing link to fill his empty heart.

Overall, Boots was truly entertaining and I hope to see more episodes possibly in the future. Who knows. The voice work was outstanding to me and I love how colorful and playful the animation is. Two thumbs up to creator Alison Cowles and the entire team behind the episode for such an amazing job. Frederator Studios continues to put great work on display from animated series creators. This isn’t my first time reviewing an episode from the GO! Cartoons serious and it won’t be my last.

 

 

DoodleBob Returns in Latest SpongeBob Episode ‘Doodle Dimension’ (Review)

This post contains spoilers for those of you who haven’t seen the episode yet. Continue at your own risk.

IMG_2781source: Nickelodeon

It can be really exciting when a show that has been running for so long brings back some of their original material. With the constant nagging debate that the SpongeBob Squarepants series is just not how is used to be or that it “changed for the worst”, it’s really good timing that we get to see a classic character from on of the earlier seasons. And I honestly, from the bottom of my heart, have to disagree with those statements and the people who are against the newer SpongeBob episodes. I respect your opinions 100%, but try to look at it from this perspective. SpongeBob Squarepants has been running for 19 long and successful years, from episode one to now. When a series has been running for as long as SpongeBob, you just can’t expect it to stay the same. Team members such as writers and artists on the set may have come and gone. Things are bound to change and that is totally normal. A part of life actually, so get used to it kiddos.

With all that being said, SpongeBob Squarepants is still doing quite well as a long running series and it has my respect. Especially when it brings back such iconic characters such as the one and only… DoodleBob. We haven’t seen SpongeBob’s evil self portrait that came to life since his debut episode “Frankendoodle” which aired back in 2002. Sixteen years later, DoodleBob is back and causing an even bigger war in the latest SpongeBob episode “Doodle Dimension” that aired last Friday on March 9. Doodle Dimension was a highly anticipated episode because of DoodleBob’s popularity amongst those who have been watching the series since it started. DoodleBob is basically SpongeBob’s poorly drawn evil twin who wants to wreak havoc, and though SpongeBob defeated him last time, of course Patrick would be the one to draw him yet again when they enter themselves through a strange, blank dimension where you have to doodle the world around you, using a portal that Sandy built.

IMG_2785source: Nickelodeon

Now I would say “Really? Haven’t they learned from the last time?” but this is SpongeBob and Patrick we’re dealing with. I can’t help but feel as if they had totally forgotten about DoodleBob, on account of them calling him cute and wanting a hug from him when he was drawn again. I guess all of the antics that SpongeBob and Patrick go through on a day to day basis is just too much to keep up with. So of course chaos ensues and DoodleBob definitely wants revenge for his defeat the last time, but this time he has an army of mini DoodleBobs to back him up. Patrick even ends up getting tied up & taken into the doodled castle of DoodleBob. Thus, the battle to defeat the evil doodle part two really begun. Like I stated before, I don’t agree with those individuals who are saying that the series “changed for the worst”, but I can admit that the episode plots are getting even more outrageous, and this isn’t even necessarily a bad thing.

I’m going to give this episode a fair rating of 4.5/5. I appreciate the writers bringing back a classic character because it shows me that the team behind the series obviously hasn’t forgot about their roots. I mean even though DoodleBob is a villain to SpongeBob and Patrick, you got to admit that his characteristics are funny. On the other hand, I’m a not a huge fan of the direction they took with the episode. Yes, it was expected of Patrick to do something silly and idiotic like draw their enemy who who wrecked havoc. But it was strange of the two not to remember DoodleBob at first and coddling him, as if he totally didn’t try to kill them in the past. I’ll just disregard it as an honest hiccup for now. I also wish they would have gone in the direction of making this episode a special, that maybe could’ve have been an hour long. I hate that the episode was only eleven minutes long because I was really into it, and it felt like it was over before it even started. Sorry if I come off as an ungrateful savage, but when you’re bringing back the epic battle of DoodleBob, you have got to come a bit stronger. But I’m definitely not complaining about SpongeBob with a doodled knight costume on.

IMG_2784source: Nickelodeon

Apple & Onion Gives a Familiar yet Uplifting Theme

apple-and-onion-series-reviewsource: Cartoon Network

Just a budding friendship comedy coming through. Cartoon Network has released quite a few slice-of-life series in its day, but I have to say Apple & Onion is something fresh. It’s definitely not the usual series that is filled with animated humans or animals. I think creator George Gendi really thought outside of the box with this one. Think of those cliche yet funny dancing anthropomorphic food characters that you used to see in the movie theater previews, but think bigger, vibrant and more modern. I have to say the series is so well organized and put together following the theme of every character being a type of food.

Though the overall character theme of the series is pretty unique, the main moral of the story is no stranger to television. Apple & Onion takes place in the big city where food comes to life and so do lessons. Main characters Apple and Onion are off to live in the real world without their parents and must take on the challenge of being an adult. Too bad they can’t seem to let go of their childhood most of the time. Though Onion seems to be a bit more mature, as in the first episode he got to his destination and job right away, Apple is more on the goofball side. Onion also serves as they cliche dorky character who wears glasses, so he has to be the more mature one right?

A duo with contrasting yet similar personalities definitely gives a familiar tune, but I can’t knock this series at all. Apple & Onion is uplifting with a side comedy and it’s one of those shows that sort of has the ability to make you feel good while watching it. Although, I can’t kick the fact that there’s a strange yet very funny theme happening on the show and it’s a dilemma of mine and maybe for some other viewers as well. This series consists of characters that are all types of foods – meat, vegetables, desserts & drinks. So excuse me if I can’t help but find it rather strange that they eat meat, vegetables, desserts & drinks. Another case of Carnivore Confusion! Of course, what else are they suppose to eat right?

Apple & Onion is reportedly a limited-series, only planning to consist of ten episodes that will be running for five weeks. I guess like the pilot episode, the series is still be on the testing stage. I wouldn’t mind if Apple & Onion ended up becoming a full time series in the future, but it is smart of Cartoon Network to see how it would do.  Apple & Onion is bubbly, humorous & gives off a nice “moral of the story” lesson of being yourself and taking things one step at a time. Especially if it seems like your parents are sort of fed up with your childlike antics and throw you on a bus to fend for yourself in a big city because I think that is the most important theme of all in this show – growing up.

4.5/5

‘Final Space’ Is the Epic Adventure of Battling Evil

final-space-tbs-reviewsource: TBS

I find myself getting emotionally invested in the animated Sci-Fi genre more and more. The Herculean adventures and battles that the characters find themselves getting into is just getting far too entertaining. You will definitely find your eyes glued to whatever screen you’re watching on and your attention will been occupied. Think of a futuristic space where creatures who possess powers strong enough to destroy entire planets. How about an evil ruler with an army of bounty hunters who may be below 3 ft. Yeah, this show is pretty much going there. Final Space is sure enough a comedy, but definitely an epic one. How epic is this show? Besides the actual story line, the show itself has sort of already made history by being streamed live on Reddit’s front page. It’s really good to know that TBS is going in the right direction with this new series, and we already have a clear vision of where this series wants to take its viewers.

The show is focused around Gary, a very harmlessly eccentric guy who often goofs off, especially when things get serious and his life may be at stake. He’s serving a five-year prison sentence on The Galaxy One after foolishly trying to impress a woman named Quinn, his love interest who’s brilliant and badass. Quinn is headstrong and exceptionally focused on her job. Like investigating a possible gravitational disturbance. If anyone looks out for her the most it would be Tribore. Tribore is described as the “lovable but highly annoying fashionista who goes from Quinn’s assistant to the heroic leader of the resistance.” While Gary is serving his sentence, he’s frequently recording video messages for Quinn of what he oddball things he has done throughout the day. Gary often shows his unfortunate loneliness due to his prison sentence, especially when he resorts to interacting with inanimate objects and is desperate to play cards with anyone. Well, except for Kvn (pronounced as Kevin) of course, his “Insanity Avoidance Companion” who he shows a bitter disgust and even a hatred towards. Ironically, Kvn seems very nice and even shares sort of the same foolish and playful personality as him. Of course, Gary’s foolishness are often put to end an by The Galaxy One’s AI, Hue. Hue often serves as “the voice of reason to Gary’s non-reason”, and I can’t agree more. Though he is always scolding him when he’s doing something that is against his prison sentence, Hue really comes through as a guidance to Gary and helps him when he needs it the most.

final-space-gary-mooncakesource: TBS

Gary’s need for companionship unquestionably came to an end when he comes across a round, green, adorable creature called E-351. Gary ends up naming this mysterious creature “Mooncake”, after an unlikely childhood companion that was a green caterpillar. This followed a flashback scenes, which included showing the fate of his parents, that you just can’t help feel the emotions that come with it. At this point, you can definitely tell that it’s one of those moments where someone feels like they have known someone (or something) forever, even if they just met. From that moment, Gary and Mooncake became pretty inseparable, and unfortunately it was the start of the ultimate battle against evil for Gary and rest of The Galaxy One squad.

By now, it is already known that Mooncake possesses these extraordinary powers that are strong enough to destroy planets. For that reason, it has a target on its back by Lord Commander, the most evil and dangerous being in the galaxy. Funny, because he might also be the shortest being in the galaxy. Well played. An evil ruler comes with evil intentions, and if Mooncake is kidnapped by Turk the bounty hunter, his planet-destroying powers will be used for evil and destruction. Gary is going to need some backup, if he wants to protect Mooncake and The Galaxy One. Avocato, (Yes, his name sounds very tasty and pun-ny) who was once a bounty hunter like Turk, ends up teaming up with Gary to stop Turk in his tracks. Avocato’s son Little Cato has been captured and held prisoner by Lord Commander. Separated from his father for years, Little Cato is determined to reunite with him once again.

The amazing backstory that this show offers throughout its episodes is just outstanding. How everything is lined up is just so well played and it’ll leave you at the edge of your seat at the end of each episode. The more you watch, the more you will learn a little more about each of the characters and that just gives us as the viewers a chance to really a closer bond between ourselves and the series. Main protagonist Gary clearly has a lot on his plate. Being a prisoner for five years where he wasn’t able to really bond or interact with anyone he wanted to, and when he finally meets someone he seems to have became inseparable from (Mooncake), he has to literally partake in a battle to keep them in his life. It’s a never ending battle for both Gary and The Galaxy One squad. From viewing the first couple of episodes of Final Space, I am almost speechless at how well the series juggles the seriousness of living in a sci-fi galaxy and battling a vile and corrupt leader to unleashing some comedic gold as well. This series started out as a YouTube pilot by creator Olan Rogers, that was just as stunning as the final product.

I’m more than ready to see even more episodes of Final Space. The series premieres February 26 on TBS!

Hot Streets, the Outrageous & Trippy Adult Swim Comedy

hot-streetssource: Adult Swim

Forget the basic assumptions that you’ve heard. Yes, Justin Roiland of Rick and Morty is doing producing and voice work on this show. No, that doesn’t mean Rick and Morty will be abandoned or prolonged, not to mention Roiland is not the only producer on the show. But has that stopped numerous critics from jumping to conclusions and judging this show based on no actual knowledge? Yes, unfortunately. Hot Streets is here and its way too outrageous, bizarre & trippy yet hilarious for you to not check out. So let’s stop judging things right off the back and jump into this psychedelic cop comedy.

Things are always getting paranormal in the life of Mark Branski, an FBI agent who is 21 years into his job and the one who is considered the top guy on the missions. Branski is a somewhat straight-forward guy who is not so much into hearing others feelings but more into sticking to the plans and getting the missions done. On the other hand, there’s his partner Donald French, who is often walked all over considered weak and incompetent, mostly because he is younger and not at the same level as head honcho Branski yet. In episode 2 “Snake Island”, Branski & French’s stern boss Soo Park insists that French is not ready for the level of responsibility of handling a medallion that attracts snakes. That doesn’t stop French from always trying his hardest to prove himself in the missions they go on. Of course, where would Branski & French be without Branski’s headstrong niece Jen Sanders and her talking dog Chubbie Webbers? Jen is often trying to become closer to her uncle Mark, who she claims is her only living relative since her parents died. From watching her, I get the vibes of someone who’s lonely and in-need of any attention she can get. I mean, almost marrying a guy who ended up being a mummy speaks volumes. Luckily Chubbie Webbers is always by her side, even if he is a sex-crazed bloodhound with an addiction to drugs or “murder powder”. Even though she still seems to be trying to find herself, Jen seems way more intelligent than Branski & French in numerous situations.

hot streetssource: Adult Swim

There’s no doubt that there is room for more than one sci-fi comedy series on Adult Swim, and Hot Streets is the newest teamwork effort into investigating paranormal phenomena. This show has the exact outrageous content that will make you just laugh out loud. It brings shock-value humor and trippy psychedelia to the table. Ridiculous one-liners that you can’t help but find humorous. Let me know when Chubbie Webbers is added to the cartoon dogs Hall of Fame, because no doubt that is the most insane bloodhound I’ve ever laid my eyes on. Chubbie is a seriously disturbed version of Scooby Doo yet my favorite character so far. I actually became more emotionally invested in all of the characters the more I watched. Hot Streets left a good impression on me and I’m looking forward to more seasons.

Fun Fact: If Branksi & French seem familiar, that’s because they’re originally from a series of shorts called We Solve the Crime, also created by Brian Wysol for Rob Schrab and Dan Harmon’s monthly short film festival(s) held in Los Angeles and New York called “Channel 101”.

We Bare Bears Just Got Weird in the Episode “I Am Ice Bear”

we bare bears i am ice bearsource: Cartoon Network

That very moment when you expect a certain thing to eventually happen, but when it does you’re still shocked. Out of the We Bare Bears trio, I think the bear that stands out the most would have to be Ice Bear. Mainly because of his soft spoken one-liners that are all said in third person. That’s what we know him and that is what makes him likable and at most times relatable. His character presence is just plain cute, funny and makes us warm inside. Ironically, though Ice Bear’s speech may not show much emotion, the actual words that he speaks are often loving and he’s able to show support and compassion for his brothers. He’s always cooking and going along for the many adventures with his older brothers Grizzly and Panda. Along with Ice Bear being the youngest of the three, his unique characterization blends well with his other brothers.

So get this, the latest We Bare Bears episode “I Am Ice Bear” totally threw me off and I know it did for many viewers out there. This is the certain inevitable yet still shocking thing I was talking about regarding this series. The seventh episode of the fourth season aired on Friday, February 9, 2018, with a sneak peek from Cartoon Network that was uploaded prior to the airing date and time. Watching this show, there’s one major thing that I often thought about. What if Ice Bear broke character and talked in a normal, non-monotone, first person voice like the rest of his siblings? Well that’s just what went down as the brothers were celebrating Sibling Day. As they were preparing to take an epic Sibling Day photo to add to the trending hashtag, their usual bear stack ends in a disaster, and Ice Bear is out cold. Concerned for their little brother, Grizzly and Panda hover over Ice Bear until he is conscious again, only to witness  what is probably the most bizarre moment of their life. Ice Bear suffers from amnesia and no longer expresses the usual monotone, third person sentences, but rather a normal speaking voice like everyone else. What’s even more bizarre is that Ice Bear gains a high social status online and offline that has turned him into a complete monster and has even led him to abandon his brothers and move in with his popular friends. Grizz and Panda are willing to do anything to get their little bro back to the way he was, even if that means giving him an even further head injury to undo the amnesia.

A funny display at the usual “knock them on the head again so they’ll be back to normal” amnesia story line plot a lot TV shows have used, but it was nice to see it work so well on the usually introverted character on We Bare Bears. As a lover of Ice Bear, this episode was one big roller coaster of emotions. I think Ice Bear’s popularity could be used as a sort of ironic message for his real life popularity with among viewers of We Bare Bears. Though Ice Bear is seen as a fan favorite, he is the quiet, humble and caring one of the bears. It’s funny because it’s usually the total opposite of how most real life individuals deal with being popular or famous.

we bare bears i am ice bear reviewsource: Cartoon Network

What really cut deep for me in this episode was when the social-status obsessed monster version of Ice Bear or “Ice B”, insisted that Grizz and Panda weren’t his real brothers because they are three different types of bears. Attempting to chop down their family tree? He gets a pass for that one because the amnesia caused him to not even remember helping his brothers with it. But insisting that they aren’t brothers? Not only was that kind of true, but as a fan I didn’t appreciate hearing that hurtful truth. What I love about this series is that we don’t really question the biological mumbo jumbo or if there’s a chance that they are really siblings. Who cares when their bond says it all. Yes, it just got kind of sentimental in here. And besides, we can just use the magical cartoon logic, and that proves that they are biological brothers. Overall, loving the episode and the approach that the team behind it took to really shock the viewers. For a show on its fourth season, We Bare Bears is going in the right direction.

 

Review: Nickelodeon Short ‘Best Baddies’ by Max Wittert

nickelodeon best baddiessource: Nickelodeon

Being bad has never looked so good. Back in 2017, Nickelodeon opened a Facebook page, Nickelodeon Animated Shorts, that features fresh new animated shorts. A gold mine of new opportunities is the way I see it. Best Baddies, created by Max Wittert, was debuted on the page on September 14, 2017.

Three witches are on a mission to turn a small town of innocence into chaos and mischief. Girl scout Melody catches their eye when they see her determination to collect badges become almost wicked. Here would’ve been a perfect time for them to chant “One of us! One of us!”. Destined for Melody to join their witch cliche, they disguise as fellow girl scouts with not-so-legit badges. The witches tell Melody that in order to earn their so-called girl scout badges, she must join them in an adventure of turning the town upside down, and the deal is done. Shortly after Melody causes havoc with the witches, they offer her the ultimate final badge, but she must join them for good if she wants to achieve it. Of course the offer was far too tempting and though I was sort of expecting her to back out, Melody officially becomes a baddie.

best baddies nickelodeon

How can a cartoon be so cute and so wicked at the same time? It’s almost as if its making the coolest ironic statement. Adorable characters who just happen to have the intentions to cause trouble? I’m always down for that. Although, I gotta admit that Melody at least started off adorable but ended up just plain terrifying at the end. I expected her transformation look to match with the others but instead she’s a spooky hybrid of a human and a spider. I’m very impressed with this killer animation style though. It’s both unique with a hint of simplicity, and I wouldn’t mind seeing this on TV. I’m catching a cool, dark and sinister vibe.

I guess there is one major theme that plays a big part in Best Baddies: temptation. With Melody’s determination to collect literally every girl scout badge there is, the offer that the witches put on the table was far too tempting for her to resist. Tempting enough to.. kind of.. sell your soul and join the dark side? We’re talking about a girl who cleaned up dirty politics to earn a badge for crying out loud, she means business. Can’t forget to mention that cool song featured in the short: two thumbs up from me!