Maybe I’ve just been watching more television (cartoons) in the past year than usual, but I’ve noticed a lot of bad shows (cartoons) lately. While I don’t normally write about things I don’t like, this list of shows (cartoons) I’ve compiled are so bad, I’m compelled to write discouraging things about them.
The Problem Solverz is a perfect example of how you can’t cram a bunch of contemporary cartoon conventions into a show and call it good. While I don’t know if this was the idea creator Ben Jones of the art collective Paper Rad had for this seizure inducing aberration, but nobody cares because it assaults the senses on so many levels.
The Problem Solverz (originally titled Neon Knome), focuses on a trio of things, human Horace, his brother Roba and some sort of brown monstrosity called Alfe. They are The Problem Solverz, and they cause just as many problems as they solve for the town they live in. They way they satirically treat the whole “problem solving team” is interesting enough. After all, what was up with all of those mystery solving teams and musical groups showing up out of nowhere to save the day back in the 70’s and 80’s? What were their credentials. Now we know.
However, two minutes into Problem Solvers and one starts to wonder if the creators didn’t try very hard to make something very difficult to look at. I know there is a lot of leeway on what is acceptable in animation these days, but the combination of incredibly awkward looking characters, garish 80’s neon color pallet, constant strobe effects,and the low-grade Flash animation (think paper cut-outs and brads) is just too much.
The sounds are terrible too. The character’s voices, range from constant , incomprehensible shouting (Alfe), to bored voice-actor reading in his sleep (Horace). The Solverz constantly uses grating, video game sound effects as well.
As for the characters, well, they’re there. Horace is pretty smart, but he’s an idiot because he hangs out with the other two. Roba, a human disguised as a robot, is insecure about everything and constantly anxious, so he’s an idiot too. Alfe is that obnoxious guy that is always drunk, always shouting, and always doing something stupid; obviously an idiot. None of them have any redeeming qualities whatsoever. The show is about three idiots bumbling though problems with serious personal issues that never get resolved.
These things, combined with the modern story convention of “unexpected” encounters with evil alien Girlscouts, Mayan predictions, sentient video games and pop culture sensations, make a show that is truly painful to watch.
1. Cheap-looking animation
2. Constant references to the 80’s
3. “Random” stories
4. Characters nobody could ever care about
These are all things pretty common in animated shows these days. Some of these shows aren’t even that bad. However, all of those shows do something clever with these conventions, or at least they don’t use them all at once. Problem Solverz is simply all of these conventions, rolled into one show. I can enjoy a crazy, dumb show just as much as the next guy, but the Solverz is just too much.
Problem Solverz disappeared from the line-up during the summer, but apparently is back. I pray Cartoon Network is just playing out what’s left of the season, and that the horrible mess hasn’t been given a second one.
There was supposed to be a video down here, but embedding is disabled, so just follow this link or visit the official site, linked above.