Spam-bots will remember, last week I said almost everything made for television ends up firmly in mediocre land. A show has to do something pretty noteworthy to escape boilerplate status, and even then it could go either way; way good or way bad. Both good and bad shows tend to be the stuff of legends. Everybody remembers the best and the worst. However, mediocre shows (cartoons) are legion.
So it only makes sense that a number of plain mediocre shows (cartoons) came out in the past year or so, alongside the truly good and the truly awful. These are the ones I noticed. For their mediocrity, of course.
Gumball is one of those shows that severely pushes the limits, edging right in there on bad. A strange visual cacophony, Gumball
is the story of a 12 year-old-cat thing, and his school yard escapades resulting from an almost complete lack of intelligence or common sense. Like a lot of other shows, Gumball moves on the awful, and often outrageous choices the character makes, often with no logical reasons for doing so. This does not make for a most interesting show.
The visuals are pretty bold. The main characters, Gumball, his “brother” Darwin (a fish), his sister and his parents are all animated in a cute, quasi-anime style. The rest of the characters, and backgrounds, are a combination of real-life items, puppets, simple drawings and computer animation. My favorite character? Penny. A peanut with antlers. Honestly.
It might be interesting to look at, but I’ve never been a fan of the mixed-media cartoons. I also can’t get over how irresponsible and irrational Gumball is, even if he is supposed to be a kid.
Whereas I try to avoid most of the shows I’ve mentioned in the past week, Regular Show is usually where I end up when I am in front of a T.V. and I don’t see anything else while it is on. Regular Show follows slackers Mordecai ( a gigantic blue jay) and Rigby, (a raccoon) as they slack off instead of doing their job at some park or another. Like the other shows I’ve mentioned, their bad decisions, and behavior, are usually what moves the show along.
Visually, Regular show is nothing special either way. The characters, as in Gumball, are an odd collection though. While the two main characters are animals, the rest of the park staff consists of Pops, some weird human with a huge head, a gumball machine named Benson, Skips, the yeti, and fast friends Hi-Five Ghost and Muscle Man; a Pac-Man ghost with a hand coming out of it and a short, green human, respectively.
I think the only reason this show is even slightly interesting is that the characters are all pretty familiar faces to anybody who has ever worked a summer job at a resort or similar place. Pops is the clueless owner. Benson is the always angry boss. Rigby and Mordecai are the slackers. Skips is the dude who can fix anything and knows everything. Hi-Five and Muscle Man are the crazy guys who have been there forever. Sometimes, there is even a bit of character development. The situations, while often falling into the nonsensical category, all tend to be somewhat familiar too.