Hello, Spongey here.
Cartoon Network is hitting a slight rut at the moment. As you all know, TTG is becoming their Spongebob to the point where they air more than any other show. Not to mention their lackluster new shows last year.
But they still run mostly good shows like Steven Universe, Clarence, and We Bare Bears, and really like a couple are bad mediocre like the rest at least having something to like to an extent.
Which of course means CN is doing horribly and it’ the end of the world. Or at least that’s what everyone says for some reason. I mean, geez talk about people being Chicken Littles. Sure, they have issues but it’s not the end of the world.
They do have business issues (Not giving Regular Show a marathon before ending and doing a TTG instead),but at least they aren’t mistreating a creator and then forcing him to apolgozie or some crap like that. (Looking at you, Nick).
They have problems but let’s not cry end of the world yet, or post YouTube videos with clickbait garbage thumbnails. The two reasons I’m being nice is that they at least have mostly good shows and …..still better than in the late 2000’s. Infact, to prove you to CN could be worse, I’m going back to a time so bad it makes even the manliest men crap their pants just thinking about it.
That’s right, we are talking about….their Live Action Shows.
That sound you heard was everyone reading this crapping their pants.
Yeah, as you may recall, because cartoons were getting weaker, Live Action was becoming more popular, especially on Disney Channel. Live Action slowly started taking over on the networks.
So Cartoon Network decided to cash in. It started small with some experiments that did “well’ enough to warrant ….CN Real. And more pants have shit in them. In 2009, CN Aired NO Original Cartoons. NONE.
Instead we got Live Action shows, most of which were disposable reality shows I thankfully can’t review. Out of this, the only ones that were at all okay were the two Scripted Shows, but they ended quickly because while they were decent, they had no business being on Cartoon Network.
The block bombed and CN learned their lesson. They green lit Adventure Time and the rest is history. ….Until Incredible Crew but that’s another story. You get the point, but today we’re going back to where it all started.
In 2006, they aired movie called Re-Animated, a Live Action/Animated Hyrbird film about a kid who get hurt so badly he needed a brain transplant, and the brain came from a Discount Walt Disney. Getting this new brain made him…the same but now he sees cartoon characters.
….Yeah, there’s a reason The Cartoon Hero called a DCOM on Crack. I haven’t seen it and honestly I don’t feel like tracking it down, plus the reviews I’ve seen/read give my enough detail to get by. It was not too good it seems, but it was a “Hit” so they made a show of it.
To be fair, this at least had animation but it lead to CN doing more Live Action so it gets hate for that. It’s odd that it made them want to do this again because the show bombed hard. It ran for 7 months of 20 episodes, and was dropped so hard that the show is mostly seen as Lost Media.
That’s how much CN Regrets the show, it’s very buried. Yet I tracked down the first 4 episodes, lucky me. Hell, even the creators have said they dislike it, because the network messed with it a lot. (The writers strike happened and it prevented the writers from being involved in editing and post-production, which leads to a huge problem we’ll get to)
They did however say this lead to them meeting some cool people who have gone on to do better things, so they say it wasn’t’ all bad. Credit to them for looking on the bright side, I guess.
“You’re experience is a lot like America’s Experience”
(SOURCE FOR THAT: http://nerdist.com/nerdist-writers-panel-48-animation-celebration/ Skip to 1 Hour 6 Minutes for it)
(Side note, Tim had much better live action luck with PBS’ The Odd Squad later on)
It’s safe to say the story behind this show is better than any actual episode. I did see the film when it aired and saw a couple eps of this but I have little memory because even I wasn’t crazy about it back in 2007.
But for a while, I did assume people just hated it due to being Live Action and not anything else. It does have less hate than what was on the CN Real Block because at least this has animation in it, but most people still hate to this day.
After finding some episodes, I watched the first episode to give it an honest chance. And I disliked it very much. I skimmed through the other eps I found and it didn’t get too much better. You know, I’ll give anything a chance but this show still sucks.
It is review worthy bad, and we’ll going over it today. We don’t usual cover pilot episodes since the show is finding itself but even by pilot standards this is bad, and it’s easier than going through the other episodes, you know?
For this review, we’ll forgot it aired on CN. It’s honestly bad enough on it’s own without the fact that CN aired it. We’ll judge it purely on it’s own. I normally wouldn’t dig up something like this, but ….i felt like it and this will make people think before saying CN is at rock bottom NOW.
So, let us regrettably take a peek inside Jimmy’s Head..
This, is Talent Show
Writers: Tim McKeon and Adam Pava. (The Director is moslty known for Disney Sitcoms and some DCOM’s. Explains too much)
So this is the first episode of the first Live Action show on Cartoon Network. How does the theme song (that is far more enjoyable than the actual show) start?
“Let’s see if you can tell what’s wrong with this picture”
….Onto the episode.
The episode starts with Jimmy in class , with Stereotypical Boring Teacher #4445. Here we already see one huge problem with the show, as most of his rambling is followed by…this.
FAKE AUDIENCE: Hahahah
That’s right, this show has a freaking laugh track. This normally wouldn’t be so bad…but this is a single camera show. On top of that, this was one of the results of executive meddling I mentioned. They added the laugh track 8 episodes in, but put it into previous eps for ReRuns. I was “lucky” enough to find that version.
The laugh track is incredibly obnoxious and distracting, because Single Camera Shows like this are written differently in terms of humor, because they know there won’t be a laugh track. But there was and it’s gotta be the worst one I’ve ever heard.
It makes every bad joke worse, and there’s a lot of them.
One of Jimmy’s cartoon pals, Tux, voiced by Tom Kenny in his 2nd worst 2007 role, tries to lighten things up with his stand up. Unless you have some Squirrel jokes, I’m not interested. He tells jokes that are supposed to be bad, but the fake audience laughs anything. Wow.
“This is just painful”
I agree Jimmy.
“Some people have restless leg, Jimmy happens to have the brain of a dead cartoonist”
Holy crap, a funny line!
The announces …turn on. Like, no one turns on the tV, they just magically start, and Jimmy’s Dad, the consuler I think, announces the upcoming talent show.
“Everyone is special, but of course there will be me mockery for the least special act”
Wow, you’re an asshole. Jimmy walks with his token weirdo black friend, and bumps into his female friend that he has a crush on. Yeah, these characters as one dimensional and cliché as you would expect.
The acting isn’t much better but to be fair, there’s not exactly much you can do with this materiel. He tries to keep cool but just does something embarrassing. Ugh, another show that thinks having a creative concept excuses them from doing anything creative at all.
“I don’t get your Dad’s talent show, if it’s supposed to make people feel special,why is it a competition”
Hey, I point out the plot problems around here!
That night , we meet the villain Sonny who is always trying to steal Jimmy’s brain to get the cartoon. His subplot in this episode is pointless but he’s one of two tolerable characters so I don’t care.
“I’ll get these cartoons Out of Jimmy’s Head-”
He has this bag of money he talks to, because…Comedy. Then his scene ends. We cut to the talent show trouts, where we see a sign saying No Yodeling, causing one stereotype to leave. …This from early in September 2007 so…did P&F Rip this off?
We get the obligatory bad audition montage which has Dad being a dick some more. If this wasn’t Jimmy’s Dad this wouldn’t be quite as bad but he Is. Before Jimmy goes up, the friend gets cold feet and Jimmy is forced to go up by himself.
Tux joins him and he’s really annoying with his constant bad jokes he forces on Jimmy. Yes, he’s supposed to be a bit annoying but they go too far. They overhear him telling the joke he suggested was not funny, and he is asked to speak up.
“Uh…i got a friend whose jokes are staler than an old box of cereal. I’ve got 2nd hand coats with better materiel”
…Uh….okay, why are you randomly being a dick? Yes, we are doing the Squirrel Jokes plot, with Tom Kenny to remind me of a better show I could be watching. But besides being cliché and overdone, notice how there’s NO TRANSITION to him dong this.
In that SpongeBob episode, his jokes bomb, so he panics and relies on a cheap mean gag that he does in good fun at first. Here, he does it for really no reason and it comes across as him just being a jerk!
You immediately failed at this plot. That takes SERIOUS talent! Honestly, his zings aren’t even that funny. He then raps his insults, because they want me to suffer. This somehow goes over well, and then he goes home.
Female Friend complains about the show again, to Jimmy’s Mom.
“Do you not have a talent?”
…Wow, at least Dad is meant to be a jerk all the way through. Then the male friend gets the shits because COMEDY.
The other cartoon friends chastise him for mocking Tux. Tux tries to pretend he’s okay, but he’ clearly bothered by it since he’s doing a crap joke but keeping the act up.
Jimmy, you’re a dumbass.
Sonny does more evil stuff and bump into Jimmy’s Sister, who is an alien. I’m not kidding. She is. This was introduced in the movie….with no real explanation, she’s just…there from the ground up.
So um…what’s the point of the cartoon characters when there’s an actual alien in the cast? I mean, Kirby Buckets also does the Live Action Cartoon thing but at least there aren’t out there elements from the ground up, they come in later.
I wanted to avoid mentioning Kirby but because it does everything this show did better, I have to mention. It has a better reason for the cartoons to be there, and the main character isn’t as much of an asshole.
It’s got it’s own problems but it;s still better than this. To be fair, Alien Sister’s snark makes her the best character. We’ll still be skipping this subplot unless something interesting happens in it.
Back with Jimmy, the male friend got injured won’t stop whining in order to gain sympathy. I think I hate almost every character. Female Friend bitches about the show again and Dad jokes about her not having talent.
Didn’t we just do this? God, you’ve already run out of ideas for jokes. Also, Female Friend can’t act, moreso than anyone else. I see why the actress went on to be a singer instead.
After more Sonny, Dolly confronts Jimmy about Tux but he still claims Tux is fine when he clearly is not. Again, we’re reapting the same points from before only it’s even worse. And then a dimensional rift Sonny opened in his plot appears and Tux goes through it to run away.
“What did I do?’
Sorry, this is so out nowhere I don’t feel sorry for either of you. Even Tux, because we never got scene of exploring his side on his own, we just saw him being sad next to Jimmy , that’s it. Squirrel Jokes was able to explore both sides and keep everyone likable in 11 minutes. There’s no excuse for this.
Also, Littlest Pet Show also did this better too, as far as the 22 minute examples go. I mean, the show tries to mix Iin jokes with the story, but it just makes the writing very poor as we saw there.
After we repeat yet another joke (the yodeling one, although they at least change it out with a different random talent), we move on to the talent show. I get that we need jokes here but they serve as padding which is another big problem with the episode.
Jimmy is here, as we didn’t have a scene of them scrambling to figure out where Tux is, or anything of the sort. In a competent show they would start to do this but they would be reminded of the show and rush there. But again, only a competent show would do that.
“Tux sent me a post card from the other dimension!”
…HOW?! There’s a way to get to him then? Seriously, keep jokes away from important plot points! If Tux ust ran away normally without the portal joke this would make more sense!
“It has given me a chance to do what I’ve always wanted to do: Spin forever in an empty void”
That just makes this more confusing.
Jimmy starts to regret his actions, in a rushed way that does not make up for anything. He goes up and tries out Tux’s bad jokes, again in a rushed way. Then for no reason the portal pops up so Tux can see this.
Tux comes out and then they do a little dance together which is of course awkward since only Jimmy can see him. Yeah, no real talk with Tux, all is just forgiven for no real reason. The transition from the over the top perfomance he has with the Tux to the awkward one the audience sees is…kinda funny, I guess.
Female Friend joins in to pad this out, instead of using that time to write in actually good scenes. While this is going on, Jimmy’s lovely Dad and sister sneak out. I hate all of you.
After some quick lines, the episode ends. Yeah, an ending as rushed and badly written as the rest of this. My god, I don’t miss this era.
Yeah, people have a reason to hate this show. I’ll just say I tried to watch the 2nd episode but I quick less than 5 minutes in because the laugh track is EVEN WORSE there. Wtiting seemed slightly better, but the charterers were also no more interesting.
Even by first episode standards, this was pathetic. It makes the show itself seem bad, because the characters are not used well. I know they had a whole movie (which I may watch just to see if that was a “better” introduction) but the first episode of Jimmy Neutron, another show spun off from a movie, used most of it’s characters well enough. This did not.
They all seem either bland, or jerk-ish and most are barely used. Male Friend only shines, and of the cartoons only Tux does anything with Dolly just being support for that one scene. The characters we do get are not good.
One big issue with this show in general is that it’s clearly trying to rip off other Kidcoms. I’ve seen everything in this show on Disney Channel and Nick and none of the tropes work here. Even the cartoon aspect feels wasted here as only Tux is important and he’s annoying.
But back on the episode itself, the writing is crap. The humor and story seriously clash so important parts are shown as just dumb jokes. The humor itself is bad as it is but it really messes with the story. Some shows can mix humor and story well, this cannot. No part of the story is played seriously.
Which is bad since Squirrel Jokes managed to do a version of this story that was mostly comedy focused, while still making the writing good, in half the time. It’s not perfect but it gets all the important elements right enough given the format.
This wastes it’s time with a pointless subplot and jokes that aren’t funny. Because of things work out, Jimmy seems like too much of a jerk with no transition to him telling rude jokes and noticing Tux is sad unitl the last minute.
Him learning his lesson is beyond rushed and they use jokes to excuse rushing writing. Man, this writing was such a mess when it comes to the plot, the jokes and the story flow. They couldn’t have pulled this off worse, barely anything worked here.
Are there worse shows out there? Sure, but I still don’t like it as it makes things I might usually be okay with hard to tolerate. Add a laugh track and you get something hard to get through.
Needless to say, let us be glad CN learned their lesson. This show is bad and so is this episode. Bah, we’re done.
I hope this made you appreciate how things are now. This show is bad enough on it’s own but the fact that CN let it happen and mistreated the creators that bad is just…sad. CN may have issues now but we’re still far better off. Here’s to a brighter future.
I know what our next TV Review shall be and it’s gonna be a fun way. Join me…eventually as we go back to the world of subplots.