Adult Swim: In over its head

Friday, Feb. 9, 2007

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I love Cartoon Network's Adult Swim block in all its weirdness, even the show with the talking meatball ("Aqua Teen Hunger Force") that terrorized Boston recently. (Sidebar: Maybe the Boston PD needs to hire some younger officer who recognize hip cartoon characters.)

But for the love of "Frisky Dingo," where did they come up with the block's first two live-action shows, "Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!" (11:45 p.m. Sunday) and "Saul of the Mole Men" (midnight Sunday)?

"Tim and Eric" is especially terrible. Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim (who also made Adult Swim's "Tom Goes to the Mayor") star in assorted skits and YouTube-esque sketches, only some of them are far less entertaining than stuff I've seen on YouTube. "The Only Married News Team" falls flat and a commercial for a stuffed animal called B'Owl (a mix of bat and owl) appears designed only so a little girl can exclaim, "My b'owl is so pretty!" It's all very sophomoric without substance.

"Saul of the Mole Men," holds more promise. It's a serialized riff on "Land of the Lost" about an exploration mission to the Earth's core that goes awry, leaving only Weird Al Yankovic lookalike Saul Malone, geologist, alive. He proceeds to explore the underworld and make crude remarks about the mission's shaft-shaped exploration vehicle.

"Who knows what hot, dark little methane-filled crack that mighty shaft may have fallen into," Saul says, oblivious to the double entendre.

The show's theme song, with vocals by Trey Parker ("South Park"), is a kicky ode to '70s TV dreck. And after all the set up of this week's episode, perhaps future installments will be more appealing.

Don't get me wrong, I'm no Adult Swim purist. I have no objection to ultra-low-budget live-action shows in the programming block, I just wish they were funnier.

Now, how long do I have to wait for a new season of "Frisky Dingo"?


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