Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Helpless to defy his fate

Sweet Merciful Crap, tonight's Father of the Pride was terrible. I mean, points for being more chock full of The Crazy than last week's episode, but The Crazy has a codependent relationship with The Funny, and the latter was sadly lacking. I also had the oddest feeling that this was the original pilot; it had all the hallmarks of initial setup, but in a way that seemed last week's pilot was a focus-group-aided effort to present the show as more appealing (with a couple of randomly-placed guest stars, and a more standard rom-dom-com plot) than reality would suggest. Even the animated version of Matt Lauer looked embarassed to be there, which was remarkably prescient on the animators' parts. However, more concerning than the random weirdness was just how dirty the show seems to be. If this is the norm and last week was the aberration, I will be incredibly surprised if it even lasts until after Thanksgiving. Between the Elton John pedophilia-slash-bestiality joke, Sarmoti hitting on his own daughter, expository lesbian gophers, and "You wouldn't hit a whore, would you?" even I was starting to get slightly uncomfortable - and I'm very tolerant of that sort of humour, which means it was probably far too much for most of the target audience. Ditto the TV spot for Shark Tale, the erstwhile Sharkslayer. Though not just a shamelessly hip-hop duplicate of Finding Nemo (or so early reports on Ain't It Cool would indicate), that wasn't the impression given by this promo. I don't think it can help. The common thread between both, I think, is the use of CG graphics where they're neither necessary nor particularly well-done; it amounts to something not unlike the genre exploitation films of the 1970s. Perhaps PDI's non-Shrek efforts, in another thirty years, will carry the same historical tinges of scumminess and desperation as Blacula or Beyond the Valley of the Dolls; it's hard to know for certain. I can only hope they (and everyone else not as skilled in the field as Pixar) attempt some measure of self-improvement, and soon. UPDATE: More here.

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