A little dose of cartoon reality

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By Michael Diggin

By Michael Diggin

Had enough reality lately? Well, how about seeing what happens when people stop being real and start getting animated?

That’s the motto of TV’s first animated reality series “Drawn Together,” on Comedy Central.

The show is mainly a spoof of MTV’s “Real World,” with a liberal dash of every other reality show thrown in whenever appropriate to enhance the comedy. The gimmick is that it’s a reality show that isn’t real; eight cartoon character archetypes are the stars.

Captain Hero is a 70s superhero cartoon that is quick to use his super powers to cop a super feel, get super laid or quickly leave the scene of a crime.

Princess Clara is a sweet naïve fairytale princess, a rich white girl that spews racist bile like a Southern congressman.

Foxxy Love is a sexy mysterysolving musician straight out of “Josie and the Pussycats” with a dash of “Scooby-Doo.” She also happens to be black, providing for much of the racial comedy between her and Princess Clara.

Toot Braunstein is a 30s black and white heartthrob that is reminiscent of Betty Boop, if she had spent the past 70 years at a never-ending buffet.

Spanky Ham is a foul-mouthed Internet Flash cartoon that loiters outside porn sites, and Adam Carolla (“Loveline”) breathes life into this character by giving voice to his filth.

LingLing is a homicidal Pikachu replica who doesn’t speak English, who is misinterpreted and treated as the household pet.

Wooldoor Sockbat is a wacky Saturday morning cartoon whatchamacallit who annoys the other characters.

Lastly there is Xandir; he is a homosexual video game adventurer that is on a neverending quest to save his “girlfriend.”

The reality show premise is a springboard to showcase the character dynamics. The staggering number of reality shows also provide for a vast treasure trove of material to work with, and they are amazingly enjoyable to poke fun at.

The animated nature of the series is a tool used for comedic effect. The show uses cartoon clichés to garner laughs. Familiar sound effects and sight gags from classic cartoons are dusted off and given new life.

In the first episode Princess Clara mistakes Foxxy Love for the house servant, but they reconcile with a steamy kiss in the hot tub. Then Clara decides that she was taken advantage of and the roommates must vote about ejecting Foxxy from the house.

This episode is mainly a vehicle to introduce the characters’ varying personalities and stories. It has a few funny moments, but some of the jokes are a little strained and obvious, like the creators tried too hard to press the joke.

In the second episode the writers hit their stride. It was much funnier than the first one, and much raunchier. Droopy makes a cameo appearance reading a pornographic audiobook. This episode also contains some slapstick comedy paired with some culture, with Princess Clara getting pushed down an almost endless flight of stairs in a room patterned after an M.C. Escher painting.

Additionally there are more reality show conventions in this episode: a house meeting, and a “Bachelorette” portion starring Princess Clara.

Clara eventually finds Prince Charming, who can break the curse with a kiss. When they kiss they are lifted up on magical gusts of air, but that doesn’t necessarily make for a happy ending.

If you enjoy the kind of humor in “South Park” then you should enjoy the humor in “Drawn Together.” The two shows should appeal to the same audience.

“Drawn Together” doesn’t use vulgarity just for shock value; it is there for comedic effect. There is quite a bit of vulgar content, but it creates some very funny jokes.

This show is not for the faint of heart, or stomach. If the series keeps the hilarity shown in the second episode consistently, it will be a series worth following.

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