Moral Orel is Back and This Time it’s Black

Jesus. He comes up quite a bit on the Adult Swim program Moral Orel created by Dino Stamatopoulos, but in this case I actually am yelling “Jesus!” Because you haven’t seen anything until you’ve seen this season. I’m a regular Adult Swim viewer and to some extent I’m relatively familiar with Dino’s work, having watched every episode of Mr. Show and TV Funhouse, and of course he’s from right here Chicago. But this is supposedly the final season of Morel Orel and all beats are off, or maybe it’s the gloves that have come off. SOMETHING is off because the people behind the show are taking the scorched earth approach to TV. Basically, fuck it.

Here’s what I know; right in the first episode of the season it said “final season.” And a few months ago on the Adult Swim website they had some video footage from a comic convention where Dino and the guys from The Venture Bros had a little on stage fracas. Dino didn’t like the hair on the other guys and wasn’t happy that his show had been canceled. The Venture guys didn’t seem to attack back but said stuff along the lines of the station keeps quality shows no matter who makes them. In other words, if your show was good or even BAD but people watched it you wouldn’t be cancelled.

So this is the cauldron in which the current season of Morel Oral has been brewing. I WANT TERRIBLY to tell you what’s happened in the 5 episodes I’ve seen in the last 2 weeks. Ok, let me stop for a second. 5 episodes in 2 weeks? Yeah. The station has been showing 2 a week, plus tonight early online access to Sunday’s show. Why would they be doubling up like this? I’m guessing it’s in some contract somewhere that the shows have to air at least once (if they get past the censor) and not go straight to DVD because it’s the feeling I’m getting is just somebody saying “just get it over with.” So we have these new shows and…well it’s weird.

The episodes are very Pulp Fiction. I can’t tell if they were created like that or the network is just showing them out of order. It appears they were created like that because many scenes are repeated in the “right” time and sometimes you might see the scene earlier where it doesn’t seem to fit exactly but you get the idea. So maybe it’s more like Momento. At any rate, that still doesn’t examine the CONTENT. Holy Shit! The content of the show is bananas. Plain and simple it’s gone from a “dark” show to a BLACK show. The premise has always been this sort of satire of the Davy and Gumby religious claymation from the 60’s (50’s?), but they really only hinted at certain things up to this point. This season, on the hand, is just explicit as can be and from subject matter to depiction it’s just RAW. Take no prisoner, cut no corners, no vagueness or innuendo. Basically; show that shit is the theme they’re working from. And what can I say? I mean it’s both entertaining and sad. The obvious thing that people are saying on the message board is that it’s “disturbing.” No it’s not. I know much more hardcore shit, and even regular people should not be “disturbed” in 2008 almost 9. But it is sad that it takes a show’s cancellation for people to both stop censoring themselves and for a network to allow a creative team to really express themselves. You know what I’m saying. It’s a backed into a corner type situation. So hurry up and watch, at this rate it’ll be off the air in a few more weeks. And I’m guessing the re-run potential is pretty low for this season.

The Venture Brothers Finally Made it Back to TV June 1 2008. SHHhhhh! Also Online Tonight

Wow! Well that only took like a Goddamn year! I mean Jesus, work with us out here. It’s been like a year since they killed off the venture brothers. So the big question is; how do you make a comeback when they main characters are dead?

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Well the trick is that you go emphasize some other characters other than Hank and Dean. I’m not going to give away the story line, but I DID watch it online tonight instead of waiting all the way to Sunday night. Speaking of that, this week on AdulSwim.com is ROCKIN! They’ve got new Dethklok, new Assy McGee, new Squidbillies, and of course the new season of Venture Brothers. Is it a shame or shameful that these shows give me such joy. I can honestly say these shows are 4 of the highpoints of the entire MONTH for me. Really sad I’m sure on some level but they’re so good !

Even the Wikipedia entry for the Ventures, compared to last year is WAY long and complete now. So people are catching on; in a way they absolutely did NOT for the Tick cartoon or Tick live action show (both former projects the VB creator “Jackson Publick” worked on). One has to assume it’s the reason we see Patrick Warburton in all 3 projects. And he’s perfect. It took me a VERY long time to enjoy the Family Guy (also a Warburton outlet), and I can see the humor in it-but I used to tell my niece (who enjoys the show) it was the perfect example of hack comedy. Every single humor model used in that show is a safe, tried and true, beat to death format. So it’s “easy” humor. Doesn’t take any deep thinking-just throw the pig in the grinder and churn out the sausage. You can go like that indefinitely, and it IS funny. But I think the Simpsons is more innovative. I do! Even though it’s an older show I think what they did and STILL do is expand boundaries of both animation and humor. The Family Guy is an experiment in “how much can we get away with on network TV.” They’re “outlandish,” but I can’t feel the sense of innovation.

Conversely, The Venture Brothers are new. Even though they’ve gone WAY back to a Johnny Quest/Hardy Boys model. I mean, look at Sealab 2020; they went WAY back to the 70’s for a the art, and characters too; but what was coming out of those characters mouths was so far out it began to almost be surreal in the last season. So prepare yourselves. I mean even though they’ve already started on season four, prepare yourselves to enjoy this season and then wait a year for the next one. But enjoy, take it all in and enjoy.