22 April 2010
Because it came out on DVD: The Drawn Together Movie - What the hell?
by Roderick Allmanson at precisely 19:22
A few days ago for some reason a direct-to-DVD movie of one of my favourite shows from five years ago became available for purchase. I speak of the affront to God and Everything Holy, Drawn Together.
Yep. I know nothing about the film other than it features some of the characters fighting a Jewish Robot named I.S.R.A.E.L., who is voiced by Seth MacFarlane. Regardless, the show was one of the most unique in the past decade and not just because of its (sometimes unnecessary) boundary pushing.
Above anything else I always considered the show more of a juxtaposition of Reality Television and Cartoon Tropes (as well as a scathing critique of both) more than a platform to talk about homosexuality and abortion. As there has been some debate around the internets over the validness of genre deconstruction (actually impossible because its recognition begets the establishment of said genre), but for all intents and purposes, Drawn Together blew apart the canons of its source material.
Its hand-drawn animation allowed for a wide array of different styles and representations of many cartoon icons, from the Bruce Timm-esque Captain Hero to the soft-edged Disney knock-off Princess Clara. At the same time each character represented a stereotype from Reality Television. The most obvious being Toot Braunstein the Fat Bitch and Foxxy Love the Sassy Black Chick. Mostly the characters were spins or different twisted takes on their normal tropes. For instance, Captain Hero while outwardly embodying the Superman-Archetype, was continually selfish, destructive and either unable or unwilling to save people. Likewise, Wooldoor Sockbat, while happy and wacky in the first season as the Spongebob-Archetype has some genuinely dark moments in "The One Wherein There Is a Big Twist, Part II" (S2;E1) and "Clum Babies" (S2;E5). "Clum Babies" also represents the much darker, sociopathic nature of a gang of Veggie Tales monsters. Right.
The show represented a lot of stuff coming together. A simultaneous indictment of reality television, cartoon shows as well as much more parts of pop culture, from all kinds of films to actors, controversial issues and a constant stream of intense pain and violence. It managed to steer a wary path through fields of insanity, continually demonstrating both realistic results of violence (people, animals killed from gunfire, grilling, etc) while simultaneously maintaining its strong cartoon reality and mythos, one that most characters actively acknowledged. The show was meta in every possible form, always with a conscious wrongness that made it above and beyond the most offensive claptrap on television. Probably that's ever been on television. There was always this glee that went along with the mayhem.
Anyway, this was one of my favourite shows from the middle of the decade. Best episodes include "Mexican't Buy Me Love" (S3;E6), "A Very Special Drawn Together Afterschool Special" (S2;E13) and "The Other Cousin" (S1;E5). I'm also still looking for a Captain Hero halloween costume, but no luck so far.
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