Synopsis: Here we go again! Not only is it time for 20 fresh episodes of soul-pummeling, mind-blowing, award-winning stop-motion sketch comedy funneled from the colon of the Adult Swim late-night hypno-hellacious sock hop, it’s also time for more words on the back of the DVD describing the contents within! Words words words words words! In the industry, we call it “box copy”! Yeah, baby – box copy straight up your “A”!
Personally, I had no idea what ‘Robot Chicken’ was when I first picked up Season 1 so many years ago. I had been incredibly impressed with a few Adult Swim series (‘Harvey Birdman’ and ‘Space Ghost’, in particular) and bought some of the newest ones, such as ‘The Brak Show’ and ‘Aqua Teen Hunger Force’, blindly.
‘Robot Chicken’ took me by surprise. Its mix of humour, pop culture and stop-motion animation was as hilarious as it was unrelenting. The episodes (as is the case with all the Adult Swim shows that I’ve seen thus far) were a mere 11 minutes in length, but ‘Robot Chicken’ fired off skits at lightning speed.
I haven’t seen Season 2 yet, but I got my hands on this one for dirt cheap and I figured that there wouldn’t be any continuity issues given that there are absolutely no recurring stories – even the characters change from skit to skit (although some of them return from time to time).
I was wrong. But only just barely.
Season 3 opens up with a continuation of the last episode of Season 2. Apparently, in that finale, there was a mock telethon to save ‘Robot Chicken’ and things get out of hand and people die. In episode 1 of Season 3, these same people return as zombies, creating havoc. It’s not that hard to follow, even without the previous set, but it would have been more fun see both of them. Word to the wise.
Otherwise, what does one get with this Season of ‘Robot Chicken’? Complete and utter madness! And involving all our favourite childhood toys, pop icons, cultural landmarks, politicians, …etc. It’s not just a send-up of most of these things, it’s a downright bastardization of most of them!
However, I found that this season wasn’t nearly as sharp as the first one was; the satire isn’t as spot-on, and most of the laughs are derived from assault and grievous harm. This could be disturbing in some areas, like when the creators spoof themselves killing off their own staff (hmmm… ). Season 3 is extremely violent. Despite this, it’s still funny.
I recently read an interview with Seth Green, co-creator of ‘Robot Chicken’, and he was amazed that the show had lasted as long as it did. He originally put it together for kicks, because he had an unusually large collection of old toys and decided to make a show with them. Now he’s recorded his 100th episode, and the series takes up most of his life.
He attributed his good fortune to the fact that the skits are so short that they quickly made their way onto Youtube. He got lucky, he said, because Youtube started to pick up steam at exactly the time that he put out the show. It wasn’t planned this way; he just couldn’t write and put together longer skits than this.
Well, as they say, success depends on skill, strategy and luck. Green and company had lots of good fortune with ‘Robot Chicken’ and one can only wish them all the success that they can handle. I look forward to seeing the other seasons of their show. I may have mixed feelings about this one, but it could very well be a grower.