Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Holding Up Well Over Multiple Viewings, Drawn Together Season 1 Is Worth Watching!


The Good: Very funny, Decent animation, Holds up well
The Bad: Not really more significant than its entertainment value
The Basics: After multiple viewings, the first season of Drawn Together remains worth watching for its surprisingly smart satire of reality television.


Back in the day, the woman who was my wife (now my ex) had access to cable and I did not. While she was at her job, she got to watch a lot of new stuff that I seldom had the chance to take in. The thing she most enthusiastically recommended to me was Drawn Together. On one of our last trips together, we caught all eight episodes of the first season as part of a Drawn Together marathon on Comedy Central and it lived up to what she claimed it was. Even better, when my wife and I had the chance to watch the series now, I discovered that it was still funny and at least as relevant as it was almost a decade ago.

Drawn Together is a comedic lampoon of the reality television phenomenon. Given that reality television has managed to endure much longer than pretty much any writer would have hoped, Drawn Together still feels fresh and funny in a way that few animated comedies manage to sustain.

Drawn Together, in the first season, is the story of a televised reality show house where eight cartoon characters come to live. The characters are representations of famous animated characters and they are recreated in Drawn Together just altered enough to avoid litigation. The people brought to the reality show house are Captain Hero (a Superman-like super hero), Princess Clara (styled after a Disney Princess), Toot Braunstein (like Betty Boop), Spanky Ham (who was based on an internet comic I am not familiar with), Ling-Ling (like Pokemon), Xandir (a gay version of the protagonist from The Legend Of Zelda), Foxxy Love (who is a sassy, urban, woman styled after the characters from Josie And The Pussycats), and Spongebob-like spaz named Wooldoor.

After moving in together and having a huge misunderstanding, wherein Princess Clara mistakes Foxxy Love for the house servant, Clara reveals to the group (and the world) about her vagina monster. Xandir comes out, despite being on a never-ending quest to save his girlfriend, and the house divides over food supplies when the producers make a ridiculous contest for the house. Later, Princess Clara’s mentally retarded, but smokin’ hot cousin comes for a visit and then Spanky makes Clara into a pretty vile prankster who takes dumps on pizzas to scam the pizza delivery people. The season climaxes with the housemates rebelling against the producers and escaping their television house.

Drawn Together is very funny and works, despite being fairly low on character development. The set-up for the characters – most notably that Princess Clara is an ignorant racist who is also entirely na├»ve and manipulated by the others in the house – is pretty much all there is to them. They do not really move beyond that, the situations just play along the same conceits constantly.

The characters are well voiced by talents like Adam Carolla, Jess Harnell, Abbey McBride, Tara Strong, Jack Plotnick, and Cree Summer. All of the characters are funny and have distinctive voices that carry the comedy. The animation is well-rendered and the concept is a winning one, making it easy to enthusiastically recommend the first season of Drawn Together.

For other animated works, please check out my reviews of:
Family Guy - Volume 10
American Dad - Volume 3
Clerks: The Animated Series

6/10

For other television reviews, please visit my Television Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2013 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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