I was in Las Vegas on Sunday and spent all day Monday traveling back, so I’m a little behind on TV shows. Yesterday, I started to get caught up by watching everything on my DVR from Sunday. That included FOX’s Animation Domination block, which was all season premieres. My quick thoughts below.
OK, this is one of those episodes I enjoyed mostly because I feel like it was made for me. Skewering the comic book industry and Hollywood with a series of improbable scenarios and insider-y jokes? Yes, please. The episode kind of slowed down in the second half, but the first 12 minutes or so were fantastic (I loved the scene where Bart made Comic Book Guy pass out by feigning ignorance about Spider-Man).
THE CLEVELAND SHOW
I expected this show to be pretty bad, and I don’t feel like the pilot did anything to change that opinion. The opening minutes of the show were hilarious, but they also were the only minutes of the show that involved the “Family Guy” cast (Cleveland’s riff on Peter’s absurd schemes over the years had me laughing so hard that I had to rewind the video because I missed the next line). I’ve never really been a fan of the Cleveland character, and the supporting characters they’ve surrounded him with are bad Griffin Family knockoffs (Cleveland Jr. is Chris, the daughter is a hot Meg and the young kid is an older Stewie). I’ll give this show a couple post-pilot shots, but so far it seems pretty lame.
I thought last season was pretty disappointing as a whole, so I wasn’t sure what to expect for this episode. This ended up reminding me a lot of a Season 4 or 5 episode -- some great jokes, some really funny bits, a musical number (that went on a bit too long) and a last five-to-eight minutes that just dragged.
Also, I feel like someone on the writing staff must be a “Sliders” fan, because so much of the plot of the episode seemed lifted from early episodes of the Sci-Fi cult classic, including the random jumping from universe to universe, the design of the device itself and one Stewie eventually helping another solve the problem at hand.
I definitely laughed more than I did at most of last season’s episodes, but I still feel like there’s room for improvement.
I hate Roger. His entire subplot was stupid, and I didn’t care what happened to him in the end at all.
Putting that aside, I LOVED the Vietnam War Reenactment plot, putting Steve in the primary role while skewering all sorts of Vietnam movies (“Apocalypse Now”, “Platoon” and even “Rambo” showed up, which was pretty damn cool).