Cartoon Network // 2010 // 440 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Patrick Naugle // July 8th, 2013
Weird doesn't begin to describe it.
Regular Show deals with two slacker buddies -- a feathered blue jay named Mordecai (J.G. Quintel) and a wily raccoon named Rigby (William Salyers) -- who work as groundskeepers as a local park. Mordecai and Rigby aren't what you call "productive members of society," spending most of their time screwing around and getting into trouble. In the process, they often have run-ins with all sorts of citizens, co-workers, and animate objects, including a lollipop-headed geezer named Pops (Sam Marin), a cantankerous gumball machine (also Marin), a ghost with a hand on its head (Jeff Bennett and Quintel), a green bodybuilder (Marin), and an ancient Yeti named Skips (Mark Hamill). In other words, get ready for a Regular Show that's anything but!
Cartoon Network's Adult Swim is a breeding ground for some very strange series. This is, after all, the same network that gave us Aqua Teen Hunger Force, which was about a wad of hamburger, a warlock in the shape of a container of French fries, and a sarcastic cup of soda living next door to an overweight Italian guy named Carl. To call Aqua Teen Hunger Force scattershot and deranged is to make a gross understatement.
Creator/writer/voice talent J.G. Quintel's Regular Show is much in the same vein; a bunch of oddball characters interacting and getting into random misadventures. There really isn't much more to it than that. The show is meant to be quite off-kilter, which trumps any sense of narrative. In fact, I wouldn't even call these episodes "stories." They're more like arbitrary ideas thrown on the screen. When your characters involve a gumball machine, a yeti, a raccoon, a ghost, a blue jay, a Pac-Man-like ghost, and a green mutant bodybuilder, you probably shouldn't expect a show with any kind of intrinsic depth. Quintel -- who worked on Star Wars: Clone Wars and Horton Hears a Who! -- seems far more interested in making things weird than making sense.
Regular Show is going to divide audiences into two camps: either you think it's hysterical, or you don't. There isn't a lot of in between. The show reminded me of the comedy duo Tim & Eric, whose Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie became an instant cult classic by being loved by few and hated by the masses (myself included). This certainly isn't as divisive or confusing, but it's also not going to win over people whose sense of humor doesn't tend towards the bizarre. I like that kind of comedy, but there's a line where it becomes too confusing...and Regular Show frequently crosses it.
Though amused by Aqua Teen Hunger Force, I've been unable to truly bond with any other Adult Swim shows. Adventure Time is mildly entertaining. Robot Chicken has moments of genius, but gets old quick. Maybe that's why all of these shows tend to be designed in 10-15 minute bursts. Like eating candy, too much and it makes you sick.
Presented in 1.78:1/1080p high definition widescreen, these are very attractive transfers that sport solid colors and sharp detail. Well, as much detail as you're going to get from a 2D television cartoon. Although the back of the Blu-ray case proclaims a bevy of audio options, there's only a single Dolby 2.0 Stereo mix available, with dialogue, music, and effects all clear and precise. English SDH subtitles are also available.
Bonus features include 13 audio commentaries for Season One and 29 for Season Two, featuring J.G. Quintel along with many other cast and crew members. We also get an unaired pilot episode, Quintel interview, animated short student film by Quintel ("The Naïve Man from Lolliland"), some animatics, a pitch for "The Power," some original pencil tests, a CGI test, a music video for the song "Party Tonight," a teaser trailer from Comic-Con, and two network promos.
Regular Show: The Complete First and Second Seasons (Blu-ray) will appeal to those who have enjoyed what has come before. Funny is subjective. Your mileage may vary.
Not yet guilty.
Review content copyright © 2013 Patrick Naugle; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2013 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Cartoon Network
* 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 440 Minutes
Release Year: 2010
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Short Film
* CGI/Pencil Tests
* Music Video
* Official Site