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Case Number 18382

Buy Superjail! Season One at Amazon

Superjail! Season One

Cartoon Network // 2007 // 111 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // February 22nd, 2010

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All Rise...

Judge David Johnson now knows what it would be like to be incarcerated: watching Superjail.

Editor's Note

Our review of Superjail! Season Two, published March 17th, 2012, is also available.

The Charge

Put this one into the pit.

Opening Statement

I'm a fan of Adult Swim's stuff, even the surreal brain-smiters, but I'll give you the straight dope: Superjail stinks.

Facts of the Case

Superjail is run by an insane warden (voiced by David Wain, The State; pretty much the high point of the series) who uses the facility has his own laboratory for crazy ideas like shrinking the inmates and forcing them to work at a bar and fighting in an underground arena. Aiding him in his shady endeavors are his loser accountant, a prison guard of ambiguous gender and a robot. Hilarity ensues.

The Evidence

Actually, no, it doesn't. I'm tempted to call Superjail a massive disappointment, but that would imply I had any expectations going into this thing. All I had to work with was the concept—which kind of sounded like it could maybe, sort of, possibly be relatively interesting—and the solid pedigree of Adult Swim programming. As mild as that anticipation was, Superjail still managed to limbo far under that bar.

Here's what this series is: an envelope-pusher. Or at least that's its intent. Whether you're talking about the phenomenal amount of animated violence, or the sexual innuendo or the not-so-subtle groin bulge of the female prison guard, Superjail has chose to hang its hat solely on the shock factor. There are flashes of wit here and there, but that's not the avenue the brains behind the series have chosen to travel. They want the blood, gore, and boobs. Lots and lots and lots of it.

Which is fine I guess, but how much cartoon gore can you take? Superjail is banking that you never get tired of seeing animated guys getting ripped to shreds. And with each successive 10-minute episode, the body count spikes as does the gore. We're talking Happy Tree Friends levels here. Just so, so, so much bloodletting.

But like anything else, it grows tedious and you will be desensitized and the dearth of functional humor will hit you even harder. By episode ten, the finale of a two-parter where Superjail is in danger of being closed by the Time Court (the Time Court bailiffs are the only things that made me laugh the whole season), ten minutes will seem like a life sentence.

A typically nice Adult Swim DVD: 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen for each episode, 2.0 stereo, the pilot episode (sans David Wain) and some animatics.

Closing Statement

A stretch in solitary would be preferable to sitting through this bombastic mess.

The Verdict

Guilty. To Ultrajail with you.

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Scales of Justice

Video: 85
Audio: 80
Extras: 75
Acting: 80
Story: 50
Judgment: 54

Perp Profile

Studio: Cartoon Network
Video Formats:
• 1.78:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
• English (SDH)
Running Time: 111 Minutes
Release Year: 2007
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Animation
• Comedy
• Television

Distinguishing Marks

• Pilot Episode
• Animatics


• IMDb

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