Copyright Adam Schlosser

Copyright 2005 Adam Schlosser

Posted by Pip

R1R45- Banners Win Wars AND Elections

Sure they've faced off against gods and alien invaders, but nothing strikes fear in the heart like Slander given free reign to influence people. You just know that she can rock the scary negative campaign ad voice. She could probably host a fairly rockin' transparently pandering BBQ too.

This week on Mercs, Mercy cures herself of her science-philia and there's some effective using your own unholy crimes against man and nature-based transformation for fun and profit. Or just shameless influence. Vote for Sins on TWC to get this week's page!

Quick Review: Scooby Doo: Mystery Incorporated- For starters, I don't like Hanna-Barbera cartoons and Scooby Doo was at the bottom of an already deep barrel. HB cartoons are typically where characters, art, writing, and story go to die. That being said, I kind of like the new show and I'm happy I gave it a shot based on some Internet recommendations. It's totally self-aware in its references, characters, plots, and just how damn stupid the whole concept is. The art and animation are nice and it has an odd but knowing melding of the 70s and modern era in how everything looks and even how characters speak, but it's still aware that it takes place in a modern era. One episode has the characters break down in a spooky town and they're threatened that they'll have to spend the night, to which everybody responds by just pulling out a cell phone and calling for help. The character flaws are also played up knowingly. Fred is a repressed man-child, Shaggy is less of a stoner loser and more of a waffling guy with no confidence, Velma is the brains but is outputting enough about it that she's an outcast, and Daphne flits between oblivious and vain to taking control and commanding a situation. Nobody is freaked out that the frigging dog can speak though and that bothers the hell out of me. Scooby talks to people in town, they talk back, and Scooby even accompanies Shaggy to school and nobody ever says anything about it. The show works because it's oddly extremely cynical for a kid's cartoon. The adults are selfish, corrupt, and actively put people in harm's way to line their own pockets, so it lends weight to why these messed up kids and their dog are the ones that go through all these adventures. Fred's childishness and stupidity work because he's one of the only pure souls in town.
There's a good mix of the criminal being a character that's suspicious from the start, having the bad guy's identity being in your face but then there's a third act fake out, and the person behind the mask being blatantly obvious from the start so the audience knows the truth but for some reason the cast can't figure it out to overcome how formulaic the show is. For the adult audience, there are a lot of funny cameos and references. One episode had some tourists and they were the Griswolds for no reason whatsoever. Don Knotts and Mama Cass apparently are still alive and live in this town and if the Harlem Globetrotters don't show up before this thing is over, I will be very upset. It has a great cast too. Gary Cole as Fred's dad, Lewis Black, Patrick Warburton, and Frank Welker can STILL freaking do Fred's voice spot on. Udo Kier even does the voice of a parrot and that's kind of awesome. I could do without the teen drama and angst, but I guess I'm not really the target demographic and they handle it well enough to address the absurdity of it but still give it some meaning. Scooby Doo still ruins the show though. If it was just the human characters handling each episode's mystery and the series's larger ongoing storyline, it would be pretty enjoyable, but Scooby adds nothing to the show, is both annoying and extremely off-putting, and is like a two or three-joke character at best.
So I just wrote a page mainly praising a Scooby Doo show and that makes me feel kind of dirty, but I'm still probably going to rent the second season when it's available. It makes the most of source material, acknowledges it's kind of dumb but treats its audience well, and is building a larger plot above and beyond the episodes' and it kind of looks like it's trending for things to get dark. And I like that. Even if I do hate the damn dog.