Saturday, 12 November 2016

Worst Animated Shows of 2016

Don't expect me to bash these shows or spew nonsensical crap that only an idiot fanboy could understand, because that's what stupid YouTube rant videos are for. Also, I won't talk shit about a show I didn't even watch, because I was smart enough to know that show was gonna suck, unlike yourself.

Of course, for this list to exist means I clearly didn't do my best this year.

* The Powerpuff Girls
Quoting a random review about the earlier CGI special, "I want more, but I want better." Sadly, the reboot of this iconic Cartoon Network series is more, but no better than what came before.

It's as if they couldn't decide between going back to what made the original show so beloved in the first place and picking up where that show fumbled, or truly starting over from scratch and maybe take inspiration from the many critically-acclaimed shows that have been created in the years since. Instead, the new show plays it safe; disappointing more fans of the original show than they would have if they actually tried doing something more bold.

At least the likes of Fuller House have the excuse that they were made with fans of the original show in mind. From the get-go, it was pretty obvious this show was little more than a weak nostalgia grab for ratings and merchandise. What cements this is the truly terrible crossover it had with Teen Titans Go! TTG is undeniably a worse show than The Powerpuff Girls, but even then it has the alibi that it's a "comedic" spin-off that's based more on the far superior DC Nation shorts rather than the 2003 series that inspired them.

The reboot of The Powerpuff Girls is irrefutable proof that the franchise has run its course and its second season renewal is yet another sign that Cartoon Network, as an institution for superb animation that appeals to kids and adults alike, is entering another dork age.

* Bordertown
If I want to watch Family Guy, I'm gonna watch Family Guy. FOX is content to let that show run itself into the ground, and I'm fine with watching it crash, burn, and jump a million sharks until it gets cancelled a third time. Seasonal rot can kiss my ass, because I fucking love Family Guy.

So I don't need to watch another half-assed, carbon copy that lacks a even shred of originality.

Bordertown is yet another one-trick pony of a sitcom that relies on its cookie-cutter plots to be a framing device for jokes and gags that only the writers were laughing at. If that sounds like a typical episode of Family Guy to you, that's because it is a typical episode of Family Guy. Whereas that show wasn't afraid to experiment and actually has something of a mythology, Bordertown is nothing I haven't already seen before.

The funniest part of the show, if not the only funny part, is the cold opening to each episode, where the recurring character of El Coyote and his shenanigans with main character Bud delivers the kind of slapstick you would find in a classic cartoon, a la Looney Toons. Considering that such cartoons were not really "appropriate" for children at the time, but are still as entertaining to adults than any other "animated sitcom", it only serves to make what happens after the intro to Bordertown look all the more abysmal.

There's nothing wrong with adult animation being immature. But with the likes of Rick and Morty, Archer, and Futurama going beyond telling a simple joke, vs the likes of The Boondocks and even South Park on its best days offering a biting critique on culture and society, you'd expect better from an American adult cartoon these days. Even kids shows like Regular Show and The Amazing World of Gumball can be more critical and more entertaining to adults than any modern live-action kidcom could ever be.

Let's not even compare them to Japanese animation, a medium that's considered by Americans to be more mature and more complex than anything airing on Adult Swim outside of Toonami. Never mind that fact the few animated shows Adult Swim still produces, including the aforementioned Rick and Morty, are just as good as any anime.

By virtue of being completely different from The Simpsons and Family Guy, Bob's Burgers is probably the only good cartoon on FOX nowadays. If Bordertown is the best they could come up with since they cancelled The Cleveland Show, booted off American Dad, and pulled the plug on Animation Domination High-Def, it just goes to show you how creatively bankrupt FOX has become.

* Dimension W
See? Even Japanese anime can be as bad as any juvenile adult cartoon or, in this case, a network drama.

Dimension W's anime adaption was the first show in which a licencor like Funimation was among the production committee and the show's English dub premiered inside Toonami almost a month after it began airing in Japan. A good example of what happens when you overhype something, Dimension W was criticized for its bad pacing and its asshole of a protagonist. While I could work with the former issue, the latter issue is what really triggers my shit.

For me, an action show or movie is only as good as its cast, and their actions say more about them than their backstories. Am I expected to feel sorry for this prick just because someone he cares about was killed by this show's macguffin? How cliche. If anything, he just uses this as an excuse to act like a total ass to the rest of the show's characters, including the more interesting ones.

Most people compare this show to the likes of Ghost in the Shell and Psycho-Pass, but this show looks more like a poor man's Darker Than Black to me.

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