Review, not a description, nor funny.
Alright, this show is dumb clever and pretty funny, everyone shut up! I don’t need fake Simpsons fans and Futurama “what show”-ers telling me that this cartoon doesn’t live up to their grimacingly daft, right in the face, Family Guy-esque senses of humor. Let the show play out; Groening chose to release all episodes at once for a reason other than a fat Netflix check. There’s great humor presented by the storyline that can be missed if you watch in quick hits looking for continuous laughter. So I say sit back, smoke a medium weed and nose exhale-laugh to yourself for at least two episodes at a time. And don’t say one unflattering thing about Shocko, he’s already in my top 15 list of TV show characters.
This is a filler sentence because I didn’t want to put a “3 things about…” title on this blog and neither did I want to introduce this idea as the last sentence in the first paragraph.
The FIRST thing that I was drawn to in Disenchantment was the genuine nature of these characters. Elfo isn’t a knockout character, but he’s fun to watch and is an incredible #2 to the protagonist. He’s also more of a deluded pervert than 7th grade science teachers so that’s always fun. What strikes me about this character is how the writers were able to showcase his ignorance as short but effective jokes. I often hate awkward ignorance in film because of the second-hand embarrassment, but Elfo’s sweet and genuine personality lets the jokes play out as intended. The King is also a humorous grab-bag character that plays an important anchor to the protagonist. Bean’s (main character) storyline triangle with Elfo and Luci wouldn’t be as effective without a wholesome father figure to get them into, and out of, trouble. It adds reality to a mystical environment. And Luci is the comedic pipeline that the writers funnel unfettered humor bombs thru so pay attention.
The SECOND reason I write this blog is because my boss kindly asked me to after I haven’t written or generally communicated with him in weeks.
The REAL SECOND reason for this blog is the style of humor present in each character. In my most likely wrong yet aggressively unhumble opinion, it seems like Groening was able to pull together writing styles from his previous shows and patchwork these Disenchanted characters together. Luci, the social ‘blackhat’, has an obvious destructive Bender (Futurama) quality with sprinkles of Bart’s (Simpsons) rare genuine emotion. The Pig Prince has a foggy Professor Farnsworth sense of humor with Lisa’s “I shouldn’t be here” attitude. There’s no one prevailing wind in this writing. Groening is now reaching into his velvet bag of “I made two incredible fucking shows, here’s number three” and is pulling out whatever he wants. To me this show has a somewhat “tour de force” feeling that will be inevitable if this show passes 3 seasons. We’ll see about that soon enough.
The THIRD reason I liked the show so much was witnessing how each layer to a scene was able to add to the storyline in direction or just plain funniness. Family Guy, and less so American Dad, have many sets that just fill the space and let the characters roam and deliver their jokes. Futurama has a wealth of characters who would act completely different if removed from their setting. The Simpsons have many gags that come from the sets and the environment, but it’s either one or the other that is driving the scene. Disenchantment is on this new frontier the others have yet to eclipse. The genuine qualities that tie us into the characters, also play a role in grounding the show, allowing us to see them in any setting. The set designs have many depths that are noticeable in most scenes. Groening is ingeniously using each depth to add a joke, place a clue or sneak in a metaphor. Watch the whole show is what I am trying to say, not just the main characters in the scene. Not that this is brand new to film and TV, but rarely can it be mastered, let alone by a brand-new cartoon during a time of instant gratification and saturated airwaves.
You may have noticed, and you definitely didn’t care, that I didn’t talk about Bean that much. It is on purpose because of her interesting nature. On one hand she’s a very drunk slut that needs a pounding, but on the other she plays a mischievous yet loving sister role to Elfo and Luci. She’s all over the place and is a great character ready to grow into more seasons. I’m looking forward to it. Comment if you want in depth details about Disenchantment. Next on my radar…. Prime time dramas from over 10 years ago.