Mr. Pickles is the latest animated entry in the Adult Swim pilots, but it doesn’t move unless if we say so. Check out the review after the jump!
So one of this week’s pilots, a show called Greenbench, is live-action, so we won’t be covering it because (durr) it’s not a cartoon. We’re way too cool for that. In light of this situation, I had really hoped the other show didn’t suck.
Spoiler alert: It didn’t! Mr. Pickles has a sweet but kind of off-putting animation feel to it. It also has sweet but kind of off-putting dialogue, story lines, and characters. Take the opening: it begins with what appears to be a couple of young sweethearts on a picnic. When the fella starts prodding his girl to make love to him, she innocently says she isn’t ready because, and I quote: “It’s only been an hour since the abortion.” When a show has the word “abortion” in the first 11 seconds; and then a beer in the first 13 seconds; graphic violence after 24; and death metal after 32 seconds – you know you’re in for a weird ride.
The show is about a boy, his family, and his creepy, violence-prone dog. It continues in a very light & cartooney way, where the most innocent things are at least borderline offensive, and the raunchiest are not just distasteful, but quite disturbing as well. All in good fun though, with sex, drugs, rock’n’roll, and violence sprinkled evenly throughout its 11-minute run-time.
However, unlike King Star King – an extremely gratuitous show that makes Superjail! look like Dora the Explorer – the excessive sexual references and adult humor in this show are still subtle. Where other shows like King Star King just throw everything out there, Mr. Pickles alludes to it, however obvious the message may still be. The amount is still roughly the same, but there’s more of an actual joke each time, rather than sex, drugs, and violence just for the sake of sex, drugs, and violence. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy all three of those things in the right medium, but at least give it a clever delivery.
Mr. Pickles also can likely make it past the censors,since a lot of the sex and drug content would fly over kids’ heads, even if brain matter or a bloody severed limb hits ‘em square in the face. No matter: censors don’t care about violence. Still, the show clearly aims to toe the line of what can or can’t air on basic cable, or perhaps they consider it fucking the line instead.
Regardless, this is a solid show. It’s cooky & weird & maybe it’s because this new beer has a much higher alcohol content than I initially believed, but I like Mr. Pickles. It’s not the best pilot thus far, and I can’t see myself becoming a regular viewer if it becomes a full series, but if I caught it on TV late one night and there was nothing better on, I’d give it another whirl.
One thing that puzzles me though: is Mr. Pickles a good dog or an evil dog? Sure, he maims and murders – but it’s usually someone who had it coming, or someone that just committed some sort of evil deed themselves. I suppose that’s just a question I’ll have to ponder tonight when Mr. Pickles pops up in my dreams speaking in his incredibly terrifying demon voice.