Could the best new series of the year come from a free app?
Over the last few years, American television has had a rough time trying to get an animated cop comedy off of the ground. FOX nearly had one called Murder Police that was actually ordered to series and nearly finished only for it to get canceled before the first episode could air. Most recently, the Albert Brooks/Louis C.K. animated comedy The Cops was canned after Louis’ transgressions came to light. Netflix is looking to jump on board by picking up Paradise PD created by the guys that brought you Brickleberry. But, who would’ve fucking thought, that after all of that, it took a streaming app to dub a French-produced series that would prove to be the genre’s best effort to date.
Welcome to Vermin. A world a little closer to the grass we walk on every day that follows an ecosystem team with life. Early on we meet Roger Mantos (voiced by Zach Aguilar), an aspiring police officer who aspires to be just like his dad and join the police force run by a Chief (voiced by PAUL ST. PETER) that actually used to be the father’s partner. The once promising rookie gets stuck with the most disgruntled officer on the force, Shermock (voiced by Laila Berzins), but the two grow to like each other so much that when Roger tries to leave to make the biggest mistake of his short life…marriage…it’s his partner that makes the save.
At the show’s core is a buddy cop comedy, but take a closer look at the pulled back onion layers and a dramedy with heavy serial elements begins to give way and continues to do so over the course of 10 episodes that are all under 10 minutes a piece. Some may be pulled in by the crass humor, but I was more stunned by the musical and art direction of the series that is some of the most sophisticated efforts of the genre that I’ve seen that wouldn’t seem at all out of place on Adult Swim save for the fact that the aforementioned TV network would blur and bleep half the series which gives all the more value to the Blackpills app that has become VERY good within the last year in terms of technical prowess.
I don’t know how Blackpills is making money on such a fantastic series like this. Over the course of 10 episodes, I didn’t have to sit through ONE advertisement and the app is free. Given the option, if I knew the second season of Vermin was going to be picked up and it required me to subscribe, I’d cut off my right arm and ship it in a box to the headquarters office, because Vermin is so damn good it’s worth that sacrifice and demands your binge attention as soon as possible. By far and away Vermin is the best animated series on the app so far and the most exciting new franchise of the year thus far.
Director Alexis Beaumont and co-creator Hafid F. Benamar finally gets his American breakthrough directorial performance that had previously been shunned by English dub companies and Balak continues his producing hot streak from Lastman and all of a sudden we’ve got a new wave of English dubbed French animation that’s invading and slowly demanding our attention.