It is nearly impossible to describe something that leaves you in its wake thinking “what the hell just happened?” The concept of the Adult Swim Shorts series may seem simple enough, yet there are no words that would leave it settled that this is what this show is about. The official description of Jamir at Home on its YouTube channel reads:
“Follow the paranormal adventures of Jamir, a teenager who lives alone in a large house since her parents went on vacation in India but never returned.”
Wait, Jamir is a girl? This is honestly the most exposition that can be found on what this show’s premise is anywhere on the internet, including within the show itself. The only other ways to describe Jamir at Home would be:
A sample test in computer animation predating 1995’s Toy Story. Created by the graphics student that sat in the back of the class high all the time and grew up to start his own commune in the forests of Alaska.
A collection of your strangest dreams realized in animated shorts featuring an androgynist humanoid within a nondescript world.
When I first received the assignment of reviewing Jamir at Home, it threw me for a proverbial loop. Upon first hearing about the Adult Swim shorts, I quickly checked out the first 1-minute episode that popped up in search “Finger Puppets”. My first hope was that I had the wrong show and that I had stumbled upon some dark corner of YouTube. Confirming that this was, in fact, the Adult Swim backed project, my next inclination was that our editor was playing a cruel joke on me. The “episode” that I watched was like something you send to a friend when trying to shock them with the strangest things you can find on the internet. Unfortunately, this is an adult animated program that is featured alongside the likes of other great Adult Swim shorts. It deserves a review, and someone has to do it. But, after I watched the remainder of the 8-episode series followed by some time to process, I think I understand what’s going on here… maybe.
Jamir at Home is terrible, by all definitions of the word. There isn’t anything good or decent about it. The animation is atrocious. Watching the full series, at around ten-minutes total, actually hurt my head. If there were a full 21-minute episode of this show, it is possible that it could cause seizures or brain haemorrhages. As mentioned earlier, the plot is non-existent, you are thrown into a dreamscape where anything is possible, and nothing is explained. There isn’t even anything lovable about the main character or the creatures that appear in this world. Which leaves only one explanation: Jamir at Home is deliberately terrible.
Considering that there is no other logical explanation other than Jamir at Home is meant to be bad, it leaves the questions: how did this get made, and how did it end up on Adult Swim’s YouTube channel? The answer being that it is so awful that it sits on another level, the level of so bad that it’s good. Jamir at Home is the animation equivalent to cult classic films such as Birdemic or The Room. It fits into that “this is so grotesque that I can’t look away” mentality. There is a massive market for things that are just so bad that they need to be shared with all of your friends. Though putting this series on a level with James Nguyen and Tommy Wiseau’s infamous film projects does make one ponder if the Jamir creator equally believed that his product was of a more serious nature… probably not.
Usually, this would be the part of the review where I get into the nitty-gritty about what there is to like and dislike about the show. However, considering the extenuating circumstances that is Jamir at Home, it may be best if I describe my “favourite” short of the series and you can decide from there if this is something you need in your life or not:
A baby randomly appears at the top of the world’s longest set of stairs and upon sneezing falls to its inevitable death. Jamir manages to repair the babies smashed in head, only for it to fall off completely. The detached baby skull then grows a pair of butterfly wings only to be electrocuted when flying into a lightbulb.
That is as honest an interpretation as I can give you. Another episode features a stray dog transforming into a fully grown man. This is what you can expect from Jamir at Home. Added to the aforementioned mind-melting animation, it really is unlike anything that you have ever seen before.
There is something extremely unsatisfying about watching this series. It makes you feel unsettled, and there is a confusion over why you cannot look away. But, there is a certain beauty to its undeniable ugliness. Would I recommend watching this? It’s really up to how much you enjoy things that stand outside the status quo of entertainment. If you are looking for something good to watch, I endorse another Adult Swim Short, Wet City. An unbelievably good show, which I gave a full score to in this review. Scoring Jamir at Home will be a whole new endeavour. I cannot, in all honesty, give it a positive rating, because that would go against everything that this show is. However, on the this-is-so-bad-it’s-good scale, it sits at about an eight or nine out of ten.