Sunday, January 4, 2009

Clerks: The Animated Series

Adult Swim recently picked up this very short-lived series, giving me the chance to see it that I always vaguely wouldn't have minded. In general, it doesn't really live up to the film that preceded it. My memories of it aren't very clear, but I remember it being a simple, funny, vulgar movie that lived off Smith's interesting dialogue. The series has all the main actors from the movie voicing their characters and Alec Baldwin as an evil eccentric billionaire, which is fun, but it just isn't really Clerks. For one thing, why is there an evil eccentric billionaire? Clerks was very low key and realistic, just showing a (very strange) day in the life of a couple convenience store workers. The cartoon would be better if it wasn't trying to tie itself down to the movie and used some new ideas and real voice actors instead of the non-actors Smith could get with his $7000 budget.

The series isn't really bad, though. It has its moments. Remember when I said I respected the Sam and Max cartoon for having a clip show with fake clips? Clerks does the same thing, except it's in the second episode, and mostly features clips from the first two episodes over and over again. It has cute little ideas like that that sustain it like the Chupacabra with goat blood. Usually though, those few good ideas get hammered into the ground for too long and you just wait for them to move on. When your show constantly makes jokes about its writers being lazy and uncreative and you've done fewer than ten episodes, it doesn't really bode well for your future. It was an interesting experiment, but it's probably for the best that it didn't last very long.

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