Friday, June 17, 2011

Superjail! - Season 2

I'm not quite sure about this season of Superjail. They clearly made strides to make it a much more accessible show, with fewer sequences of pure violent carnage, more recognizable characters with defined personalities and roles, and stories that actually went somewhere rather than weakly justify minutes of animated mayhem. The animation is a bit different too, with more of a focus on cartoony gestures than rapid-fire, bloody gags. If someone didn't like the first season, I think they might be inclined to like this one more.

But as someone who enjoyed the absurd fever dream insanity of the first season, I felt like that quality was missing a bit here. I don't need a reason to watch 11 minutes of over-the-top violence, and the increased focus on regular humor doesn't quite cover for the reduced bloodshed because the show just isn't as funny as others that go for the same thing. It's still probably easily the most violent thing on Adult Swim's lineup, a network that is no stranger to that sort of thing, but it also lacks the kind of strong comedic personalities and sharp writing that most of the other series has, and when it leans on that side, it comes up short. Jackson Publick from The Venture Bros. does a lot of voice work this season, but he doesn't exactly have an inherently humorous voice or Dana Snyder's ability to make any statement funny, and neither do the other actors on the show. There were some episodes I liked, and all of them probably had at least one scene worth watching. But the betwixt and between nature of the series' direction this time around kept me from really liking it a whole lot. If the show returns, I hope there's a bit more of the free-form brutality of the first season than there was here.

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