Not Your ‘Regular’ TV Show

Courtesy of Cartoon Network

Sometimes, I feel like television shows are trying too hard to be cool. It’s more common now more than ever to find TV networks desperately trying to get our attention with fancy and conspicuous realities, cheesy gimmicks and flashy, yet annoying, plastic-like hosts.

It’s because of this that I believe that it’s a pretty cool move for Cartoon Network, home of classics like “Johnny Bravo” and “Dexter’s Laboratory,” to return to basics and try to bring back the quality of animated television that were the signature of the ’90s.

In 2010, CN decided to launch a program to find the next cool cartoon with the show “Cartoon Institute,” where luckily, J.G. Quintel won with his Cal Arts-inspired creation “Regular Show,” a mixture of simple indie animation with extravagant jokes and characters.

Although the title may be misleading, this show is anything but regular! The premise features two 23-year-old roommates — a blue jay named Mordecai and a raccoon named Rigby — trying to slack off and have fun but then get into massive and supernatural trouble due to their antics; good times are assured. Mordecai’s and Rigby’s immature behavior often annoys and angers their boss Benson (a talking candy machine) and fellow co-worker Skips (a gorilla), but charms the likes of Pops, the park owner’s son. There are also Muscle Man and Hi Five Ghost, who act as Mordecai and Rigby’s main rivals and add a sense of irregularity to the show’s numerous bizarre adventures.

From tying 100 straight rock-paper-scissors games and summoning a wormhole spirit with a desire to destroy the earth to accidentally angering a wild-moose man with bloodlust, “Regular Show” offers insane entertainment with plenty of nerd charm and roommate bonding value, making it the quintessential college cartoon without the need of vulgarity present in “South Park” or “Archer.”

Though the program thrives on its out-of-the-ordinary humor and appeals the college demographic, the show has been critically acclaimed and has won an Emmy, as well as being nominated for an Annie, due to its outstanding production team of animators and stellar voice acting performances from Mark Hamill and Quintel himself.

If you haven’t checked “Regular Show,” don’t worry; the program’s non-linear plot and 10-minute episodes make it one of the most accessible cartoons to jump onto the bandwagon. The dialogue, characters and crisp animation make it an evening delight to watch on Mondays.

In spite of its huge success, the recent fourth season has experienced some difficulties in the freshness department; it seems that the writers have temporarily run out of ideas and have chosen to recycle some of the material. Hopefully this will quickly change as the season progresses and return to its alluring plots that suck you into the fun.

For guaranteed laughs, make sure to check out its first and second seasons, which profile exceptionally well the shenanigans that Mordecai and Rigby do in their job at the park. Boss-like combat and intense soundtracks make the show feel like a video game experience, definitely making the viewer feel like they aren’t just watching yet another regular TV show.

Final Rating: 4.5/5