Western Animation / The Three Friends And Jerry
The Three Friends and Jerry (1998-1999) is an animated television series, created by Magnus Carlsson and co-produced by two production companies. One Swedish, the other British.
Life is not easy at age 10. And Jerry can attest it.
Jerry is the new kid that has come to school. Doing his best to somehow fit in the society before his eyes, he tries to join the so-called "three friends" (Frank, Eric and Thomas), who don't feel like wanting to have him alongside them. The guys themselves try their hardest to attract girls, so they're not without hardships either. When you're unpopular enough to be rejected by a group that is already unpopular for the rest, you know things will only get worse from here.
The series is a production with roots in Sweden and the United Kingdom, debuting on Nickelodeon
in Latin America and was part of FOX Family Channel's "The Basement" block (a block of cartoons that came on around the time that most kids would be out of school, back in the days when free-to-air TV and basic cable channels that weren't like Toon Disney or Cartoon Networknote
had animation blocks on during weekday afternoons). Sadly, it was, in a way, too ahead of its time. The show was criticized for its child-unfriendly content, including sexual references, illegal and morally questionable actions that children might see as fun to imitate, and offensive language (one episode had the kids get in trouble for swearing). It only aired for one year in America and only spawned 39 episodes.
Urgently needs Wiki Magic
The Three Friends and Jerry contains examples of:
- Butt Monkey: Jerry Up to Eleven, the Three Friends can be this as well but mostly Frank when he deserves it.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: One episode had Jerry having had an unusually miserable time as of late, and he is met with his guardian angel who explains that due to Celestial Bureaucracy, he's been having an unbalanced amount of bad luck, which should begin to turn around soon. However, all the good things that happen to him over the course of the next day ends up having unpleasant consequences, and the next time the angel shows up, Jerry tells to to take a hike or he'll kick his ass.
- Downer Ending: Things get pretty bad for the Three Friends and Jerry at the end of many episodes.
- Expy: Frank is the only thing close to this series' version of Eric Cartman.
- Follow the Leader: Many fans believe this show is what happens when you mix South Park with Ed Eddn Eddy and Beavis and Butthead.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Lots of it. A lot of people who remember this show even have said how perverted it was for a kids' show (and was the reason why the show didn't last in America). The worst part about this is, at one point, when the show was available On Demand, it was shown on PBS Sprout (home to safe, inoffensive kids' shows, some of which have educational value). And one of the episodes that was on demand on that channel was the one where Frank goes catatonic when he sees Tony's girlfriend changing in front of him. Also, HIT Entertainment still distributes the show outside Scandinavia and Germany (according to the mirror of an old HIT's website), despite having decayed into the preschool program producer and distributor.
- Jerkass: Anybody who is not Jerry.
- Jerk Jock: Jerry's father, the gym coach of the local school, is a loud, obnoxious jerk both to his students and his son.
- Kids Are Cruel: And manipulative, perverted and greedy. The show's frank depiction of kids (and some adults) acting this way led to a lot of parents in America complaining that the show was inappropriate for children.
- Kissing Cousins: It's established that Linda is Frank's cousin and for some reason he has a crush on her.
- My Friends... and Zoidberg: It's right there on the title. Lampshaded in a short segment where Jerry asks "why can't it be "The Four Friends"? I'm a friend!" Only for Thomas to reply, "Just be glad your name is in the title!" To which Jerry protests, "But why single me out like that?"
- Never Bare Headed: Thomas never takes off his green baseball cap and when he does the camera is arranged so you never see what's under his cap.
- Sadist Show
- Teens Are Monsters: Tony, the local thug, who makes life miserable for the Three Friends and Jerry.
- Values Dissonance: This show passes for a kids show back in Europe, where there is less prudishness on sexual and rather crude humor. In America, well people were wondering how it got on TV in the first place.