Adored By The Network
! Advertised on every commercial break! Hated by TV Tropes reviewers! It's . . . JOHNNY TEST! (guitarriff.mp3)
Expectations not to have of this show:
- That it's worthy of CN's adoration
- That it's complex
- That it tries to appeal to adults beyond pointing out cliches (and still playing them straight), and the occasional jokes completely lost on the TV-Y7 audience (like mocking the snobby owners of pedigree dogs)
That's out of the way! Let's watch the show.
First, we notice that there is no Continuity Lockout
. New viewers have no trouble picking up the show's basics.
We also notice that the characters are fully one-dimensional. This incites troper rage like nothing else. Yes, each one is a walking cliche. There's the foolish, immature, and somehow-manipulative Johnny, whose impulses cause most of his problems (similar to Timmy Turner's skills at wishing). There's the animal sidekick, Dukey, who is supposed to be saner than Johnny, while still being his friend. There are his twin genius sisters, who lose all their intelligence when faced with their shared crush, Gil (a stock moron). Then there are the parents, who seem to neglect their son, and yet still love him.
So in essence, this show has to be situation-based comedy at its purest. And for variety, the premise is perfect.
So is it funny?
That depends on the viewer. I find it amusing, but it never seems truly hilarious. Its writing could be done by anyone who was given the characters and told to make something up. Not too much care seems put into it; the most obvious jokes for the situation and/or Running Gags take up most of the humor. Occasional parodies of other things or Getting Crap Past The Radar
provide most of the real comic value. For example, one episode focuses on Johnny cross-dressing as a Girl Scout, and his parents' reaction is very funny just because Johnny doesn't properly explain why he's doing so. The kiddies will enjoy the screaming, action, and recycled slapstick gags.
It's not good compared to the best kids' shows that appeal to adults. We've seen this all before, the writing and characters are bad compared to some kids' shows, and it really is aimed at 7-10 year olds. If you lose any unrealistic expectations and just watch it as a quick diversion, it can be fun. If you watched it as much as CN showed it, you'd die.