Reviews: The Looney Tunes Show
Well...I like it.
The newest incarnation of Looney Tunes has certainly been a Base Breaker, hasn't it? Reactions have ranged from it being pretty good, to it being the worst thing humanity has produced since the holocaust. Personally...I don't see what this show has actually done to deserve half the hate it gets. It's certainly not the worst use of the property I've seen. Compared to works like Loonatics Unleashed and Looney Tunes Back in Action, this show is solid gold. It has well-written humour, good characters, and it has some pretty good voice acting talent to it. Bugs and Daffy have a pretty good character dynamic as ever (Though in this incarnation they're house mates as opposed to just being rivals)), I particularly like how they made Lola into a total Yandere as opposed to her rather bland fanservice personality that was in Space Jam. New characters like Tina are pretty good, and even more obscure Looney Tunes characters lie Witch Hazel and Gossamer get to show up in this show. That said there are negative aspects to the show. Some of the gags are kind of hit-or-miss for one thing. Some of the characters have been reimagined in rather bland ways, particularly Tazmanian devil being turned into a house pet. I'm also not a fan of the musical numbers, and the awkward CG sections of Road Runner and Wile. E. Coyote are a very poor use of my favourite Looney Tunes characters. In all, this show is pretty good. It's not as good as the classic Looney Tunes shorts, obviously, but the Hate Dumb that this show recieves is just pretty absurd. Give it a shot if you haven't already, you might find you like the new reimagining.
Cartoon Brew called it, it sucks.
- Original Review** (some stuff taken out to add the update)
My Favorite Show!
The Looney Tunes Show is my favorite show. I love it so much! The characters are funny (especially Lola and Daffy). Pretty much all the characters are the same. Bugs is still the awesome rabbit we all know and love. Daffy is still the bumbling maniac we all know. The only characters that have really changed are Gossamer who is a kind middle schooler and Lola who might as well be a brand new character but I think she works better as a crazy stalker. I didn't include Elmer because he hasn't changed much. Sure, now he loves grilled cheese sandwiches and is a news reporter now but that's just his favorite food and his job. Hunting isn't a job, it's a hobby. That means he still does hunt, he just doesn't hunt Bugs and Daffy because their citizens now. Overall, this show is great and I think it's even better than Looney Tunes.
Don't expect old-school Warner Bros. here because you won't get it. However, Looney Tunes Show is actually... entertaining. Imagine Seinfeld meets Bugs Bunny and you have the basic idea. The humor doesn't come from zany hijinks or slapstick comedy (although there are a few here and there) but from seeing Bugs, Daffy, and everyone else in a number of trope-heavy sitcom scenarios. Two "friends" on a game show? Yep. High school reunion? That too. It's very much hit or miss depending on your idea of comedy but it definitely puts a brand new spin on Looney Tunes while still having plenty of funny, absurd moments.
What a lot of wasted potential (season 1)
This could have examined how the insanity of the Looney Tunes characters could coexist in a typical sitcom setting! This COULD have subverted the typical sitcom formula. The characters COULD have been likeable. Sadly.... this does not happen. The show follows the same old tired plot and the same old tired jokes. If they were initially intending for a parody, then the writers? They Just Didnt Care! The characters have the distinct personality of sandpaper. Daffy Duck is such a Jerk Ass Creators Pet that he makes WESLEY FREAKING CRUSHER look sympathetic! Bugs is a bit of a Mary Sue, as well as Speedy. Porky is just a forced attempt to be The Woobie by having the universe constantly flip him off. Lola seems to be the funniest character, but even then, she just does not develop enough for the character to be truly likeable. (Ironically, despite the Space Jam incarnation being more boring then sandpaper, they transformed Lola into the closest thing to a true Looney Tune). Hopefully, Season 2 will go in a more developed, wackier direction. If not, then I see this show being dumped (or at least screwed by CN beforehand), Warner Bros. finally taking this franchise off life support, and the show going down in history as the final blow to the Tunes franchise. (Edit: Okay, I will admit that Casa De Calma was a good episode, because it FEELS like what the show should have been.)
Decent, but not Outstanding
First off, I'm really glad this show didn't go the route of the original. Because admit it, as bad as the backlash is now, it'd be ten times worse if it tried to copy the original show's success and failed miserably. The Golden Age was great, but it'll probably be a long time, if ever, before the Looney Tunes are ready to try that format again. They managed to get the vast majority of the characterization right, and those that they changed (cough, Lola) were either for the better, or probably necessary due to tighter censorship and over-sensitive white male executives being terrified of offending anyone ever. (cough, Speedy). That being said, the departure from the classics doesn't earn this show a free pass. The show decides to play it safe in a completely different aspect, by simply being another Odd Couple sitcom with an eccentric cast, and frankly has far too many stock episode plots for my taste. And a lot of the jokes have been done to death, but are presented here without a hint of irony or without bringing anything new to the table whatsoever. Even episodes that act like they're subverting common sitcom tropes are really only playing straight the Discredited Trope parodies that have become just as annoying. Also, while I appreciate a few of the songs they include, the quality varies wildly, and are oftentimes just painful to sit through. And they honestly felt like sort of an attempt to crib off of Phineasand Ferb, of all things. The overall tone of the show, coupled with its baffling refusal to try anything new, lead it to be amusing for an episode or two, but then you'll probably want to go watch something else. Like, say The Dover Boys.
I actually like it
Ok, so I've seen a lot of hate for this show. "It's not like the original!" "It sucks so bad!". And this is before the premier. All I can tell you, as my brother says "Nothing beats a classic, so don't compare a reincarnation to a classic"> So stop crying about how it's not the original. If you opened your mind to the fact that this is 2011, and everything ISN'T THE SAME, you'll see that the show is pretty well done. The jokes are creative to me, and they're laugh out loud funny. I like that Bugs is somehow straight man, but not too straight as to deviate from his character to a distasteful extent. The Merry Melodies have been stepped up to meet this generations tastes, so some of them might be a bit awkward, but they're all Ear Worm 's. They (somehow)are getting even more crap past the radar, and it's fun to hear the jokes you wouldn't normally get. In the case of the characters, the only real problem is Lola, who's turned Stalker With A Crush. She's no longer curvy, and she doesn't have that mature feel to her anymore. Basically, she's less attractive and Cocoa-Banana's. The art style looks better animated than it does in a still frame, so you'll actually have to watch the show to get the full effect. They outline just about everyone in purple, so there may be a slight purple highlight in the colors. (That's why Bugs seems more purple than grey). All in all, I give this show a thumbs up, and I hope you actually try to watch it. You can't beat a classic, but this show is pretty great for a new generation. PS- The theme song's great.....but I love Jazz, so Your Mileage May Vary.
Review of Series Redo
I find this series particularly bland. After seeing Cartoon Network rework some Network Decay with shows like Regular Show and Adventure Time, The Looney Tunes Show feels like a step backwards. It's been several years since the original Looney Tunes were on tv, so this series should be judged by it's own merits, but it has few. The biggest is of course the comedy. The comic timing for the series is extremely poor. Part of this has to do with the minimal, bland background music which doesn't allow any atmosphere. There's no buildup to punchlines, and little originality in the jokes they do use. There is some slapstick, but it's too simple, it's not wacky enough for a series with talking animals. Basically, the series seems to take itself too seriously, it uses mundane situations for comedy akin to sitcoms, but unlike other animated shows like Regular Show or The Simpsons, it doesn't take these situations and subvert them in any way, leaving predictable scenarios. So you have these common cliches like girlfriends believing their boyfriends are cheating on them, failing driving tests, etc. Speaking of girlfriends, there are two characters here who really stick out, and unfortunately they're both girls. I might as well refer to them as Bugs' girlfriend and Daffys' girlfriend because their personalities aren't appealing or interesting in the least. That would be fine if the rest of the colorful cast was interesting, but they're cookie-cutter clones of typical characters. Characters is the wrong word, they're caricatures, running gags stuffed in animal skin. This again, I could deal with if their running gags were actually funny. The Verbal Tics half the cast seem to have get annoying quickly in half-hour segments, and with the setting being different from the original shorts and being sort of realistic, you would think there'd be some sort of character development or subversions of jokes, but through my watchings I found none. In conclusion, I found this series particularly dull. It isn't humor that only a select few would appreciate like in The Sarah Silverman Show, or something routinely crazy like Drawn Together, it's just humor that's been done. So people who don't watch that much tv, or young people especially, may find this funny. But coming from an adult who thinks something on CN should have broader audiences, I think this falls flat.
Give it a shot. What have you got to lose?
Remember House of Mouse? A well-loved cast was placed into a completely different, real-life type roles. If you went into the show with an open mind, you probably found it odd at first, but funny. It's the same here. If you expect the hijinks of the original Looney Tunes, forget it. You will not like this show. However, if you're willing to accept Bugs, Daffy, Porky and the rest of the gang as animated sitcom characters, you might be pleasantly surprised. I'll live with the Merrie Melodies segments. The songs aren't Phineas And Ferb quality, but they are amusing, if for no other reason than you don't expect Yosemite Sam or Marvin the Martian singing anything. My least favorite part are the Coyote and Road Runner segments. The only thing that has really changed is they've gone from hand-drawn to CG animation, which is a bit jarring, at least to me. Plot-wise, however, it's still poor Wile E. futilely chasing that bird through the desert. To be fair, though, I've never liked the Road Runner, so I don't know if I'd liked the cartoons under any circumstance. I do hope the characters gain a little more depth as the series goes on (especially Daffy), but the show is a worthwhile effort at putting the Looney Tunes gang back on TV. (It's much, much more watchable than Loonatics Unleashed, if that's what you're worried about.)
It's just really boring, okay?
Look, I'm not someone who gets mad every time a reboot of something doesn't stay exactly true to the original. Things change, and sometimes a reboot can actually be BETTER than the original. Buuuut, that's not the case here. I actually thought this show was gonna be good, but boy, was I disappointed. My problem with this show is that it's trying way too hard to be "real". And it just comes off really, really boring. It doesn't play much into the unusual elements of the setting or the characters, it's just trying to be a regular sitcom that just happens to have talking animals. Maybe that could work if it was done right, but the writing here isn't really good enough to pass. Slice Of Life TV shows that take place in strange universes can be done. It works really well in the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic series. The difference between that show and The Looney Tunes Show? The plots are not forced into the setting in MLP. It just goes naturally with it. While their setting does take place in a magical world populated by talking animals, the writers acknowledge that, they work with it and often take advantage of it. The Looney Tunes Show, however, does not take advantage of the show's stranger elements. It's trying way too hard to be a generic sitcom, and I don't even know why they're trying to do that. If you're going to put the Looney Toons characters into a sitcom, that's fine. Play your cards right and it could be really funny. But the way they did it, they just made a generic sitcom and threw the Looney Toons in it because I guess people would be more likely to watch it if it had familiar characters. That just seems pointless. It feels kind of like Loonatics Unleashed: a stupid reboot concept in an attempt to be "relevent" to the kids. These are the LOONEY TOONS here. You can do a lot more with them than... this.
Definitely "Grew The Beard"...
Okay, I was extremely skeptical about this show, and to be honest the first few episodes didn't light my world on fire. Sure, there were amusing moments (mainly from Daffy) here and there, but the series as a whole just wasn't gelling for me. Then came "Double Date", and for the first time I completely enjoyed an episode from beginning to end. I know there's some debate about the changes made to Lola, but I honestly believe that she's the best "new" addition to the Looney Tunes character lineup in a long, long time (Kristen Wiig should be a shoo-in for an Emmy) and she was the main reason this episode worked so well. (On the other hand, Tina Russo's kind of a Flat Character, but she's supposed to be a straight man (girl?) to Daffy anyhow, so that actually works as well.) Overall, the whole episode had a much more coherent feel than previous efforts, and genuine Character Development to boot. And, of course, it was also pretty damn funny. Then came "Newspaper Thief", which might be the best episode aired thus far. For the first time, the Bugs/Daffy housemate relationship actually felt both "real" and just off-kilter enough to qualify as "looney". I mean, haven't we all had a friend or relative whom we love dearly but drives us crazy with their quirks and odd habits? Granted, said friend or relative probably isn't releasing rats into the neighborhood or staging elaborate traps at dinner parties to find out who stole their newspaper, but that's where the "looney" part of the equation factors in. Rather than just existing as a contrived plot point, Bugs and Daffy's living situation was genuinely funny and felt more real than most people are probably willing to admit. In short, this show has improved a great deal over the last few months and if you haven't given it a chance yet, check out these two episodes at the very least. And if they don't make you laugh, well, The Looney Tunes Show probably isn't for you anyhow.
Actually Fairly Entertaining
EDIT: Apparently the show is not flash animated. Serves me right for trusting my roomie. Thanks Shota, it's been corrected. After studying the classic shorts in depth during college, I was deeply, DEEPLY troubled by the idea of a 'new' Looney Tunes show. So much of what made the old shorts charming is now painfully antiquated or downright offensive that launching a new show with the same spirit seemed impossible. On that note, though, I was wrong. If you're looking for "Herr meets Hare" you won't find it, but when you settle down and watch it you realized something: this is exactly what Looney Tunes would be like if it were made today. The idea of characters not having a continuity behind them is so alien to the modern viewer, it wouldn't attract anyone but fans of the classics without bringing in the new viewers that keep a show alive. Sure, some of the humor is a little raunchy, but through the rose colored glasses of nostalgia, we tend to forget that the old ones were too. The animation concerned me at first. I've not really seen much television animation that could match the craft of the original. Again, I was wrong. The animators did a lovely job of capturing the feel of the original. Is it perfect? Nothing short of raising some zombies would do that and I can accept a little modernization, but it's still an admirable job. In my opinion, this show represents the best effort thusfar to reignite the series. Loonatics Unleashed strayed too far from the original mold to keep the charm. The idea of the core duo living together seemed like a little bit of a problem to me before watching. More than one classic short toyed with sticking Bugs and Daffy together and the tweakings to their relationship that have come from giving writers the the better part of a century of new material to learn from has helped (that said, I'm happy the writers are keeping in nods to the originals without crutching too much on "HEY! Remember this?!"). In conclusion, all I can say is watch it before you bash it, and try to do so with an open mind rather then holding it to the mold of it's elders and expecting a perfect fit. In short, ask yourself afterwards: "Was it funny?" I think you'll end up saying yes.
It's Mostly Pretty Good
The episodic nature of the series is a new thing for them to try with the Looney Tunes, but it works. They started a little too far Off Model, but have reined that back in for the more familar look, which is to the better. The characters' personalities (aside from Witch Lezah and Gossamer and dear gods and little fishes, Lola) are all pretty much as has been established since their most famous appearances, but with modern day sensibilities. The animation is actually something they're putting a fair amount of work into. It looks visually stunning, better than most of what comes out of CN's stable.
It's not that bad, people!
So far, I've seen some negative stuff about this show...and i don't get why, I think this was actually really good. It may not be EXACTLY like the old shorts and stuff, but THAT'S THE POINT The Charectors, of what we see, are the same as we remember. And my favorite one, Daffy is still in top form here. It's also very funny, as expected. I loved the game show part. And everything else, like the animation was nice as well. It's not quite as great as i thought it would be, but it's pretty good i must say.