I fear that The Problem Solverz
is doomed to become a cult classic. Everything about it - the characters, the writing, and especially the art direction - is polarizing. Which is a damn shame, because I personally love it.
Let's start with the art: Everything is overly-bright and detailed. Almost everything, even background scenery, is animated, even if it's simply with rotating colors. This is what makes the show so fascinating and so frustrating simultaneously. The show's design philosophy doesn't seem to prioritize focus on a particular character or action in order to move the story along, but rather strives to draw the viewer into the scene as a whole. It's art for art's sake, and whether that's practical or not on television is up for debate. Things unimportant to the story can be easily distracting, but at the same time, it's tempting to just pause the episode and gaze in bewilderment and wonder at everything there is to see. Following and admiring Paper Rad casually for a number of years before The Problem Solverz
aired, it's almost a triumph in and of itself to see Ben Jones and the art collective finally gain some widespread attention, even if it comes in the form of sometimes caustic notoriety.
Let's move onto writing: People inevitably compare compare the writing on Problem Solverz
to Cartoon Network's wildly successful shows, including Adventure Time
and The Regular Show
. The writing in the two aforementioned shows is undeniably more nuanced, which is something of feat. But The Problem Solverz
just doesn't seem interested in developing its characters or exploring the back story of the world at large: Like a lot of its art, the characters and situations in the show are flat, if outlandish. Problem Solverz
isn't clever, but it does employ enough wild gesticulation and utter weirdness to force out a dumb chuckle at least a couple of times during each show. If nothing else, the candor with which everything is delivered is awe-inspiring.
In closing, I feel that each episode of The Problem Solverz
is a self-contained experience, rich in visual and auditory stimuli and attached to a bare-bones plot that only aims to be delivered with as much energy as possible. I recommend you check out an episode or some clips. At the very least, you'll likely not be bored!