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Western Animation / Baby Blues

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A short-lived cartoon on The WB based on the comic strip Baby Blues. It lasted only 13 episodesnote  as a midseason replacement. The first 8 episodes aired between July and August 2000, with the final five airing on [adult swim] in 2002.

The show was subjected to much Executive Meddling to make it more like a copy of The Simpsons or Family Guy. The strip's creators weren't too thrilled with the results and neither were most of the audience. Not only was the show a critical failure (especially when compared to the more warm comic strip), but it suffered very poor ratings. [adult swim] in its early years aired this show as part of a trio of short-lived WB network animated shows from the late 1990s into 2000 (this show, The Oblongs, and Mission Hill), but now, the show has largely faded into obscurity, and is the only one of the three to not see a home media release.

This show contains examples of:

  • Actor Allusion: In one episode, Darryl refers to Wanda's aunt who does imitations of old Saturday Night Live characters, including Julia Sweeney's "Pat" character.
  • Adapted Out: Since this series takes place when Zoe was a baby, Hammie and Wren do not appear.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Played straight and subverted in one episode. Bizzy is going out with a jerkass who's "hurting inside" but is convinced to dump him by Darryl and give a nice boy a chance. The boyfriend threatens Darryl to get her back to him, he refuses and is rewarded with a beating, and Bizzy still goes back to the jerk. He gets vindicated when it's revealed that Flak, the guy who was 'hurting inside' when he was in high school grew up to be the "actually" depressed high school janitor.
  • Animated Shock Comedy: While the comic was generally rather tame and down-to-earth, the show is filled to the brim with crude humor.
  • Animation Bump: The episodes by Varga Studio are far more fluid compared to the ones by Sunwoo Entertainment and Rough Draft Studios.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Rodney
  • Canon Foreigner: The Bittermans, Darryl's co-worker Kenny, the family's dog Charlie, and Bizzy the babysitter.
  • Catchphrase: "Hi, Wanda, how's the baby?" is Melinda's typical greeting whenever she runs into Wanda.
    • Kenny always greets Darryl with "Hey, Cap'n...".
  • Christmas Episode: "A Baby Blues Christmas Special," which shows Darryl and Wanda struggling with the newborn Zoey and getting the hang of it by Christmas Day.
  • Conjoined Eyes: Some of the characters are drawn this way.
  • Daddy's Girl: Megan seems to get the least of Carl's lectures and he's even willing to have tea parties with her.
    • Zoe might be only a baby but she already has Darryl wrapped around her tiny fingers.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: In "Bizzy Moves In", Wanda mistaken one of Bizzy's friends Sioux as a girl because of his long hair and his name sounds like "Sue".
  • Dumb Blonde: Bizzy.
  • Dysfunction Junction: Just about everyone on the show has some form of dysfunction.
    • Carl and Melinda Bitterman have a trio of terrifying children, have to really stretch a dollar, and have a few problems with their marriage.
    • Bizzy's parents are divorced (quite messily from the sound of it) and she tends to go for the type of guy who has a future in prison.
    • Kenny has to be reminded that he has three kids, not two, and his wife seems to be developing into a Butch Lesbian with her "special friend" playing "board games" with her while he has his "me time."
  • Four-Fingered Hands: Carried over from the strip. "Ugly Zoe" further shows that having five fingers per hand is freak show worthy.
  • Game Show Appearance: In "A Baby Blues Christmas Special," Darryl dreams that he and Wanda appear on Family Feud, with both of their parents pointing out various mistakes in raising Zoey.
  • Gender-Blender Name: In "Bizzy Moves In", one of Bizzy's friend is named Sioux, which sounds like "Sue".
    Sioux's dad: (picking his son up from the police station) A boy named Sioux, what did I do?
  • Happy Birthday to You!: The "birthday lady" sings an alternative to "Happy Birthday to You".
  • Hippie Parents: In "Bizzy Moves In", Bizzy mentions that Sioux's parents are this, hence his unusually name. His dad later show up to pick him up at the police station, he definitely looks hippie.
  • Hotter and Sexier: In an effort to appeal to the 17-25 age range, the animated series relied on more risque comedy to compete with Family Guy and The Simpsons. Fans of the original comic and the comic strip creators were not pleased with the results. Oddly enough, though, when it comes to most of [adult swim]'s other shows, Baby Blues is pretty tame in comparison (yes, it does have sex references, Fanservice [The Birthday Lady], and kid-unfriendly jokes that'd nevertheless go over their heads, but it's nothing worse than a TV-PG).
  • The Hyena: Megan, whenever Rodney or Shelby does something to piss off Carl.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Diedrich Bader as Kenny.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Carl and Rodney. Like father, like son.
    • Kenny as well. With all the teasing he gives Darryl, he's actually his best friend.
  • Obnoxious In-Laws: Wanda sees Darryl's mother as annoying for never shutting up. Darryl has the same opinion of Wanda's father for telling boring stories, which Wanda is willing to concede.
  • Only Friend: As often as Darryl is irritated with Kenny (to the point of calling him an idiot), "Wanda Moves Up" reveals he's this to him. When Darryl quits his job to be a stay-at-home dad, Kenny is depressed, as none of the other hundreds of people who work in their office will even make small talk with him. Kenny outright hugs Darryl when he comes back for a visit.
  • Parent with New Paramour: Bizzy's mom's boyfriend, who's a real jerk, according to Bizzy. He's actually Drew Carey, and he's only trying to get along with Bizzy.
  • Prequel: The show was set back when Zoe was just born, and is an infant throughout the series. Hammie and of course Wren are nowhere to be seen as they haven't been born yet.
  • Santa's Existence Clause: At the end of "A Baby Blues Christmas Special," Darryl and Wanda wind up at a diner with Zoey and get some useful advice from a big guy with a white beard. After a moment of wondering, they see he's a truck driver and laugh it off, but the end reveals he was Santa all along.
  • Shout-Out: A black neighbor named Rex was prone to wearing Cosby-like sweaters.
  • The Silent Bob: Zoey. Even after being a month old, she was well-aware of what was being said around her and would react in some fashion.
  • Special Guest: One episode had Drew Carey appear as himself, though the oddness of this was Lamp Shaded.
  • Stripperific: The woman that sings the birthday song at the fun center.
  • Subverted Catchphrase: In "Ugly Zoe", Melinda says "Hi Wanda, how's the- (notices Zoe's pinkeye and cradle cap) weather?
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Shelby, the youngest of the Bitterman children, who doesn't speak and just whacks at things with his bat. If he doesn't become a serial killer, then the best he can hope for is a petty thug. Even Wanda called him "a four-year-old sociopath."
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Darryl's boss, an old man, keeps "trading in for a younger wife."
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Darryl and Kenny at work, Darryl and Carl in the neighborhood.
  • The Voiceless: Shelby. His only ways of communicating are staring blankly and whacking things with his baseball bat.