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Western Animation / Counterfeit Cat

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What would happen if someone attempted to fuse The Amazing World of Gumball, Adventure Time, Futurama, Rick and Morty, Gravity Falls and Regular Show into one? The result would be this.

Counterfeit Cat is a British-Canadian animated series created by Andrew Laverey, and co-developed between Britain's Aardman Animations and Canada's Atomic Cartoons (with the latter providing the animation). It first premiered on Disney XD in the UK on May 12, 2016, and in the US, a sneak peek played on May 31st, and then the series officially premiered there on June 20. The series premiered in Canada on Teletoon, beginning November 1, 2016. It came to an end in 2017 after a single season of 26 episodes, although 11 shorts were also produced.

The show centers on two friends; Gark, a blue, tentacled alien with strange Psychic Powers who wears a custom-made purple cat costume to blend in, and his close friend Max, a selfish, vain housecat who live together with their doting owner Betty, a kind-hearted yet klutzy old woman, and their bizarre, over-the-top abstract adventures as Max occasionally ends up in weird situations or ends up misusing Gark's powers for his own benefit.

Interestingly, this show marks the third Aardman TV production with a Canadian studio, having previously done both Planet Sketch and Chop Socky Chooks with Decode Entertainment in the 2000s (both of which incidentally also aired on Teletoon in Canada)

Tropes pertaining to the series:

  • Alien Invasion: The climax of "Betty Laser Eyes" has a a race of multicolored extraterrestrials with googly eyes invade Earth after Betty's laser vision mucks things up.
  • Aliens Speaking English
  • Animal Talk: Aliens and most animals have no problem speaking with each other. Gark's translator must be on the fritz, though, because his speech comes across as a series of high-pitched mews to humans, while Throckmorton can be understood just fine.
  • Badass Adorable: Gark. He's unbelievably powerful, and he's absolutely adorable.
  • Bait-and-Switch: In one episode Max falls in love with a vacuum cleaner. While in Betty's room with it, Max proclaims "Finally, I understand what vacuums are for", sounding like he meant the vacuum giving him a blowjob, then it zooms out to show that it's just vacuuming the bed.
  • Body Horror: Pretty frequent for a children's show, but "Go Viral" takes the cake.
  • Canada, Eh?: Well, it is produced in Canada. In one episode, Max would mention the fact that Santa Claus would be next to Canada (don't ask why). Max also mentions the fact that they're not Canadians.
  • Cool Old Lady: Betty is this to a limited extent, but she does make up by being nice to everyone.
  • Couch Gag: The last scene of the intro. Regularly it's the wall of Betty's apartment falling down to reveal a giant monster with a leering eye; in horror-themed episodes, Betty's head unzips like a costume to reveal a tentacle monster, and in the Christmas special, Max and Gark are frozen while Christmas decorations are hung up in Betty's apartment.
  • Deranged Animation: The animation can get very weird at times, with the wormhole entering/exiting scene in "Wormhole" taking the cake.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The "Power of all Creatures" in "Go Viral".
  • Freudian Trio:
  • Expy: Max is an overweight, self-centered feline with a big appetite. Remind you of anyone?
  • The Cat Is an Alien: Gark. Later in "Wart Attack", Wilma's dog turns out to be an alien bounty hunter looking for Gark.
  • Giant Eye of Doom: At the end of the first opening, the wall crashes down for no reason, and a gigantic, lizard-like eye stares at Max, Gark and Betty.
  • Glowing Eyes: In "Staring Dog", Gark's eyes shine just like a pair of flashlights as he explores Wilma's apartment in the dark.
  • Instrumental Theme Tune: The theme music is electronic-ish, and has whistling throughout; The only words spoken are a robotic "Counterfeit Cat" at the end.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Max is a self-absorbed yet cowardly layabout who frequently uses Gark's powers for selfish gain, but, deep down, he cares so much for his best friend, and when it shows, it shows.
  • Malicious Misnaming: Max often calls Ranceford "Rancid".
  • Mistaken Identity: According to the show's official backstory, Gark initially mistook Max for a tiger, believing him to be the "bravest creature on Earth".
  • Noodle Incident: How Gark crashed his spacecraft into Betty's laundry room is left unknown.
  • No Waterproofing in the Future: In "I, Maxine", Max's Powered Armor ends up rusting when exposed to rain. This is justified as it's made out of a material found on Gark's planet, where there is no water and it rains strawberry milk.
  • Ocular Gushers: In the episode "9 Lives", Gark cried an entire deluge that flooded the city.
  • Organic Technology: Bizarrely, by way of his alien powers, Gark can use his own body to interface with electronics, as in plugging his tentacle into a security camera to scrape the footage or playing back a DVD by swallowing it.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: If there wasn't apparently a Weirdness Censor, Gark's cat costume wouldn't last ten minutes, especially considering that it doesn't even match his skin color.
  • Powered Armor: The plot of "I, Maxine" is that Max attempts to gain respect by wearing an enormous robot suit.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Gark is surpringly cute for a powerful psychic alien.
  • Rubber Man: Gark can stretch his limbs and body ridiculously far, and he can also mold his tentacles into any tool he can think of as if they were clay, from a rowing oar to a surgical scalpel.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In "The Scarlet Mark", Gark is playing detective, dressed exactly like Sherlock; he even has dimples to denote prominent cheekbones.
    • The title "28 Seconds Later" is a reference to 28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later.
    • Near the end of "Staring Dog", Gark thinks he sees Betty in a red coat and it turns out to be Staring Dog, referencing Don't Look Now.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Max and Ranceford often mock and insult each other, but the Valentine's day episode showed them going on a date together.
  • The Speechless: Staring Dog only communicates with a loud breathing sound.
  • Status Quo Is God: In "Any Takers?" Max and Gark's friends find out Gark is an alien, prompting Max to get a device to wipe their memories. By the time Max comes back and uses the device everyone had grown to accept Gark as an alien.
  • Sticky Situation: The plot of "Bin Juice" is that Max is detailing him and Gark becoming a pop duo after they get stuck together with what is implied to be rain water mixed with garbage.
  • Thousand-Yard Stare: Staring Dog has a permanent one.
  • Weirdness Censor: In "Wart Attack", as Max and Gark are explicitly engaging in a laser battle against two aliens, Betty and Wilma only see a handful of small animals roughhousing on the carpet.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: "28 Seconds Later", which you could probably guess just from the title.