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The idea that youtube could be used for pilot shows never occurred to me until last year, when I stumbled across the prospective cartoon Infinity Train. I'm delighted to see that show has since been optioned. You too can use youtube to find plenty of other diamonds in the rough, waiting to be picked up by studios, and this will inevitably led you to Hazbin Hotel, a cartoon that has generated massive fandom, years before its first episode has even been produced.
The premise of Hazbin is that the Underworld is overflowing with violent evil demons. Charlie, Princess of Hell and likely Disney Princess from a previous life, hatches on a scheme to deal with the population crisis by opening a kind of rehab spa to reform demons and get them into Heaven. Everyone in Hell thinks the idea is shit.
Much of the episode is spent establishing the shows many quirky and sociopathic characters. They're a colourful and fun bunch but there's too many of them, and I'm not clear which are expected to remain incidental and which are important to the story. The show spends a little too much of its 30 minute run time with different combinations of them basically dicking around fighting each other, and not really enough time on its main plot. Speaking of plot, Hazbin also runs into the old Addams Family difficulty, in that its impossible to set up stakes when the characters are apparently immortal and don't care about being hurt.
The show pitches itself as a dark comedy, and whilst I don't have a problem with the adult themes and language, the humour doesn't seem to be on the same adult level. Angel Dust is the show's biggest fault in terms of writing, a Jack Sparrow-esque, free-willed gangster cross-dresser who is given way too much screen-time to tell bad jokes. His comedy interludes routinely fall flat and harm the show the most. Five minutes or so of this stuff should have ended up on the cutting room floor.
I want Hazbin to get picked up by a network, and then get better, and then make millions of dollars via Hot Topic t-shirts, but in the meantime we will have to make do with a decent but patchy introduction.
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