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I remember seeing the first promos for this cartoon on Teletoon, and I thought it looked super interesting. I watched a bunch of episodes throughout the summer of 2016 (and created its TV Tropes page), but ultimately it just ended up being So Okay, It's Average for me. And so here, I'm gonna share my opinion on this little-known Canadian cartoon.
I love Freaktown's premise. It is a really fun idea - gross, ugly monsters vs the cute and cuddly yet evil critters who rule them and want to make them cute too. I've always liked portrayals of monsters as Dark Is Not Evil, and the idea of them facing off with Cute Is Evil villains just sounded really entertaining to me - a subversion of the "cutesy good guys and hideous bad guys" trope. Unfortunately, the execution is ultimately lackluster. The problem is that the writing doesn't really handle the premise in a creative or exciting manner. A lot of the episodes are very generic, with the whole "freaks vs. sweets" thing being only barely addressed. The jokes usually tend to be likewise - nothing especially good but nothing atrocious. They do manage to produce some good ideas every once in a while, but otherwise, a lot of the stuff is run-of-the-mill. It honestly would have been better if they played up the antagonistic angles by having more storylines about the Freaks trying to stop the Sweets' cutifying projects and less stories where the fact the characters are Freaks or Sweets doesn't matter.
Freaktown's animation is pretty standard for a Flash-animated Canadian cartoon (which is to say, mediocre but not horrendous), and the artstyle isn't too shabby. The one thing that bugs me though is the artstyle's weird obsession with butts. Every single character who doesn't wear pants has a visible drawn pair of butt cheeks. I knew Freaktown would have a lot of grossout when I jumped in, but only the gratuitous butts seriously bothered me for some reason. I think it was because they felt like really forced Toilet Humour like in My Gym Partner's a Monkey. I don't hate Toilet Humour, but forcing it to the point of excess gets annoying very quickly.
The characters were decent but not great. My favourite was Priscilla (in Canadian cartoons, the female best friend of the main character is always the best character for some reason) - she was a smart, cool Cute Monster Girl with magic powers who could pull her eyes from her sockets! Ben and Lenny were alright; they were generic idiot heroes, but still generally likeable. I didn't like Princess Boo-Boo, but given she's the main villain that's good in my book (though her crush on Ben felt unnecessary and made no sense to me). But Cuddles, I had problems with. He feels like a Designated Villain a lot of the time; we know he's one of the bad guys, but he rarely feels like one. He comes off as just a grumpy guy whose peace and quiet are always ruined by the Idiot Hero - like Squidward and Spongebob sometimes. It would be more effective if episodes had Cuddles initiate the plot with one of Boo-Boo's decrees rather than Ben and Lenny doing so by annoying him. Better yet, Boo-Boo should antagonize the Freaks and Cuddles should be her sidekick.
I really wanted to like Freaktown, but it just really disappointed me. It had a promising premise full of potential with some interesting ideas and characters, but the execution was so mediocre that it just became what 90% of modern Flash-animated Canadian cartoons are - meh. That said, I still have a soft spot for the series and it's pretty unfortunate how badly it got Screwed by the Network after the summer. It has a super tiny fanbase, and I'm happy that it does, because its nice to see people enjoy obscure modern-day Canadian cartoons. Overall, I don't wanna say I liked Freaktown, but I didn't hate it either. It just never unlocked its potential.
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