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January 08, 1999 - Image 8

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-01-08

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8 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, January 8, 1999

Animated 'PJs' to make
projects a funnier place

By Gautham lyor
For the Daily
Due to its lack of decent live pro-
gramming, FOX seems to have, for
the moment, given up airing disas-
ters such as "Costello" and "Living
in Captivity" and will return to the
art form that they ingeniously updat-
ed for the '90s: animation. Over the
next month, FOX will begin airing
three brand new animated series,
capitalizing on the success it
achieved in the past with the still
excellent comedy, "The Simpsons,"
and "King of the Hill," a good show
that unfortu-
nately has been
l-; 48condemned to
°z4 the extremely
competitive 8
The Pis p.m. Tuesday
FOX time slot.
Premiere Sund First up is
at 8:30 p m. "The Ps," pre-
Regularly Tuesdays miering Sunday
at 8:30 p.m. after "The
Simpsons," then
moving to its
normal time slot
on Tuesdays
after "King."
"Family Guy"
and "Futurama," the highly antici-
pated new show from "Simpsons"
creator Matt Groening are set to pre-
miere in the coming month.
So far, "The PJs" seems like the
most original new show due to its
interesting setting and fresh anima-
tion. Created by movie star Eddie
Murphy, the show centers on the life
of the superintendent of a building
in the projects (The PJs, for short)
and the adventures he experiences
while roaming around the less pros-
perous part of town. Aside from the
innovative humor of Murphy, the
show also boasts a "foa-
mation" technique,
the same brand of
animation used to
bring the world
the California
Raisins, through
animated clay fig-
ures.
The premiere
episode introduces the
show's characters, as
"Super" Thurgood
Stubbs (hilariously
voiced by Murphy)
wanders around his
building fixing such prob-
lems as a disastrous toilet
clog in the apartment of a
voodoo goddess nick-
named Haiti Lady
whose house contains
items that include
"Shrunken Head and
Shoulders" and "Dead
People" magazine.
Other characters
include Thurgood's
supportive wife
Muriel, Calvin, a 10-
year old who looks
up to Stubbs,
Juicy, another Thurgood Stubbs
young resident repairs problems
with a slight on "The PJs."

S

Courtesy of Touchstone Television
"The PJs," the first of three new animated series being produced by the FOX net-
work, was created by film comedian Eddie Murphy. Above, Thurgood Stubbs (voice
of Murphy) plays chess with friend Sanchez In a park near their home in the Hilton-
Jacobs Projects.

promise as they are not necessarily
the expected, over-used stereotypes
of the usual urban show.
Unfortunately, a comic genius
like Murphy still cannot squeeze all
the humor he can out of a medium
that has so many possibilities. There
is still no program that can rival
Groening's genius creation in wit
and art, even though "The PJs" is
very impressive in its fascinating
animation. This show bolsters a
huge amount of potential and will
become a hit if FOX moves it to a
better time slot (Sunday nights, for
example). As it stands right now, it
doesn't hold a candle to its far more
witty time slot rival, "Buffy The
Vampire Slayer."
For the premiere episode, "The
PJs" sparks some impressive
moments, mirroring its talented pro-
ducers, including Murphy, director
Ron Howard and producer Brian
Grazer, the team that produced the
profitable and hilarious "The Nutty
Professor." Unfortunately, though,
they can do better than resorting to
a homeless guy in a runaway shop-
ping cart, quoting James Cameron
quoting Leo "I'm the King of the
World!" If it doesn't get any fun-
nier, "The PJs" may end up a sink-
ing ship.

411
Courtesy of Touchstone Television
Is the maintenance man who
at the Hilton-Jfcobs Projects

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for Daily Arts?
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for new writ-
ers for all
staffs other
than film. If
you're inter-
ested, come to
a Michigan
Daily mass
meeting at 420
Maynard.
Wednesday,
Jan. 13
Tuesday, Jan.
17
Wednesday,

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