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December 09, 2003 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-12-09

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ARTS-

9 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, December 9, 2003

Courtesy of NBC
Rabbits x
can't cut Y4
their own
hair. That's
crazy.f
BACK TO THE BASICS
MORGAN SHINES IN FAMILY-ORIENTED SITCOM

Wacky 'Swim'
gives cartoons
an adult edge
By Douglas Wernert
Daily Arts Writer
DVD REVIEW
For most of the older crowd, cartoons have become a
thing of the past. "Beavis and Butthead" has left our TV
sets and we are left with no real alternative. Enter Adult
Swim, Cartoon Network's late night block of shows
geared to the zaniest of the Generation X and Y crowds.
Two programs in particular stand out as the network's
most popular, and for good reason.
"Space Ghost Coast to Coast" Aqua Teen
enters your living room, as an old-
time superhero, trying his hand at Hunger
hosting a late night talk show. With Force:
celebrity guests ranging from Weird Volume 1 /
Al Yankovic to Hulk Hogan, Space Space Ghost
Ghost tries to find out each person's Coast to
secret identity, which generally Coast:
results in some hilarity. The show is V
a bit scattered, as the quick-tempered Volume I
Space Ghost will zap his mantis Cartoon Network
bandleader and arch-nemesis Zorak,
or argue with his producer Moltar, another foe, for no
reason at all. This leaves audiences confused from time
to time, even though that is just Space Ghost's character
shining through.
"Aqua Teen Hunger Force" continues the trend of
wacky cartoonery on Adult Swim. This offering chroni-
cles the lives of three fast food products who double as
detectives. The lovable, goofy Meatwad (who looks like,
you guessed it, a wad of meat) teams with the brainy,

No one sleeps with my grandmother[

By Niamh Slevin
Daily Arts Writer

Let's face it, friends: NBC is
getting desperate. As the mid-sea-
son marker approaches, more and
more critics across the nation are
hounding the network with com-
plaints of its new-series stinkers.
Even the quali- _
ty of old
favorites has The Tracy
quite obviously Morgan
declined. The Show
programming Tuesdays at8 p.m.
executives must
have had no NBC
choice but to
yank a few shows, send them to an
early grave and quickly find
decent replacements. Fortunately,
they found Tracy Morgan.
Unlike other comic-turned-sit-
com-star rejects, NBC's latest ven-
ture, "The Tracy Morgan Show,"
attempts to bring back some sem-
blance of cheesy family program-
ming with style, and its simple
humor only adds to its charm.
The show's premise is admitted-
ly unoriginal. Morgan plays a
father of two, trying to run his
own mechanic business and teach
his boys a few lessons along the
way. The two kids (Bobbe Thomp-
son and Marc Jon Jeffries) are of
course, loving rapscallions, who

occasionally cause trouble, but
always do the right thing in the
end. Mom (Tamala Jones) inter-
venes when necessary and tries to
maintain her image as the hip,
young mother and understanding
wife.
But it is precisely because the
plotlines are so unoriginal that the
series shows any promise at all.
Perhaps the downplayed plot
serves to emphasize the SNL
favorite Brian Fellows' flair in
Morgan's caricature-like expres-
sions and seemingly random
jokes. Perhaps the irresistible
smile of a young child sucks the
audience in just like the Cosby
and Keaton kids did for past gen-
erations. Or perhaps the show's
simplicity only seems tolerable in
contrast to the outrageous alterna-
tives on the air. Who knows? The
point is it works. The show has the
potential to draw a brief laugh
from even the harshest critic.
Of course, "Tracy Morgan" has
its share of faults as well. Freddie,
played by Kat Williams, ranks
among the most annoying charac-
ters in television history (although
his Prince impression is pretty
sweet). The family feel of the
show can grate on one's nerves if
served in doses any longer than its
allotted 30 minutes, and dear old
Mom is about as fake as they
come. Yet, the series achieves a
level of mediocrity severely lack-

reasonable Frylock and the crazy,
bossy Master Shake to fight such ene-
mies as robotic rabbits and lep
rechauns. The antics of Master
Shake are laugh-out-loud funny,
and when coupled with the
creative hip-hop theme song,
audiences will keep coming
back for seconds.
The extras are lacking, even
when you consider it is just a
television show on DVD.
Aside from guest commen-
taries and a single unique fea-
ture on each set, the extras are nothing special. Still, the
content of the shows themselves are a good enough rea-
son for any cartoon fan to add this DVD to their collec-
tion. With quality content from these two shows' first
seasons, Adult Swim proves it will certainly not sink to
the bottom of the TV pool.
Show: ***
Picture/Sound: *****
Features: **

Courtesy or NC

Astronaut Jones.

ing in NBC's current lineup.
While "The Tracy Morgan
Show" cannot save NBC's tar-
nished reputation, it certainly can't
hurt. If a couple of cute kids,
goofy punch lines and an over-the-
top sketch comic will do the trick,
go for it.

----------- i

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