Channel Surfer: 'Home Movies'
Ever wake up in the middle of the night and turn to Adult Swim only to see this weird show that makes you wonder if you’re more hung over then you actually are? It’s so poorly drawn, and the characters just keep talking and talking. Well, as it turns out, that show is actually pretty awesome and I’m here to tell you why.
Original Run: 1999-2004
No. of Episodes: 52
Premise: Home Movies is an animated sitcom about an eight-year old boy named Brendon Small, who makes movies with his friends Melissa and Jason. He is living with his divorce mother Paula and has a weird pseudo-friendship with his soccer coach, John McGuirk.
The first thing you’ll notice off the bat is the animation style. Home Movies is done entirely in Adobe flash animation, making the series look like a bad online video. The saving grace, however, is the dialogue. The series uses an informal style of language that has since become the norm on many of Adult Swim’s cartoon series, from Aqua Teen Hunger Force to Squidbillies. A lot of the scenes in the show were left purposely vague by the writers in order to let the voice actors flex their improv muscles. The best of course being any scene with Coach McGuirk, played by H. Jon Benjamin, currently known as “Bob” from Bob’s Burgers (and for having one of the scariest profile pictures on Wikepedia).
If you’ve ever worked on something creative with other people, then the interactions between the cast members will seem strangely familiar to you. Their discussions about originality, necessary editing, and broad appeal, all the while ignoring the fact that only a small number of people will actually see the finished product, is very reminiscent of today’s Youtube/Tumbler/WordPress world.
Of course, it’s not all “creative process” this and “improvisation” that. Some of the best moments come straight out of left field, like the background joke that reveals that Coach McGuirk is a part time Luchador named “El Futbol Coach,” or the songs in “Star boy and the Captain of Outer Space.” Music is in fact one of the best part of Home Movies, no doubt due to the fact that show creator Brendon Small is a self-proclaimed “Shredder,” and the creator of another Adult Swim show, Metalocalypse.
Home Movies is a show that should appeal to most everyone. It’s funny, off the wall and deceptively smart. I know the animation will need some getting used to, but don’t let that discourage you from watching one of the best animated shows of the new millennium.