You Should Be Watching Regular Show
It’s been difficult in the last ten years to really appreciate a cartoon. The nineties were filled with them, every cartoon enjoyable to watch, unique in its plot, and filled with interesting characters exaggerating the ones surrounding us in real life. But the early 2000s brought such a disappointment to the cartoon world. Although I can’t speak for all cartoons, many of them lost their creativity. They became too careful with what they tried to achieve and that exaggeration that was so funny disappeared. But fret no more! Cartoons are making a great comeback, and I can’t be the only happy one. Since 2007, Cartoon Network has been releasing wonderful, enjoyable cartoons for all ages and these shows— Adventure Time with Finn and Jake, The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack, Chowder, Regular Show, etc.— have dug up the buried treasure of ridiculousness.
There’s a wonderful chunk of time in the early evening on Cartoon Network when Regular Show plays consistently for almost two hours. Each episode is about fifteen minutes long and the plot usually centers around Mordecai and Rigby, a blue-jay and a raccoon in their twenties working as groundkeepers in a park. They’re always trying to slack off, which tends to lead them into trouble with their gumball machine boss, Benson. The trouble always accelerates, causing the park staff (including an overweight green monster Muscle Man, an immortal Yeti named Skips, and a large-headed, high-pitched old man named Pops) to undergo crazy, surrealistic adventures until the last second, when everything gets neatly sorted out. It takes a simple issue like lying to people or getting angry and teaches a lesson in an exaggerated (and comedic!) way.
The show has gained intense popularity since its premiere four seasons ago in 2010. Thirty year-old J.G. Quintel created the show based off of characters from his student films (The Naïve Man from Lolliland and 2 in the AM PM) when he studied at California Institute of the Arts. Regular Show was pitched for Cartoon Network’s Cartoonstitute project, where young people were invited to create pilots of their ideas. The network picked up Quintel’s show quickly. Before Regular Show, Quintel worked at Cartoon Network as the creative director of The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack (which tragically no longer airs) with Thurop Van Orman, with whom he attended college. Cartoons seemed to always have been Quintel’s calling.
Regular Show is inspired greatly by Quintel’s life experiences while he was in college, and he identifies himself with the main character Mordecai. His past is obviously weaved into the show. Regular Show features music and references from the 80’s and the characters use a lot of older technology, like VHS tapes and players and cartridge based video game consoles. Even the animation is done by hand because Quintel felt more comfortable working on paper and felt it better represents the variety of styles by the different artists. It is never over the top or trying too hard, and each character is unique and hysterical. The voice acting sounds conversational and natural, which makes the comedy that way, too.
New episodes air Monday nights at 8 PM, right after Adventure Time with Finn and Jake. Highly recommended, and always a good laugh and easy watch, Regular Show deserves the appreciation— especially because it’s not hard to associate with Mordecai and Rigby who, although having responsibilities, still manage to enjoy the nice, lazy, silly life.