Archive for the ‘TV & Webisodes’ Category

Like with films, most viewers have a pronounced slant toward television animation. The majority see the form as something slightly less than. Bring up The Simpsons and they’ll probably tell you they like it (or at least did at one point), argue its merits against a Seinfeld or a Newhart and you’ll likely be laughed out of the room. It’s good for what it is, but… That’s the common refrain, at least from one end of the spectrum.

Then again, the other side where I live is no better. I’ll be honest. I suck up cartoons faster than a seven year old that finally got the straw into his Capri Sun. I obsesses over American Dad and The Venture Brothers and don’t understand why you haven’t seen every episode of Metalocalypse. And here I am telling you about this Archer show, saying things like it should have been nominated for Best Comedy Series. Here’s the thing: neither side is right.

Animation runs the gamut from absolutely brilliant (South Park at its best) to juvenile and borderline unwatchable (The Cleveland Show at its worst). Archer may not quite be at the apex of television programs, but it’s damn close. If it keeps progressing, some day it will be nominated for Best Comedy Series. Don’t listen to the elitist snobs and don’t listen to me either, watch it for yourself and realize there’s a whole lot to love.

Boasting easily the best collection of voice talent on television, Archer follows the International Secret Intelligence Service, an insufferable bureaucratic institution that spends more time fretting over money and blatant ethics violations than actually doing its job. Its best agent Sterling Archer (brilliantly voiced by H. Jon Benjamin) is a walking personality disorder. He wines, carouses and whines like an immature James Bond that was shot down by Moneypenny one too many times. Nonetheless, he gets the job done, no thanks to ISIS’s boss, his mother (Jessica Walter). Malory Archer is an amoral throwback, a woman that thinks nothing of hopping into bed with powerful statesmen and then berating her underlings for their classless behavior. Those underlings include but are not limited to her son’s ex-girlfriend Lana Kane (Aisha Tyler), her masochistic secretary Cheryl (Pam Grier), her frequently-confused and sometimes drug-addicted accountant Cyril (Chris Parnell) and the onetime cannibal butler Woodhouse (George Coe).

It all seems ridiculous on paper, but through sheer wit and determination, series creator Adam Reed pulls the whole thing off almost flawlessly. I say almost because the show has the frustrating habit of occasionally making one comment too many. Archer especially is prone to long, hilarious rants, often delivered in uproarious mumbles, but now and again, after the joke is already out there, he will end the spiel on one final comment that’s more intentionally profane than actually funny. This wouldn’t be a problem for most shows that are all too willing to replace humor with obscene irreverence, but Archer is better than that. At its most sophisticated, it’s arguably the fastest and best-scripted show on television. I don’t mind filthy humor. In fact, I love filthy humor, there just needs to be more there than sheer filth.

Every few years, a show like Archer bursts onto the scene, rewrites all the rules during its first season and then edges toward the middle of the pack during its sophomore run. If the rest of season two is anything like the first handful of episodes, that definitely won’t be a problem.

Archer airs Thursday nights on FX at 10 PM EST. Below is the season to date, and I’ll update the post every Friday morning through the seasons conclusion. Some day soon America will be talking about this show. You might as well get there before it’s too crowded.

New episode added 03/17/2011.

IMDB: Link | Wiki: Link</a

Episode One: Swiss Miss | Episode Two: A Going Concern | Episode Three: Blood Test
Episode Four: Pipeline Fever | Episode Five: The Double Deuce | Episode Six: Tragical History
Episode Seven: Movie Star | Episode Eight: Stage Two | Episode Nine: Placebo Effect | Episode Ten: El Secuestro
Episode Eleven: Jeu Monegasque

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Dexter is an American television drama series that centers on Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall), a forensic bloodstain pattern analyst for the Miami Metro Police Department who moonlights as a serial killer. Quirky, gory, and demented as it gets – the show has received incredible acclaim from critics and fans alike.

The show debuted on October 1, 2006, on Showtime and the fifth season ended on December 12, 2010. The show has been renewed for a sixth season. Set in Miami, the show’s first season was largely based on the novel Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay, the first of his series of Dexter novels. Subsequent seasons have evolved independently of Lindsay’s works. It was adapted for television by screenwriter James Manos, Jr., who wrote the pilot episode.

Dexter structures his killing around “the Code of Harry”, a body of ethics and procedures devised by his adoptive father Harry Morgan (who was a Miami cop) to make sure Dexter never gets caught and to ensure that Dexter kills only other killers. Harry also trained Dexter in how to interact convincingly with other people despite his dissociative mental illness, which Harry believed to be sociopathy, arising from Dexter witnessing the brutal murder of his biological mother, Laura Moser.

As an adult, Dexter has largely escaped suspicion (with some exceptions) by being genial and generous and maintaining generally superficial relationships. However, his attachment to his foster (and ultimately adoptive) sister, Debra, his wife, Rita, his stepchildren, Astor and Cody, and later his biological son, Harrison, have all complicated his double life and made him question his need to kill. In fact, in the first season, newly-found memories of his mother’s murder set in motion the slow but steady humanization of Dexter, progressing further with each season, as Dexter begins to experience a variety of emotions for the first time in years.

Season Five picks up where Season Four left off, with the death of Rita. The main focus of the season revolved around the fallout from Dexter impersonating a man named Kyle Butler to get closer to Arthur Mitchell. Dexter now faces a serious problem being a single parent and trying to satisfy the desires of his dark passenger. Astor blames Dexter for her mother’s death. Dexter is also being investigated by Joey Quinn and the Homicide Department, and his time with the Mitchell family seems to be working against him. Quinn seems to force the homicide department (including Deb) to open their eyes to the dark side of Dexter Morgan.

Without giving anything away to those of you that fell behind and have not seen all the episodes, I can tell you that there is a new focus on a new bad guy, and a lot of new plot twists. Also, he kills a bunch of people (surprise, surprise). Award winning actress Julia Stiles was an important character throughout the season.

Wiki: Here

Download (AVI): Episode One: My Bad | Episode Two: Hello, Bandit | Episode Three: Practically Perfect
Episode Four: Beauty and the Beast | Episode Five: First Blood | Episode Six: Everything Is Illumenated
Episode Seven: Circle Us | Episode Eight: Take It! | Episdode Nine: Teenage Wasteland
Episode Ten: In The Beginning | Episode Eleven: Hop A Freighter | Episode Twelve: The Big One

If you are suffering from sever insomnia on a Sunday night and happen to stumble across Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim, you just might have caught a glimpse of the short-lived animated series The Oblongs.

The show is loosely based on a series of characters introduced in creator Angus Oblong’s picture book entitled Creepy Susie and 13 Other Tragic Tales for Troubled Children.

This post-apocalyptic version of the Simpsons of sorts aired originally on The WB but failed to find an audience. On May 20, 2001, The WB aired Disfigured Debbie, the second episode produced, as the season finale, leaving five episodes unaired. Claiming the show to be “too edgy” and “strangely conceived”, the WB cancelled the show after two episodes.

In August 2002, the series found a home on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim evening program schedule with new episodes, where it received high ratings when many fans discovered the series for the first time. In 2005, the show began airing reruns on TBS and was released on DVD.

Is the show weird? Of course it is – but backed by the voices of Will Ferrell (yes, THAT Will Ferrell) and Billy West (the voice of Futurama’s Philip J. Fry), it had much to offer in a comedic sense. It was adult-oriented, but had that “happy, glowing feeling” that made it (mostly) kid safe.

Perhaps that was the problem. With a twisted premise and relatively dark storylines, the show had too much of a Saturday morning look to it – which I’m sure confused certain viewers and network executives alike.

The good news (great news) is that Cartoon Network has announced intention to revive the series. There has been no definite commitment from Will Ferrell or Billy West on reprising their roles, but frankly the writing was what made the show an instant cult classic – not the comedic stylings of Ferrell.

Below are separate links to each (and every) Oblongs episode – for the avid fan, as well as for those that have never seen or heard of this amazing show. Each episode is a small download (>100M) and presented in .avi format. Click the episode name to begin download. You can thank me later. Enjoy.

Episode One: Misfit Love | Episode Two: Narcoleptic Scottie | Episode Three: Milo Interrupted
Episode Four: Bucketheads | Episode Five: Heroine Addict | Episode Six: The Golden Child
Episode Seven: Flush, Flush Sweet Helga | Episode Eight: Disfigured Debbie | Episode Nine: Pickles’ Little Amazons
Episode Ten: Get Off My Back | Episode Eleven: Please Be Genital | Episode 12: My Name Is Robby
Episode 13: Father Of The Bribe

Wiki: Link | IMDB: Link

Neighbors From Hell (Season One)

Posted: February 19, 2011 in TV & Webisodes

Ever lived next to a truly awful neighbor? Someone who does nothing but drive you crazy and make your life a living hell? Well, as it turns out, some people from Hell have the same problem. I liked Neighbors From Hell quite a bit, probably because the show makes no bones about being influenced by classic family sitcoms like Growing Pains, The Cosby Show and ALF, and at its core, it’s the same thing, except that there’s, you know, demons involved.

The premise is simple, but promising: A huge energy company called Petromundo has invented a gigantic drill that can burrow all the way down to Hell. Naturally, Satan doesn’t want anyone messing with his domain, so he sends working stiff Balthazor Hellman and his reluctant family up to Earth to try and stop it. In order to accomplish the mission and return home successfully, the Hellmans must hide their demonic nature and try to fit in with the neighbors. Thus the weird title, “Snorfindesdrillsalgoho”, or spelled out: Seem Normal, Fit In, Destroy Drill, Save Hell, Go Home. The irony is that the Hellmans soon discover people on Earth are far more evil than anyone they know down in Hell.

There’s a lot to like in this show because the jokes range from over-the-top sight gags to subtle “blink-and-you-missed-it” quips and the cast is very strong. It’s almost unfair to compare Neighbors From Hell to The Simpsons or Family Guy because those shows have had years of history, but there are some similarities as far as character types go. Balthazor Hellman (Will Sasso), like Homer Simpson and Peter Griffin, is kind of a dolt, but he has a good heart, even though he works for Satan. His martini-drinking wife Tina (Molly Shannon) is more posh than Marge Simpson or Lois Griffin, but like those characters, she seems to have loads of patience and understanding.

As for the rest of the family – daughter Mandy (Tracey Fairaway), son Josh (David Soren) and Uncle Vlaartark (Kyle McCulloch) – all are characters that are funny in their own way with their own distinct characteristics. Like Apu on The Simpsons, Neighbors From Hell has a resident Indian man, Chevdet Tevetoglu (also voiced by Kyle McCulloch), who is the engineer responsible for the Petromundo drill. The show-steaker for me was Pazuzu (Patton Oswalt), a demon who must pose as the Hellmans’ dog, stakes his claim as the family’s voice of reason, like Brian on Family Guy.

Much of the comedy in this series comes from the supporting cast. We’ve seen dozens of interpretations of Satan in mass media and in a sense, it’s one of the easier parts to play because there’s so much you can do with the character. That said, Steve Coogan (Night at the Museum) does a great job putting his own particular spin on the infamous role. Kurtwood Smith (That 70’s Show) plays Don Killbride, the CEO of Petromundo and perhaps the wickedest guy on the show. I’m sure that when creator Pam Brady was writing the character, portraying an energy company’s CEO as a vile human being was a fun little joke. However, as the BP oil spill destroyed the Gulf of Mexico, the irony wasn’t so subtle. Another favorite character on the show is Marjoe Saint Sparks (Dina Waters), the Hellmans’ bubbly neighbor who’s kind of like Ned Flanders, if Ned were also a racist gossip with a suicidal pet poodle. She is, in fact, the neighbor from Hell.

I suspect that if you’re a fan of animated family sitcoms, this show will work for you. Because it’s a short ten-episode season, they had to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time, but the characters are well defined and they still get in plenty of jokes. Plus, they managed the difficult feat of poking fun at the lovey-doveyness that creeped into the later seasons of The Simpsons, while also showing that a family of demons aren’t completely demonic.

Neighbors From Hell aired last June and July on TBS. It is rumoured that the show has been cancelled, but even if TBS does not renew the series, I am confident it will be picked up by one of the more sensible, edgier networks (are you listening Comedy Central?)

Below are all ten episodes of 2010’s season one…

Episode One – Snorfindesdrillsalgoho: Download
Episode Two – Country Club Hell: Download
Episode Three – Gay Vampire Mexican: Download
Episode Four – Screw the EPA: Download
Episode Five – Family from Hell: Download
Episode Six – Guns for Mutts: Download
Episode Seven – Robert the Insult Weight Loss Robot: Download
Episode Eight – Wolf Power: Download
Episode Nine – Attila the Rascal: Download
Episode Ten – Fantastic 15: Download

Any expansion passwords required will be megafires.com, who graciously hosted these links.

Wiki: Link | Official Site: Link

A Charlie Brown Valentine (2002)

Posted: February 14, 2011 in TV & Webisodes

A Charlie Brown Valentine was the first Peanuts special to be produced after the death of Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz in 2000. It also marked the first time a Peanuts special was animated with Digital ink and paint as opposed to Traditional cel animation. It also utilized the drawing style similar to the comic strip, with a white outline around Lucy’s hair and Snoopy’s ears (this was dropped in future specials).

The bulk of the music score is classic melodies composed by Vince Guaraldi, some tunes which had only be utilized once (“Heartburn Waltz”). Other more notable tunes, such as “Charlie Brown theme”, “Peppermint Patty” and a jazz/rock version of “Linus and Lucy”, were used as well.

A Charlie Brown Valentine also depicts the Little Red-Haired Girl in full view, though she remains unnamed in this special (in contrast to her first full-view appearance in It’s Your First Kiss, Charlie Brown when she was named Heather).

IMBD: Link | Wiki: Link | Download (AVI): Part 1 | Part 2

Metalocalypse – Seasons 1-3

Posted: February 8, 2011 in TV & Webisodes

If you haven’t seem Brenden Small (Home Movies) and Tommy Blancha’s (ex-Conan O’ Brien) show Metalocalypse, you are missing something special. The writer’s have developed the craziest, loudest, funniest, head-banging program ever to grace cable television.

Following the daily activities of death metal band Dethklok–idiot vocalist Nathan Explosion (voiced by Small), self-loathing bass player William Murderface (Blacha), balding Midwesterner Pickles the Drummer (Small), “the world’s fastest guitarist” Skwisgaar Skwigelf (Small), and Norwegian native Toki Wartooth (Blacha)–“Metalocalypse” certainly allows its characters to ramble incoherently, but its premise demands such focus that even the incoherent rambling has to lead somewhere.
Bigger than Jesus and The Beatles combined, with revenues that rival most countries’ gross national product, Dethklok enjoys the epitome of creative control, which often results in situations that go madly awry. The band frequently indulges in extravagant, homicidal stage shows attended by millions of fans all too willing to be exploited, mangled, or killed if it means a brief brush with this aggressive cultural force. As wild and exaggerated as this premise may be, Dethklok claws its way to the top tier of “fake” bands for its concerted effort to create quality music. Surpassing the masturbatory silliness of Tenacious D while stopping just short of omplete homage t Spinal Tap, Dethklok and their songs may parody popular personalities and conceptions of real-world metal (such as “Fansong,” a lament for “a bunch of banks that I’d like to rob”), but everything is backed by a genuine sense of dedication, and it becomes impossible to see it all as anything other than a reflection of the (real and fictional) artists and their attempt to embody metal in its entirety. “Metalocalypse”, then, is a bit more earnest than what a surface reading might indicate. Indeed, brief cameos from recurring character Dr. Rockzo, the Rock n’ Roll Clown (a shrill amalgam of Gene Simmons and David Lee Roth (“I do cocaine!”)), directly point to the creators’ unwillingness to reduce everything to a series of pop culture point-and-laughs, creating a successfully hilarious 15 minutes for such desires and leaving it at that.

Most of “Metalocalypse”‘s humour, in fact, derives from the band’s inability to do anything that doesn’t involve the realization of their dark, brutal art: they’re completely incapable of performing the most menial and automatic of tasks. (Skwisgaar fails an on-the-spot test given him by Pickles: “Quick: name something that doesn’t have to do with the guitar!”) The world wilfully plays along as the band reshapes cultural institutions they can’t comprehend in their own image. Comedy (1.6, “Dethcomedy”), religion (1.16, “Religionklok”), film (1.19, “Dethstars”), and, yes, other genres of music (1.14, “Bluesklok”) fall before Dethklok’s violent tinkering–and suddenly you realize that the tribunal that monitors their actions represents a complex reaction to the double-edged sword that is art’s influence on society. Metalocalypse’s comfort with every aspect of itself eventually throws the burden of examination back on us: it poses how much we really “know” about our artistic idols against what we expect from them and considers how much slack we’re willing to cut them when they don’t live up to our expectations.

The show is absolutely brilliant, in its dark, brutal way. Do you need to be a heavy metal fan to enjoy it? Probably — but plenty of the humor is more about the life and less about the music.

Season three saw a change for the show. While the dedication for all things brutal remained, Small wanted to expand episodes, citing the need for deeper storylines and better character development. All the episodes in season three aired for 30 minutes (instead of the usual 15), but due to time deadlines limited the season to 10 episodes. Season Four is scheduled to premiere in the fall of 2011.

Dethklok as a band actually hold their own on the metal scene. Taken from the episodes of season one, the band released Dethalbum in 2007, and actually toured (with Small and Blancha performing in the dark with animated members playing along on screen.) Gene Hogland of Strapping Young Lad joined the pair to play drums for their live performances. Dethalbum II was released in 2009 to coincide with Season 2, and a third album is currently in development.

The Nutwork highly recommends this show for its level of adult humor and for it’s hilarious take on all things metal. Take a look for yourself by clicking the links below (clicking the red episode name directs you to the download). Most episodes have a guest appearance by a metal legend or two – but you usually need to view the end credits to find out who…

Metalocalypse airs Sunday nights on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim.

Wiki: Link | On Adult Swim: Link

Season One:
Episode 1: The Curse of Dethklok | Episode 2: Dethwater | Episode 3: Birthdayface | Episode 4: Dethtroll
Episode 5: Dethkomedy | Episode 6: Dethfam | Episode 7: Performance Klok | Episode 8: Snakes & Barrels – Pt. I
Episode 9: Mordland | Episode 10: Detharmonic | Episode 11: Skwisklok | Episode 12: Murdering Outside The Box
Episode 13: Go Forth and Die | Episode 14: Bluesklok | Episode 15: Religionklok | Episode 16: Dethkids
Episode 17: Dethclown | Episode 18: Girlfriendklok | Episode 19: Dethstars | Episode 20: The Metalocalypse Has Begun

Season Two:
Episode 1: Dethecution | Episode 2: Dethlessons | Episode 3: Dethvengeance | Episode 4: Dethdoubles
Episode 5: Dethfashion | Episode 6: Cleanzo | Episode 7: Deth Wedding | Episode 8: P.R. Klok
Episode 9: Dethcarraldo | Episode 10: Dethgov | Episode 11: Dethrace | Episode 12: The Revengencers
Episode 13: Klokblocked | Episode 14: Dethsources | Episode 15: Dethdad
Episode 16/17: Snakes & Barrels – Part II | Episode 18: Dethrecord | Episode 19/20: Black Fire Upon Us

Season Three:
Episode 1: Renovationklok | Episode 2: Tributeklok | Episode 3: Dethhealth | Episode 4: Dethmas
Episode 5: Fatherklok | Episode 6: Fertilityklok | Episode 7: Dethsiduals | Episode 8: Rehabklok
Episode 9: Dethzazz | Episode 10: Doublebookedklok

Robot Chicken – Seasons 1-4

Posted: February 5, 2011 in TV & Webisodes

So you know Seth Green from such movies as Austin Powers, Rat Race, The Italian Job, and Without A Paddle. You know him from TV’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer and as the voice of Chris Griffin in Family Guy.

What you might not know about him is that the guy is seriously demented. To understand how deeply disturbed he is, one need not look any further than Green’s creation Robot Chicken, which airs on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. (Yes, this is about the only channel I ever watch)

The premise? Green and company pack as many rapid-fire shorts as possible into 15 minutes of show time using stop-motion animation with Barbie dolls, action figures, and anything else they can get their twisted little hands (and minds) on.

The result? Some of the most over-the-top sketch comedy on television today. Nothing is off-limits when Green and co-writers Matthew Senreich, Douglas Goldstein and Tom Root get their heads together. With tons of pop-culture references and an all-star cast of guest voices (from Snoop Dogg to Burt Reynolds), the show is frantic, fresh, and funny while succeeding in being one of the strangest things you’ll ever see on tv.

Not to be missed was a special 30-minute episode at the end of season 4 (Episode 20) paying tribute to Star Wars. Imagine all your old Star Wars action figures coming to life and saying some pretty messed-up sh*t, and you get the premise…

Season 5 premiered on December 12, 2011, and the show continues to get great ratings and acclaim from critics as one of the most interesting shows on cable. Set your DVR’s – the show is on at 1:00 in the morning. Or just play catch up by downloading the previous four seasons worth of episodes below.

IMBD: Link | Wiki: Link | At Adult Swim: Link

Season One:
Episode 1 | Episode 2 | Episode 3 | Episode 4 | Episode 5 | Episode 6 | Episode 7 | Episode 8 | Episode 9
Episode 10 | Episode 11 | Episode 12 | Episode 13 | Episode 14 | Episode 15 | Episode 16 | Episode 17
Episode 18 | Episode 19 | Episode 20

Season Two:
Episode 1 | Episode 2 | Episode 3 | Episode 4 | Episode 5 | Episode 6 | Episode 7 | Episode 8 | Episode 9
Episode 10 | Episode 11 | Episode 12 | Episode 13 | Episode 14 | Episode 15 | Episode 16 | Episode 17
Episode 18 | Episode 19 | Episode 20

Season Three:
Episode 1 | Episode 2 | Episode 3 | Episode 4 | Episode 5 | Episode 6 | Episode 7 | Episode 8 | Episode 9
Episode 10 | Episode 11 | Episode 12 | Episode 13 | Episode 14 | Episode 15 | Episode 16 | Episode 17
Episode 18 | Episode 19 | Episode 20

Season Four:
Pre-Season Christmas Special
Episode 1 | Episode 2 | Episode 3 | Episode 4 | Episode 5 | Episode 6 | Episode 7 | Episode 8 | Episode 9
Episode 10 | Episode 11 | Episode 12 | Episode 13 | Episode 14 | Episode 15 | Episode 16 | Episode 17
Episode 18 | Episode 19 | Episode 20 (Star Wars)