Okay, so, I've been watching Netflix a bit lately and a show that was recommended which seemed to have a number of positive reviews was Tuca And Bertie.
It was created by some people with a connection to Bojack Horseman. Now, I've never liked Bojack Horseman. I find it boring, predictable, depressing (but not in an interesting way), overrated and not at all funny when it tries to be. But, I thought that maybe I could potentially get into Tuca And Bertie. It seemed like a happier show, which already placed it above Bojack Horseman.
The problem is that Tuca And Bertie is a deeply uncomfortable show to watch, to the point where I legitimately felt an icky feeling while I was watching it. I can't place my finger on why.
I feel as though lately the quality of the average animated show has been on a sharp decline, which disturbs me because we're in a year where there are more reviews for animated shows than ever before, and those reviews are heaping praise upon crap like Tuca And Bertie.
It disturbs me greatly as a fan of animated shows to see Young Justice Season 3 get heavily praised when it is easily the worst season of the show thus far. It disturbs me to see the infamous Pickle Rick episode get praised as some kind of high-art that my feeble brain didn't understand (I like exposition dumps, I like monologues, but I like them in the beginning or the middle of a story. If you, as a writer, place a monologue or an exposition dump in your movie's ending, or worse, place it as the intended climax of your story, then you're a shit writer). It disturbs me to see Tuca And Bertie get praised for its story and 'likeable characters' when it features some of the laziest storytelling and least likeable characters I've ever seen in any cartoon.
I feel as though a veil has been lifted from my eyes. After a few years of animation beginning to be taken seriously as an art form, with praise being heaped up Rick And Morty, The Amazing World Of Gumball, Bojack Horseman, Young Justice and My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Tuca And Bertie has such a disconnect between the critical opinion and my personal opinion that it makes me retroactively look back at those cartoons of the last decade to wonder if they actually deserved the praise they received.
Certainly My Little Pony: Friendship Is Condescending, Slow-Paced And Low On Stakes is an overrated cartoon with interesting lore and characters that were never used to their full potential in the actual show and it will someday be viewed the same way that the earliest Doctor Who episodes are viewed (flawed, but overflowing with potential that was realized in a later reboot of the series, yet it gained a cult following that will last for decades), but what about TAWOG? What about Bojack? What about Rick And Morty?
Well, TAWOG is a good show, but it severely lacks focus which will hurt the reputation of the show in the long-run. The longer it goes on, the more apparent the lack of focus will become until it eventually becomes what The Simpsons is now. Aqua Teen Hunger Force is timeless because it is arguably the most focused animated series ever made, which is impressive considering that it aired for 15 years. TAWOG is like a soda, it's better if you drink it as quickly as possible because eventually it will go flat. You can try mixing it with other things, like rum, but at that point all you're doing is trying to convince yourself that the soda hasn't gone stale while feeding a potentially dangerous alcohol addiction.
In case you didn't get my metaphor, I'm referring to how dependent TAWOG got on experimenting with the format of the show, to the point where it seems like newer episodes don't follow a format at all. When a friend drinks too much rum, it makes me worried.
Rick And Morty will likely become what Family Guy is now, a show that was great for the first few seasons but now routinely churns out terrible episodes that people dislike due to their emphasis on inserting social-commentary and pop-culture references in their episodes despite the fact that the creators are so far removed from the common person that they don't understand the current pop-culture landscape (which results in LEEERRRROOOYY JENKINS being mentioned on the show 10 years after it was no longer relevant) and the creator's weird worldviews turning off viewers when they try to offer their opinions on various weighty topics in the show (the infamous 'lightning rod' thing in Seahorse Seashell Party).
Anyways, rant over. I just wanted to talk about some cartoons for a couple minutes.