January 29, 2011

News: Testees complete series DVD to come out in 2011

Testees, Kenny Hotz and Derek Harvie’s 2008 Showcase/FX sitcom, has earned a two-disc series set in 2011, through Entertainment One Home Video.  The show stars Jeff Kassel and Steve Markle as Ron and Peter, two human guinea pigs testing products for TESTICO.

Kenny Hotz is long-tenured guinea pig Larry, while Joe Pingue carves a niche as obnoxious schemer Nugget.  Kim Schraner appears as bar owner Kate…at least until she’s written off midseason, presumably to make room for more Nugget.

Testees fans might remember this URBMN article, which debunked rumours of a Canada-only second season.  FX Productions and Blueprint Entertainment originally produced the series, and Blueprint has since folded into Entertainment One.  I’d consider Testees‘ cancellation official now.

Both TVShowsonDVD.com and eOne Home Video’s site give the release date as April 26, 2011.  Amazon.ca has it as February 22, 2011.  I assume the amazon.ca date is wrong, but hey, the Testees DVD is out.  That’s more than I can say for Less Than Kind right now.


April 8, 2010

TV Review | Spliced! – “Honorary Freak,” “Come to the Dorkside”

Spliced! (Teletoon: 7:00 PM ET/PT starting April 8, 2010) is part of an unwelcome trend in Teletoon’s programming.  Like The Dating Guy, Spliced! has premiered outside of its home country months before its Canadian debut.

I don’t understand why Teletoon does this.  Why withhold programming for so long?  I’m not saying I want the fourth season of The Venture Bros. the same day as [adult swim], but Teletoon has a terrible habit of letting fine wine age way after its time.  Why debut Spliced! in Latin America, of all places?

Wait, it’s the television industry.  Screw me for thinking common sense exists there.

I’m also aware that show creators Simon Racioppa and Richard Elliott have written for cartoon also-rans like Mr. Meaty, Best Ed, Pig City and Grossology.  Screw it.  I like Spliced!  It’s one of the best things going for Teletoon right now.

I realize how sweeping a statement that is, but I defend it.  Sometimes, Teletoon airs an obvious kids’ cartoon like Wayside, Johnny Test and the George of the Jungle remake.  The Total Drama franchise, Stoked and 6teen are teen-oriented sitcoms, doubling as decent ratings-grabbers for Cartoon Network.

What Teletoon hasn’t attempted is a classic Nicktoons-style show, where adults and children can watch the show on different levels.  Spliced! is currently the closest to that ideal, taking the mantle over from Jimmy Two Shoes.  Spliced! isn’t on the level of Ren & Stimpy or Bob Clampett, but few cartoons are.

“Honorary Freak” is a good enough introduction to the show.  Spliced! establishes Peri (Rob Stefaniuk) and Entrée (Joe Pingue), two of the many mutants on Keep Away Island.  The inaugural short’s plot centers around Patricia (Katie Crown), a platypus and the only normal on the island.

Patricia feels lonely because she isn’t a mutant.  Peri and Entrée decide to cheer her up, mainly by avalanching her with flowers and forcing her to fight in the Mayo-Dome.  Peri and Entrée also rap, which isn’t needed and feels out-of-place.

“Honorary Freak” lays bare Spliced!‘s desire to be SpongeBob SquarePants.  Peri and Entrée are SpongeBob and Patrick.  Patricia is a monotreme Sandy Cheeks.  Mind you, Peri and Entrée aren’t as annoying as SpongeBob and Patrick, as P&E aren’t nearly as oblivious.

“Come to the Dorkside” has its moments.  The friendship-related Aesop is a little ham-fisted, but it’s balanced out by some brainwashing gags and an obligatory reference to A Clockwork Orange.  Mister Smarty Smarts (Mike Kiss) and Octocat are Spliced!‘s nominal villains, Mister Smarty Smarts filling the Plankton role well.

I hope Spliced! sticks around.  Any show that has a male character squeeze milk out his udders deserves at least some mention.  Having typed that, I hope the lactation fetishists don’t embrace Spliced!  God knows they’re turned on enough by Rocko’s Modern Life and Cow and Chicken.


March 23, 2010

News: Spliced! debuts April 1, 2010 on Teletoon

Spliced!, a Nelvana cartoon, makes its Canadian debut on Teletoon April 1, 2010.  The cartoon debuts 8:30 PM ET/PT, after five episodes of Johnny Test.  A repeat of the debut airs April 4 at 8:30 PM ET/PT.  Spliced! settles into a Thursday night 7:00 PM ET/PT time slot on April 8.

Spliced! is about a bunch of genetic recombinants stranded on a desert island, as they try to build a civilization from the ground up.  Characters include Entrée, a cow-pig-chicken-tuna-shrimp thing that walks on its udder.  There’s also a dolphin/chimp/Jack Russell terrier with three Internet degrees.  Yeah, it’s that kind of show.

Spliced! has already debuted on Jetix in Latin America, having first aired anywhere April 20, 2009.  Spliced!‘s brief run in the United States was on ION’s digital subchannel qubo, from September 19 to October 24, 2009.

Matt Ferguson directs this show.  He’s responsible for Harold Rosenbaum, Chartered Accountant Extreme, a fairly spot-on parody of limited-animation cartoons.  Viewers may remember Harold Rosenbaum from YTV’s Funpak (2005)…not that many people have watched Funpak.

Spliced! could very well outstrip every other Canadian show on Teletoon’s pre-watershed schedule, which isn’t hard when it’s flanking Johnny Test, Wayside and Stoked.  I’ll admit to liking Jimmy Two Shoes a bit (a bit), but I have a good feeling about Spliced!  Here’s a clip parodying The More You Know: