Movies / Animé and Toons

Regular Show: The Complete First and Second Seasons – Review

By Hervé St-Louis
June 24, 2013 - 12:00

Animator J.G. Quintel’s popular series on Cartoon Network – Regular Show has finally been compiled into one collected edition collecting all episodes from season one and two on Blu-Ray and on DVD. Regular Show features the zany adventures of slacker groundskeepers Mordecai (a blue jay) and Rigby (a racoon) who will try anything to avoid work for their boss Benson (a temperamental gumball machine), the park manager. Rounding up the crazy cast are Pops (a lollipop), Skips (an immortal yeti), Muscle Man (a green troll) and High-Five (a ghost with a hand hanging from his head).

Before receiving this review copy, I had never heard of Regular Show. The series seems to have a cult following of adult viewers who enjoy the antics of the two best friends and their entourage. If you’ve never watched this series, imagine Wayne’s World’s having a kid with Bill and Ted and Beavis and Butt-head with better animation than Family Guy but safe for kids aged six and more.

Mordecai and Rigby are both 23 and almost penny-less. Mordecai is the most mature of the two, although that doesn’t make much of a difference as mischievous always manages to trick him into one of his crazy plots. Inevitably, something super natural occurs and it takes the help of fellow groundskeeper Skips who skips instead of walking to save the day, or not.

The continual banter of the buddies is addictive and I found myself watching this series from beginning to end, and only skipping to go sleep. It doesn’t really matter that many of the plots are formulaic as they inevitably are always fun with a wackier punch line at the end. The characters live in a relatively crazy world where animals, and objects share the same space as humans.

What regular Show proves is that it’s possible to create a smart cartoon series that doesn’t feature obscenities like Family Guy or American Dad. In fact, this series feels to me like a modern day Wile E. Coyote and The Road Runner where the racoon befriends the bird, instead of constantly trying to eat him. As a series, coming from the vaults of Cartoon Network, the successor to Hanna Barbera and Warner Brothers cartoons of a past era. One can feel the Animaniacs’ influence throughout this series. Regular Show displays cues from the 2010s world’s with a high dose of influence from the 1980s, without succumbing to bad taste, like other “adult cartoon shows.”

Speaking of 1980s, one of the cool features released at the time on Cartoon Network’s YouTube channel was an exclusive video based on a song by Mordecai and Rigby. This video was styled like one of those popular dance videos from the 1980s with cheesy costumes and decor. It is reproduced in whole in the Blu-Ray edition of the collected edition as well as the original unaired pilot. The pilot was modified later into a regular episode in season two. There are a few interviews and a lot of commentaries from the show’s creators. The commentaries are not really insightful though.

p.s. one question I always ask myself about shows featuring intermingling anthropomorphic animals and humans is what happens when they eat meat? If pigs and chickens are also people, who are they eating exactly? This series pushes the question further in the episodes featuring road kill animals and the baby ducks. And then, what about Pops, High-Five and Benson? Unfortunately, no answers are provided!

Rating: 8 /10

Last Updated: August 31, 2023 - 08:12

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