Wonder Showzen: Body
Last night marked the start of the second season of Wonder Showzen, and I almost missed it. Thankfully they repeated the episode later in the evening so I was able to crank up the ol' Tivo and capture it. After watching the same Season One episodes about twenty times each, it was nice to finally see something new.
Last night's episode was about heroes and victims, with the main focus being put on the letter P, who was once very pretty but gained a lot of excess weight. Chauncy, the puppet's ringleader, decides P just needs a healthy dose of tough love, so he and the rest of the gang scream things at her like "stupid bitch" and "dumb slut" because "she needed to hear that."
Right now Wonder Showzen is the only show on television I can think of that rivals South Park in how far it will go to both insult and assault one's sensibilities. The difference seems to be that South Park wants you to realize there is a serious point underneath it all. Wonder Showzen also gleefully slaughters sacred cows (the image of a pregnant Statue of Liberty with an American flag stabbed through her stomach being just one example from last night's show), but they seem less concerned than South Park about whether or not people get it. In fact, the show fares much better when people don't get it. During an "on the street" segment with Clarence, the blue puppet, he tries to get strangers to be in a movie about people who don't want to be in a movie. Ironically, they really don't want to be in a movie, so when they tell him "no" and "leave me alone" Clarence just keeps prodding them: "Yeah, good, keep saying that. That's perfect." By the end, someone throws a trashcan at him.
The letter P ends up getting liposuction, which is only fair since her obesity is not her fault, she's merely a "victim of deliciousness." The doctor hooks her up to the "DeVictimizer 9000" liposuction machine, but people begin to protest outside the hospital against her decision to abandoned a part of her body. As one protester yells, "Who is she to play God? Does she think she's George Burns? SHE should burn!"
Like Sesame Street, the show's main plot is interrupted by short films and animated segments. My favorite was the animated segment called "Aunt Flo" about a young girl who gets her first "monthly visitor." Aunt Flo takes the girl on a journey into her own reproductive system, announcing at the beginning of the excursion, "we're up inside your womanhood. And I've only known you two minutes, you little slut." As it turns out, this particular girl's insides house an assortment of carnival games, rides, and attractions, including a churo stand, a dunk tank, a ragtime band, and something called "Bobbing for Embryos." Aunt Flo explains, "it's gotten pretty commercial since the tourists found out about this place."
A great start for the new season, I think, and we got to see a glob of liposuctioned fat have sex with a pile of poo, which should really be done on more shows. The only segment that didn't really floor me was the "Beat Kids" segment, in which kid reporters go to events and are fed lines to ask adults. The idea is that the adults are dumbstruck by the decidedly "adult" questions the kids are asking, but I don't think the segment ever quite worked in the execution. The kids clearly have no idea what they're saying, and the adults realize this. The segments can be funny on occasion, but I tend to just find them awkward. Not "offensive" mind you, just not as funny as the rest of the show.