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April 23, 2014

Dino explains it all (about Moral Orel)

by Adam Finley, posted Jan 24th 2007 8:31PM

Moral OrelIf you read my reviews of Moral Orel, you know I've been a fan since the first episode. It's often misunderstood as being nothing more than an eleven-minute joke at the expense of Christians, but its real target is not Christians or Christianity, it's how people will twist and contort their religion until it jives with their own selfish needs. The stop-animated residents of Moralton aren't seeking any kind of Divine Truth, they just want a religion of convenience.

Granted, Moral Orel can sometimes be quite vicious in its satire, but that's comedy. Aside from knock-knock jokes and preschool riddles, it's rare that comedy, and especially satire, doesn't offend on some level. Another "truth" about comedy is that you shouldn't analyze it too closely. The more you tear into it to see what makes it work, the more the magic seeps out of it.

I mention this because of something I didn't mention in my last Moral Orel review. I'm not going to recap the plot here, but it centered around a wounded Jewish doctor who couldn't convince his Christian caretakers he needed serious medical attention, not just prayer. Somewhere in my big ol' brain I wondered why the doctor's religion wasn't being satirized as well. I wasn't offended by the episode, and I didn't want to suck the humor from the episode by putting it under a microscope, so I decided to go to the source: Moral Orel creator Dino Stamatopoulos, who was kind enough to offer this explanation:

I feel that Moralton in Moral Orel is a town like Hooterville in Green Acres, only instead of representing simple yokels, they represent the part of Middle America that is mostly made of Fundamentalist Christians. In order for the show's premise to work, they have to be an island unto themselves. Yes, it's a satire, but it's also a comedy. I always get people asking me, "Why don't you show Muslims in a bad light, or Jewish people?" Well, because that's not what the show is about. It's about this backwards Green Acres town. This town has no respect for anyone else's religion but their own. This town uses their own religion only in ways that are convenient to themselves. They are lazy when it comes to morals, ethics and raising their children. That's the premise.

I also get asked, "Why don't you show any Christians who aren't corrupt or stupid?" To me, the person who best represents the audience is Orel. Yes, he is naive, but he is pure and trusting and wants to do good. I relate with Orel. I've grown to respect him. Yes, Season One was a little heavy handed. That's because I had to establish the premise. Really cement it. Season One of many shows is usually more "high concept." But as I learn more about who these characters are, I start respecting them more and more and treating them like real people. By the Christmas Episode last year, I felt a little ashamed of how I treated poor Orel early on. Seeing him come alive through the animation and the voice acting, I grew very empathetic toward the little tyke.

This show is growing in very exciting ways for me, and I believe that 3rd season will be very different. I want these characters to be the most real people on TV, which isn't that big a feat these days. I think they're all going to grow in different ways, especially Orel. Religion will take a back seat to each characters real psychology, and maybe we'll realize why they use religion in the ways they do.

Anyway, I'm pretty sure this is the way I feel.

Instinctually Yours,

Dino

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Dino Stamatopoulos

Matt B.,

FYI, jews comprise 2,000,000% of the US population.
6 million out of 300 = 2,000,000%.

January 26 2007 at 2:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gordon Werner

What I want, is to get Morel Orel on DVD

January 25 2007 at 1:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sue

Having been forced to grow up in a Catholic environment when I was younger, I find the content of the show dead-on. My parents would send me to church on Sunday, crossing Queens Blvd. in NY when I was 8 mind you, while they slept at home. Also chastising me for having a black friend, the only one in the neighborhood. I could go on and on. Keep the show coming it's almost a catharsis for me.

January 25 2007 at 1:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
James


Michael,

FYI, jews comprise 2% of the US population.
6 million out of 300 = 2%.

As far as Moral Orel is Conerned, it's without a doubt one of the worst show Adult Swim has ever aired and is entirely never funny or original.

I don't understand how anyone could possiable find this crap entertaining, considering the Religious right in this country are the joke in themselves.

January 24 2007 at 9:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Evil Pedro

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As to observant Muslims, let's be honest here. They would kill the people who made the show and hold demonstrations against all of us who watched it. Seriously, look how these people reacted to year old Danish cartoons? They would go ballistic over a Muslim version of Moral Orel.
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So what you're saying is that inorder for Hollywood to stop insulting Christians, that they, as a Christian, should go kill people who mock their religion because thats the ONLY way Hollywood is going to stop insulting my faith? Through fear and violence?

January 24 2007 at 9:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
michael

The show mocks fundamentalism. How many people in America would get jokes about fundamental Jews? There are less than 10 million Jews in America. Fundamentalists Jews account for less than 7% of Jews in America. You want to laugh at jokes built around 300,000 people, most of whom live in very specific popluation centers?

Seriously, how many people would know enough about the subject matter to find it funny?

Fundamental Christians, on the other hand, are more plentiful. You are much more likely to know a fundamental Christian than a fundamental Jew. You are much more likely to be familiar with the Christian source material than the Jewish source material.

As an observant Jew, I find (1) fundamentalisms regardless of its religion troubling on a variety of levels and (2) laugh at Moral Orel. Fundamentalists are either know-nothings or give cover to know-nothings. They are anti-science and anti-intellectual. These behaviors holds whether its fundamental Christians, of fundamental Jews.

As to observant Muslims, let's be honest here. They would kill the people who made the show and hold demonstrations against all of us who watched it. Seriously, look how these people reacted to year old Danish cartoons? They would go ballistic over a Muslim version of Moral Orel.

January 24 2007 at 9:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Evil Pedro

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"It's often misunderstood as being nothing more than an eleven-minute joke at the expense of Christians, but its real target is not Christians or Christianity, it's how people will twist and contort their religion until it jives with their own selfish needs."
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Bull! Its mocking the old "Davey" stop animation Christian show. Someone wake me when these "brave" and "tolerant" liberals start mocking Islam or any other non-Christian religion.

yeah, like that would ever happen.

January 24 2007 at 8:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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