Lil' Bush -- An early look
Lil' Bush debuts on Comedy Central tomorrow night, June 13, at 10:30 p.m. This is an early review.
I've mentioned before that, outside of South Park and the occasional rerun of Duckman and The Critic at 4:00 a.m., Comedy Central hasn't offered much in the way of animated programs. No offense to fans of Drawn Together, but I've always found it cloying and grating. Freak Show, which I cut a bit more slack because it was made by comedic folks I admired, was still not as good as it should have been.
So now comes Lil' Bush, a half-hour animated series made up of two ten-minute shorts (you have to figure in commercials, of course). The series takes place in an America where George H.W. Bush is president, but his sons are teeny little kids, as are their pals Lil' Rummy, Lil' Cheney and Lil' Condi, among others.
Lil' Bush began as a series of shorts created for Amp'd Mobile, making it the first such series to make the transition to television. The trouble is, while watching it on TV, I felt like I was watching something that belonged on a mobile phone screen. I'm not one to get too worked up over bad animation (though I will praise the hell out of good animation), but the characters in Lil' Bush move as if they were created with the first version of Flash ever, and sometimes their mouths don't even move when they're speaking*.
I could get past the sub par animation if the jokes weren't just refurbished versions of gags we've been hearing for the last several years. At one point, Lil' Rummy, voiced by Iggy Pop, actually tells Lil' Bush to "stay the course" and not "cut and run" while the gang are on a trip to Iraq to find Bush's father a Father's Day present. The episode I saw was filled with non-jokes like that, gags you're supposed to laugh at simply because they're familiar.
In the second part of the episode I saw, Lil' Cheney winds up inside of Barbara Bush's womb after a wild bout of something too weird to really be described as love making. That sort of gross irreverence has become a cliche of "mature" cartoons by this point, but at least it was something different tossed into a plot that was little more than every quip about Bush ever uttered slightly reworked and filtered through the mouths of these tiny doppelgangers. A series like Lil' Bush could pretty much write itself, and the mistake the creators of this series made was allowing it to do just that.
NOTE: The pic above is from the Amp'd Mobile version. Comedy Central's site was not working when I wrote this so I wasn't able to get any real pictures. Maybe the site somehow knew I was giving the show a bad review.
*What I saw was an early press copy, so perhaps such mistakes will be fixed by the time it airs.