Cartoons: The Ironic Remake
by Noby Nobriga

I categorize modern cartoons into a number of differing classes. Here, I will discuss one of those classes which is not good. I will discuss The Ironic Remake.

Some Ironic Remake cartoons can be seen on Cartoon Network during the Adult Swim time slot. Most specifically, Sealab 2021. Take an older cartoon that most people under thirty have never heard of and re-edit and/or recreate dialogue. The new dialogue must have characters think and speak outside what one might consider would be normal or applicable for this character or scenario. But, that is the irony (and apparently the comedy). The dialogue is often sophomoric, immature, and/or absurd. Everyone's dialogue becomes disconnected from the environment, characters, and stories. The characters are forced into absurd dialogue and actions seemingly for the sake of being absurd in an attempt at comedy. What the character says does not seem to be of much consequence as the next character will speak his own discontinuous lines as if pulled randomly from a hat. A lot of humor is attempted by simply making a character a foul-mouthed aggressor, using phrases like "I'll kick your ass," or some variation thereof. Or, the character might be oblivious to these aggressors and everything else around them so that all of this craziness and his naivete provide a "humorous" contrast. You are to think, "Oh, gee! That's hilarious! The entire building is burning down because his incense stick fell in the wastepaper basket and he's just wandering around wanting to ask people if they have seen his missing incense stick."

The type of dialogue coming from the characters seems out-of-sync with the images of the characters (i.e. personality images), their environment, and what the externally perceived premise of the show is. You can separate the dialogue track from the video and place it on any other cartoon video and have the dialogue and new video make just as much sense as with the previous. In my opinion, none. I have read people review these types of shows using the words "clever wit" and "hilarious." I guess as many people would tell me, I just do not get it.

Imagery is superfluous. Plot is near non-existent. Dialogue is written with the intent to capture within a couple of lines of dialogue what amounts to a four-year-old trying to tell his first joke he just thought up. Except, the four-year-old's joke would be an earnest effort of searching out the correct and complete structure of what he is trying to say, as well as original. With the dialogue here, the writer simply rehashes MTV mind-speak (maybe actually raising it a few levels so that there are six words in a sentence instead of three) so everyone is wanting to kick someone's ass, make homo-erotic suggestions, be exceedingly spastic, be incomprehensibly irrational, or be just simply sophomoric, immature, and crass.

I have rambled through much of this editorial as I wrote it as the thoughts came to me. So, it may be a little disjointed. But, I do not believe this article could be applied to anything else. These words are my opinion. And, I guess just do not get this "humor."

Copyright 27 Sep 2002 We Like Media.
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