• bchismire

Regular Show

Just as I was entering my last year of high school in 2010, I remember flipping through some channels when I saw some commercials for a weird show simply called "Regular Show". This show made its debut on Cartoon Network at the same time as Adventure Time and MAD. To my surprise, however - and because of what i was going through around that time - as soon as i dug into the first few episodes of Regular Show, I realized that this show spoke to me.


This show goes everywhere with its setup. The stories range from living up to the 'regular' portion of the title (in mood only) to absolutely trippy and surreal... and maybe somewhere in-between. These stories just love to bend the physics of the show's world whatever chance it gets.


But is it all craziness and surreality? Actually, no. It does take the time to dive into some strong slice-of-life lessons, but before we get to that, let's talk about the characters.


The two main stars of the show are a raccoon named Rigby and a humanoid blue jay named Mordecai. They both work as groundskeepers in a park under the thumb of their boss, Benson - apparently a walking gumboil machine, yes, but let's go with that - and yet, they always tend to slack off and do their own thing instead. There's also the rest of the co-workers: Skips, a humanoid Yeti who is wise and helps his friends with (almost) everything, Pops, a childish gentleman with a surprisingly large head, Muscle Man, a human-like person with green skin, and his best friend, a ghost named Hi-Five Ghost due to an upright hand on the top of his head. Yep, even through those descriptions, the irregularity of the show is as plain as the nose on your face.


With that said, let's get to the slice-of-life aspects of Regular Show. One of the good things about it is that it allows Mordecai and Rigby to undergo character development over the show's progression and grow up into more responsible and considerate adults...in a manner of speaking. It even throws in some hefty dramatic episodes for good measure, dealing with either the fragility of Mordecai and Rigby's friendship, Mordecai's love life (especially one with a red robin named Margaret), or something else of equal importance. Some of my favorite or the most memorable episodes include "Eggscellent", which is about Mordecai trying to win a trucker's cap, with 'I'm Eggscellent' on it, for Rigby after he succumbs into a coma, and "Steak Me Amadeus", where Mordecai and Margaret's relationship was put to the ultimate test.


Now, were there some bumps in the road? Unfortunately, yes. Some of the episodes that rubbed off on me the wrong way were "The Unicorns Have Got to Go", which felt too harsh, and especially "The Best Burger in the World", which had an undeservedly mean-spirited ending. But my biggest beef is with Seasons 5 and 6. Most of their episodes felt formulaic; they repeated the balance of normality and surreality, but with not enough of the colorful satire, creative humor, or the appropriate dramatic moments that were prevalent in the first four seasons. Even Mordecai's relationship issues, in these seasons, felt either mishandled or just soapy. This consequently made Seasons 5 and 6 feel stale in retrospect.


Come Season 7, on the other hand, and the appropriate dramatic moments started to slowly crawl back in, thanks to a certain installation that changed the course of the show. This gave the season some really good buildup, and the season finale was just solid. By the end of THAT episode, however, let's just say that as the change from the 'installation' kicked into full gear, so did the show's return to form once season 8 started. I won't tell you what that change was, but it did open more doors for the colorful satire and the creative humor that have been missing since the end of season 4.


And what of the dramatic moments? Did it stop when the change started settling in? Nope, it only CONTINUED to build up from there, and it resulted in a widespread and unexpectedly epic storyline that dealt with fulfilling a prophecy and that if it wasn't fulfilled, it would've spelled the end of the universe as we knew it. This led to a climax that was suspenseful, emotional, and occasionally humorous, coupled with a trippy, mind-bending - heck, even self-aware - bookend. What more could you ask for?


Long story short. I have just three words to sum up the entire show: it's a delightfully absurd trip. Regular Show sucked me in with its crazy visuals and crazy characters and with enough dramatic moments to make it mean something. And since it wrapped up JUST this past Monday, I applaud JG Quintel and all the animators, voice actors, and story artists for all their hard work and effort into making this show work. You know who else applauds JG Quintel and the animators, voice actors, and story artists for their hard work? My Mom! (I couldn't resist; that's something Muscle Man would've said.)


In remembrance of everything that happened in the show, I say, 'forget REGULAR, this show was EXTRAORDINARY in my book!' :)


WARNING: Half of the stuff in the entire show may be too raunchy even for youngsters.




Originally published on Facebook, January 19, 2017

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