Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Looney Tunes Show

The problem with The Looney Tunes show is that it's exactly as awful as you'd expect. It's so exactly awful, that it's actually really difficult to remember. I watched the premier this morning, and I know I watched it, but I can't tell you what it was about. I remember the plot: Bugs and Daffy are apparently closeted gay lovers (can't admit it to each other yet). Done. Oh wait, they also go on a game show called Besties, and I pretty much don't have to tell you the plot of the show. If you do, you're stupid and I hate you. They lose. Bugs has a gayfit because Daffy blah blah blah BOATS blah blah blah GAY GOPHERS blah blah blah MEXICAN MOUSE.

Jesus. The show's so damn predictable that I lose interest trying to tell someone else about it. There are just so many terrible flaws. The voices, the art, the animation, the music (my god. The music), the stories. It's overwhelming to know where to begin. Because this show is such a cluster, I think I'll talk about the problem with the concept.

Daffy and Bugs lop of their wangs and trade it for something that's the total opposite of genitals. What would that be, like, some kind of pottery? They've lopped off their junk and replaced it with the Pottery Barn. The thing about the Looney Tunes of yore is that they're elemental. They're not human: they're more like gods or archetypes. They descend into the world and screw it up. They don't get a house in the suburbs and order chinese, they descend into the suburbs and rip the shroud off, showing the flaccid beating heart of that world! By boxing the characters, you ruin them.

The producer says that his team distilled the characters into their core elements (apparently Bugs is a sensitive prima donna, and Daffy's just a dick bag) and inserted them into a “relevant” setting. Hup. There's that word. Whenever someone tells you he's making something relevant, punch him in the dingding, because what that really means is that he's going to sterilize and take away all the magic. Sure you could maybe say that the Looney Tunes crew has central characteristics – Bugs is crafty and Daffy is reactionary – but the second you try to make those characteristics relevant, you cut the nuts off. Sometimes Bugs is the aggressor, sometimes he's the victim, and sometimes he fuXX0rs with people just for the lulz. Same can be said for Daffy. He's not always the one doing the picking on, but he's always reactionary. But it doesn't always look the same. Remember that time Bugs got trapped in that Frankenstein castle? He was crafty in that he never quite got caught, and he always had a crack, but he didn't lay out some masterful plan.

I'm getting derailed. In the new cartoon, crafty for Bugs amounts to sitting around feeling superior, and then getting his feelings hurt when someone doesn't care about him. Reactionary for Daffy? He's just a bastard. And not even a funny one. The best part? The climax of the episode is a nice serious talk about our relationship. I wish I was fuckin' with ya. No. The Looney Tunes (whose prior involvement with feelings could be described as, “fuck feelings”) has Bugs tell Daffy, “I don't know why, but you're my best friend.” Schmaltzy music. If it were recorded before a live studio audience, they'd go “Awww,” Daffy says something snarky (and so rememberable that I totally forgot), and the audience would get in one last good guffaw.

Of course the animation is nothing less than sheer disappointment. I don't understand the purpose of the redesigns, especially since Bugs seems to be the only person affected. The voices are abysmal, except for possibly Daffy. Whoever's doing him really nailed it. They're all too deep, and the gay gophers, the two that used to argue about who gets to go first, are both too British and too deep. But seriously: the art is terrible. Remember that period in the early 90s when everything was excessively flat? That's this show's art. No more subtle coloring and painterly effects. There isn't even a single fast motion blur.

And the music. It's full of suck. Elmer Fudd sings a song about how bad he wants to bang a grill cheese sandwich.

Like, honestly, I wish I could keep talking about this show, but it's making me feel sick. Also, I'm having a hard time remembering it. But, in the future, when someone asks me, “Where were you when they killed art?” I can totally say, “Living room. The Looney Tunes show.”