27 June 2003 | Indogutsu
Billy West had the right idea!
Ren and Stimpy were two of the most cherished icons from my childhood. "Were" is the operative word in that sentence after I saw the premiere of their new "Adult Party Cartoon" on the National Network (TNN). Anyone who grew up with Ren and Stimpy remembers the psychological drama of "Space Madness," the harebrained schemes of "The Boy Who Cried Rat," and the inspired nonsense of "Robin Hoek." None of those classic cartoons' qualities were present last night. Instead, we got crude sound effects and raunchy jokes about homoeroticism and consumption of human waste.
Now, I have absolutely nothing against people with alternative sexual orientations, but I believe there's a right way and a wrong way to present them in the media, and Ren and Stimpy's new show failed miserably at it. Sure, there were various hints at the two title characters' relationship scattered throughout the old show (like Ren's job as a romance novelist), but seriously, didn't Kricfalusi and Co. have any second thoughts about the whole "pitcher and catcher" thing? I seriously doubt that "Queer as Folk," the award-winning HBO show that presents homosexuals as believable people instead of walking stereotypes, would ever resort to that kind of humor. Seriously, it felt less like a Ren and Stimpy cartoon and more like a piece of perverted fanfiction from a disturbed 12-year-old girl.
The premiere episode was the first sign of the show's inevitable downfall. TNN marketed the show as a "Cartoon for F***ing Adults," gave it a TV-MA rating, and put it in the same block of programming with a foul-mouthed anthropomorphic rat lawyer and a crimefighter named Stripperella. All this, presumably, to compete with Cartoon Network's Adult Swim and Comedy Central's "South Park." And for what? "Ren And Stimpy's Adult Party Cartoon" lacks the heart of "South Park" and the wit of "Home Movies." Not to mention how the show's TV-MA rating makes it unfit for children, although children are the only people who might find the show even remotely funny. "Ha ha ha, they're eating boogers! I can eat boogers too! When I grow up, I wanna live in a spittoon just like Ren and Stimpy!"
In closing, Billy West made the right decision after he read the script and refused to lend his voice acting talent to the show.