19 October 2008 | Skibz777
Brilliant animation livens up an otherwise average show.
I would not label myself as an Adult Swim connoisseur, but I've watched enough of it to realize that it's quality has greatly declined in the last few years. Though AS was and is more a showcase for offbeat, randomness-based humor than top-notch animation, recent programs have begun to severely push the limits of tolerable quality in both fields - that is to say, they aren't funny and the animation sucks (there is no excuse for '12 Oz. Mouse'. There is no excuse.).
By no means is 'Superjail' adult swim's saving grace. In terms of premise, it's no surprise it'd be in their programming block (a violent, surrealist comedy set in a violent, surrealist futuristic prison), nor is it quite chock full of gutbusting humor or even a foreseeable future beyond one or two seasons (but I feel I'm being too harsh).
See, what makes 'Superjail' stand out far above it's fellow Adult Swim shows is it's art. In a complete 180 from AS' usual preference of poorly animated Flash cartoons, 'Superjail' is psychedelic, vivid and detailed, recalling the best of early 90s alternative comics and cartoons (think Mike Judge and 'Liquid Television'). Each second of animation is pure mania, crammed with as much action as the eye can take, but never in a way that seems too busy or distracting. It's a sheer blast to the senses and you can't take your eyes off it. Simply, the art breathes with LIFE, which is a lot more than I could say about...well, ANY Adult Swim cartoon.
Not to say that the art is the show's only positive point; the consistently hilarious David Wain (of 'Wet Hot American Summer' and 'Stella') supplies the voice of "The Warden", the series' protagonist who, though slightly two-dimensional, is just as lively and wild as the animation, both in character and voice. And, though not as often as I'd have liked to, I had a hard chuckle here and there at some of the show's clever 'ATHF'-esque use of non-sequiturs ("four hearts was one too many", indeed).
Though it certainly won't become the next 'SeaLab' (or whatever), 'Superjail' is definitely worth the time for those into offbeat animation or anyone who just wants to see something *different* on TV for once. I only hope that the demented aesthetics 'Superjail' will spark a similar line of Adult Swim shows in the future and get the block back on the right track...after all, future generations simply can't endure another "Assy McGee"...