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TV Review: Moonbeam City S1E1 Mall Hath No Fury

MoonbeamCityWatching Comedy Central‘s brand new animated show Moonbeam City was the only rational reward for my enduring the Republican debate. Note: this show is not rational.

Moonbeam City which debuted Sept 16th is an animated comedy made by Titmouse studios, the folks who do animation for The Venture Brothers and other beautifully made cartoons.

The premise: vain, inept, corrupt police detective, Dazzle Novak is set loose on an 1980’s styled dystopia of starving poor people, dogs on cocaine and malls as far as the eye can see. The visual style is a mix of Patrick Nagel and Lisa Frank — which is very fashionable once more.

On the surface, that sounds a bit like Archer. Both shows feature pretty people making vague attempts at fighting “bad guys” while being mean to each other. Both use limited animation that’s highly stylized, visually attractive and so well designed as to make the viewer forget that the show is only using limited animation. Both take place in an ambiguous past/present.

But the show actually has a lot in common with totally absurdist cartoons like Aqua Teen Hunger Force or Sealab 2021. The plot is almost Dadaist. Some of the jokes landed and some of the jokes didn’t. Some of the jokes were so far out of left field that I would have assumed this show was on Adult Swim after midnight, not Comedy Central at 10:30pm.

But should you watch it? Probably!

Rob Lowe‘s voice acting was simply fantastic. He has the makings of a voice acting star. The sultry voice Elizabeth Banks uses as Dazzle’s police chief Pizzaz was unrecognizable to me at first and totally right-on for the role. I also want to wear everyone’s outfits. And there are Kate Bush and Diamda Galas jokes.

I’ve been anticipating this show since I saw unfinished clips of it at last year’s New York Comic Con. I had high hopes and I still do! Much like its lead Dazzel Novak, if nothing else, at least Moonbeam City is pretty to look at.

Watch it.