The Regular Show Season 1 DVD Review

Clearly wanting to cash in on the success of Adventure Time, Cartoon Network have attempted to replicate some of what made that fantasy show popular with The Regular Show. Carried over from the hit comedy is an arch sense of humour, immature characters and a commitment to surrealism in the hope of dragging in a student demographic who may one day wear T-Shirts referencing an in joke on the show. This desire to please, however, backfires totally, and every episode feels like it is straining to be hip and cool but fails to be funny or remotely appealing to kids. It’s ZANY in capital letters, totally ignoring the fact that no one uses the word zany.

Telling the story of a bird and a raccoon who work as groundskeepers, and the wacky adventures they get up to, it takes in stories such as a magical keyboard that sends people to the moon and unicorn gangs. The fact that the main characters are 23 is telling of the intended audience for the show – but in aiming for that (unlike Adventure Time’s arguably more child friendly approach) they have totally forgotten to add in any heart, so the humour rings hollow. As such, while people in the future will speak in wistful tones of watching Adventure Time as a kid, The Regular Show will be forgotten as soon as you have seen it.

About The Author

Writer

Nat (or Nathanael as he calls himself when he wants to sound a bit classier) is a student based in Edinburgh who watches far too many animated films for a guy his age. He even has a blog. dedicated to the subject. When he's not doing that, he's the film editor of The Journal, Edinburgh and a committed member of King's Church Edinburgh. He likes Terrence Malick far, far too much.

12 Responses

  1. William Salyers

    Hmm. I will refrain from launching an all-out defense, since I work on “Regular Show.” I will say, however, that your perception that the show was created to ape “Adventure Time” is far off the mark. “Regular Show” is based on JG Quintel’s student short “2 in the AM PM,” which was created in 2006 and is still available for viewing on YouTube. As such, the genesis of the show far precedes AT. Also, if you knew Pen Ward and JG Quintel, you would know that they are both extremely talented, independently driven artists, with their own unique visions. Neither of them would have the slightest desire to copy each others’ style or stories.
    You may like “Regular Show” or hate it, but please do so on its own merits. When you claim it’s an attempt to copy “Adventure Time,” you are simply, empirically, wrong.

    Reply
    • Nat Smith

      Hi, thanks for commenting! Never had talent from the show comment on my writing before. A few things affected my thinking on this, I hope it helps if I explain them.
      1. Unfairly, I know, but I watched these two shows in quick succession, so my thoughts of one affected the other and their similarities were particularly pronounced to me.
      2. Regardless of the short it was based on, or even the creative talent behind it, the studio who fund and release it are almost undoubtedly going to be looking for content along similar lines. The tone and humour are similar in both shows, one of them works while the other, I would say, doesn’t – at least not for me.
      3. Regardless of the people who work for the show (who I have no chance of knowing, as a UK based amateur blogger), it’s perfectly acceptable to compare them as they are both shows on the same network, aimed at a similar audience (as evidenced by the fact that I was sent TRS in tandem with AT) and both have a propensity for the surreal and absurd. It would be like comparing Frozen and Tangled. Different directors, different aims, but similar tone and funding, aiming for the same audience, and one might work better than the other.

      I am happy to admit that The Regular Show may not have been intended to ape Adventure Time, and I am sorry for giving that impression. However, I stand by a comparison of them, even if it was less intentional than I previously thought.

      Reply
  2. Tanja

    Before making a review, you should probably get a little more informed…?

    I mean…wow. Just wow.

    This must be one of the most pathetic bashing attempts I have every seem in my life. One of the reasons why, is that you have absolutely nothing real to back up your absurd points with. It’s all just based completely on opinion, and even so, the argument seems as if it was written by a 15 year old Adventure Time fantard, which lives in the land of illusion, where their show is so special and unique, that everything else that’s successful must be a replica.

    Can you be more specific on HOW exactly is Regular Show a copy? You haven’t convinced me in the slightest, and it really is an interesting statement, due to the fact pretty much every other person (and prof. reviewer) would say the shows are compete opposites. – I too would be far more likely to agree with that, as I’ve actually watched more the a bunch of episodes from both cartoons. More then I can believe you did, as you even managed to pronounce the title wrong;

    ‘Regular Show’, not ‘The Regular Show’.

    Tells a lot about you, and this article.

    I’d suggest watching more episodes (objectively), before deciding to even make any further comments regarding the show.

    Reply
    • Nat Smith

      Wow, was not expecting this review to get this kind of attention. Does Regular Show have a huge fanbase that regularly reads this website?

      “One of the most pathetic bashing attempts I have ever seem in my life” – I’m glad of this, as it means you probably avoid amateur reviewers often. We can be very hit and miss. Out of interest, is it pathetic because you are a fan of the show and you disagree with my opinion, or is it the style and content that annoys you?

      “One of the reasons why, is that you have absolutely nothing real to back up your absurd points with.” True, it’s a short review as people tend not to read longer pieces as much so I was being concise. However, the tone, pacing and humour of the show are similar, even if it is difficult to back that up with something real.

      “It’s all just based completely on opinion.” All reviews are.

      “the argument seems as if it was written by a 15 year old Adventure Time fantard” – I’m 24, I am a fan, as evidenced by two positive reviews I have written for the show on this very website. Unsure why that makes me a ‘tard’.

      “everything else that’s successful must be a replica.” – It often happens that something is successful and people try to copy it.

      “Can you be more specific on HOW exactly is Regular Show a copy?” – I didn’t say it was a copy, I said it was trying to copy elements. For instance, it is set in a world in which every character is a different species/creature, and where magic/weirdness/lack of physics abounds. Yes, the setting is different, but surely you can see that they are aiming for the same demographic.

      “You haven’t convinced me in the slightest, and it really is an interesting statement, due to the fact pretty much every other person (and prof. reviewer) would say the shows are compete opposites.” – Please direct me to a review that says they are complete opposites. As for ‘pretty much every other person’, I wouldn’t know. The show isn’t that big here in the UK.

      “I too would be far more likely to agree with that, as I’ve actually watched more the a bunch of episodes from both cartoons.” – I just got sent Season 1, 13 episodes.

      “More then I can believe you did, as you even managed to pronounce the title wrong; ‘Regular Show’, not ‘The Regular Show’.” Yep, I was wrong about that. Sorry for my accidental addition of a definite article.

      “I’d suggest watching more episodes (objectively), before deciding to even make any further comments regarding the show.” I’m unlikely to make further comments on the show as I probably won’t review it again in future. This was a short review based on 13 episodes of a television show I had never heard of before I watched it to review it here. It is impossible to watch something truly objectively, however I went into this wanting it to be good – which is how I approach everything I watch. It didn’t work for me. Is that so bad?

      Reply
  3. Michelle

    Are you serious? I wouldn’t say adventure time is aimed at kids, it is very twisted and dark at times, lemon grab is the stuff of nightmares! In saying that I love adventure time and regular show apart from having 2 best friends that’s where the similarities end. The art style is different, adventure time art style is very basic and easy to copy the draw style where regular shows characters have much more detail, that reviewer can STEP OFF!

    Reply
    • Nat Smith

      It’s not the animation styles I compared! It’s the tone and sense of humour.

      Also, I would have loved Adventure Time as a kid.

      Reply
  4. Victoria

    First of all, I’d like to know how in any way this is a review of the dvd. There is nothing said of the dvd features or any aspect exclusive to the dvd. This is just a review of the show and a poor one at that. There is nothing to back up any of your claims and it makes this review nothing but an opinion which, by the way, is not what a review is supposed to be. And honestly I could say all of the same things about Adventure Time. To me Adventure Time is not funny in the least and falls short on so many jokes it tries to make. I cringe watching most episodes focused on humor. I understand the humor is for children though and simply stay away from episodes like that. To me the only reason to watch Adventure Time is for the serious and more twisted aspects. It excels at an amazing level at these scenarios, but that’s about all I can give it. The two main characters, especially Finn, are insufferable and I will really only watch episodes centered on any of the other side characters.

    In no way is Regular Show a copy either. They both have sort of fantastical elements but they certainly don’t handle it in the same way. No where near it. Adventure time is set in a world completely apart from our own. It was born from our world, a sort of apocalypse, but most of the characters do not know it and any rules once valid in the real world no longer apply to their world. It is a place everyone wishes for, a place of pure imagination. This setting then allows the creators to punch you in the gut with an onslaught of real world problems and emotional issues. Viewers deal with these terribly real emotions but can find solace in the fact it’s a make believe world. Regular Show, on the other hand, is flipped. It is set in a more realistic setting with a group of characters working to just get by in life. It’s a concept that many people, especially adults, can relate to. Then it offsets this real setting with a bit of fantastical elements and more importantly events that can always be fixed. It is much more feel good. It gives you hope that even as crazy as life can be it will all work out, even if the real world doesn’t work out so easily. It’s nice to believe it is so, even if only in a silly show. So no, I don’t believe they are similar in the least. Moreover Regular Show has humor intended for both young and old. Is that so wrong? Can adults not enjoy cartoons too, alongside their children? I’d much rather have that than an immature show like Adventure Time where only a kid can enjoy most episodes aside from the dark ones.

    The only thing I will grant as a similarity – and one executed equally well in both – is that they develop the characters beautifully. Regular show has characters with set roles at the start, roles that generally keep them divided from one another, but slowly and surely they grow as characters and end up being a family to each other – something you would never know or see from watching a measly single season. It takes until the second to be shown signs of it and the third season for this to pop out and be truly appreciated. So don’t you tell me there’s ‘no heart’ in Regular Show. It has the most heart of any show on Cartoon Network. It shows the importance of family over anything and how anyone can be family as long as they care for and about each other. It’s a relief to see characters who will do anything for each other because they love each other that much instead of being handed petty characters who only care about themselves or some stupid romantic interest. In fact, Benson is the epitome of character development. If you sat and watched the series through to the end you’d see that.

    Adventure Time too handles it well. As Finn has aged I admit he is much more tolerable because he is on a level I more easily relate to. I especially love Ice King and how he has unraveled into an extremely complex character. This aspect is simply good writing, not one stealing from the other, especially since they develop all their characters in different ways. I can’t comment too much though because, gee gosh, I haven’t watched all of it. Who am I to judge an aspect like this when I don’t know the full story. Hm? And sure, wistful tones. Whatever floats your boat. They are both good in their own ways and for their own kinds of people. And if you ask me both will be remembered long after they end, even if I don’t care for one. I can still admit it is memorable. Maybe you should too.

    Reply
  5. Nat Smith

    Ok, it is now at the stage where the angry comments are longer than the review I wrote. I am not a militant defender of my position, so I’m going to stop replying. Needless to say, I am glad you all enjoy the show – clearly I am in the minority, and that is fine. But I do not need to watch every season of something to review just one of them, especially the first. Also, I am allowed to think these things.

    Reply
  6. Jesse

    It’s totally your prerogative to express your opinion about regular show as there is a certitude of finding dissent because Regular Show is freaking amazing – like my mom!

    Reply
  7. dayana

    I recommend you to watch more episodes of Regular Show and you probably will correct your statement about it. Regular Show and Adventure time are totally different. “The Regular Show will be forgotten as soon as you have seen it.” what do you mean by this? that Regular Show is a failure? hmm no, sorry.

    Reply
  8. Fernando

    “This desire to please, however, backfires totally, and every episode feels like it is straining to be hip and cool but fails to be funny or remotely appealing to kids.”

    If you don’t like it, it’s fine.But the show is a huge hit. You can’t say that the show “fails to be funny or remotely appealing to kids” when the show is one of the most watched kids-cartoons on air right now.

    Reply

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