Who's seen Robot Chicken?

I finally caught a couple of episodes of Robot Chicken, the new Adult Swim show starring action figures. The show is a joint effort between Seth Green (of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Austin Powers fame) and Tom Root, one of the editors of ToyFare magazine.

The show is essentially the same as the pair's short-lived internet effort "Sweet J Presents" from a few years back, but no one ever saw that or knows what it is. The show features a series of skits, with action figures as actors. Sometimes they use real action figures, other times they dress up the figures as other characters (I noticed a Mr. Horse from Palisades' Ren & Stimpy line being used for unicorns - one voiced by Mila Kunis, no less).

The skits, much like ToyFare's "Twisted ToyFare Theater" segments (and Adult Swim itself) are hit-or-miss. I liked the racing skit, which featured everyone from M.A.S.K. to Mario to Ponch from CHiPS (and featured a satisfying Mario Kart-inspired ending that, oddly enough, mirrored the ending of a very similar short story I wrote as a teenager). The entire skit has a kind of manic energy reminiscent of the excellent Sweet J Presents days, and I think those are the sort of the thing the show should focus on.

Some of the other skits - such as a parody of You Got Served starring Voltron - suffer from SNLitis and go on too long. Others just aren't that funny, but that's Adult Swim for you - scattershot guerilla comedy.

The skits are interspersed with short "channel flips" which are often amusing, but probably need to be a bit edgier.

I realize this mini-review sounds pretty lukewarm, but that's because I see plenty of potential here. Once Seth and Tom streamline the production process and settle into a groove, I think RC will make a fine addition to the Adult Swim line-up.

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