Whyboy Spotlights: Uncle Grandpa

FINALLY back to writing reviews!

Moving back and forth with the stresses of finding work leaving other work and just the storm of stress that comes from that left me drained creatively for a while. There have been so many great/complete and utter garbage shows and movies I would have loved to spotlight on here but sadly I haven’t felt that drive to write them until now. Possibly in the next couple of weeks I’ll go back and just rewatch them so that I can do spotlights of them but until then let’s talk Uncle Grandpa.

Now Uncle Grandpa was introduced to me by my boss/pal over at Bubble Blabber John Blabber who wanted me to do a review on the game based on the cooky show simply titled Belly Bag Bonanza. To just give my two word review of that game, it sucked, but if you want a more in depth review just go to the review HERE. But while avoiding spoilers from my review of the game I’ll describe my process while discovering the actual show Uncle Grandpa. Now I had just played the game for about about 1 hour, jumping on and off to, collect proper screen caps and footage for the review and a future video series I’m working on (TO BE TALKED ABOUT MORE SOON) and then I had finally decided to watch the show. You see I was experimenting with this game seeing if the game itself would entice me enough to be interested in watching the show. By my two word review you can tell the game failed royally so now I was just watching the show to get context for the crap I just played.

So I went to Youtube and put on the first episode, sitting in my computer chair pissed off and with a throbbing headache thanks to the game. Obviously not the best mood to be in to give a fair assessment of the show and even before this I was not having the greatest morning so I was just boiling with frustration and I was really just waiting for the show to tip me over the edge. And as the pilot episode started it was really heading towards that as it started with Uncle Grandpa. Now the best way to describe the voice and mannerisms of Uncle Grandpa in the first 2 minutes of the show would be to compare it to the most abusively stupid moments of Patrick the Star from Spongebob and right there that was Uncle Grandpa. Even with the wonderful addition of fart jokes. I was just about ready to pack it once the overly obese pimple faced mother came in and explained the premise of Uncle Grandpa that he is everybody’s (and I mean EVERYBODY’S) Uncle and Grandpa but then this joke happened and this was part of the punchline.

You need the context of the show to really get a laugh out of it but I was laughing my ass off after that and from then on watching both episodes I had a huge smile plastered on my face. The creator Peter Browngardt definitely knew what he was doing when creating this pilot episode. It’s really easy to see the stigma that hovers over cartoons. The stigma being that all cartoons nowadays are just overly PC and safe sludge, shovelled out to please the lowest common denominator and nothing else. Obviously that’s not the case with examples like Gravity Falls, The Last Airbender and even Fish Hooks showing some true quality story, characters and animation but still the stigma still lingers.

Uncle Grandpa takes that expectation from that sigma and flips it completely on it’s head as it goes completely insane and Uncle Grandpa becomes not just another Patrick Star. A character so stupid it’s abusive to even the viewers’ intelligence but a character who purposely poses as an imbecile to my surprise solve the problem in an outrageous but surprisingly intelligent way. The formula of the series seems to be that Uncle Grandpa drops into the life of an angry kid and through his wackiness the day is saved and the kid becomes happy. If this were a Patrick Star character you can bet that everything that happens would feel like a complete accident but with Uncle Grandpa there is this air of intelligence and planning in Uncle Grandpa’s actions. It’s hard to explain but just imagine Mary Poppins if she were a mentally challenged old man with a realistic tiger who flies by farting rainbows and that is Uncle Grandpa.

Now there are two other major strengths of the show that will probably make this show a classic once the full series comes out in September on Cartoon Network. The first being it’s lightning quick pacing with jokes. Peter Browngardt is definitely no stranger to the surreal as he’s written on shows like Regular Show, Chowder, Adventure Time, And The Marvellous Misadventures of Flapjack and Uncle Grandpa’s tone feels like a combination of all these shows. The show is completely insane because of this, with mutants coming from a toilet and glasses turning dads into lizard men but because the pacing of these simply outrageously stupid events is so fast your brain doesn’t have time to process the complete stupidity of it all. However with that said there is definitely a formula but like Phineas and Ferb even though its got a set in stone formula because of this focused premise and formula the craziness is structured well enough to follow along and to get invested in what’s happening.

The second major strength is the animation. The surreal, freaky animation. You can just see from the screenshots I have here and you can tell this is a colourful show. The designs remind me a lot of The Marvellous Misadventures of Flapjack with the wide variety of character shapes and designs making all the character models stand out. Also, the show does do some still image animation and mixes it in beautifully mostly with the realistic flying tiger.

But I’m gonna say the faults of the show are rooted in those exact strengths. Much like Peter’s previous show The Marvellous Misadventures of Flapjack the show might be too surreal for it’s own good. Thankfully the more structured setup helps the surreal factor be more controlled but still it could turn people off. If you hate those stupid for stupid sake characters, fart jokes and just jokes based on randomness in general then I suggest you just skip this show because as of right now that’s where this show is headed. But hey these are just episodes from the pilot. We’ll all just have to wait until the series officially comes out in September to see what it truly becomes.

Uncle Grandpa Episodes on Youtube
Uncle Grandpa #1
Uncle Grandpa #2

Written by Taylor “Whyboy” Wyatt

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About the author

Chozo Ninpo

Chozo Ninpo is a founding member of Channel Zero and one of the hosts of The Zero Level. He is the Project Manager for the Orlando Nerd Fest and an avid gamer, as well as a nerdcore rapper, a cosplayer, and the real life inspiration behind the FX cartoon "Chozen".