Worth skipping.

Back to the pit with you.

“Cartoons for grown-ups” are rarely anything succesful; at least if being as vulgar and unfriendly as possible is the one thing that’s on the creator’s mind. For every time we get a grimly clever and imaginative mind-screw like Rick and Morty or something as devastating as Bojack Horseman, we get a dozen desperate tryhards like Allen Gregory and countless attempts to cash in on the “King of The Hill and/or Simpsons” formula (granted, I have heard nice things about Bob’s Burgers). Mr. Pickles, renewed for a third season on Adult Swim, fits into the former category.

This image shouldn’t be as unamazing as it is. Alas, the age of Internet animation has desensitized me.

Mr. Pickles is a dog. A dog who is also a homicidal Satanist, and he spends much of his time destroying human beings in gruesome ways and having depraved sexual fantasies about his voluptuous mistress. This, I guess, is all very funny and outrageous.

He lives with the Goodmans, a family consisting of the 6-year-old Tommy (whose ear-grating shout of the titular dog’s name can be heard throughout the intro credits of each episode), the absent-minded Beverly (the aforementioned mistress), and a telemarketer named Stanley. There is also Grandpa Goodman, the sole member of the family to notice the demonic behavior of the family dog but he is typically written off as an old kook who tells crazy stories.

The opening theme sets the mood. My knowledge of metal is a little rusty (har har), but it sounds to be either death metal, deathcore, or Frank Welker shoved into a washing machine alongside an electric guitar while imitating a walrus. Ignoring the lyrics we normally find in these sort of songs, I don’t know why these are the sounds that Satanists want to associate with their lord and master. Maybe this is the most important difference between actual Satanists and metalheads? One group is content with simply chanting in a secret church with their companions and quoting Anton LaVey; the other might charge you money so you can see them do similar things very loudly at a crowded arena. (And no, I don’t know that Will Carsola and Dave Stewart are of either type.)

Speaking of music, there are cameos to mention, including Rob Zombie and Weird Al, both of them in a vegan cult (one of the better gags on the show, if you ask me) and one of them a Muslim. You will also get to hear Iggy Pop, as well as such voice actors as Candi Milo, who was on Cow and Chicken, a show that struck me as genuinely batshit as opposed to desperately wanting to seem it.

The animation is better and considerably less stoic than that of, say, Spaceballs: The Animated Series but it doesn’t make do with what it’s got in the same way Rick and Morty does. It gets boring to look at fast, and brings to mind some of the LESS ambitious stuff you’ll find on Newgrounds. Sure it is of higher quality than 12 Oz. Mouse, another cheaply made Adult Swim series, but if you agree with the interpretation that 12 Oz. Mouse is a Postmodern experiment that makes fun of the fact that adult cartoons often achieve cult success no matter how nihilistic or deliberately terrible they are, maybe the comparison is unfair?

I conclude in any event that this is not really a “cartoon for grown-ups” as much as it is a programme that young boys can brag to each other about getting away with watching and making “Best of” videos on. The only real enjoyment I got out of it is watching a YouTube creator called TheMysteriousMrEnter review it for his Animated Atrocities series. I can recommend the same for my readers, even if I have come to question Mr. Enter’s willingness to dismantle far more child-friendly shows in an equally enraged manner, as well as his tendency to try to censor people who critique his work on TvTropes. You know, I think I just changed my mind.

I will say that Mr. Pickles has moments where I’ve snickered (the best lines seem to come from the father) and the occasional decently written storyline and satire. But the tryhard jokes, the relentless pacing, and the short runtime (even though I love The Eric André Show and Tim & Eric) suggest that this is a show created for people with an attention span far shorter than mine. No offense, Mr. Pickles fans, I’m glad you’re having fun.

2/5 whatever