CN has had a hole in its lineup for some time. Ren & Stimpy left large shoes to fill and Uncle Grandpa trods about the kitchen in daddy's shoes making noise and pretending to be grown up.
First, let me say that I am a huge fan of the absurd and surreal. Part of me died the day Ren & Stimpy aired last. I find Adventure Time to be wonderfully creative and clever. I say this to clarify that I am not hating UG for its genre, it's absurdity, its reliance on visual gags, and puns. My dislike comes from its failure to gel, to coalesce as a concept.
Some of the gags and characters are clever, highly creative and just plain wonderful. Their presence in the same segments are poorly contrived while others fall flat or are telegraphed so badly you can see it coming and just wait for it to be over. Also, it lacks a unifying factor as part of the basic premise or even each episode's plot like Adventure Time or Regular Show. I love Realistic Flying Tiger as a character both conceptually and visually. Pizza Steve is an amazing concept of a character and there is so much upside potential to him, but it goes unrealized.
The worst character is, unfortunately the title character. Uncle Grandpa is clearly based on the absurdity of the juxtaposition of the words. "Uncle Grandpa" is both absurd and, like Ren & Stimpy, suggestive and a bit naughty. In fact, it is a straight rip off of the aforementioned. Uncle Grandpa was a character briefly mentioned in an episode of R&S as a jab at southern, rural culture implying inbreeding.
This new iteration of Uncle Grandpa looks like a solution in search of a problem. It is painfully obvious that they started with the name and reverse engineered a character that matched it but lacked the incestuous overtones and edginess of the first edition. The premise that we have to swallow to understand the existence of a character named Uncle Grandpa is amorphous, poorly defined, and noncommittal. If we're to accept such a character, commit and go in a direction.
The creator seems to be torn between Uncle Grandpa being an incompetent boob and a competent savior or the day. We cannot decide who he is or how he operates, what motivates him and how he works. The whole show just seems like a collection of sight and word gags thrown together into a poorly stitched quilt of the absurd. This comes from a person who still hasn't forgiven CN for canceling Space Ghost Coast to Coast.
The show would better execute as a series of vignettes ala Robot Chicken and leave the title character in the title.
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