Many attempts have been made over a decade or so to imitate South Park in an attempt to cash in on the money train. So far no one has been even remotely close. The industry consensus appears to be that it’s all about crudeness and pushing the standards envelope. That couldn’t be further from the truth, and Drawn Together is proof of that. Drawn Together is wickedly foul and raunchy. The problem is that’s all there is. It started out with a clever enough idea. Let’s take several cartoon archetypes and put them in the same house, Big Brother style. The first few episodes had some genuine humor to them while poking fun at reality television and pretty much anything else that gets in the way. Before long the show just began to be how much gross-out will the public take? Like South Park, the characters in Drawn Together are potty-mouthed and antisocial, but they lack any of the charm that Parker and Stone were able to infuse into their characters. Also, like South Park, the show drops a ton of pop culture references. The difference is that in South Park there is usually context that makes the references funny, but in Drawn Together they appear to be dropped from out of the blue and serve no purpose. When one of the characters kills another, the dead guy’s mom shows up and delivers Mrs. Kitner’s line from Jaws about knowing there were sharks in the water but letting folks swim anyway. Where the heck did that come from? If this had been South Park the line would absolutely have tied in to something that actually happened to the dead guy. The writing is incoherent, and usually the show is a series of nonsequiturs. Gross for gross sake isn’t funny.
The characters themselves are relatively clever and represent many of the popular cartoons of today and yesterday. There is a Pokemon character, an obvious Betty Boop, Superman/Batman, SpongeBob, Porky Pig, and likely a couple of the gals from Archie. Season three became less about the housemates and their interactions and more of the characters on their own quests and plots. With few exceptions, the writers have appeared to abandon their original concept and have far less focus here. It’s no wonder the show ended here, as it was certainly running out of ideas. Captain Hero, the Superman/Batman character, appears to be the main character and gets most of the spotlight in season three. Creators Jester and Silverstein must have seen the writing on the bathroom wall. Before any decision about the show’s fate was officially made, they bolted to Fox and a development deal there. Even had the series continued, it would have lost what little creative drive it had.
Each episode of Drawn Together is presented in its original full frame broadcast format. While the animation isn’t as crude as South Park, this is not cutting edge stuff either. That means the picture quality isn’t going to be that big of an issue for fans. With that in mind, this basically average looking presentation does the job fine. Colors don’t jump out at you, but they are clean. Detail is high enough to provide good definition on the animation.
The Dolby Digital 2.0 track is serviceable for the kind of a show Drawn Together is. You’re in it for the dialog, and it comes through just fine.
There are four episodes sporting audio commentary tracks from various participants but nothing earth shattering here.
The episodes are “uncensored,” but I’m not sure what that means outside of a few seconds of graphic images.
Karaoke Sing A Long: If you really really want to, you can sing to a handful of songs while the monitor shows you the words. That is, if you really, really, really need to.
I’m not a prude and love watching those sacred aspects of our society exposed and made fun of. Still, like the James Bond song says, when it comes to South Park, nobody does it better. Maybe someday someone will finally understand that we want more than just to be grossed out. Unless you’re already a fan, I’d simply stay away from this stuff. I watched it once, and no matter what anybody says, “I won’t go back”.