Friday, February 6, 2009

Superjail! - Possibly The Best Western Show Of The Decade*


* Hehehe...'best western'...
Srsly though (and I do seem to be having a 'srs' day). This is a show where the title says it all, and what a title it is!
Superjail!
Yes, the exclamation point is part of the title and everything. Since there's no flippin' way I'll be able to explain this show on my own, I have decided to use good ole' wikipedia for a basic summary and just add my two cents.
Each episode follows a similar pattern. The criminal Jacknife is brought to Superjail by Jailbot. During this time, or occasionally as a result of his arrival, one event or another will inspire the Warden to carry out some sort of crazy scheme, which the Twins almost always interfere with. The combination of these two factors inevitably leads to a spectacular psychedelic bloodbath when the prisoners are driven to violence. Many prisoners end up dying as a result, often in humorously horrific ways, while Jacknife escapes in the confusion to be caught again in the next episode.
Trying to give this show a formula is like trying to...do something impossible (I'm not very creative with my similies today). There are exceptions to all of these. In the episode 'Cold Blooded', for instance, Jacknife isn't captured and another criminal is brought in by accident instead. There's an episode where the Twins don't show up (I forget which episode it is, though). There are a few episodes with no definitive ending, and ones where Jacknife doesn't escape.
So, who are all these characters it mentions? They're pure awesomeness, but that isn't enough of an explanation. Good thing the official Adult Swim site's got me covered!
The Warden is both a super-genius and insane madman. He is the creator and leader of Superjail. No matter how utterly ridiculous and unbelievable his schemes are, they seem perfectly rational to him. He defies the laws of physics and reality by transforming into different guises and body shapes on a whim. He is hopelessly in love with Alice, who has no interest in him romantically. He is very unappreciative of Jared and treats him like a lackey. He has a huge, overconfident ego and a complete inability to relate to others.
I agree with this for the most part, except for the 'inability to relate to others' thing. He relates to others all the time! He's actually a pretty friendly psychopath. No wonder he has so many fangirls...including me...ok, I admit it.
Jared is a nervous, stressed-out, high-strung mess. Jared wants respect, but never gets it. He is constantly cleaning up other people's messes without receiving any credit. Jared is in a desperate search for the Warden's approval. The Warden is his idol and he will do anything to help him realize his crazy schemes. Jared is a former addict (alcoholic, smoker, overweight, coke-head, etc.) He has many vices and dark skeletons in his closet that are revealed in times of stress. These can be exposed with vivid hallucinations and mental breakdowns.
Wait, Jared was a coke-head? ...and he smoked? He was addicted to alcohol, candy and fast food but they never mentioned smoking or drugs. I guess 'overweight' is in reference to the candy and/or fast food...
Jared is also adorable and I want to hug him.
Alice is the head security officer at Superjail. It seems like she was formerly a man and behaves very brash and aggressive. Contrary to her appearance and behavior, she sees herself as beautiful and feminine. She wants nothing more than to be wanted and desired as a "beautiful lady". She wants the inmates to want her, but they find her repulsive. The frustration she feels when rejected often results in her getting angry and violent. She gets frequent crushes on the inmates, and takes advantage of her position in order to abuse them.
Accept the damn Warden, Alice! Everyone wants him but you and you want everyone else! It's the most ironic thing ever! It distorts the fabric of space-time! ARRRRRGH!
Oddly enough the official page lists her gender as 'Female'. Take that.
The Warden created Jailbot. Even though he is a machine, he views the Warden as his father. He is highly jealous of anyone or thing that gets more attention than him. Jailbot often attempts to hurt or sabotage Jared and Alice. Jailbot is surprisingly emotional, often getting sad or gleeful. He is a "loose cannon" and goes overboard in an effort to please the Warden. This often results in scolding.
W-w-what? Jailbot isn't Tamama. This is probably the most 'off' of all of the character bios. He doesn't attempt to hurt or sabatoge Jared and/or Alice at any point that I remember, unless you count when he goes crazy (and in that state he's attacking the Warden as well). It also doesn't mention that he seems to like children a lot and if he hurts them by accident he tries to cheer them up.

Jacknife is a dumb-ass career criminal. He never learns. He's crude and unrefined. Every episode starts with a creative new way for Jacknife to screw up and return to Superjail. He can be on the run, in disguise, or doing a "Cops" kind of white-trash crime. He always gets caught and severely beaten by Jailbot. He only communicates in grunts and groans.
Nothing to add here. That pretty much says it all.
He never does speak. He only makes noises and laughs and screams.
The Twins talk and act like foreign exchange students who have no idea how to act cool. They have weird, undefined powers. It is unclear whether they are aliens, robots, humans, from another dimension, or whatever. They are always scheming against the Warden, often causing complete chaos. They seem to thrive on anarchy. They are the only entity in Superjail that may rival the Warden's power.
"Undefined" powers include teleportation (the most common one) and the fact that they apparently have glowing green blood or some form of fluid that comes out of their body that they used as a DNA sample.
The only way to tell them apart is their voices. One has a slightly higher voice. That's usually the one who speaks second.
I personally believe the alien theory.
There are a few other minor characters who add to the mayhem. There's an inmate with Dilbert glasses who doesn't speak named Gary, and he's got a pet bird named Bird. There's a gay couple of inmates, too, and they literally put me into histerics every time they're on screen.
So, in short, Superjail! is win. It goes back to what I think is the true essence of animation: being able to go to crazy places and show crazy things that could never happen and bring them to life. Wasn't that what it was all about in the first place? The world of animation, much like the world of Superjail, knows no boundaries in what it can create.
~ Pirka

No comments: