TV animation

Season preview: comedies survive, via cartoons and Canada

(This has been updated.)
Long before the strikes began, situation comedies were already wobbling.
Ratings were down; networks were doubtful. At times, NBC – former home of all those “must-see” sitcoms – had zero comedies in prime time.
Still, there will be some laughs this fall, for two reasons: Animated shows (including Fox’s new “Krapopolis,” shown here) are written and voiced far in advance; also, other countries – Canada and England, mostly – had shows available.
Here’s a round-up of sitcoms this fall on the broadcast networks and on some basic-cable channels. It’s chronological and “new” means new to most U.S. viewers: Read more…

Teen turns demonic? It’s almost a real-life tale

Like many people, Chrissy turned into a little demon when she became a teen-ager. Now she rages at her mother and despises her dad.
And like some, she has good reasons for this. After all, her mom withheld a key secret and her dad … well, he’s Satan. The real one.
That’s the set-up for “Little Demon” (shown here), an animated show that debuts at 10 p.m. Thursday (Aug. 25) on FXX. Lucy DeVito, who stars, finds the raging-teen idea realistic. “At times, I was a total (jerk),” she said. “But I think most kids are.”
There were other quirks in her life, she told the Television Critics Association. “Growing up in a household where your father is touted the ‘prince of darkness’ – that’s another problem.” Read more…

At last: We spy our pets’ secret lives

Many of us may wonder what our pets do when we’re gone.
Do they scheme and plot? … Or grumble and grouse? … Or just hit the hyper-relaxation mode?
Now a new series, “Housebroken” (shown here) has the answer: Pets conduct their own group-therapy sessions.
Yes, the show (9 p.m. Mondays on Fox, starting May 31) is a cartoon. “There’s just so much freedom in animation,” said actress-turned-producer Clea DuVall. Cats can talk, turtles can dash; she can envision big stunts that “would be half of your budget (without) animation.” Read more…

Animation rescues “Cake” from COVID

Cartoon characters have always been a breeze to work with.
hey don’t age or ache or retire; and, now, they don’t get COVID. That helped rescue a show: “Cake” (shown here with one of its logos) opens its third season at 10 and 10:30 p.m. Thursday (July 9) on FXX, then reaches Hulu the next day.
The FX networks have been hit hard by virus shutdowns. Their original productions take a boutique approach – low quantity, high quality. Now two of the best – “Fargo” and “Pose” – are on hold.
In that scorched landscape, we’re glad to see anything new. “Cake” will do. Read more…

Animation helps fill the TV-shutdown void

(Yes, this does look suspiciously like a story I wrote a few weeks ago, about cartoon voice-master Billy West. Since then, there’s been a surge of animation, so I’ve updated it. Anyway, he’s an interesting guy and animation neatly fills some virus-shutdown time.)
As TV scrambles to find social-distance drama, a logical option appears: What about animation?
There’s been a flurry lately, sometinmes spurred by the virus, other times just a coincidence. Consider;
– STREAMING: Two new animated series – both planned long before the quarantine – have opened on streaming networks. “Central Park” (new episodes each Friday on Apple TV+) has drawn raves; “Crossing Swords” (which released all 10 episodes June 12 on Hulu) has drawn mixed reviews. They join “Disenchanted” (shown here) on Netflix and more, including Pixar on Disney+ and a ton of Japanese anime on HBO Max. Read more…