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"Mission Hill" is a radically underappreciated animated TV series. It's a
sharp, witty satire of modern-day teens and twentysomethings, created by
former writers of "The Simpsons." If that show was the anti-"Cosby Show,"
than this one is the anti-"Friends." It portrays all the quirks of the
youth culture for the express purpose of making fun of them. The most
recent episode featured an extensive poke at "Star Wars" fans, including a
convention Q&A with an Ewok guest speaker, that the fans might revere as
single most classic such reference on TV, if only they had seen
The central characters, supergeek Kevin and his hipper older brother Andy, form an ingeniously modernized take on the classic "odd couple" formula. A variety of supporting characters in all shapes, sizes, and colors round out the cast. Like the classic "Simpsons," the show uses emotionally involving, realistic plotlines to keep its absurdity from derailing into wackiness. The deceptively simple animation shows the subtle character expression pioneered on "The Simpsons," and the humor does more than just parody pop culture, it covers new territory with its jabs at real life youth culture.
"Mission Hill," whether it becomes a hit on TV right away, will undoubtedly see long life as a cult classic. No viewer who cares anything about television, animation, or comedy should miss it, and any network should be proud to air it.
I remember when "Mission Hill" debuted on the WB in '99 and I never watched it because I didn't think I'd care. However, recently Cartoon Network has started something called "Adult Swim", where every Saturday and Sunday they show more "adult" cartoons. Not necessarily sex and violence filled, but mostly just cartoons that are actually funny rather than the garbage that is out there now for kids. Anyway, in their Sunday night line-up is "Mission Hill" and it's quite possibly one of my favorite adult-oriented cartoons. It never fails to make me laugh and it's written like a very good sitcom. The voice acting is perfectly normal without sounding too "cartoony", but at the same time it contrasts with the animation so that you never forget you are indeed watching a cartoon and that you shouldn't take it too seriously. The characters are well-developed and it's just overall a very hilarious show.
Strangely enough Cartoon Network a network committed to entertaining young kids has dedicated a weekly section of their programming to adult aimed cartoons (adult comedy not graphic sex) on their `Adult Swim', which has produced nothing but untapped creativity and a base of die hard fans. Adult Swim has culminated to the point of a cult sort of status with fan commitment with such gems as Home Movies (my other personal favorite), Baby Blues, Harvey Birdman, The legendary space ghost and a host of other off-beat originals with obscure brilliant underground Japanese anime (Adult Swim turned me on to Cowboy Bebop, one of the most brilliant and beautiful pieces of animation if not cinema I have ever witnessed). Through all this the true shining pinnacle of Adult Swim has to be Mission Hill. Mission Hill is basically one of the funniest Generation X cartoons I have ever seen, eclipsing such sacred pillars of pop culture such as South Park and dare I say Beavis and Butthead. The reason I think it's so good is that because their targeting older youths the show isn't restrained to moral codes that could confuse eight year olds, for instance the line `Let's get cocaine and hookers!'. The show's comedy is absolutely great because it appeals to wayward young adults joking on pop culture with it's obscure references, occasional drug humor, and hilariously simple and realistic story lines. Originally, I think they showed three or four episodes and then cancelled it but then the bulk of the Adult Swim audience requested it come back. In the end, I think there is only ten episodes made and ordered and that may be it but I seriously hope this cartoon finds a home and more episodes are made because it is the perhaps the finest cartoon for slackers and some of the best layered humor since Beavis and Butthead. There's nothing more I can really say in this kind of incoherent slash and burn attempt to explain why I like this show other than to just tell you to watch it. To the people who made it, if for some reason you look at this, please let me thank you for convincing me television was worth watching again.
I happened to catch this show on adult swim on cartoon network the other night. I must say I thought it was pretty funny. I look forward to seeing the next episode. The characters are quite enjoyable and I can relate to the guy with the nerdy little brother.
This is a great show. Anyone who judges the show on only a few clips and it's poor animation isn't giving it a fair chance. The reason it didn't last on the WB is because it was way over the heads of anyone watching the WB. This is a wonderfully dry and witty cartoon, and the "poor" animation quality is part of this. I was so excited to see it on Cartoon Network and I hoppe that it continues tere for a long time. If you like cartoons and have half a brain, check Mission Hill out.
You review above falsely credits Josh Weinstein as working on a program
called "Mystery Science Theater 3000". I believe you are mistaking him
for J. Elvis Weinstein ( http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0918441/ ) who also
worked on Freaks and Geeks. I only know this because I used to confuse
the two writers myself ;)
Mission Hill was an excellent show, by the way. It had humour that easily out beats current episodes of the Simpsons and it frustrates me that crap like Family Guy can remain on air, whilst clever, well animated, well acted, excellently written cartoons like Mission Hill go unnoticed.
I will always be a fan of this show for what it was, an excellent unfinished first season.
I really wish that somebody would renew this great show. It was well
written and acted and was only getting better.
The show was produced by two of the guys that were responsible for the funniest seasons of the Simpsons, and one of them, Josh Weinstein, was also involved in the early days of Mystery Science Theater 3000.
"Mission Hill" is a great show! Set in a city that could be New York, Los Angeles or even San Antonio, a twentysomething tries to carve a place for himself in the world only to have it invaded by his younger brother. Throw in a hodgepodge of offbeat characters, much intellectual thought, interesting plot lines, and an animation style that uses mixed-up color schemes, you have a worthwhile show on your hands. Too bad it never made on the WB, but thanks to CN and "Adult Swim", it is has a home of it's own. Grade A+
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Mission Hill" was an excellent (and underrated ) animated show that
unlike the other shows that are supposed to be aimed to adults didn't
have to use cheap cultural references or gross sex jokes in order to
Instead of that, "Mission Hill" had a very intelligent and funny style of satire that reminded some underground comics as "Hate" or "Eightball".
The art was pretty well made, with a great use of colors and stylish designs. I particularly like the bright colors used in each one of the sceneries from this animated series, which certainly had much more charm than most of the modern, digitally made cartoons.
The characters were likable and original, without any kind of annoying cliché or silly stereotypes.
The jokes were witty and clever. The voice acting was pretty good and it also had very good, catchy music (I particularly liked the intro song, which was awesome)
"Mission Hill" had all the potential to be the spiritual successor for "The Simpsons". Unfortunately, this series didn't received the appreciation it deserved, being considered just another one more animated sitcom for adults that spawned in the wake of South Park and Family Guy, despite being actually better than those two shows.
And that's just a shame. This show deserved much more fame and recognition, specially considering the low quality of many bad cartoons from the recent years.
10/10 (I would rate it with eleven stars if I could)
This was a great attempt at trying to create an animated show that
WASN'T based around an 'overweight father figure who's beset by life's
problems'. Oakley and Weinstein used their experience on 'The Simpsons'
to put together a really solid show with great characters. But it
didn't find much of an audience when it was on the air and they were
never given the chance to finish the first season.
Andy French is a wannabe cartoonist who lives with his two roommates in a New York-like hipster enclave called "Mission Hill", when his parents decide to move, they send his nerdy little brother, Kevin to live with him until he graduates.
The show is undertoned with youth culture commentary:Andy is unaware that his beloved 80's slacker peers have moved on into early yuppiedom, the show pre-dates the major gentrification of most major U.S. cities, it was designed to look similar to alternative press comic books and Kevin is obsessed with online role playing games and nerd-centric activities. Even though this is probably the shows greatest contribution, it tends to dates it a little.
It comes as no surprise that the show has become a cult favorite.
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