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I don't understand why more people don't like `The Oblongs.' It seems
exactly like the kind of lowbrow humor that I can't stand and everybody
likes. But I find myself in somewhat of an infatuation with the show, while
most people don't seem to like it or haven't even heard of it. I'm hoping
will catch on.
The show involves a poor family of mutants who live in The Valley area of Hill Valley. (All the rich folk live The Hills.) The father, Bob, has no arms or legs. The mother, Pickles, has no hair (she usually wears a wig) and is an alcoholic. The oldest brothers, Biff and Chip, are conjoined jock twins who are tough on the home front but losers elsewhere. The only daughter, Beth, is like a cross between something from a Tool video and the French children's book character Madeline. Their youngest son, Milo, suffers from numerous maladies associated with modern children but is endlessly chipper and the most focused-upon child. Milo is often seen with his Valley companions; Peggy, whose head is a hemisphere with beaver teeth at the bottom; Helga, whose appearance and demeanor are connoted by her name; Mikey, who has long saggy butt cheeks; and Creepy Suzie, who is, well, creepy but in a fun way.
After I had heard the description of the show I was sure I wouldn't like it. And if I read the description I just wrote, I probably wouldn't understand the show's appeal. But the show works, very well, and for two reasons.
The first is the dialogue crackles with sharp, bizarre wit. The show doesn't rely completely on gross out gags. Here is one exchange between Beth and her father that makes me laugh every time I hear it:
(The Oblongs home is very cold because the town has shut off their heat in an attempt to blackmail them)
Beth: I think I'm catching ammonia.
Bob: That's pneumonia, honey.
Beth: (Shaking her head) It's too cold for silent P's.
Every episode you get a few great lines like that that leave you howling and assure you the writers' interests aren't strictly to try and push the envelope.
The other main reason `The Oblongs' works so well is that even though they're mutants, the Oblongs function as a normal family unit and love each other. Pickles and Bob are deeply in love (she gave up life in The Hills to marry him) and have a healthy sexual relationship. They're concerned parents who want the best for their children even if they sometimes aren't sure how to go about it. The children feud in an amiable fashion and remind me a lot of my siblings and me when we were younger. The show has heart. This can also be seen with Milo and his misfit friends.
Is it offensive? Not really. Shocking? More than it is offensive at least. The shocks remain somewhat intact because the show is in the guise of a Saturday morning cartoon. The simple, rounded, fun character design, the bright colors, excellent vocal casting (especially Will Ferrell as Bob Oblong) and a general feeling of innocence upheld by Milo, his friends and most other characters in fact, counter what surprises the show holds with functional contrast. Most adult cartoons (North American ones anyway) seem to be convinced that being disgusting and derogatory is the only way a cartoon can appeal to an adult audience. `The Oblongs' tries this as well, but it isn't the shows sole purpose, so it somehow works; I believe, because it's truly what the creators want to do and not just some ploy. It's simply better than shows like `Kevin Spencer,' `Quads' and whatever the hell Tom Green is doing. Items such as these as plain boring while `The Oblongs' manage to strike some sort of balance between the total idiocies of the aforementioned and the humor and brilliance of something like `The Simpsons' (an obvious, at times too obvious, influence.)
There are only 13 episodes of `The Oblongs' and the WB has canceled production. Hopefully, someone else will see it for what is and pick it up. `Seinfeld' and `The Simpsons' took a while to find their audience, and `Third Rock from the Sun' never really did, and they're three of the best sitcoms of the 90's. `The Oblongs' may turn out to be one of the best sitcoms of this decade; we just need to give it a chance.
(I don't know if many people give star rating to television shows, but out of 4, "The Oblongs" rates a strong 3 1/2.)
The Oblongs takes a little while to get used to, but once you do, you can
see past the "horror and cruelty" and "tastelessness" and appreciate it
the humor. The Oblongs pushed the Simpsons envelope in much the same way
the Family Guy did, and should not have been cancelled. Critics of the
call it "awful", "gross" and "disgusting", although by the time the show
the airwaves the network censors had watered it down from Angus Oblong's
original concept. I wonder what their reaction would have been had there
been no censorship.
What bothers me most about the cancellation of shows like this is that moronic pablum such as King of the Hill is everlasting while the Oblongs, Futurama, The Critic and the Family Guy get cancelled (although the Family Guy has re-emerged on cable with new episodes.)
To those critics who slam the show: if you don't like it, don't watch it. Don't get it thrown off the air by complaining about it. To those who love the show: you can still catch episodes on Adult Swim on Cartoon Network at 12:30AM & 3:30AM Mondays, and according to Angus Oblong's website, in Canada on "TeleToon". There are only 13 episodes in existence (and only 6 were ever broadcast on network television). There should be more. Shame on the critics! And shame on the Nielsen viewers!
"The Oblongs" is a wonderfully done series about a screwed up deformed family. We're not laughing at them, but with them. The characters recognize that they are not perfect and make the most of it. Last nights episode saw Milo striving to fit in and be "cool". Every kid in America has gone through that. Why not make fun of it by using buckets with ham labels on them? This series makes my stomach hurt from laughing for thirty minutes straight! True, the jokes are crude, but that's what makes them funny! I recommend it to anyone who can put aside reality for half an hour and realize that life is hilarious and meant to be laughed at!
The oblongs, where do i start? If you have seen the show, you know the basic storyline is about a deformed family living in a toxic filled landscape. Now I am a current watcher of cartoon networks "adult swim" and have found myself looking forward to sundays again because of this programming. 2 weeks ago I saw this show for the first time and I laughed so hard I thought i was seriously going to wet myself. This has all the great makings of a cartoon, rude, funny and the characters are drawn so weird that you cant help to laugh even when they are'nt talking. I was acutally surprised to find out that before this show aired on Cartoon network that it had been on WB and was canceled, I am truly in shock, this could have been the next family guy or simpsons. You know, now that i mention it, this cartoon is very simuliar to an older cartoon called "Duckman". In any case, just alittle interesting note, 13 episodes of this were ever made and from what i understand, only 8 made it to WB, I guess CN is going to show all of them, but currently have no new plans to make anymore (let's pray thus not true), So if you have'nt seen this show and want some good funny stuff, sit down and watch the show. I also suggest you record them on your VCR so you can watch them over and over agian. Give it a fair shake and see what you think. I give it a 9 on the funny scale.
I really thought the Oblongs was a great show that was axed too soon but I
can assume that if a show doesn't get the ratings that the network wants
then it's more likely than not that the show is going to get cancelled.
However I think that the show was canceled for all of the wrong
I especially enjoyed hearing the children go through all of the their particular issues. Biff and Chip going through their awkward stages of life being conjoined twins. Milo the marginally disturbed middle child who thinks that the world is out to get him and Beth who's socially challenged.
Then there's the parents Pickles the always drunk and chain smoking old hag and Bob the limbless head of the household. Then there's Milo's friends, Jawless Peggy, Neckless Helga and Mikey the kid with the huge butt.
If this is offensive to some people then it's quite possible that the people say this aren't really getting the message of this cartoon. The whole Oblong family is different and that's what makes them special.
This cartoon was an adaptation of another wierd cartoon and they did a good
job of making it into a TV series.
What I liked about this was the struggle between 'the haves' and the 'have nots'.
You have the Hills where everyone is rich, blonde and beautiful but they dumped their nuculear waste and trash on...the Valley, where everyone else lives.
Of course these Hill people didn't want anything to do with the deformed Valley people, except to do their "dirty work" while they look good. But alas, these deformed Valley people have to live too..and here we see such a thing though the Oblong Family.
There are quite a few episodes that are drop dead hilarious such as the wife "Pickles" being ordered to do community time so she heads the Valley Girl Scout troop, the son, "Milo" being groomed as a "Corporate Marketing Genius", One of the "Debbies" who live on the Hill getting in a freak accident and becoming deformed herself...and a few more.
This is not your typical un-PC Cartoon, it's not with your typical concept, its not even black comedy, it has warts and all and puts them out front. The Oblongs should have a sad existence,I mean, who wants to KNOW or even THINK about what a family of deformed and dysfunctional people DO... but they live their lives inspite of everything that has befallen on them..even in trying to compete with the blondes on the Hill.
Another animation series NOT for everyone, but it is for all of us without a shred of PC decency in our cartoons either.
The Oblongs is a brilliant tongue in cheek observation on modern day
society. It most definitely pokes fun at the traditional suburban
lifestyle- not to mention the conservative mentality that is the
majority USA. The writing is unsurpassed. Both intelligent and witty,
it is incredibly sad that this highly creative series failed to thrive
in an environment that has exalted such dreck as Family Guy. The
difference between the Oblongs and the McFarlane animations is the
intention. The Oblongs could be viewed as social exiles who always get
the last laugh; in effect, the underdogs of their culture. The Family
Guy simply strives to insult the very culture represented by the
Oblongs. The Family Guy, noted and lauded for being widely offensive
and extremist with humor, took a direction that was unnecessary for
Angus Oblong. The Oblongs were sharp, intuitive and funny without
having to resort to gay jokes, black jokes, toilet humor, fat jokes.
Ultimately, The Oblongs was the manifestation of pure talent and
I hope one day an enterprising company brings this back to the airwaves with the original cast.
Based around the lives of "the valley" kids, The Oblongs manages to show quite the range of human emotions behind their veil of crude, yet often very clever, jokes. If taken for just the face value, some may see the show as utterly atrocious. Of course, as with similar shows (alright, there's nothing that really comes close to this show, but there are some come within a few miles, such as Family Guy, or in a looser fashion, The Simpsons), taking the jokes at the surface level can leave many offended. These people just shouldn't watch. However, if you have somewhat thick skin, and can take a joke as it is meant, The Oblongs are quite worth it. Their presentation of all facets of life in a removed setting create an image of ourselves that we can laugh at without dwelling on the fact that it is ourselves. So sit back, relax, and prepare to cringe while laughing hysterically.
I really like cartoons that target adult audiences. They don't hold back as much as Primetime comedies. The Oblongs is a perfect example of an adult cartoon that is loaded with non-PC content, but is so richly hilarious, that even the most rigid of critics should have sympathy. Its about a family of defective misfits, all altered somehow by a swamp filled with chemical waste that is located in their backyard. What is so great about the Oblongs, aside from the wonderful voice acting of Jean Smart as the savvy, alcoholic mother, and Will Ferrel as the armless and legless, but tender and soft father, is the absurd concepts and rapid-fire humor that is consistent in every episode. I would recommend this show to any adult who is not insulted by tasteless(but fabulous) jokes, or to any kid that has enough self-control not to go jump in to a chemical waste dump. Great cartoon comedy. Watch it if you have the chance.
"The Oblongs" is an excellent show, it's about a not-so-dysfunctional family. Robert Oblong is missing arms and legs, Pickles Oblong is bald(she, most of the time, wears a wig)and she drinks too much, their children include: Biff & Chip, the conjoined, Beth, the little girl with a wart that a size of a pickle, and Milo, the .A.D.D. kid. This show is great.
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