Thursday, July 25, 2013

Loonatics Unleashed – The Heir Up There (Snark)

Boy am I not looking forward to this one…the episode begins in Loonatics HQ in the dead of night, and we get shots of the various idiots’ bedrooms.

Let’s see if we can glean something of the Loonatics’ personalities and interests from their personal effects. Bugs has a blanket spangled with carrots and what looks like a snowboard by the window. Lexi has a pair of water skis, a surfboard, a beach bucket and shovel and sleeps in a hammock.

Taz has a huge barbell hanging over his bed, and there’s a computer he’d probably just as soon eat as log onto. He’s also got a drumstick there as a midnight snack, and a picture of what looks like a slice of pizza on the wall.

And that’s it. The others are shown in way too tight closeup to see much of anything. Oh well, they sorta tried.

Oh yeah, and this is shown in split screen as a sinister black ship cruises toward the building in preparation to attack. The first taste of its pilot’s voice destroys any and all menace this could’ve conceivably had, though. Because while they try to hide him in shadow, the attack’s being carried out by none other than interplanetary mercenary Sylth Vester, lisp as huge as ever.

The Loonatics are woken up by fighter drones firing upon their building, and run to defend themselves. This gives an idea of how Mastermind was able to get inside so easily, as the weapons they focus on are just guns that amplify the Loonatics’ own regular attacks, in this case Bugs’s laser vision and Lexi’s ear lasers. That is, the weapons are just extensions of their powers and with no Loonatics around to provide the firepower themselves, the base’s bigger defensive measures are just hunks of metal.

Bugs wonders where Daffy’s at during the attack, but again, he’s supposed to be the incompetent one. Isn’t not having him around supposed to be a plus, as often as it actually shows the opposite to be true?

Sylvester gloats to himself Zadvia will never get to the Loonatics in time to put something into motion before he blows them up. Thing is, he pronounces her name “zuh-day-vee-uh,” while it’s always been pronounced “zuh-dah-vee-uh.”

Despite Sylvester’s confidence, the Loonatics manage to shoot down his drones. Ya see, the characters who were originally comical antagonists whose every attempt ended in humiliating failure and extreme pain (and who weren’t reimagined as heroes), like Sam, Sylvester, and Elmer? They’re still pretty much the same thing even with the genre change. The only time Sylvester gets to show off what a badass he is is in the series finale, when he’s helping the Loonatics.

He’s so incompetent that when his boss (who most assuredly is a deep-voiced man like he sounds) checks in, Sylvester even pushes the wrong button while trying to kill the link while trying to pretend he’s losing the connection so he won’t have to report his failure.

Zuh-day-vee-uh arrives at the HQ just as Sylvester mentioned (shouldn’t she be off ruling Freleng or something? I seem to remember something about the Loonatics toppling its dictator), in a shot recycled from “Acmegeddon” where she pulled up in her Frelengian ship. Which was destroyed in the process of getting them to Optimatus’s asteroid. Where’d this one come from? They got away in Optimatus’s personal ship, which doesn’t look a thing like that and which will be acknowledged shortly. What’s going on with the white ship?

No I actually didn't take a new screencap. There was no point.

She introduces the team to Queen Grannicus of planet Blanc in the Merrie Melody galaxy. Guys, that’s way too obvious! That’s worse than planet Georwell from the old Justice Machine comic books.

Enemies surround Blanc, and the only way to ensure the planet’s defense is to install the rightful heir to the throne. This worthy proves to be the Royal Tweetums, who proudly proclaims himself to be only three-and-a-half parsecs old. At least he didn’t say he was three-and-a-half light years old. But any sympathy you might’ve had for Tweety getting victimized by mean ol’ Sylvester? Leave it at the door.

By the way, Grannicus and Tweetums. Yeah. At least they were sort of trying with Sylth Vester.

“There are forces that do not want [Tweety] to reach planet Blanc,” Zadavia helpfully explains. Yeah? Wow, sounds serious. Who are these guys? What do they want? Oh, you’re not gonna tell us? Okay.

Zadavia goes on to explain how serious the stakes are. “The last time Blanc was invaded, the universe was plunged into an intergalactic war that lasted 1500 years.” If Tweety doesn’t assume the throne, the same’s going to happen again (and as with all flashbacks, despite it showing hyper-advanced spaceships, and despite being a video explicitly shown to the characters and not simply intercut footage, they don’t have color recordings).

Allow me to just take a minute to say...are you kidding me, Zadavia??? Or should I say, Writing Staff? This one planet’s so important, if you don’t take this assignment the whole universe is looking at 1500 years of violence and destruction. No mention of what makes it so important, it just is.

I'm just saying, but if people are willing to fight over this planet for centuries, what's so important about Blanc would seem to be fairly common knowledge. Plus what the bad guys are after in the season finale is Blanc's big secret, and they already know what it is. I can understand the writers wanting to keep something a surprise to make the reveal more dramatic, but then you should make an effort for the secrecy to make some kind of sense. I know they were trying to tie this show more into the silliness of the old material, buuuut it was still supposed to be an action show with consequences, too.

Lighten up and don't take this so seriously, I can already hear somebody saying, since that's what the show itself is doing, after all. Let me repeat something I just said: the climax of the season is the bad guys going after Blanc's big secret, which they already know about. And it IS something that's all serious and important, not some kind of gag where everyone THINKS it must be important because of all the secrecy but it's really something stupid like Tweety's bronzed baby shoes.

Bugs off course needs no further enticing to take on the job, and announces he, Taz and Daffy will be running the escort mission while the others stay behind to “watch our backs.” Furthermore they’ll be taking the ship they commandeered from Optimatus. “[Wile E.] retrofitted it from top to bottom with thrusters, blasters, even a juice bar that serves the finest carrot smoothie this side of Gemini.” The flagship of a would-be galactic despot didn’t already have those first two things, I guess. Guys, you don’t send your ultimatum before the doomsday weapon’s done and your Legions of Terror are ready to march. Play some Evil Genius fer chrissakes.

Inconsistent pronunciation strikes again! Bugs pronounces it “op-tuh-may-tus,” not “mot-us.” The latter being how it’s been pronounced by everybody who ever used that character’s actual name and not some stupid derivation meant as an insult. Would it have been so hard to include pronunciation aides in the scripts?

One last thing. Bugs is bringing Taz and Daffy as the other escorts? I sort of get Taz even though he’s a dumb, barely comprehensible brute, as he’s the Loonatics’ tank. But Daffy? He’s supposed to be the stupid/incompetent one. And this is a mission that will lead to intergalactic warfare if they don't pull it off.

Once underway, Bugs points out they’re running with a skeleton crew, so everybody needs to stick with their assignment. You wouldn’t be running with a skeleton crew if you hadn’t split your forces by 50%, and that might’ve been advisable when piloting an unfamiliar ship on a mission that’ll cause galaxy-spanning war if it fails. After already being attacked once. Hope that nebulous task you gave them’s worth it, Bugs.

“Naturally, I’ll be the pilot.” And keeping your blandness well off-screen. I’m okay with that. “[Taz] will be in charge of the engines, the weapons and the kitchen.” The engines? What’s he going to do there? And I’m pretty sure the “kitchen” is called a “galley.” Daffy, of course, is put in charge of the least important job, watching the heir this entire mission revolves around protecting.

The other Loonatics actually are doing something back at HQ, which is, I think, surrounding the ship with a shield that renders it basically invisible. I think because it’s explained by Roadrunner, who never says something in ten words when he can use fifty. While even I’ll admit that’s kind of annoying, Bugs evidently has no interest in what his defensive measures consist of on this vitally important mission and turns him off, then checks in on Taz saying he can’t wait to see what Taz is making for dinner. Taz is busy doing nothing but emptying the entire fridge into his mouth.  JUST LIKE EVERYONE EXPECTED BUT YOU DAMN YOU SUCK AT BEING A SUPERHERO BUGS.

Sorry to keep you up, prick.

Also, as awesome as that invisibility shield no doubt is, they probably wouldn’t need it if they weren’t spread so thin one guy’s in charge of the engines, the weapons, and making dinner. Not if this ship’s half as awesome as Bugs made it out to be. And should be without any additions since it was, again, the flagship of the biggest villain the show’s had yet.

But then, we’re really talking about the problem at the heart of the show itself: it doesn’t explain itself well enough to work seriously, and it isn’t willing to be silly enough to get away with the kind of minimalist explanations for major plot elements this episode’s full of. Loonatics Unleashed is supposed to be an action-comedy, but after the hostile response to the original trailer, it seems afraid to be too much of one or the other, and winds up not being much of anything at all.

And even when it does apply itself toward one or the other, as it’s about to, it can’t match passion with aptitude, and we’re in for some of the most tedius non-humor in this show’s rich history.

Bugs calls up Queen Granny and reports they’re cruising through the Clampett galaxy* and everything’s all ship-shape. He assures her Tweety “couldn’t be in better hands.” And if that isn’t a cue to show the exact opposite (and example #4512 that Bugs has no business being in charge), I don’t know what is.

* (Perhaps you begin to see why I don’t, can't, consider Loonatics Unleashed a thing apart from Looney Tunes. In this episode alone we have three very familiar guest stars, and now an equal number of locations referencing the old stuff too. How can I distance this show from its roots when they’re sitting on my frigging head with it?)

Tweety’s forcing Daffy to bathe him while he sings a stupid song until Daffy gets angry and refuses to pamper Tweety anymore. Tweety demands Daffy keep on pampering him, because he’s a prince and people have to do whatever he says. And if they don’t, he’ll wear diapers and make people who don’t do the most humiliating things he says change him even though he doesn’t wear diapers now.

Installing this punkass in power is going to prevent galaxy-wide warfare. Sorry, but once again I agree with Daffy. Tweety is despicable.

Sylvester is, shocker, nearby and assures his cloaked, deep-male-voiced boss that he’s about to launch another attack. He even calls himself a “super genius.” Uh, no guys. That’s Wile E., not Sylvester. And he’s not a villain in this show.

Back to Daffy and Tweety, where since Daffy refuses to play with the obnoxious royal “mustard stain,” Tweety decides to make the duck play hide-and-seek in the guts of the arch-villain’s warship. Right when Bugs checks in to remind Daffy that galactic warfare’s hanging over their heads if the mission fails. And Bugs is the one who gave Daffy this job, so who’s the real idiot here?

Tweety wanders into a door marked with several large “keep out”-type signs. Sure, maybe at only 3 ½ parsecs old he can’t read them (but again, he’s ruler of the most important planet in the universe…?). But it’s so dangerous, yet the door will just slide open, happy to be of assistance, to anybody who wants to go in? Maybe Optimatus didn’t care because all his minions were robots, but Wile E. “retrofitted it from top to bottom,” but didn’t add a lock to this particular door?

Yeah, Daffy’s a jerk. But the problems he exacerbates are ones created because the rest of the Loonatics are plain ol’ morons.

Daffy follows Tweety into a jungle of power cables, and of course gets comedically fried when Tweety pushes the button that’ll fry somebody inside those cables when it’s pressed. Daffy understandably locks Tweety in his little…thing with chains after this, but Tweety, being an asshole guaranteed to start the war this mission’s meant to prevent, pulls out a paper clip and picks his way free.

Sylvester attacks then, even with the invisible shield up. That either means he’s smart enough to de-encrypt Wile E.’s tech, or…there’s a traitor in their midst! Although that doesn’t occur to them, but I’m not saying anything about their competence or smarts in general I haven’t been saying this whole recap and beyond.

At any rate, either Bugs and Taz suck at flying a ship under combat conditions or Optimatus’s upgraded ship sucks at being in actual combat as their main weapons are knocked out in the first salvo. They still have an ace in the hole, but it’s that exact same thing from HQ where Bugs puts on a helmet that amplifies his laser vision out one of the guns. That’s significantly less cool seeing it for the second time in one episode, guys. You gotta pace yourselves on the cool weapons and special attacks or they get lame.

Tweety gets out and appears to jettison himself out the garbage chute. Daffy teleports outside to try to find him only to be sucked up into Sylvester’s ship. Turns out Tweety never actually left the ship and was just being a dick. He does declare Daffy his best friend and vows to save him, though. Bugs comes in and “just as I thought,” finds both Daffy and Tweety missing. That sounds like an admission of your own epic suckitude, Bugs.

In Sylvester’s battle cruiser, Daffy and Sylvester actually bond over the horrific injuries they’ve sustained at Tweety’s hands (so they’ve been at this a while, then? Actually, I’m not wishing I got to see that. Weird). Daffy becomes my favorite character all over again for not elaborating on “I lost parts of me I never even got to use.”

Tweety gets in and tries to save Daffy, but he’s spotted by Sylvester. That’s what I’m guessing from Sylvester’s menacing laughter, anyway, right before Tweety trots out his trademark line before Sylvester stuffs the heir apparent into his mouth. No, guys, the set-up to “I tot I taw a putty tat” was all wrong there. Tweety was the one sneaking up on Sylvester, not the other way around. He knew for sure the putty tat was there. You can’t just throw a joke out there no matter how recognizable, you gotta set it up properly. It just sounds stupid that way.

Tweety pushes Sylvester’s mouth open, because apparently he has super-strength, frees Daffy and then pushes the large and very obvious self destruct button that Sylvester begs him not to. Daffy and Tweety get out just in time, and a charred Sylvester flies away from the explosion of his ship making TIE Fighter noises. Now that all the danger’s past, it finally occurs to the Loonatics back at base that maybe Sylvester found them so easily because he had somebody on the inside, like that mysterious cloaked, deep-male-voiced benefactor of his…who could that possibly be??

The escort crew deliver Tweety to the only other character in this episode, who congratulates them on a job well done. Until she reveals her scepter has a thingy that makes her voice sound deep and masculine and a bandage-covered Sylvester appears in a heavily-armed wheelchair! Granny has no intention of giving up her completely vague kingdom and hired Sylvester herself!

He blazes away at the Loonatics only for it to turn out–d’oh!—those aren’t the Loonatics, those are just holographic decoys! Having figured out who sold them out, it makes perfect sense to use decoys, I agree. But this is such a hoary old cliché I’m physically pained by typing the words “robot doubles” in sequence, and this was close enough to get my nerves on edge.

Guess Sylvester’s out of ammo, because with the cat out of the bag he and Granny try to make a run for it rather than blasting the real deal. Bugs is on the case and whips out his magic sword, and with a cry of “Guardian Strike Sword Attack!” he surrounds the two fleeing felons with an energy dome before they’re trapped in a jello cube. Guess that’s going to be a regular thing.

Dumb thing number one about this, Granny runs blindly into the dome because she’s looking over her shoulder presumably to see if the Loonatics are gaining on her. Meaning she should definitely see she’s surrounded by a frigging energy dome.

Seriously, how could she not have known about that?

Dumb thing number two, here we are seeing Bugs getting to demonstrate what he’s learned about his sword’s powers. But that’s the cool activation command? The name of the weapon and the word “attack”? Yeah, yeah, I’m being a smartass because I’ve seen the other episodes and I know that’s actually the command to get it assume its attack configuration, and there’s also a defense one. As with the previous episode built around the sword, though, none of this is explained, and this vague command apparently activates all of its features that don’t involve directly protecting Bugs. Because really, that’s a restrain, not an attack. Come on.

A cutaway later Tweety’s the new ruler of Blanc, and makes Daffy a knight of the realm, or planet or whatever, which requires him to hit Daffy over the head with the scepter four or five times for some reason besides making me doubt his reign all over again. It’s not even a retread of the king joke from “Rabbit Hood,” he just bashes Daffy a bunch of times because that, the writing team apparently thought, would be sufficiently humorous on its own.

And what honors are conferred upon a knight of Blanc? He has to do all the humiliating things Tweety tried to make him do anyway with no option of refusal, particularly the bathing him and singing stupid songs thing.

What can I say other than Looney Tunes has become a classic because it had classic humor. This kind of third-rate humor just proves that Loonatics Unleashed was just one in a string of crummy vehicles where the people in charge thought a brand name could carry an entire series.

Good thing we never have those anymore, right?

Friday, July 12, 2013

Loonatics Unleashed - I Am Slamacus (Snark)

We’re jumping right into the action this time, with the Loonatics zipping around trying to catch a bunch of escaped zoo animals. To prove the show was trying just a little, though, these are actually cloned prehistoric zoo animals!

Only we’re not really jumping right into the action this time, as the Loonatics take a second to hover around and explain all this to each other, giving the animals time to wreck some more property and leave more Acmetropolisians without transportation and no way to support their families.

Oh yeah, one other thing. Lexi explains that these beasties are from a petting zoo. Yes, in the future cloned animals capable of rampant property damage and loss of life are also ones marketed toward close contact with tourists’ children. Good to know.

Petting zoo animals. Right.

One of the animals is a pteranodon and Lexi traps it with the jello gun from “The World is My Circus.”

Amazingly, Bugs does that aggravating thing we just saw him do again, where he hovers making pseudo-witty quips while the rampaging animal he’s bent on capturing rampages.

Wile E. even gets in on it, correcting Bugs that this beastie isn’t an elephant but “a genetically-created miniature mastodon from the Mesozoic Era.” No, stupid. Mastodons were around in the Pleistocene Era. I found that out in five seconds. Maybe the writers were getting their prehistory lessons from Zyuranger or something, which isn’t even a good way to get an impression of the Sentai series, never mind history lessons.

When Lexi drops off the pteranodon (still in the jell-o cube), who should she run into but Pierre Le Pew, who starts hitting on her. But that’s the last we hear of that. He doesn’t try to seduce Lexi or any other woman again. The usual schtick of a Pepe Le Pew cartoon’s already starting to wear out its welcome after seven minutes, and this show can do neither humor nor character interplay well, so that’s probably for the best.

You’ll notice I call this character by the name he has in this version of the show and not the original. That’s because, like Mr. Leghorn, if I go along with the show’s idea that the characters descended from the originals, Pepe Le Pew’s genetic line intermingled with humans at some point (even if his unique odor comes from dubious taste in cologne this time around) and I really don’t want to dwell on that in something supposedly aimed at young children. So, Pierre it is.

While we’re on the subject of names, in this version Taz’s “real” name is Slam Tasmanian. Now you understand the title, and we can get back to the recap.

Bugs assigns Taz to catching “old tusk-face” while the others split up to capture other runaway animals. And I know Roadrunner’s supposed to be staying airborne by flapping his arms so fast you can’t see it, but does it look instead like he’s staying up by the power of his noxious underarm odor? Which come to think of it a super-fast hero probably would have problems with.

Anyway, Taz does promptly bronco bust the mastodon, which gets Pierre to thinking the beast’s perfect a little show he’s putting on, which he punctuates with an evil little chuckle…

The round-up continues, with Wile E. at the zoo and determining the beasties didn’t in fact all serendipitously escape at the exact same time, somebody deliberately let them out. Bugs instructs Daffy to get Taz, allowing Daffy to be nearby for this next part.

Pierre introduces himself to Taz, and extends his sympathies that Taz never got to win the wrestling championship before the meteor hit and he presumably was no longer eligible because of having superpowers (but like the show’s going to explain how that works? Ha!).

Not that it would’ve meant anything anyway, because the episode remembers his back story but manages to forget the reason Taz never got the chance to win the championship had nothing to do with his martial abilities (which didn’t look that great either), but because wrestling is fake. He never got to win because he wasn’t popular enough.

Pierre runs a fighting federation of his own, and promises Taz the chance to be a champ there. But it’s the promise of lots of prize money that gets Daffy’s attention (“comically” causing him to stop his vehicle and let the saber tooth tiger chasing him to knock itself out in the process). Daffy presents himself as Taz’s manager, and says he’ll only be taking a ridiculously huge percentage of the winnings. And they kill another ten seconds of run-time ramming it into our skulls that what’s really important to Taz is getting to be the champ, and what’s important to Daffy is all the money they’ll make.

This is what the makers of this show think of your attention span.

The other Loonatics lock up the rest of the dinosaurs and whatnot, saying “that should do it.” Except for how they don’t know where Taz and Daffy are and that means a mastodon and saber tooth tiger are still unaccounted for. Have I mentioned lately how these guys aren’t very good at being superheroes?

They do realize they’re a couple idiots short, and thanks to (you guessed it) one of Wile E.’s handy whatever devices, they’re able to pinpoint Daffy and Taz’s location. Not that it matters, because having put their thumbprint on a holo-contract, Pierre then teleports the three of them to his wandering arena.

The Loonatics left behind make some stupid jokes about Pierre’s smell.

Bugs: “Something smells fishy.”
Lexi: “More like a skunk if you ask me.”

Stop reminding me of the species change, guys. You’re in enough trouble as it is.

Through scientific analysis Wile E. figures out that Pierre teleported away with their friends. That is, he ignored the fact that he and the other Loonatics were there to see the three of them disappear in a flash of light.

We then begin a training montage where Daffy’s dressed up like Mickey from the Rocky movies, and is comically damaged several times by an oblivious Taz. And in doing so, once again negates Wile E. having instant regeneration among his powers for the primary purpose of enabling this kind of humor.

What's wrong with your baaaaackground consistency?

Finally it’s over and the tournament can begin in earnest. But as the arena reappears, you see the remains of this fallen statue on a desolate world and can’t help but wonder why you’re watching an ill-advised show about the Tasmanian Devil in a wrestling tournament instead of something that could've involved something like that.

And while I'm complaining about animation consistency...

Especially once the matches begin. Taz defeats all three of his opponents (a guy with three heads, a guy with a big mustache, and a multi-eyed slime monster) in five seconds each. The second by yelling at him really loud.

And the crowd eats it up. This is the most amazing thing they’ve ever seen, a wrestling match where a guy taps out in less than thirty seconds.

I get why Daffy’s cheering; all he cares about is how fast Taz can make him rich. Short matches mean less waiting. But imagine you’re one of the people who paid out the nose for a seat in the stands. Are you going to feel like you got your money’s worth in a match that short and unsatisfying? Since that’s exactly what the show’s doing, let me save you some time: no, you aren’t.

That’s why wrestling’s staged (ahem, I mean, why there are people who say wrestling’s staged), because the people who watch this want a spectacle. If he wasn’t just a dumb animal I’d say Taz should know that considering what he was up to in his pre-hero days. You don’t give the spectators something worthwhile (and based on what we hear in the next scene, you lured them in with the promise that someone was going to die), you’re probably going to be miles away with the ticket money by the time the first match starts because you know you brought them here with a pack of lies.

But no, people in Acmetropolis must just be the most bored people in the universe. They’ll shell out for competition this lame and act like this is the biggest thing in the history of ever. Idiots.

It would’ve worked better if they did show the first match, then did a quick montage of the ones that followed (hell, Arena, one of the cheesiest movies I’ve ever seen, knew to do that). They probably would’ve had to skip that dumb training montage they did make, though, and all the classic japes it contained. But really, if you’re the tough guy on a superhero team, you shouldn’t need to train to be ready for something like this.

The other Loonatics are looking at the security cam footage of the zoo for some reason, even though Lexi saw the same guy outside who they saw disappear along with Daffy and Taz. Then again this is the same team whose super genius needed a high-tech analysis to tell him they’d teleported.

In any case, they feed Pierre’s image into the computer to match it, and it cycles through most of the first season villains (And Sam. Whatever happened to him, anyway?) before pulling up his record. First off though, why do we see it trying to match him against Mastermind and Weather Vane? Pierre’s got long hair, but you’re telling me these ridiculously advanced wall-sized computers can’t filter out criminals of the wrong gender? They don’t try to match him against Adolpho…

Don't try to fool us, Tim's not coming back and you know it.

He turns out to be the manager of an illegal “only one fighter gets out alive” fighting league. Never mind that Taz’s opponents were all very clearly alive when the match was over. Even the slime monster was crawling away as Taz drank in his fans’ praise.

And if that’s illegal, what does that make those thousands of people in the stands? Some of whom are very clearly underage children. This is a deathsport they all came to see. Maybe somebody should’ve thought of that instead of just reusing crowd shots from “The World is My Circus.”

And look on the right! It's that lady from "Attack of the Fuzzballs" and "Stop The World I Want to Get Off" again!

And again!

Back to the arena for the final match of the evening, where Taz is taking on the “undefeated champion,” Gorlop from the planet Gossamer. And I probably don’t have to tell you that means we’re not getting just one throwback to the old cartoons this episode.

He not only manages the league, he also scouts the talent, and he's the MC? Wow.

Look, I know wrestling matches have pyrotechnics, but he's setting off fireworks that close to the spectators???

Gorlop’s presented as this hulking, mysterious figure, but then they pull his robe off and he’s really this tiny guy on a stand. And if he’s the reigning champion, the fans probably already knew that making you wonder what the point was. Does Pierre recruit all his fighters the way he did Taz?

The other Loonatics are flying around trying to locate the arena before their friend gets smashed, using Roadrunner’s inborn GPS powers. Powers that allow him to globally position other things, like when and where the arena’s going to appear next. Why didn’t they use that to locate the train after the homing device got broken last episode, you may ask? And are they zipping around to other planets fast enough to catch up to the arena station suddenly, or is this supposed to be on Acmetropolis? Shut up and watch the pretty pitchers, they’d tell you.

Because Taz is a superhero, he feels bad pounding on somebody so small, with both him and Daffy ignoring that if this guy’s the undefeated champion he obviously has something that levels the playing field. Taz gets tossed around, and when he does land on Gorlop (while rebounding off the ropes Gorlop threw him into), Gorlop gets a lot bigger and less cute.

This makes it okay to hit him, because Taz does that, but again Gorlop gets even bigger and uglier. And keeps doing so because Taz is too much of a mindless beast to realize what’s going on, resulting in him getting pummeled. And again, this is something the fans would already know about.

The rest of the Loonatics show up in what I think’s meant to be a nod to the tendency of the old cartoons with flimsy disguises that work. Even though Roadrunner’s wearing lederhosen. They also have no trouble getting to ringside even though they’re in the stands, which seems unlikely. And for all their purported desire to save Taz, none of them actually bother to join the fight until they’ve wasted most of a minute explaining to Daffy the loser goes home in a box.

Perhaps hoping to win the purse and get rid of his annoying teammates at the same time, Daffy fails to tell the other Loonatics about Gorlop’s power, resulting in their blasts and blows just making Gorlop yet bigger and stronger every time.

Really making me worry for the world of the future, even after Bugs sees his eye lasers making Gorlop more powerful he tries to press the attack, but it’s dumb muscle Taz who figures out that to reduce Gorlop to a manageable size they have to make him expend energy rather than giving him more. This, unfortunately for the show, is a lot like Sypher’s gimmick: he’d be a massive threat at first, but after a few battles (which he’s more than had by fighting his way to the top spot) he loses the element of surprise, and people would know about his singular gimmick and his threat level should diminish considerably. Accordingly, once they’ve figured this out all they have to do is stay out of the way of Gorlop’s punches until he’s a little shrimp again. Do the fighters not get to see the other matches? Okay, fine, but what if there’s somebody in the audience who’s seen Gorlop fight and likes the challenger more? What if he found some way of telling his favored contender what to expect? It already looks ridiculously easy to get from the stands to ringside…

Taz dodges around Gorlop until he misses enough times to make him shrink back to normal, but Pierre creates a force field to try to force the Loonatics to fight to the death once they’ve dealt with Gorlop. You know the show doesn’t have enough balls to follow through on that, though. Instead the Loonatics zap Gorlop until he’s big enough to touch the top of the force field and absorb it, which for some reason (the episode’s nearly over) causes him to expel all his energy and shrink back to normal.

Pierre promises revenge on the Loonatics, but he was never a threat which means Wile E. immediately pins him and Lexi tells him to “Cool it, Casanova.” No.  You don’t get to make that reference when you stripped that out of the character except for that one teeny tiny thing in the prologue.

Then Gorlop kicks Pierre in the toes and gets this smug smile on his face. Okay, what’s the story behind that? Shouldn’t he be mad his spot at the top’s gone? Was he forced into doing this somehow? Is it like that old Fantastic Four story where if the alien gladiators didn’t fight, their planets would be blown up? I guess it’s something like that, since when we cut back to Loonatics HQ Bugs is rattling off all they just accomplished, including returning Gorlop to his home planet. Noticeably absent is anything about the about the Loonatics arresting the people who bought tickets to the deathmatch.

Taz is down because he didn’t get to be the champ, even though doing so would’ve meant compromising himself as a hero because he would’ve had to kill Gorlop to do it (just how he would’ve done that, I doubt even the show’s makers know). Besides, his friends interfered in the match. Yet it turns out Lexi grabbed the belt on her way out, and having it is all Taz needs to be happy. So really, this episode could’ve ended with Taz stealing it from those divas before the final match and fleeing the arena.

That apparently makes Taz the champ after all, and Daffy tries to jump on board as his manager again, promoting him in all kinds of matches as the champion of Pierre’s (defunct, illegal) fighting league. They go out on the same ridiculously unbalanced share of the profits gag as before.

After all that you might be in the mood for something about wrestling that doesn’t suck, and I can always recommend this