Monday, September 2, 2013

Loonatics Unleashed - The Family Business (Snark)

Skipping another bland episode, this one being “Apocalypso,” where Lexi’s befriended by a bunch of plant-controlling space amazons. You can see the problem right there. They based an episode around Lexi, who has nothing to base anything around with one exception: her gender. And the only thing it references about the franchise’s roots is this:

Oh, and maybe it's worth mentioning that the amazon queen was voiced by Serena Williams. What in the hell, am I right?

But don’t worry, that’s the only episode this season has that doesn’t merit coverage.

This time things begin with a frustrated pizza delivery boy shooting his gooey calorie trap into a dumpster to get even with his boss. It lands next to a glowing piece of future garbage. Our young wastrel reacts thusly: “Whoa, dude! That’s some gnarly trash! Far out!” They had to have been trying to make him sound brain dead on purpose, right? The space garbage turns out to be a robot space parasite of some kind that attaches itself to him.

The Loonatics jet out to answer some kind of “food fight” emergency call, and I notice that Roadrunner, who, again, can fly by flapping his arms or something, has the same flame effect around him as the others have with their jetpacks. Is he somehow immune to the heat his speed generates, or were the animators just lazy?

The site of the disturbance proves to be the pizza place the kid was just leaving, and as the Loonatics show up the doors open and tasty but disastrously unhealthy pies start to fly out.

Bugs cuts loose with some of his trademark wit. “Looks like a UFP! Unidentified Flying Pizza!” Oh, that Bugs! Except if you can tell it’s a pizza it’s not exactly “unidentified,” is it?

But wait, it gets better! Bugs does a bunch of his fancy-schmancy acrobatics to dodge the barrage of pseudo-Italian junkfood. “That was a close one!” he remarks as the onslaught ceases.

This actually happens.

“Closer than you think,” says Daffy, who got hit. Does he die? No, because those were fncking pizzas! Taz intercepts another salvo by eating them! All the somersaults and whatnot aren’t that cool when the consequences for taking a hit are getting somewhat messy. And all he had to do to get out of the way was move two feet to the left.

Inside, the owner, who’s kinda the guy from “One Froggy Evening,” is buried underneath more pizzas. Bugs quips again. “Prepare for battle! Looks like a cheese war to me!” How is that even a joke? What does it mean?

The Loonatics recognize the delivery boy, whose parasite-born powers let him telekinetically fling pizzas around, as they’re evidently regulars here. He recognizes Daffy too, as the one who never tips. But if Daffy’s right about him being “the lazy slacker who’s always late with our pizza,” once again the show’s attempts to make the water fowl look like a jerk fall flat. You don’t get rewarded for doing a crappy job, and having a boss you don’t like isn’t an excuse, sorry. Daffy gets smashed with an oven and covered in pizza again before landing in Taz’s arms, and “comedically” nearly eaten.

“You can munch on Duck later!” Bugs interrupts. And what the hell does that mean, Monsieur Bunny? I’m already reminded of how I hate you because you’re stupid and not funny, now you’re just sounding like an asshole, saying he can eat Daffy after they don’t need him to help stop this emergency, even if you don’t mean it.

And pretty freaking lame emergency. One pizza restaurant’s at risk. Seriously.

By the way, the video on my DVDs is already glitching. They came sealed and they aren’t even scratched or smudged. I’m not surprised at all.

Eventually our heroes are able to end the fight (and thank god, because even this show’s never had a lamer villain than one who tries to kill people with pizzas and condiments) when Bugs laser visions the parasite from behind and makes it come loose. I’m not sure he knew that would happen, though, and if you were a jerk like me you could read that as our honorable leader hitting someone while their back’s turned. Again.

The kid pleads innocence, saying he was controlled by the thing. “Let me guess, another accidental supervillain. What’s next, villains with notes from their parents?” See? That’s how you do an amusing quip.

At HQ, Wile E. goes into exposition mode and tells us that the space parasite is, well a space parasite. It gives its host telekinetic powers but at the same time gives their id free rein. Moreover, if it had been attached much longer, it would’ve been entrenched so deeply it would have to want to leave in order to free the host. I don’t know why they’re bothering to tell us this, it obviously won’t have any future bearing on anything.

Lexi rejoices in how their rescue prompted the restaurant owner to give them a ton of free pizzas as a reward. Yeah, that sounds like something the guy who tried to placate the super-powered kid trying to murder him by offering him a fifteen minute break every other week would do. He just dressed up the splattered pizzas from the fight and gave them to the Loonatics to get rid of them. You know it, I know it.

Things are interrupted when they notice Roadrunner zipping around trying to clean up the base because his family’s coming for a visit. And from the look of things, the meteor gave the whole family super-speed powers, except for his overlooked kid brother Rip whose inborn slackerness shielded him.

The really fast way they talk is portrayed as being really grating on everyone else, but…I don’t know, I just didn’t think it was most of the time. Maybe John Moschitta was just too big a part of my childhood between Transformers and Micro Machines commercials, or maybe the Loonatics are just assholes like I might’ve intimated once or twice.

Besides, I don't know, I always got the idea that Roadrunner's fast speech was supposed to be his quirk. The funny/endearing thing that makes him stand out in the group. I never really got the sense that it was supposed to be annoying, unless maybe it was when he wouldn't shut down a long ramble, and even then he was gently quieted down by the others. Daffy's supposed to be the annoying one, after all, right? This feels very out of left field.

Mr. Roadrunner introduces himself to the Loonatics and amuses non-fans like myself when he gets their names wrong. “Dislexy”’s probably the funniest. But then…he proves to be racist toward coyotes. No, really. He immediately thinks of Wile E. as an unwashed animal, if not the other Loonatics’ pet. And this is never resolved.

“Pa,” as I’m going to call him for short, tells his son “you’ve always been the best at whatever you set your sights on.” Like delivering sandwiches late, maybe?

And they don’t mean being a superhero, either. When Ma tries to give him a few bucks to tide him over til his next paycheck, Roadrunner says being a Loonatic isn’t a paying position. Which leads to Pa deriding what he does as “volunteer work” and bringing up the real reason for their visit: to rope him into joining the family business inventing and selling gadgets.

Rip’s largely overlooked by his parents because of not being as great as his brother (whatever), and wanders off, then asks the Loonatics about the parasite. “Just one of those dangerously powerful bio-tech brain parasites from outer space.” Which you’re sitting out on the coffee table, you morons. I remember that kind of crap happening on The Ripping Friends. But that show, being complete and utter whale shit aside, was a full-blown superhero parody and not an actual superhero show with some modest comedic leanings like Loonatics Unleashed.

Roadrunner takes his parents into Wile E.’s lab as part of the tour, a disturbing trend that only gets more disturbing in a few episodes. Pa accidentally activates a molecular reconstructor gun that shrinks him to a few inches tall until Wile E. pushes the same button and changes him back.

Trying to impress his dad, Roadrunner shows off something he’s been trying to invent. Trying being the active word, since it’s a half-finished little doll called a “Robo Amgio.” Pa wants him to come home for a while and they can finish it together, but Roadrunner begs off, citing the fact that he’s a member of a superhero team.

Bugs is supportive. “If any world-ending crises come up, we’ll give you a buzz.” Like a bunch of flying pizzas. That warranted all six of them, remember? And they knew what was going on before they left, judging from Daffy’s “food fight” remark.

At Casa de Roadrunner, Rip suggests his brother market this thing to kids instead of adults, but Pa shuts him up. They do get the Robo Amigo long enough for it to say “I make anything fun” then explode. When Roadrunner repeats Rip’s idea of marketing the Robo Amigo to kids, he eats it up, but attributes it to his crime-fighting progeny. Maybe Pa’s just a good old-fashioned ass. Getting so you can’t swing your dead cat in this show without hitting one.

Roadrunner just isn’t smart enough to have this thing done by Christmas like his dad wants, though, and begs Wile E. to help. They do this on the roof of the Roadrunner family’s house, which is on top of a gigantic butte so that Wile E. can comically fall off several times. At least they’re remembering he’s the one with super-fast healing powers so as to enable this kind of humor, not Daffy.

Oh, and remember how Pa’s coyote racism never gets resolved? Neither does the fact that Roadrunner lied to his family and got help to build something to earn their approval. Needless to say, the finished Robo Amigo becomes the Turbo Man of Acmetropolis.

I love to read COMIC about CHARACTER who has STORYLINE.

A monster shows up on the news, and this show’s so freaking lazy it’s nothing but a slightly modified version of the ones from “Attack of the FuzzBalls.” Roadrunner, of course, leaves to help his buddies corral it.

Even with them being out of focus you can tell!

With his brother out of the house, Rip notices he left a backpack with his keycard to Loonatics HQ sticking out. This is all he needs to get in, not just to the building but Wile E.’s lab and make off with the parasite. Guess they got rid of that facial scanner thingy from “Acmegeddon.” Not a bad move with how easy it was to fake out, but just a swipe card? That’s it? In this hyper-advanced future society, that’s what their security consists of now?

Roadrunner apologizes to his teammates for not showing up sooner to the monster, but they of course wave it off like good friends, not like superheroes who recognize that a delay of seconds or the absence of one guy can make all the difference in terms of damage and body count.

But as they haul the monster away, Roadrunner sees a Robo Amigo tearing the head off a girl’s doll. What he doesn’t see is Robo-Rip floating eight feet above and in front of him, making the robot evil with his new powers.

And Rip doesn’t stop there. Robo Amigos run rampant. And the reporter relaying consumers’ dissatisfaction is Misty Breeze from all the way back in “Weathering Heights,” same VA and everything (and there’s that lady from “Attack of the Fuzz Balls,” “Stop the World I Want to Get Off,” and “I Am Slamacus” again). But they don’t say that’s her, and she was a weather forecaster and not an on-the-spot reporter, so let’s harp on lazy reuse of background character designs one more time.

Roadrunner asks Wile E. for help, asking not to have to beg, and the joke is Wile E. has to point out he already is begging. Wile E. does agree to help, “but only because I want to know how something I designed broke down.”

Roadrunner thanks him and we get this little bit of dialogue:
Roadrunner: “If you weren’t a coyote (and a guy) I’d kiss you!”
Wile E.: “Lucky for me, I’m both.”

Uh…yeah. Right.

The Robo Amigo they examine is perfectly normal, except maybe not the remote control, because when Wile E. tries that it goes flying around like a ballistic missile and knocks him off the roof again. But this time he defies expectations by having brought jet boots so he doesn’t fall. Although if you were paying any amount of attention you already noticed, and probably expected something along those lines. Hilarity, thy name is not Loonatics Unleashed.

They come to the conclusion we already know, that somebody else is controlling the Robo Amigos. Who happens to be right there! Rip brags about how evil he is and how their dad has to acknowledge him after he wrecks Acmetropolis.

Speaking of, in downtown Acmetropolis something throws a car into a building, and Bugs astutely observes, “This can’t be good.” You don’t say, carrot breath.

Rip announces himself. “The rip is on a tear!” Oh man, I should’ve been counting these idiotic quips from the beginning. And only the Loonatics themselves know who this guy is, not the “people of Acmetropolis” he calls out to, so they wouldn’t even get it and would just think he’s an idiot.

Roadrunner again tries to apologize because of all the time he’s been spending with his family (which if you think about it’s what aggravated the issue with his brother that led to this), but again Bugs forgives him. “We all have family problems sometimes.” And it would fill out this show so much if maybe that figured into other plots once in a while. Nope? Didn’t think so.

Wile E. informs the others it’s not just Rip having the ability to control toy robots. He also stole the molecular reconstructor that made Roadrunner’s dad little. “What’s he gonna do? Turn Robo Amigo into Tiny Amigo?” Lexi asks incredulously. Number one, how would either she or Rip know about that? Neither of them was there. Number two, if she does know about that, is she truly so dumb she doesn’t think that something that make someone small and then big again could just make something big in the first place? Its real name is even “the molecular reconstructor,” not the “make things teeny gun.” So saying, Rip does turn a Robo Amigo into a Ginormous Amigo to better work out his daddy issues.

“Little brother, you need to chill! Try some yoga!” Bugs warns, and Rip replies by having his Amigo smash a building to try to bury the Loonatics in rubble. That’s probably how I’d react if he aimed some of his lame-ass banter at me.

Bugs laser visions the parasite while Lexi and Wile E. distract Rip, but this time the parasite doesn’t come off. It’s been on too long to force it anymore. To my immense satisfaction if no-one else’s, Ginormous Amigo punches Bugs out of the air before Rip makes another giant plaything.

But they remember they said the parasite can still disconnect…if it wants to. Roadrunner grabs Rip and then forces him into a nosedive at supersonic speed toward the street, scaring the parasite into separating and forcing the Ginormous Amigos that were pursuing them to crash into what had a second before been a very busy street with no consequence.

Rip apologizes and says he didn’t mean what he said, and Roadrunner corrects him that yeah, he did, and unspoken but still true, everybody harbors thoughts like that of some kind. Roadrunner, meanwhile, apologizes for not listening better before. He kinda did, but their dad attributed the idea Rip did have to him.

That, however, does get resolved. Kind of. Pa shows up and explains “I used Rip’s first edition idea and now the Robo Amigo’s back in business.” First edition? What first edition? The one that does one thing before exploding? Oh yeah, it’d get less bad press than the ones who run around and destroy things, but parents are probably hoping for more from their $600. And how was that Rip’s idea?

Things return to a Misty Breeze newscast outside a toy store, but this time Robo Amigos are awesome again. So awesome a kid steals hers on camera. Okay, that was actually kind of funny. Even Daffy has a Robo Amigo, but he tells it to get back in its box because it’s more valuable to collectors that way.

But forget about that, bet you’re just dying to find out what happened to the parasite. A flying saucer lands and a purple alien kid gets out. The parasite’s some kind of lost pet, it seems, and it sinks its teeth into her head just like her dad’s has done to him. And neither becomes a telekinetic psychopath, the dad instead just giving a “kids will be kids” remark before they fly back off into the great beyond.

1 comment:

  1. It seems to be more ninja turtles, less looney tunes.