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NewsGarden Compost: Index

Chode and Six

Nancy and Gus, and in the background a tragedy about to happen.

Tripping the Rift - Season 1

Tripping the Rift - Season 2


Tripping the Rift

by alllie

Tripping the Rift, shown on the Scifi channel Thursdays at 10:30 EST, is the story of the spaceship Free Enterprise (also known as Bob) and his fearlessly fearful crew of aliens and robots as they smuggle their way across the universe. Created by Chuck Austen and Chris Moeller, Tripping the Rift's the head writers are Terry Sweeney (Mad TV, Saturday Night Live) and Lanier Laney (Saturday Night Live). No wonder it's so funny.

Bob, the agoraphobic spaceship with a fear of space, is captained by Chode (Thief), a squat, purple, tentacled, three-eyed alien who loves women or aliens or robots with tits. That includes Six of One (Whore) who is some kind of stolen sexbot who's breasts seem to have a life of their own and who Chode refuses to return because he loves banging her. T'Nuk (Bitch) is an ugly female alien, the ship's pilot and the only crew member who can get Bob to move his ass. Whip (Sucker) is the ship's slacker, Gus (Wimp) is a golden robot who can't understand Chode's love of banging, mainly because he can't afford to buy a banging attachment. Nancy is his God-freak robot girlfriend.

The first episode was called "God is Our Pilot." In it Chode and Gus take a time trip back to the beginning of time and accidentally kill God. When they return to their own time everyone is good. They had killed God and the universe is a better place. No God meant no Satan and no Satan no evil, no knowledge of good and evil, till, like the serpent in the garden, Chod and Gus bring it to paradise.

I LOVED it. I taped it and watched it three times then downloaded it and watched it twice more, slomoing through a lot of it. There was so much going on in the background that there was a lot to watch. I loved how the opening has flashes of the Enterprise as a toy, R2D2 as the canister of a vacuum cleaner, and the monolith from Space Oddessy as the back of a chair. I loved the part where these little things that looked like clear blue Hersey's kisses are hopping around the spaceport and an alien that is just two legs eats a little one in passing and you can see the bulge of the creature it ate passing up along one leg then a bulge moving down the other as it poops. I loved the alien-looking alien stealing a T-Shirt with an alien on it. I loved the trip to the beginning of time where the ship flies into the heart of Dog (God spelled backward). I loved the bird aliens in the burkas screeching "Racial profiling" when they are arrested and the feds telling them it was a random check but everyone in the cell appeared to be an alien Arab. One of the funnier things I noticed the 5th time I watched it was where Chod put the videotape of his trip. The stewardess gives him the tape, he puts it behind his back but when they showed his back it wasn't there. Not till he pulled it out later did I realized he must have stuck it up his butt. The anus, an alien backpocket.

I felt that even characters in the background had their own stories going on, were living their own lives, that they existed even when we weren't looking. I wondered what the T-shirt stealing alien was doing after he stole the T-Shirt. I wondered when the blue Hersey Kisses creatures would discover one of their kids was missing and what they did then. I wondered if the stewardess initiating passengers into the mile-high club was a normal perk of first class. I wondered if a crotch shot of an naked alien cartoon stewardess about to have sex is dirty.

On the negative side, it had a very teenaged male vibe in the sense that the females are either ugly or whores and even the robot Nancy is either a religious freak or a sex fiend.

All and all I thought it was great and very funny and very complex . I hope the show continues to be as good but I don't really see how it can. There was just sooo much going on. I bet it gets a lot simplier and less thought out. But this episode was still classic.



the Cowardly Dog



The Cartoon Network: Courage, the Cowardly Dog

Reviewed by Alllie

Courage is an ugly little pink dog abandoned at birth and adopted by Muriel, a plump, sweet old lady who lives in the middle of nowhere with her cold, selfish, redneck husband Eustice.

The middle of nowhere!
Courage wants nothing more than to lie on Muriel's lap while she pets him. He's also a complete coward who can be reduced to hysteria by a Halloween mask, a torment Eustice loves to inflict. But the middle of nowhere is a strange and dangerous place and various villains threaten, kidnap, or try to kill Muriel and Eustice. Muriel doesn't have a lot of survival instinct and Eustice's motto is "I ain't getting out of this chair!" so it's always up to Courage to overcome his fear. As he trembles and shakes or screams and cries, he sets out to save Muriel, saying, "The things I do for love!"
Muriel and Eustice aren't very interesting. Even Courage is kinda two-dimensional, but the villains are the most imaginative I have ever seen.

My favorite is Dr. Zalost. He lives in a tower that walks around on spider legs and he shoots magical cannonballs that turn people unhappy, lethargic and green. He turns his evil cannonballs on the citizens of Nowhere and demands 33 1/3 billion dollars to reverse the condition. He is paid and, as his assistant, the scarred, obese and hunchbacked RAT counts the money, decides not to honor the deal because the 33 1/3 billion dollars made him no happier than before and he wants everyone to be as miserable as he is.. All he really wants is for Rat to come to bed with him to hug and cuddle and Rat, being a willing minion, is willing but also clearly reluctant. Rat wants to count the money and make evil cannonballs not cuddle. Eustice encounters Dr. Zalost's tower while going into Nowhere for the paper and it follows him back to Muriel and Courage. Muriel is stuck with one of the dark cannonballs and becomes bent and green and miserable. The nasty Eustice is struck repeatedly but since he doesn't feel much anyway he is unaffected. He tells Courage to feed Muriel since "she likes you best anyway." Courage tries to get Muriel to eat some of her Happy Plums, which would make anyone happy, but can't get the poor lady to open her mouth. He saves Muriel with Happy Plums which make Rat into a crying baby who wants to be cuddled and Dr. Zalost into a happy man cuddling his baby Rat.

Evil Eggplant People want to kidnap and eat Muriel: Courage saves her by disguising himself as "The Great Eggplant." In Banana Republic banana people are being fooled into sacrificing themselves to a banana-eating gorilla. Muriel and Eustice are wearing banana disguises and in danger of being eaten. Courage rescues them by exposing the charade.
A mold turns Eustice's foot into a monster foot that engulfs him and grows a criminal head from each toe, all under the direction of the Boss Big Toe, which demands that Courage rob a bank or "The Old Lady gets it!!" Finally Courage learns from his snide computer that the only cure for the mold is dog drool, that to cure Eustice and save Muriel he must lick the foot clean. First it's Eustice's foot, and there's no love lost there. Second it's a foot. Third it's covered with nasty mold.
But Courage overcomes his aversion and cleans it with his tongue. The mold is destroyed and the foot returns to its normal size, Eustice reappears, and Muriel is saved. But Courage is left with a mold infestation on his tongue. As Courage would say, "The things I do for love."

Eustice's Ma
Another great villain is the Sand Whale, who is a combination of Moby Dick and the sand worms of Dune. The Sand Whale surfaces at Muriel and Eustice's door and demands the return of his accordion which he says Eustice cheated him out of. It turns out Eustice's father, Icket Bagge, did the cheating but Eustice knows nothing about it and so the Sand Whale swallows both Eustice and Muriel, forcing Courage to enlist Eustice's Ma, a nasty, selfish, bald, wig-wearing old harridan, to help rescue them.

Eustice's Ma is only interested in capturing and selling the sand whale while Courage only wants to save Muriel. So off Ma and Courage go in a little row-boat, which Courage laboriously rows across the sand while trying to snatch the accordion from the net welding Ma so he can trade it for his beloved Muriel and her nasty husband. He finally suceeds and returns the accordian to the sand whale, Muriel is rescued and the episode ends with the sand whale, on stage, with his famous group of accordian playng sand whales.

Almost every episode is full of this kind of originality. There seems to be no end to the surprising characters found in the middle of Nowhere as the cowardly Courage overcomes his fear to save the woman he loves. The animation is okay, a combination of photographics and traditional animation, the music has won awards but it's the villains that really rock.


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