Thoughts on Cartoon Network’s 2013 lineup

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Cartoon Network logoI thought I’d update my post from last winter about Cartoon Network’s then-upcoming 2013 lineup, and give my observations about what’s aired on Cartoon Network so far this year. Some of the shows debuted earlier than expected, while others have yet to appear.

Incredible Crew

This live-action show was cancelled as of a few months ago. Unfortunately, Cartoon Network surely has more live-action in the works.

Steven Universe

Cartoon Network’s first show made by a solo female creator, “Steven Universe” is about a kid named Steven who’s somehow become a member of an otherwise all-female team of galactic guardians. This show’s supposed to debut sometime this fall, per Wikipedia, but no apparent date yet. However, a clip from the pilot is on YouTube. It looks like it might be promising.

Uncle Grandpa

This show debuted earlier this week. Uncle Grandpa is a strange man (with a semi-dopey voice that sounds a bit like Patrick Star of “SpongeBob SquarePants” fame) who travels the world in a magical RV, helping various children with their day to day problems and engaging in various adventures. The show has a surreal, bizarre tone similar to much of Cartoon Network’s lineup these days, though the debut episode I saw had its moments. The show’s high point was the second segment centering around “Giant Realistic Flying Tiger,” a character that’s, well, a photo cutout of a real tiger.

Clarence

This cartoon (also with no clear premiere date as of this writing) is about an eccentric new kid in town and his small group of new friends. A clip for this show’s pilot may be seen on YouTube.

Teen Titans Go!

A new “Teen Titans” series based on the earlier 2000s one, but with a comedic focus. Not to be confused by the comic of the same name (that was based on the old TV show). I’ve already stated my thoughts on this series; see previous posts on the show. Overall, “Teen Titans Go!” has its moments, but I still strongly prefer the original series.

Beware the Batman

Yet Another Batman Show, this one features the Dark Knight’s adventures in CGI. Here, Bats fights alongside heroine Katana and deals with various minor villains from the comics, such as Anarky and Magpie. Alfred in this series is also completely different from any previous depiction, for some reason; the only thing in common with previous versions is being British. Alfred here is an ex-MI6 agent who’s quite physically built and bald. Why they didn’t just create a new character, I don’t know.

The animation looks a bit too dark in some scenes (or maybe it’s just my TV set). While I stopped watching after the first few episodes, it’s definitely not the worst Batman TV cartoon; for me, that’d be “The Batman.” I still wish Time-Warner would lose its excessive reliance on Batman, however, and give us a Superman (or Wonder Woman, Flash, Zoo Crew, whoever) cartoon.

Legends of Chima

Another LEGO-based adventure series. Not of interest to myself, so I haven’t tuned in, but from what I’ve read, its ratings have apparently slid somewhat since its debut in January.

Grojband

A Canadian import, this one focuses on a 12-year-old front man—er, boy—for a garage rock band. From the producers of “Total Drama Island” and “6Teen.” I watched part of an episode of this series, but it didn’t grab my interest.

The Tom and Jerry Show

A new series featuring the cat and mouse duo. While I’m not a huge “Tom and Jerry” fan, I do wonder why another show was created so soon after the similar themed “Tom and Jerry Tales” of a few years ago. Still, if it’s like “Tales,” it’ll be more faithful to the characters than “The Looney Tunes Show” is to the original Looney Tunes.

There’s no debut date (as of this writing) for this series.

Total Drama All Stars

The newest “Total Drama” series, this one’s an “All-Star” edition, with a mix of characters from previous seasons. The new season starts Tuesday, September 10; I’ll be tuning in, as I have for the previous seasons. I still wonder how Chris got out of his situation at the end of the last season.

Similar to last season, this one is a 13-episode run. Research also suggests it won’t be debuting on Teletoon in Canada until early 2014, making the Web a spoiler-filled zone for Canadian viewers. Also like other “Total Drama” seasons, there’s a strong likelihood of the use of an alternate, country-specific ending for the winner.

Here’s an article describing this season’s show.


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