“The Looney Tunes Show” review: “Members Only”

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Last night was the airing of the second episode of this new Looney Tunes series, and while it has some of the same flaws as the first episode, it still feels like a noticeable improvement.

The plot: Daffy (with Bugs along as his “guest”) scams his way into a country club, and lives it up at the expense of whatever club member’s membership number he’s swiped. Meanwhile, Bugs meets this series’ version of Lola, who in this show is a ditzy, insane stalker-like girlfriend that manages to creep out Bugs. Backup segments include Marvin the Martian as the “Merrie Melodie” song number (“I’m a Martian”) and a CGI Road Runner short.

One reason for this episode being stronger is thanks to Daffy behaving more like his old conniving self rather than just a complete idiot. In this case, we see a scam worthy of Daffy…and said scam backfiring in a funny manner *also* worthy of Daffy, of course. The slight bit of slapstick being used also helped (Bugs gets crushed by a weight at a health club, plus several scenes with Daffy, including a funny “hand shaking introduction” bit), though there still isn’t enough of the Tunes’ trademark element in my opinion. I also enjoyed the Merrie Melodie/Road Runner shorts, even if I’d already seen the Marvin one online.

The main aspect that seems to have gotten people talking is Lola’s new personality for this series. Her personality in “Space Jam,” her first appearance, was that of a competent basketball player who didn’t like being called “doll,” and not much else (including not being as funny as her male counterparts, unfortunately). Despite what little there was to go on, this served as the basis for Baby Lola in “Baby Looney Tunes” and “28th century descendant” Lexi in “Loonatics Unleashed.”

For this series, it looks like they’ve decided to emphasize Lola being as funny and crazy as her male Looney Tune counterparts, and Lola does have some funny parts in this episode (the movie theater scene, etc.). However, this seemed to come at the expense of losing some IQ points in the process, which might not make her a hit with those looking for strong female characters in this show (or the fans of her “Space Jam” version). This show does plan on including several classic Looney Tunes characters (Granny, Witch Hazel in *some* form) as well as at least one more new female character, a girlfriend of Daffy.

Still, as a few others on Toonzone.com noted, Babs Bunny from “Tiny Toon Adventures” 20 years ago managed to combine both “zany/crazy” and “intelligent” pretty well, and was a lot funnier than any version of Lola to date. Overall, I’m OK with the new Lola, but I suspect she’ll work better as an occasionally-seen character rather than the focus of entire episodes.

Next week, it looks like they’re airing the episode involving the Cartoon Network promos showing Bugs having his mugshot taken (and Daffy dealing with the Crusher from the old Looney Tunes shorts).

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