Drawn Together: Season Three
Most of us have grown up with cartoons. Parents felt safe in plopping the kids down in front of the television to watch endless hours of animation. Back in those days cartoons were for the most part enjoyable family friendly entertainment. This is no longer the case. It all began with ‘The Simpsons’ which started the trend to push the limits. Then series like ‘The Family Guy’ came along that proved that cartoons could be fun for adults as well. With the advent of ‘South Park’ on the Comedy Central cable network all bets were off and just forget about any portion of these series being fit for children. The trend has reached its ultimate heights, or depths some may say, with ‘Drawn Together’. This animated series is rude, crude, politically incorrect, puerile and fantastically funny. It pokes fun at those things in pop culture, and I use the term culture in its most liberal sense here. It was initially intended to make fun of the over done cop out television programming ploy of the so called reality series but in season three it broadened its targets to anything that the delightfully demented writers consider fair game for parody. Needless to say this is something that you should wait until the children are visiting the grandparents or safely tucked away in bed before you even consider watching. The third season of the series is now available on DVD through Paramount Home Video.
By the third season under consideration here the original premise was largely abandoned but this only left the potential for wild, often offensive humor let wide open. Yes, the word offensive was used. If you are in that section of the population that does not enjoy brutal satire than perhaps this isn’t the series for you. Basically the set up is a take off on the ‘Big Brother’ style of reality television. You take a bunch of strangers, in this case eight cartoon characters from different worlds, types of animation and story lines, and you place them in a house. In this case one million cameras are placed around the house to record their every move, no matter how perverted they may be. This ‘cast’ of characters is something you might have nightmares about after watching too many conventional cartoons. Princess Clara (voiced by Tara Strong) is based on an amalgam of most of the Disney cartoon princesses. She is beautiful possessing an excellent singing voice as all such princesses must be. She is also to the extreme right in her political views and an ultra conservative Christian who hates anything she considers sinful. Clara is pampered beyond belief always relying on the wealth and power of her father the King. She hates all minorities equally but is trying to befriend the black woman in the house, Foxxy Love. In this season Clara’s personality takes a decidedly dark twist being openly hostile towards her housemates. Foxxy Love (voiced by Cree Summer) is roughly based on Val in the ‘Josie and the Pussycats’. She is uneducated but extremely street smart and cleaver. She is sexually hyperactive and is basically bisexual but with a tendency to preferring men, actually just about any man. Captain Hero (voiced by Jess Harnell) is based on Superman but one that is not the truth, justice and American way type. He is a series of contradictions. He is the ultimate male chauvinist who is also bi-curious. Unlike his prototype in Metropolis Hero is not the sharpest knife in the draw. Actually he is a dumb as a sack of hammers. He has no regard for the safety of others at all. When he finds out in this season that Clara has a fetish for watching car crashes he arranges for more and more violent ones just to get to her. Wooldoor Sockbat (voiced by James Arnold Taylor) is a warped variation of the prototypical children’s cartoon character. He has a childlike naivety that is frequently exploited by his housemates, particularly Hero and Spanky Ham. Like most of the others he has a sinister side that comes out when he realizes that he has been used by the others. Spanky Ham (voiced by Adam Carolla) is the most disgusting and hedonistic of the housemates. He enjoys juvenile scatological pranks much to the general chagrin of the others. Like most of the characters in season three his dark side is fully exposed. He has a wife that he gets pregnant on a regular basis so he can process the children into sausage to make some extra cash. Xandir P. Wifflebottom (voiced by Jack Plotnick) is based on a generic video quest game character. By this season he is openly gay and has a tendency to over dramatize the smallest of situations. Ling-Ling (voiced by Abbey McBride) is based on Pikachu from the Pokémon franchise. His dialogue is always subtitled and he has a set of supernatural powers. He is a homicidal maniac who has long ago gone over the edge of psychotic. He enjoys sex with female battle monsters although the mating ritual for their species is extremely violent. Last there is Toot Braunstein (voiced by Tara Strong) who is a Betty Boop rip off. Toot was a sex symbol back in the 1920’s but now is overweight, extremely horny and has strong suicidal tendencies. That seems light when you consider she is also cannibalistic.
This motley crew of cartoon characters takes on some of the most controversial topics imaginable with a decidedly dark twist. In the second episode of the season Wooldoor is about to start a new children’s television show. Clara is upset; afraid that teaching children about love and tolerance will turn them all gay. She goes before the U.S. Senate, which looks a lot like the Star Wars Galactic Senate, too stop the show. They are almost ready to side with Clara when Foxxy offers each senator a special prostate massage and turns the vote. A huge man turns up to kill Wooldoor, a terminator from the gay future where the few remaining straight people sent the robot back to kill Wooldoor and prevent that time line. In a double episode Clara decides the rapture is upon them and condemns her housemates. When all of them except Clara go shopping she is certain that the rapture occurred and she, as the only sinless one, is left alone. Actually the gang is trapped in the car in a parking lot. While the group is trying to survive being trapped in a car, Clara is wondering why Jesus hasn’t taken her yet. It would be impossible for any other format to cover story lines with topics like this in such a darkly humorous way.
This season DVD is uncensored. Of course a lot of the language and cartoon nudity had to be omitted from the series when aired early on Comedy Central they usually give uncensored airings during their ‘Secrete Stash’ runs after 1 p.m. With this season some content was still edited in that late hour with a banner ‘DVD Only’ replacing the usual black bar. This was a way to get people to buy this set and for the most art it works. It looks like this will be the last season of the series so get it now.