Friday, January 1, 2016

Drawn Together Picked Apart- Clum Babies

All pictures are from the Drawn Together Wiki.

Episode Number: 5th in season 2, 12th overall
Original Airdate: November 16, 2005
Focuses: Wooldoor, Ling Ling

Welcome to my new blog series, Drawn Together Picked Apart. For those who aren’t aware, Drawn Together is an animated television series that ran in the mid 2000s on Comedy Central. The premise is that eight characters from different animation styles/genres are forced to live together in a house in a manner similar to a reality show. The main characters are:

  • Princess Clara- a fundamentalist Christian princess known for her racist tendencies. A parody of Disney princesses and Disney in general.
  • Spanky Ham- a crass, greedy internet download. A parody of lowbrow Flash animations.
  • Foxxy Love- an incredibly promiscuous black woman who is also a mystery solving musician. A parody of cartoons like Josie and the Pussycats.
  • Captain Hero- a childish, impulsive, indulgent superhero. A parody of Christopher Reeve’s Superman.
  • Xandir- a gay video game adventurer. A parody of Link from the Legend of Zelda, and sometimes video games in general.
  • Ling Ling- an Asian trading card battle monster with a psychotic streak. A parody of anime characters, specifically Pokemon. Speaks in a fake dialect called “Japorean.”
  • Toot Braunstein- a washed up 20s sex symbol who plugs her emotional voids with food. A parody of Betty Boop, as well as black-and-white animation in general.
  • Wooldoor Sockbat- a “wacky whatchamacallit” with odd abilities. A parody of off-the-wall kid’s cartoons like Spongebob and Looney Toons.

There are two things that you must know before continuing. The first is that I really like this show despite its flaws. The second is that Drawn Together is perhaps the most offensive animated show to air. This series is meant to be a guide as well as a review series, showing both the best and worst the series has to offer. Episodes to review will be chosen at random. Let’s start with Clum Babies.

Plot Summary

The main plot starts with Wooldoor finally hitting puberty, resulting in uncontrollable horniness. After learning how to masturbate (which involves him doing things like poking himself in the eye and tweaking his nose), it is discovered that his Clum Babies (a slug-like creature produced as a byproduct of his masturbation) can cure pretty much anything. Spanky and Foxxy set up a business selling the Clum Babies, much to the dismay of Clara, who views masturbation as a sin. Clara recruits the Veggie Fables (a parody of the Veggie Tales) to scare Wooldoor into stop producing Clum Babies, only to soon find she’s dying of tuberculosis. Spanky and Foxxy try to get Wooldoor to heal Clara with one last Clum Baby, but they are stopped by the Veggie Fables. As Foxxy tries to get them to realize that the Bible may be more of a suggestion than a guideline, Bob the Cucumber goes on a rampage trying to kill Wooldoor to prevent him from producing more Clum Babies, killing everyone in the house in the process, including himself. Wooldoor realizes he can finally masturbate in peace, which is the way God intended.

So basically the main plot is an allegory for stem cell research. Remember, this was back when stem cells were still controversial.

The subplot of the episode involves Ling Ling enjoying the life of being a bachelor battle monster, before his parents set him up with an “arranged battle.” Although the marriage is great at first, Ling Ling and his new wife soon lose the original spark. They resolve this by choosing to have sex as opposed to battling. They are killed by Bob’s rampage.

Best Moment
When it’s revealed that Ling Ling is a regular club-goer, Captain Hero remarks that he always goes to the hottest spots in town and never sees him. Cut to a flashback where Captain Hero is enjoying a milkshake in a malt shop… where he notices Ling Ling and greets him. Ling Ling gives a casual wave.

Worst Moment
Wooldoor, Clara, and two of the Veggie Fables are playing a game from bible camp, which involves confession while whipping yourself with a scourge. Wooldoor apologizes for masturbating, saving lives with his Clum Babies, and spying on Clara while she goes to the bathroom. When Clara is disgusted, Wooldoor retorts, “you’re one to talk, Princess Smells-Her-Wipes!” Yeah...

The Good
There is a lot of good things about this episode, starting with the Clum Babies themselves. The complex, entirely nonsexual process for creating one is one of the best parts of the episode. I also found their design to be cute and cartoony enough to distract me from the fact that they’re basically semen slugs. I also loved the subplot in it’s entirety. I liked how battling for Ling Ling’s race is the equivalent of sex, and there were very few jokes that didn’t fail to amuse me. The Veggie Fables have some great moments too. They convince Wooldoor that masturbation is a sin through a song number. It starts out happy and bouncy, then shifts to a fire and brimstone style preaching, then returns to being the aforementioned happiness and bounciness.

The Bad

While this episode has some strong moments, it does have some big flaws. For one, a lot of the jokes are jabs at fundamentalist Christians, going so far to say that Bob believed in God because he had psychosis. The series makes fun of Christians a lot, but this episode has this in the forefront, and sometimes it misses more than it hits. And while the Veggie Fables can be entertaining, Bob’s killing spree can be off-putting. I personally found it funny, but I can definitely see why some people wouldn’t like it.

Hilarity Meter ™ - 3/5 (Funny): Most of the jokes hit, despite swings at fundamentalists.

Offense-o-Meter ™ - 2.5/5 (Pushing it): Jabs at Christians aside, there are several jokes revolving around Asian accents, and several jokes revolving around masturbation. Be advised.

Overall Verdict- 3/5 (Good): I recommend this episode. It shows what Drawn Together is capable of, both in terms of humor and bad taste.

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