Welcome to Saturday (Err Thursday) Morning Cartoons! This is the series where I go back and watch shows I used to watch as a kid on Saturday mornings and see if they hold up to the test of time. As far as rules for choosing the series goes, it has to be a show that I watched when I was a kid, it had to be aired on Saturday, preferably on either WB Kids or Fox Kids, ABC Family is also acceptable, but really that was the red headed step child of the Saturday morning cartoon channels in the 90's. This week we're looking at MIB: The series. Now I remember this show being extremely weird and pretty awesome as a kid, I'm kind of curious to see if it holds up as well as I remember it. The show picks up directly after the 1997 movie. It could have been a shameless cash in, but as far as I've seen so far, it's anything but. Unfortunately finding episodes for this show was extremely difficult, and I couldn't find a HD copy of episodes anywhere, but that's ok, I've been finding that as I watch these old cartoons that if I watch it in SD the nostalgia factor is amped up a little bit.
One thing I noticed right away is that the cartoon goes for a much dryer sense of humor than the film and K is a standout here. He doesn't sound like Tommy Lee Jones, but that's ok I'd rather have the actor do his own thing than have it be a bad impersonation of him. J on the other hand can be pretty annoying in the fact that he is certainly doing a bad Will Smith impersonation, at least to begin with. The aliens are interesting and creative as the movies, if not more so. The show gives off a very X-files vibe which is pretty cool actually.
The Sarkesians (I have no clue how it's actually spelled, I'm just going to guess for alien names) a race of shellfish aliens, provide the plot for the first episode. The still green J blows up one of them in the sewers with the cricket and gets himself marked by the creature. Interestingly, it turns out they have a hive mind and that means the whole planet of shellfish aliens are out to kill J. The writers have fun with this plot and it serves as an interesting way to drop the viewer into the series right in the thick of things without delving too much into origins or boring exposition. The show brings back some of the more familiar elements of the movie in right away without wasting time explaining them, Frank, The Twins, Zed, and the LTD are all there and nobody really bothers to bring newcomers up to speed on them. Maybe this will change after the pilot, but I thought while cool for fans of the movies, it might be hard for a newcomer to understand what was going on.
One thing I've noticed, is that the other agents in the show seem content to just let J screw up. They don't really get bothered by any of his antics either, I guess that his screw ups drive the plot forward early on in the show, but it still strikes me as a little odd. I really like what the show did with the L character. She feels like she has a whole lot more personality than the movie version did. Zed tries to keep her in the lab, but she goes off to help in the field, good stuff. Plus she has a bad ass motorcycle and she gets to save the day on more than one occasion.
Ok the second episode had some serious nightmare fuel in it O.o One of the aliens is a fuzzy little teddy bear thing that turns into a giant fuzzy thing that's full of teeth. It almost eats J and little Timmy! I can't really describe it aptly and because there are so few images of the series running around the web, I couldn't find a picture of the little guy.
The music in this series is great, but it's a little strange. It's always very relaxed for a show about hunting aliens down and protecting the Earth. I guess it goes along with the demeanor of K and the rest of the MIB, with the exception of J that is. It also fits the very dry sense of humor the show has, but it can be a bit jarring at times.
Overall, I really enjoyed this show. It holds up pretty darn well. It has it's problems, mainly J, but for the most part it's extremely entertaining and does things differently than just about any other cartoon out there. It's got a very different vibe and I think that's why I liked it so much as a kid.
I'd give the show a solid 8/10
Next week I'll be looking back at the show Medabots! I'm actually pretty excited about this one. I really enjoyed this show back in the day :D