Friday, September 4, 2009
Transylvania Television: Season One (2009)
Saturday morning cartoons were always my favorite. I’d get up super-duper early, get myself a big bowl of sugary cereal, plop myself in front of the TV to wait until the early morning agricultural reports were over to watch some toons…until my parents harassed me to get outside and play in the sunshine.
I grew up on puppet shows like Sesame Street, The Muppet Show and Fraggle Rock and always marveled at the colorful and wondrous characters that were on the shows. Heck, I even thought they were real until my parents explained that they were puppets made to come alive by people. Despite the fact that I learned the puppets weren’t real, they still contained a certain magic for me. I still remember my giddiness and joy I had as a child watching these puppet cartoon shows.
So, when I received my copy of Transylvania Television: Season One the kid inside me was desperately clawing to get out. To satiate my inner demon child, I got myself a big bowl of cereal and plopped down in front of the TV to enjoy Transylvania Television.
Transylvania Television is a puppet comedy show that is populated by a bevy of colorful characters that run a television show out of a gothic castle in Transylvania. The characters include a vampire, a bat, a yeti and a Frankestein monster, among others! Here is the official synopsis:
A dysfunctional family of misfit monsters tries desperately to run an obscure television station deep in Transylvania, with worldwide broadcast power and the ability to reanimate dead TV shows.
The Vampire Le Shoc is king of his castle, but struggles vainly to maintain order while taking delight in the suffering of his motley crew of minions. And he ain’t your run of the mill Count, either, he’s a LeStat-dressin’, nosferatu-lookin’, Richard-O’Brien-from-Rocky-Horror-talkin’ creep with some serious issues.
Furry J. Ackermonster, the station’s new intern, is a bright orange yeti, who having recently graduated from an American college, is struggling with student loans, laziness, and a burgeoning pottery collection. Enjoys beer, snowboarding, and hairy chicks.
The station’s majordomo is Batfink, a surf-lovin’, kustom kar creatin’ bat. Think beach blanket beatnik with wings. He manages to keep the station running via the power of the Frankenstein Device, the same contraption that gave life to the Frankenstein Monster. When used to boost the signal of the station, it gives old shows NEW LIFE – and turns them into far-out parodies in the process.
They are joined by Dwayne Frankenstein, a fella who’s wired just a little bit differently than the rest of us. The Frankenstein Monster has been done to death, but you’ve never seen him like this: a brain-damaged, working-class Brit soccer hooligan made from 13 different people. He may sound dense but he’s not naïve, and has been known for moments of brilliance in the midst of an otherwise stupefying existence.
Tune in to Transylvania Television: the Retro Monster Comedy Series that’s really not for kids, not necessarily safe for work, and known to promote skull decay.
Watching Transylvania Television I got that same giddy, unbridled feeling from watching cartoons as a kid…only this time the jokes were dirtier and the language fouler. That’s not to say Transylvania Television has its mind in the gutter…I was expecting something along the lines of Avenue Q, but thankfully for my inner child the “adult content” isn’t that bad. And I still laughed my ass off. Creators Gordon Smuder, Michael Heagle and Clarke Stone have truly created something very special with Transylvania Television!
The look of the series is also great…anyone who loves The Munsters, The Addams Family, Groovy Ghoulies and old late-night horror shows will appreciate the gothic atmosphere of the meticulously decorated sets. Plus, the monster characters fit right in and are a riot! We have the old school Vampire Le Shoc who refuses to use computers…until he gets addicted to the Internet, the dull-witted Dwayne Frankenstein who uses a vacuum for landscaping, the Vampire Le Shoc’s right-hand man, Batfink, Furry J. Ackermonster (love the tribute!), a college graduate just trying to keep his neck and not have Fast Eddie’s House of Ax called on him if he screws up, and Esmeralda, the 90-year-old gypsy with her own variety show called Babushka Buzz. The look of the puppets and the performances of the actors behind them were all amazing. I really think this series deserves a spot on Adult Swim or one of the big horror/sci-fi networks! I would much rather watch the brilliance of Transylvania Television than the crap that is usually on TV!
I loved all of the short episodes included in the disc, but I also wholeheartedly enjoyed the extras! In the “Vintage” section we have older puppet sketches from the creators, including “Chasing Army” where two couch potatoes philosophize on who would win in a fight, the Tasmanian Devil or Animal, a hilarious Star Trek sketch called “Puppet Trek” where Spock keeps prank calling Captain Kirk and more! There is also a section called “Oddities” that features promos for upcoming episodes, contests and so on, plus a hilarious sketch called “Hey Hitler” where little demons are tormenting Hitler in Hell…with bad jokes. These extras are almost as delightful as the episodes!
Transylvania Television is a retro puppet show that is a whole lotta fun and will really connect with both horror and comedy lovers. It’s the perfect gift for yourself or that special someone right now, especially since it is so close to Halloween! You can buy a copy on Transylvania Television’s site!
So what are you waiting for? Put on your pajamas, grab that big bowl of Sugar O’s, sit down right in front of your television set and pop in Transylvania Television! It may not be kid-friendly, but it is Fatally-Yours-approved!
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