Friday, August 9, 2013

Bee and PuppyCat: The Zooey Deschanel of Cartoons

So this morning I woke up all sweaty like I do when I sleep in all my clothes and also have a really bad sunburn covering the front half of my body in the summer time. I was all hot and moist and guh-ross. But then, because it was still early-ish and I am a wimpy California resident, as soon as I got out of bed I was really cold! Oh no! So I put on my gangster slippers and drank a chai to warm myself up, which I forgot has the caffeines in it. Then I went around running morning time errands and went to aerial hoop and aerial tissu class and was all like "BAM I'M ACTUALLY GONNA TRY TODAY." Which was great because that hasn't happened in awhile and plus the classes were small with only 2 or 3 people and I had no choice. Afterwards I realized it was my last class with my amazing instructor Alysia and I was sad but! By some miracle I left and went driving around doing afternoon time errands and was not ALL sad. This was amazing, because usually even tiny sad things in my life turn into big sad things somehow and I end up having emotional breakdowns all over the place like a pregnant whore cat has little kitten babies all over your kitchen floor.

(Actually, I have been having a lot less emotional breakdowns lately which is good I am pretty sure, but also a little worrying in a weird way, if you know what I mean. Which you probably don't. But I do so shhhh.)

The moral of the story is that the caffeines sometimes give me super-not-all-sad-powers, which lets me think about things other than the spiraling black vortex of doom that I am fairly convinced is my future. And today my replacement thoughts were about cartoons! Because I'm a mature person. I was so energized by putting off important things like packing my life away and making confirmation calls for storage units and movers and figuring out financial aid for my new replacement temporary college that I decided to write about it. Hooray!

If you are an artsy fartsy kid like I am or if you are just an [im]mature little child like I also am, you may have heard of Cartoon Hangover's latest web series/movie? Bee and PuppyCat. Here is the first episode, if you care to see it.

I don't know about you, but this show is all over my internet. And every artsy fartsy animation kid I know is talking about it. It is only on its second episode and apparently already pretty popular. The show is created by Natasha Allegri of Adventure Time and Fiona and Cake gender-bend fame (click her name to go to her magical tumblr page!) If you don't know what any of those things I said just were, I don't know why we are friends.

Actually I do. It is because I am lonely and non-judgemental and need all the friends I can get.

So if you don't know those things, that is ok. Just know you are probably going to be confused a little bit.

But Meri, how do these things about cartoons and the internet relate to your blog and its mission to complain write about your disparate sex life, fitness adventures, and depression fun times??

I've said it before. And I'll say it again: This is my blog and I can do whatever the hell I want with it. So HA.

Actually though, you may not know this, but I go to art school and spend a lot of time devoted towards being a part of the art world, animation in particular. I don't talk about art much because me and the art world have a lot of relationship problems and it is kind of like the retarded cousin we all just pretend we don't have. I know what you are thinking. This explains all the amazing pictures you have seen on my blog. No, I don't get those from a stock website. I make those bad boys all by myself.

Look, there is one now.

I made sure this was in line with 90% of what I write about. Isn't it amazing?  You can definitely tell I've spent thousands of hours figure drawing. And yea, I used a Cintiq for this masterpiece. 

It is actually something of a dream of mine to create a Youtube channel very similar to that of Cartoon Hangover where there are a bunch of awesome little animated web series, except mine will be ten million times better because I will lord over all the decision making and declare what will be created and what won't because I am no good at making things myself but I like being in charge and am definitely going to be really awesome at it. I will have all these little artist minions and their baby shows slaving away to make my channel the most popular channel in the cafeteria. All the web shows will wanna sit at our table. And I will rule with an iron fist! Bwahahaha!

Also if you had to classify it, I write within the "comedy" genre (supposedly) and that is a lot of what I want to talk about with this show. So yea, there is a relation here. Really.




I'm going to get to actually talking about this animated show now.

Bee and PuppyCat only has two episodes so far, so it is pretty hard to assess it as a whole at this point and I feel as if I cannot make any truly conclusive decisions about it yet. BUT. If you watched all two of these episodes, you probably a.) see the relation to Adventure Time and b.) notice how it fits in with the "trendy" humor that seems to be rampant among cartoons these days. I would know about these things because I watched some cartoons on Netflix this week. Yep. Totally an expert.

By "trendy" humor, I mean the kind of jokes that stem from nowhere. It is all about being random. And weird. And odd. And awkward. And kind of meaningless. The story line is kind of disjointed and the reality of the world doesn't really sell itself as, well, reality. This is of course expected from a cartoon. That is what cartoons were made for! When I watched the episodes, there were some really funny bits. I particularly loved the "crotch ice" moment and basically any time Puppycat speaks with his? her? adorably bizarre voice. Also this:

In short, I was entertained by the show, however, at the same time something about it bothered me. It felt as if at times it took the surreality too far. The show was conscious that it was quote quirky unquote. I know that it was super douche-baggy of me to literally spell out quotes right there, but I needed to make the point. Bee and Puppycat seems to know what it wants to be seen as--in this case, the cartoon version of Zooey Deschanel-- and goes there just for the sake of going there. It doesn't use the random humor to be humorous, it uses it because it simply can and then expects us to laugh because it is just there and that is the kind of humor that happens to be popular at this time.

I was talking to one of my super friendly friends about it yesterday and she seemed to make a good point about it. No one acts like the main character in the show. It went so far off the deep end that I could not connect with it. Even if you took out all the crazy fantasy/sci-fi adventures involved, humans/characters/life are not remotely like that. They don't speak that way, they don't act that way... with one exception.


The show seems as if it was made by the internet for the internet. Well... It is a web show. So I guess it is. Duh. This is great if you really like the internet. But this reminded me of a quote I used to have as my desktop background and that is a part of the most inspirational poster that I've ever owned and keep over my desk at all times:

By Good Fucking Design Advice, which always provides good fucking motivation in times of need. 

I think the quote means to say that everything we see on our computers was already fabricated by someone else. It only has a limited means of expression. Just like a Lite-Brite board, what you can get out of it or create with it can only fit into certain peg holes. You are limited. The real meat is elsewhere.

Don't get me wrong. I love the internet. It is my life force. Then again, it is also my prison. It is probably the No. 1 reason why I feel disconnected to the people around me. And yes, that is "number one" spelled like "No. 1", which means it is officially legit. I could go on and on about the ways the internet has ruined my life and enslaved me (maybe in another blog?), but let me just ask you this: How often when you sit inside all day and look at mildly entertaining cat GIFs on the internet that make you chuckle for 12+ hours but then you go to bed at 3 AM and want to cry into your pillow about your life and how sad, unproductive, and miserable of a human being you are? And how often when you go out, spend time with friends and family, live life, see and experience new things, bask in the sun, and feel nature and society thriving around you do you feel alive and meaningful, even if you haven't necessarily done anything "productive," or maybe you have, you special little duckling?!? Which one really makes you energized to imagine epic possibilities and come up with new, original ideas that are like OH YEAH like the Kool Aid guy?? Yea. That's what I thought. Real life wins.

There is a lot of cool stuff on the internet, I know, but I think there is value in taking inspiration from real life and we tend to forget this. It is an important lesson to remember in an age where we can easily spend our entire day behind a screen and/or forget the real world exists outside our little dark box houses. Bee and PuppyCat has thus far failed to make me feel like it has much of a basis in real world humor (besides the crotch ice--that could totally happen to me, heh), which is why I think it bothers me.  It takes from what is already known in the internet culture. This speaks volumes in itself about society today in regards to how it functions in partnership with the internet, but I kind of want more out of it. Real life still exists. For now, anyway.

I have high hopes for it and will continue to watch Bee and PuppyCat to see what it becomes. But honestly, I hope this whole trend of random, "quirky," awkward humor I have been seeing in cartoons these days eventually moves on and just becomes a fad or a stepping stone in the progression of cartoons and comedy. Especially because sometimes I feel that because of my exposure to it, I fall victim to it as well. In times of doubt I will reach into my "random box" for a joke that isn't actually that funny, it is just random and awkward with the illusion of being funny. I feel lazy when I do that. As someone who sometimes refers to herself as a kinda sorta comedy writer, I should do better than that.

For now, I am going to go back to my good ol' humor stemmed from pain, which we all know is the best.

Classic comedy gold right there. 

Ok, that is all the non--completely-self-absorbed writing you get for now! I have to get back to complaining about my privileged white girl problems, stat! Otherwise I will melt. Into cheese.

Mmmm cheese...

If you are offended about anything I just wrote in the post above... well... WHAT DO I KNOW I AM JUST CHEESE.

Look at me. Totally random. No better than Bee and PuppyCat once more. I even used the Calarts face. For shame. 

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