All the blood, puke, boobs and casually misogynistic patter you love are back for the collected third and final season of Comedy Central’s Drawn Together on DVD. An animated series built around the Real World-esque conceit of a disparate group of cartoon characters thrown together in a house, Drawn Together, is a wildly uneven execution of a promising premise.
Actually, citing The Real World as precedent or inspiration for this show might invoke some confusion, so just to be clear Drawn Together is of the latter-day Real World genus, when virtually any arguably high-minded notions of social experiment have been thrown out the window, and replaced with Jack Daniels and Boone’s Farm. In fact, that’s the most disappointing thing about this series — that it doesn’t, at least in its third season, so much capitalize on the clash of personalities here as just attempt to mock entertain through the air-quote shock of scrambled cartoon nudity and politically incorrect asides. In this regard, the show, co-created by Dave Jeser and Matt Silverstein, is like a cross between South Park and Family Guy, though minus almost all of the cleverness that might imply; it outstrips the former in lewdness, and is as predicated on randomness as the latter.
Despite its catchy central premise — and the zeitgeist success of other animated programming — Drawn Together seemingly never could get major traction, perhaps because of uneven nature of the program. Nowhere is that more apparent than here, in the show’s junior run, which feels at almost every turn like a desperate, last-gasp grab at relevance and audience. The characters themselves (clockwise from top left: Toot Braunstein, Princess Clara, Captain Hero, Xandir, Foxxy Love, Wooldoor Sockbat, Ling-Ling and Spanky Ham) offer up plenty of opportunity for comedy of stark contrast (which you can pretty much guess just by looking at them), but the imperative here is one of gross-out shenanigans. Dipping even further in funky, sleazy ephemera, plot strands here find
Captain Hero torturing his 12-year-old self, Ling-Ling getting put into
foster care (a story that somewhat recalls that of Toot being shipped
off to a nursing home, in season two), and Toot finally gets worshiped as the “cow” she is.
Housed in a cardboard case with slimline cases, the 14 episodes collected here are presented in full screen, in extended (read: un-bleeped and un-blurred) fashion. This gives the program a bit of an extra naughty kick (as well as lots of extra male genitalia), but it doesn’t much change the bottom line. Unlike the series’ previous sets, there are only a quartet of feature-length audio commentary tracks this go-round, from Jeser, Silverstein, composer Evan Schletter, actress Abby McBride and others. There are also a half dozen karaoke sing-alongs, giving one the opportunity to participate in the show’s filthy musical segments, should they desire, accompanied by the usual galleries of promotional material and preview trailers. To purchase the set via Amazon, click here. C (Show) B- (Disc)