Fox’s “Sweet Skills” Waning With Animated Napoleon Dynamite Series

Ughhh…REALLY? I mean – was there a major need for this one? Has the American animated sitcom community really run out of ideas that badly? Don’t get me wrong – the original film released in 2004 was pretty awesome, and quickly gained cult status – but what made it so great was that it stood apart from all the drivel that they’ve been shoveling down our throats these days. Beating the subject to death through animation seems to take away from all that pithy original content and dilutes it to the point where I think they’ve lost the point. Fox, you’ve really blown it this time, and managed to drag the talented Jared Hess and Mike Scully down with you. Bravo, douchebags.

The plot generally continues along the same lines as the original film, set in rural Preston, Idaho, with characters continuing to go about their daily lives, with additional outlandish deviations from reality forcing them into some sort of dramatic action for each episode. This is a cartoon version, after all – you didn’t expect it to be as realistic as the movie in any way did you? Regardless, Napoleon still strives to acquire “sweet skills”, Deb is still running after him, Pedro and Kip continues to seek love on the internet, so not all is lost.

Fortunately, they were able to reprise the entire cast (it would have sucked even harder if they hadn’t), so Jon Heder, Aaron Ruell, Efren Ramirez, Tina Majorino, Sandy Martin, Jon Gries and Diedrich Bader return with a couple of guest voices thrown in here and there. The debut season includes  Amy Poehler, Jennifer Coolidge, Sam Rockwell and Jermaine Clement.

The only saving grace of this new show is that it replaces the atrocity that was “Allen Gregory”, which was merely a half-assed vehicle for Jonah Hill that allowed him to befoul our homes with his uber-narcissistic attitude and self-absorbed smugness. And thank fuck for that – the world is now a better place for it. So I guess we’re going to have to stick this “Napoleon” one out for at least 6 episodes while its airs as a mid-season replacement, and if that weren’t enough, word is that they’ve expanded to thirteen. Alongside the impending demise of “The Simpsons”, Sunday nights will never be the same.

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