Moonbeam City: Mall Hath No Fury
September 17, 2015 9:30 AM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

After failing to arrest up-and-coming criminal El Diablo Malo, Dazzle Novak is tasked to capture him in 5 days, or lose his #1 cop mug... for good. This until he discovers a new assignment, and this time, his heart is in charge.

Moonbeam City is a new Comedy Central animated series created by Scott Gairdner (staff writer for Funny or Die and Conan), featuring Rob Lowe as Dazzle Novak, the titular city top cop, Elizabeth Banks as his boss Pizzaz Miller, Kate Mara as Dazzle's partner Chrysalis Tate, and Will Forte as his rival, Rad Cunningham.

The animation by Titmouse (Metalocalypse, Venture Bros and Black Dynamite, among others) is highly stylized, reminiscing of Patrick Nagel prints along gratuitous neon backgrounds and features an 80s-tastic soundtrack by LA band Night Club.
posted by lmfsilva (6 comments total)
Really great look and style, top-notch voice talent, but weak plot and dialogue. The animation also looked pretty cheap at times.

Pilots are often weak and the style is good enough that I'll give it a chance, but it's really going to have to improve on the substance. It just wasn't very funny and was trying way too hard. A lot of the situations and jokes felt really forced.

It needs to move away from trying to be "80s Archer", especially since Archer already kind of did "80s Archer". There's definitely potential for this series, but it needs to find its own voice and lean so heavily on "80s style!"
posted by Sangermaine at 9:32 AM on September 17, 2015 [2 favorites]

I think in realistic animation terms (I mean, it's heavily stylized, but they're not exactly cartoons like Simpsons/MacFarlane stuff/Bob's Burgers/Rick and Morty) we are kind of spoiled by Archer, that is superbly animated, but is also an acclaimed show going to their 7th season. It does look kind of stiff, although the facial expressions were pretty good, and considering the show kind of looks like an animated Nagel print, it ends up suiting it.

I'm guessing it won't last much more than 15 episodes, but the style and voice acting alone should sustain it. If it gets it's own groove, it might be what CC needs in a time they're bleeding out talent.
posted by lmfsilva at 10:01 AM on September 17, 2015

I thought the artwork was beautiful, if stiff, but the main character was an even less self-aware and sympathetic version of Archer. I ended up saying the Eight Deadly Words about it.
posted by happyroach at 5:33 PM on September 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

I haven't watched much of Archer, so I probably liked it more than I would have. I agree that the plot and dialogue is barren and for me the extent of my enjoyment with the pilot was the art and backgrounds. A lot of 80's stuff is coming back around in different forms, so I don't have a problem with it. I especially loved the one part where it looked like he was playing a Dungeons of Daggorath clone. Eventually I see myself just putting on some mix of 80's songs and playing that over the visuals of this show. I mean if you think about it, the whole thing should just be a musical number of dreamy faux 80's music played over a minimal but understandable plot. So kind of like Robot Unicorn Attack, but a tv show.
posted by cashman at 7:59 AM on September 20, 2015 [1 favorite]

Now that you mention, I expect there will be loads of vapowave videos using clips from MBC.

If CC are are smart, they'll even do a toy site with a bundle of cliches from 80s clips, let people arrange them and dub some audio from youtube.
posted by lmfsilva at 1:56 PM on September 20, 2015

Even more so than the Eight Deadly Words (which I agree with), I ended up saying "They are trying so hard." You're allowed to push at the beginning to set up the premise, but then you need to sit back and let the characters and the premise spin, with the occasional touch to keep them up.
posted by Etrigan at 6:35 AM on September 23, 2015

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