3 out of 5
Created by: Will Carsola & Dave Stewart
It’s on adult swim. It skews weird.
From the minds of some Funny or Die guys comes Mr. Pickles, which will almost certainly remind you of some show or other – I’m going with Superjail!s oddballness mixed with Metalacolypse’s uber-violence – but it pushes through whatever nagging comparisons come to mind and forcefully emerges as its own thing, and perhaps your new AS fave.
Mr. Pickles is a dog who loves pickles, belonged (sorta) to the cheekily named Goodman family, who live in the equally cheekily named Old Town. He also has a tendency to murder and torture, generally while smiling and humping something, and has the cute and cuddly ability to recruit other animals to do his evil bidding and frees them up of inhibitions to pursue those bondage fantasies all animals presumably have. Of course, all of Old Town seems unaware of Pickles’ ‘true’ personality, excepting those who would do him – or the Goodman family – harm, and then the unfortunately sober Goodman grandpa, whose continual assertions that Mr. Pickles is evil incarnate are brushed off as old-man rambles. A la the first, wonderful seasons of the two shows I referenced (before they both got caught up in over-plotting), creators Carsola and Dave Stewart inventively navigate every episode of the show into complete mayhem. Normally there will be some reprehensible character that Pickles will target while the rest of the family gets wrapped up in hijinks, all of it coming to an insane fruition where, somehow, Pickles comes out as a hero. The tendency for something like this to come across as overly cruel is somehow subverted by Pickle’s protectiveness of the family, particularly son Tommy. The Goodmans are all idiots, but we don’t judge them too harshly given Old Town’s generally idiotic vibe, and for whatever reason that this Satan-fueled dog has decided to stick by them totally vibes with the twisted Lassie formula in a pleasingly watchable fashion. The opening credits with death metal grumbles and lots of flying blood will give you every indication of what you’re about to watch, and the inappropriate-ante is at a comfortably high bar that doesn’t go out of its way to one-up itself so much as just get more ridiculous with things. The final episode of the season adds some interesting ‘depth’ to the world of Mr. Pickles, but hopefully the creatives will keep this show in Squidbillies / Aqua Teen territory instead of ruining its randomness by trying to make things more complicated than they should be.