Monday, June 23, 2014

Toons After Dark: Liquid Television (1991)

In the late 80's, MTV began expanding its programming to add other series that either had ties to music (i.e. The Monkees, the animated Beatles) or pop culture (i.e. Monty Python's Flying Circus). As the decade ended, the network began turning things in-house, meaning, they now had the confidence to produce their own series.

Liquid Television exists today as an online entity on MTV's website, but in its peak years (1991-4), it was a weekly amalgamation of live-action, animation, puppets, and outright avant-garde absurdity. Two series were spun off from Liquid: Beavis & Butt-Head (1993-7, 2011-2) and Aeon Flux (1995-6), while others could easily have as well. Down the line, we'll look at some of these features, as we all have our favorites.

Let's take a look at the open, which starts by twisting, literally, out of a screening for Robert Palmer's "Addicted to Love":

Charles Burns' Dog Boy appeared in the pages of Art Spiegelman's underground Raw, but instead of being adapted as a cartoon, MTV opted for a live-action version, which, sadly didn't translate well. Let me show you what I mean, with help from Billy Godsey:

I think you can see where the nimrods at [adult swim] got their inspiration when they launched a decade later.

Rating: C-.

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