Picking Apart “Drawn Together”

Filed Under Animation

Drawn Together's Captain HeroDrawn Together has never entirely worked for me. I’ve always thought the concept of a reality show revolving around cartoon characters was brilliant. They have a no-holds-barred sense that at times just lands with a thud, I think because the jokes are sometimes empty and occassionally lazy. One sequence featuring “Live Action Cow” was excruciable because every joke revolved around how still the character was. Other more recent episodes have been great though - the satire of stem cells “Clum Babies” comes to mind.

Writer Bill Freiberger has been a great presence at the site Toon Zone, handling both the postive and negative reaction to Drawn with some strong points and some nice candor, including pointing out how product placement even reaching to cartoons:

The reason that the controller is an exact replica is because Sony wanted it to be and Comedy Central made some sort of deal with them. We were just following orders.

Bill Freiberger was also the co-writer with his 13-year-old son of another sharp episode “Terms of Endearment”, detailing Captain Hero losing his powers and ending up in a wheelchair a la Christopher Reeve. The episode was originally to air in the first season, but after the actor’s death, the episode was set aside. The episode finally aired this past January. On the ToonZone board, Bill shared how hard it was to get the joke where Captain Hero loses his powers approved:

They thought it was too harsh (although it really wasn’t). In the scene, Hero climbs on a horse. The horse rears up and Captain Hero gently slides off the horse and directly into the wheel chair.

After we lost the use of that shot, we tried to have the sound of a horse winnie inside The Pillow Fort of Isolation while Hero was giving up his powers. The network nixed that as well. However, there is the sound of a Horse winne over the “Double Hemm” production logo at the end of the episode.

There’s also a full interview with Bill, where he details more about the show’s intents and how satire just doesn’t work for some people. Interesting stuff, even if you aren’t a fan of “Drawn.”

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Posted by poopyhead on 03/21  at  02:11 PM

I have watched 4 or 5 episodes of Drawn together. Never cracked a smile.

I’m no expert, but it seems to formula and set up.  No real parody of cartoons or reality shows.

I agree that the concept is great, just badly executed.

Posted by Matt Fisher on 04/07  at  02:52 AM

It seems to me this concept was conceived in a boardroom somewhere..

Gee, lets rip off a bunch of exisiting well known cartoon characters, then slightly alter them to avoid copyright infringement then stick them in a house to parady “The Real World” or “Big Brother”... How unoriginal can one get?? Conseqently, the writing and so called “plots: (whatever you call the time in between a bunch of ill-humored, patetically easy jokes) sand whiched between a bunch of other shit… Overall, Drawn TOgether is a steaming pile of crap that should have been aborted in the fetus.

Posted by dave on 08/21  at  02:49 PM

i think its a good series, however you do have to watch pretty much everyone to get the jokes.

bit of a pain in the ass imo.

however the second series IS a lot better, i would reccomend series 2 ep 7 and onwards.

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