Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Liquid Television on the web

Great, great news: MTV has put Liquid Television online.

With the exception of South Park, my personal taste in animation usually runs to the more classic Warner Bros. style, but Liquid Television is one of the reasons MTV needed to be invented.

The types of animation used on the show ran the gamut from claymation to cutouts to hand drawn to computer generated to anything that could be animated.  The only rule seemed to be that it be one of a kind, other than that there were no rules.  More palatable than some of the Spike & Mike stuff, it was nonetheless adult-oriented and outrageous enough to set itself apart from other animation of its day and perfectly fit then-renegade MTV.  Liquid Television received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Animated Program in 1993 and spawned a number of other shows and movies including Beavis & Butt-Head, Office Space and Aeon Flux.

There was the hilarious, bombastic rudeness of Crazy Daisy Ed, the profane perversity of the cheerily 50's-designed Bobby & Billy, the literally and figuratively cartoonish superhero of Grinning Evil Death, badass Winter Steele, endlessly quotable psychedelic detective Brad Dharma and Warners evil-twin Speedbump the Roadkill Possum, in addition to some really awesome music videos.  I could pretty much list almost everything that ever appeared on the series as noteworthy, that's how high the bar was set.  Rarely if ever did LTV suck like its network eventually would.

The bulk of the animated shorts can be found on You Tube, but the website supposedly brings the entire series together in one place, although a brief search failed to turn up Stick Figure Theater.  My favorite was their surprisingly affecting take on the Hindenburg disaster:

My guess is that if there is material missing, it might be a rights issue.  I hope not.  I would love to see the entire series released on DVD at some point.  I'm kind of surprised they haven't done it already.

A few more of my favorites for your viewing pleasure (and hopefully to make a Liquid TV fan out of you if you're not one already):

Crazy Daisy Ed "talks" his way out of a ticket.

Brad Dharma: "There are 30 million names in the Naked City.  I can only pronounce half of them."  Heh, Naked City reference FTW.

"Hello Dad, I'm in jail!  I like it here!"

The Specialists meet the world's cruelest criminal (and his laugh-track).

Psycho-Gram: Suburban Housewife ("Dear Mum...")

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