Tuesday, November 09, 2004

O'Grady: Best TV Show You Never Heard Of 

On a channel you have never heard of awaits a show no one is talking about.
Imagine The Simpsons crossed with My So Called Life crossed with The X Files. You now have a sense of the potential entertainment you are missing out on.

The channel is The N. The show is the unheralded hidden pleasure called O'Grady.

O'Grady is a half hour animated comedy where on top of the inherent challenges of being a teenager, our heros and heroines must contend with the unpredictable nature of the supernatural force that makes their town famous: The Weirdness.

What is The Weirdness? Exactly what it sounds like. Peculiar, unexplained phenomena that continually hamper everyone's best laid plans for a normal day.
Some samples of The Weirdness' handiwork in the first few episodes: icons from public signage leave their signs and mingle with the 3D populace; anyone getting angry spontaneously generates "clones" of themselves; people start turning into cats.

Now I don't want to misrepresent O'Grady's storylines. The Weirdness' doings are NOT the entire point of each show. The Weirdness is merely an unusual obstacle to be overcome by the protagonists during their normal pursuit of achieving the commonplace goals of high school kids: meeting the cute guy, passing driver's ed, and not making a fool of oneself in the talent show.

A top notch group of voice talent possesed of brilliant timing (the vocal equivalent of the cast of Frasier) combined with witty dialogue (a la the tragically cancelled Sports Night) and clever plotlines (as if Seinfeld were set in high school) ensure that every episode - that I've seen thus far - has its share of chuckles, laugh out louds, and kneeslappers.

On top of all these ingredients designed to yield a heady brew, the animation style is thoroughly original. Physical attributes are emphasized or stylized in interesting ways. Mouths, for example, extend beyond the literal boundaries of faces. It is also worth noting is that the kids overall at O'Grady High School are depicted as an array of imperfect (and stylized) teenage body types.

So...how do you see O'Grady? The channel that calls itself The N turns out to be the nighttime incarnation of Nickelodeon's sister channel Noggin. So check you cable listing to see if you get Noggin...and the set your TiVo appropriately.

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