(Re)Animations: The Critic (1994)
Now you are walking through the door; into a dimension of sound, sight, a short TV critic and a world were self-centered bosses and useless co-workers hunt your life. You have entered into… The Critic Zone.
Okay, I have dared to jump in and take a shot into (Re)Animations despite being a Strange Kid’s kind of sacred ground, but heck, I was born to burn in hell. Now that I am being mischievous I’ll make it to the Nth degree by showing you an animated show with a main star so disturbing that women may feel nauseated and men would feel shame to be men; I am of course talking about Jay Sherman, better know as the third best critic from New York, the host of Coming Attractions and star of the animated TV show The Critic.
This awesomely funny and often forgotten TV show aired between 1994 and 1995 spawning 23 episodes on the “idiot box” and another 10 later on the “Internet.” Created by two former Simpsons writers Al Jean and Mike Reiss and produced by TV legend James L. Brooks this animated show tells us the story of Jay Sherman, an overweighed and really hard headed TV critic during his daily life. Jay, as he is commonly known, is the short and bold adoptive son of a rich New England couple who works as a film critic for Phillips Broadcast Network. Jay is also divorced with an only son called Martin, possesses an incredible (or better said inhuman) appetite and a rather overcritical personality that doesn’t let him see any movie as good.
In a sense, Jay is what you could call a kind of cartoon pariah; he is constantly portrayed as disturbingly ugly for women, it is known to be fatter than a tank and has to review the worst movies ever. The show’s running gag consists on seeing Jay suffer through his life while being abused by his fitness freak, power-hungry maniac boss/friend Duke Phillips (aka the coolest boss ever!), his assistant Doris and his own actions; although being cruel sometimes Jay is really kind hearted and attached to his moral grounds, never going against them.
The world of The Critic is actually a New York of the mid 90’s and this cartoon constantly parodies everything on movies and TV; Duke Phillips being a parody of Ted Turner, most of the movies shown there being awful although funny adaptation or reinventions of popular 90’s and 80’s movies and celebrities and politicians showing their best or lowest sides. Cameos are all over the place and parodies call from Orson Wells to the late Pope John Paul II. While being a mirror of its era The Critic accomplishes a weird kind of humor that seems chaotic but actually makes perfect sense and was never insulting or humiliating.
I say if you ever have a chance to watch this forgotten animated show give it a try, specially if you were born in the 80’s and 90’s; this is a show that will make you crack your jaw in laughter.