Helluva Boss (Episodes 0-3): This is Damned Funny – YouTube Review

I take a look at a YouTube series about a group of demonic assassins.

SUMMARY

Blitzo (the o is silent)(Brandon Rogers) is the head of I.M.P., the Immediate Murder Professionals. They’re a group of assassins that operate out of Hell through a portal to the human realm. Essentially, if you are in Hell and have the money, you can take revenge upon the living. Blitzo is accompanied by married couple Moxxie and Millie (Richard Steven Horowitz and Erica Lindbeck/Vivian Nixon) and his adopted hellhound daughter Loona (Lindbeck). Despite the fact that they are generally dysfunctional and incompetent, they still manage to do a decent job of murdering the living in hilariously over-the-top ways. 

The character design is just damned fun.

END SUMMARY

If you missed it back in 2019, artist Vivienne “VivziePop” Medrano posted the unique pilot for a show called “Hazbin Hotel” on her YouTube channel. It was an incredible work of twisted art and disturbed humor that has since been picked up for production but not debuted yet. However, shortly after that, she posted a second, shorter, pilot for a show set in the same universe. That one was called, you guessed it, Helluva Boss. That one was also picked up and has started airing on Medrano’s YouTube channel and we are all the better for it. 

A lot of the humor in this show comes from the fact that this group of killers are basically a massively dysfunctional family. Blitzo is way too involved in Moxxie and Millie’s lives, constantly berates Moxxie, and treats Loona like she’s his precious baby despite the fact that she does almost no work and often abuses her co-workers. Moxxie is massively insecure while Millie is mostly aloof. However, all of these traits are taken to the point of absurdity and it’s more naturally believable because they’re not human. The supporting characters are likewise over-the-top because, well, they’re almost all in Hell and thus had exaggerated qualities. 

And sometimes they’re just an odd office group.

The other big source of humor in the show is the ridiculous ultraviolence that regularly ensues and the dark jokes that come from it, like being paid to murder a child and questioning the morality only to find out that the kid’s an asshole and seemingly has it coming. The show has a ton of dirty jokes and sexual humor as well as some solid references (including being the second animated show to use Dan Harmon’s horrifying phrase “cum gutters”). I find it consistently hilarious. 

And sometimes it’s just playing out the idea that there is a hell that can come to Earth.

Overall, I love this show. There are only three episodes and a pilot so far, but they’re all free on YouTube. Check them out and Hazbin Hotel as well.

If you want to check out some more by the Joker on the Sofa, check out the 100 Greatest TV Episodes of All TimeCollection of TV EpisodesCollection of Movie Reviews, or the Joker on the Sofa Reviews.

If you enjoy these, please, like, share, tell your friends, like the Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/JokerOnTheSofa/), follow on Twitter @JokerOnTheSofa, and just generally give me a little bump. I’m not getting paid, but I like to get feedback.

Netflix Review – Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus – Dear God, Why Was This Ever Cancelled?

One of the most unique shows ever put on television gets revived for a special and it just makes me realize how sad it was that we had to wait so long for it.

SUMMARY

It’s been years since alien invader Zim (Richard Steven Horvitz) and his Robot assistant, GIR (Rosearik Rikki Simons), have been seen and the constant obsession with finding him has led his nemesis Dib (Andy Berman) to become a fat, smelly blob attached to a chair, much to the disgust of his sister Gaz (Melissa Fahn) and his father Professor Membrane (Rodger Bumpass). Then Zim comes back, with a new plan to impress the leaders of the Irkin Empire, the Almighty Tallest (Wally Wingert and Kevin McDonald), if only he can remember what Step 2 is…

ZimFlorpus - 1DibChair
The rivalry is reignited and both sides are a little let down.

END SUMMARY

Look, I don’t want to spoil this special, so go ahead and take an hour to watch it. Go on, I believe in you. Do it.

Awesome, wasn’t it? I mean it’s not quite as good as “Walk of Doom” or some of the better episodes of the series, but it’s a really good special and it proves one thing: This show had a lot more room to explore before getting cancelled. 

ZimFlorpus - 3Cupcake.gif
Like what became of the cupcake’s children?

For those who are getting their first taste of Zim, here’s my previous description of the show:

Invader Zim is what happens when Nickelodeon doesn’t fully investigate who they’re giving money to. It’s similar to how WNBC got Howard Stern. They heard something was popular, decided to get the person responsible, then immediately realized that it conflicted with their image.

Showrunner Jhonen Vasquez is a messed-up human being, and the creator of such works as Johnny the Homicidal Maniac and Squee. He is also a darkly comic genius of the highest order. Invader Zim was a show that ran on the logic that whatever would confuse, amuse, or disturb the audience the most should be the next image on screen or line of dialogue. Sometimes this was frightening or irksome, but, usually, the juxtaposition was hilarious.” 

ZimFlorpus - 2JTHM
Yes, this is definitely for kids.

Sadly, the show’s sense of humor was a little to dark for kids and, despite the fact that it set up a bunch of potential recurring characters (including Tak (Olivia D’Abo) whose ship appears in this special as an acknowledgement), the show ended up getting cancelled before even the second season was finished. This special, much like Rocko’s Modern Life‘s reboot, is a chance to reintroduce this brilliant show to an audience that will hopefully now be more receptive, in part because it blazed a trail a decade and a half ago.

ZimFlorpus - 4Toilet
Much like us, Zim was on the toilet for most of the wait.

Perhaps the most notable thing about this special is that it’s one of the rare occasions on which Zim actually can be considered a credible threat. In general, Zim is too stupid to ever really be a villain (that’s sort of the point of the series), but in this special he actually does, albeit through a lot of luck, serve as a serious antagonist to Dib. Watching Zim be semi-competent is really enjoyable, because even when he seems to be doing well, he’s constantly grasping at straws to keep everything from falling apart. He even relies on GIR to compose a hit song in order for his plan to work, though GIR promptly knocks it out of the park. Even when the plan does work, however, the side-effects are still insane and devastating due to his own idiocy. 

ZimFlorpus - 5Space.jpg
This could have been a musical. Maybe it should have been.

In terms of tone, I think most people will note that this special is lighter and lacks a certain amount of the nihilism found in most of the works of Jhonen Vasquez, but I still think that it has the same off-kilter and challenging humor that made the original series great. The character designs are mostly unchanged, but Gaz, for example, is more talkative and less emotionally combative than she typically was during the series. The special also has an actual emotional arc concerning Dib and his father. While the fact that Dib’s father is pretty much absent from his life was brought up in the show several times, here it’s much more focused and Dib’s feelings are much more prominent. It’s basically summed up by Dib telling his father “I wish you were on my side!” only to be told “Wishing isn’t very scientific.” We feel a similar emotional desire for approval from Zim with regards to the Tallest, but unlike Professor Membrane’s neglectfulness towards Dib, the Tallest genuinely hate Zim. It gives us a wonderful compare and contrast between our lead characters, something that the show didn’t do much.

ZimFlorpus - 6Gaz.png
I mean, Gaz having open eyes is automatically lighter.

The art style is just as distinct as it was before, although, again, I think it’s a little lighter. 

ZimFlorpus - 7Art
I mean, it’s not much different, but still noticeable. 

Overall, if you liked the series, you’ll like this. Mostly, if you like this, you’ll wonder why in the heck they cancelled the original show when they clearly have so many more directions to take the stories. If you’ve never seen Invader Zim, try it anyway. This kind of show deserves the effort.

If you want to check out some more by the Joker on the Sofa, check out the 100 Greatest TV Episodes of All TimeCollection of TV EpisodesCollection of Movie Reviews, or the Joker on the Sofa Reviews.

If you enjoy these, please, like, share, tell your friends, like the Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/JokerOnTheSofa/), follow on Twitter @JokerOnTheSofa, and just generally give me a little bump. I’m not getting paid, but I like to get feedback.