Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Share on Reddit Share on Pinterest Share on Linkedin Share on Tumblr Today I’m going to review UNIKITTY because apparently, I hate myself. There’s been quite a bit of buzz about this new show based on THE LEGO MOVIE character lately, most of it negative. Even so, I tried to go into this show with an open mind. I often enjoy cartoons others despise, so maybe UNIKITTY would be surprisingly enjoyable. Based on the title of this article, you can probably guess how that went for me. Spoiler alert: not well. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out why this show doesn’t work. It would be easy to point out the obnoxious energy, the inane humor, or the noxious levels of cuteness on display here. The problem is, I’m someone who typically likes these things. I love over-the-top energy, I enjoy inane humor, I even love some cynical, self-aware trope-ishness in my cartoons. Hell, I’ve gone on record supporting TEEN TITANS: GO, another obnoxious, cynical cartoon. By all accounts, I should be the target demographic for this show. So, what’s wrong with UNIKITTY? What makes it worse than similar cartoons? Is there anything of value here? Well, let’s take a look! It Does Nothing But Pander I guess the thing that really pisses me off about this show is how blatantly it panders to its audience. As I said, a show like this seems tailor-made to the type of kid I was a few years ago, and even the adult I am today. It’s obnoxiously loud. It’s full of action and energy in a seemingly innocent, cutesy world. The main character is loud, energetic, and short-fused. It’s as if someone studied a particular sub-set of adolescents and concocted this show in a laboratory. KILL THE MINOTAUR #1 Review: Greek Mythology Revisited UNIKITTY tries so hard to indulge in the “super cute but crazy” trope that it just comes off as insulting. It honestly feels desperate, like a group of old executives throwing everything at the wall they think their young audience will enjoy. Where TEEN TITANS: GO legitimately doesn’t seem to care if you like it, UNIKITTY is begging me to watch it, offering everything I would have loved as a kid without truly understanding it. It’s Surprisingly Predictable The real problem is it never goes beyond this pandering. It never gets particularly creative or interesting in any way. Of course, Unikitty has a “comically” bad temper. Of course, there’s a boring, “responsible” character that speaks in monotone. Obviously, they shoe-horn classic tropes and plot-lines from other genres. That’s what we all assume a UNIKITTY show would do. Everything you need to know about these characters in one image. One thing you can say about TEEN TITANS: GO, or even the awful UNCLE GRANDPA, is that you never quite know where each episode is going. At the very least, these shows embrace their own madness. UNIKITTY can’t even get that right. Each episode is such a clearly telegraphed series of tropes. Where UNCLE GRANDPA is at least full of strange creatures, absurd plot-resolutions, and creative animation, I never felt surprised, or even particularly engaged, by UNIKITTY. It’s Just Not Funny I could forgive all of this if the show made me laugh. It doesn’t. The jokes are poorly paced, predictable, and provide little pay-off. In one instance, a particular character is trying to speak, but Unikitty keeps interrupting him because his voice is so boring. This could be the set-up for a funny joke. However, it goes on just a little too long, and the payoff of what the character has to say is neither funny nor does it move the plot forward. The only thing it does is cheaply foreshadow the plot resolution, which again is neither funny nor interesting. I find myself wondering, “where’s the punchline here?” At what point am I supposed to laugh, and at what? Should You Watch STAR WARS REBELS? Compare this to a show like GUMBALL, where movement, timing, and dialogue are perfectly used to express its bizarre sense of humor. With better writers, this style of show can work. There’s a place for this sort of high-octane, overly cute, “random” humor, but you need to use these elements to your advantage. More often than not, UNIKITTY feels distracted by its own style. There Are Better Shows With This Type Of Humor While I was watching this show, slowly dying aside, my mind kept wandering to much funnier, much more creative versions of this program. Indeed, the more I watched UNIKITTY, the more it began to feel like a cheap knock-off of similarly themed cartoons. The most obvious comparison is MY LITTLE PONY, which arguably started this trend of cutesy cartoons. While I’m not a personal fan of the show, it’s hard not to see UNIKITTY as an inferior imitation of similar themes. But I feel a closer comparison is Disney’s STAR VS. THE FORCES OF EVIL. A show about a magic princess from another dimension, STAR is also an overtly cute show with a lot of energy and action. The difference is it’s better animated, better written, and evolves beyond its basic premise. Just watch this instead. The problem here isn’t that UNIKITTY takes inspiration from these shows, or even that it’s cynically chasing what’s popular. The problem is that it never evolves past its inspiration. There’s nothing about UNIKITTY that would make me watch it over MY LITTLE PONY or STAR VS. THE FORCES OF EVIL. You’d think with the LEGO theme they’d at least have a variety of material to work with. The problem is, half the time I forget this is a LEGO product at all. Think of everything they could do with the LEGO license. All the things they could build, or the characters and worlds they could introduce. While there are some references here and there, the LEGO theme is woefully underutilized. It’s just a missed opportunity. UNIKITTY: The Verdict I refuse to entertain the notion that “I’m growing out of cartoons,” or that “kids shows suck these days.” Cartoons have never been better than they are right now. That’s why UNIKITTY is so insulting. That’s why I took the time to write a review of a “silly little kid show.” It’s not the worst thing I’ve seen in my life; it’s not offensive or destructive. It’s just not up to par. BLACK LIGHTNING Episode 101 Review: Revitalization UNIKITTY reminds me of those cartoons from the 80’s that only existed to sell toys and to pander to its audience, or 90’s shows that were trying too hard to be “cool.” The only difference is the generation to which it panders, and the husk of tropes with which it surrounds itself. And just like those shows, it will come and go with a cringe and a sigh. UNIKITTY only stands out for how woefully outmatched it is by other cartoons. If you’re going to watch a show like this, watch STAR VS. THE FORCES OF EVIL instead. As for UNIKITTY, there’s really nothing I can recommend that others shows don’t do better.