The Buzz: Adult Swim Airs Four New Weird Animated Pilots

It’s pilot season at Adult Swim and there are four very different, but all super weird pilots for viewers to feast their eyes on. The pilots consist of Tigtone, Chuck Deuce, Trap Universe and The Shivering Truth. However, this isn’t the first time Adult Swim has released pilots of shows that have been yet to be picked up. In the past fans were even able to vote for their favorite pilots, but this time Adult Swim doesn’t seem to be deciding the fates of these potential shows through audience voting. Nonetheless, it’s exciting to view these pilots regardless, as so many never get to see the light of day. It’s a great practice that more networks should pick up. There’s no better way to gauge a show’s potential ratings than to preview it to an audience and see how they like it.

Trap Universe was exactly the kind of show that you would expect from Adult Swim. It was bright and cheery, but horribly grotesque and brutal. In fact, it reminded me a lot like SuperJail!, even more so than Ballmastrz 9009 which is actually made by the same creator of SuperJail!. Trap Universe starred Eddie G, a cheery, but tombstone headed fixer who wants nothing more than to quit his job so he can spend more time with his family. Unfortunately for Eddie G, he works for Trap Lord, a rotten apple core who pretends to be your best friend one minute but in-debts you for life as one of his employees the next. Created by JJ Villard, who co-created King Star King, the series shares many similarities such as the bright colors and brutal violence, but manages to be more appealing with its much more likable characters. The animation while impressive when there’s violence, has a slight flaw in that it is uneven during menial motions. For example, when Eddie G walks, he moves around as if he’s a cut-out character from South Park. Beyond that, the episode is full of blink and you miss it messages. Patient fans, through pausing the episode at a second’s notice, discovered the messages are insults and depressing tidbits. It’s an odd thing to have, but it fits in with the bleakness and never-ending servitude Eddie G finds himself in. Lastly, and an often-overlooked part of most series, was the quality voice acting. Many of these characters sounded like they could have come straight off a children’s animated series, helping juxtapose these characters from the harsh world they inhabit.

Chuck Deuce was even stranger than the usual Adult Swim fare.  Maybe it has to do with the fact that the titular Chuck Deuce seems to be suffering from some serious mental trauma after getting lost at sea for three weeks. As such, it wasn’t clear if everything that was happening in Chuck Deuce was actually happening or if it was just perverted by Chuck’s mind. Chuck Deuce is a sort of slice of life show that follows Chuck and his two friends as they bum around Santa Cruz. Whether it be harassing the city council, selling CDs from the back of Chuck’s van, or tracking down sentient mythical food trucks, Chuck Deuce was one of least enthralling of the pilots. Chuck is not a very intelligent character and unlike better written idiot characters, his stupidity comes off as more annoying than entertaining. Maybe it’s just that the dumb surfer bro character has been done too much before, but take out Chuck’s mental issues and there isn’t much to separate him from any other stereotypical surfer dude. The supporting cast, weren’t that much better either. Characters consisted of Chuck’s best friend who was just an overly nice pushover, an anthropomorphic dog that couldn’t talk other than barking and contributed very little to the plot, and a mermaid ocean researcher who hates Chuck and his friends and wants nothing to do with them. Further episodes could surely flesh these characters out more, but as it stands now we probably won’t want to see much more of them. Lastly, Chuck Deuce made the age-old mistake of thinking that being random was the same thing as being funny. As is, if Adult Swim was going to pass on any of these pilots, it would most likely be Chuck Deuce.     

Unlike the other three pilots, this was not Tigtone’s first animated appearance. Back in 2014, Tigtone-"The Begun of Tigtone" was released on YouTube under the channel Babyhemyth Productions. It was a limited animation featuring a quest hungry maniac named Tigtone as he ventured throughout bizarre lands. It was bizarre and ridiculous, but a lot of fun. The short even guest starred Mike Stoklasa from Red Letter Media, a popular movie review channel. Unfortunately for fans of the original, “Tigtone the Pilot” doesn’t quite capture the magic of the original. Unlike the web short, the pilot tries to be more story driven and for once that appears to be a mistake. The original Tigtone delivered joke after joke with only the slightest connectivity while the pilot tries too hard to tie it altogether. The more farcical and unrelated the jokes are, the better Tigtone is. If nothing more, the pilot continues with Tigtone’s very unique art style, so even if the jokes don’t land all that much, at least there is something to admire about the pilot. As disappointing as it is, it seems as of right now, Tigtone worked better as a one off random short, rather than a connected series.  

To say that The Shivering Truth was a trip would be an understatement. The Shivering Truth is not your average TV show. It has no main characters and no real plot, and I couldn’t tell you if it’s supposed to be a comedy or a drama, but it’s one of most enthralling things I’ve ever watched on Adult Swim. Watching The Shivering Truth feels more akin to being put into a trance, than watching a show. Created by PFFR Forever Ltd, who have made several shows on Adult Swim before, The Shivering Truth may be one of their most ambiguous creations yet. The stop motion animation is some of the best to ever grace the silver screen, being both grotesque and beautiful at the same time. The Shivering Truth is made up of a loosely connected set of tales that all share the same theme of order and chaos. It’s a wild ride to say the least, but if there is any show that deserves to be made into a full series, it should be The Shivering Truth. Ambitious, mesmerizing and even a bit artsy, The Shivering Truth is just the kind of the show that could only be found on Adult Swim.

Overall, this was a pretty great pilot season. Almost all the pilots had potential, and both Trap Universe and The Shivering Truth would make great additions to the Adult Swim lineup just as they are. Tigtone, while it doesn’t have the greatest pilot, has proven itself before that it could be hilarious with its web short. Therefore, I still have hope that with a little more time and a couple more episodes, Tigtone could still make for a great series. The only pilot that should maybe stay a pilot is Chuck Deuce. It’s far from terrible and there have been worse shows to make it to a full series, but it would need a pretty major overhaul to work as a full series. As of now all these pilots are available to watch for free on Adultswim.com, so check them out while you can.