Clone High (2002–2003)
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At first glance and the entire summary of it seems kind of lame but you have to watch it to really see the humor. And yes it's kind of cringe-worthy the way they have written some great historical figures but all you have to say is "Hey it's just a cartoon!". I can't say why I actually care if Joan of Arch or Abe Lincoln get together but i'll be damned if I don't tune in every episode so far to see Joan's angsty love for Abe.
The more history you know about these characters the funnier the show is! It's a comical blend of a little history, wacky humor and just growing up and making it through high school! It's not something that everyone is going to like. If you don't normally like cartoons geared towards the over 14 crowd then it's probably not even worth your time.
I want to think positive and that Clone High will become the next Beavis and Butthead or Daria of MTV but I honestly don't think there are enough Americans out there that can really get the humor without being offended by the portrayal of the characters. If you like cartoons and animation this is not one to miss!
Absolutely my favorite cartoon. Abe Lincoln is a crazy mixed up kid who doesn't know if he loves Cleopatra or Joan of Arc. Gandi, a hyper active guy who loves to stick things in his nose. JFK, a womanizing jerk, and Joan of Arc a very dark and monitone girl who has deep routed issues with Abe Lincoln.
I think that this is another one of those cartoons that should continue.
The main characters include Christa Miller(from Scrubs and The Drew Carry Show), Michael McDonnald(from Mad TV and bit role on scrubs), Nichole Sullivan( Mad TV and reoccurring role on Scrubs), and Will Forte(SNL, Brothers Solomon). Also included parts from Zach Braff, Sarah Chalke, Donald Faison, and Neil Flynn(scrubs actors). Some of the guest voices include Mandy Moore, Marilyn Manson, Michael J. Fox, and STAMOS!
A secret government agency has cloned a bunch of historical figures so that they can raise their own clone army. The clones, who are all in the teenage angst-y phase are all in High School together dealing with love, sex, drugs and social inadequacy while being watched by a maniacal Principal with plans of his own.
It simultaneously lampoons the current WB-style "tween" shows and after-school specials. The shows comedic style is fast paced, almost vaudevillian and it becomes even more bizarre and disconnected as it moves along.
Too bad MTV dropped it after only airing like, six episodes. I hear it still plays in Canada, though...
Some historical figures are easily recognizable. For example JFK is a popular prettyboy jock who constantly surrounds himself with women, Cleopatra is an overly ambitious siren who doesn't let moral clarity get in the way of her goals and Abe Lincoln fills the role of an eagle scout who often speechifies yet is often oblivious of others input.
Other characters are not so obvious. For example Joan of Arc is a goth mired in negatism and Ghandi is an ebullient party-animal. Neither fits the expectations set by their "cloneparents".
Nor should they, because as teenagers, they will distance themselves and form their own identities. But the more you think about the history of their predecessors, the more like them they become. Joan of Arc is devotionally in love with Abe Lincoln, no matter how many times he has spurned her, just like how the real Joan of Arc is devoted to God even when she is being burned at the stake. Also there was the episode where Joan dressed in drag in order to play on the boys basketball team, a la the real Joan leading an all male army.
Ghandi's overly extroverted behavior stems from his need to fit in, just like the real Ghandi emulated the imperialistic Britains during the early part of his life by studying in England, becoming a lawyer and extoling the racist virtues of Cecil Rhodes. Only when Ghandi was mistreated on the train did he begin his campaign for social justice.
All in all three stars (***) out of four. The idea of recasting historical figures in a modern high school drama still screams "I've run out of ideas", but they somehow made up for it by casting characters I can care about.
The show is primarily a comedy, and a very effective one at that. The show is at it's best when the characters are throwing "emotionally charged" speeches at one another about love and betrayal (Abe:"You sent me up the river" Joan:"That may be, but I sent you up that river with my heart as a paddle" Abe:"But you smacked me in the face with that paddle...").
The show also uses several different forms of humor. It can be subtle, blunt, random, delightfully repetitive or utterly ridiculous.
The thing that I found most enjoyable about the show is the fact that it really does say a lot about what it's like to be so close to being grown up, but still a way's off. Joan is so obsessed with her best friend, Abe that she doesn't realize her own independence. Abe is so infatuated with Cleo that he doesn't even consider Joan's love. Ghandi is so fixated on being popular, Cleo is so fixated on herself, JFK is so fixated on women.
It really says something about the attention spans of young adults and how they miss out on such obvious opportunities to be happy. At the same time Clone High makes such good fun of what it's like to be in that stage of a person's life.
Overall, Clone High does for High School what Clerks did for part-time jobs. Not only is the show hilarious, but it's actually smarter than it appears at first glance and a very worthy addition to an excellent DVD collection.
The show essentially lampoons the teen drama format by making every episode revolve around some important issue in high school life, and relentlessly satirizes the stereotypes of these types of shows. Episodes deal with issues such as underage drinking, drugs, prom, and death, all the while poking fun at these topics as well as the way in which the typical teen drama deals with them.
The main characters (Abe, Joan, Ghandi, Cleo, and JFK) all fall into standard high school cliché's, and their individual personalities are fleshed out well enough that they become easy to identify with. The interaction of these contrasting personalities is a critical source for much of the show's humor, and the formula never fails to please.
The show features an industry-standard love triangle (one best friend in love with other, other best friend in love with popular guy/girl) which helps drive the plot to an extent. This aspect of the show, while still used as a means to take shots at love triangles, is taken more seriously by the writers, and has consequently managed to melt a lot of hearts(my own included).
All in all, a truly great show. I encourage everyone who enjoys it to buy the first season DVD asap and watch it whenever it is on TV (hopefully, with a lot of luck, the DVD sales and TV ratings may be able to pull it out of hiatus). Signing the petition wouldn't hurt either.
But HEY, this is a TEENAGE show! Irreverence is about the ONLY thing that makes that age, well, cool.
And if mature audiences can't deal with poking a bit of harmless fun at the personalities of HISTORICAL figures, not even their actions - that speaks a ton about the maturity of our adult populace. No wonder we spend our times nose deep in gossip columns and libel suits.
Stop being coddled by political correctness and imposing it on everyone as THE right way of doing things. Go Clone High!
I'd rate it ten, but that bittersweet ending just breaks my heart every time. Clone High, we hardly knew ye.