Sunday, April 30, 2017

Clerks (2000–2001)

It took me a while to see the original Clerks, but I did watch it and I liked it very much.  While looking through DVD sets of TV series, I came across the animated series, which I missed when it first aired.  It’s no wonder considering that there were only six episodes.  Since it was under $10, I decided to buy it.

For those that never saw the movie, it was about two clerks.  (One works at a convenience store and the other at a video store next door.)  They have to deal with a stream of annoying customers.  The primary difference is the format.  The original was a live-action black-and-white movie.  Here, it’s animated, but in color.  The style is thick lines to differentiate the characters and solid colors within.

All of the main characters return.  You have Dante running the Quick Stop, Randal running the video store and Jay and Silent Bob popping in to bother them.  Most episodes start with Dante being called in to open the store, much like in the movie.

Each episode has something different.  In the first, Dante and Randal have to worry about a super store (The Quicker Stop) opening across the street.  They have to take it out to save their jobs.  The second seems to poke fun at clip episodes, considering that it only references itself and the previous episode.

Each episode also has an introduction by Jay and Silent Bob from their palatial estates that they bought with the proceeds from the Clerks movie.  You also get a “previous” and “next time” clip that’s really just a quick joke.  (In one instance, it’s just simple test patterns.)

Each episode is about 21 minutes.  The episodes seem a bit rushed at times, especially the fifth episode, which parodies The Last Starfighter, The Bad News Bears and a few other things.  It tries to put too much into one episode and jumps around a lot.

Also, the movie had a lot more leeway in terms of material and style.  Jay and Silent Bob go from dealing drugs to dealing fireworks.  Also, the characters aren’t allowed to curse.  (Jay and Silent Bob use one of the episode’s introductions to vent.)  They do try to push the envelope (or push buttons) on several occasions.  In one episode, they have lesbians, all voiced by men.  The movie was toned down in certain areas, but tried to make up for it in other areas.  It wasn’t really as funny.

I don’t usually go for the special features, especially considering that there was a DVD-ROM section to the discs.  (I don’t like installing stuff on my computer.)  The one thing I did check out briefly was the animatics, which are just sketches based on the episodes  It wasn’t that interesting since I had just watched the episode.

I also don’t recommend watching the episodes to the end of the credits.  When I did on the first episode, my DVD player froze.  I had to turn off the DVD player and turn it back on to get the DVD back out.  When I tried to watch all of the episodes on the second disc, the same thing happened at the end of the fourth episode.  I don’t know if this had to do with the DVD-ROM or if it was just some sort of fluke.

A lot of people seemed to like the TV series from what I can see, but I really didn’t like it so much.  I wouldn’t recommend buying it.  Renting it, maybe.  If you can catch the episodes on TV, you might want to try catching it.  You might not get the benefit of the introductions, but if you can catch one episode, you can see if it’s worth renting. 

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