First Impressions of Pickle and Peanut
Pickle and Peanut is a currently airing show on the Disney ‘XD’ channel about two “Small town teenage boys and best friends Pickle and Peanut” created by Noah Z. Jones and developed by Joel Trussel. Each episode is 11 minutes in length and broadcast in pairs, so nothing out of the ordinary there, and for the purposes of this I sat through the first 4 episodes, ‘Greg’, ‘Gramma Jail’, ‘Cart Rustlers’ and ‘Swim lessons’.
I’m going to get this out of the way very quickly (although I can guarantee i’ll return to this notion later on) Pickle and Peanut desperately wants to be Regular Show. This is clear from the very first moments of the opening episode as the two leads, Pickle and Peanut are slacking off of work and messing around.. The setting, mirrors REgular Shows as well as it is a vague representation of a normal world but with anthropomorphised characters in the form of walking food and animals. The show also seems to emulate the same story trends of setting up standard characters and putting them in very out of the ordinary situations. But it does a terrible job at this.
This is a bad cartoon, a very very bad cartoon, and it is for several reasons and it took all of about 2 seconds into the first episode before warning bells went off in my head and the first consistent issue rears its hideous peanutty head. The show lacks any form of focus and the opening theme displays this point wonderfully. It is one of the worst things I have ever heard with the visuals to match (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRlKrlB0Pq8) go ahead and listen to it (a fun exercise I found was to play just the audio and then show the visuals to accompany it)The lyrics are entirely the things Pickle and PEanut like set to a beat and just comes off as trying to hard to grab a young audience. The phrase “Hip to the kids” came to mind as soon as I saw this.
The next massive problem with it is that I find Pickle and Peanut interchangeable. Over the course of four episodes I learnt the following things about them, presented in a handy table:
|Is a pickle||They Rap/beatbox||Is a peanut|
|Is nicer||The ideas one|
Pickle seems to be presented as the stupider one in the partnership, not knowing how to swim and being distracted easily when guarding a shopping cart. Peanut is also just as reliable, seen though falling asleep when he was supposed to be watching the shopping carts. My point here being that a good dynamic duo relies upon the two leads having chemistry together often created through their differences. The only difference I can garner between these two characters is there I.Q, other than that they seem almost identical and their lines could easily be interchanged with little impact to their characterisations.
The other giant issue with this cartoon is that it doesn’t know when to stop a joke. A consistent thing seen throughout the first 4 episodes is single word narration that appears on the screen to match with various buzzwords coupled with slow motion. I presume it’s supposed to be amusing but more comes off as distracted and stale after the second or third use. Partly because it is used far more than once in each episode.
I suppose i should atleast try to find a positive in this mess though……
Hm…. There’s Wayne, Waynes great. A side character seen in the 4th episode who is a young boy taking part in the swimming lesson with Pickle and Peanut. His parents leave him at the pool every summer to give themselves time off. Looking like something out of a tim Burton illustration and never blinking, his appearances on screen are emphasised with a narrow close up of his giant’s eyes. For some absurd reason i found this funny enough to laugh out loud at the first 4 or so times it happened…… although then they kept doing it, bearing in mind these episodes are 11 minutes long i thing it becomes clear this cartoon feels the need to use the same punch line to pad out it’s run time and I’m already back to grumbling about this show……
Hm, another good point…..
It gave Brad Breeck more money, so i guess that’s good, although that fact does tear me up inside due to his previous work on Gravity Falls, We Bare Bears and Star vs the forces of evil (all of which i will undoubtedly discuss in a later post), having compused Openings of all and in the case of we Bare Bears a large chunk of the score all of which are great, making this opening an odd decision and a disappointment on his record.
So in conclusion, don’t watch this show, watch regular show instead. It does everything this show tried to do but actually succeeded at it thanks to great characters and good writing. It’s an incredibly enjoyable watch from the very beginning and I can’t think of any part in its 7 season run (with an 8th on the way) that struck me as showing fatigue via a drop in quality, if anything it improves with age as these consistent characters grow and form meaningful and positive relationships in there little soap opera of a life.
And now if you excuse me I need to go watch the season premier of Star vs the Forces of Evil to remind myself that disney’s animated television excursions have not died with the end of Gravity Falls.