Sometimes I get the feeling that J.G. Quintel’s hit animated comedy-sitcom Regular Show isn’t getting its proper due. Don’t get me wrong, it’s very successful and is part of Cartoon Network’s current flock of headliners right alongside Adventure Time and The Amazing World of Gumball. But it’s the comparison that it invites that make people fail to appreciate Regular Show on its own true merits.
In the current state of kids’ programming, where shows are trying to emulate more mature storytelling by tackling several intertwining subplots (some of them hinting at topics that kids wouldn’t get yet) in a single episode, Regular Show starts to betray its name, because it’s far from being Regular.
Cartoon Network’s recent release of Regular Show: The Complete First and Second Seasons on Blu-Ray (and DVD!) lets you see that J.G. Quintel has masterfully woven episodes that are wound tightly upon a single plot thread. That’s not to say that there’s no complexity involved – there are nooks and crannies to every single episode, and the characters drop as much references as you would expect from a modern comedy show (for instance, Rigby doing a kame-hame-wave.) but they are mere periphery and do not distract at all from the main yarn. In a way, Regular Show is a modern update on the old 80s comedy cartoons where status quo is set at the start of the episode, followed by chaos, and an ending that reaffirms the status quo. I’m not implying that Regular Show is better than Adventure Time and the Amazing World of Gumball, because “better” is subjective. What I’m getting at is that the show occupies its own well-deserved place in the triumvirate.