Space Dandy: A Comedy of Errors
Space Dandy is one of the dumbest and most offensive things I have seen in a while. The show follows Space Dandy, an Elvis/Bond wannabe, as he embarks on outer space hi-jinks with a robot companion and alien cat tag-along. He refers to himself as an alien hunter, but really Dandy is an alien explorer attempting to discover unknown alien species across the galaxy.
The show tries to infuse satirical commentary but fails miserably. It's just not that funny! A lot of mugging for the camera, poor dialogue and wildly chaotic scenes that have no pay off. Space Dandy wants to be a part of the joke but really it’s just a joke. The first ten minutes of the episode sets up a subplot, which appears to be a possible recurring setting, of a restaurant chain in space called Boobies, or "breastaurants". The feminist in me finds this despicable and demoralizing. Don’t get me wrong—I love the restaurant Hooters, but there is a difference between capitalizing on a gag with irony and just exploitation.
While there is room here to explore the Boobies gag/ subplot in additional episodes, it comes off so forced and juvenile in this debut that one could be rightfully doubtful that there will ever be anything clever within this locale. That there are far stronger animated shows from Regular Show to Archer that can deliver juvenile fun with pathos...Space Dandy simply lacks any of that special touch that would make me take this seriously.
One bright spot: I was intrigued by what appears to be the villain of the show named Dr. Gero. He reminds me of Shredder meets Lord Zedd meets Louis XVI. I love villains that just like to watch the hero and make moves from afar. Let other people and things do the hard work and wreck havoc. The payoff is always better when it’s built up.
Actually, two bright spots--the second is about the designs. For a show about an alien explorer, I have never seen so many different depictions of creatures. The art used for the aliens is creative and unusual. It seems the creator, Shinichiro Watanabe (also the creator of the legendary, Cowboy Bebop), has a different artist create each individual alien seen. I applaud any creator and/or artist that allows a melting pot of creativity within projects. He succeeded in capturing and showcasing the diversity among aliens and all the possibilities, especially when it seems most aliens depicted in media nowadays tend to look like Star Wars rip-offs.
I will not be tuning in for the next episode of Space Dandy. The overtly unfunny, gratuitous nature of the show is just not my cup of tea. Personally, I would recommend (the far-superior, appropriately lewd) Archer if looking for an adult animated show.
About Kasey Michael
Kasey is a supporter, lover, and contributor to the arts. Born and raised in Raleigh, NC, she graduated from NC State University with a BA in Film Studies and a BA in Law & Justice. Kasey has worked on a few Film/TV projects since graduating and seek out any creative outlet. Kasey has joined MyFutprint as an Editor/ Special Projects Coordinator.