Pin It
TV shows on DVD
   

Napoleon Dynamite: Is the TV Series Worth Watching?

Napoleon Dynamite  tv seriesIt’s been nearly eight years since Napoleon Dynamite hit the big-screen. The characters were somewhat cartoonish but were fans of the live-action cult classic really looking for an animated TV series sequel?

Napoleon Dynamite follows the adventures of an awkward teenager (Jon Heder) and his family and friends in a small-town in rural Idaho. The original castmembers reprising their roles from the film include Heder, Aaron Ruell, Efren Ramirez, Tina Majorino, Sandy Martin, Jon Gries and Diedrich Bader.

Is this new TV series worth your time? Here’s what the critics are saying:

LA Times: “It appears to be aimed squarely at a tween and early teen audience, making it a rare bird among ‘grown-up’ animated shows. South Park, Family Guy and even The Simpsons have forced parents, already burdened by the dilemmas of social media, to agonize over when their kids are ready to watch these particular cartoons, but Napoleon Dynamite, like its feature film predecessor, is surprisingly family friendly. And that’s something anyway.”

NY Daily News: “Whether Napoleon will work as a weekly animated series may depend on how well a teenager fits in with the other oddballs who populate Fox’s Sunday-night animation bloc.”

NY Times: “Over all, though, Sunday night’s episodes are neither here nor there, lacking the oddball singularity of the movie while not yet achieving the satirical bite that would make the TV show interesting. It might have seemed as if a cult movie with cartoonish characters would lend itself to a cartoon, but it’s clearly not as simple as that.”

SF Chronicle: “The writing is a big problem. It’s just not funny, and that may be because audiences could see the real Jon Heder’s expressionless face as he delivered the preposterous dialogue in an unwavering monotone. A two-dimensional Heder isn’t as entertaining. The TV version may do well enough, but if so, it will be largely undeserved. The Hesses can tinker with the show, of course, but unless they’re willing to see the folly of transferring the film concept directly to TV, Napoleon is unlikely to get much better. As it is, Napoleon’s conceptual problem is not too far removed from the egregious mistake of turning the animated Scooby Doo into a live-action feature a decade ago. Freddie Prinze Jr.’s career has never been the same since.”

Chicago Sun Times: “I’ve already established that I’m not a big fan of the film, for which my one-word review would be: meh. I’m even less a fan of the TV series. At least with the movie, the actors relayed a vulnerability that sparked occasional empathy. That pathos got lost in the transition from live action to animation. So did much of the humor — and there wasn’t a lot of that to go around in the first place.”

Newsday: “Despite flashes of the original charm, this series will disappoint some fans of the original. The movie was funny because it was plausible; this cartoon is largely not funny because it is implausible. In spots, it’s been turned into an antic Saturday morning cartoon. A shame.”

USA Today: “Despite the participation of the movie’s creators and the voices of the original cast, tonight’s vulgarized premiere removes much of what made the film special and leaves just another second-rate Fox cartoon. But the second episode at 9:30 ET/PT is a sweeter, funnier improvement. We’ll have to wait and see which represents the show’s actual direction.”

What do you think? Will you be tuning in? If you’ve already watched Napoleon Dynamite TV series, will you watch again? Do you think it will get big ratings or end up cancelled?

 

Newer and/or Related Articles

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Tom March 28, 2012 at 5:08 pm

This show is awesome. It is so refreshing to be able to watch a cartoon with my 8 year old daughter where I don’t have to cringe every 30 seconds trying to explain the last sexual innuendo. Napoleon is our show. We constantly crack each other up with the latest catch phrase. We both absolutely love the show, and have watched each episode multiple times.

Please keep Napoleon on the air, unless you’re a freakin idiot! Gosh!

Reply

jj March 19, 2012 at 4:54 am

WTF!!!???
I WATCHED EVERY EPISODE AND AM STILL WAITING TO CHUCKLE.
LOVED THE FIRST HALF OF THE MOVIE AND WAS STOKED FOR A CARTOON THAT I THOUGHT WAS A BRILLIANT IDEA FOR A GOOD STONER CARTOON…..
THE WRITING IS HORRIBLE!!! IT IS LIKE THE WHOLE SHOW IS WRITTEN BACKWARDS TO SET UP REALLY WEAK JOKES ONLY A 5 YEAR OLD COULD LOVE. THIS IS THE PROBLEM WHEN YOU TRY TO KEEP THINGS IN THE FAMILY WHEN THERE IS NO TALENT THERE. WHAT A GREAT IDEA TO BRING THE WHOLE CAST BACK! THIS IS DULL CARTOON CHANNEL FILLER AT BEST. GO BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD AND TRY AGAIN AFTER GETTING NEW WRITERS AND IDEAS.

Reply

rotten24314 March 10, 2012 at 4:22 pm

I am a big fan of the movie and actually thought the cartoon was pretty good. Its not as funny as the movie but they do capture the characters pretty spot on. Can never get too much uncle rico. It cant be any worse than the cleveland show!

Reply

Fargin Bastiges March 4, 2012 at 7:55 pm

Abso-frickin-posilutely love the show!

Reply

Chris and mom March 4, 2012 at 5:52 pm

My son is 11 and I am 42….. We really enjoy it…I hope they don’t cancel

Reply

fiddlyedadaiediei March 4, 2012 at 4:56 pm

Hope its cancelled. Doesn’t deserve another minute of air time.

Reply

Mom February 26, 2012 at 10:56 am

I love the show! They did such a great job of capturing the subtle nuances of the movie into a cartoon… my 9 year old LOVES it!

Reply

AMoney January 29, 2012 at 7:17 pm

Terrible. Absolutely f*cking terrible.

Reply

Anonymous January 20, 2012 at 9:17 pm

IT WAS F**ING HILARIOUS

Reply

Anonymous January 17, 2012 at 6:58 pm

watched it–same as old movie liked it

Reply

Vinnie January 17, 2012 at 11:28 am

Liked the movie. Hated the TV show.

Reply

Wick January 16, 2012 at 4:24 pm

Such a stupid show, the movie was the biggest piece of shit I ever tried to watch, the show is even worse. Cancel fox, NOW.

Reply

Why January 16, 2012 at 3:11 pm

Watched it. Would rather poke my eye out with a fork than see any more.

Reply

Leave a Comment