So just about every week over the last year someone tells me about Archer as though it’s the greatest discovery they’ve made since they found out how to not shit themselves. I’ve seen the show and it is pretty funny but seriously everybody, what about Frisky Dingo?
What Is It?:
Frisky Dingo is the predecessor to Archer. It aired on Adult Swim for two seasons before the production company went the way of the dodo. It follows the exploits of the ultimate superhero and the ultimate supervillain and their epic rivalry. The twist is that the roles are reversed. Our supervillian, Killface, is a caring father who just wants to see his world ending dreams come to fruition. He’s also the protagonist. Our hero on the other hand is Xander Crews (a.k.a. Awesome X), a bumbling idiot who uses his murdered parents as an excuse to fly around in a suit and drain money out of their company and is generally an asshole to everybody. His sole desire is to make the company profitable enough that he can continue draining its resources to be a superhero, even though he’s already defeated all of the supervillains (besides Killface) in the city. We get a bunch of side characters as well who round out the cast of the show.
Why is it a “Hidden” Gem?:
Look at the quintessential Adult Swim shows and you see a pattern. Sealab 2021, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Robot Chicken and Venture Bros. are all legacy shows that have been around for years. Frisky Dingo lasted only two seasons when it was ended not by poor ratings but by its production company shutting down. This effectively killed the show before it really had a chance for a major audience to catch on. Now obviously Archer caught on in less time but the major reason for that was its hipster approved cast. Frisky Dingo is entirely comprised of career voice actors, most of which are unknown outside of their stints on other Adult Swim programs.
It’s worth mentioning that in doing a Google search to try and find images for this article most of the results were images for Archer.
Why is it Worth Your Time?:
Frisky Dingo is fucking better than Archer. Yeah I said it. It is by far my favorite show Adult Swim has ever put out, even beating Venture Bros. and Tim & Eric. There isn’t a single episode without a moment or line that left me in stitches, and often there are multiple laugh-gasms in an episode. It’s also inherently more nerd friendly than Archer as the plot allows for multiple pot shots at comic book tropes. Aside from all of that though, it’s the characters that really make Frisky Dingo work. The creators took the time to create some established characters, all with their own unique personalities and memorable lines. This is pretty much expected when it comes to main characters but when some of the most memorable ones are guys who have maybe a minute of total screen time in a season then it ascends to pure brilliance.
Our two main characters, as mentioned above, are Killface and Xander Crews. Killface is a grey, genital-less alien monster thing that happens to be a single father and an overall decent person, aside from his plan to rocket the earth into the sun using his billion dollar Annihilatrix. He’s fairly protective of his son Simon, a shy little alien retard boy who only speaks in mumbles. Simon doesn’t have a mom so instead he relies on Killface’s henchwoman Sinn, a bald woman with a mechanical arm. You wonder why this kid is so fucked up.
On the other side of the coin you’ve got Xander/Awesome X’s team. His main go to guy is Stan, the head of the board of directors of the Crew Corporation. The board consists entirely of cannibalistic clones Stan made of himself that only say “Harumph.” Didn’t I tell you this show was awesome? Xander’s other confidant is his girlfriend Grace Ryan, who he hates and cheats on constantly. So with those two winners as his closest friends he only has his team of robot armored sidekicks, the Xtacles. Here’s where the show gets really awesome. The Xtacles all look the same with absolutely no discernible features to set them apart due to their identical robot costumes and it would be really easy to just make them a dumb, mute mob that caters to Xander Crews’ idiotic whim. Instead the Xtacles are their own character, with their own motivations and the best catchphrase in the entire fucking show (BOOSH!). We even get an Xtacle that gets his own character in Ronnie, a Slavic, rapey dude who loses his pants when Xander thwarts his attempt to make love to his face.
We also get a fuck ton of side characters like Wendell: a trigger happy agent for the Department of Labor, Taqu’il: A rapper who also seems to be the only sane character in the show and Mr. Ford: the old black guy that holds every odd job in the universe at some point in time. These are all minor characters that don’t really show up a whole lot in the first season but holy shit are they memorable. Taqu’il is the most seen of the three and his shit is awesome. That entire Harvey Keitel/Tim Roth car scene from Reservoir Dogs has been completely ruined for me after seeing Taqu’il’s take on it. Also his hit single is called “All That Jizz” and it’s probably my favorite song ever. Wendell’s character seems to be an homage to Chris Penn’s character from True Romance, even completely aping the “This is for Cody” scene verbatim. Last but not least is Mr. Ford, who is my favorite minor character in the film. Everything this dude says is fucking brilliant. In Season 2, when he’s running a presidential campaign he says that all Americans want is “Cold beer, warm pussy and a place to take a shit with a door on it.” I’m pretty sure the Occupy Wall Street movement could get far more supporters if they took up this cause.
In addition to these excellent characters you get some great jabs at pop culture (the CHUD reference is my personal favorite) and some insanely raunchy humor such as accidental blowjobs and “Master Cylinder” which I am trying to work up the courage to go as some Halloween. Basically, this show is almost fucking perfect and the only thing keeping it from being perfect is that, much like a ton of great shows, it ended prematurely and thus left us on a cliffhanger. Unlike Firefly though, there’s no way we’ll ever get a Frisky Dingo movie, but I can hope.