It’s not often that a new kids’ TV show has such a positive reception from children, parents and critics alike. However, The Amazing World of Gumball has done just that. In its five year lifetime it has garnered an 8.1 rating on IMDb, strong critical reviews from newspapers and magazines like Variety, Wired, Entertainment Weekly and The Daily Mail.
The show follows 12-year-old cat Gumball Watterson (yes, a cat: you’re probably already getting an idea of what the show is like) who is at school in Elmore, a fictional town inhabited by everything from a Tyrannosaurus Rex to a Santa Claus voiced by Brian Blessed.
“There’s plenty of stuff that doesn’t exist… The Tooth Fairy, Big Foot… Switzerland” is the kind of humour there for parents as well as children. The whole thing is surreal and ridiculous, perfect for kids, but there is enough ironic humour in there for older viewers too, which explains its strong ratings. In the same way the Adventuretime has cemented its place among TV giants by having a seemingly innocent cartoon format with irony and darkness interwoven in, the show appeals to all ages through its multi-faceted approach to cartoon television.
Gumball lives with his adoptive goldfish brother Darwin, and they get up to all sorts of mess in the town together, interacting with all types of strange and hilarious characters. A creation of Ben Bocquelet, he apparently crafted them based on characters that were rejected from his previous TV exploits.
One thing that stands out immediately upon watching the show is the lack of unity among artistic styles. Some are CGI, some are live action, some are stop-motion and some are traditional cartoon animation. It makes for a bizarre and interesting viewing experience.
And the most recent season began at the beginning of September, so fans of the show can breathe easy once again as they tune in to Cartoon Network each week for new episodes. The network is renowned for its classic cartoons for kids and teenagers, but often adults find themselves tuning in, even when it isn’t just to watch it along with their kids.
The show pokes fun at cultural trends and norms present in the modern world, and touches on lots of different areas with its satirical and ironic humour. Songs about what you should do as a man (eat meat, hammer walls etc) and a fantastic scene in the third season where the characters find themselves in ‘The Void’, an area where the universe’s mistakes reside. Head over to the network’s channel to catch up on past episodes if you want to see what we mean!
The show is developed by Cartoon Network Development Studio Europe that are based in London. It is the sister arm of the main site in California, and so you have both sides of the Atlantic working on the show. Probably explains why a British TV legend like Bryan Blessed has cameo appearances as Santa.
If you’ve been watching the current season, how do you think it is holding up compared to previous ones? Is it the kind of show that just gets better and better? It’s clear that his show has the backing of both critic, consumer and channel, and so its renewal for a sixth season is probably not in doubt either.
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