Saturday, February 26, 2011


It's amazing the things you can see in cartoons these days. Take the cartoon Superjail! from Cartoon Network's late night Adult Swim for example: it's basically a violent acid trip on crack. On a lost island, a colorful warden in a top hat rules over his fantastic and magical prison where entertainment and impulse overshadow human rights and reason. The following is the pilot episode entitled "Bunny Love" where we get to meet "lovable" characters like Jacknife and Jailbot:

From the first few minutes of watching the show you can imagine what will happen in the following ten episodes. Little changes in the jail from the first episode to last. The show is random and short (episodes have only 15 minutes of airtime) which can be sweet and enjoyable for most of its ADHD consumers, but can be a shortcoming for anyone looking for substance in an animation. Through gratuitous violence, psychedelic imagery, and unapologetic sexuality Superjail! attempts to draw and maintain its audience with humorous 'shock' imagery. In an attempt to stand out from Family Guy and South Park, the creators up'ed the ante by trying to shock without stop, which can be too intense for most viewers.

We can see a few parallels between Superjail! and McCarthy's Blood Meridian, a book with little character development and a detailed description of blood and gore on every other page. The Twins in Superjail! (hyper-intelligent individuals accompanied by iconic techno beats) are agents of chaos who destroy normalcy in the prison each episode to bring about as much anarchy and destruction as possible. As such they are uncannily similar to judge Holden whose mere presence appears to cause individuals to break out into violent rampages. In addition, both the judge and the Twins are capable of some form of teleportation adding to their allegorical nature.

The second season of Juperjail! will be airing on Adult Swim this April. If you are looking for a show with substance look elsewhere. However if you enjoy mindless violence and find juiced-up-and-questionably-female guards hilarious, you will not be disappointed!


  1. Superjail takes psychedelic cartoons to a new level. It actually hurts to watch Superjail because when you look away from the screen the furniture starts to morph. There are no rules in the show, physical or otherwise, which makes the violence less stylized and more random and chaotic. If I inhaled gasoline fumes and wrote a book while listening to a ball bearing factory, the result would be similar to Superjail.

  2. Structurally, an episode of Superjail! definitely bears resemblance to Blood Meridian. People are killed in gruesome ways at wholesale and the whole scene is unfolded as one fluid entity. I think the creators of Superjail! would certainly be able to do the novel justice in film form.

  3. Holy shit, that was wild. I don't think I've ever been entranced by something so tightly. Doctors should prescribe Superjail! instead of tossing ritalin every which way. Actually... probably should take that back; I've never come up with a more stupid idea. I blame the contagious insanity of Superjail!


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