Sunday, October 30, 2011

They Solved My Problem of Needing Something to Write About

A show being strange for the sake of being strange is far from something new to me. I grew up watching a somewhat confusing show called MXC: Most Extreme Elimination Challenge, which operated under the baffling premise of being a randomly redubbed Japanese game show. Two Japanese men wearing fake samurai ponytail wigs watched and made bad jokes as other Japanese people (subdivided into two random 'teams,' such as hairdressers and cab drivers) attempted to clear various challenges and obstacle courses while avoiding embarrassing themselves/running into guys in ridiculous costumes. I also watched a lot of Ed, Edd n Eddy. That couldn't have helped.

That's why I think of myself as being qualified to say that a lot of new cartoons are fucking insane. I'm not even kidding. Regular Show, halfway through any given episode, will suddenly take the plot in a direction completely opposite of any expectations. Adventure Time is entirely based on the premise of being set in a bewildering post-apocalyptic Earth (I'm not the only one who's catching those subtle hints, right?), I'm not even sure what Secret Mountain Fort Awesome is about, and The Amazing World of Gumball is populated by at least eighteen different art styles.

Then there's a show called The Problem Solverz.

The Problem Solverz, spelled with a Z, makes the opposite of sense.  Every time a new episode of The Problem Solverz is scripted, a physicist's head implodes. Imagine, if you will, a world of extremely bright colors that were picked to clash at the exact level of infuripoints calculated to make your eyes hate you but not enough to do anything about it. Nothing has any real outline to speak of, so the colors are free to crash into each other. Then, populate it with humans and freakish nightmares, the two categories not necessarily being exclusive to each other. Animate it with Flash, call it The Problem Solverz, and you've got yourself a show called The Problem Solverz.

Okay, I'll admit, I've only really sat down and watched one complete episode, but I figure I've just about seen all of them through just that one, or at least enough to easily identify the Problem Solverz from a distance. I never bothered to remember their real names, so I just refer to them by names I have assigned that are probably better.

 Sorry, I didn't know you wanted to sleep tonight.

Turtleneck appears to function as the Problem Solverz's leader. His only powers appear to be having a garish sweater, a bad haircut, and the most horrifying eyes in the above picture (which is seriously saying something, because holy damn).

Turd is the brute force of the Problem Solverz. He appears to be impulsive and hungry all the time, and on at least two separate occasions ate out of a garbage can in the one episode I've bothered to watch. Also, you never quite notice he has a nose until around halfway through your first episode. I figured I'd point that out now to save you the shock.

Mega Man has creepy sideways closing eyes, sort of like that one alien from the beginning of Men in Black. He's also the team's brains, but is a nervous social train wreck most of the time; I don't blame him. When your eyes close sideways, your have Voldemort's nostrils, and your hand is a limp abomination, it'd be hard to interact with most people.

A recurring character is Tux Dog, who is a large, anthropomorphic dog wearing a tuxedo that appears to harbor some sort of ill will toward Mega Man. I assume that's about as detailed his character gets.

Now, to the episode I've actually seen. A few minutes of Wikipedia research has told me it is a season one (did I mention? There's two completely baffling seasons of this show) episode with the imaginative title of "Magic Clock." Not the Magic Clock, just Magic Clock, which doesn't make a whole lot of sense, since there's only one magic clock. You'd think they'd bother to distinguish.

Anyway, following the opening sequence (which states that some individuals, throughout time, have been destined to solve problems), we see Turtleneck, Turd, and Mega Man walking down a street against a brightly colored building. Turtleneck mentions that they have a problem to solve at the Clock Museum. Okay, other than everything else about the show, there's nothing wrong here. I just did a Google search for "clock museum" and got 5,710,000 results, so at least this one singular event is probable. Turd says something that establishes himself as stupid and impatient. Mega Man flusters. Cut to the Clock Museum, which has a girl wearing colors so bright they probably transcend into ultraviolet milling about aimlessly in front of it. I decided to call her Prostitute since she didn't have any immediate traits other than "miniskirt" and "fishnets," aside, of course, from "oh god the colors."

Prostitute mentions she is a) Mega Man's number one fan, b) the writer of a blog about the Problem Solverz, and c) Mega Man's biggest fan again. She promptly oozes and gushes emotion and adoration all over Mega Man, who responds by making awkward noises that I assume means he has popped a roboboner in his lime green codpiece. 
Fuck me, that last sentence is going to put this in all the wrong Google results.

Turtleneck holds a vote on whether or not they should bring her along. He thinks her writing about their clock adventure would generate good publicity, so he votes yay. Mega Man would vote nay, but is too busy making out of place anime expressions to speak. Turd has been eating out of a garbage can this entire time, so doesn't have much to say. Thus, Prostitute joins their party and they walk into the Clock Museum.

Inside the Clock Museum, the curator explains a magical clock has been stolen. He tells the Problem Solverz that this clock bends the laws of physics by adding an extra thirty seconds to every minute, thus somehow enabling the bearer to work extra fast. I have no fucking idea how that would work. Maybe the clock simply adds thirty extra seconds to the bearer's perspective time? Maybe it creates a localized time field that slows down such that when a minute passes outside, a minute and a half passes outside? Maybe this show just doesn't give a fuck? I don't know.

The Problem Solverz decide to search for clues. In a brazen display of nonsense, Turtleneck grabs a specific clock out of the thousands of other clocks in the museum and declares it a clue. Mega Man analyzes it and declares it belongs to a famous skater. Prostitute swoons over Mega Man and what I assume to be his ability to read someone's name etched on the back of something.
Scene cut to the skate park, where Skater Man is tearing some sick air up on the halfpipe line to the max level or however you say "flying through the air" in skaterese. The Problem Solverz astutely identify the giant glowing Flavor Flav alarm clock as being the magical clock they're looking for. Before they can do anything but point out the obvious, however, a person wearing a cupcake suit appears out of nowhere, punches Skater Man, and runs off with the clock. I wish I was kidding.

Prostitute, who so far had only served to turn Mega Man into a quivering mess of social ineptness, recognizes the cupcake getup from her favorite cupcake store. I wasn't aware there was a need for a store specializing in cupcakes specifically, but who am I to judge?

It's been a while since we've had an image, so have this completely out of context cap.
Jesus, I could write a sonnet about all the things wrong with that picture, and it would be five pages long.

The Problem Solverz and Prostitute arrive at the cupcake factory instead of the cupcake store, which seems to me like an important distinction to make when looking for a magic clock that gives physics the finger. The Problem Solverz find Cupcake anyway, who is using the clock to make cupcakes really quickly. Angry that she will have the clock taken away from her, Cupcake starts throwing cupcakes at the Problem Solverz, maybe hoping one of them had diabetes. Turd, who so far has done nothing but complain about how magic clocks make his head hurt and make remarks at Mega Man's expense, leaps into action, acting as a giant walking garbage disposal, absorbing all the cupcakes thrown at him. Eventually, Cupcake is knocked out, and the Problem Solverz claim the clock, but, in a twist ending that had to be written in because so far they had only used half of the given airtime, Prostitute steals the clock and stops time with it (which is apparently a thing it can do) so she can be creepy and obsessive over Mega Man in a world where they are the only two people that can move.

Just for reference, it was around this point when I noticed Turd had a nose.

In the park, Mega Man escapes from a pleasant picnic with a psychopath long enough to have a one-sided conversation with Tux Dog and hatches a plan to get the clock and succeed at winning the mission, but it requires he get uncomfortably close to Prostitute. Since the episode was rapidly running out of airtime, he bit the bullet and fake proposed to her, intending to use the wedding as an excuse to free Turd and Turtleneck and get the clock back. He does so, but the plan backfires in a way that can only be described as deus ex machina in reverse: Prostitute easily notices Turd's special Clock Smashing Bat and threatens to use one of the clock's other buttons to end the world or something. So what does Mega Man do? Begin rapping. This provides enough of a distraction to steal the clock and hit it with the bat, thus fixing time and spontaneously generating a police car. The police grab Prostitute and take her to prison, but not before she confesses she likes Turd more than Mega Man. Turd, for his credit, just eats out of another garbage can. Turtleneck declares the problem has been solved. End credits roll.

I think it's pretty safe to give The Problem Solverz elephant out of tornado on the scale of unmeasurable insanity. The show is too batshit crazy for its own good, and honestly, I hope it stays that way. Not that I'm probably going to watch it ever again, but I take solace in knowing that such a show exists. It shows that we as a race have reached the stage of enlightenment where we can spin a plot out of pure nonsense. Hell, that means we can't be far off from becoming Chozo or something. And that's the ultimate goal here, right? Because that'd be pretty cool. I've always wanted wings.