I used to love Brickleberry. It was lowbrow, dirty, aimed exclusively at adults, and made fun of subjects it shouldn’t have made fun of, and yet, I found it delightful. The characters, the attitude… the idea that it could be offensive and funny and actually not have a meaningful message or pretend that it was important was just wonderful. I was a big fan of Drawn Together as well and Brickleberry was, to me at least, the successor to Drawn Together.
Sadly, though, Brickleberry was cancelled and the creative team moved on to produce Netflix’ Paradise PD which is, let’s face it… still Brickleberry. The voice talents are the same, the cast dynamics are mostly the same, and each show has a cute little evil talking animal. It’s like watching Seth MacFarland come up with a new show.
By all accounts, I should love Paradise PD as much as I loved Brickleberry and yet… I don’t.
Let’s get into that later.
Paradise PD follows the misadventures of the Paradise Police Force. The force is headed up by Chief Randall Crawford, the Woody of the group, who is a loud conservative blowhard. His son, Kevin, is a complete screw up with good intentions (this is Steve) joins the force and the two clash over ideologies and both being as dumb as a box of hammers. The Ethel of the group is a violent loose cannon named Gina who is madly in lust with the Connie of the group, an overweight effeminate officer named Dusty. The Denzel of the group is Fitz, only instead of being a drug-using gerontophile, he is a subdued and cowardly guy. Bullet is a dog… and he’s Malloy with literally the same personality. Even the hillbillies from Brickleberry are in this show with different colored hair.
Amazingly, unlike Brickleberry, Paradise PD follows a story arch as the characters try to hunt down The Kingpin, the drug manufacturer who produced Argyle Meth, a drug that is running rampant through the city. There’s a conspiracy, a double-cross, and revelations through the entire series’ run.
Honestly, this show should have been a home run.
Instead, it trips on its own shoelaces and falls flat on its face before it even reaches first base.
What went wrong?
Astonishingly, I think it’s the complete lack of censorship. I’m not a fan of censorship, but, in some cases, I think that network standards are like that friend at the bar when you get drunk who holds you back saying, “Bro, you oughta not do that, bro!”
Such a voice of reason keeps us from going too far and, let’s face it… sometimes being offensive for the sake of being offensive isn’t funny at all. If you want further proof of that, take a look at The Drawn Together Movie: The Movie which was a clusterfudge of nudity, terrible jokes, and tasteless uncensored humor that just made you go numb and bored after fifteen minutes.
I keep thinking of this flash animation I saw a few years ago called “A New Bunny” in which a brand new extreme version of Bugs Bunny is introduced for a new generation. I first watched the video’s censored bleeped out version in which the new Bugs Bunny ranted for five solid minutes about how extreme he is and all of the amazing things he would do. I laughed so hard that I cried.
When I told my friends about this short, I searched it up and found an uncensored version. Hot dog, I thought, this will be amazing.
It was boring and lame.
Somehow, the bleeps made it funnier. Perhaps it was just that more was left up to my imagination, maybe it was the fact that I kept hearing the speech interrupted by shrill bleeps led me to believe I was watching something more salacious that what I actually was… I don’t know.
This is the best analogy I can come up with for Paradise PD. The characters are already derivative of characters we’ve already seen and loved which already makes it feel like I’m watching a carbon copy and the overreliance on full frontal nudity, poop, sex, and drug jokes in place of… you know… actual comedy is incredibly apparent.
Paradise PD isn’t all bad. It does have some terrific zingers and, honestly, I think that the overall arch of the show was pretty surprising and entertaining. I did watch the whole thing, so I wasn’t completely chased away.
But it’s not great… it’s an inferior copy and this becomes more than obvious when the Paradise PD cast goes to Brickleberry for a crossover episode and you find yourself wishing that they could just stay there. It doesn’t help matters when, at the end of the episode, Kevin laments that he doesn’t know if he’ll ever see the Brickleberry cast again and Malloy pipes up with, “I don’t think anyone will ever see us again!”
That gave me a sad.
Paradise PD is unrestrained and completely base humor… one does not enhance the other, unfortunately.