The Looney Tunes Show: Adieu at 52

It looks like Bugs, Daffy, Porky and company will get to chillax on the beach for a little while longer. According to Supervising Producer Tony Cervone, The Looney Tunes Show has ceased production. There isn’t going to be a third season of the show. The remaining episodes will begin airing on April 23rd, but after these have been burned through, TLTS will not be making any more episodes. It’s done.
“So, you’re saying I won’t be joining the cast in season 3?! But I had a contract!!”
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‘Fraid not. According to Jessica Borutski, Petunia will appear on the show in one of the upcoming remaining season 2 eps, but those who were waiting to see Porky finally get a full-time girlfriend and Petunia join the cast as a full-time regular will have to settle for fan fiction.

Let’s get our terminology straight: This isn’t a cancellation, because Warner Bros. never had any plans for TLTS to go beyond 52 episodes. According to Cervone, the idea was for the show to keep the Looney Tunes characters in peoples’ minds, but it was only supposed to run for 52 episodes and that would be it. 52 seems to be the magic number for Cartoon Network/WB original series: 52 episodes is roughly Cartoon Network’s equivalent to 4 TV seasons (13 x 4 = 52) and 52 eps is considered by CN to be a sufficient amount for a series to run daily (although it’s worth mentioning that TLTS as well as Scooby-Doo: Mystery Inc., also produced by WB, have started airing daily before reaching 52 episodes), and the late Kids’ WB! toon Tom & Jerry Tales currently airs daily on CN, even though it only made 26 episodes). Basically, all of the current WB-produced CN shows are wrapping up, save for MAD (and that’s likely to get the kibosh by the end of this year), with new WB toons such as Beware the Batman, Teen Titans GO! and the upcoming Tom & Jerry Show slated to run after they’re gone. (It’s also pretty much a given that there will be a new Scooby-Doo series on the horizon, since Scooby is so popular and enduring that he’s harder to kill than crabgrass.)

My feelings on this? I’m more reflective than anything else. Yeah, it kind of sucks that there won’t be anymore LTS episodes, but in retrospect, I have to admit something: I’m one of the biggest Looney Tunes fans there is, but I didn’t love The Looney Tunes Show.

daffy-duck

“WHAT?!!?? Blas-pheemer! Eggth Benedict Arnold! Thtone the heretic, I thay! Rack ‘im over hot coalth!!!”
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Now, don’t get me wrong: I liked the show. I just didn’t love it. I want to love a Looney Tunes show again.
Supervising producers Cervone and Spike Brandt have stated that the reason they didn’t try to flat-out copy or even directly emulate the shorts formula or style is because they didn’t think they could live up to it, and while I both understand and respect that, at the same time I have to confess that while TLTS did indeed have some funny moments and was an ambitious undertaking, overall the more laid-back style of TLTS just didn’t work, and it didn’t resonate well with LT purists, though kids seemed to enjoy it. Forgive how jerky this is going to sound (it already sounded jerky in my head) but if nothing else, TLTS can be used as a textbook example of what works and what doesn’t work:
  • Putting the characters together in a single setting = works
  • Having them emulate the Seinfeldian sitcom style = doesn’t work so well
  • Having skits (including CGI skits) and musical bits between the stories = works
  • Sparse background music and little to no adherence to squash-and-stretch physics = not so much
  • Making Bugs and Daffy friends instead of rivals/enemies = works
  • Making Bugs a stiff straight man and Daffy an oblivious idiot/jerkbag = doesn’t work so well
And then there’s Lola. Wow. I can’t think of a more polarizing cartoon character in recent memory than this show’s version of Lola Bunny, except maybe Scrappy-Doo. Brandt and Cervone claim to have never seen Space Jam and therefore had no exposure to the shoehorned in, Mary Sue version of Lola and wanted to do their own take on her, and to their credit, TLTS’ Lola was indeed loony, but oh, the hate she received from viewers. I’ve heard her called everything from a stereotypical ditz to an offensive female throwback and a stalker. Now, I didn’t hate TLTS Lola, but maybe it wouldn’t hurt if in any future projects the writers made her a little less spacey, perhaps they could meet somewhere in the middle with Lola: not quite the paragon of Girl Power perfection, but not quite the crazy birdbrain either, sort of a happy medium between the 2.
Right now, there aren’t any new Looney Tunes TV projects in the works, but if the upcoming LT ‘reboot’ movie (assuming that’s still happening; I haven’t heard any recent updates on that) does well, a new LT show is sure to follow. Hopefully, whoever’s in charge of said series will take what happened with TLTS into account and this will help them create a show which pleases the vast majority and hardcore LT fans like myself will actually love, not just like.
Also, please continue to use Tina Russo. Tina’s awesome.
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3 Comments

  1. Lola Bunny? Ugh! She's the least looney character that appeared in Looney Tunes and the worst thing that could happen to Bugs Bunny, ever. She's changing his personality in an unacceptable way! I'd really be happy if they removed her from the cast for good. Goodbye Lola, I hope to never see you again!

    If Bugs Bunny has to have some female counterpart, why don't bring back Honey Bunny (preferably in some less Bugs-like version, I think comic version of her would be the best) or Daisy Lou? They both have established personalities, they are looney in their own way, and they have some relatively big fanbases.

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  2. Replacing Lola with Honey Bunny would be quite impossible, considering that Lola IS Honey Bunny, or more accurately, the latter evolved from the former.

    The story goes that Honey Bunny was originally slated to appear in Space Jam, but the producers took one look at Honey's design and felt that she just looked like Bugs in drag; after several revisions the character was remodeled and re-christened as Lola.

    And Daisy Lou? That character only appeared in a single short, plus design-wise, it would be the same issue that Honey had: she just looked like Bugs in drag.

    Speaking of Space Jam: Lola detractors can say what they want about TLTS' take on the character, but at least that version of Lola HAD a character. SJ's Lola was nothing but a annoyingly perfect and unfunny Mary Sue and a furry fetishist's wet dream. TLTS Lola is at least worthy of the moniker LOONEY Tune.

    And Daisy Lou has a “relatively big fanbase”? Gee, I wish I had some bread, so all this baloney wouldn’t be going to waste. I get that some folks don’t like Loony Lola, but geez, do you really dislike this show’s take on the character so much that have to make shit up in your head and lie to yourself, creating some alternate reality which doesn’t exist?

    There's another thing TLTS haters tend to forget: that the show was aimed at KIDS, and kids by and large love silly characters. They eat them up. Witness the success of similarly silly characters such as SpongeBob Squarepants. The scatterbrained Lola may not have appealed to you, but she was popular with the kids whom the show was geared toward, and in the end, that's what matters. So I think it's a safe assumption that Lola won't be leaving the LT franchise anytime soon.

    I honestly don't get all of the TLTS Lola hate, and I really don’t get all the love that Space Jam Lola receives. Personally, I’d rather have a motor-mouthed scatterbrain in my cartoon comedy than some bland “I don’t need no man/I can do it better than the boys/You Go, Girl!” token-ish cipher set up by some boardroom committee to embody some superficial definition of Girl Power any day of the week.

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  3. I guess that I'm in the minority, since I actually like TLTS' take on Lola and have no desire to see the character get revised or be removed. I honestly don’t understand why some fans have/had a problem with a Looney Tunes character being, well…loony! The biggest problem with Space Jam’s version of Lola is…SHE WASN’T FUNNY! Looney Tunes has no use for an unfunny character.

    And Daisy Lou has an established personality? Huh? No, she doesn’t. The character only appeared in a single short (“Hare Splitter”, 1948, Directed by Friz Freleng) which she was barely in. What was Daisy Lou’s personality other than ‘girlfriend’? Heck, Millicent Rabbit (from “Rabbit Romeo”) has more of an established personality than Daisy Lou. And Daisy Lou is “loony in her own way”? Were we watching the same cartoon? Daisy Lou was only on screen for the last 2 minutes of “Hare Splitter” and all she did was react to stuff that happened. The ending was the only thing she did that was even remotely loony.

    And Daisy Lou has a “relatively big fan base”? Really? I’m a Looney Tunes nerd and this is the first that I’ve heard of such. I fail to see how a secondary love interest character with no personality who wasn't even a prominent player in the 1 and only short that she appeared in would be an improvement over Lola. How long are your arms? Because that’s one heck of a reach that you’re attempting!

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