Cartoon Country: Flipping the Script – Chowder
It’s script-flipping time again! Today the show we’ll be giving the business to is C.H. Greenblatt’s Chowder.
How would I fix/improve/mutate Chowder? Let’s start with the title character….
I’d make the titular character a human, specifically a girl human. There’s no reason for the character to be an anthro, and boy-centric shows are all over the tube.
I’d also infuse the lead character with a touch more gray matter. As an apprentice chef, she shouldn’t be perfect, she should still be a touch scatterbrained and bumble from time to time, but she wouldn’t be portrayed as Too Stupid to Live. For that matter, there’s also no real reason for her to be an orphan, let’s make her guardians Mung Daal and Truffles her actual parents. Speaking of…
- Only the central characters who work at the catering company would be named after foods, sweets, desserts and dishes, not everybody in the entire freaking universe. That was just overkill.
- Greenblatt’s original idea was for the show to be about a sorcerer’s apprentice; while I do like that idea, I also like the culinary shtick too and don’t want to lose that, so I’d combine the 2 (go with me on this): in this universe artists, chefs and other creative/talented types would function as the wizards and mages of this world, with their particular crafts, skills and talents serving as their “magic”. These talents would also enable these gifted individuals to perform some light magic, like telekinesis, matter transformation, etc. Odd, but I think it could work.
- There would be a greater emphasis on the lead characters’ filling food orders, cooking, preparing recipes and hunting/searching for ingredients. Not that that has to be dominating force of each and every episode, but it is the principal premise of the show, and I feel it was abandoned far too soon and too greatly in the later episodes.
- I’d do away with the all of the other apprentice characters on the show. If every kid in Marzipan City is somebody’s apprentice, then there’s nothing special about Chowder.
- Endive would still be around, but I’d make her rivalry with Mung less personal and make her more of a Carl from Aqua Teen Hunger Force or Squidward Tentacles type character: a pompous jerk who regularly receives her come-uppance. And I’d definitely tone down her man-hungry libido.
- Lose Panini. She could have been a decent girl character had the writers not opted to crank her up to full-blown one-dimensional stalker mode. Besides, with the Chowder character now being a girl, there’s no need for her character.
- I’d keep Gazpacho around with no real changes made to him, except I’d keep his appearances brief and only use him when he’s called for. I wouldn’t shamelessly shoehorn the character into every single episode.
- I’d greatly tone down on the breaking-the-4th-wall jokes and meta references. I’m generally not a fan of excessive 4th wall breaking because it kills tension if the characters know what’s going to happen, thus ruining any surprise. It also breaks suspension of disbelief by calling attention to the fact that it’s just a cartoon/work of fiction and therefore the audience can’t or shouldn’t get emotionally involved with anything that’s happening.
- Lose Reuben. I’m a fan of Paul Reubens, but I never liked Reuben.
Finally, what about Shnitzel?
I wouldn’t change anything about him. Shnitzel’s fine the way he is. No need to fix something that isn’t broken.
The rock monster stays in the picture!