The New Year Name Game

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Hope you’ve all had a good holiday and we wish you all a happy and prosperous new year. We couldn’t wait to kick the tail end of 2021 to the curb and start anew. That said, on to the meat of this post:

No, we’re not ready to fully resume production just yet; we’re still recovering from the holidays and we both are taking a bit of a mental health break, but new stuff is on the way, expect to see new posts and things to start cropping up within the upcoming months.

Jason covered some of this already, but just to keep you folks updated on what’s to come here, some of the site’s recurring segments have either been retired, retooled or renamed slightly. Some examples:

The segment formerly known as TV Special Showdown will now be known as TV Special Tonight!. Jason felt that the previous name sounded too confrontational and no longer fit the format as the segment has over time stopped taking the stance of “We’re gonna tear this crappy TV special a new one!” and has gravitated more towards “Hey, check out this kooky TV special we remember; let’s have fun joking about its’ absurdities!”. (Fun fact: the new name was partially inspired by the song “TV Party Tonight” by Black Flag.)

I’ve recently put the Retro Bin segment on ice, while its’ flip side segment, the Cartoon Couch, will continue under the new moniker The Couch.

“Wow. You must’ve been up all night thinkin’ of that name, huh?”

It’ll be basically be the same segment as before, just with a new name and without its’ negative counterpart. Now you may be asking:

“If the segment is basically the same as before, why not just keep calling it The Cartoon Couch?”

Good question. It’s because I originally created The Cartoon Couch to be the opposite of The Retro Bin (both are lookbacks at animated shows from the past, but while The Retro Bin took a very snarky, critical approach to the shows, the shows spotlighted on The Cartoon Couch we had a particular fondness for, or at least felt that they had potential or were deserving of more praise than they received; as we continued to work on both segments, we found ourselves enjoying doing the positive ones more and we’ve grown really tired of the ‘Angry Review” format), and even though we’re basically retiring The Retro Bin, the 2 segments are inexorably tied to one another — like opposite sides of the same coin –and it just wouldn’t feel right keeping one title without the other.

It would be like having Quisp without Quake; you don’t do that.

So if The Cartoon Couch is going to exist on its’ own from now on, it needs to establish its’ own identity, hence the name change.

The segments known as Ad Nausea and Toon Adjacent will hereinafter be absorbed and combined into a single segment known as Retroville.

Welcome to your memories!

Retroville will take fun deep dives into all kinds of retro kitsch: defunct retailers, restaurants, ad campaigns, product mascots, toys, theme park attractions, you name it. We’ve been looking forward to doing this one for a while; I can’t wait to start busting out with Retroville segments. We’re pop-culture sponges who watched a ton of TV, so this should be fun.

The above were all more or less covered by Jason previously; the following is something we’ve been kicking back and forth for a little while, and I didn’t want to reveal this unless it looked like it could actually happen, and since it might, here it is:

We might, repeat, MIGHT, be parting ways with the name Twinsanity.

I know, I know, we’ve been calling this site Twinsanity for a looong time, and while we do like the name, it’s been kind of a branding headache; almost every time we’re tried to register the name anywhere it seems that someone or something else is already using it. We’re growing tired of constantly having to settle for some different variation or fight someone else for the use of the name, so lately we’ve been considering just taking on a new name altogether.

At least we won’t have to juggle a plethora of alternate choices; if we do change this site’s name, it will be to one of two alternates: Twin Images or The Razzle Dazzle Show.

The former is the name we’ve been calling our comedy ‘troupe’ for years now; we actually saw the name on a record album (remember those?) that we saw one day years ago at W. Bell & Co. (remember that?). The latter is a homage to the Saturday Morning show starring the comedy/musical group the Hudson Brothers, which ran from September 7, 1974 to August 30, 1975.

For no particular reason, here’s the intro (for those who aren’t ancient enough to have seen it):

So yeah, you can probably see what attracted us to that name. It seems to combine fun, flash and pure corn, just like our site.

No need to freak out; if, and again that’s IF, we do decide to change the site’s name, you won’t have to memorize a new URL…at least not right away. Thankfully, WordPress give users the option to either replace the URL entirely or it can redirect viewers to the new one directly from the previous one. If we decide to go with a new name, we’ll enact the latter option and then when everyone’s used to and has had time to store the new URL, we’ll switch it to the new one, and of course if the name of the WordPress site changes, our companion Tumblr page will also take on the new name. Unified branding and all that.

We’re literally going back and forth on this, so we’ll put the question out to you guys. (I’d do it as a poll, but if there’s a way to polls on here, I don’t know what it is.) Would you guys be cool with a name change, or would you rather we stick to Twinsanity? Let us know in the comments (and I shouldn’t have to tell you that spam, hate, insulting or trollish comments will not be tolerated or posted).

Well, that’s all for now. More updates as they happen. Thanks for sticking with us through this strange, strange trip, we look forward to posting here more regularly soon, we’re still planning that big leap to video production, so we’ll keep you informed on that as things go along, again Happy New Year, here’s hoping 2022 is a good one, and keep on boogeying down.

We’re Not Dead!

We know.

We know.

We haven’t posted anything new here in over a month. We’re not happy about it either.

We’ve just been sidelined by the usual real world jackassery, then in addition to that we’re now coming into the holiday season, which is a notoriously bad time to try to do anything creative. We do have some new stuff planned, but we more than likely won’t be posting any of it until after January. If something quick and spontaneous comes up we can probably post that, but the more detailed stuff requires time and attention, which we just don’t have right now in the midst of all of this holiday havoc.

Just to give you guys a little taste of what’s to come, here’s a quick preview of some of what we have in the works:

We’re planning to do 2 “Why We Like…” posts: one for Dreamworks’ Trolls

And one for WB’s Jellystone! (I’ve been wanting to do an updated, more detailed post about this show after that Peeks, now that we’ve actually seen it.)

Both of which likely won’t be ready until after January.

Speaking of Jellystone!, we’re also planning to do a What The Funny for J!; of course a miniseries requires even more time and research, so that probably won’t be ready to post until spring. The earliest I would expect to see this one is late February or early March. (If I want to be super-duper optimistic, maybe late January at the very earliest, but more likely the latter.) The good news is that both of us will be working on this one together, so we should get it done in half the time of past miniseries, and the gaps between the individual entries shouldn’t be as long this time. (And no, we haven’t forgotten about the Regular Show What The Funny or the Animal Jam Pop Dream; we do plan on resuming those miniseries, but we have to be into them in order for them to be good, and neither of us are feeling those right now; the spark for those just isn’t there at the moment.) Also, the miniseries from this point forward will no longer be numbered; when Pop Dream and What The Funny were originally conceived, they were each just going to be one-and-done; when we started doing more and they became semi-recurring segments, we no longer felt it was necessary to number them; we didn’t be doing Pop Dream #35 or What The Funny #46, so from now on the miniseries won’t be numbered. We originally planned to stop numbering them after #10 because we didn’t think either segment would get up to 10, but in the case of each, entry #10 coincided with miniseries we were doing at the time and each still had more entries to go, so we kept the numbering at least until those were complete.

We’re also planning to make more detailed dives into the Cartoonito show Bugs Bunny Builders

And the new WB produced brawler, Multiversus

But of course we can’t do that until after either of them debut, which won’t be until 2022.

We’re also planning to do an opinion piece on Mickey Mouse; we’re going to make the case that Disney should start treating him as a character again and not just a corporate mascot…

Again, we expect this one won’t be ready to post until after the holidays. Once more we’re thinking January at the earliest.

So yeah, there is more stuff coming to this site, as soon as we don’t have these pesky holiday preparations and commitments to distract us. In the meantime, we still make the occasional Tumblr post from time to time, and we’ve recently returned (after a self-imposed 5-year sabbatical) to the Anime Superhero Forums; not posting as frequently as before (this is by choice) but we’re there again.

So we know.

And we’re working on it.

Thank you for your patience.

That’s Warner Brothers!/Unpopular Opinions: This Must Be Bizarro World

“The following am very important and worth everyone’s time.”

Htrea, aka Bizarro World, is an imperfect, messed-up funhouse mirror duplicate of Earth where everything is the opposite of our world: cats chase dogs, jokes make people cry, boy bands play instruments and Bizarro Joker is the only sane person on the planet.

These days I swear I must be living on Bizarro World, because there was a time if someone told me that Bugs Bunny Builders, an upcoming preschool show for Cartoon Network’s Cartoonito block, would be the show that interests me and that I’m curious to see an episode or two of…

And Tiny Toons Looniversity, a new adaptation of the wonderful 90’s series Tiny Toon Adventures, would be the show that I couldn’t give two squats about…

I’d have told them they were crazy.

But here we are.

I don’t get it either. I’ve tried, folks; I’ve legitimately tried to generate some interest in Tiny Toons Looniversity, but it just ain’t happening. I have zero interest in this show. I’m not even slightly curious about it.

The show I am interested in seeing is Bugs Bunny Builders, the Cartoonito show with squashed versions of Bugs, Lola, Daffy, Porky and Tweety as construction workers taking on all the jobs that Bob the Builder rejected.

“Can we build it? Eh, maybe.”

I know TTL is the show I should be psyched for; I was a big fan of Tiny Toons back in the day, but I’m just not. I think I know why, though: One reason is Reboot Fatigue: I’m legit getting tired of all of these studios strip-mining the nostalgia of Millennials. Another reason is one that I brought up in an earlier Talkin’ Nerdy: I simply don’t think we need another Tiny Toons show right now.

Don’t get wrong; as previously stated, I was a fan of the original Tiny Toons. It definitely filled a need: TT premiered in 1990; back then there was almost no Looney Tunes media aside from The Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show on ABC and assorted VHS compilations (anybody remember VHS?), but those were all just collections of the old theatrical shorts, Warner Bros. wasn’t making any new stuff with the Looney Tunes (Space Jam wouldn’t happen for another six years, and this was even before shows like Bugs & Daffy or The ACME Hour — Cartoon Network wouldn’t launch until 1992), so Tiny Toons was as close as we could get to a new Looney Tunes show at the time. It also didn’t hurt that TT was one of the very few syndicated animated series which was all-comedy in an era when most cartoons were action-based or action-comedy hybrids. So I’m not knocking what Tiny Toons contributed to the cultural lexicon.

BUUUT that was then. Today we’re experiencing a kind of Looney Tunes Renaissance: we’ve since gotten no less than 3 new Looney Tunes shows…

Count ’em. Three.

We had a movie this past summer (Space Jam: A New Legacy) and we’ve got 2 new Looney Tunes shows waiting in the wings: the aforementioned Bugs Bunny Builders

…And Tweety Mysteries. Not to mention that Wile E. Coyote VS ACME movie which is supposedly still happening and will be out…sometime.

So with WB doing all this new stuff with the Looney Tunes, what do we need a new Tiny Toons show for? If you own a designer original, what do you need with a knockoff?

Again, I enjoyed Tiny Toons back in the day, but there’s nothing WB can do with Buster, Babs, Plucky, Hamton and Dizzy that they can’t already do with Bugs, Lola, Daffy, Porky and Taz, and when you strip Tiny Toons down to its’ bare bones, Tiny Toons was just a kiddification. I didn’t think we needed a new Animaniacs either (and still don’t), but at least in the case of A!, the characters, while created in the spirit of Looney Tunes, are still original characters with their own shticks. TT, by contrast, did some great shorts, but the characters will always just be junior versions of the Looney Tunes and consequently will always be in their collective shadow.

“You are wrong! The Tiny Toons are original characters! They’re teenagers, unlike the Looney Tunes! There’s all kinds of stuff they can do with them! You’re just a hater!”

Really, what can the producers do on a new Tiny Toons show? A show devoted to part-time jobs? They did that in the first series. Dating and the prom? They did that too. Cramming for exams? They did that. The big football game? Done that. Field trips? Seen that. The only thing they can’t do in this new series is constantly remind us again and again that it’s the 90’s.

Sure, the producers are doing the world a favor by dropping the odious Elmyra from the show, but that’s still not enough to make me interested in it.

By contrast, Bugs Bunny Builders offers things I haven’t seen before.

For one, the cast.

Rather than centering the show on all of the Tunes as a whole, BBB looks like it’ll just be focusing on a crew of 5: Bugs, Porky, Lola, Daffy and Tweety (Tweety being there without Sylvester is kind of weird, though). I’m sure other Looney Tunes characters will make appearances, but I like the minimalist approach the producers are taking with this show.

Second, it looks like we’ll be getting a version of Lola Bunny that’s actually funny. Dare I say, LOONY!

I’m definitely looking forward to that after the comparatively bland version we got in Space Jam: A New Legacy. It’s quite a leap from a “too cool for school” Lola who sounded like Zendaya to a bubbly, silly one who sounds like one of the Chipettes, but I’m not complaining.

But what really sold me on BBB is this:

If this image is any indication, then it looks like Daffy on this show will be his earlier “crazy, darn-fool” version, which again we didn’t get in New Legacy.

Plucky Duck from Tiny Toons was straight-up 1950’s Daffy, which is fine, but I prefer the nuttier 1940’s version overall.

It looks like we may finally be getting the long-awaited Bugs and Crazy Daffy team-up for the first time…on a preschool show! I tell you, we’re in Bizarro World!

To (finally) sum up, I guess I relate to what producer/writer Paul Rugg said when asked why he wouldn’t be participating in the Animaniacs reboot:

“Here’s the thing: I did that. 20 years ago.”

That basically sums up my feelings about these reboots. Tiny Toons was great. Animaniacs was great. But both shows were products of the 90’s that I don’t need to see more of. It’s like Eek! The Cat.

I watched Eek! when it was on, I got a kick out of it, but I don’t need to see Eek! suddenly pop back into existence and find out what he’s been up to these past 20 years. I saw the originals, I’m good.

I haven’t seen 5 of the top tier Looney Tunes try to build stuff with kooky stylized vehicles and equipment, so I’m more inclined to check that out.
“That been very bad post! This will be very unpopular and earn you many, many dislikes!”

-Yeah, I know.

How Comezit? Why is There No Banana Soda?

It’s a question that has boggled the minds of humankind for years:

Why is there no banana soda??

“It’s a PLOT, I tells ya! A CON-spiracy concocted by ‘The Man’ to keep us primates down! ‘They’ want to keep the formula for banana soda under wraps just to keep my species from taking our rightful place as the true rulers of Earth! THE BANANAS ARE NOT WHAT THEY SEEM!!”

“Ah, no, actually. The reason is very simple: the reason that you don’t see banana flavored sodas and juices in wide circulation is simply because a banana doesn’t contain enough liquid to be made into a beverage. Any banana flavored beverage would/will have to be artificially flavored.”

There are, in fact, some banana flavored beverages, all artificially flavored, of course. Among the most notable being Filbert’s Old-Timey Banana Soda…

…And Banana Wave, a soy-based, plant-based banana drink which combines artificial banana flavor with other tantalizing flavors.

Such as Mango, Strawberry and Chocolate.
“Gotta try ’em all!”

There is (or was at one time) even a banana flavored Fanta!

Hope that clears things up.

-Say, while we’ve got you here, Professor, maybe you could fill us in on something semi-related: why is it you never see grape flavored ice cream?

“GRAPE APE! GRAPE APE! That had no relevance to anything, I just didn’t want to be left out of the discussion!”

Oh, that’s a good one. Well, the common belief running around on the internet is that the absence of grape ice cream can be blamed on the Food and Drug Administration, which banned the flavor because of pet-related hazards.

The legend goes that Ben & Jerry’s created a delectable grape ice cream which was then served to a lucky customer who loved it so much that they fed a bit of it to their beloved dog, who immediately died of anthocyanin poisoning. (Anthocyanin is a chemical found in grape skins, and it’s poisonous to dogs and cats.)

After the incident, the FDA ruled that no ice cream manufacturer may sell grape flavored ice cream.

However….

The FDA would never intervene on grape ice cream. After all, chocolate is also poisonous to pets, and you can still buy it practically anywhere.

The actual reason is that when making ice cream at home, you can get fruit like grapes pretty close to a puree, but when you are using fruit as a base on a large scale, that’s when you run into problems. Basically, grapes have high water content, and when manufactured on a large scale, will leave you with unappetizing ice chunks in your ice cream.

It’s also simple supply and demand: there is simply not a huge demand for grape ice cream like there is for, say, chocolate or strawberry or vanilla or even cookie dough.

-So there you have it. Some literal food for thought. That was very informative.

“Say, if you’re interested, I also know a way that Mac Davis’ ‘Baby, Don’t Get Hooked on Me’ can be broken down into an equational algorithm which when applied correctly can control peoples’ minds!”

-Uh, stick a pin in that. Maybe next time.

Player Two Start!: The Jellyfish Pirates

To say that Guilty Gear is a very strange fighting game series with very strange lore and very strange characters with very strange moves in a very strange setting is like pointing out that there’s sand at the beach, but as weird and wacky as the Guilty Gear games are, some of its’ various elements, music, gameplay, moves and characters are odd but also oddly beautiful and fascinating. One such group that falls into the latter category for me are the Jellyfish Pirates.

Smile in the face of danger. Yo-Ho!

This wild ‘n’ woolly band of air pirates (’cause sailing the sea is sooooo last year!), led by the charming and charismatic pirate king Johnny

“Lemme be yer Johnny-bear!”

Traverse the skies in their fish-shaped airship, doing the Robin Hood thing: robbing from the rich, giving to the poor…

…And occasionally stopping for bitchin’ beach barbecues.

There are two interesting things to note about the Jellyfish Pirates: One, that each crew member is named after the month of the year that they joined (that plus the name ‘Jellyfish Pirates’ is very Japanese, and I love it), and two, aside from their captain Johnny…

…Nearly all of them are attractive young women! Rawr-Rawr!

But who are all of these not-so-irate pirates, anyway?

“Jellyfish Roll Call!”

Janus – She’s a cat. A black cat, in a red pirate’s hat, who’s a member of a pirate crew. I told you this game was weird.

Febby – Wears a pink hat and does the laundry.

March – The youngest member of the crew, with pink hair covering one eye. She’s kind of an adorable li’l hot mess: when she first joined the crew, she couldn’t even speak, and loves to see people getting tortured. She goes around barefooted and is rarely seen without her penguin plushie. Her role is Communications, somehow.

April – May’s adoptive sister and best friend. Acts as the ship’s Navigator. Now with glasses!

May – The spunky First Mate and the only Jellyfish Pirate who’s a playable character (technically 1 of 2, but we’ll get to that). She’s young looking and never seems to age, despite the game series spanning across years. Utterly devoted to her captain Johnny, and she’d like to get closer to him in more ways than one. (It’s just a crush. Clean up your minds!) She fights with an anchor and can summon dolphins!

June – Purple hair, pink hat. In charge of Deck Management.

July – Combatant. Rocks an eye-patch. She’s also very well-endowed, wears short-shorts and a top which exposes her stomach. (Bom-Chicka-Wow-Wow!)

Augus – Another Combatant. Brown skin, white hair, purple hat, white top, gold rings. Along with July, rocks the sexy.

September – Medic. Blue hat, brown hair, white shirt, but with an apron in front. We only ever see her smiling with her eyes shut, so her eye color is anyone’s guess.

Octy – The Lookout. Has excellent eyesight, despite her eyes perpetually being covered by her green bangs.

Novel – Mechanic. Red hat, white shirt, yellow tie. Sports goggles on her hat.

Leap – The Chef and Administrative Director. Unlike the other Jellyfish Pirates members, she is much older than the rest of the crew. She is the chef of the group and a maternal figure to them, with them referring to her as “Auntie Leap”. While she isn’t named after a specific month like the other Jellyfish Pirate members, her name comes from a leap year.

Side Bar: This is weird to admit, but I freaking love Leap’s design. Her plump, round, dumpling shape contrasts beautifully with the more svelte and slender looks of the younger pirates. Like the other Jellyfish Pirates members, she joins May in her in-game battle pose and her Instant Kill. She is also featured alongside May in her outro in Guilty Gear Xrd and -Strive-. She is the one who causes the final blow due her weight and size, and I love that. Apart from Leap and Granny of the Looney Tunes from Space Jam: A New Legacy, I seem to be bombarded and mesmerized by little old lady characters lately. Is that weird?

“Hey, don’t knock older women ’til you’ve tried ’em, homie!”

End Side Bar.

Now you may have noticed that I didn’t list a December Pirate; well, they had one for a time, but she’s…not around much these days. No longer with the crew is their Administrative Coordinator Dizzy, the only other playable Jellyfish Pirate character.

Dizzy’s been…elsewhere occupied after her momentary stint with the Pirates, and given that she’s an insanely powerful half-Gear with a tail and sapient shapeshifting wings, Necro and Undine, and has more baggage than L.A. Airport, that’s probably for the best.

Did I mention that Guilty Gear is weird??