“The Critic” (1994-1995)
There are several animated shows that were on the edge of becoming hits, but never made it. Some of them were too strange, or never found their crowd. Some of them were simply brought forward at the wrong time.
One show that fits the improper timing happened to be “The Critic”. An animated television show maybe ten years ahead of its time. (If only it ran later.) It had a quirky sense of humor that I feel would have been perfect for late 1990’s or early 2000’s.
“The Critic” was about Jay Sherman, a critic who had a tendency to loathe the current movie industry and its superficial nature. (Think a much more light-hearted version of Bojack Horseman sans the existentialism.)
The show had quite a few interesting characters from Sherman’s odd parents (especially his father) to Duke, the billionaire television mogul. We can’t forget Doris the cranky chain-smoking stylist for Sherman.
The show had some very funny moments throughout its short run and has a hefty cult following. Sadly, not even a crossover with The Simpsons could save the show in the end. The Critic failed for several reasons, the biggest was that it aired on Fox which is notorious for not giving shows their fair chance. (Critic, Futurama, first run of Family Guy!)
Perhaps my favorite episode was the one where Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert showed up and quarreled. Both wanting Sherman to themselves. Of course, Duke running for president was hilarious (Though it has lost some of the humor now.)
The other issue is given the material at their disposal, the show could have had more heart and bite to it. It needed to stand out more and simply couldn’t.
I wish the show had some more opportunities to make us laugh, but I am thankful for the moments we received.
The Critic was funny, but lacked the hard-hitting edge it needed. If it had arrived in the late 1990’s, it may have had a better chance. (Oh, and not having Fox mess with it so much.)
The Ladder (Throwing into the mix for now)