Sealab 2021: Season 3 (DVD)
Oh, what a difference a year makes. The crew of the classic 1972 series Sealab 2020 has been replaced with a gang of misfits unfit for public service. Their mission: to investigate underwater colonization. They are doing a very bad job.
It's almost too dramatic to say that the third season of Cartoon Network's supremely silly animated series Sealab 2021
was controversial, but there's no denying that it's a hot-button issue for the show's legion of devoted fans. The crux of the problem is the untimely death of voice actor Harry Goz, who played Sealab's questionable "leader" Captain Murphy; without Goz's contributions to anchor the show's free-wheeling and frequently surreal adventures, the third-season episodes were deemed by fans to be in a freefall, and Murphy's replacement, ex-football coach "Tornado" Shanks (voiced by Goz's son Michael), was greeted with something less than enthusiasm. Regardless of which side you choose in the great Sealab
debate, there are still laughs to be had in the 13 episodes compiled in this double-disc set, especially in "Tourist Season," which has Murphy turn Sealab into a tourist trap; "Red Dawn," with Murphy leading the crew in a Communist revolution (which inspired the set's striking cover art); and the doggedly weird "Return to Oblivion," which sends a tentacled Cartoon Network rep to the lab to see if it can be saved from its own self-destructive ways (it can't). Extras for season 3 are somewhat slight: there are two early pilots from creators Adam Reed and Matt Thompson, rough versions of an unfinished episode and "Dearly Beloved Seed" (these are billed as unaired episodes), a featurette on "Stormy" Waters, and a clutch of commentaries, most of which are gags save for one from toonzone.net's Karl Olson, who discusses "Tornado Shanks." --Paul Gaita