Sealab 2021 - Season 1
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Sealab 2021: Season 1 (DVD)
It is the year 2021. In this mind-bogglingly distant future, Sealab rises imperiously from the ocean's floor, her crew charged with exploring the possibility of underwater colonization. That is, when they're not fighting giant squids over a toy oven.* Or running pirate radio stations. Or trying to put their brains into robot bodies. Or going back in time. Or being attacked by flesh-ripping aliens. Or becoming addicted to scorpion venom. Or getting stuck in a storage closet. Or going back in time again. Captain Murphy. Marco. Debbie. Stormy. Doctor Quinn. Dolphin Boy. They're all inside this box, screaming to get out so they can live inside your television. So buy the damn thing and set them free. You'll beridiculously glad you did. Promise. *Makes real cupcakes! With a 40-watt bulb!]]>
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You get "Happycake", "Radio Free Sealab, "Little Orphan Angry", "Waking Quinn" and the one where Quinn goes on vacation, if you can stand it.
Let's not forget my all time favorite, "Lost in Time"
What about "All That Jazz", where the vending machine falls on Murph?!
Never saw the original series; first run ('73) just about the time I started my paper route. Since have seen several episodes. ("He's in there watching cartoons, I guess...") Sort of designed to make us get into science class a little more? I would have filed for an educational media grant!
The Adult Swim retooling of the few Hanna-Barbera series absolutely knocked me out. Brilliant move. Hope they see fit to do more.
I've seen people moaning and whining about the animation, and that to me is just a testament to how people seriously don't get this show. It's SUPPOSED to look like that, it's a parody of sorts. Most of the shows look like photoshopped versions of their original, that's part of the show's charm. There was an episode where they only show a picture of sealab while the characters continue with their dialogue, dialogue that I find charming and quick to the point like Aqua Teen.
For the price tag...it's only 20 something dollars. C'mon now, I wanted more episodes as well, and I know that you could fit double the amount of episodes on both DVDs, but it's still a great price.
Oh yes, for the person that called Courage The Cowardly dog an "abomination of American mediocre toonists", you obviously don't know what you're talking about. Courage, along with Time Squad and Samurai Jack, are just a few of the shows given on cartoon network that have something other shows don't have, well two actually, and that is ORIGINALITY and most of all, PERSONALITY. Unfortunately, no one appreciates them, so we're bound to be stuck with cartoons that are going to do nothing but try and be like everything else.
I sure as heck don't want every cartoon to be like Futurama or The Simpsons. While those are excellent, everything else doesn't need to mimic them. I wouldn't have Aqua Teen or Sealab, or even Courage the Cowardly Dog if we followed that way of thinking. These shows do in 11 minute episodes what it takes others an entire half an hour to do.
Buy this, it'll be the best twenty dollar purchase you'll make in a while. That is, until volume 2 appears.
Firstly the original show was made using stolen material. When Adam Reed and Matt Thompson were fired from Cartoon Network in 1995 they stole the cells of Sealab 2020 (an old television that was in the vein of Clutch Cargo and a lot of other mid-50's and early 60's Hanna Barbera action shows) and made a short entitled "Gert" still utilizing the Sealab name (This "Gert" Pilot is available on the Sealab Season 3 DVD). Later that year or early the next year they produced the superior, but still independent bare-bones cartoon Pitch Pilot for $12.00 (Available on this Season One DVD set) which they submitted and later sold to Cartoon Network - the same place they stole the original animation from!
Secondly this has the strongest plots of the seasons of Sealab. Although the show relies on a lot non-plot derived comedy, fairly similair to Family Guy, Season One is definitely full of the strongest and funniest stories and gags. The insanity ranges from a Predator rip-off in the aptly named episode, "Predator", to Howlin' Mad Captain Murphy launching his own pirate radio station in the now legendary "Radio Free Sealab". This season is centered around Captian Murphy and his interaction with the crew, which brings me to the third reason that this is the strongest season of Sealab.
Harry Goz... Harry, what can you say about the voice of Captian Murphy? He was a comedy genious. So much so that the entire first season pretty much relies on what I've come to call the Muphy Pause. Essentially an uncomfortable silence that results from some random insane quip that silences anyone who hears it. Unlike the characters on the show though, the Murphy Pause leaves you rolling on the floor laughing. The way that Harry is able to play off the madness of his character and channel it into pure comedy genious is beyond me. Since most of the episodes from season one center around Capt. Murphy you can't go wrong! Murphy transforms into the Hulk("All That Jazz"), nearly get's the crew of Deep Diver mauled by a Giant Squid("Happcake"), has Sealab decorated and subsequently nearly destroyed by a floatin', flyin', light glowin' kung-fu fightin' karate Feng Shui Master ("Feng Shui Master"). Not to mention forgeting his lines as we travel behind the scenes of Sealab 2021 and meet the cast in the fabricated 'real lives' of the actors on Sealab("Swimming In Oblivion").
Unfortunately the discs are over-priced. Although Season One contains the best episodes of the entire series, this set has the worst special features. At eleven minutes an episode, eight episodes when encoded as nicely as these are, and they are beautifully mastered (even my father who had never seen the show and where's coke bottle glasses commented on how good the show looked) does fill up a DVD. This explain the second DVD but it doesn't explain the lack of special features. In the later seasons they've included bonuse episodes and offered commentary on episodes. But the second DVD contains only one real special feature, The Pitch Pilot. This is only for serious die-hard Sealab collector's. Not even the fans, you won't be a fan of this episode, I assure you of this. They do preface the episode by saying it stinks, but this episode is so bad I can not watch it. I did one time, and I probably won't ever again (It's not as bad as the "Gert" Pilot but it's awful ayways). The only other special features are an alternate ending SCENE from, "I, Robot" and an uncensored end SEQUENCE that ran during the credits of "Radio Free Sealab". Unfortunately the scene is funnier the way that they showed it on Cartoon Network, with the censor beeps left in. The lame alternate ending to "I, Robot" isn't very funny either though it was a little funnier that the original. Not much. The price is high but this is such a funny show it's definitely worth it, I promise.