If you go back through my own profile on Twitter, you’ll find that at one point I wrote for an Adult Swim fan blog, which was primarily made up of current and former staff of this very site. While that blog has now been defunct for about a year, I still keep up consistently with the various activities that the network is up to on all fronts. Last year, Adult Swim launched the inaugural On The Green showcase: a touring event featuring games, giveaways, and showcases of upcoming network projects. The original tour stayed very far away from my neck of the woods, so I was incredibly overjoyed when I saw the announcement for the 2nd annual On The Green tour and learned that not only was it coming to Miami, but Miami was the very first stop on this year’s tour. Specifically, it took place in Bayfront Park, which is quite a popular area for all sorts of events like sports games and music concerts. Now that a couple of days have passed since then, I thought it would be fun to recap the event and the various goodies that were shown off at the event. This goes without saying, but there will be spoilers for some pretty big reveals and news.
To start off, the actual setup in the park was pretty nice. There was a nice wide-open space for everyone to lay out towels and chairs to relax, the big screen showcasing various messages, clips, and camera shots of the audience, and all the games/colorful tents hanging around and serving up food, merch, and other vendor types. All sorts of people were in the audience, with plenty of [as] merch of all types represented: Rick and Morty masks, t-shirts of nearly every show imaginable, etc. I, myself, attended wearing a Run The Jewels tour shirt and a Toonami TOM pin I won in a giveaway a while ago. The games set up were the usual type of outdoor activities you can expect: there was the “toss a beanie bag into the hole of a board” game (I assume there’s a proper name for that, but I’ve never learned what it was. …I’m smart, I swear.), a somewhat larger-sized version of Connect Four, and of course the biggest attraction: Smack Up My Uvula. This game in particular involved a large inflatable cat that required participants to climb across a wooden ladder-type bridge and smack the uvula, praying that you didn’t fall down too early.
In case you’re wondering, I only made it about halfway before falling, and I pressed the bridge down to an inch above the bottom of the inflatable thing. …I may be a tad overweight.
But the real festivities kicked in courtesy of the host, Zack Fox: a comedian based out of Atlanta who ushered in the event and offered all sorts of commentary and interaction with the audience throughout the night. Major props have to be given to him, because I can’t imagine being the host of this sort of thing is easy, but Fox is a natural talent. He was consistently funny through the evening, engaging nearly the whole of the audience with everything from pictures in the crowd to a surprisingly large number of dance-offs (and I gotta say, this dude has moves. But the guy dressed like a Naruto character out-danced him quite a bit.) Perhaps his most entertaining quips came during the pre-show trivia contest. Hearing him riff on the questions and answers was nothing short of gut-bustingly hilarious (especially his gags about corn snakes), which was enough to take my mind off of the fact that I have really bad reflexes when it comes to looking up answers and texting them in time to win.
By the way, did you know that the venus flytrap is native to the North Carolina Wetlands?
But of course, then came 8:30 PM, meaning it was time for the main event. Everyone settled in their blankets/chairs and got ready for a host of goodies. Before the full episodes started proper, we got hit with two promo trailers for upcoming Adult Swim projects. The first was Art Prison, a live-action project focusing on a “prison for the performing arts”, and this comes courtesy of executive producer Dan Harmon (Community, Rick and Morty). The project was originally announced 2 years ago, so it’s nice to see that it’s making some progress. The other promo was for the series Mostly 4 Millennials, which comes courtesy of Hot Package creator Derrick Beckles and is also executive produced by Eric Andre. It looked like about what you could expect: a twisted absurd take on a daytime talk show for a stereotypical millennial audience. It seemed like it could turn out similar in quality to the creator’s previous projects, so if you were into Hot Package, this is for you. The shows were given a special video introduction courtesy of the hosts of Adult Swim’s weekly streaming series Assembly Line Yeah. It was an appropriate intro, especially considering one of the co-hosts was evidently from Miami (or rather, Miramar, but Miami sounds more familiar and appropriate.)
And now it’s time to get into the shows proper. First off, we were shown our first look at Dream Corp LLC season 2, which is coming this fall. It was somewhat unclear as to whether this was the season premiere or not, as it did not seem to pick up from the cliffhanger ending of season 1. The events of the episode had the staff of Dream Corp assisting a patient who suffered from extreme claustrophobia, with a sub-plot about the robot assistant TERRY discovering the internet and promptly proceeding to regurgitate the most annoying awful aspects of it to the rest of the staff. The episode was quite humorous, and the dream sequences featured animation that was every bit as vivid, lucid, and trippy as anything out of season 1. It was a natural progression of what came before, and it had my stoked for this new season.
Next up: The Shivering Truth. This was one of the pilots that the network had shown on television a couple of weeks ago, but I hadn’t gotten a chance to see it then. The stop-motion pilot comes courtesy of PFFR member Vernon Chatman (Xavier: Renegade Angel and The Heart, She Holler.) With those credentials, it should be expected that this pilot was the textbook definition of “darkly funny.” The plot was a sort of free-form anthology that flowed between a handful of narrative threads. In particular: a blind girl getting bullied at school by an unknown tormentor, a man attempting to start a suicide hotline business which leads to a sub-story about a man whose every attempt to kill himself creates some net positive for humanity as a whole, and a story about a doctor’s experiments on butterflies that lead to… look, you just have to watch it. I can’t really put it into any further words, but I am morbidly curious to see this launch into a full-fledged series.
After that was the finale for the current season of Robot Chicken. The episode naturally ran through several skits of varying lengths: some funny (a particularly humorous Stranger Things parody and Steven Seagal getting nut-smacked by giraffes), some not (a Willy Wonka spoof involving Donald Trump and Mike Pence dragged on a wee bit too long), and the obligatory renewal gag involving the Nerd attempting a daredevil feat. I’ll admit, I realized something while sitting there watching it: Robot Chicken is a bit like Jackass. Regardless of their objective quality, they’re significantly funnier in a large group setting.
Then came another of the previously aired pilots, Chuck Deuce. The crudely animated series about an annoying surfer who hallucinates all sorts of weird phenomena around him was something I caught a glimpse of, but watching it in full was just okay. The humor didn’t leave any sort of strong impression on me, mostly because the actual rhythm of the jokes felt off in a way that I’m not sure was intended, and the lead character was just the most annoying person imaginable. Not even annoying in a funny way either, like Eric Andre. I would honestly be very surprised if this one got a full series order.
The 2nd-to-last episode shown was the fan-vote, where attendees voted online for an episode of a classic Adult Swim show. The nominees for this stop included episodes of Tom Goes To The Mayor, Sealab 2021, Moral Orel, and even Saul of the Mole Men. The top vote-getter with 104 votes was the 1st episode of Xavier: Renegade Angel. This was an interesting experience given that I have only ever known the series by reputation, and I’ve never seen an episode in full up until now. It was certainly every bit as strange as the word-of-mouth surrounding it had suggested, and I got some pretty good awkward laughs out of it. I’ll have to make time to binge through the whole thing.
And then there was one last program to show. One last goodie of unknown nature to give to the audience. What could they possibly have saved for last?
…VENTURE BROS. SEASON 7 FIRST LOOK, YEAH!!!!
You have no idea how hyped the crowd got the second the episode starting rolling. The season 7 announcement had been made rather recently, but it’s still quite surprising that they already have a new season lined up, considering how long the show usually takes to produce new material. I’ll keep the spoilers to a minimum here, but the basic plot of the episode involved Venture Industries being plagued by the malfunction of its security system, Problem: a system discovered by J.J. in some ancient ruins several years in the past. There’s also the b-plot, focusing on the complications of the relationship between Hank Venture and Sirena, with Wide Wale and his bodyguards causing nothing but problems for them. The episode is every bit as funny as the series has ever been, and when the plot actually gets going, there are some real “holy shit” turns in there. Also, the Order of the Triad finally comes back, which is a welcome gift. I had missed those guys throughout the past season, and I wonder how long they’ll stick around once season 7 finally premieres on TV.
And that was Adult Swim On The Green. It was an incredibly fun event: games, food, lots of great television goodies, and a great host to help tie it all together. I won’t ramble any further, but if you see the tour coming close to your location, I highly recommend going for a good time.