I cannot even begin to describe how much joy Frisky Dingo brings to me. Let’s put it this way, if my daughter can bring me half as much joy, I’m going to be a deliriously happy man for a very long time. Frisky Dingo isn’t the greatest cartoon ever made, it’s not the greatest superhero story, or greatest comedy or even the greatest superhero comedy, it’s not even my favourite thing to come out of Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim line-up, but dammit if I can’t help but just enjoy the hell out of it over and over and over again. It’s like the Arrested Development of cartoons, a rich ensemble cast of oddball characters with an unpredictable and hilariously irreverent story that just gets deeper, funnier and more rewarding with each episode and each new viewing.
I rewatched the season one DVD to prepare myself for the recently released season two DVD, and with exception of the first three episodes, I pretty much went through both discs in one sitting. The first season is comprised of 13 episodes, the second 12, each episode running between 10 and 12 minutes.
There’s no way to explain the depth of the show simply, but the plot is as thus: Killface has built the Annihilatrix, a giant rocket that will push the Earth into the sun. He’s going to hold the world at ransom until he gets everything he wants, that is unless her Awesome-X and his power-armored team of XTacles can’t stop him first. But there are problems, first Awesome-X doesn’t know Killface exists, and in fact has ridded himself of all his perceived enemies. Secondly, Killface can’t hold the world ransom if they don’t know he’s holding for ransom, so he needs to promote himself. Unfortunately he spent all his money building the Annihilatrix, so he’s in a bit of a pickle. Things spiral out from there: Awesome-X’s alter ego Xander Crews losing all of the XTacles operating budget after paying bribe money to a hooker who learns his secret; Killface’s postcard ad campaign becomes a morning show joke; Xander’s reporter girlfriend, Grace Ryan, falls into a vat filled with radioactive waste and irradiated ants, turning her into supervillain Antagone; Killface’s son wants a new mommy; the Annihilatrix breaks down; the Crews Corporation is taken over by Xander’s right hand man, Stan; Xander is kidnapped by the XTacles who want him dead (as does Antagone, Killface, and Stan); Killface goes blind after an encounter with Antagone; Xander, escaping the XTacles, meets LARPers, then accidentally runs over blind Killface; they become best friends but only because Xander pretends to be Barnaby Jones; they’re forced to fight to the death in an underground Chinese rabbit knife fighting pit; they escape only to set off the Annhiliatrix a short while later.
And that’s about half of what happens in season 1.
In season 2, it turns out the Annihilatrix malfunctions, knocking the Earth about a meter away from the sun, just enough to cure global warming, putting Killface on the campaign trail to become President. When destitute-then-rich-again Xander Crews hears of it, he sets off to run against him. They go duck hunting together, a former employee tries to kill Killface, Killface finds religion then offends practically everyone, the XTacles find a new leader, Grace Ryan is pregnant with Xander’s larval ant baby, Killface’s son comes out of the closet, something about pants, media icon Taquil is elected president (Stan is his vice president), and everyone’s after the Annihilatrix. The second season’s a little thinner than the first, story-wise. It also has the Adult Swim propensity for descending into violence-as-comedy (as well as vulgarity-as-comedy and sex-as-comedy) a lot more frequently than the first season, which lowers the bar a bit. And yet, even after hours literally of viewing, I still wanted more.
A short, two minute “XTacles” skit on the season 2 implies that an XTacles spin-off was in the works, and it was, but it yielded two episodes before its plug was pulled, the production company 70-30 dissolved and the shows creators Adam Reed and Matt Thompson parting ways onto separate endeavors. Well, we’ll always have Vegas (or as I like to call it, Lost Wages, boosh).