TV on DVD Review: Regular Show - Mordecai & Margaret Pack

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AKA: Regular Show - Pack 5

One of the smartest things you can do if you’re even considering a future as a visual storyteller is to never let an opportunity to practice your craft pass you by. And that’s precisely the lesson that can be gleaned from Cartoon Network’s cult hit Regular Show creator J.G. Quintel, who derived the idea for both the main characters and series based on the films he completed as a student at the California Institute of the Arts.

Intriguingly, these gems weren’t crafted and polished as laborious semester long projects but more specifically, Quintel drew inspiration both on his own life as well as the two shorts he produced in the ever-popular, annual 48 Hour Film Challenge.

Assigned words and sometimes lines of dialogue at random, the challenge is the equivalent of a mental marathon that gives participants (usually working in pairs or teams) an entire weekend to construct short films that build upon or around the required ingredients.

The flurry of spontaneous, free-flowing creativity that came out of those two annual weekends as well as his own interest in launching an animated series that centered on the struggles, triumphs, confusion and coming-of-age existential crises that comes with the college experience resulted in this unique hand-drawn hybrid that puts character over spectacle and has garnered a rabid, loyal fanbase in the process.

Less laugh-out-loud funny than humorous on an identifiable level, the appeal of the strangely addictive, undeniably quirky series is perhaps best epitomized in this multiple season spanning selection that explores the relationship between the Quintel voiced Blue Jay main character Mordecai  and his coffee shop waitress red Robin crush Margaret over the course of sixteen 11 minute episodes.

Released to coincide with Valentine’s Day, the single disc collection charts their evolving relationship from Margaret’s first appearance in the DVD’s standout opening episode “Caffeinated Concert Tickets” through the anguish of “Bad Kiss” all the way up through the series’ fourth season finale title “Steak Me Amadeus” that ends the Mordecai and Margaret Pack.

A good way to help satisfy die hard enthusiast’s cravings for the next installment given the recent airing of the fifth season finale on March 17, while Regular Show isn’t nearly as memorable as other contemporary animated fare due to the fact that the humor is more situational and subdued than one-liner quotable or recurring gag friendly, it’s still creatively above-average.

Far more relatable than most rival series, Regular Show episodes are at their best when they’re at their most grounded and experiential. And by taking you with the characters on a journey that isn’t too far removed from reality, once again you’re reminded that you are your best material, which is why you should take every opportunity you’re given to bring your own stories to life… whether it’s in a 48 Hour Film Challenge or a series of bird drawings. 

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