Some people may argue to the contrary, but a great deal of television programming has been lackluster and greatly uninspired over the last several of years. Sure, there are some bright exceptions – ranging from the Jack Bauer’s day-long adrenaline rushes to the now-retired Tony Soprano – but by and large, originality continues to dodge those looking for it. Televised sports coverage is now officially inspired by video gaming; commercials ranging from Quizno’s Subs pitchman “Baby Bob” to the Geico caveman characters are gaped and aped for potential TV greatness. And certainly, YouTube is ripe for the next round of potential “Sweeps” pillaging.
Any idea and medium, it seems, that floats to the surface is up for grabs.
Occasionally, one of these ideas stands poised to actually bare fruit. Case in point: cable juggernaut Comedy Central’s new animated series Lil Bush, which launches tonight, Wednesday, June 13 at 10:30 PM, after South Park. The show follows the rowdy doings and mischievous shenanigans of child-versions of politicos Lil’ George W. Bush and his pals Lil’ Cheney, Lil’ Condi and Lil’ Rummy (voiced by punk icon Iggy Pop). And it’s the first viral cell phone video work to make its way to TV as a regular series.
This summer, viewers will see a total of six half hour episodes, each one featuring two stories a piece. And in each interstitial, the Lil’ animated politicos kick out the jams with their Lil' band – delivering a range of classic cover tunes that are part-Archies, part-Monkees, part-Banana Splits and all completely inspired by the White House of the last six-plus years.
If the commercials are any indication, Lil’ Bush promises to be one of the campiest political satires on TV since Chevy Chase fell off a Christmas tree mocking former President Gerald Ford on Saturday Night Live. Can Lil’ Bush takes viral video to the big leagues? Both Pop and creator Donick Cary have high hopes that viewers will come away from the show thinking so.
“What I liked was there was something really human about reducing all these powerful figures to little people,” said Pop of the concept in a recent media conference call. The leader of the Stooges, who has done voiceover work for another animated show with a political bent (American Dad) says politics is not something he relishes or claims to aspire to. It’s more of that can’t-look-away-from-a-car-accident vibe for him, as it is for many Americans.