Hey, I don’t know if you guys watch/have seen this show, but it’s one of the best things on television right now. It’s a satire of institutionalized religion and conservative “family values” America, but without the “holier-than-thou” attitude of, say, Bill Maher (read a really good review of his film Religulous here). No, Moral Orel is fantastically funny, dirty, and meaningful while still maintaining a complete respect and even reverence for religion and spirituality. It’s clear that the creator of the show (Dino Stamatopoulos, of The Ben Stiller Show and Mr. Show) doesn’t hate religion, just what some people do with it.
The plot involves a young boy named Orel who loves Jesus and God and his family and is always trying to do the right thing. But when “the right thing” is interrupted or reinterpreted by his parents (themselves in a loveless miserable marriage) or the church, or any of the hypocritical townspeople of Moralton, Statesota, Orel misunderstands and takes it too far and ends up getting everything wrong (especially the original religious intention). He then gets punished by the same authority figures (usually his alcoholic father) who screwed up the meaning to begin with. For examples, check the episode guide here.
Usually, the episodes work within this basic framework (lesson given, lesson misinterpreted by well-meaning Orel, Orel punished), but every so often the episode has a more overtly serious bent to it, with Orel coming to some serious spiritual revelations (that he doesn’t have to pray the way everyone tells him to communicate with God, in one) or figuring things out about life (that maybe his father isn’t right or perfect, in several). The show is about Orel’s triumph over his stultifying and repressive home and religious upbringing, and his struggle to remain a good person, despite all the pressures of that upbringing. All of that set in a claymation comedy show.
This is the last season that the show is going to be on, and Adult Swim has put up the first two episodes on their video site, along with the last two episodes of last season. So go here to watch them: http://www.adultswim.com/video/index.html or follow the links to the specific episodes below.
And here’s the song from the beginning of “Numb,” a beautiful expression of everything I never want my life to be. It’s one of the most devastating songs I’ve ever heard to go with one of the most devastating fifteen minutes of television I’ve ever seen.
The Mountain Goats – No Children (Buy It)
posted by Adam