For much of the last 8 years, "Saturday Night Live", "Mad TV", late night hosts and stand-up comics have found oodles (never thought I'd use that word, online or otherwise) of material in the actions of President Bush. But, what about a cartoon show featuring Lil' Bush and friends? Sounded funny to me, and the series is rather amusing...to a point.
As the title would indicate, "Lil' Bush: Resident of the United States" follows the adventures of Lil' Bush (Chris Parson, although I thought at first it was Frank Calliendo), Lilí Condi (voiced by Ann Villella), Lil Rummy (voiced by Iggy Pop) and Lilí Chaney (Dominick Cary). There's also Lil' Jed, Barbara, George Sr. and occasional appearances by Lil' Hillary, Lil' Barack, Lil' Tony Blair, Lil' Al Gore (who puts on a "Lil' Live Earth" concert) and others.
The series generally has the characters going off on some sort of Lil' political adventure, including Lil' George and friends heading to Iraq in search of good news and Lil' George going on the cheerleading team with new pal Lil' Tony. The group goes to Beltway High ("Science Classes Optional") and - not surprisingly - George isn't bright, Jeb is even dimmer, Rummy is a nutcase (the series was started before he left), Chaney is a mumbling psycho (his father is shown as Darth Vader - that's kinda funny) and Condi is in love with George - who remains clueless to Condi's desires.
The biggest issue with "Lil Bush" is that it's the kind of thing that would be best in an hour-long special. Stretch it out to six episodes and it starts to get repetitive. While I felt the show took things a little easy (it's not as edgy as it thinks it is or should have been), it's not without a few amusing moments, though - Lil' Bush and friends travel with Lil' Al Gore to the future and are delighted to find that the world has turned to one giant water park due to global warming. So, Lil' Bush and friends head back in time an attempt to stop Al Gore so they'll save their future water park.
In the bonus episode, Lil' Bush and friends try to film a music video at the crumbling Walter Reed hospital and end up revealing the horrific conditions there. Lil' Condi suggests that Bush get money to rebuild the hospital from Lil' Jack Abramoff ("I have never heard of that guy", Lil' Bush flatly states.) They raise money via such things as rat fights, then end up using the money for video games and candy.
Overall, "Lil' Bush" is an amusing concept, but the show itself is rather uneven. There's been a gillion Bush jokes over the past several years, and while I'm not against goofing on this administration, it's a matter of finding a way that hasn't been done countless times before, and "Lil' Bush" doesn't do that quite often enough. Comedy Central should stick with Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert for political humor, as both continue to provide smarter, sharper political commentary.
1 Iraq / First Kiss 6/13/2007 102
2 Nuked / Camp 6/20/2007 101
3 Gay Friend/Mexican 6/27/2007 103
4 Global Warming/Hall Monitor 7/11/2007 104
5 Evolution/Press Corps Dinner 7/18/2007 105
6 Hot Dog/Haunted House 7/25/2007 106
Bonus Episode: Walter Reed
All episodes are uncensored.
VIDEO: "Lil' Bush" is presented by Paramount in 1.33:1 full-frame. Picture quality is just fine, as the basic animation appeared crisp and clean, with no smearing or other issues. Colors looked bright and vibrant, with no smearing.
SOUND: The show's stereo soundtrack provided crisp, clear music, sound effects and dialogue.
EXTRAS: Cast and crew offer commentaries on all episodes, but Tucker Carlson, Ralph Nader and Jerry Springer each offer a guest commentary. All three do have fair amount to offer - even Springer has a couple of insights. We also get Lil' Bush's White House tour, cast/crew interviews and a table read featurette.
Final Thoughts: "Lil' Bush" certainly has moments, but it's uneven and feels like its arriving too late, as so many have mined Bush for comedy already. The DVD presentation offers very good audio/video quality, as well as a very nice supply of extras. Recommended for fans; others should try it as a rental first.