After 13 episodes that spanned 11 weeks we have finally reached the end of Crackle’s first animated stop-motion show SuperMansion, and we have landed squarely in developmental hell. The show performed well enough to not be canceled immediately at the end of the season but poorly enough that nearly three weeks later the show has yet to be renewed. One thing the show has going for it is one of its executive producers, powerhouse actor Bryan Cranston. In multiple interviews Cranston has spoken about how much he enjoyed his experience making the show. Even if the Crackle executives are not sold on SuperMansion itself it may be in their best interest to keep Cranston around as they try to expand as a company. If they ever want to compete with companies like Netflix, Hulu or Amazon keeping a talented well-known actor in house is a good strategy. Since we don’t know where the series is going let’s take a look back at its first season and some of its highs and lows.
SuperMansion’s 2nd villain is its best overall. If you are looking for humor he provides that, if you want an effective agent of evil he may be low on your list. His importance to the show is shown in the title of the first episode “Groaner’s Wild.” It lets you know he is this worlds Joker who is the most important villain in the Batman universe. He is Black Saturn’s arch nemesis which earns him a recurring role that is well above the jailhouse cameos of the other villains. In the final episode of the season The Groaner and Black Saturn change their status from arch nemesis to frenemies. If there is a second season I am sure that The Groaner will be a part of it taking on Saturn and the new recruits.
The Injustice Club that was first mentioned by The Groaner in the first episode of the series did not make a single appearance and was only referenced once or twice after. I believe that when a series is aping so much from the Super Friends it needs to include their Legion of Doom. Maybe they are trying to be clever, the initial run of Super Friends did not include the team of villains and maybe they are trying to follow that model. If that is true they should not have hinted at them and just had a random assortment of villains that would join together in a future season, kind of like Spider-Man’s Sinister Six.
This is my personal choice and I wouldn’t be surprised if most people would choose Rex as the best League of Freedom member. It is his dry sense so humor and frequent sarcasm that makes him my favorite, just think of a robotic Geoffrey from the Fresh Prince. His search for who or what he is hit warp speed in the first episode compared to the rest of the season. In that first episode he went from an oblivious automaton and by the end he was a devote Jew who waited maybe 13 hours to have his Bar Mitzvah instead of 13 years. Throughout the season we got to see him bond with man’s best friend, connect with a child and struggle with the loss of his intelligence on his road to self-discovery. He doesn’t have the most heartfelt moment of the series but over the length of the entire season he is the most human and the easiest to care about.
While she is capable of having some funny moments and bringing out the best in Brad, her boyfriend and fellow League member, Cooch does little of interest throughout the season. She was the main focus of episode 5 this season which was titled “Puss in Books,” where we learn of her origin as a house cat in a trailer park and how she is illiterate. She is very loyal to the League and very sexually liberated, she hit on every member of the League except Rex when she is in heat. She preferred being the only female in the house and failed to ever embrace Lex except during Jewbot’s brief stint as Bernice. From the opening scenes till the final minutes of the season she is exactly the same, but if there is a second season she is poised for a major arch.
This is a hard choice because as the season went on the show changed its approach. During the first few episodes it seemed that the main goal was to make jokes and riff on pop-culture topics, the later episodes however saw the league and some of its members evolving. New characters were added and relationships between team members changed for the better or were challenged by infidelity. I think I prefer the earlier episodes to the later ones, if they fit your sense of humor you will have a good time. The biggest problem with the later episodes is repetition, how many times can the same issues come up? We find out Rex’s sex drive has gotten him in trouble over and over and over again. Saturn has self-esteem issues and might care more about looking cool than anything else both of which are seen in multiple episodes. Brad is late to multiple fights because he needs to get high, and Cooch might be part rabbit because her biggest concern is when she will have sex again. American Ranger is a chronic masturbator and always upset with his marriage to the elderly Gloria, who grew old without him. The only character that isn’t constantly hitting the same beats time and time again is my favorite, Jewbot.
Season 2 Predictions:
Since there isn’t a guarantee of a second season yet I will keep this section short with a top 3 list:
We will get a superhero try out segment and or a scene like the orientation segment of the criminally underrated Sky High when they kids have to show off their abilities to the coach.
Brad is not dead, he was shown to be virtually invulnerable while under the influence of his serum. He was also driving a vehicle that is made to drive around deep inside the earth, I’m guessing these two factors equal a premature funeral.
Rex will die, with Bryan Cranston being in constant demand for screen and stage jobs, and he has recently expressed interest in writing and directing a movie. I’m guessing a second season would be his last, but he would probably stay on as a producer.