Sunday, July 3, 2022

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On The Tube

Zombies vs. dinosaurs in outer space!


on the tube“Axe Cop” aims to be the most awesome cartoon ever

Fox premieres “Animation Domination High-Def” (Saturday, 10 p.m.), a block of late-night cartoons featuring “Axe Cop” and “High School USA!” It is the product of the network’s new digital animation studio, which aims straight for the pleasure centers of 14-year-old boys. Not to mention former 14-year-old boys.

As a member of the latter demographic, I immediately fell under the spell of “Axe Cop.” This deadpan masterpiece sets a single goal — to be awesome — and then goes about achieving it. This week’s episode parodies over-the-top, comic-book-style storytelling and a thrilling 10 minutes packed with zombies, flying dinosaurs, evil geniuses, secret potions, killer robots and even the queen of England. Axe Cop himself (voiced by Nick Offerman) is a hatchet-wielding policeman with a penchant for saving the world. The Fox publicity materials reveal he was created with the help of a 5-year-old boy, and you have no trouble believing that, especially in this week’s poop-oriented tale.

Given the show’s wonderfulness, I vote for more 5-year-old TV consultants. Who else could have written a line like this: “What?! A jetpack-wearing zombie!!”



“Childrens Hospital”

Thursday, 11 p.m. (Adult Swim)

“Childrens Hospital” is arguably the strangest show ever to air on TV. And there’s no argument whatsoever that it’s the strangest show ever to win an Emmy (for Short-Format Live-Action Entertainment Program). Creator-writer Rob Corddry stars as a doctor in a pediatric hospital who wears ghastly clown makeup, all the better to “heal patients with laughter.” He’s viciously parodying Robin Williams’ doctor from “Patch Adams” — and the viciousness doesn’t stop here. In season five, Corddry and his game cast (including such stellar names as Henry Winkler, Michael Cera, Jon Hamm and Megan Mullally) gleefully brutalize medical-show clichés. Their surreal approach makes Samuel Beckett’s work seem practically rational.

In other words, don’t be alarmed when Corddry’s character is shot, stabbed and electrocuted to death in the season premiere. It will in no way affect his participation in next week’s episode.


“Total Divas”

Sunday, 9 p.m. (E!)

You have to admit that the women of WWE wrestling make for fascinating reality subjects. In the premiere of “Total Divas,” we meet female wrestlers all along the WWE spectrum. Just back from a hiatus, the Bella Twins are on top, being sexy and young. One of them is involved with WWE’s muscle-bound John Cena, and you’re not sure whether he will give her a ring or slam her to the canvas. The Funkadactyls are a rung lower than the Bellas, despite a signature move called the Rear View in which they smack their butts into opponents’ faces. Clearly, they have a bright future.

Finally, there’s Natalya, who works hard but gets shunted aside by the WWE, presumably because she’s growing older. “The Bellas leave for a year, then walk right back in like they never missed a beat,” she complains. “How unfair is that?”

It’s poignant that Natalya expects fairness in pro wrestling. Funny, but poignant. CV

Dean Robbins is a syndicated TV columnist from Madison, Wis. See more of his work at

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