I defy anyone to claim that they didn’t enjoy Jared Hess’ 2004 comedy hit Napoleon Dynamite. What’s not to like about the instant classic that saw the ginger permed mega geek Napoleon try to help his equally bizarre best bud become class president, while simultaneously dealing with his own problems as he tries to assert himself within a household of weird and wonderful characters? And so, the announcement that an animated TV show complete with the original cast providing voices caused a real stir on social networking sites and internet message boards the world over. But would it be able to live up to the original movies cult status?
The answer is a resounding yes. In tonight’s first episode, Napoleon purchases some experimental zit cream when his forehead becomes home to an unsightly outbreak of acne. Ignoring the warnings of his chemist, Napoleon begins to suffer every possible side effect including high threshold for pain and unbridled rage. With his newly acquired mega-anger Napoleon is able to join an exclusive underground fight club but when he rises too quickly through the ranks he is forced into a dangerous battle to the death against a familiar foe.
There are enough similarities here for fans of the original movie (internet dating, cage fighting) but if you’ve never seen it you’re surely not going to struggle to follow the story as enough attention is paid in this first episode to establish the characters relationships with one another and asserting who is who in this crazy universe. In fact, if you haven’t seen the Napoleon Dynamite movie then you should be more concerned with your distinct lack of taste in films – shame on you. Mixing an animation style not dissimilar to King of the Kill with the archaic humour of Mike Judge and throwing in all your favourite characters and Napoleon-isms E4 may very well be the home of your new favourite TV show. In fact, Napoleon Dynamite may very well be this generations answer to Beavis and Butthead – a compliment of the highest order!
Napoleon Dynamite continues every Tuesday at 22:30, on E4.