"Metalocalypse: Dethhealth"

"Metalocalypse: Dethhealth"

Hi ho, regular jackoffs!  If you're reading this, you're probably one of the people who's asked us to do regular coverage of Brendon Small & Tommy Blacha's totally metal animated sitcom Metalocalypse.  We're not quite there yet, but we figured that since the show has made a major shift (from a 15-minute mini-sitcom to a full-length half-hour show), we'd dip in and write up an episode and see where it goes from here.  Frankly, I'm not sure what to wish for:  I love the show, but it's also on really late at night, and covering it regularly would make me lose sleep.  It's not very metal to admit this, but I am an old man, and I can barely stay up past 11PM.  Damn you kids today with your late-night situation comedies. 

The switch to the half-hour was the ideal opportunity for Small & Blacha to expand on the Dethklock mythology, make it deeper and wider, and give it a chance to finally lead up to the long-promised Metalocalypse.  There were hints of this in the season 2 finale, but frankly, I have my doubts that an overall advance of the story arc will ever be anything but a tease for this show; fans of Metalocalypse -- myself included -- don't watch it because it's The Venture Bros.  They watch it because they like the premise of a dimwitted death-metal band rich enough to do anything they want but dumb enough not to be able to do anything at all, and because they like jokes about brutality and tits and how William Murderface is dumb.  It'll be fun if the show does end up going somewhere (I loved the "Dethrelease" episode), and the little stabs at establishing mythology are fun, whether they're big ones like Snakes & Ladders or little ones like the season 3 premiere's never-explained depiction of the band having a pre-Toki rhythm guitarist.  But frankly, if all they ever give us is surreal jokes in the venerable Adult Swim mode, I won't much care.

That certainly seems to be the case with this week's episode, "Dethhealth".  It's a classic premise from the 15-minute era:  the boys have a close call after a good old-fashioned Dethklok concert massacre, and -- shades of their self-leeching antics in "The Revengencers" -- rather than see a doctor, turn to a series of home remedies to get back in the pink.  After ruining the Sphinx during one of their infrequent benefit concerts (this time an attempt to "make neutering pets metal", followed by a curiously NWOBHM-sounding animal-deballing song), the guys get so concerned over their imminent demise that their manager suggests they get full checkups.  None of them especially want to go see a doctor, but after a series of alternative therapies ranging from bleach-drinking to going on an epic bender that reduces the Cayman Islands to ruin, they finally seek medical attention.

This naturally results in chaos:  Murderface undergoes a ferocious gay panic, Nathan tries to overcome his fear of dentists, and Pickles (mistakenly) gets the word that he's dying, triggering a hilarious scene where he tries to cram as much living as possible into his final days, which, for him, means wandering around in an incoherent drug haze.  It all works out in the end, tying things up as neatly as any of the 15-minute episodes ever did, and even treating us to possibly the most disturbing Toki-kills-something-he-loves montage of all time.  I've been on the fence about the half-hour shows, since the first two felt like they were doing a lot of padding to fill up the new time requirement, but in "Dethhealth", the longer sequences had a ton of comedic payoff:  Nathan's bleach hallucination, the drying-out montage, and especially Murderface's increasingly bizarre sex fantasies.  It seems like they're finally getting the feel of the new format, and that bodes well for the show in terms of comedy, even if the big payoff is just a shaggy dog story.

Grade:  B+

Stray Observations:

- We''re interested in whether or not you want to see regular coverage of this show, so sound off in comments, Kloketeers.

- What do you think?  Do you really want the show to expand on its mythology and bring us the story of the Metalocalypse, or do you not care?

- Guest voice this time around:  "Space" Ace Frehley, playing the celebrity death expert, I think.

- "Most of you know that dogs have balls."

- "Hamburger time.  Perfect."

- BILLIONS BEGIN PRE-MOURNING

- "The doctor jacked me off in his face, and the more I think about it, the less okay I am with it."

- "Why can't it be, like, a lady's boob that cleans your teeths?"

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