My Review of Moral Orel, Season 1

Uncle AndrewUncle Andrew
Filed under: @ 11:35 am

Okay, so it’s not really a movie, but if it comes into this house on a DVD then I’m going to treat it like a movie, including filing this under Movie Reviews. My server, my rules. 😎

For whatever reason, I’m not a huge consumer of Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim (save my feverish wait for the return of The Boondocks). So I had not heard about Moral Orel until we were over at my in-laws’ place for dinner one evening and Ron handed me an article from the Sunday edition of The Newsly Times (or whatever it was) about the show. From what I read in the paper, this show sounded like it was right up my pew. (Hmm, that came out sounding wrong, for some reason. Best just let it go….)

Moral Orel

Moral Orel is the story of Orel Puppington, a young boy who lives in the town of Moralton in the great state of Statesota. The show is loosely–l o o s e l y–patterned on the old Davey and Goliath, though there’s no dog character. I say “loosely patterned” because Moral Orel is Davey and Goliath turned on its head….perhaps suspended from the ceiling by leather straps, covered in Thousand Island dressing while five midgets spank it with mink-covered cricket bats.

See, Orel is constantly misinterpreting the messages given to him by the spiritual leaders in his life: his minister, his parents, his teachers. This leads him to do things like reanimate the dead, smoke crack, and fornicate with Moralton’s female population whilst they sleep. Aiding in his confusion is the fact that the whole town seems to have a dark, perversely sinister streak running through it, with all sorts of racial, sexual and other perfidies bubbling just below the WASPy surface.

With all this going for it, you’d think a cranky agnostic like me would give the show a rousting thumbs up.

Sadly, despite its originality and creepy cleverness, Moral Orel falls pretty short of the mark. I think it’s the nature of Orel’s misinterpretations that leave me uninspired. When I read about the program, I was expecting the producers to riff on actual Biblical verses and dicta, like that gorgeous letter to Doctor Laura did a few years back, or to expose the underlying weirdness of religious lore and doctrine when removed from its context, the way Parker and Stone did in their infamous Mormon episode of South Park. Instead, Orel is just taking the wrong tack on sermons and proclamations made by the adults in his life, who are for the most part oblivious, pathologically self-centered, a- or immoral yahoos. The show is more a commentary on the hypocritical and questionable aspects of life in a seemingly pious community, rather than a send-up of the wackier aspects of religion in general and Christianity in particular. And while this may be a viable angle for exploration in an adult comedy setting, I was really looking forward to something with a little more thought behind it than a tedious string of so-called “Lost Commandments” that the adults of Moralton use to justify every bizarre and inappropriate impulse they may have.

You might want to give Moral Orel a looksee during a rerun on Cartoon Network….certainly it’s worth a few chuckles….but I don’t think it rates going to any great effort to track down and watch. Pity, really; I had such–well, low hopes for it. 😈

3 Responses to “My Review of Moral Orel, Season 1”

  1. Uncle Andrew Says:

    Something really amusing happened yesterday after I posted this. I checked my referrer logs and found that someone using an ISP in Plano, Texas had gotten to this post via a link in their Yahoo Mail. In other words, within about two hours of my posting this review, somebody had sent someone else in Plano an email with a direct link to this post in it. I’m dying to know who sent the mail, who received it and why my review of Moral Orel was of interest to both.

  2. YakBoy Says:

    Not so much a comment on this post, but I thought you should know I got bombed with error messages when I tried to connect. Not sure if its me or you – the errors in question were

    Warning: fopen(realtime_access.txt) [function.fopen]: failed to open stream: Permission denied in C:\uudn\blog\wp-content\themes\etch-a-sketch\index.php on line 15

    Warning: fwrite(): supplied argument is not a valid stream resource in C:\uudn\blog\wp-content\themes\etch-a-sketch\index.php on line 16

    Warning: fclose(): supplied argument is not a valid stream resource in C:\uudn\blog\wp-content\themes\etch-a-sketch\index.php on line 17

  3. Uncle Andrew Says:

    All fixed. Thanks for the heads-up!

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