If you’ve never laughed so hard you’ve cried while a naïve, lollipop-headed gentleman sings “Footloose” amidst the chaos of a fight involving a blue jay, a raccoon, a yeti and a gumball machine, you’ve probably never experienced J.G. Quintel’s Regular Show. And if that’s the case, you make me sad. No, seriously. For shame. Fortunately for you, though, your dismal situation will soon be rectifiable, because the first two seasons of this Emmy Award-winning Cartoon Network series are in fact making their way to glorious Blu-ray (and DVD) on July 16th, 2013 from Cartoon Network and Warner Home Video. And you’re going to buy it. For serious.
“What is the show about though?” you ask, oh speculative reader. Well honestly, the above description of a scenario from the episode, “Karaoke Video,” offers a fairly accurate snapshot of the sort of places Regular Show episodes tend to take you (although the scenarios are often admittedly quite surreal and abstract, and occasionally involve time travel, interdimensional beings and super powered keyboards). But if you need something a little more concrete to go on, I suppose I’d say the series follows the exploits of best friends Mordecai and Rigby, two 23-year-olds who happen to be a blue jay and a raccoon, whose incessant slacking off unfailingly gets them in horrible, horrible trouble, and not just with their boss. For instance, in “Just Set up the Chairs,” Mordecai and Rigby are tasked with just setting up chairs, as the title suggests, but decide to play some old arcade games instead and end up unleashing the Destroyer of Worlds, who, well, tries to destroy the world.
In many ways, Regular Show more closely resembles those series featured in Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim than it does the network’s other output. (Often the characters will do and say things you’ll be shocked they got past the censors.) Yet given the ever-escalating insanity of each episode’s self-contained narrative, I can’t help but draw certain comparisons between it and the irreverent Adventure Time. The major difference between the two though is that Adventure Time’s scenarios tend to start out in a place of absurdity and simply get more absurd, whereas Regular Show is rooted in a sense of reality. Episodes typically open with Mordecai and Rigby assigned to pick up trash as part of their job or simply eating cereal, but things quickly get out of hand and becoming epically, impossibly weird before the pair even has time to react. And that’s what great about Regular Show. You have absolutely no idea where the writers are going to take these often mundane setups.
As for the release itself, a wealth of special features accompany the 40, eleven-minute episodes collected in The Complete First & Second Seasons release. Foremost among them in my mind are a lengthy video featuring series creator and voice actor J.G. Quintel pitching the first episode, “The Power”; an interview with Quintel in which he takes us on a tour through the offices where he and his team write Regular Show; Quintel’s student film, “The Naïve Man from Lollipop Land”; and commentaries for every single episode! The set also includes the unaired pilot, which was later reworked as season two’s “First Day”; animatics as well as CG and pencil tests; the 2010 Comic-Con teaser; a music video; commercials; and a rather odd video featuring Sam Marin (the voice of Pops) singing karaoke, but without sound– presumably because they couldn’t get the rights to whatever song he was singing for this release.
In short, if you like funny things: Regular Show!