Sunday, May 5, 2002

Invader Zim!

Invader Zim's rise to powerGir impersonating a squirrelInvader Lard on the planet Blortch, home of the slaughtering rat peopleThere are fewer and fewer television programs out there that I will watch. It seems that the world is constantly bombarded by hundreds of channels of nothing but junk. Every once in a while I find a show that I simply cannot miss. Unfortunately, I have already missed this one.

Invader Zim was canceled last year by Nickelodeon. I only ever found out about it because it has become something of a cult phenomenon on the Internet. After downloading a few of the episodes I was hooked. It was hilarious; I could not stop laughing after I saw it.

Invader Zim is about an overlydramatic alien that has been sent away to keep him out of his race's plan to take over the universe (Operation Impending Doom II). After causing a complete disaster in the first operation, and subsequent banishment, Zim is sent to conquer an out of the way planet by the alien leadership. They send him to “a planet so mysterious that no one knows its name. And those that do, dare not speak it.” They send him to Earth. Zim, convinced of his self-importance, goes off with pride to complete his secret mission.

The show has a shockingly funny attitude that is reminiscent to Ren and Stimpy and, to a lesser degree, the Simpsons and the Family Guy. We laugh at Zim's vain attempt to be human in a world that never really notices him. This gives rise of his rivalry with Dib – the only boy in class that can see through Zim's disguise ( “OK, am I the only one here that can see the alien in class?”). We also laugh as Zim’s little helper Gir, a defective robot, walks through the show with a very simple mindset. Gir's inability to perform even simple functions (at least without removing his guidance chip to make room for cupcakes) infuriates Zim and makes the robot hilarious and a much loved character.

There is a growing petition to bring the show back and a rumor that it has worked. Then I can finally add this cartoon back to the handful of shows that are worth watching so that I can spend a little more of my life wasting away in front of the tube. fb

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