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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Warren the Ape monkeys around

     MTV has revived an old character and given him his own show.  Warren the Ape, aka Warren DeMontague (Dan Milano, Robot Chicken), is trying to 'put his life back together' after screwing it up with drugs, sex, and alcohol.  Except that he's not trying, really.  In the series, called appropriately Warren the Ape, he still drinks and sleeps around.  But he meets with Dr. Drew Pinsky (himself, Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew) and goes through the motions, as he is making a reality show.  Of course, the joke is that we don't live with puppets, so it's not really a reality show, but I argue it's at least as real as most of the other reality shows that MTV and similar networks put on.

     Warren doesn't look much like an ape.  He's more of a nearly shapeless pile of brown fabric with a white helmet.  But he certainly is a character.  In this week's episode, "Amends", he looked at the 12 Step Alcoholics' Recovery Program, and decided he wanted to skip straight to Step 9: Amends.  Never mind that he continues to ingest as much booze as he wants throughout the episode.  Most of the people he apologized to took it well enough, but Seth Green, his former Greg the Bunny co-star, proved difficult.  Turns out, Warren forgot that he had slept with Seth's girlfriend, and by the end of the half hour, had slept with Seth's current wife, fiance for the episode's purpose.  (It was probably filmed before the wedding, but the two were wed in real life in early May 2010).

     It's hard to tell sometimes what the show considers fantasy and what it considers reality.  Was Greg the Bunny a show they made, or did they work for the kids' show chronicled on Greg?  But the show obviously has crass taste.  The best gag so far was when Warren took a busload of school children to a strip club.  The ape frequently visits the strip club in the series, and the strippers all know him.  It's not a new twist to see a washed up actor hanging out at such establishments, imbibing copious amounts of booze, and behaving obnoxiously.  However, since this time it's a puppet, it's more entertaining than sad.  And it's always nice to see some form of Greg's legacy live on.

     The show also stars Josh Sussman (Glee) as Warren's timid assistant, who goes along with any scheme, no matter how crazy.  I'm sure it's hard to act with puppets, but Josh pulls it off seemingly easily, with none of the cheesiness inherent in the practice.

     Warren the Ape airs Monday nights at 10:30pm on MTV.

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