Some call this show an Archer clone. While I agree to an extent, I also heavily disagree to a much wider extent. Mostly because of episodes like this one.
For those of you who do not know, Moonbeam City is an animated show on Comedy Central that follows the exploits of a sexy but stupidly-jerkish cop, Dazzle Novak–voiced by the velvet tones of Rob Lowe–who is one of the best of the Moonbeam City Police Department, a fact that speaks sorely about the overall condition of the department itself. Serving around Dazzle are characters such as the hardline Chief of Police, Pizzaz Miller (graced by the voice of Elizabeth Banks), his vastly more intelligent partner Chrysalis Tate (brought to life by the talent of Kate Mara), and the rival with which he shares an eternal but one-sided struggle with–in Dazzle’s favor–the far more inept and pitiable Rad Cunningham (compelled into existence by the vocal chords of Will Forte).
Moonbeam City certainly comes across the first time as nothing more than the imitation of the shadow of an objectively better show, Archer. But what it lacks in base originality, it makes up for with superbly irreverent humor and insane plot lines that only get more removed from reality as the episodes go. While Archer prides itself on being steeped in reality and doing as much as it can without going over-the-top, Moonbeam City does the opposite–it goes over-the-top, up to the roof, jumps off, miraculously lives, and then does it all over again from a much higher building.
Take, for instance, last week’s episode (“Stunstravaganza”), in which Dazzle must learn from his father, a renowned stuntman (voiced by the probably senile Adam West) how to perform the most dangerous stunt imaginable so as to regain his parking spot, which he lost to Rad Cunningham after drag racing through Moonbeam City to get to it. This show embraces its psychotic ideas and runs with them off the edge of reality and into the abyss of WTF, a performance that is, to say the least, highly entertaining.
That being said, there are kinks for certain. The biggest apparent issue is that the characters, while some of their backstories have been parceled out, still don’t feel like solid, tangible people. They all have their own idiosyncrasies and personality traits, yes–but none of them feel fully-realized yet, as if they’re just specialized mouthpieces for jokes. And those jokes, while at times fantastically hilarious, can also fall incredibly, undeniably flat.
This show still has a lot growing up to do. That much is certain. But I feel like, given the time, it could mature into something entirely new and fresh. It definitely has its own unique voice to offer. Now it just has to try and say something with it.