China IL Season Two [Review]

China

China IL is a television show that airs on the Adult Swim late-night block of Cartoon Network. The show is created by comic mastermind Brad Neely. The second series of the show continues the delusional insanity started in the first season.

The second season of China IL has episodes that are twice the length of the previous season, which is to say that these episodes are about 22 minutes a piece. Having that extra length has really done the show wonders. There are two main problem with such short episodes. The first is that the viewer does not get much time with the spectrum of characters before they are thrown into some sort of crazy story. The second problem is that these episodes do not have the extra time to set up any other major plot to coincide with the first. With 22 minute episodes the second season is able to do both quite well.

For example, the episode “Wild Hogs” has the Dean freaking out about a possible hog infestation at the college (the Dean has a “Batman” like experience with hogs in a well). As a result, he assembles a team of individuals to deal with it, putting Pony in charge of them all. While this is happening Baby Cakes simultaneously makes friends with a new student he nicknames Aladdin and proceeds to “haze” him (although Baby Cakes does not really know what that means). As the episode builds up to a climax, Pony and crew seek refuge in the last safe place on campus, Baby Cakes’ treehouse of hazing. Even though there is a major event taking place in the episode (the hog infestation) Baby Cakes is completely oblivious and thus creates his own plot for the episode. With 22 minute episodes it becomes much more feasible to create two separate stories that have the option of merging into one hilarious and messed-up story.

Season 2 does this often and is able to stretch more creative exposure into the town of China IL in the process. The split plots are how new characters like Miata Mike and Kenny Winnker get introduced.

Season 1 and Season 2 of China IL both have preposterous story events, ridiculous characters, and a shot of the impossible, but season 2 has enough freedom to make the city of China IL feel less like a background and more like a functioning and constantly changing home.

Originally, Baby Cakes and The Professors brothers were separate shorts that took place in the same universe. This concept can be seen in China IL and is part of the reason why season 2 is so well made. Baby Cakes is a very odd character, he is always off in some adventure trying to understand how the world works, simultaneously Frank and Steve are embedded in the more standard world of college. Most of the split posts are possible because Baby Cakes can carry a story all by himself.

China IL season 2 is a hilariously adult fairy tale that is never afraid to break limits or expectations. Ten episodes of imaginative humor that covers topics from kidnapping movie stars all the way to relationships with bed bugs. Those with a sensitive or strict sense of humor should avoid this show because it will make a joke out of anything, no matter how offensive or silly. The end result is a city of hilarious degenerates bringing new glory to the world of comedy.

Opinion By Garrett Jutte

Sources
Bubble Blabber
Zap 2 It
Comic Book Resources
Guardian LV – Season One [Review]

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