Starring Brak, Zorak and some other cartoon characters
Written By: Someone
Directed By: Someone
Studio: Warner Bros.
Buy on Amazon.com
Once upon a time, back in the days or yore, I watched a show called Space Ghost: Coast to Coast. I’d never seen the old Hanna-Barbera Space Ghost cartoon, so I had no idea where all this was coming from, but it was funny as all get-out, so I watched with great enthusiasm.
The show featured former cartoon hero Space Ghost as a talk show host, with former enemies filling in as his sidekicks. These enemies included my favorite Zorak, a disgruntled insectoid creature with a bad attitude and Brak, who later got this show of his very own, aptly titled The Brak Show (although the title on screen is always different, always a play on other sitcom names, such as “Diff’rent Braks”). The Brak Show follows Brak as a sitcom-character suburbanite teen living with his Cleaveresque mother and diminutive father. Zorak is along for the ride as Brak’s friend… one of those “friends” your mommy always warned you about, the kind that would egg Brak on into bad situations rather than ever help him.
Living down the street from Brak is Thundercleese, a gigantic, super-powered robot warrior with a fondness for jugs and fine landscaping. Thundercleese and Zorak are enemies, and Zorak is frequently blown up after smarting off to the robotic warrior. But he always comes back to torment Thundercleese again it’s sort of like a Wile E. Coyote/Road Runner relationship, if the Road Runner had the aid of massive arm-cannons (or even arms, for that matter).
The Brak Show was part of Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim lineup, and follows the general conventions of much of their home-grown programming: each episode is an eleven-minute burst of sheer insanity using recycled characters from old cartoons who have been put into completely different situations than their original creators ever intended. The individual plots go all over the place, and are generally meaningless. Plot’ exists in these cartoons only as a clothesline from which to hang an ever-increasing barrage of jokes and songs.
Yes, my one big problem with this show is the singing. I’ve never been a fan of singing in TV shows (or movies, for that matter), even if the songs are amusing. And the ever-cheerful Brak likes to break out into song several times in each 11-minute episode. However, some of the episodes are just so damned hilarious that you overlook a fault like this (and if you enjoy musical comedy numbers, then heck, you’ll probably love every minute of the Brak Show).
My favorite episode, by far, is “Time Machine”, and this should give you a general idea of the madness of the series: at the end of a weekend, Brak’s parents decide to go to his favorite restaurant but Brak can’t go, because he hasn’t finished his homework! He and Zorak had been playing video games all weekend. So the pair hatch a plan to steal a convenient neighborhood time machine and travel back to Friday afternoon, so they can finish their homework on time. Sadly, they only team up with their previous selves, and the four spend the weekend playing video games. This goes on and on until there’s an entire room full of Braks and Zoraks all wishing they’d finished their homework. Finally, the pair decide to go back in time to stop… well… the invention of homework. This leads them to a mysterious castle where two wizards are hanging out, conjuring strange new inventions. Zorak announces that he and Brak are the “Presidents of the Future” and that homework must not be invented. They succeed in destroying the concept of “homework” but arrive back in their proper time to learn that Brak’s favorite restaurant has never existed in the first place. Ah, another delightful time paradox.
Anyway, I quite recommend you pick this up if you’re looking for some funtastic 11-minute shorts to fill up some odd time in your schedule, though you may want to think twice if you hate random musical numbers.
Cartoon Planet segments
Commentaries with show creators and Brak
Brak presents the Brak Show starring Brak
Adult Swim news
Never before heard radio play production of the Brak pilot.
ENGLISH: Dolby Digital Stereo CC
Standard 1.33:1 Color
Running Time: 161 minutes