I sat down to watch the mini-marathon of 12 Clarence episodes that make up the DVD on a cold Saturday morning, with my schedule clear, and the hopes of vegging out for a while. Within three of the 11-minute episodes, I decided I was going to need to break this viewing into multiple segments.
Cartoon Network’s Clarence is the story of a elementary aged Clarence Wendell. Clarence is the type of optimist that if life handed him lemons, he’d write a song about how amazing lemons are. As would be expected in a cartoon about a young boy, Clarence is typically found in the company of his friends, Jeff and Sumo. There’s even a bully, Belson, to serve as a foil when needed.
The show does a pretty solid job of sharing exploits from childhood. Episodes include stories about getting new toys, trips with friends to fast food indoor playgrounds, sleepovers, and investigating the natural mysteries of one’s neighborhood. For the most part, the show also tries to stay pretty well grounded in reality for a kids show. There’s no secret agent pets, no fantastical, educational automobiles, and no super powers. At it’s heart, it’s just a show about kids being kids.
Of course, the kids are a little strange. And by strange, I mean each one could be diagnosed with some type of disorder. Jeff clearly suffers from germaphobia, and is bordering on obsessive compulsive disorder. Sumo hyperactivity ranges from not being able to sit still to acting like a feral racoon. And Clarence is the reason happiness can be construed as a mental disorder. In moderation, these characteristics could be funnier. As it stands, their quirks define the characters instead of shaping their personality. This hyperbole of behaviors and silly jokes along with relatable storylines makes Clarence a great show for its target demographic, but I found it to be tolerable at best, and insipid at points.
The episodes presented are a sampling of the shows first season. There doesn’t seem to any pattern to the selected episodes, and while doing some research, I was sad to see that an episode about the boys going to an arcade with only a $1.00 to spend didn’t make the cut.
Looks as great as would would except 2013 animation to look on DVD
Presented in Dolby Stereo 2.0. Sounds professional, ‘cause it is!
The Packaging and Bonus Features
Not much in terms of packaging, or bonus features. The pilot episode is included. The best looking feature of the DVD is the episode selection menu, which displays the creative title card of each episode.