Smiling Friends: The Complete First Season... Reviewed!

Before I jump in, I'd like to give a shout-out to Warner Bros for supplying a copy of this show for review. My opinions are my own.

I can't lie, this is one... weird show, but it has a certain charm that I'll explain in this review. Regardless of the charm, is it worth the buy? Let's jump in and find out!

Story: Like many of you, I'm an avid fan of animated comedy shows and I think that if you're looking for a left-field show, the Smiling Friends... delivers. The show's title represents just that, a group of employees working for the Happy Smile Corporation that sends them out on assignments to deliver... smiles. (Tada!)

You will find that Charlie & Pim are primarily going out on these... deliveries (hehehe) I know some of you may be wondering how a show like that could actually hook someone, but... you'd be surprised because you're taking on various challenges to get someone to smile. It's not just going to someone's home to deliver a good joke, the adventures vary. Episodes 1, 6, and 8... showcase the variety perfectly. 

Episode 1 is an attempt to get a suicidal man to reconsider living (yeah... this show is sooooo not for kids). Episode 6 takes Charlie and Pim and a medieval adventure, and Episode 8 takes Charlie to... h-e double hockey sticks.

Regardless of the varying adventures, one thing that keeps all the episodes cohesive is the situational comedy they extract from these scenarios. They apply realistic reactions to an animated world and dial up the crazy with twists that you might not expect. By the way, episode 9 is freaking gold, and if you've traveled with a group of friends... you may find yourself watching this one the most and encouraging others to check it out.

The personalities and mannerisms of the characters are on full display in episode 9 and I honestly feel like that type of episode should close out each season of this show. Doesn't have to be the exact same episode, but full-on quirks showing nuances and all that good stuff that showcases life off the clock. It doesn't exactly have a progression from what I saw, but I'm fine with it... at least for now. Good stuff.

Visuals: The visuals of this show dial up the... weird. I don't mind, but it's not as appealing as having a fully cohesive art style that stands out. The Champloo of animations is what this show stands on in the looks department, so maybe they're hoping that it will be strong enough to build an audience of fans long enough to fall in love with the storyline. Which is a safe bet for fans of Adult Swim.

One thing I do appreciate about the animation is the fact that they could have gone full 3D animation, but they went with hand-drawn animations for the most part.

Audio: To be honest, I didn't notice anything memorable about the sound effects. Not to say they were bad, but I experienced some suspense during episodes like episode 4... in terms of the sound effects but my focus was on the comedy. The audio is delivered in DTS-HD Master Audio & Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound.

Price + Extras: Smiling Friends season 1 comes in at $24.99 on Blu-ray & $19.99 on DVD. Not bad, but... I'd probably go with the DVD and save the $5 on this one.

I think the Smiling Friends Brazil art would've been a fantastic poster to package along with this season and the trend could've continued with each season based on that final episode or something.

The extras include:

  • Episode 9 - The Smiling Friends Go To Brazil
  • Episodic Commentary

Story 5

Visuals 3

Audio 5

Price 5

4.5 out of 5 Cool Points

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