The Jackson Five

The painful experience of The Jackson 5ive

There’s no doubt the Jackson 5 were insanely popular in the ’70s and just like any popular musician during the time, they got their own cartoon. The show follows Tito, Michael, Marlon, Jermaine, and Jackie on their wacky adventures doing everyday things like saving snakes, traveling to Wonderland, and being adopted by gorillas and they still find the time to perform a song or two. In other words, it’s ridiculous. The only involvement the Jackson’s actually had were providing their pictures for the intro and some of their songs.

Out of the three episode I could tolerate the worse one had to be the pilot recounting how the Jacksons got started. It all starts with Diana Ross not being able to perform because a pink snake is in her room. It’s not doing anything, just sitting in her flowers and it apparently has the ability to resist all attempts at capture. Of course, the snake belongs to Michael. For some reason they decided to make some of his pets characters, including two mice named Ray and Charles. That’s smart writing right there. Michael saves the snake, Diana invites them to stay for her show, and they decide to randomly perform on stage. This is where we’re treated to a poorly animated video for “ABC,” a song we already heard during the intro. She likes the song, they got a record deal, the end.

Ray, Charles, and Rosie just in case you were wondering

To be fair it’s not the most terrible cartoon out there, but it is pretty bad. The animation looks like initial sketches that someone was too lazy to finish. Backgrounds look hastily drawn and a lot of the same animation is reused, especially their dancing animation. It’s pretty bad, but the 70s weren’t exactly known for their innovative animation. And for some reason all the Jackson’s look like they have overbites. Speaking of the guys, the voice actors don’t try to hide the fact they’re reading straight off a script. It’s like they’re not even trying to act. To make things even worse there’s a laugh track. A really bad, really loud laugh track that drowns out the audio and comes after every lame joke.

And speaking of the jokes, these are some of the gems found in this episode alone: “We gotta get that snake back before those cats done there do him up bad.” “This is the first time I’ve ever autographed a snake.” “Crazy doors here in Detroit!” “Can you let us out? Up here in the air conditioning. It’s kind of chilly.” “I don’t care if they’re the Beatles rolled up into five, I never wanna see them again!” “And you know something Tito, we just grewed up!”

The second episode finds the guys trying to save a forest and their message is pretty loud and clear. The same wacky adventures happen: the guys get into trouble and try to use their “wit” and crazy disguises to get them out of it. What I noticed in this episode was Michael can talk to animals. He interprets what a bear says and no one bats an eye. I know he loved animals, but maybe this was going a little far. Again, we are treated to two songs by the group. Think I’m starting to see a pattern here. Next, I watched the “Michael in Wonderland” episode because it’s the one I remember when I was a kid and man is it weird. There’s a scene were Jermaine is half man, half cat and can’t stop dancing. That’s an image I never wanted to see. If you thought the videos for the songs were weird, the ones here are down right trippy. There’s even a scene where Michael eats a cookie and goes on an acid trip that hurts your brain and your eyes.

It’s clear that the show was made to sell records. The Jacksons’ music is constantly playing. Even the background music are melodies from their other songs. A medley of their hits plays both at the start and the end of the show. It gets old really fast. Each episode follows the same pattern: the Jacksons learn about a problem, they try to solve it and get in the trouble in the process, and find time to sing two songs. And since their pictures are showed at the beginning you would think they would have some more involvement with the show. But even if they were the show probably would’ve been bad. Just look at their variety show from 1976. Same terrible jokes, questionable skits, and hammy performances. If you really want to check out this travesty of a show, you can watch the entire first season on Amazon Prime. It’s good for some laughs, but you’ll find it difficult to make it past the first few episodes. I sure did.


11 Musicians Who Inexplicably Had Their Own TV Series

Hey guys, I’m back! Did you miss me? I hope you all had a happy and safe holiday break. But now let’s get back to musical business!

Musicians never seem happy with being the best in their field, so they start testing their other talents, whether that be cooking, boxing, or writing books. But most of them shoot for acting and after all these years I think we can all agree that musicians can’t act. They’re tolerable in a small cameo, but anything longer than is just torture. Even though we know what terrible actors they make, someone keeps giving them the chance to prove us right. Whether you remember these shows or want to forget them, here are 11 artists that at one point in time had their own TV show.

  1. In The House– LL Cool J

This is one of the many fine programs that aired on the prestigious UPN network. It has the rib tickling plot of Cool J starring as an old footballer Marion who is in need of money and needs to rent out his house to a crazy cast of characters! It was about as funny as you expect for any show on UPN. From what I remember most of the jokes involved the fact that Marion is a girl’s name. Definitely not one of those shows from the 90’s that you look back upon fondly.

  1. The Beatles

It sort of makes sense why The Beatles had their own cartoon series; they were outrageously popular in the 60’s and this was a way to capitalize on their fame. But that fact doesn’t make this TV show any better. Granted, it’s not the worst one on the list and it is nice to see that the toons somewhat resemble the actual members of the band. But Scooby Doo situations, weird sing along segments, corny jokes that are mostly about Ringo, and American voice actors doing terrible British accents all plague the show.

  1. The Jackson 5ive

This is another show where it’s easy to understand why it existed. The Jackson 5 were huge during the 70’s and out of all of the shows on the list, this is the most entertaining because it’s so damn cheesy. The voice work is actually pretty good because it sounds like them, but the jokes again are lame as hell. For instance, they wanted to include Michael’s love of animals, so they gave him two pet mice named Ray and Charles. Really? That’s the best they could come up with? And since this is the 70’s sometimes the episodes got trippy and weird. The one I remember the most is when Michael gets lost in a pseudo Alice in Wonderland world. It was one of the weirdest and stupidest things I’ve ever seen.

  1. Moesha– Brandy

Moesha is one of those shows we’ve all seen at least once just because there was nothing else better on a Saturday afternoon. In case you forgot, there was a point in time where Brandy was a singer. She put that on hold in the mid-90’s to showcase her “acting” skills. I’m not going to lie, I used to like the show when I was younger mostly because the supporting cast was funny. But now when I watch it on syndication I just shake my head at how they try to tackle serious teen issues and how they shamelessly introduced the world to Ray J.

  1. Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi– Puffy AmiYumi

Most may not remember this forgettable and weird cartoon that Cartoon Network actually thought was a good idea. It’s based on the actual Japanese band Puffy AmiYumi, which no one in America had ever heard of prior to the show. Why Cartoon Network thought making a show on a band no one heard of was a good idea is beyond me. What makes it even worse is that the show is full of Japanese stereotypes and does its best to borrow from Japanese animation. In the episode I watched one of the girls actually eats pancakes with chop sticks. I will never understand how it lasted for three seasons.

  1. Method & Red– Method Man and Redman

Does anyone remember when Fox gave this rap duo their own show? Now, I gotta say, the show did have it’s share of funny moments. The guys are pretty funny, but not enough to actually sit through a 20 minute episode. The show had the unique plot line of the duo moving to the Suburbs and shaking things up with their super duper hip hop fabulous life style. Is there a single person out there who actually thought this was going to last for more than one season? I didn’t think so.

  1. Eve– Eve

This is another one of those UPN gems from the mid-2000’s starring everyone’s favorite Ruff Ryder Eve. Apparently, everyone thought her delivery of the “Who drank my apple juice” line from Barbershop was so hilarious that they gave her a show. It’s so unmemorable I can’t tell you anything about the plot aside from that there were probably a few moments when Eve is just yelling trying to capture the magic of her apple juice line from the movie. The biggest problem of the show is the classic rapper transitioning to actor scenario. For the most part rappers can’t act, so please stop giving them the chance.

  1. Kid N’ Play

Yes, that Kid N’ Play from the House Party franchise. My question is how many kids actually saw those movies to comprehend who these guys were and why they should be watching them in cartoon form? I’m not really sure what the premise of the show is, but Kid N’ Play are teens with record contracts, so you know they’re bound to get into wacky situations. They really dis make Saturday morning cartoons from anything. Hell, they had one for the fucking Rubik’s cube.

  1. Class of 3000– Andre 3000

Once again, the geniuses at Cartoon Network decided Andre 3000 was one of the most influential musicians of our time, so why not give him his own cartoon series. The only thing I ask myself while watching this show is why him? Sure, “Hey Ya” was good, but that doesn’t mean the man deserves his own TV show. In it, he plays Sunny Bridges who decides to give up his life as a superstar to teach kids at a music school. Even worse it’s filled with numerous stereotypes about Indian, Black, and Asian people. Just stop Cartoon Network. Just stop.

  1. New Kids on the Block

NKOTB were so popular that they had their own cartoon in the early 90’s. Just let that fact sink in for a minute. And yes, the cartoon is as terrible as you think it is. The thing is the show can’t decide what it wants to be. A wacky cartoon involving the guys getting into mishaps that usually end with them running away from fans, a music station just for their videos, a concert video, or a way to give kids epileptic fits. Seriously, there are random moments when the cartoon box will get small to allow a spastic border of neon lights and wildly 80’s designs that show up for no reason. Adding insult to injury the cartoons look and sound nothing like the guys. This has to be one of the lamest shows out there.

  1. Hammerman– MC Hammer

It’s not hard to understand why MC Hammer was so popular in the 90’s. Can you really resist “U Can’t Touch This” when it comes on? And I bet you still have your hammer pants in the basement. Even though MC Hammer wasn’t all that bad, it doesn’t explain why he had his own show. To make it even better it has one of the weirdest and dumbest plots ever. In case you weren’t paying attention to the awesome rap provided by Hammer himself, this guy Stanley is given magical shoes by some guy that is obviously supposed to be James Brown and somehow they give him musical powers to defeat criminals. I’m not sure if he kills them with musical notes or scares them away with his dance moves ala Michael Jackson, but either way it’s stupid. Seriously, seriously stupid.

Were any of these your favorites? Was there a show I missed? Let me know in the comments!