The Heart, She Holler

So I made my way through THE HEART, SHE HOLLER, Adult Swim’s miniseries from WONDER SHOWZEN creators Vernon Chatman and John Lee, and I have absolutely no idea what to make of it. I’m pretty sure that was the point.

And while I’m filing the show under the “Did Not Like” column, it was just too damn off-kilter to fully dismiss. A soap opera/family melodrama parody so surreal it makes TWIN PEAKS look straight-laced and even-keel, THE HEART, SHE HOLLER was often stupid and unfunny (that’s not to say I didn’t laugh–I did, many times, at the show’s audacious, taboo-bursting sensibilities), yet undeniably compelling. Exactly why is hard to pinpoint, but it’s helped by the wealth of bizarre imagery Chatman and Lee stuff into each eleven-minute episode, as well as an array of fearless, colorful performances, especially leads Patton Oswalt and Kristen Schaal.

Unfortunately the escalating weirdness and wild narrative twists add up to a fizzling anti-climax at the miniseries’ conclusion. This may have been deliberate on the creators’ part, as Adult Swim might be ordering additional episodes and obviously Chapman and Lee wouldn’t want to definitively end the storyline; however, as it stands, THE HEART, SHE HOLLER was little more than a distraction, albeit a frequently dark and off-color one.

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