Then John Kricfalusi and his Spumco team got fired. Then the Ren and Stimpy Show, once the best cartoon since the Looney Tunes era, completely went over the edge. Watching Ren and Stimpy like this became the worst four years of my life since World War I.
Now this Season Four episode, "Hermit Ren", an incredibly brief two-parter, backed up by a nearly 5-minute skit, is a great example of taking an average idea and beating it to death. To the point of oblivion. Seriously, whoever wrote this story needs to be hanged. So, I'll do a Boycott-esque review and run through the entire episode sec-by-sec.
Anyways, the cartoon opens with Stimpy stupidly singing a "comebya" beat on an accordion. Look at him for one second, then turn away, because I swear, he will get stuck in your head for days and days.
He then is greeted by Stimpy, who shows off another stupid work, and explains that Ren's dinner is in the oven. Ren forces himself to the kitchen.
He pulls out the chicken, which looks burned to the point of oblivion, and absentmindedly drags it to the table, then begins to chow down on said chicken, but then the burn's so intense it blisters his tongue. Look at it now before your tongue and eyes get an infection.
It's too obvious you know what comes up next.
Ren storms out of the bathroom, looking really angry, in an expression that I've seen before, in a mood that's far too common. The personalities of the characters rarely changed in Ren and Stimpy, maybe the biggest change I saw in characters' moods was in cartoons like "Stimpy's Fan Club" and "Son of Stimpy", partly because they delved a little more emotionally than other cartoons. Oh, wait, those were actually GOOD cartoons.
Ren prepares to charge at the dumbass cat, and the only thing that saves the cat from a certain death by strangling, a very fucking well-deserved death, is when Ren glues his foot into an accordion, that Stimpy dropped. How he dropped it all the way to the fucking bathroom door is beyond me. He then takes in the world around him: the telephone repetitively ringing, Stimpy being an idiot (oh, wait, we learned that about three years ago, idiot writers), and bad television. He then lets out a scream enough to annoy Donald Sutherland, and storms out with the accordion still on his foot. He packs his suitcase and runs out, claiming he's never coming back.
Which is ironic, we already know he will.
He then gets his own personal cave (you've got to be trolling me), from the Hermit Union. The images are so stupid it's not even worth MENTIONING. He has to have no friends, no outside time at all, blah, blah, blah. And the cave is locked by a boulder that's activated by a button. Umm... a button activates a thing of nature? That's another thing: Ren and Stimpy took logic and raped it. Completely raped it up the arse.
As the story progresses, he goes insane: he becomes best friends with a scarecrow that was laid in the cave somehow, mistakes bats for cow utters, and sees some random dude called Old Man Hoek, who doesn't even look related to Ren, he just looks like some random street hobo put in a farmer's outfit. Stimpy's a wreck, and now makes dinners out of telephones.
Which is really stupid: he made dinners all by himself. Probably put in as a cheap gag.
Ren's all alone, and after hallucinating like he's taken six hardcore bags of valium and mushrooms mixed together: he makes a pile of BAT DROPPINGS into a shape like Stimpy. I was about ready to turn it off here because of the horrible one-liner the bat later follows.
The scarecrow then tells Ren he must bring out his three personalities: and brings out his anger side, his fear side, and his ignorance side, all of which every character possesses, and they're all interpreted as other chihuahuas, with angry Ren as a steaming-red, ready-to-explode, very hostile, fearful Ren as a skinny, cowardly bag of bones, and ignorant Ren with his eyes completely all over the place and somewhat fatter. Yeah, ignorant characters nowadays look just like that.
They play a blackjack game with a table that they just randomly pull of their assholes. Ren slowly becomes paranoid with the hallucinations around him, which is really stupid because they're reflecting what he really is, but hey, this is a schizophrenic cartoon. (And, in this moment, comes the only good line spoken in this cartoon, by Angry Ren: "I'm cheating? YOUR WHOLE LIFE'S A CHEAT!") He then rips off the arm of the scarecrow and beats the pretend sides of him, and then the Hermit Union leader comes in and forces him to leave because of friends. Is the human really that fucking ignorant to know that the friends were rocks?
Ren leaves with the fur on his back and that pile of bat shit he made Stimpy out of. He comes home to see Stimpy still living in the dead cow, wearing cowboy boots with a short skirt and green dress, with lipstick on his face, running around with a pile of ear wax shaped like Ren. I turned the cartoon off right here.
That was the worst seventeen minutes of my life since I was tortured. I don't care what you think: but this cartoon had an idea pulled right out of their spine and beaten with a rusty cane. I would rather poke a spike through my own brain while watching the Jerry Springer Show. That was horrid. I don't care what you think about Ren & Stimpy: it was shitty from the start, but it had tweaks of decency throughout that helped it through the otherwise puzzling two seasons.
At least John K can't be blamed for how crappy Ren and Stimpy is.