Internet Television

Adult Swim Premieres First Online-Only Series, J.J. Villard’s ‘King Star King’

Last night Adult Swim premiered its first exclusively online animated series King Star King. A punk psychedelic space adventure about a He-Man-esque sci-fi figure who works in a waffle restaurant, the show was created by J.J. Villard, a former DreamWorks story artist (Shrek the Third, Monsters Vs. Aliens) who’s also known for his CalArts student films Son of Satan and Chestnuts Icelolly.

The Titmouse-produced series was originally planned for broadcast television, but for unknown reasons (possibly related to content), the network chose to release the entire six-episode season online, with one exception: the final episode is viewable only after completing ten levels of the King Star King game Floppy King.

While the strategy of releasing all of a show’s episodes online at once is one that Netflix has popularized in the last few years, forcing viewers to unlock a television episode as a reward is something unprecedented for a major content provider. Check out the pilot below and decide if it’s worth the effort:

  • I like the idea of having to unlock future episodes, but a lot of people aren’t going to want to play a game. I guess for Adult Swim’s audience it works, but psychologically I think people are more interested in stuff they can’t get, so you tell them you have to “unlock” the final episode by watching the rest of the episodes and now all of a sudden maybe that piques their interest. It’s a really interesting concept, now I wanna watch this show.

  • Fried

    Titmouse produced, huh? Guess we won’t be seeing the next episode for another 3 years.

    Joking aside, the short wasn’t that bad. It’s your typical crazy, “high school art style” show, but the problem is I’ve already had this flavor before, many times by Adult Swim. There’s not much that is convincing me to stick with it when I can go with the more familiar Superjail.

  • Jeremy Burnett

    WTF? Did I just Watch…. =]

  • jonhanson

    I may be getting old but that did absolutely nothing for me. Felt like Superjail except the awful story got in the way of the inventive visuals. But even with Superjail the novelty of watching the id of a teenage boy on screen wore thin after a while.

    I hate to keep coming back to it but I feel like Superjail pretty much mastered the art of wall to wall ugliness and the more I see other works try and top it the more I just feel kind of sick. But like I said, maybe I’m just getting old, I’m sure there’s people who will cite earlier works as the pinnacle of gross out humor and they might be right.

    Sidenote, I’ve been looking for Son of Satan and Chestnuts Icelolly for years. Anyone have any idea where I can see them?

  • OdysseyTag

    Yip, that’s definitely Titmouse alright.

  • this raised the bar on lowering the bar.

    • Fried

      And people wonder why studios go with mainstream proven successes and formulas.

  • I don’t think I can.

  • feed

    This was great, it overloaded my senses. The art is very imaginative and every scene is crammed full of detail. Great work, can’t wait to see more!

  • Fried

    If you ever find yourself second guessing whether or not you should pitch to Adult Swim, just remember their gems like Venture Brothers, Rick & Morty, and Home Movies.

    Adult Swim doesn’t force people to make gross-out crazy animated shows, but rather, they are one of the few networks that allows the opportunity for people who want to make that type of a show where as most people would turn them down.

    If Superjail had been on Comedy Central, it probably would have been cancelled after one season. I’m glad it didn’t because once Titmouse picked it up, the show got much better in writing.

    Even shows like Drinky Crow and Frankenhole had a decent run despite most people probably not even remembering them. And those two shows are very different in style and humor.

    Adult Swim is a pretty lean back network for artists who just wanna -do- something, but not all of them who pitch wish to be the next Simpsons and the writing reflects that, where it’s targeted for a very niche crowd. That’s a good thing though, this is kind of a station that takes chances and believes in the artist, even if half the crowd doesn’t think it’s very good, another half might think it’s awesome. Most people would turn you down if they thought you’d give them a result like that.

    If you do want to make something that will become big, it can still make it on Adult Swim, again, look at Venture Brothers. Put your work in something great, it becomes one of their top shows and a big hit. Put your work in something meant for limited crowd, you get that result.

  • Karim

    Here’s an animation savior among too few nowadays, whether you like it or not it’s one man’s orgasm of creativity, the true animator’s too-good-to-be-true-it-ll-never-happen dream, a sickness to cure the status-quo feeding all of you Industry fiends going high on Turbo and Frozen.

    It ain’t awesome, it doesn’t suck, it’s A NECESSARY EVIL for the shape of things to come.

    Oh and by the way, I hope this convince suits to exhume Korgoth of Barbaria and give it a proper run. ;)

  • Christopher Sanders

    lol raised the bar on lowering how the hell you think of that my head was filled with wtf wtf wtf

  • Fabrice Ducouret

    Cannot watch such ugliness and bad taste. No one’s hip or cool or rebellious for enjoying this “just because it isn’t cute”. You can say anything you want about Disney, but I’ll take “The Sword in the Stone” or “Black Cauldron” over this any day.

  • Chicken McPhee

    I gotta say I wish JJ had gone with a simpler style, akin to ‘Son of Satan’.

  • Ralf

    After 3 mins I got bored. No contrast and one directional storyline going downhill. Yawn.

  • Princess Sparkle

    You do NOT see NOTHING wrong with this show? I can’t guess why… I see everything wrong with it.

    • ThatGuy

      I agree with the pony

  • Princess Sparkle

    John K, Hot Diggety Demon and Egoraptor.

    • ThatGuy

      At least those guys can make ugly look appealing ( not that I like it regardless )