So I’ve been pretty obsessed with Golan the Insatiable lately. I’m a big fan of Fox’s Saturday night cavalcade of cartoon shorts, Animation Domination HD (or ADHD) even though I’d only ever watched them on Youtube. I kind of remember seeing links for Golan the Insatiable, but I never really checked it out.
At least not until last Sunday when Fox aired a half-hour pilot for the show. I was hooked. It looked like a hilarious original idea. A hateful little girl and her evil demigod best friend? Sign me up. This caused me to do some research and acquire the original six shorts. And I have to say, they were even better.
So, how have you not been watching Golan the Insatiable?
Golan is the “God-Lord Terrible” of Gkruool, a sort of evil Viking race, until he is overthrown by his subjects and cast into Earth. He crashes into the house of Dylan Beekler, a six-year-old, hate filled goth girl who immediately worships him and becomes his acolyte. What follows is an “Alf” style, unlikely houseguest comedy that is both darkly hilarious and kind of heartfelt and touching.
A lot of the comedy also comes from the sort of “Rick and Morty” style setting, drawing humor from the juxtaposition of these outrageous characters and the mundanity of the lives they live. There was something especially funny about seeing this giant demon arguing with a little girl over why the Tivo didn’t record the new “Top Chef,” or Dylan turning a “Chicken Pox Party” into a Satanic torture ritual. It’s got a light, dryness to it that the Fox pilot was lost in favor of a more processed kind of show.
Golan and Dylan as characters are both a little more likeable. There’s a genuineness to them in the shorts. Golan is a lot more of a bully who is a constant terror to everyone around him, but who also seems to want kindness and companionship. He constantly picks on Dylan to hide the fact he’d be lost without her. And there was just something better about how Josh Miller delivered Golan’s lines over Rob Riggle.
Dylan too, has a bit more of a child-like innocence about her, despite her revelry in human suffering. She’s a girl who encourages her demon God-Lord to decapitate his enemies, but could still believe in the tooth fairy. And the way Mikelle Mary Mack Budge delivers her lines in a dead-panned but childlike way makes her adorably likeable. Despite being evil, she is your average little girl.
The rest of the Beekler family provide the same background of normalicy that “Rick and Morty” had although a little different. Richard Beekler is your average Christian dad who isn’t thrilled Golan is living in his house, but is too much of a coward to do anything about it. Carole is your average bored but complacent housewife, and Alexis is your typical teenage girl who wants no part in any of this. They all work well and react differently to Golan’s crazy shenanigans.
I felt like a lot of these elements had been taken out of the Fox pilot, making it weaker to its predecessor. Removing Richard gives Dylan more reason to be unstable and I think it makes her less funny. What’s more, in the pilot, Dylan is still an outcast, but she’s a lot more bombastic and confident, making her appear a lot older, or more mature. But what was most funny about her was that she acted like a little kid. She wasn’t developed with this sense of flare and pageantry, she was just little girl, almost playing make-believe. Golan too is made to be more sympathetic and nice.
In the shorts, the only indication of any backstory was the opening credit sequence where you see Golan get overthrown and cast to Earth, but the way he acts in the show, not only to Dylan but to everyone, makes it seem like he kind of deserved it. Which makes him a better character because he does want kindness and companionship, but all he’s ever known was being an evil jerk. (Kind of the same way in Paper Mario, how Bowser only kidnaps Peach because he wants her to like him. All he’s ever known is brutishness, even if he does a good thing, it’s usually in a bad way. Golan is a lot like Bowser.)
But in the pilot, he was kind of an ignorant jerk who thought everyone in Gkruool would miss his absence and is heartbroken to find out that everyone hates him and they laugh and tease him like a bunch of mean bullies. In the shorts, there’s more a sense that he was cast out for being too much of a monster, and he wants to go back to continue being a monster but in the pilot it feels more like he was wronged and it devalues some of his evil.
Overall, Golan the Insatiable is a hilarious show equal parts dark and heartwarming. All its characters are likeable, and it’s main characters are even more likeable, despite essentially being the villains. If you haven’t checked it out yet, all I can say is “How have you not watched Golan the Insatiable!?”