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SUPERHERO IRONY A BIT RUSTY AT TIMES.

Byline: - David Kronke

When Cartoon Network first introduced its Adult Swim nighttime bloc, the notion of cheesily animated shows with corkscrew plotting and Dadaistic nonsequiturs was a fresh one. That was a while back, though, and since then, the floodgates have unleashed a torrent of shows that revel in their own randomness.

Eventually there's going to be a point of diminishing returns, which isn't going to help ``Freak Show's'' cause much. The show is crummily drawn, weakly animated and gleefully determined to offend -- all of which, some will say, adds to its charm.

The lineup

Created by David Cross, one of the masterminds behind HBO's brilliant, too-short-lived ``Mr. Show,'' and H. Jon Benjamin (``Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist''), ``Freak Show'' concerns a misfit team of superheroes, Freak Squad. Its members include the World's Tallest Nebraskan; Primi, the Premature Baby; the Log Cabin Republican; and conjoined twins Tuck and Benny. They moonlight at a mom-'n'-pop carnival in the cross hairs of a global freak megaconglomerate.

We're not kidding

None of Freak Squad's superpowers are remotely daunting, or even useful (Primi's is pinpoint vomiting); underscoring their nominal use to the world is the fact that their exploits are overseen by a parking attendant at the Pentagon, who dispatches them on missions while dispensing change to the lot's visitors.

Likewise, their adventures are underwhelming. Apparently it's a lot easier to unspool ironic, meandering story lines with the occasional flatulence joke than to cook up taut or even vaguely interesting plots.

Still, some of the one-liners and withering attacks on pop culture carry more punch than any right uppercut that any Freak Squad member could manage.

FREAK SHOW - Two and one half stars

What: Animated series about freaks with lame super-powers. The anti-``Heroes.''

Where: Comedy Central.

When: 10:30 tonight.

In a nutshell: Random and intermittently funny.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Oct 4, 2006
Words:303
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