I didn't see "Napoleon Dynamite" when it hit theaters almost eight years ago and became something of a cult phenom.
That's probably a good thing: If the first two episodes of the new animated series (
7:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Sunday, Fox; 1 star
) based on it are any indication, I would not have sat through it.
I understand from friends who loved the movie that it was a sweet, gentle look at a group of misfits. The humor of the movie came out of its honest portrayals. Maybe that's the problem with the animated version: Everything feels like a put-on; nothing seems plausible.
In "Thundercone," awkward 16-year-old Napoleon (Jon Heder) suffers a zit outbreak after his 32-year-old loser brother, Kip (Aaron Ruell), tosses a chicken skin onto Napoleon's forehead. When Napoleon rubs Rack-U-Tane on his face, it causes "lust and unbridled rage" that leads him to join a fight club.
In "Scantronica Love," a scantron machine matches Napoleon's girlfriend Deb (Tina Majorino) with bully Don Moser (co-producer Jared Hess). Napoleon has to act fast to stop her from getting "engaged to get engaged to get engaged..." You get the idea.