'Napoleon Dynamite' Needs to Die in Peace Already

napoleon dynamiteWhen I first heard that an animated Napoleon Dynamite TV show would be making its way into my living room, I rolled my eyes, scoffed, and made other gestures that signify disgust and contempt. I loved Napoleon Dynamite (the movie) when it came out. So much so that I saw it in the theater twice. And I own the DVD. At the time, it was unlike anything else out there. But it's been nearly eight years since the off-beat, low-budget, indie film took Hollywood by storm -- and since then, there have been a million shows, films, and Internet videos that have attempted to mimic the movie's quirky, original voice. None with such luck. So, what made anybody think that a television version was a good idea? Especially now?


Despite my preconceived notions, I went into the two episode premiere with an open mind (well, I tried). Where it wasn't the worst thing to ever grace my TV (I watch lots of Bravo) -- and it's always amusing to hear Jon Heder doing the Napoleon voice -- I'm afraid I was right. A TV version of Napoleon Dynamite just isn't funny.

Not only does it seem tired because, like I said, there have been countless Napoleon Dynamite-esque renditions of things over the years, it seems tired because there are tons of animated shows on TV right now. And they all have that similar-looking Simpsons/Family Guy/Cleveland Show type of animation. So, the show really doesn't seem original (which was the movie's main allure) tonally or aesthetically. It's more of a schtick now.

As much as we all loved the film, I think we need to let Napoleon Dynamite die quietly and gracefully in peace. It was, and still is, one of those rare things that just can't be replicated. Even with all the original actors.

Did you watch Napoleon Dynamite? What did you think?


Image via Carlos Varela/Flickr

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