Golan the Insatiable - both the show and the mighty horned warlord - are fans of the grotesque, but there’s something to be said for the way they both can nail some genuinely adorable moments. So while I have your attention, I will now say some of those things to be said.

The Beekler-Insatiable family is off to the lake for a weekend of fun, though not quite of the wholesome Brady Brunch variety that usually comes with this familiar sitcom premise. Dylan being Dylan, she is determined to use this time in the wilderness to hunt animals and terrify the forest en masse. So far, so typically off the wall Golan the Insatiable. But even before Golan realizes his hormonal mood swings mean he’s about to shed his exoskeleton and start over as just the cutest little gremlin (all true), his affection for Dylan shines through. They’ve only been a team for a short while now, but the idea of Dylan growing up and moving on without him is enough to drive Golan to tears. Okay, sure, this is one of those aforementioned hormonal mood swings, but come on, he loves the kid.

Dylan more than returns the feeling, as evidenced by the fact that she doesn’t do a whole lot in “On Golan Pond” besides talk big about hunting and being a worthy acolyte. But her devotion to Golan is the backbone of this show. As fun as it can be to watch Golan let his id flag fly, Dylan’s obsession with him and their unlikely partnership is what makes Golan the Insatiable that much more interesting than just a string of dismemberments. (Sometimes, reviewing this show is just a practice in trying to outdo yourself by just describing basic parts of the episode.)

Once Golan becomes the version of himself that would have to compete in the “toy” category at a dog show (see?), Golan and Dylan’s storyline is off and running in increasingly frantic directions. Dylan, bored of setting traps for animals with shiny coins, makes sure they are stranded to ensure maximum adventure time. Golan, tiny and terrified of everything, tries to avoid said “everything” by hiding out. A wolf finds him, she brings him back to her den, the runt of her litter ends up drinking his blood and becoming a horrifying hell demon, yadda yadda yadda, Golan ends up buried alive.

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Golan the Insatiable immediately set about trying to establish an “anything goes” story policy, but the dozen or so turns this storyline takes is truly impressive. At first it seems like Golan has some warped version of PMS, a thin thread that could nonetheless sustain the entire plot on a less ambitious show. Within minutes, though, he’s bleeding out of two arrow wounds Dylan accidentally inflicted while his adorable little belly wheezes in agony and a freak accident monster wolf slobbers through a wicked smirk. The runt wolf ballooning into a drooling monster is exactly the kind of hilarious surprise Golan the Insatiable should be chasing. It’s always exciting when a cartoon takes advantage of its flexible format and goes for a moment so big and weird that it would have been ridiculous to see outside an animated context. This level of surrealism is what has made shows like Adventure Time and Rick and Morty so popular, and could do the same for Golan if it plays its cards right.

In the storylines unrelated to Golan and/or Dylan, Carol and Alexis get caught up with Keith’s parents and their shy partybot. Keith’s dad continues to push his son to make him proud by doing disgusting things, this time encouraging him to take Alexis to a famous stump in the forest where The Kids dry hump each other into chafed bliss (or something approaching it). Ken Marino lends Keith’s dad the kind of macho cluelessness he perfected as the bachelor on Burning Love, so that he’s still fun to hang out with even when his Cool Party Dad character should be dead. Carol’s dalliances with ill-advised shots and the partybot have some amusing asides, most notably the cheesy moment when they realize they probably love each other and the times Carol insists she’s happy, only to have her eye twitch and her head howl in agony. By the time she and the bot make it to the island of misfit technology, though, the joke’s worn out.

Again, though, Alexis and Keith provide a surprising amount of goofy fun with their sideplot—and again, it mostly involves dry humping. Rachel Butera and Nick Rutherford embrace every bonkers aspect of their characters, no matter how much they insist on measuring love in chafing. While their Alexis and Keith sound like they sprang out of Teen Girl Squad’s squawking clique, their relationship is surprisingly strong. These two could be boring popular kids, but letting them actually love each other is a strong choice that makes their adventures together much more enjoyable to watch. The next step is giving them more to do outside of each other—like maybe having Alexis interact with Dylan even at all—so they can share the wealth of their twisted affection.

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Stray observations:

  • Laughed real loud at Keith and Alexis falling for the shiny coin trick the second time, but even harder Alexis immediately starting up her romantic song again.
  • Rob Riggle’s voice in tiny Golan’s body is a delight.
  • “I need to take you to the doctor!” “All right, fine. But if I’m good, I want a sticker and a lollipop. I want both!!”
  • “It really brings out the popularity in your eyes.”
  • Partybot, calculating the dreaded How Many People Have You Slept With number: “well, if we’re counting butt stuff…recalculating…”

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