Halfway through “Winter Is Staying,” I thought I would be writing a review about how Golan and Dylan get along because they’re both ridiculous punk kids at heart. Then Dylan temporarily lost the use of her legs, and I thought I might write a review about how incredibly freaking dark this show can get and whether or not it was working beyond shock value. Then the episode turned into an all-out war, and I…had no idea what kind of review I would be writing anymore. Golan The Insatiable is a whole lot of fun, but it’s also a whole lot just in general. While several laugh out loud moments are encouraging, they still aren’t enough to distract from the fact that the rest of the episode’s humor is so scattered.

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But to keep things simple, let’s start with that whole “kids at heart” thing. Golan and Dylan are kindred spirits because they’re just as prone to giggling over something inane as they are to maiming the innocent. They are both the purest examples of sociopathic id living in the world of “Minnesota nice.” They hate just about everyone in the world except themselves, and are both big fans of a dramatic tantrum, and so it’s only natural that they band together. Their quest to keep winter around forever—to turn Oak Grove into some even more hellish version of Narnia—brings out the kids in both of them. Deciding that Dylan needs to be cast as the “last snowflake” in the Oak Grove winter play so she can refuse to melt is exactly a nonsensical conclusion, but exactly the kind of logic an excitable kid would use to make herself feel better.

The difference between them becomes clearer, though, when Carol ruins Dylan’s resolve to destroy everything by showing signs of pride. Dylan’s struggle to stay evil in the face of her mother’s enthusiasm is a very effective way to flesh out her character, especially because it ends up differentiating herself from Golan. Where Dylan gets a little vulnerable, enjoying her time in the spotlight and in her mother’s good graces even more than she would ever admit, Golan fake sobs in a clerk’s enormous chest and launches Dylan into an escalating series of daredevil stunts that leaves her paralyzed. This warlord may grab numbers for a depression hotline every now and then, but for the most part, he doesn’t give a shit.

This brings us to point two: this show takes some seriously fucked up turns. This isn’t a dealbreaker by any stretch, since many comedies (and especially cartoons) can get away with murder and mayhem if the jokes are smart enough. Golan The Insatiable mostly pulls off its main characters’ callous attitudes towards everything they don’t approve of (read: everything), but the cold open in which Golan and Dylan send a young family careening off a cliff is…well, a lot. Dylan’s bully Mackenzie B seems doomed to a vicious cycle of getting seriously injured before coming back stronger and meaner than ever almost immediately, but since it’s not quite as clear if the rest of Oak Grove’s citizens have a similar way of restoring themselves, bits like that family exploding at the bottom of a canyon are jarring, and not in the irreverent way the show is aiming for.

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This holds true for the last act, when Dylan ruins the show as promised and sets off a full-out battle sequence between her and Alexis’ willing minions from the rest of the cast. The siege is rushed and shapeless; the jokes never quite land through all the random chaos the show threw in just because it could.

Stray observations:

  • Really liked Alexis’ Homeland-esque quest to figure out what the hell Dylan’s up to, even though the excuse to get her there was thin.
  • Biggest laugh: Kyle saying he just wanted Alexis to get over the whole thing so he could “gently honk” her boobs, at which point his hand s-l-o-w-l-y crept towards her (and was batted away the second he got close, natch).
  • Carol running from bees on a loop, please.
  • Best and also most random joke: Oak Grove’s local news channel has segment roosters, but Dylan’s horrified to find out that they’re all the same rooster. The nerve.

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