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Entry updated 18 December 2023. Tagged: TV.

US animated tv series (2023). Bento Box, Fox Entertainment Studios, Harmonious Claptrap. Created by Dan Harmon. Directors include Otis Brayboy and Dominic Polcino. Writers include Abbey Caldwell, Emma Fletcher, Dan Harmon, Tom Scharpling, Rob Schrab, Diana Tay and Siobhan Thompson. Voice cast includes Richard Ayoade, Stephanie Beatriz, Matt Berry, Steve Buscemi, Pam Murphy, Duncan Trussell and Hannah Waddingham. Ten 22 minute episodes. Colour.

In an Ancient Greece [for Greek and Latin Classics see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below] whose Mythological creatures are real (see Alternate History), Tyrannis (Ayoade) is the 29-year-old son of Deliria (Waddingham), goddess (see Gods and Demons) of self-destruction and questionable choices, and Shlub (Berry), a mantitaur (half manticore, half centaur – see Supernatural Creatures): the former is self-centred and temperamental, the latter a cheerful hedonist. Tyrannis is human – the result of a curse – and has a half-sister, Stupendous (Murphy), a large one-eyed warrior (her father was a Cyclops) and a half-brother, Hippocampus (Trussell), a Scientist who is part fish (his mother being a mermaid). Tyrannis orders a City built, arguing civilization is the way forward: "You know who's going to run the future? Diplomats, negotiators, deal-makers ... like me" (see Politics). Though the family is extremely dysfunctional and abusive, nonetheless there are moments when they show they care for each other (see Clichés).

Adventures are had: Prometheus is unchained from his rock by Tyrannis and Hippocampus (Heracles freeing the dummy left in his place). The wood nymphs recognize cities and humans pose a threat to the forests, so plot to destroy both, though one nymph, Daphne (Beatriz), develops a fondness for Hippocampus and, to a lesser extent, Tyrannis. At a Tech (see Technology) convention, Hippocampus is persuaded to leave Tyrannis and join Hephaestus's (Buscemi) team of scientists, only to learn Hephaestus will garner the credit for any Inventions and will focus on what gets the attention of the other gods; so a calculating device (see Computers) is ignored in favour of a better hat for Hermes. At the convention Tyrannis finds the other scientists are as scornful as Hippocampus to his suggestions that inventing a written language or plumbing would be a good thing. This antipathy to new ideas recurs – a man who invents pants is met with hostility from all save Shlub and Tyrannis, though the latter's support is more an excuse to avoid the more dangerous task of investigating a Monster that is terrorizing the region.

Hippocampus, head encased in a fish-bowl and feeble body supported by a wheeled frame, is the most interesting character, though Shlub is probably the most sympathetic. The budget does not appear to be large, the animation being competent though not eye-catching. With Humour and some Satire, Krapopolis is quite good, but so far unremarkable. It is the least of Harmon's four series to date, the others being the classics Community and Rick & Morty, plus the interesting Strange Planet. [SP]


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