A lot of the midnight madness that airs on Adult Swim tends to run together in a smoky haze, but there's one program that, along with Rob Corddry's Childrens Hospital, stands out from the rest: It's Eagleheart, a live-action action series starring living legend Chris Elliott as a U.S. Marshal who's no stranger to being blanketed in blood. If you're cool, you've already got your DVR set to record it and you know that Season 3 premieres tonight at midnight on Adult Swim. If you didn't know that, then please allow me to be your guide to coolness, with a handful of reasons why you should watch. Onward to coolness, my friends!
1. Brett Gelman is Brett and Chris Elliott is Chris
I'm not going to lie, it helps to be a Chris Elliott fan when appreciating Eagleheart. The man was the epitome of alternative comedy before there was an alternative to comedy, polishing his unique brand of lunacy on Late Show with David Letterman when old Gap Tooth was just a young buck and starring and co-writing the television series Get a Life and the film Cabin Boy, two early '90s projects that were so ahead of their time, they may as well have been released in Latin. Elliott is a living legend, and no one else in the world could play the dunce-y yet ass-kicking U.S. Marshal Chris Monsanto at the center of Eagleheart.
And Brett Gleman, when he's not evangelizing the power of hip-hop or recruiting cult members to Gelmania, is weird. You likely know Gelman as weird Mr. K from the departed NBC sitcom Go On; here, he plays weird idiot sidekick Brett Mobley. Is he acting? Who knows, but he's perfect for the role. And while we're at it, I guess I should also admit my scary crush on Maria Thayer, who plays the guys' partner. It's one R and two Ts in "Surette," Maria, in case you want to get started on that restraining order.
2. Cartoon violence and lampoonish (live!) action for grown-ups
When we were kids, a cartoon mouse hammering a nail through a cartoon cat's tongue was hilllllarious. But now that we're older and society says that all we're good for are 401Ks and hemorrhoids, we're not supposed to giggle at ridiculous violence and buffoonery. Fuuuuuck that. Eagleheart is the anvil falling from the sky and the ACME box of rocket-skates and the painted cartoon tunnel on a wall for the mature crowd—and best of all it's live-action. And I'm not kidding about the action! Eagleheart exists under the pretense of a pretend series in the vein of Walker, Texas Ranger without being anything like Walker, Texas Ranger. Heck, one past episode was all about Monsanto's brutal fighting maneuver known as the Death Punch, a wallop that made his enemies explode into gooey chunks on contact.
3. Ingenious absurdity
In tonight's season premiere, a crook uses a certain special natural power of a sea creature to facilitate a major crime, and it's BRILLIANT... in an impossible, wacky way of course. Obviously I can't spoil it for you, but here's a hint: tide pooling = a get-rich-quick scheme.
4. Season 3 will be one long serialized story
While episodes in the first two seasons were pretty much entirely standalone, Season 3—dubbed Eagleheart: Paradise Rising—will be one ongoing story instead of a bunch of 11-minute slices of insanity without consequences. This changes everything in the Eagleheart universe, which has never been afraid of killing characters or featuring cataclysmic events, only to wipe the board clean like an Etch A Sketch in Shakira's pants. Now, with some added serialization, you'll be clamoring for the next episode.
5. It looks pretty
This is an Adult Swim show, but you wouldn't know it, because it looks great. Cinematic and stylish, Eagleheart stretches its shoestring budget to maximum effect with a balls-out shooting schedule to maximize efficiency. And it uses style to heighten the mood and the bizarre. When Chris Monsanto reflects on a tragedy, it feels bigger and more emotional than anything you'd ever expect to see on Adult Swim, and strange side stories are brought to life as if they're productions of Death of a Salesman. Chalk that up to director Jason Woliner, who brought that same sense of ambition to MTV's cult sketch show Human Giant.
Watch Eagleheart: Paradise Rising tonight at midnight at Adult Swim. That's an order!