Review: High School USA! – Ep. 2: Sexting

After being mesmerized by the first episode of High School USA! I was looking forward to more. There’s always that chance that the pilot episode is actually the best episode, but thankfully that wasn’t the case here. The second episode “Sexting” pokes fun at some many modern-day high school occurrences while still keeping with the wholesome outward appearance. That’s definitely one thing this show has over other animations is that they don’t always hand you the jokes and explain it. A lot of it is hidden in the dialog and yet due to the animation, it’s deceivingly wholesome looking. In this episode there are plenty of visual gags and a few that will be completely noticeable and others not so much, but their dialog hides a ton more.

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The episode starts off in “Le American Diner” again as the gang is sitting around their food which they never eat. Cassandra begins busting Amber’s chops about how excited she is about her “boyfriend” Brent returning. He’s described as a beautiful man and even Brad agrees. Amber begins to freak out though when Cassandra mentions his member. Now Amber can’t stop thinking about what his penis might look like and the fact that she hasn’t seen it and so she asks for a picture.

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Later that night her mom pops in her room and she opens up to her; pay really close attention to this scene because aside from the visual cues there are some dialog cues about Amber’s mom which made this my favorite scene of the episode. Amber gets the picture and it’s not what she expected.

The next day she drags Cassandra to the bathroom with her and at this point you can cue the next visual gag. She shows Cassandra and she instantly makes a joke about Brent’s doodle, but still asks for a copy of the picture to “study” and give a better opinion. The picture of course ends up circulating to all of the girls in the school which puts Amber and Cassandra at odds with each other.

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Marsh feels that he must take it upon himself to fix the problem so that when Brent arrives he doesn’t feel awkward. His solution is that the entire male population of the school should take a “dick pic” of their own and send it to all of the girls in the school. Only by all of them doing it will it show solidarity. Also, if you think that every dude sending every girl a “dick pic” goes by unmentioned then you’re wrong. It’s hilarious.

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The episode was quite funny and I found it strange that some people didn’t like it. After all it’s not exactly pushing any envelopes that Simpson, South Park or Family Guy haven’t pushed well before it, but I can see it not being everyone’s cup of tea. It could very well be that Dino Stamatopoulos has created another show before it’s time.

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The voice acting still seems like its finding its rhythm which isn’t uncommon with animated shows. If you look back at some of your favorites, the first couple of episodes are always rough and usually don’t resemble what the series becomes or the voices you become familiar with. I do wish there was a better breakdown of who is voicing which character rather than the few on IMDB and from what my own ear can pick up, but I’m sure as episodes progress that will happen as well.

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Something I didn’t talk about on my last review was the animation by ADHD. If you’ve followed the site then you know we’ve featured a lot of their shorts on here in the past and I doubt I’m alone when I say that they are a fantastic animation studio. The visual story telling is just as strong as the narrative and it looks great. The coloring is definitely one of the best things and gives the show a modern vibrant look. It stands out compared to other animated shows that are locked into their look from decades past.

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If you’re not watching it, you really should be. I’m not going to deny that this show would be better suited for Adult Swim, but I’m also not going to pretend that Adult Swim has had it’s time to shine and squandered it’s potential on syndicated shows over original content. Frankly, as long as it’s funny I don’t give a crap about where I watch it.

Score: 4/5

Writer: Dino Stamatopoulos