Opening credits throw almost every kind of media into a lively stew — a fun way to begin. But then the educational plot kicks in: Al comes under the “bad influence” (which happens to be the title of this episode) of “cool guy” Spike (Kevin Weisman). What works is that the kids aren’t condescended to: In fact, the show’s lesson is imparted with a broad wink at the audience.
What also works are the TV blurb parodies, as well as other TV spoofs, including a “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” takeoff with hostile hand puppets.
What doesn’t work is the cast’s acting (stiff, flat) and some plot elements (way too goofy). Borderline is Harvey the Wonder Hamster (too forced).
Hopefully, future episodes will use more animation and other media, and pace, although frantic, should appeal to the candidates for Ritalin its aimed at.