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The Onion A/V Club Reviews – Moral Orel: ‘Beforel Orel, Trust’

On 20, Nov 2012 | In Press & News | By SBI

Moral Orel, the clay-animation Davey And Goliath parody that Dino Stamatopoulos never tires of informing interviewers isn’t a Davey And Goliath parody, ended its run on Adult Swim almost four years ago. This one-shot special, which serves as a sort of prequel to the series, offers some hints about where the show might have gone if it hadn’t been denied a fourth season, after having had its third-season order cut by seven episodes. I’m not sure how many people have been sitting on the edge of their seats all this time hoping for another half hour of Orel and company, but at least Stamatopoulos can take heart in knowing that his supreme creation has proven harder to kill off than the Starburns character he played on Community.

The title character of the series is a 12-year-old boy growing up in a God-fearing little town called Moralton in a non-existent state, Statesota. It’s basically Anytown, U.S.A., and it’s a really horrible place to raise your kids up. The central joke is that Orel, who tries to live his life according to his literal-minded understanding of religious scripture, never notices that he’s surrounded by hypocritical and mean-spirited adults, from the religious bullies who wield the power in town to his spineless, whimpering, alcoholic father. As satire of the danger inherent in unreflective devotion to religious doctrine, Moral Orel would be more focused if Orel sometimes got it right, in ways that made the hypocrites and weaklings around him uncomfortably aware of their own failings. But it’s the kind of show that aims for satire but is prepared to sacrifice meaning to outrageousness every time, so Orel is more likely to engage in hate crimes or dabble in necromancy, all in the name of what he thinks he’s learned in church.

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