IFC becomes the latest cable network to tread what’s become the well-worn turf of adult animation with Out There, a surreal high school coming-of-age entry from South Park director and producer Ryan Quincy.
Out There chronicles the adventures of Chad Stevens (voiced by Quincy), a socially awkward teen struggling to get through life, and his even nerdier best friend Justin Noiland (Chris Novak), as they navigate puberty and family life in the surreal, quasi-rural town of Holford.
Much of the action is what you’d expect from a show like this — plot lines include how Chad and Chris meet (Chad helps Chris in his unlikely attempt to “escape” town) and Chad’s being forced to choose between helping Chris recover his reputation after an embarrassing assembly incident or helping his crush, Sharla (Linda Cardellini), organize a school dance.
The show’s humor mainly comes from its surreal setting and characters, voiced by a who’s who of animation voiceover talent, including John DiMaggio, best known as Futurama’s Bender, as Chad’s father Wayne; Megan Mullally (Will & Grace) as his mother, Rose; and Fred Armisen of Portlandia and SaturdayNight Live fame as perhaps the show’s weirdest character, Terry Rosachristas, Chris’ mother’s new-agey, do-nothing boyfriend from an undisclosed South American country.
Out There doesn’t break new ground in adult animation, but its quirky characters are fun. Fans of the genre will find it an enjoyable watch.