Gamer Cinema: Game Over, The Complete Series
TV is littered with short-lived shows that by all rights probably should've gone on longer and despite their short run are well-loved and have tons of fans. Game Over is not one of these. Limited to a thankfully short 6 episode run on the also thankfully short-lived UPN, Game Over was Wreck-it Ralph with far worse writing and virtually no budget. The Show focuses on a family that lives in the video game world, not that you would know it aside from the occasional straight out reference that isn't even a joke (hey let's mention Mario! There's a random poster with Crash Bandicoot!) and obviously there to remind you that this is supposed to to be a video game universe. The main characters sure as hell don't. The father Rip is race car driver (driving, that's only done in video games, right?) The mom is a secret agent? Treausre Hunter? Who knows but she seems to be chasing after a different mineral monkey statue every episode. But does that mean she's a gaming character? No real references or evidence is given. The two kids? The boy is a wannabe rapper and is one of the most annoying characters I've ever seen stuck in the 90s even though this was in 2004. The daughter is Hayley from American Dad, that's it. But without characters like Stan or Roger to play off of it's a role that doesn't make sense. She's pretty much a rebel without a cause. And finally there is Turbo who is the requisite smart ass pet, but he's lacking the depth you get from a Brian or a Klaus.
The humor is mostly based around the idea of stories that everyone can relate to, that at the end of the day they are a regular family who have regular problems. Which is fine because you can only carry the it's a video game world joke so far. The problem is that again they don't act like they are in a video game world, which would've been a good way to put a fresh spin on tired plots about Dad having trouble connecting with his kids and Mom being too busy with her job top help her kid with a project, etc. Instead it's just tired joke on top of tired joke with no effort whatsoever.
The final nail in the coffin is the animation. I won't necessarily knock a series for having an obviously limited budget when it comes to animation. I wasn't expecting Toy Story, but there were series years before that looked better. Rather than going for the cheap-looking CGI that the series is presented in(and many cheap kids shows are still done in), they've could've gone with something that actually looked like a video game and that would've at least been unique.
Arguably the only redeeming feature of this whole show is that it features Patrick Warburton, Lucy Liu & Rachel Dratch doing their best to give life to completely dead material, but even the biggest fans of these actors would be tolerating at best this rather than actually enjoying it. Game Over was clearly over before it even began.