Dan Vs. is an American flash-animated television series created by Dan Mandel and Chris Pearson. The series spanned three seasons, airing on The Hub (later Discovery Family) from January 1, 2011, to March 9, 2013.
When the protagonist of a show is a general malcontent dressed in a black T-shirt inscribed with the word JERK, you know you're in for something different. This animated series follows the never-ending outbursts of Dan, a short (and short-tempered) man who has nothing better to do with his time than rail against what he perceives to be life's injustices -- even if he's completely in the wrong. Whether he has a beef against a fast-food chain, an untalented barber, the game of baseball or lemonade-selling children, petulant Dan is always spurred into action, usually dragging best friend Chris and his wife, Elise, along on the revenge-filled ride.
Why It Rocks
- Children's television's got the right tool to spoofing the adult animated sitcom.
- Dan Vs. has a seriously devoted cult following, and for good reason; It's a show about an angry man who believes that the world is against him, he easily jumps to rash conclusions, and tries to get revenge on anything from the wolfman to Canada.
- The show can still have great episode ideas.
- Unlike many adult cartoons like modern-day The Simpsons and Family Guy, the show stays consistently witty, smart and kid-friendly without resorting to shock value and profanity.
- The characters are very familiar to views because we all know someone that takes EVERYTHING personally. Thankfully, most of those people just go through life sulking and unhappy.
- Unlike many other cartoons on air today, Dan Vs. pushes the network censors and doesn't care about having "positive role models" or being "politically correct". This is especially notable in the episode "Traffic" where Dan drops the F-bomb 3 minutes into said episode, with it being uncensored. We are not kidding.
- The jokes are cleverly-written and (since the show was originally intended to be a live-action sitcom) you get that same sort of vibe in them, mainly stemming from Dan's cynicalism and witty intelligence or a lack thereof.
- Great characters designs, a right mixture of cartoony and realistic that is visually-appealing.
- Dan is an anti-hero in his own right and easily becomes one of the most hilarious characters on the show while, someone like Chris is a pushover known for his excessive eating and some of the humor stems from this fact.
- The writers do an excellent job of keeping the characters consistent and the character development progressing smoothly, and the show has a definite continuity, but one that doesn't impede just jumping in anywhere.
- An amazing voice cast with Curtis Armstrong voicing the titular character, Dave Foley, and Paget Brewster.
- Dan's cat, Mr. Mumbles, is pretty cute and adds to Dan's antics rather than just be adorable.
- Despite being a kids' TV show, it was rated TV-PG, due to its dark humor.
- Some inappropriate innuendos, which isn't actually a problem, except for the fact that this show is on the same network that airs My Little Pony.
- Gross out humor has been depicted in some episodes such as in "The Dinosaur" where the Kiwi (not to be confused with the fruit, but the word used for people from New-Zealand) hunter Mel Darwin chomped off a chunk of dinosaur plaque that was covered on Chris's car prior to Tyra Argentina (the name of the dinosaur), biting it, and when it revealed in the end that Tyra pooped out Chris, who survived in her stomach because he wore a spacesuit costume.
- The animation isn't the best, but it rarely hinders the show because most of the humor is dialogue based.
- While Elise is a great character and her spy subplots are entertaining, they have taken a little too much screen time away from Dan.
- Although Dan's jerkish, short-tempered, rude, and toxic attitude is what makes him famous in this show, it can make him unlikeable at the same time depending on anyone's view. In fact, he is also bossy and rude to his friend Chris.
- Despite being a tolerable character, Chris is pondered as a Butt-Monkey as he goes through an awful amount of torture presented in many episodes.
- This consists of getting forced into Dan or Elise's antics, resulting to him being a pushover since he gets feelings that there wouldn't be any use trying to reason himself out of a situation due to Dan's intelligent ways to getting him to do his biddings and Elise creating an accurate point and tending to sound serious, resulting to the reason why he never says no to either of them.
- He is hated by Elise's entire family.
- Whenever there is a situation involving Dan receiving consequences for anything he does, Chris apparently shares the same punishment (i.e. getting arrested with Dan for a crime that was committed by Dan himself).
- This occured in the episode "The Bank", at the scene where Dan gets thrown out of the bank by the security guards because he attempted to get revenge on the bank for not giving him the fifty cents his bank has raised for ATM fees, the guards did the same with Chris because he was with Dan, meaning they assumed Chris was involved in the attack (although Chris didn't realize that as he didn't seem to understand why).
- He gets verbally and physically abused in any form.
- He sometimes gets rebuked by Elise in any form for helping Dan in his antics.
- He hardly ever defends himself properly, thought it could justified that he is afraid that something bad will happen to him if he tried.
- Mandel's original idea was for the show to be a live-action sitcom, but new possibilities opened up once they started development for an animated series.
- The show was pitched to various networks, including Adult Swim. It would later accepted as a kids' TV cartoon show.
- One of the co-creators and writers, Chris Pearson, would later wrote the Buddy Thunderstruck episode, "Get the Hock Out" which is considered to be one of that show's worst episodes by fans.