Not to worry, It’s not what you think. I just needed something attention-grabbing to, well, grab your attention and direct it toward Adult Swim’s fairly new, consciousness expanding show Off The Air. After some covert research, which really means a good couple hours website surfing and message board scouring, I found that not many people have seen, or even know about, this radical program, a disjointed collage of video clips transmitted from your cable box to your third eye.
I first stumbled upon the absurdist presentation on the official Adult Swim website on that little marquee thing they have that enables visitors to watch episodes they might’ve missed during regular programming, online at their leisure. Used to seeing King of The Hill and Metalocalypse premieres in that area, naturally my interest was peaked when I saw something I couldn’t identify. Off The Air was nestled there, waiting patiently for someone to pick it up, open the floodgates and unleash it’s chaotic power upon the universe, a Pandora’s Box kind of situation. “Animals” was the name of the episode, coincidentally, the show’s debut, the start of a sequence of themed, 10-minute chapters that would get progressively more disturbing as it went on.
“Animals” flanked my senses from the get-go with a missile of color, sound, and allegory that made my psyche recoil in defense. Actual footage of an eagle and a mountain goat, starts the party with a bang, as the bird’s gigantic talons grab the goat and fly away with it, smashing its skull on the rocks below and dropping it into a valley, watching as the helpless billy falls hundreds of feet to its death. Pressing ahead toward insanity, clips of ostriches skiing, cats meowing and multiplying to a beat (Meow Mix), and music videos from Flying Lotus and Blockhead, kept shit groovy and in accordance with the zoological motif.
Airing originally on New Year’s Day sometime in the early moring, I’m talking 3 or 4 am, the show drew contradicting reactions from audiences, with some commending it for it’s “trippiness”, some tearing it down for it’s “stoner-crowd appeasement”, and others too bewildered to comment. Still it wasn’t until the release of the second episode, “Food”, that viewers saw the show, as a show, and not just a one-off holiday special or an elongated bump. “Food” dropped on May 25th of this year, again at some obscenely late hour, giving those die-hard enough to disregard their bedtime a sweet treat that their neurons would savor forever.
Overwhelming and frightening at times, this show continues to haunt those who lays eyes on it, dishing up brain-munchies for the late-night, couch-sitting, burnouts. Only two episodes of the series have been released thus far but word on the street is that Adult Swim has got plenty more rounds of Off The Air psychedelia locked, loaded, and ready to blow, your mind that is. The show airs pretty infrequently with no set schedule, keep your eyes peeled in your ears open for any developments. Now heed my word and find a comfortable place to lounge, spark up a bowl, and see for yourself what all the fuss is about.- Casper