Anybody remember "Sam & Max: Freelance Police? To my surprise, I remember it; I watched some of the episodes during its first and only season on Fox Kids, and liked it -- not as much as similar shows of the era like The Tick, Freakazoid! and Earthworm Jim, but I liked it. Anyway I got a copy of the DVD release - with all 13 half-hour shows, plus some bonus material and an interview with creator Steve Purcell -- and my view is still the same: I like it, but I don't mourn its early demise as much as that of the three other shows I just mentioned.
The show was based on Purcell's comic books and computer games, and apparently didn't please much of anyone at the time: Sam & Max fans disliked the fact that the comic's anarchic, violent content was watered down for Saturday mornings, and they objected to the addition of a spunky genius girl sidekick, "The Geek." (Not being that big into the comics I have little problem with The Geek as a character; the problem is that her design is a standard Nelvana look that doesn't fit this world at all.) While kid viewers weren't really into these unattractive-looking and (even in the cartoon version) kind of not-very-nice.
But as Purcell says in the interview, his mandate was to keep the "weirdness" of the comic to compensate for the fact that he couldn't be as violent. So it's a weird, nonsensical cartoon, the kind of dada-ist, surreal stuff that abounded in the mid-'90s before networks realized that advertisers didn't want to buy time on "kids" shows that weren't actually comprehensible to kids.
The reason it's not in a class with the other weirdo cartoons of the time is that it's actually a little predictable: there's a weird situation and Sam and Max will stand around making smug jokes about it. It's really almost all talk. And since they don't take any situation even remotely seriously (whereas Freakazoid, Earthworm Jim, the Tick and others all sort of cared -- at least sometimes -- about defeating the bad guy), it's easy to lose interest before the 10 minute segments are over. In many ways the style is a lot like the 10-minute cartoons Adult Swim started doing soon after this show was canceled, and there's no doubt that the characters would have been a good fit for Adult Swim if they'd come along a little later.
Maybe not a first choice as a purchase, but interesting if you liked that era of crazy stuff on Saturday morning.