Review: Dallas & Robo – Episode 1: “Aces Wild”
It’s been 10 months since the news broke that John Cena and Kat Dennings were set to star in an adult animated comedy series on YouTube Premium (formerly YouTube Red). The first trailer for the show wasn’t released until May 18, but Dennings and Cena have both been teasing their voice acting roles for months.
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According to the WWE, Dallas & Robo follows the lives of “sassy space-truck driver Dallas (Dennings) and self-proclaimed warrior-poet Robo (Cena) who must navigate their way around cannibal bikers, rival space truckers, and vending machine burritos as they try to make a buck in the seedy world of interplanetary big-rigging.”
The show’s creator, Mike Roberts, is best known for his work on another animated streaming series, Bojack Horseman, which is very apparent due to the similar animation style of Dallas & Robo. Additional executive producers include Matt Mariska (Robot Chicken), Andy Sipes (Archer), and John Cena. The show is only available on YouTube’s paid streaming subscription service — YouTube Premium — which comes at a cost of $9.99 per month and includes uninterrupted music, ad-free and offline videos, and additional original shows.
Review of Dallas & Robo – Episode 1: “Aces Wild”
Before I get too deep into the review of this first episode, I must warn parents that this is definitely not an animated series for children — at all. The free version of the episode, hosted on the WWE’s channel, is censored but still includes crude humor and some minor expletives. That being said, let’s get into this.
The episode begins with a couple traveling through space, seemingly for the first time, on their honeymoon. Within 30 seconds, there’s a reference of Elon Musk and his failed Mars colony as well as Kanye West, when the husband shouts, “Sweet Yeezus!” when realizing a group of cannibal bikers are planning to attack. The immediate inclusion of these two references had me worried this would just be a giant meme of a show, but I held on in hopes for a brighter future.
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We’re eventually introduced to Dallas Moonshiner (Dennings), a former stock car racer on Earth who was kicked off the circuit for cheating, and her AI companion Robo (Cena). It’s clear that Dallas is the binge-drinking, foul-mouthed, spontaneous one of the two while Robo is more practical and sensible with most of his decisions. The pair (while asleep at the wheel) unknowingly saves the honeymooning couple when their ship, Georgia Overdrive, flings the cannibal bikers into space. This is where the conflict begins.
Not long after, we’re introduced to Dallas’s Uncle Danny, who owns the trucking company, and his team of misfits, including Ellie, Fat Paul, and Woodman. *insert more crude jokes and farts* Jane Lynch’s distinct voice makes an appearance about halfway through the episode, adding even more conflict for Dallas. Meanwhile, an unknown figure is searching for someone — likely Dallas or Robo — and keeps barely missing them throughout their escapades.
In typical 22-minute cartoon/sitcom format, a resolution is reached in the end and all is well. Of course, there is a cliffhanger moment that will bring fans back for the next episode. Speaking of fans, I can see this Futurama-Bojack Horseman hybrid appealing to early 20-somethings with nothing better to do than binge watch a show on their computer. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the show, per se, but I can find better things to do with 22 minutes of my life than watch a cursing Kat Dennings mock a sensitive John Cena.
The first season (8 episodes) of Dallas & Robo is currently available for viewing on YouTube Red.
Gallery: More images from Dallas & Robo
Morgan currently resides in Dayton, Ohio, after living across the entire nation (seven different states, to be exact) and even in Germany for a few years. Originally a graphic design major, Morgan floated around and eventually found her calling in writing and editing after working in marketing for a few years. Her hobbies include: board games, knowing way too many song lyrics, playing video games, quoting pop culture, going to concerts, and watching sports. It is advisable to not give her coffee after 3pm. See more articles by Morgan.