The formulaic plot of Tom Goes to the Mayor is as follows: the main character Tom (a new resident to the town of Jefferton), goes to the Mayor in every episode and presents the Mayor with his ideas. Each episode brings a new idea. Tom’s ideas range from improving child safety, opening a World War II themed restaurant, novelty t-shirts, renewable power provided by human waste to opening up stores and kiosks.
Tom’s ideas never pan out as the Mayor (a friendly but clueless nincompoop) always manages to innocently twist and take over Tom’s ideas, utterly destroying any merit the ideas had in the first place. Tom is always left to deal with the destruction and chaos that these ideas bring upon the town of Jefferton and his financial state. Nobody ever helps Tom out but he is never dismayed by the repercussions and damaging effects these ideas bring about. In Sealab 2021 and Aqua Teen Hunger Force fashion, the endings never really make sense and don’t adhere to a time-line, such as Tom being left financially ruined, the town being destroyed, and then there is the assisted suicide of Tom episode. Most of you already acquainted with Adult Swim’s line-up will already know that realism, structure and verisimilitude never apply to the shows that they air.
Tom Goes to the Mayor also features special guests, ranging from Tenacious D as the bear trap brothers (who are called upon by the Mayor to lay traps to improve child safety as requested by Tom,) Jeff Goldblum as a pet store owner, Curb Your Enthusiasm’s Jeff Garlin (he steals Tom’s novelty t-shirt idea: “Rats off to ya” and turns it into a phenomenon). Edward Herman (The Lost Boys) Sarah Silverman (The Sarah Silverman Program), David Cross (Arrested Development), Dustin Diamond (Saved by the Bell), Paul Reubens (Pee-wee’s Playhouse)and Patton Oswalt (Young Adult) also guest appear on the show as well as a bunch of other guests.
Tom Goes to the Mayor is utterly and insanely warped and is unlike any other Adult Swim show. Sure there are some live action scenes, but the characters…well, I did some research and the creators Tim and Eric, take still photographs of real live actors and process them with a computer filter. The characters mouths never move, and only show different expressions, no mouthing of words. They are not very anatomically correct, and hardly ever bend their arms or legs. This simple method of animation is very effective and combined with the animated sets produces some crazy visuals. To put it more simply: the characters look like cut out paper dolls. Some of the characters are disgustingly trashy and ugly and could pass as the freaks from down the street. The humour goes beyond any idiotic plans the Aqua Teens come up with and are usually played out in a more tasteless and seedy fashion than the cute and bad mouthed Aqua Teens.
The underlying message of Tom Goes to the Mayor seems to be that suburban life stinks, no matter what you try to do to improve it. No matter how many asses you kiss or people you try and please, someone or something will always shit on you. Whether it be Joy (Tom’s obese and ugly wife) running back to her ex husbands or abusing Tom because she can‘t buy snacks, or Terry (the Mayor’s hyperactive nephew) making Tom’s life and job hell, we can all relate to Tom in some way. Tom is the ultimate good guy, trying to get along in life, with his wife and his step kids whom he loves as his own (but not vice versa.) Tom’s plight is a plight that some of us will identify with, and could indeed by why a lot of people hate the show. Of course this is only my opinion and this is not an overtly obvious theme, but I definitely think it is there, if you think about how shitty Tom’s life actually is.
You have to give Adult Swim major credit for being bold enough to air shows like this that do not appeal to the mainstream. Ratings are not the agenda here, obscure entertainment is. I can not convey how subversive and bizarre the show is. There are no holds barred when it comes to taste, from Tom covered in dog shit and sniffing dogs butts to making pornos with his obese wife… I guess this show isn’t for those who are easily offended. I highly recommend this set, but would recommend that you try and catch a few episodes on Adult Swim before purchasing in case you don’t like it, as it is a series that will appeal to a minority.
- That’s Amazing!: How do they make that show?
- The Night of 100 Stars: Celebrity Sessions
- A Look Behind
- Original Toms
- Whoops?:Deleted Scenes
- Here’s The Scoop: Married News Outtakes
- Bob Zone: A Tribute to Bob Odenkirk
- Boiling Point:Behind the Scenes Season 2
- Adult Swim and Tom Goes to the Mayor Promos
- An Artist’s Touch; Artwork from the Show
Available on R4 DVD from Madman Entertainment.