If Adult Swim is trying out live-action series, is this somehow as fateful as MTV and VH1 slowly squeezing out music videos in favor of reality programming? Um, I doubt it. The cultish late-night block’s new shows — the sketch series Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Job and a center-of-the-earth adventure goof called Saul of the Mole Men — still hew to the abstract-humor mantra of your Aqua Teen Hunger Force or Squidbillies, but with live bodies instead. They’re pretty funny, too, in that awkwardly rude, happily gross, boys’-magazine-on-acid way that Adult Swim has perfected in the is-it-okay-to-laugh? po-mo comedy world. Tim and Eric stars Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim (creators of Tom Goes to the Mayor) as a variety of oddball characters in garishly lit, surreal video blackouts — songs, fake commercials, broadcast-wilderness lampoons — which play as if Gilbert and George worked in cable access. (John C. Reilly showed up in the opener in a hilarious bit as a local news health guy.) Saul, meanwhile, is a Sid & Marty Krofft parody featuring a priggish geologist nerd, grandly cheap green-screen effects and grotesquely carnal puppetry. This kind of stuff either goes down the right way or bounces off your comedy armor without much psychic damage. They’re only 15 minutes, after all. And what can a 15-minute show do to stir up trouble? Oh right. Boston. Terrorist scare. Aqua Teen Hunger Force promotion. Check that. WATCH WITH EXTREME CAUTION.
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