What is it?
Imagine Miss Frizzle, Rick and Morty, and Adam Ruins Everything had a threesome. That’s the flavor of College Humor’s latest animated science show, produced for their new subscription streaming site DROPOUT and debuting today. Mike Trapp, who co-wrote one of my favorite nature-inspired College Humor comics, “8 Ways to Have Sex Like an Animal,” animates DaFuq moments in history and science with WTF 101.
Who’s gonna enjoy it?
If you like the level of “explaininess” of Adam Ruins Everything, but without the depth of its investigative comedy …
If you enjoy the flavor of Rick’s irreverence in Rick and Morty …
If you think science shows on YouTube are too “fluffy”…
If you are a huge fan of that Tumblr classic “WTF Evolution”…
Then give this series a try.
— DROPOUT (@dropout) January 4, 2019
Episode 1: Parasites
The first 10-minute episode focuses on parasites and opens by introducing us to the irreverent “Miss Frizzle-esque” Professor Foxtrot, who takes detention hall students on educational trips that spotlight very true, bizarre, and (what the show’s theme song promises will be) the “worst” of history and science.
It’s an entertaining show filled with sight gags (oh hey, aptly named Dunning-Kruger High School!), quick-witted writing, and bite-sized, f**ked-up scientific facts. There are plenty of in-jokes for nerds who enjoy throwing around SAT words, but I’d recommend turning on subtitles for viewers not quite as savvy with academic jargon or scientific names.
Who’s it for?
If you already know the science of parasites, you’re not gonna get more factual information out of this episode. There isn’t really any more nuance in the storyline than what you’d get from asking Google. However, you will get something that’s easily shareable, digestible, and enjoyed by people who don’t understand why the heck you have a deep knowledge of parasitology.
Who’d this be worth sharing with? Kids and young teenagers would get a good chuckle from the slapstick sight gags and gross academic facts. But, hey, you can also share it with that adult who loves useless trivia.
How about that scientific accuracy?
The show’s narrative, storyline, and use of scientific info seems pretty solid so far. Nature and evolution is already f**king weird, so there’s not much hyperbole or inaccuracy going on here.
I mean, it’s a frickin’ cartoon, so obviously there’s gonna be artistic license in the animation. However, if you’re gonna get nitpicky, do they REALLY think high school students in detention would have seen Philadelphia and KNOW it’s a Tom Hanks vehicle?!
JK. For those of us looking for more in-depth explorations of the bizarre facts, you won’t be getting it here. That said, WTF 101 looks to be an enjoyable, bite-sized web series that does what it promises, highlighting bizarre facts from nature in a twisted way. Let’s see what other twisted things in science and history they’ll be talking about next.
WTF 101 is available now on the DROPOUT app, which has a free trial, and is then $3.99/month with an annual subscription.
Kyle Marian has a Master’s degree in Science Communication and Public Engagement and trains academics in stand-up comedy.