My Life as a Teenage Robot

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My Life as a Teenage Robot
My Life as a Teenage Robot Title Card.jpg
Genre
Created by Rob Renzetti
Developed by Rob Renzetti
Alex Kirwan
Directed by Rob Renzetti
James Tim Walker
Chris Sauve
Randy Myers
Robert Alvarez
Chris Savino
Greg Miller
John Fountain
Bob Jaques
Ron Hughart
Monte Young
Daniel De La Vega
Ray Pointer
Bob Nesler
Voices of Janice Kawaye
Candi Milo
Chad Doreck
Audrey Wasilewski
Quinton Flynn
Moira Quirk
Cree Summer
Eartha Kitt
Theme music composer Peter Lurye
Composer(s) James L. Venable
Peter Lurye
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 40 (List of episodes)
Production
Running time 24 minutes
Production company(s) Frederator Studios
Nickelodeon Animation Studios
Distributor MTV Networks (USA)
Nelvana Limited (Canada)
Broadcast
Original channel Nickelodeon (2003-2005)
Nicktoons (2008-2009)
Audio format Dolby Digital 5.1
Original run August 1, 2003 (2003-08-01) – March 30, 2007 (2007-03-30)
Chronology
Preceded by Oh Yeah! Cartoons
External links
Website

My Life as a Teenage Robot is an American animated science fantasy television series, created by Rob Renzetti for Nickelodeon. It was one of Nickelodeon's first animated science fiction series. The series follows the adventures of XJ-9, better known as Jenny Wakeman, a robot girl designed to protect Earth, who is excessively addicted to teen-related activities, which are almost always interrupted by Nora Wakeman, her creator and mother.

Nickelodeon debuted the first episode on August 1, 2003. After the series was cancelled, later episodes of the series started airing as on Nicktoons on January 13, 2006 until March 30, 2007. The series reran on the network until April 14, 2013. The series is distributed outside the United States by the Canadian animation studio, Nelvana Limited.

All three seasons are available on iTunes and on DVD at Amazon.

Production[edit]

Background[edit]

Robert Renzetti was born in the Chicago suburbs in 1967. He graduated with a BFA in Art History from University of Illinois, but immediately returned to school to study animation at Columbia College in Chicago, and then at CalArts in Valencia, California. After leaving CalArts, he took a summer job in Madrid as an animator for Batman: The Animated Series. He moved back to the United States to work for Hanna–Barbera on 2 Stupid Dogs and Dexter's Laboratory before moving to Nickelodeon to develop his own ideas as part of Oh Yeah! Cartoons. At Nickelodeon, he developed a pilot called "My Neighbor was a Teenage Robot" which was the basis for the series. After brief stints working on Family Guy, The Powerpuff Girls, and Samurai Jack, Renzetti returned to Nickelodeon to start the Teenage Robot series. Renzetti spent two years as story editor for My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic before moving on to become a producer for Gravity Falls.

Development[edit]

Renzetti made 11 shorts during two seasons as a director on Oh Yeah! Cartoons. Five of these starred two characters called Mina and the Count and followed the adventures of a rambunctious little girl and her vampire best friend. He hoped that these characters might get their own series, but Nickelodeon rejected the idea. Faced with an empty slot where the sixth Mina short was slated to go, Fred Seibert tasked Renzetti to come up with three new ideas. One of these was about a teenaged girl whose boyfriend was a robot. After further thought, Renzetti merged the two characters to create Jenny, a robot with the personality of a teenaged girl.

Plot[edit]

XJ-9 ("Jenny" as she is called) is a highly sophisticated robot created by her mother, Dr. Nora Wakeman, but Jenny only wants to live the life of a normal teenage girl. Both live in the fictional futuristic town of Tremorton, Ohio, presumably in the year 2072. Jenny and Nora live next door to her best friends Brad and Tuck Carbuckle. At school, she has an ongoing rivalry with the Crust Cousins, Brit and Tiff, the popular girls in school, and puts up with Sheldon, a somewhat stereotypical nerd who is completely obsessed with her (and robots in general). Adding to her trouble is that she is constantly being dogged by the all-robotic Cluster Empire, whose queen, Vexus, wants her to join their world of robots (by force if necessary). Despite it all, Jenny struggles to maintain some semblance of a mostly-human life.

The series' themes focus on making lighthearted fun of typical teenage problems and other conventions of the teenage and superhero lives, mixed up with a combination of action, adventure, sci-fi fantasy, and comedy sequences. In total, 40 episodes are airing on the United States television network Nicktoons, then known as Nicktoons Network at the time it aired the third season.

Characters[edit]

My Life as a Teenage Robot has over 30 characters. Jenny Wakeman (aka XJ-9) is the main protagonist. She is a state-of-the-art gynoid automaton created by Dr. Noreen Wakeman five years prior to the series. She is the Earth's protector, armed to the teeth with a wide range of weapons and devices, but all she really wants is to live the life of a normal teenager. She was preceded in development by eight other models; in season one, the episode "Sibling Tsunami" introduced XJs 1–8.

Bradley Carbuckle is outgoing and adventurous, and is the first actual friend Jenny makes. He likes to think of himself as a "ladies' man", but he mostly fails to find a girlfriend until he meets Melody. Melody is introduced during season two (2) as the creation of Dr. Locus in "Bradventure". Brad does not know that Melody is also a robot until "No Harmony with Melody" during season three (3). It is during "No Harmony with Melody" that Brad's feelings for Melody are made clear and Jenny Wakeman (XJ-9) appears to be jealous. Tucker Cornelius Carbuckle is Brad's younger brother and usually tags along on adventures. He can be very rambunctious and brash but also suffers from weird phobias. Though not as heavily featured as the rest of the main cast, Sheldon Oswald Lee arguably qualifies as a core member of the group. Sheldon is Jenny's self-proclaimed romantic admirer. No matter what he tries, Jenny refuses his romantic advances, though she does care for him as a friend. Fans of the show often speculate on whether Jenny would have ended up dating Sheldon or Brad. Renzetti and his team seem to favor Sheldon but refuse to give any definitive answers as to how he would have ended the series if he was given a fourth season.[1] Jenny also has allies such as Vega. She is introduced as the daughter of Vexus at the start of season three (3) in "Escape from Cluster Prime". Dr. Noreen "Nora" Wakeman is the elderly spinster robotics scientist who built Jenny, and tries in vain to control her creation and keep her "daughter" focused on protecting the planet Earth. In one episode it is revealed that Dr. Wakeman has a sister "Wisteria" whom she argues with every time they meet. Aunt Wisteria believes in "fun, peace, and love" and has a strange ability to either accelerate plant life or control it. Wisteria is introduced during season three (3) in "Never say Uncle" with her son Glenn, a living plant along the lines of the Swamp Thing.

DVDs[edit]

"See No Evil", "The Great Unwashed", "Hostile Makeover" and "Grid Iron Glory" were previously on Nick Picks DVD compilations. As of December 12, 2011, Seasons 1, 2 and 3 are now available on DVD and are exclusive to Amazon.com. The full series was released across six discs by Beyond Home Entertainment in Australia on February 5, 2012.[2]

Broadcasting and other appearances[edit]

Nickelodeon debuted My Life as a Teenage Robot by airing the first episode of My Life as a Teenage Robot on August 1, 2003 at 8:30 PM. My Life as a Teenage Robot was aired in repeats on The N on June 7, 2005.[3] The show was a part of Nickelodeon's Saturday night programming block called SNICK on August 2, 2003 and briefly was a part of the TEENick lineup on August 2003 to June 2004. The first season ended on February 27, 2004 with "The Wonderful World of Wizzley / Call Hating".

The second season (which was originally set to air on October 1, 2004) was pushed back to October 8, 2004 with the Christmas episode "A Robot for All Seasons". A new second season episode was not aired until January 24, 2005.[4] After the airing of the 48-minute, 2-part episode "Escape from Cluster Prime" (which was nominated for an Emmy in 2006),[5] the show was canceled on October 17th, 2005, with the third season being the last.[6][7]

The third season first did not aired in Asia starting on October 6, 2008, with "Weapons of Mass Distraction / There's No Place Like Home School". For those in USA watching on Nicktoons, the third season did air until January 13, 2006 with the last episode of the third season airing on March 30, 2007. This marked the end of the series' 7-year run, with production ending in 2005. The series has been rerun worldwide on various channels, such as Nicktoons.

References[edit]

  1. ^ AWN. "Dr. Toon: Nuts and Bolts With Rob Renzetti | AWN | Animation World Network". AWN. Retrieved 2011-09-21. 
  2. ^ "My Life As A Teenage Robot Season 1 - 3". Beyond Home Entertainment. Retrieved September 26, 2013. 
  3. ^ [1][dead link]
  4. ^ http://65.98.113.4/schedule/displaySeries.php?seriesID=309&networkID=19 Schedule for "My Life as a Teenage Robot" on Nicktoons
  5. ^ "Complete list if Prime-time Emmy nominations". Nytimes.com. 1969-12-31. Retrieved 2011-09-21. 
  6. ^ "Band Aids and Teenage Robots". Teenageroblog.blogspot.com. 2005-10-17. Retrieved 2011-09-21. 
  7. ^ "XJWriter is No More!". Teenageroblog.blogspot.com. 2005-10-25. Retrieved 2011-09-21. 

External links[edit]