|Written by||Michael Gans
|Directed by||Elliot M. Bour
Saul Andrew Blinkoff
|Voices of||Michael Gans
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|Running time||30 minutes|
Spy Groove (also known as SG) was a cartoon series that aired for one season on Teletoon and for six episodes on MTV. It premiered on June 26, 2000. Spy Groove was created by Michael Gans, Richard Register and Kevin Thomsen, who also wrote and did the voices for the show. The general plot is about two suave yet cocky secret agents, Agent Number One and Agent Number Two, their boss, Helena Troy, who assigned them their missions. Like the tone of MTV's animated programs, Spy Groove is consistently tongue-in-cheek and often employs fast-paced banter between the protagonists (which predates years before similar programs on Adult Swim). It also features a number of pop songs in some episodes at the time of its broadcast.
Background and artistic style
Co-creators Michael Gans and Richard Register were comedy duo performers before becoming writers and utilized their fast-paced rapport in the show based on their acts. The end credits sequence shows the protagonists (voiced by Gans and Register) chat and bicker together on topics irrelevant to the events of each episode, which was the only use of improvisation from the voice actors.
The "Spy Groove" aesthetic is based on artist Glen Hanson's style, who designed the characters and settings. It is basic and shiny, with brilliant colours and dark lines. Because of Hanson's caricature work, many characters are modelled after celebrities including Agent Number One and Agent Number Two, who were modelled after Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, respectively.
As a homage to classic cartoons, most of the animation is limited to lip-synching, facial expressions, some movements and action scenes, as characters are often still in most scenes of each episode.
- Move Over Miami (Villain: Mr. Fish)
- Ski Cats (Villain: The Contessa)
- Virtual Vegas (Villains: Johnny Nevada/ Sierra Nevada)
- Queen of DeNile (Villain: Champagne DeJour)
- Greek Freaks (Villains: Xerxes twins)
- Spanish on the Fly (Villain: Julio Blanco)
- Malibooboo (Villain: Connie Lola Andrea LeTete)
- Cyberberian Sexpress (Villains: Napoleon Pushkin/Sierra Nevada)
- Sneaky Tiki Taboo (Villain: Nick Nack/The Big Bahoner)
- Tokyo Takedown (Villain: Grandmama San's grandson)
- Brazilian Brew-Ha-Ha (Villain: Leo Macho Grande)
- Snap, Crackle, Popillon (Villain: Marquis De Guy)
- Manhattan Glam Chowder (Villain: Mr. Fish)
The Agents were equipped with high-tech toys disguised as more mundane items. However, keeping with the tone of the series the gadgets often contained various features, functions, and stylish trademarks that often ranged from convenient to the ridiculously useless (at least until the story-line made the item useful). Some examples include:
- A pane of windshield glass that collapses down into a book of matches.
- A corkscrew bottle-opener/thermo-coil/hummingbird feeder.
- Digital, MP3 downloading divining rod (from the Sharper Image)
- Cocktail drink coaster/two-way communicator with digital holographic projection capability.
- Inflatable Life-sized Ricky Martin decoy.
- "Dry-Spy" optional car modification. Converts a lime green convertible into a lime green submarine.
The majority of the Spy Groove villains are of the sort found in most secret agent fare. However very few were interested in global domination, but instead obsessed with some little slice of modern culture. For example, a plan to get all top 10 of the most eligible Hollywood bachelors (as defined by Blather magazine) married so that poor #11 would finally get noticed. Or to get every coffee drinker in the world addicted to the villains' own special blend.
Some of the Spy Grove villains include:
- Mr. Fish: a former hypnotist who did guest spots on the old Sonny and Cher Show, now obsessed with becoming the absolute creator of the fad of the week. He once tried to destroy Miami by causing a tidal wave, then donating some nearby swampland he had bought to the dispossessed citizens to make New Miami, and then using their gratitude towards him to let him hypnotize them with Bavarian Slap-dancing to a salsa beat. Once hypnotized the people of the international fad capital would adopt whatever fad he told them to, and thus... so would the world.
- Rock Debris: a tacturn and irritable mercenary for hire for several of the Spy Groove villains. He specialized in blowing things up and looking cranky. He's memorable because he was probably the most often seen rogue in the gallery.
- Sierra Nevada: daughter of a wealthy casino tycoon, and herself a robotics genius. She and Agent Number One are star-crossed lovers a la Batman and Catwoman as they both possess intellects that the other can respect. Her robots are often lifelike and are mistaken for the people they resemble.
- The Marquis de Guy: the other Prince of Perve (WWE Superstar Goldust being the first one), this Champagne Magnate has an affection for S and M and a few other letters best not considered. He schemed with Mimi Laverve to unleash genetically engineered butterflies to destroy the grape crops of the world's sparkling white wine giants so that whenever anyone toasts the new year, they must toast with him (or at least with his champagne).