Xavier: Renegade Angel

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Xavier: Renegade Angel
Xavierlogo.jpg
Title card.
Created by John Lee
Vernon Chatman
Alyson Levy
Jim Tozzi
Starring John Lee
Vernon Chatman
Alyson Levy
Jim Tozzi
John Flansburgh
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 20 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) John Lee
Vernon Chatman
Alyson Levy
Jim Tozzi
Producer(s) PFFR
Cinematico
Williams Street
Running time 11 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel Adult Swim
Picture format 16:9 HDTV
4:3 SDTV (episode 19)
Original run November 4, 2007 –
April 16, 2009
External links
Website

Xavier: Renegade Angel is an American CGI fantasy-comedy television series created by John Lee, Vernon Chatman, Jim Tozzi and Alyson Levy. Lee and Chatman are also the creators of Wonder Showzen. The show was produced by PFFR, with animation by Cinematico. It premiered at midnight on November 4, 2007, on Adult Swim, and November 1, 2007, on the Adult Swim website.

Xavier features a style characterized by a nonlinear, incoherent plot following the humorous musings of an itinerant humanoid pseudo-shaman and spiritual seeker named Xavier. The show is known for its ubiquitous use of ideologically critical black comedy, surrealist and absurdist humor presented through a psychedelic, New Age lens. The program is also normally rated TV-MA for intense, graphic, often bloody violence (V), as well as strong sexual content, use of racially/ethnically offensive language, grotesque depictions and content that is considered "too morbid and too incomprehensible for young viewers"

Xavier: Renegade Angel premiered on November 4, 2007, and ended on April 16, 2009, with a total of 20 episodes, cancelled as a result of low ratings.[citation needed]

Characters[edit]

  • Xavier - A self-absorbed and oblivious, faun-like shaman wanderer with delusions of grandeur, Xavier is the eponymous main character of the program, often shown to be a deeply insecure, near-sociopathic and childlike individual who can quickly turn against others if interactions with them lead to negative feelings about himself. Xavier's physical appearance is composed of various absurdities. His left hand is a snake from the elbow downwards. It usually acts like an ordinary hand, but in the episodes "The 6th Teat of Good Intentions" and "El Tornadador", it appears to possess its own consciousness and speaks to Xavier directly. His knees bend at the joints backwards, he is covered in brown fur and has ocular heterochromia, having one brown eye and one blue. Instead of a nose, Xavier has a raptor-like beak, though he also has a mouth. He has six nipples and a giant eye in place of his genitalia. He typically wears tennis shoes and a loin cloth embroidered with varying symbols. Xavier's purpose seems to change slightly with each episode, with the initial plot setting him as a wandering philosopher, aspiring "wise man" or sage of sorts whose intent on hermitism seems to give references to Native American vision quests. At first hand and of initial importance seems to be Xavier's drawn-out search for an answer to the abstract question, "What doth life?" Later on in the series, however, the original plot seems to alter slightly into a more personal and less transcendent search: Xavier announces his reasons for roaming the world as the means to which he can help others, his purpose being to improve the quality of human existence and generally speaking, do good. Much of the first season focuses on his search for the person who killed his father while the second season puts focus on his search for his mother, whom he believes to be alive due to digging up her grave and finding only the meat she had held for months, thus assuming that somehow his mother was still alive. In the series finale, he finds her in a lunatic asylum and has sex with her, which causes Xavier to see himself as the human he apparently always was. When he says "I'm cured," his psychiatrist says "Cured? who says there was anything wrong with you?" Revealing the psychiatrist now looking and sounding like, whatever creature Xavier saw himself as.
  • Chief Master Guru - This supposedly Indigenous shaman took Xavier in after he became orphaned, and taught him mystical and spiritual practices (one such teaching being the power to heal others with the use of a fictional instrument called a "shakashuri"). The Shaman features frequently in flashbacks, and—despite Xavier's adulation—is shown to be abusive, sadistic, bullying and cruel. He eventually fakes his own death in order to get rid of Xavier, but it's later revealed that he gave Xavier the loin cloth and the inspiration to help people in order to get rid of him.
  • Xavier's father - Being dead, Xavier's father only appears in flashbacks and visions. Xavier says he wants to avenge his father's death, but in one such flashback his father insists that Xavier himself killed him. He asks the Viewers to judge the contest in Episode 10. Xavier's father seems to have been just as neglectful as his mother. In a flashback, for instance, (one which Xavier later denies as being true), his father takes Xavier to a remote location and abandons him as a child, only leaving him with a bicycle as a means of compensation.
  • Xavier's mother - Xavier's mother is generally seen in flashbacks as constantly either drunk, drug-addled, or having sex with (often multiple) men or animals. In "Haunted Tonk", it is revealed that Xavier went back in time and told his younger self to give his mother only apple juice and sugar pills instead of alcohol and medication. Xavier's mother seems to have hated him for his appearances, calling him a "demon child", among other names. In "Braingeas Final Cranny", it is revealed that Xavier's mother tried to abort Xavier, though she found out that she was too far along into the pregnancy in order to do so. She instead allowed the abortionist doctor to torture her child while inside her womb with a cattle prod. In several episodes, Xavier is shown searching the world for his lost mother.
  • Computer - Computer is a sentient computer used by Xavier for analysis and information. He appears as a jerkily edited live-action actor set in front of a jarring black and white background. Played by John Flansburgh, half of the band They Might Be Giants.

Style and content[edit]

The computer-generated animation of Xavier: Renegade Angel resembles that of video games such as Second Life and The Sims. The show features ribald wordplay, nonchalant violence and transgressive sexuality, in deeply nested, often recursive plots. These plots are often very nonlinear in their chronology; however, each episode seems to contain similar themes and motifs, as well as a single opening scene that has recurred in every episode of Xavier: a depiction of the titular character wandering through a desert (possibly a reference to the 1970s television program Kung Fu) as he narrates a semi-spontaneous, often nonsensical philosophical thought that many times connects with the episode at hand, whilst the title card of the show itself flies overhead, usually varying in action or position. An opening theme presumed to be played by Xavier on his "shakashuri" is present during these.

Co-creator Vernon Chatman called the show "a warning to children and adults about the dangers of spirituality."[1] The show has been known to mock Christianity, Islam, Middle America, redneck stereotypes, and anarcho-punk subcultures.

Xavier often incorporates underlying themes and concepts based outside of, though interconnected with, the plot of each episode. Philosophical or political concepts are often juxtaposed with the surrealistic and aleatory nature of the show. Society and cultural psychology and phenomena, the meaning of life, the existence of sentience and the nature of reality have been examined in one form or another throughout the program's 2 seasons.

Jokes and humor tend to be oriented towards Xavier's own philosophical inquiry and the "deep," "zen-like" diction of wisdom quotes from various spiritual systems (particularly Native American and Hindu or Eastern spirituality) that Xavier seemingly attempts to mimic. These are many times lightly mocked with Xavier's misuse of the phrases, reflecting on contemporary humor and taking the often circular logic of such statements far out of context.

"Taboo" topics such as necrophilia, bestiality, homophobia, abortion, pedophilia, Incest, Islamic Extremism, self-injury, and racism may be hinted at, with Xavier ignorantly making light of such situations when trying to carry on conversation or simply speak to others. As well, racial and other epithets are frequently used by Xavier in a spontaneous and often non-meaningful way. In these aspects of Xavier: Renegade Angel, the program could be seen as containing a substantial amount of black comedy.[original research?]

Episodes[edit]

Season 1 (2007–2008)[edit]

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Directed by Written by Original air date Production
code
1 1 "What Life D-D-Doth" Vernon Chatman & John Lee Vernon Chatman & John Lee November 4, 2007 (2007-11-04) 101
After some rednecks beat up Xavier, they come back in a red pickup truck loaded with computers with viruses, planning to dump them in a landfill. But Xavier says it's better to dump them in a lake. But when they do so, the viruses from the computers infect the lake and town. When Xavier notices, he struggles to find a cure.
2 2 "Chief Beef Loco" Vernon Chatman & John Lee Vernon Chatman & John Lee November 11, 2007 (2007-11-11) 102
Xavier steps in to replace a school mascot and in doing so earns the respect of a violent local gang, whom he hopes to win over with the power of passion and emotional healing.
3 3 "Weapons Grade Life" Vernon Chatman & John Lee Vernon Chatman & John Lee November 18, 2007 (2007-11-18) 103
Xavier becomes the self-styled guardian angel of a young boy who is trying to impress his father. When the boy's success with science sets off Xavier's insecurities, he decides to become his "guardian enemy" instead.
4 4 "The 6th Teat of Good Intentions" Vernon Chatman & John Lee Vernon Chatman & John Lee November 25, 2007 (2007-11-25) 104
Xavier offers his mind, soul, and nipples to the care of seven babies that he finds in a park, but his snake hand has other ideas. Meanwhile, the police close in on a notorious baby-napper.
5 5 "Pet Siouxicide" Vernon Chatman & John Lee Vernon Chatman & John Lee December 2, 2007 (2007-12-02) 105
After being mistaken for a genetically engineered pet by a spoiled young child, Xavier decides to teach the child a spiritual lesson. Xavier sets out to teach the boy's father too, who mines Indian blood and injects it into himself in order to own an Indian casino. He fails.
6 6 "World of Hurt, BC" Vernon Chatman & John Lee Vernon Chatman & John Lee December 9, 2007 (2007-12-09) 106
In the search for himself, Xavier decides to go back in time to investigate a prehistoric mural of one of his ancestors. At the end of the episode, when the sand madness snails' static fills the screen, what appears to be random static is, in fact, an autostereogram of a skull.
7 7 "Bloodcorn" Vernon Chatman & John Lee Vernon Chatman & John Lee December 16, 2007 (2007-12-16) 107
Xavier is trying to stop Mother-Earth from being raped, so he shuts down a factory. But that only starts a bigger problem: poor families without a job. Being a good Samaritan, Xavier offers to help a disgraced farmer transform his crap corn into a corn crop, even if that means opening up God's drippy heaven crevice.
8 8 "Escape from Squatopian Freedom" Vernon Chatman & John Lee Vernon Chatman & John Lee December 23, 2007 (2007-12-23) 108
Puggler the punk rock juggler steals Xavier's significant necklace after tricking him into entering Squatopia, an anarchist commune. Now Xavier, a giant sperm, the world's oldest slave and an anarchist crying out for chains, travels to the Burning Person festival (a parody of Burning Man) to get it back.
9 9 "Signs from Godrilla" Vernon Chatman & John Lee Vernon Chatman & John Lee January 6, 2008 (2008-01-06) 109
After a gorilla becomes a religious sensation, Xavier follows his mind's heart and finds himself in trouble.
10 10 "Shakashuri Blowdown" Vernon Chatman & John Lee Vernon Chatman & John Lee January 13, 2008 (2008-01-13) 110
After Xavier's father reveals that his "killer" is Xavier himself, Xavier splits his personality in denial. A battle ensues between the two, and the episode ends before a victor is determined.

Season 2 (2009)[edit]

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Directed by Written by Original air date Production
code
11 1 "Vibracaust" Vernon Chatman & John Lee Vernon Chatman & John Lee February 12, 2009 (2009-02-12) 201
Xavier helps out a couple who has just lost their son due in a car accident and takes massive amounts of pills to cope. The pills are filled with monks' zen vibrations. He takes a kid from a church, who he assumes is being sexually assaulted (ironically, the kid is a sexual predator), to replace him. Xavier then tries to stop the monks who are producing the pills, only to start a World Wide Vibra(Holo)caust. (Special guest: Bill Hader)
12 2 "Xavier's Maneuver" Vernon Chatman & John Lee Vernon Chatman & John Lee February 19, 2009 (2009-02-19) 202
After witnessing and causing the suicide of a window cleaner, Xavier vows to redeem the life of Mr. Squa by becoming the guardian of a mob boss. Through his sly detective work, a reinvention of the Heimlich Maneuver, and an encounter with a depressed hitman-slave, Xavier chokes his past with the gift of life. (Special guest: Bill Hader)
13 3 "El Tornadador" Vernon Chatman & John Lee Vernon Chatman & John Lee February 26, 2009 (2009-02-26) 204
Xavier confuses the friendship with the foe boat and ends up entangled in the energy crisis, deceiving a hurricane-driving scientist (Vincent D'Onofrio) and the self-abusing Society in order to simultaneously save the snakes and tame his enemy, the wind. Meanwhile, Snakehand throws up. The title is a play on the words "El toreador" (Spanish for "the bullfighter") and "tornado".
14 4 "Haunted Tonk" Vernon Chatman & John Lee Vernon Chatman & John Lee March 5, 2009 (2009-03-05) 205
After Xavier revisits his childhood home (now a strip club for pregnant, lactating women), he reconnects with his youth by simply thinking he was visited by himself in the past. The process repeats, and then the Kuttlecrumbs are released. (The title refers to Honky Tonks, a type of bar with musical entertainment that is common in the Southwestern and Southern United States.) (Special Guests: Judah Friedlander)
15 5 "Free Range Manibalism" Vernon Chatman & John Lee Vernon Chatman & John Lee March 12, 2009 (2009-03-12) 203
Upon discovering that the livestock used by a local restaurant are treated better than the glue-huffing hobos outside, Xavier sets off to transform them in order to receive that standard of care, but only because he has to urinate badly. Free range is a method of farming husbandry where the animals are allowed to roam freely instead of being contained in any manner.(Special Guests: Heather Lawless and Snoop Dogg)
16 6 "Damnesia Vu" Vernon Chatman & John Lee Vernon Chatman & John Lee March 19, 2009 (2009-03-19) 206
When Xavier wakes up with no memories, the power of déjà vu reigns supreme. (Special Guests: Vincent D'Onofrio as "The Judge", Heather Lawless, and Judah Friedlander)
17 7 "Going Normal" Vernon Chatman & John Lee Vernon Chatman & John Lee March 26, 2009 (2009-03-26) 207
When Xavier feels a lack of gratitude, he considers abandoning his lifequest and joining the Normal World or the World of Normals. He soon learns that is better to stay as he is. (Special Guest: Kristen Schaal)
18 8 "Kharmarabionic Lotion" Vernon Chatman & John Lee Vernon Chatman & John Lee April 2, 2009 (2009-04-02) 208
A reporter gets his scoop on Xavier.
19 9 "Damnesia You" Vernon Chatman & John Lee Vernon Chatman & John Lee April 9, 2009 (2009-04-09) 209
Part two of "Damnesia Vu", the entire episode is a compilation and mixing of the videos that won the "Make your own Xavier" contest.
20 10 "Braingeas Final Cranny" Vernon Chatman & John Lee Vernon Chatman & John Lee April 16, 2009 (2009-04-16) 210
Series finale. After struggling on a beach with his self-imposed policy of anti-violence, Xavier sneaks into a mental institution with the aim of reuniting with his long-lost mother.

DVD release[edit]

Cartoon Network released the series on DVD in America on November 10, 2009. Madman Entertainment released the series on DVD on Region 4 in Australia on February 10, 2010. It is rated MA15+ for strong themes, violence and sexual references. In addition to being available on DVD, the entire series is also available on iTunes.

DVD name Release date Ep # Features
Seasons 1 and 2 November 10, 2009[2] 20 "Xaviercise!", fan commentary and contest submissions[3]

References[edit]

External links[edit]