HOLY CRAP! I just found out a few things that are so AWESOME! Okay, so you know Wayne Brady from the amazing Whose Line is it Anyway? Well, he was the singer of the theme song of another awesome show, The Weekenders. And the creator, writer, and producer of the Weekenders, Doug Langdale, was also one of the writers of Darkwing Duck! You gotta love small world coincidences like that, especially for the coolest things in the world.
Q: I know people out there who think your best work was on the show The Weekenders, which ran for two seasons. It wasn’t very popular like other animated series at the time, but people who remember it today really love its format, the direction it was going, and how relatable the characters were.
Doug Langdale: Thank you! That was an odd experience because I went in to pitch a different show to Disney based on a few ideas I had been working on for sometime, but after I pitched everything they were like “Um…What else have you got?” and I had nothing else but a piece of paper, a reminder, that had “Kids on the weekend” written on it. So I started talking about my friends, what I went through when I was twelve, what I was interested in and what my life was like. And they said “Let’s make that show!” So it suddenly became the series that was loosely based on my own life. It was so nice to be able to draw from experience, and write about normal people. It wasn’t goofy, wacky or cartoony, it’s the kind of show that could be live-action, but we did it animated!
“Introduced as part of ABC’s floating "ABC Kids” lineup in February 2000, Disney’s The Weekenders was one of the cartoon studio’s most mature works, upholding the tradition of such previous “pre-teen angst” efforts as Disney’s Pepper Ann and Disney’s Recess with more realistic characters and dialogue, and just a soupçon of exaggeration. […] The dialogue exhibited a level of literacy that might startle those who think that all Saturday-morning cartoonery is brainless; there weren’t many other programs in which one would hear a middle-schooler congratulate her comrades by proclaming “Kudos to us.” Nor was there an abundance of animated series wherein a nervous preteen drama queen was shepherded through her first appearance by the ghost of William Shakespeare. Particularly pleasing was the series’ depiction of its adult characters - not as the anal-retentive, rule-imposing tyrants we’d seen in so many other cartoon weeklies, but instead as recognizable human beings with affectionately detailed personality quirks.“
Unworn black baseball cap with The Weekenders on it. On the back it says “Later Days” in red embroidery. It’s been sitting in the garage wrapped in a plastic bag all this time. The series creator, Doug Langdale can
sign the white area on the inside of the cap for you, and can
personalize it if you like. If you want it unsigned, that’s cool too,
but I won’t tell Doug because it might kind of hurt his feelings. Doug
also created Dave the Barbarian, co-wrote Book of Life, working on Puss
in Boots right now and he did a bunch of other cool stuff. He’s also
cute but I made him shave his mustache.
All proceeds go to my daughter’s college fund. Paypal only, no refunds.
“The relationship with Disney would be both a blessing and a curse for the animators. The curse was that their work was often ignored by the larger mass media, who maintained biased stereotypes about Disney as a repressive, dystopian corporate oligarchy. The blessing, however, was that they could produce their work under a relatively secure cloud of anonymity absent from other major studios and could, therefore, focus more closely on the quality of their work. The result, in many cases, was some superbly crafted and intelligently written television animation that quite clearly ranks among the genre’s finest achievements. This is an important point to consider, especially when these projects are analyzed in depth, which is something the intimidating and hegemony of the Disney studio has limited in the past. The Weekenders is ne plus ultra example. The series is remarkable chiefly for what it was not rather than what it was. It boldly rejected traditional storytelling approaches in favor of a practice that more directly and stridently affirmed it as a unique cultural product, subtly recasting the sitcom in its own image. […] It did so in a way that belies most television animation stereotypes, gathering comedy from realism rather than exaggeration.”
Excerpt from America Toons In: A History Of Television Animation by David Perlmutter
“I lived in San Diego and the stories are based on things that happened to me as I was growing up,” says The Weekenders executive producer Doug Langdale. “There’s an episode where the gang produce a radio show as part of a contest and that was something I did at school. And like Tino, the main character, I was the only child of a single parent.”
The underlying theme of the series is friendship - its ups and downs, the compromises and sacrifices, and above all the sense of humor that it takes to keep four very different young people together.
“It’s about stuff that matters to kids around that age,” Langdale says. “It’s also about stuff that matters to everyone,” he quickly adds. “I always think that kids have largely the same concerns as adults except for, like, taxes.”
i saw that Doug Langdale wrote the Bigfoot ep in TMNT, and checked to see if he wrote all that much else, and of course that was one of the few episodes he’s written for so far. Pretty much reminded me of The Weekenders as much as possible.
“I love that show. I think Carver was the very first lead character I voiced in an ongoing animated series. It was also just a great group of people: Doug Langdale - the guy who wrote it - he… he had a concept. He had an idea to sell to the network, but he also had his own concept. All the characters had types that you could put on paper, but that’s not the story he was telling. It was a reflection of his childhood, so he was writing people, not types. And it was a fantastic cast: Kath Soucie, Grey DeLisle and Jason Marsden…they are all not only incredibly talented, but so nice, it was just always such a joy. That was a fantastic show. Weekenders was so much fun.”
“The great thing to me is that, with this series, the bar has been consistently raised,” says executive producer Doug Langdale. “The people I like to work with don’t think of this as a way to make the kids watch commercials or a way to sell toys. But we think of it as real entertainment. And that’s the true goal.”
Yesterday I came across a post of a woman explaining why she loves The Weekenders and how, through the years, the life lessons taught in several episodes shaped her sense of humor, and positively affected the way she looks at people now, as an adult, with the awareness of us being all different from each other and how that is a virtue. Since the show’s 16th anniversary is approaching (February 26!) I thought it’d be awesome if we all could write a post, or, alternatively, anything that you believe expresses best what the show or any of its characters meant for you. Whether it’s a cover of the theme song, a fanart featuring the characters drawn in your own style, a post explaining why you loved the pizza place or Tino’s mom! Any way/form of expressing your love for the show is appreciated and accepted, from a simple post, to a drawing, and it will be reblogged. I’ll reblog anything I find on Tumblr with the hashtag #TheWeekenders16thAnniversary (or just tagged as “The Weekenders”/”Weekenders”) - you’ll find anything you created/wrote on this blog :) On February 26th, I’ll send everything to the show’s creator and part of the main cast (Jason Marsden, Phil LaMarr and Grey DeLisle).
“As it debuted in 2000, The Weekenders fittingly kicked off a decade of creative excellence coming from the studio. It represents all of the strengths of Disney Television Animation’s creator-driven production model - superb writing with excellent translation into action and smooth animation - while functioning as a cleverly modulated, restrained retort to other studios’ frantic production styles. It is a model program that deserves far more attention than it received during its original production run. The show was created and chiefly written by the talented Doug Langdale, who was responsible for most of the witty dialogue on shows like Darkwing Duck and Earthworm Jim. As a California native, it seems that he followed the famed writing axiom, "Write what you know.” What makes the series stand out so boldly from its peers was its execution by Langdale and principal director Steven Lyons. It is a highly nuanced, character-driven series with a particular emphasis on exploring all the dimensions of the characters and their relationships with one another and the world around them. They did so in a way that belies most television animation stereotypes, gathering comedy from realism rather than exaggeration - in spite of occasional bursts of ebullience from both writer and director. This is clearly noted in examining the particularly well-handled characterizations of its four 12-year-old leads. […] The series has largely been off the radar since its original broadcast run ended in 2003, but this may change with its release on DVD by Disney (although in a limited run format). There is every opportunity for Tino, Carver, Lor and Tish to help another generation of middle schoolers confront their concerns and fears in the same colorful, funny way.“
Excerpt from America Toons In: A History of Television Animation by David Perlmutter
“This isn’t your typically broad, wacky cartoon - like a sitcom, our humor grows out of questions about loyalty, responsibility, crushes, and issues that kids will be able to reflect upon and know that they’re not alone out there.”
The Weekenders Facts - #1: San Diego (CA) was the
inspiration for the fictional Bahia Bay. When the show got into
production, background designer Thomas Warkentin drove down to San Diego
and spent days taking pictures to get the look of the series just right.
Great ‘90s and '00s TV shows you’ve totally forgotten about: The Weekenders I present you another totally awesome Disney TV show that ended way too soon. The Weekenders
featured Bahia Bay, California BFFs, Tino, Lor, Carver, and Tish (does
the always-changing pizza place count as a character? No? Okay). This
cool cartoon made its mark on kids TV history because most of the
character’s problems occurred outside of school and on the weekend,
hence the name. Also, the characters were the absolute best. Tino was
known for being very sensitive and for his Zack Morris-like breaking of
the fourth wall. Lor was known for being a cool girl who never knew how
many brothers she had, Tish for her super big brain, and Carver for his
terrible penmanship. These kids were also pretty smart and insightful
for only being twelve years old. Unfortunately, we only got to see these
wise-beyond-their-years weekenders for four seasons. Why? No one knows,
so in the words of Tino, later days!
“I love Doug Langdale’s Weekenders show. At the time it started I said, "Why are they doing this show, they’ve got shows just like it.” But I’ve come to love those characters and the sensibility of them.“