Per Matt
Saturday morning cartoons will ALWAYS hold a special place in my heart. As a Child of the ’80s, some of my favorite shows aired on the day. So, when it comes to binge watching an animated show, it seems only fitting to watch it on a Saturday. Thus, I finally caught up on watching the second half Cartoon Network’s Primal.

The first part of Season 1 Racked Up Three Emmy Awards for Creator Genndy Tartakovsky, so I was very excited to watch the second half of the season, which finally aired recently. It’s a bloody, brutal tale of caveman Spear, along with his best friend, Fang (a T-rex). Creature and man have formed a bond that isn’t likely to ever be broken. Each episode tugs at your emotions as friendship bonds are solidified and sacrifices are made. Watching man and beast trying to communicate via a series of only grunts and growls is funny, but effective. There’s some good in the many creatures presented here, but mostly it’s survival of the fittest.

Through visual storytelling, beautiful scenery, an emphatic musical score and terrific animation, Genndy’s TV show pays incredible attention to each and every gory detail. Although there’s only 10 total episodes, each one seems to tackle a different subgenre. Its serialized story continues with each episode, while each one is pretty much self contained. And you know how they say everything in outer space is constantly trying to kill you? The same can be said about the prehistoric world. In this one, man and dinosaur live side by side, battling for every single scrap of food they may get, in order to survive.

More like an event limited series than a traditional animated show airing during the Adult Swim late-night block of Cartoon Network, Primal brings the people’s heroes, Spear and Fang, fighting for the many, even when it doesn’t always seem that way. It’s so easy to root for the guy (and his pet dinosaur), who’ve had a hard time surviving in this world. It’s very emotionally powerful. There’s very little spoken dialogue, that is, until Mira shows up. In the season finale, a more advanced (and beautiful) human can actually speak, which is totally alien to Spear. At the episode’s conclusion, Spear has finally learned to speak and Mira has been re-captured, whisked away on a boat by the unknown bad guys. What a cliffhanger!

My favorite episodes of Primal‘s second half included an infectious disease with no known origin that led to the instability and temporary insanity of its host in “Plague of Madness,” as well as the voodoo pagan cults that dealt with witchcraft in “Coven of the Damned.” It’s also interesting that some of the mystical, creepy creatures in the show look very familiar to fans of Samurai Jack, Genndy’s recently wrapped series that also aired on the same network.

Primal brings violent, killer nightmare creatures to life, which seem to bleed red, yellow or green blood, depending on the situation. If you can manage to avoid the undead, reanimated critters, you might actually just survive. And if not, your only claim to fame will be making it into My Guilty Pleasure column.