Cute and smart without being preachy, Tig N’ Seek on HBO Max has all the hallmarks of a Cartoon Network classic – just what the doctor ordered with the kids always at home.
With current worldwide events and the summer holidays, parents are experiencing perhaps the longest extended period of time with their kids ever. In those trying circumstances, streaming platforms have become, in a way, a kind of public service, or a free babysitter. During the day, their job is to reliably distract kids such that they don’t kill themselves or each other, or break anything expensive, or become too much of a distraction for those of us who’re trying to work from home. It’s a job that, thanks to its access to the highlights of Cartoon Network, HBO Max is pretty good at. And its new kid-centric show Tig N’ Seek, also produced by Cartoon Network, is pretty good at it too.
It’s about a kid, Tiggy (Mike Chilian), and his cat Gweeseek (Kari Wahlgren), and the Department of Lost and Found where Tiggy works. There are supporting characters in the form of one-eyed bunny Nurtiza (Wanda Sykes), the steroidal This Guy (Jemaine Clement), and Boss (Rich Fulcher), and taken all together their roles and personalities make for simplistic knockabout plots across ten 12-minute episodes.
Tig N’ Seek is charming for all the usual weird off-kilter reasons that Cartoon Network classics tend to be; Tiggy is apparently 8 years old but speaks like an adult, Gweeseek is a cat who can effortlessly invent things out of odds and ends, and so on, and so forth. These aren’t morality plays, and the show doesn’t really have any lessons to impart, but it’s perfectly happy to contrive ridiculous situations that’ll feel pretty new to kids, not to mention entertaining for adults in this cutesy for-all-ages form.
I say for all ages, but perhaps Tig N’ Seek skews slightly older – not in any kind of drastic way, but in a “that might be a bit difficult to explain” way. My younger daughter, who’s six, was a bit confounded by it, but the 10-year-old liked it better. Mileage will vary. But Chilian has a long history of this sort of thing, and the show finds a nice balance between keeping the kids busy and enticing adults to slyly watch over their shoulders. It might not become one of those Cartoon Network cult classics that grown-ups get creepily into, but it’ll certainly help to pass the time.
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