Neuoritically Yours and the Reboot Button

Did this (NSFW) thing just happen? Did Jonathan Ian Mathers really just jump back 10 years in time with his web cartoon Neurotically Yours to give long-suffering poet Germaine a second chance? Yes. Yes it did. Are you still clicking this at work? It's totally NSFW. Whole lot of cursing going on.

A few months ago, I wrote about how much I appreciated this Germaine identity arc. I got what Mathers was going for in an extreme representation of the artistic struggle. I also knew that I was in the minority judging by Mathers' decision to speed up the process and bring everything to a close by Fall. This is that close.

It's a very tricky situation to reboot or retool any series. How do you just erase years of content to move on? Do you just do it and hope the audience doesn't notice? Or do you find a fulfilling way to explain it?

Mathers does both in a way I never imagined possible. A few months ago, he began to hint that Foamy isn't just a squirrel. He's been alive for hundreds of years and is always accompanied by a human handler. His cult is almost a side-project to whatever he is doing with these people.

Here, Mathers picks up those threads to suggest Foamy is some sort of angel of death or great decider. After 10 years, if his human handler doesn't come to some sort of epiphany, he kills them instantly and moves on to the next. If, after years of suffering that may be caused by Foamy's presence, they learn some major life lesson, they are given the option to end their life or take a mulligan.

Mathers explains in his blog (August 17 2011 post, as he doesn't have a way to link directly) that the reboot was always part of the plan. He worried that this incarnation of his second chance conceit wouldn't work and would upset his fans. I hope that's not the case. I think it was handled perfectly. Much like the time when Family Guy pulled the "it was all a dream" conceit--complete with murder, gun fights, and impossible technology--by point blank ending the episode saying nothing happened and the fans can deal with it, Mathers has once again addressed the criticism of his series head on while advancing the plot. Anyone who actually pays attention to this episode has to, on some level, understand the point of this.

I look forward to seeing what the next chapter of Neurotically Yours brings. I'm curious to see what characters survive the reboot and how they handle this move from the big city into a less expensive place to live. The next episode is scheduled for 1 September.

Thoughts? Did Mathers get it right here? Or is the entire reboot conceit just a bad idea for any series? Sound off with your thoughts below.

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