Mission Hill

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Kevin:So, this is Mission Hill!
Andy:Don't get excited. It doesn't have anything you would like.

Kevin:Well, it looks very colorful.
—Andy and Kevin French, as the latter moves to Mission Hill for the first time

Gus: I need some condoms so I can make love to my lover. And don't smirk - they're for gay sex.

Mission Hill (1999-2000, 2002) was a short-lived animated series about 24-year-old slacker Andy French and his Fish Out of Water brother Kevin, an Odd Couple forced to share a loft apartment in a quirky downtown neighborhood. A total of 18 episodes were produced, but only 13 were ever broadcast.

For a failed program, Mission Hill was surprisingly noteworthy:

  • It was one of the last animated shows to use hand-painted cels (Later shows, like Drawn Together, did so mostly for stylistic reasons).
  • It was the one of the first TV shows of any kind to feature an on-screen homosexual kiss (Gus and Wally, in the pilot episode) from a couple established to be male homosexuals. It was predated by a 1990 episode of "The Simpsons" ("Simpson and Delilah") and the TV series Picket Fences (which featured a male on male kiss in one episode and a female on female kiss in a second episode during season one, in 1992).
  • In what must be one of the great trope aversions of all time, elderly gay couple Gus and Wally had such rich personalities and unique storylines that the examples list below contains no Stereotype Gay entries. It is also unlikely that "Gay men fall in love while making a MST3K-worthy sci-fi movie" and "Gay man gets knife stuck in head; gay partner welds birdcage and tennis racket to it" will become tropes. The show actually won an award from GLAAD for showing homosexual characters in a positive and non-stereotypical light.
  • It was the birthplace of one of the most distinctive cartoon voices of all time. Voice actor Tom Kenny's take on one-off character Jimmy Briskin (a diminutive actor who played an Ewok in Return of the Jedi) was so well-received that he re-used the voice for a slightly more famous cartoon character: SpongeBob SquarePants.

Ultimately, the biggest fish out of water wasn't Kevin in Mission Hill, but Mission Hill itself, on The WB. The show was a very poor fit for what was then, in the words of the show's creators, "the teenage girl network." The show got a minor revival on Adult Swim, but since only 13 episodes were made, it can only be rebroadcast occasionally.

Tropes used in Mission Hill include:
  • Actor Allusion: Gwen was voiced by Jane Wedlin, rhythm guitarist of The Go Go's. Guess what band is Gwen's favourite.
  • Abhorrent Admirer: Toby towards Gwen in the unfinished Pretty In Pink, much to her horror and Andys annoyance.
  • Asian and Nerdy: George
  • Asian Store Owner (Mr. Bang)
  • The Alcoholic: Stogie of all things. Dont leave booze out even close to him or he will gobble it up. Its mentioned in the pilot that Andys dad had to spray his liquor cabinet with dog repellant.
  • Bad Job, Worse Uniform: Andy has one when he loses his job, and takes a (temporary) job as a mascot for an ice cream shop. On top of that, he has to stand on a traffic median, where he passes out from the exhaust fumes.

Andy: When I came to, there were all these kids standing around me, crying.

  • Big Ball of Violence (The animation is so good and detailed, that all of the comical fight is visible when Andy and Kevin roughhouse. The cartoony dust cloud just appears for stylistic reasons.)
  • Bi the Way: In an unaired, unfinished episode, Posey and Gwen dance together sexually at a night club. While Gwen has the excuse of being drunk, Posey doesn't.

Andy: How much has Posey had to drink?
Jim: She doesn't drink.
Andy: Right. Damn!

  • Biting the Hand Humor: Andy during his time on The Real World quips to the producers, "You think I'm MTV material? I'm not even WB material!" Guess which channel this show was on.
  • Bunny Ears Lawyer: Jim at his job.
  • Character Development: After the "Happy Birthday Kevin" episode, Andy starts to make an effort to be alot nicer to Kevin in any episodes made after this, compare this to the earlier episodes, where Andy would Take a Level in Jerk Ass and rip on Kevin for no apparent reason!
  • Closeup on Head
  • Did Not Do the Research: The Nobel Peace Prize ceremonies are in Oslo in Norway, not in Stockholm.
  • Dismotivation (Andy. Taken to extremes when he loses his job)
  • Extreme Omnivore: Jim and Stogie. One episode has Jim and Stogie gradually eating the couch over the course of the episode.
  • Fake-Out Make-Out
  • Fish Out of Water (Kevin)
  • Foil (Andy and Kevin. Andy is a world-weary slacker who spends his time drinking, trying to get laid, and griping about work instead of working. Kevin is an idealistic workaholic who spends his time studying, trying to get into a good college and playing video games.)
  • George Jetson Job Security: Originally, Andy was going to get a new job every eight episodes.
  • Get Back in the Closet: Averted, as Gus and Wally aren't portrayed as stereotypically gay (though Wally has that effeminate voice that goes with being Camp Gay; it's just not as overblown as it is on other shows).
    • Well what do you expect from a character voiced by Tom Kenny?
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar (In an organ shop, there's a t-shirt that says 'Kiss my organ')
    • On the episode where Kevin tries to crack the SAT code and Posey puts out an ad for massages (only to have men think she's a hooker who does erotic massages due to a misprint), when the pimp knocks at the door, Andy says, "Yeah, keep banging. That'll make me come faster."
  • Girlfriend in Canada: Played straight with Kevin and George in the pilot, where Toby states that George had a girlfriend in Singapore, to which Kevin mentions that he used to claim that he had a girlfriend in Canada ("because it's so far away, no one could ever check). He asks George if it's the same for him, whereupon he replies that "it's a more believable ethnic variation."
  • Girl of the Week (Andy had several, Kevin had one, and they fought over one.)
  • Granola Girl (Posey; also a subversion, in that she had a mean streak and a capitalistic urge she was all too eager to indulge.)
  • "Happy Ending" Massage (A typo makes people think Posey's perfectly legit massage service is this.)
  • Heterosexual Life Partners (Andy and Jim.)
  • Hey, It's That Voice!:
  • Instrumental Theme Tune: Also an example of Real Song Theme Tune. An instrumental (and slightly sped up) version of Cake's "Italian Leather Sofa".
  • I Take Offense to That Last One
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Each episode had two titles -- one a clean title, the other a dirty one. Examples include:
    • Andy Joins the PTA (Great Sexpectations)
    • Andy vs the Real World (The Big-Ass Viacom Lawsuit)
    • Andy and Kevin Make a Friend (One Bang for Two Brothers)
    • Andy Gets a Promotion (How to Get Head in Business Without Really Trying)
    • Happy Birthday Kevin (Happy Birthday, Douchebag)
    • Plan 9 from Mission Hill (I Married a Gay Man from Outer Space)
    • The unfinished Pretty In Pink (Crap Gets In Your Eyes).
      • Since the titles didn't appear on screen, the whole exercise appears pointless.
        • They had to give a title to the network before airing.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Everyone in the apartment building, to varying degrees, the youngest, not counting Baby Nameless who is only 1 at this point, being Kevin at 17, to Wally and Gus who are in their late 60s.
  • Late to the Punchline The guy that mutters "penis penis penis" is dressed like a flasher... which is exactly what he does, verbally.
  • No Name Given: Baby Nameless, the child of Carlos and Natalie, who they havent named yet to avoid imprinting traditional gender roles upon him/her.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Gwen and Andy share an on-off relationship for the produced episodes, the finished cinematics of the unfinished Pretty In Pink has them indeed form a lasting romantic relationship.
  • Nerd/Geek (Kevin and his friends.)
  • Nobody Over 50 Is Gay: Averted. Gus and Wally are at least somewhere in their late 60's.
  • Not What It Looks Like (Subversion; Kevin burned a convenience store while pleasuring himself to pornography, but no one believes he would do anything untoward.)
  • Odd Couple (Kevin and Andy.)
  • Older Than They Look: Compare Gus from Wally's flashback to the 1950s in Plan 9 From Mission Hill to any episode that takes place in present day. Gus doesnt appear to have aged a day in 50 years.
  • Raging Stiffie (Andy, after a stripper gives him a lap dance. He was about to leave, but decided to sit and wait.)
  • Quirky Town (The Mission Hill neighborhood.)
  • Scott Menville (voices Kevin)
  • Invisible to Gaydar: Wally and Gus. Gus a bit more so than Wally.
  • Ted Baxter (Andy seems to view his abilities and life as much better than they actually are, except in cartooning, which he's actually pretty good at.)
    • His life is pretty damn awesome. Minimal work for maximum profit, a sweet-ass apartment with neighbors he likes (a rarity) and the uncanny ability to charm women so incredibly out-of-his-league.
  • Tom Kenny (voices Wally (with almost the same voice he uses for SpongeBob SquarePants) and many other side and backround characters)
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair (Andy and his family.)
    • Technically black, the blue is a result of the extreme neon coloring chosen for style. In light it appears black with a blue highlight to mark a part in the hair, while in darkness it's the negative, blue with a black highlight.
      • Oddly this isn't the case for Asian and Latino characters who also have black hair.
        • Probably because they don't have blue highlights.
  • Woman Of A Thousand Voices (Tress MacNeille, natch)