Clone High Review 2023 Tv Show Series Cast Crew Online
Way, way back in the early 2000s, MTV aired Clone High, an animated series about a high school comprised of genetic copies of famous guys and ladies. The show was both a brilliant parody of the high school dramas of the time like The O.C. and Dawson’s Creek, yet managed to also function as an intriguing high school story of its own, complete with romantic entanglements, while also becoming one of the funniest animated shows in recent memory. Abe Lincoln (voiced by Will Forte) had a crush on Cleopatra (Christa Miller), and completely ignored the crush of his friend Joan of Arc (Nicole Sullivan), while characters like George Washington Carver was accompanied by a talking peanut, while Jesus Christo accidentally shot himself with a nail gun in shop class. Clone High was weird, hilarious, and surprisingly engrossing in its handling of these relationships.
Yet MTV never aired the entire first season—likely in part due to the criticisms of the character of Gandhi (Michael McDonald) being portrayed as a party animal—but the creators of the show would go on to do huge things over the next two decades. Bill Lawrence would go on to create Ted Lasso, while Phil Lord and Christopher Miller would be behind some of the biggest comedy movies and TV shows of the 2000s, including The Lego Movie, 21 Jump Street, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, The Last Man on Earth, and The Afterparty. Despite their success, Lord and Miller once said that their entire career has just been about getting Clone High back on the air. Considering the references to Clone High throughout their work since its cancellation, this may have been a joke, but it also feels tinged with honesty.
Now, two decades after the series unceremoniously ended on MTV, Clone High has finally returned, and its second season is well worth the wait. Almost immediately, it’s easy to feel the absolute joy of Lawrence, Lord, and Miller getting to revisit this world again, and after twenty years, Clone High is just as pointed, ingenious, and enthralling as it was back in 2002.
The season (and previously series) finale of Clone High ended at the prom, in which all the clones were frozen. Abe was getting ready to proclaim his love for either Cleopatra or Joan, but moments before being frozen, he saw Joan and JFK (Chris Miller) in bed together. Now, 20 years later, the clones from the prom have been thawed out, but it turns out Principal Scudworth (Phil Lord) and his robot butler/sidekick, Mr. Butlertron (also Miller) have kept the clone program going with a new class for the old one to interact with.
The world around the frozen clones has changed without them knowing. In the premiere episode, “Let’s Try This Again,” Abe finds himself using terms and phrases that no longer are acceptable in 2023, and with his friend Gandhi nowhere to be seen, he’s even more of an outcast in school than he was before. Meanwhile, Abe admits he’s in love with Joan, but she has now moved on and started a relationship with JFK. The new power couple is immediately embraced by the new clones, while JFK’s constant innuendos are now seen as sex-positive.
Clone High also introduces us to a new class of clone students, such as the school’s class president, Frida Kahlo (Vicci Martinez); Harriet Tubman (Ayo Edebiri) who worries about the shadow of her namesake; Confucius (Kelvin Yu), who is more interested in the video app FlipFlop and getting likes than philosophy; and Topher Bus (Neil Casey), who is trying to hide the fact that he’s the clone of Christopher Columbus. The higher administration of Scudworth and Mr. Butlertron are also joined by Candide Simpson (voiced by Miller, as Mitra Jouhari is now playing Cleopatra) who is working on the secretive Clone High Colon Operation Spread Eagle.
Clone High’s first two episodes, “Let’s Try This Again” and “Sleepover” play with time-honored high school concepts, some of which Clone High explored in its first season. For example, “Sleepover” has notes of “Makeover, Makeover, Makeover: The Makeover Episode” from the first season, and other episodes from this second season can’t help but remind of the first season at times. Yet this doesn’t feel like the show mining the past for new episodes, but rather, showing a new angle on ideas with 20 years of distance and a batch of new characters to explore them with. Showrunners Erik Durbin and Erica Rivinoja (Rivinojia also wrote on the first season) have found a great melding of the old and new in this update.
Speaking of the characters, much of the humor in these first few episodes relies on the original cast, as the series attempts to figure out how to place the new cast into the mix. While it takes a bit for this new season to blend the old and the new, once it does, the new cast members feel just as essential to this crew. What makes this work is that while Season One was largely about the romantic entanglements of JFK, Abe, Joan, and Cleopatra, this reboot/sequel season is fundamentally about the friendships of these characters, and how they shift and evolve over the course of the season. The romances are still key to this, but by making this season about the friendships, it’s much easier for the old and new casts to figure out how to evolve together. But also within this, Clone High is able to reckon with the mistakes made in the previous season, and do their best to rectify them. This new season never feels like it’s preaching these changes, but recognizes the opportunity to do things over in a way that they maybe should’ve been handled in the first place.
These first two episodes also do an excellent job of showing that this series hasn’t skipped a beat in the two decades since it last aired. From JFK’s sexual comments that grow in ridiculousness, to Principal Scudworth’s breakdown of what the clones have missed in the last twenty years, Clone High is as hysterical as ever. This new season is the perfect blend of what always made this series work, which is a strong blend of absurdity mixed with genuine care for these characters and their relationships, and some of the funniest jokes on television today. As Lord, Miller, and Lawrence’s influence has grown in movies and TV, it’s as if finally the world is now ready for Clone High and the greatness it holds.
It might have taken over twenty years for Clone High to return, but the goal of Lord & Miller’s career was well worth the wait. After all these years, Clone High remains a brilliant concept and an ingenious comedy that both loves and parodies high school films and TV shows, historical figures, and the incredible possibilities within animation. Clone High has remained great after all this time, and it was never the show that needed to change—it was the world that needed to grow to this show’s brilliance.