Your Thoughts on Dexter’s Laboratory

Dr.Pepper

Well-Known Member
I’ve been binge watching Dexter’s Lab on HBO Max lately and I’m overloaded with nostalgia. I was completely obsessed with the show back when I was in 5th grade. It still holds up as an entertaining show, but there is some dated stuff that wouldn’t happen on a CN show today. The later revival episodes weren’t so great IIRC (I haven’t made it to them yet as of this writing). Despite this, I wouldn’t mind seeing a new special (provided that Genndy is involved, of course).
 

DBTrilogy100

Well-Known Member
I have many fond memories of Dexter's Laboratory back in my younger days and I would consider it to be one of my favorite Cartoon Network shows. Like others, I prefer the first half of the series over the Post-Ego Trip Seasons/Revival Seasons, although there were still some episodes from that section that I did find enjoyable just as how there were some episodes from the initial run of the series that I didn't like.

Having revisited the show recently, I do find it a shame how there were some characters that felt wasted because I feel there was great potential for them if they had more prevalent roles. Lalavava/Olga Astronomonov, Mandark's sister, is probably the character that I found to be the most prevalent example of this sentiment. I would have liked to have seen more of the friendship Lalavava formed with Dee Dee at the end of her only appearance and would have liked to have seen her interactions with Dexter and some other characters; speaking of Mandark's family, I am also curious about how Mandark's parents would have been portrayed if they had appeared during Genndy Tartakovsky's time on the show since they only ended up appearing in the Post-Ego Trip Seasons/Revival Seasons.

Other characters I would have liked to have seen more of would be Dexter's group of friends, Douglas E. Mordecai III and the group of boys from "D & DD" and/or "Star Check Unconventional". The idea of exploring Dexter's social life has some nice story ideas and it would have been nice to see Douglas interact with the other boys, as well as learning the other boys names.

Like Dr.Pepper, I would be open to the idea of revisiting the series in some capacity if Genndy Tartakovsky were involved.
 
Cartoon Network still airs Dexters Lab here around 10:15 PM for their classic block and I like the art style of the show. Also, they only air the first two seasons of the cartoon. (1996-1998?)
 

Zanneck

HAIL NEO ARCADIA!
I only fondly remember this show for the first 2 seasons and that's where it begins and ends. Not a favorite of mine, either - simply because I don't like the MC that much (Dee Dee was BEST character for me, honestly.).

Watching him (Dexter) suffer when deserved (usually 95 to 98% of the time) is pretty damn hilarious and really what makes the show so great, kinda like Ed, Edd, n' Eddy - except what makes that particular show better than Dexter's Lab (even though I'm not a huge fan of either, personally.)? EEnE has a proper ending and payoff for its MCs in all their suffering once they stop acting like, well - dorks.

I'll say this much about how I relate to the show at it's best (the first 2 seasons and that's it for me, because everything beyond that SUCKS, IMHO.): you can be book smart like Dexter all you want - however, if you ain't the least bit street smart or know how to properly interact with others like Dee Dee actually does 99%? Well, good luck really ever making it anywhere in the real world.

Even after all these years, I can proudly say that if THAT was the message Genndy and his crew WERE going for - THEY. NAILED. IT. With flying colors all around. No one wonder this show is still deservedly memorable in a positive light after all these years, including by myself personally, even if I was never a huge fan of it and never will be, neither. Similar things can be said about EEnE even moreso IMHO, thanks to having a proper ending, which Dexter's Lab sadly lacked, too.
 

Pooky

Well-Known Member
At the time I much preferred the First Season to the Second. Never saw any of the later seasons after the hiatus.

I remember finding the ending of the first Koosalagoopagoop episode deeply upsetting as a 10 year old.
 

TheJLeeTeam

Slacker Musketeer
I’ve been watching Dexter’s Lab episodes on HBO Max. I haven’t seen the show in over 15 years. It’s one of those shows that sound simplistic at first glance but has substance and can appeal to kids and adults. The animation is simple and reminiscent of old Hanna Barbera cartoons but it still looks great. The writing, humor, and sci fi themes are clever. I admit that the Genndy episodes are the definitive ones, I actually liked the later episodes when I was younger, I don’t think they’re as bad as Nicktoons later seasons are but they did get a bit uncreative with episodes titled a Dad Cartoon, a Mom Cartoon, and so on.
 

creator

Member
I only fondly remember this show for the first 2 seasons and that's where it begins and ends. Not a favorite of mine, either - simply because I don't like the MC that much (Dee Dee was BEST character for me, honestly.).

Watching him (Dexter) suffer when deserved (usually 95 to 98% of the time) is pretty damn hilarious and really what makes the show so great, kinda like Ed, Edd, n' Eddy - except what makes that particular show better than Dexter's Lab (even though I'm not a huge fan of either, personally.)? EEnE has a proper ending and payoff for its MCs in all their suffering once they stop acting like, well - dorks.

I'll say this much about how I relate to the show at it's best (the first 2 seasons and that's it for me, because everything beyond that SUCKS, IMHO.): you can be book smart like Dexter all you want - however, if you ain't the least bit street smart or know how to properly interact with others like Dee Dee actually does 99%? Well, good luck really ever making it anywhere in the real world.

Even after all these years, I can proudly say that if THAT was the message Genndy and his crew WERE going for - THEY. NAILED. IT. With flying colors all around. No one wonder this show is still deservedly memorable in a positive light after all these years, including by myself personally, even if I was never a huge fan of it and never will be, neither. Similar things can be said about EEnE even moreso IMHO, thanks to having a proper ending, which Dexter's Lab sadly lacked, too.

If we're just talking about the first run of the show then the season 2 finale "Last But Not Beast" is an excellent series ending. Dexter's family joins together to fight a giant monster! Dexter's parents find out about the lab and Dexter finds out about Monkey's secret identity.
 

Zanneck

HAIL NEO ARCADIA!
If we're just talking about the first run of the show then the season 2 finale "Last But Not Beast" is an excellent series ending. Dexter's family joins together to fight a giant monster! Dexter's parents find out about the lab and Dexter finds out about Monkey's secret identity.

I just wish they didn't do all that memory wipe crap at the last minute, honestly.....
 

Dr.Pepper

Well-Known Member
Now that I finished the series, I think the shows biggest fault (excluding the revival episodes) was that they had potentially interesting characters that were never fleshed out. For example, Douglas Mordecai had the potential of being a close companion for Dexter but he was only in like three episodes. Also Dexter’s friends he played Dungeons and Dragons and went to Star Trek conventions with. They didn’t even have names for crying out loud!
 

AdrenalineRush1996

Well-Known Member
Now that I finished the series, I think the shows biggest fault (excluding the revival episodes) was that they had potentially interesting characters that were never fleshed out. For example, Douglas Mordecai had the potential of being a close companion for Dexter but he was only in like three episodes. Also Dexter’s friends he played Dungeons and Dragons and went to Star Trek conventions with. They didn’t even have names for crying out loud!
Don't forget Mandark's sister.
 

Zanneck

HAIL NEO ARCADIA!
Don't forget Mandark's sister.

Lalavava was a great antagonist character, IMHO. She gave Dee Dee an actual challenge worth something. Plus them becoming friends at the end of their episode was pretty damn priceless - one of Dexter's Lab's finest moments that didn't get capitalized on enough like it should have been, now that I personally think about it harder, as a result.
 

Dr.Pepper

Well-Known Member
Don't forget Mandark's sister.
Yes. She was someone that could have been a cool character. I thought I heard somewhere that the episode was a non-canon parody, but I have no idea where I heard that at.

Also the surfer boy who was friends with Dee Dee and Mandark.
 
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TheCartoonRailfan

Riding the Rails
I mainly remember watching the first 2 seasons during the late Powerhouse and City Eras. Overall, those seasons were my favorites. The later episodes were okay in terms of animation style, but the writing wasn't as great as the earlier seasons. I have to watch the series again since my memory is rather unclear.

The show did produce plenty of merchandise. I have a Dexter's Laboratory chess game for the Game Boy Advance and even owned a coloring book with green slime. I'm pretty sure I remember some candy with Dexter's Laboratory and the other Cartoon Network shows on the packaging back in the early 2000's.
 

Darklordavaitor

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
It's a good show. From that era, I've always preferred Johnny Bravo and The Powerpuff Girls, but there's a lot to like in the pre-revival episodes, and Ego Trip was a particularly strong coda that is sadly missing from HBO Max.

Watching some of it recently, I can easily admire the show's sense of humor and playful nature, but what really sticks out for me are the odd moments or episodes that foreshadow Genndy's future work. He already shows a talent for directing action sequences even this early on, which would only blossom with Samurai Jack and his Clone Wars series, for instance.

I also agree that Dexter's friends would've been nice to have been explored. I liked Douglas in his brief appearances- he was a strong match for Dexter, and loyal to boot when he needed a friend. The other friends from the convention episode also seemed promising, but we saw even less of them.
 

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