HBO MAX & CARTOON NETWORK STUDIOS [Comic-Con@Home]: Close Enough.

Chris “Holy Spirit” Sawin
@evilbutters

The HBO Max and Cartoon Network Studios: Close Enough Comic-Con@Home panel was hosted by William Salyers, the voice of Rigby on Regular Show. The panel was about 30-minutes with roughly ten minutes devoted to Salyers talking to Close Enough creator and voice of Josh, J.G. Quintel.

The rest of the panel had the majority of the rest of the cast including Gabrielle Walsh (Emily), Jessica DiCicco (Candice), Jason Mantzoukas (Alex), Kimiko Glenn (Bridgette), and supervising producer Calvin Wong filling in for John Early (Mr. Campbell). The panel ended with a reading by the cast from the first episode.

The most intriguing material came from Salyers and Quintel’s one-on-one discussion. Quintel talked about transitioning from Regular Show to Close Enough and how both series seemed to represent different points in his life. Regular Show was more about Quintel’s college years and slacking off and Close Enough is what it’s like to now be married and have kids. The HBO Max series has a lot of the same cast involved that Regular Show did and they utilize a lot of the same animation concepts like watercolor backgrounds and a similar style. The biggest difference is that Quintel went from anthropomorphic animals to humans and connections with what feels like real people.

We also finally found out why Quintel settled on Close Enough being the name for his new series or at least we sort of did. His original title for the series was Splitting Rent, but he said it was, “A little too on the nose.” He chose the title Close Enough because it could mean a variety of different things. The show is about a married couple with a five year old sharing a house with a divorced couple. Close Enough could mean not having a lot of space in general. It could also mean having a general idea of success or where your life might take you, but settling on something that is close enough. “This isn’t what I imagined, but it’s close enough.”

Quintel’s favorite idea behind the title of the show, which originated on the internet, is that his new series is Close Enough to Regular Show which seems too perfect to not be a planned thing. The chit chat between cast members was slightly humorous at times, mostly thanks toMantzoukas, but was otherwise just fluff. It was cool to find out that Quintel pushes for everyone to record in the booth at the same time so there’s more chemistry amongst the cast and they can play off of each more compared to recording individually.

I did like that the panel highlighted not only the best episode of the first season (Episode 2, “Logan’s Run’d”) but also the best sequence, which is Josh and Emily doing errands to “Turn Down For What.” I guess I was wanting a little more from the panel though. Something regarding landing some of the more recognizable guest voices or that a season two was already in development or had at least been green-lit.

The panel is a fun little video about the show featuring the voice cast, but it didn’t really give us a ton of behind the scenes information about the episodes we’ve already received or what a possible future might contain. With all of this COVID-19 nonsense, there’s no telling when entertainment can get back to a regular shooting or development schedule. We’re lucky to get anything right now, honestly. I’m happy with what Close Enough fans got from this panel, but just like the end of the first season I was left wanting so much more. 3.25/5 Adult-Oriented Bibles.

-Chris Sawin

Close Enough is currently streaming on HBO Max. You should totally check it out if you haven’t done so already. It’s only eight episodes, two 11-minute shorts per episode, and is especially excellent if you had been waiting to make the natural, semi-mature, overly hilarious transition from Regular Show to Close Enough. I wrote a lengthy article about Close Enough here. Please check it out if you’re interested.

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