Change happens to everyone no matter what. As the years go by, whether we notice it or not, we experience the weathering effects of adulthood. From going to bed earlier and earlier, to no longer feeling like you have to keep up with new music and realizing you don’t feel as “cool” as you used to.
“Close Enough” embraces this change, making a turbulent and confusing period of early adulthood feel a lot more comfortable.
From “Regular Show” creator J.G. Quintel, “Close Enough” uses a recognizable brand of humor and animation style. There’s hints of the classic “Regular Show” formula, where a simple conflict evolves into something other-worldy or catastrophic. However, the plot setups are a lot more relatable when the characters are 20 and 30-something aged humans living together and trying to make ends meet while clinging to lost youth, as opposed to talking animals being bossed around by a living gumball machine.
Streaming on HBO Max, “Close Enough” is much more adult than its predecessor, but doesn’t run away with its newly given freedom. It doesn’t feel like the show bashes you over the head with the fact it’s not PG. The show still feels grounded in Quintel’s unique sense of humor, while also containing more adult jokes and pop culture references that line up with the personality on display in “Regular Show.”
Main characters Josh and Emily take care of the daughter Candice while also living with a divorced couple Alex and Bridgette. Together, they navigate parenthood and a slew of late millennial-based problems often resulting in the most bizarre consequences.
In 11-minute episodes, the characters face their own unique challenges, unlike “Regular Show” being a more linear show focusing on just the main character’s conflicts. In classic sitcom fashion, the character’s paths diverge and remerge to tie the episode together, but given the extreme turns in such short episodes, the show can feel very fast-paced when dealing with multiple plotlines. This makes “Close Enough” feel like an even wilder ride than your average “Regular Show” episode, but by its end makes much more interesting and relatable points.
There’s something surreal about exploring the woes of early adulthood through the lenses of nostalgic “Regular Show” animation and the familiarity of Quintel’s voice acting behind the main character who at times feels like could be a self-insert.
Common existential problems facing coming-of-age adults in a bright and colorful cartoon odyssey gives much-needed light to adulthood itself.