My Life as a Teenage Robot
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My Life as a Teenage Robot is a 2003 Robotilian animated documentary on the life of XJ-9, the robot daughter of scientist Nora Wakeman who was created to engage in galactic warfare with the Cluster, an empire of alien robots who wish to smite the human race and replace inferior hand-drawn cartoons with superior Flash-animated automatons like Kappa Mikey and El Tigre. XJ-9, or "Jenny Wakeman" in Robotilian, lives a double life of world-saving and generic teen girlisms, and acts as an interspecies exchange student in her human-majority high school. The show addressed hard-hitting issues of discrimination and anti-robotism, as human society usually treats Jenny with contempt, bad luck, and humiliation.
MLAATR is known for being one of the last watchable shows on Nickelodeon, shortly before they flushed their dignity down the crapper in the mid-late 2000s by closing Nick Studios, bringing back SpongeBob for watered down post-movie episodes, squeezing every last drop out of SpongeBob reruns, focusing less on Nicktoons and more on generic live-action tweencoms like iCarly, Zoey 101, and Unfabulous, and releasing
crimes against humanity shows like Fanboy and Chum Chum and The Naked Brothers Band.
The show revolves around the life of XJ-9 (or "Jenny", as she prefers to call herself), who lives in the city of Tremerton in the far-off future of 2072. Jenny was created by crazy scientist Nora Wakeman and is supposed to protect the Earth; however, Jenny doesn't want to protect the world, and instead wants to do generic teenage girl things, like having a cell phone, talking to boys, going to the mall, getting implants, and engaging in emotional exchange of physical data. When Nora finds this out, she forbids it; Jenny enters battle mode and threatens Nora, to which she sternly says, "Don't you point your weapons at me, young lady!" Jenny, who was acting all tough a few seconds ago, immediately simpers and goes on her bed to cry, with tears trickling down the windshield wipers on her eyes. Nora then reluctantly agrees to let Jenny talk to boys and purchases her a cell phone, but implants cannot be placed on her and procreation is forbidden in the event of male-teenage Robot terms.
Jenny sets out to protect the world, but due to her being an emotional teen addled with virtual hormones, it's not an easy task, especially with the popular girls, the Krust Cousins, always looking to humiliate her. In one instance, she accidentally burned down her school due to the Krusts slingshotting a braid into her hand-blaster, causing it to shoot all over the place, while in another case she shoved the Krusts into a locker with her metallic fists of fury, before punching the boys and teachers who were making fun of her. Among the few humans who sympathize with Jenny are her friends, prettyboy Brad Carbunkle and his annoying little brother Tuck. Jenny battles the Cluster, a planetary empire of insectoid robots who wish to rule over the humans, led by their mysterious Queen Vexus (voiced by the ever-awesome Eartha Kitt).
The series concluded (sort of) with a TV movie, Escape from Cluster Prime, where Jenny finds herself transported to the Cluster planet Cluster Prime. There she meets
her robot parents who sent her to Earth via an escape pod when Vexus was trying to ethnically cleanse all blue robots and thought Jenny died when the pod crash-landed, when in fact she was saved and adopted by Nora Vexus's daughter Vega, and learns that the Cluster's civilians are living in a 1984-ish society; in schools, they are taught that Jenny attacked their planet and destroyed their golden chips that provided them with superpowers. Later, Jenny and Vega discover that Vexus in fact stole the chips and hid them from the citizens; after defeating Vexus, they restore the chips to their rightful owners and save the planet faster than you can say "Spank a sea rabbit." Vega is crowned the planet's new queen and Jenny is offered to live there but she declines, believing her hometown still needs her (even though human society had treated her like garbage in every episode before this one). Well, this technically wasn't the last episode, but it was the last one before Nick buried the show in bad timeslots to make room for more SpongeBob reruns, thus making it the last episode that the majority of people know about.
The reception for My Life as a Teenage Robot was mostly positive, with praise going to its '50s-style artwork, anime-esque action, catchy techno music, and "childhood waifu" factor for boys that grew up watching it. Kids of the Television and What We Like to Watch labeled the show "A nuts-and-bolts-load of robotic fun," while Fox News reported "The show made multiple robots proud to call themselves robotic beings again, and helped them reconsider deactivating themselves." Rotten Tomatoes awarded the show a 71.3.14%, making it the only title on the site to have a score containing decimals, let alone a score containing the esoteric number Pi.
However, parents complained to Nickelodeon asking why they aired this for their children, as there was "ass-tons of porn" of Jenny; by contrast, some adults cited this as the reason why "I watch this more than my kids do." Due to this controversy, the show received a "sexual content" label in Russia and was banned from Russian television; they had also banned SpongeBob in a similar fashion, for allegedly depicting a homosexual couple (SpongeBob and Patrick) to children. Due to the scenes where Jenny points her weapons at Nora, parents took this as a threat and sued the show's creators, when a couple of kids grabbed a hold of one of their parents' many loaded guns lying around the house as they sat there unsupervised. As a result, the show was canceled prematurely in 2005 and forbidden to be shown on Nickelodeon ever again; if it weren't for Avatar: The Last Airbender, all hope would've been lost for Nick at this time.