‘WTF 101’ Review: This NSFW Take on ‘Magic School Bus’ Will Teach You a Thing or Two

     January 7, 2019

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Imagine what kind of show Rick and Morty would be if it actually explored real-world science, technology, history, medicine and more. Or, coming at that idea from a different angle, imagine what kind of show The Magic School Bus would be if it tackled mature, adult, and often gross subjects that are taboo, but did so in an NSFW manner. Now stretch that overtaxed imagination of yours a little more and wonder what it would be like if a show like that actually existed.

Well, as of today, it does! CollegeHumor’s relatively new streaming service DROPOUT is the exclusive home to WTF 101, a new animated series from Mike Trapp (Adam Ruins Everything). This short-form series, featuring episodes that are roughly 10 minutes in length, seeks to educate audiences in hilarious, grotesque, and NSFW fashion by exploring insane, real-world examples of science, history, and more. This is one show you won’t feel guilty about binging because you might actually learn something while watching it!

Featuring the voice talents of Raphael Chestang, Katie Marovitch, Ally Beardsley, and Zac Oyama, with Adam Conover and Mary Pat Gleason, Trapp’s new animated series WTF 101 arrives on Dropout today.

Before we get into the review, check out the brand new first trailer for WTF 101:

The people who brought you Adam Ruins Everything drop a new dose of freaky facts and horrifying history in all their cartoon glory. Watch show clips on YouTube plus full new episodes every week on DROPOUT.TV.

Here’s the official synopsis:

CollegeHumor’s new show is a twisted adult animation show that teaches viewers about some of the most f***ed-up moments in science and history (think: testing the numbing ability of cocaine through self-pain; drinking contaminated vomit to prove Yellow Fever isn’t contagious; mutations that lead to frogs growing extra limbs (and ultimately dying); and MUCH more. The show will shock you, disgust you, make you cringe, and make you laugh, but ultimately, you’ll leave every episode learning something totally new, totally real.

I was lucky enough to get an early look at two of the upcoming episodes of WTF 101: One dealt with real-world parasites and the horrors of nature, while the other focused on “military intelligence” and the horrors made by men. If you’re a fan of the aforementioned Rick and MortyDrunk History, and/or the excellent Netflix animated series Big Mouth, which takes aim at adolescence and puberty in a raunchy and somehow endearingly earnest way, then WTF 101 should be on your radar. You’ll laugh, you’ll dry heave, and you might even learn something.

The premise is simple: A quartet of kids in detention are schooled by an eccentric and sometimes cynical teacher who takes them on often horrifying field trips with the help of a time-traveling/teleporting/shrinking device. Their travels take them face to face with nature’s most ruthless parasites, humanity’s dumbest failed inventions, and much, much more. If WTF 101 had just made up all of these lessons, it’d still be a funny watch thanks to the clever storytelling, fast-paced plot, and punched-up dialogue. But it’s the fact that the show seeks to educate audiences on real-world factoids that gives it that extra shine.

Like cartoons of yesteryear, each episode ends with a PSA of sorts, though these mini monologues are actually thought-provoking and earnest rather than offering up canned and ultimately useless information. And as a bonus, each short episode also includes a slideshow over the credits with photos, documentation, and more evidence for the topics that were covered; take notes, and you might have a better chance of winning your next trivia night at the local bar.

WTF 101 is a perfect storm of zany animation, hilarious dialogue, and real-world insanity that all come together to deliver a surprisingly satisfying series. Keep an eye out for a Q&A with Trapp running later this week.

Rating: ★★★★ Very good

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Image via College Humor

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