There’s a new animated series on the block and … it’s kind of hard to explain. From Amazon Studios and creators Mike Owens and Shadi Petosky comes Danger & Eggs, a new fast-paced comedy series available on Amazon today; the 13-episode first season, featuring 25 segments altogether, can be streamed through Amazon Prime Video. They’re perfect, bite-sized morsels fit for either snacking or binging, and fans of shows like Adventure Time and Steven Universe will find a lot to enjoy here.
Danger & Eggs centers on D.D. Danger (Aidy Bryant), a young, thrill-seeking adrenaline-junkie that just so happens to be the daughter of a star (and perpetually hospitalized) stuntman, along with her best friend Phillip the Safety Egg (Eric Knobel), an anthropomorphic egg whose safety-first mentality helps to limit the amount of danger D.D. lands the both of them in. This “Odd Couple” setup works fantastically well as D.D. and Phillip each use their strengths to compensate for each other’s weaknesses. And it’s far from just a weird, one-off comedy series; there are some surprisingly mature and complex lessons learned throughout the series along with a mysterious mythology, the layers of which only start to be peeled back by the season finale.
For starters, Danger & Egg takes place entirely in (and above … and below) Chickenpaw Park, a public greenspace and city park that features, among other things, a central water fountain, dilapidated water park, and a giant chicken. (The latter just happens to be Phillip’s mom, of course.) There are plenty of places to explore and crazy characters to meet, and that’s how D.D. and Phillip spend most of their time. Actually, Phillip spends the majority of his time planning to avoid disasters and reacting to D.D.’s spontaneous adventures. But what’s fascinating about Danger & Eggs is how well these two polar opposites work together–a fact complemented by fantastic lead voice performances–when everything about their personalities says they should just go their separate ways.
That’s not to say they always get along. Sometimes Phillip’s fastidiousness traps them both in a boring world of adult responsibilities, while D.D.’s “act first and think later” mentality gets the two of them in hot water more often than not. That’s all part of the fun, and the weird side of Danger & Eggs is a big part of it, too. Whether they’re dealing with the deranged Duncan (who’s been lost on his own for 25 years), or attempting to out-smart a rogue satellite, or battling subterranean mutations, D.D. and Phillip wade through all sorts of weirdness together and come out mostly clean on the other side.
Other strengths of Danger & Eggs include the show’s incredible imagination, especially once D.D. slips into her fantasy (“fantasy … fantasy …”) mode, and the courage to deal with common themes like trust, friendship, and following the rules, to surprisingly complex issues like confirmation bias, personal accountability, the comforts of routine, and complications from depression, anxiety, and identity disorders. But don’t worry, there are plenty of albino alligators and scheming raccoons thrown into the mix, too.
One thing I wanted to see some more of from Danger & Eggs was the apparent mythology that’s literally lurking beneath the surface. Some of the season’s early episodes tease something nefarious that waits at the foundation of the park and pains are taken to make connections between plot points and characters throughout the season. Antagonists come and go during the season, but the “shoot first and ask questions later” organization of H.A.R.M. show up more than once. And if you’re asking yourself, “But just why is there a giant chicken and why is this weird egg dude even walking around in the first place?”, stick with it; you’ll actually get some answers.
While watching the first season, you’ll come to know and love both D.D. and Phillip for their own particular quirks, and your heart will break on occasion when one or the other is forced to learn a hard lesson. Danger & Eggs entertains with wild adventures of two best friends before suddenly striking at the vulnerable heart of our own childhood memories and adolescent experiences. The vulnerabilities of D.D. and Phillip are often laid bare for all to see but they emerge stronger for having gone through their personal difficulties. A worthy watch indeed.
Rating: ★★★★ Very good
Also featuring Guest appearances by Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Chris Hardwick, Jonah Ray, Kate Micucci, Stephanie Beatriz, Angelica Ross, Jazz Jennings, and Jasika Nicole, Danger & Eggs is available on Amazon now!