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''My Life as a Teenage Robot'', or ''Teenage Robot'' (abbreviated as ''MLAATR''), is an American animated superhero comedy television series created by Rob Renzetti for Nickelodeon. It was produced by Frederator Studios in association with Nickelodeon Animation Studio. Set in the fictional town of Tremorton, the series follows the adventures of a robot girl named XJ-9, or Jenny, as she prefers to be called, who attempts to juggle her duties of protecting Earth while trying to live a normal human life as a teenager. Renzetti pitched the series to Frederator Studios' animated shorts showcase ''Oh Yeah! Cartoons'' and a pilot titled "My Neighbor is a Teenage Robot", which aired on January 5, 1999. Viewer approval ratings led to the commissioning of a half-hour series, which premiered on August 1, 2003; after airing its first two seasons, the series was cancelled in terms of production because of poor ratings. The completed third season eventually aired on Nickelodeon's spinoff network Nicktoons from October 4, 2008, to May 2, 2009, officially ending the series in terms of airing. The series totaled three seasons, each consisting of 13 episodes. ''My Life as a Teenage Robot'' received mostly positive reviews from critics, being nominated for numerous awards, most prominently one Primetime Emmy Award and eleven Annie Awards.

Overview

''My Life as a Teenage Robot'' is set in the fictional town of Tremorton and its themes focus on making lighthearted fun of typical teenage problems and other conventions and drama of the teenage and superhero lives mixed up with a combination of action, adventure, sci-fi fantasy and comedy sequences. The series follows XJ-9 ("Jenny Wakeman", as she prefers to be called; voiced by Janice Kawaye), who is a highly sophisticated state-of-the-art sentient gynoid automaton robot girl created by her mother Dr. Nora Wakeman (Candi Milo), an elderly robotics scientist, five years prior to the series. Jenny is Earth's protector, armed to the teeth with a wide range of weapons and devices, but all she really wants is to live the life of a normal teenager. She was preceded in development by eight other models; in season one, the episode "Sibling Tsunami" introduced XJs 1–8. Jenny's friends are her next-door neighbors Brad (Chad Doreck) and Tuck Carbuckle (Audrey Wasilewski). Brad is outgoing and adventurous, and is the first actual friend Jenny makes, while Tuck is Brad's rambunctious younger brother who usually tags along on adventures. Another one of her friends is Sheldon Lee (Quinton Flynn), a somewhat stereotypical nerd who is infatuated with her. Jenny often rejects his romantic advances, but still cares for him as a friend. At high school, Jenny has an ongoing rivalry with the Crust Cousins, Brit (Moira Quirk) and Tiff (Cree Summer), the popular girls in school. Dr. Wakeman often tries in vain to control her creation and keep her daughter focused on protecting the planet Earth. Adding to her trouble is that she is constantly being dogged by the all-robotic Cluster Empire, whose queen, Vexus (Eartha Kitt), wants her to join their world of robots (by force if necessary). Despite it all, Jenny struggles to maintain some semblance of a mostly-human life. The special of the series, "Escape from Cluster Prime", shows that the alien planet is actually a peaceful paradise for every kind of robot. It's also revealed that Vexus has made Jenny out to be a villain due to her constant refusals to join, blaming her for the missing components that allow robots to transform; Vexus actually has them hidden, to help control the populace.

Episodes



Production

Rob Renzetti moved from Cartoon Network to Nickelodeon to develop his own ideas as part of Fred Seibert's and Frederator Studios' ''Oh Yeah! Cartoons''. At Nickelodeon, he developed a pilot called "My Neighbor was a Teenage Robot", which was the basis for the series. After brief stints working on ''Family Guy'', ''The Powerpuff Girls'', ''Time Squad'', ''Whatever Happened to... Robot Jones?'', and ''Samurai Jack'', Renzetti returned to Nickelodeon to start the ''Teenage Robot'' series. Renzetti made 11 shorts during two seasons as a director on ''Oh Yeah! Cartoons''. Five of these starred two characters called Mina and the Count and followed the adventures of a rambunctious little girl and her vampire best friend. He hoped that these characters might get their own series, but Nickelodeon rejected the idea. Faced with an empty slot where the sixth Mina short was slated to go, Fred Seibert tasked Renzetti to come up with three new ideas. One of these was about a teenage girl whose boyfriend was a robot. After further thought, Renzetti merged the two characters to create Jenny, a robot with the personality of a teenage girl.

Cancellation

The show's crew revealed on their blog on October 17, 2005 that the show had been cancelled, and that the third season would be the last: "The executives love the show but the ratings aren't good enough for them to give us more episodes." Following the series' cancellation, Renzetti left for Cartoon Network Studios, working on ''Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends'' and ''The Cartoonstitute'', before moving on to the Disney Channel to become supervising producer for ''Gravity Falls''. The third season aired on Nicktoons from October 2008 to May 2009, officially concluding the broadcast of the series in the United States.

Broadcast

Nickelodeon debuted ''My Life as a Teenage Robot'' on August 1, 2003 at 8:30 PM. The show was a part of Nickelodeon's Saturday night programming block called SNICK on August 2, 2003, and briefly was a part of the TEENick lineup in August 2003 to June 2004. The first season ended on February 27, 2004, with "The Wonderful World of Wizzly / Call Hating". The second season (which was originally set to air on October 1, 2004) was pushed back to December 8, 2004, with the Christmas episode "A Robot for All Seasons". A new second-season episode was not aired until January 24, 2005. In the second season, a 48-minute, two-part TV movie entitled "Escape from Cluster Prime" (which was nominated for an Emmy in 2006) aired. Since the series' cancellation, reruns continued to air on Nicktoons until April 14, 2013, and again from December 13, 2015, to May 15, 2016.

Reception



Critical reception

Sean Aitchison from CBR wrote positively of the show saying, "Aside from the look of the show, ''My Life as a Teenage Robot'' had a fun premise that made for some great action comedy storytelling, and it definitely holds up n modern day Though the show's depiction of teendom is somewhat outdated, the cliches actually end up working in favor of the humor. Though there's not a lot of story progression throughout the series, ''My Life as a Teenage Robot'' is still a whole lot of fun." Joly Herman of Common Sense Media wrote more negatively of the show, saying that, "Though it looks cool and has an upbeat energy, the show can be a bit of a drag. Some kids may enjoy it for the mindless entertainment it intends to be, but know that there are much better uses of a free half-hour."

Awards and nominations



Home media

The episodes "See No Evil", "The Great Unwashed", "Future Shock", "A Robot for All Seasons", "Hostile Makeover", and "Gridiron Glory" were released on Nick Picks DVD compilations. As of December 12, 2011, seasons 1, 2, and 3 are available on DVD exclusive to Amazon.com in region 1. The full series was released across six discs by Beyond Home Entertainment in Australia on February 5, 2012.

Other media

Jenny was featured as a playable character in the PlayStation 2/Wii and Nintendo DS versions of ''Nicktoons: Attack of the Toybots'' with Janice Kawaye reprising her role as the character. Jenny also appears as a playable character in the official mobile game ''Nickelodeon Super Brawl Universe''.

Notes



References



External links

* * {{Portal bar|Nickelodeon|Animation|Television|United States|Cartoon Category:2000s American animated television series Category:2000s American high school television series Category:2000s American comic science fiction television series Category:2000s Nickelodeon original programming Category:2003 American television series debuts Category:2009 American television series endings Category:American children's animated action television series Category:American children's animated adventure television series Category:American children's animated comic science fiction television series Category:American children's animated science fantasy television series Category:American children's animated superhero television series Category:Child superheroes Category:Robot superheroes Category:Nicktoons Category:Teen animated television series Category:Teen superhero television shows Category:Frederator Studios Category:Animated television series about robots Category:Animated television series about teenagers Category:Animated television series about siblings Category:Anime-influenced Western animated television series Category:Television shows set in the United States Category:Television series created by Rob Renzetti Category:TNT (Russian TV channel) original programming Category:YTV (TV channel) original programming Category:English-language television shows