What exactly is a stoat (besides kinda cute)? In Benny the Escaped Convict produced by Not a Weasel a stoat is in fact (as the animation company’s name would imply) not a weasel. Nor is it one of those inbred meerkats that Animal Planet fanatics are so fond of (including me…I loved Flower… …).
And while some of the NSFW humor in this Atom original series does revolve around the public misconceptions of the subtle distinctions in the Mustelidae family, most of it is centered on the derogatory observations of the small, yet heavily armed, title character.
The show’s simple premise revolves around Benny’s encounters while on the lam, never expanding beyond his flight from the five-oh. However, plot is obviously not creators Nye Warbuton and Ryan Levin’s main concern.
As a web series that would obviously never be suited for television, the verbal exchanges between Benny and the generalized characters he encounters is the main draw.
Not only is Benny’s take on the human condition a delight for the more cynical social critics amongst us, but he seems to have bedded every famous female from Sylvia Plath to, most likely, your own mother. And he’s not afraid to musk and tell.
Benny’s brazen sexism and slew of profanity is not for the more politically correct, (perhaps explaining Atom’s classification of the series as extreme humor) but there is something to like about this unapologetic, furry mammal.
The creators keep it straight by never allowing Benny to spend too much time in one place; Levin and Warbuton seem to know that when relying on the unidentifiable charm of a badass like Benny, less is more. With only four posted episodes it should be interesting to see whether this character will continue to please. Though judging by this interview with the stoat himself, it seems he still has plenty more to say.
In the end, the actual storyline pales in comparison to the polished look of the animation and mass of quotable dialogue, but those of you who love foul-mouthed anti-heroes along the lines of Neil Patrick Harris in the Harold and Kumar movies will find Benny the Escaped Convict worth your three-or-so minutes.