When we first heard that David O'Reilly was writing, directing and producing an episode of 'Adventure Time' we naturally assumed it was one of his numerous online hoaxes. Even the shows creator Pendleton Ward got in on the joke trying to quell the rumours...
@animatedreview @davidoreilly David spent time at Cartoon Network as an intern recently.Directing an episode is just a rumor.
— Pendleton Ward (@buenothebear) January 24, 2013
As it turned out it was all true and David's episode 'A Glitch Is A Glitch' premiered on April 1st, a suitable date given David's preoccupation with pranks and online japery.
The episode sees the Ice King unleash a computer virus to delete everyone in Ooo except himself and Princess Bubblegum. The virus is hidden in an video email (a floppy disc tied to a breeze block) sent by the Ice King to Finn and Jake. The disturbing video of a girl gagging herself with her own hair was released as a cryptic teaser through David's Vimeo channel a few days prior to the Cartoon Network premiere with no hint it was from the looming 'Adventure Time' episode.
Whilst 'A Glitch Is A Glitch' isn't our favourite episode (although it is pretty amazingly weird) it's great to see a show like 'Adventure Time' and a channel like Cartoon Network get behind an awesome visual artist like David O'Reilly a let them run wild. The entire episode, even a re-working of the opening titles, was crafted in O'Reilly's inimitable glitchy style with his intentionally crude lo-fi digital imagery and dark sense of humour which may not appeal to your typical Cartoon Network viewer. Whilst the episode might not be to everyone's taste, this off-beat experiment is a real treat for animation fans and hopefully the start of future collaborations between the show and other guest directors who can put their own unique stamp on subsequent episodes.