Cartoon Network premiered its new mystery series Tower Prep —which is not a cartoon—and boy, was it ever ...a mystery. Clips inside present a show with lots of filler, bad acting and misdirection.

Tower Prep begins by introducing Ian, a young man who doesn't take nerd beatings lightly; within the first minute, Ian is expelled from school for kicking the ass of a kid who was just minding his own business, trolling the school yard for a nerd beating. Ian's parents are pissed. They tell Ian he "doesn't even know what he is" or something.

Like any other American Millenial, Ian passes the night hours by playing his MMORPG's while listening to MP3's on his iPod. His internet game of choice - later referred to as "Treasure Bandits" - is a source of networking for young Ian, who looks like a cross between Daniel Tosh and Silas Botwin from Weeds. Another "Treasure Bandits" player, with the online tag name "Whisper 119" calls Ian by name and quickly signs off. This is followed by eerie sounds emanating from all Ian's electronics, which somehow or other transports him to Professor Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters Tower Prep:


So Ian is visibly freaked out (Kinda? Maybe?). Ian wants answers. What is this place? Why do my roommates have to be such assholes? To find those answers, Ian tries to call home, only to hear a message that he's "out of his carrier range" (damn T-Mobile!). To really find answers, Ian surveys the Tower Prep grounds, and continually hears a reminder for "new mutant student orientation". Wouldn't you know it, there's a huge steel wall surrounding Tower Prep! Guess Ian's stuck, he'll just have to walk around, look for a way out with generic alternative pop-rock playing throughout:

Ian can't catch a break from the other students either, most don't appreciate others who "can't get with the program". Watch as the young lady looks back longingly after the exchange, which clearly sets up future relationships/plot development, people!


Get with the program Ian! What program exactly? That's the mystery, folks! For the next half-hour, the tension builds and the mystery mystifies. From whom did Ian receive his "I'm scared too" note in science class? Why is the science teacher simply referred to as "science"? Who knows.

Yada Yada Yada, Ian attempts to escape. Along the way, he runs into a few other Tower Prep mutants students trying to break free from "the program". One of 'em happens to be CJ, the snotty bitch who tells off Ian earlier about "the program". The others are Gabe and Suki; each of them reveal to Ian they have special characteristics. For example, Suki can mimic anyone's voice. Boom goes the dynamite. Riveting stuff. While the quartet's escape is foiled by RoboCops who patrol the Tower Prep grounds, Ian and his new found friends find ways to still have rambunctious teenaged fun. Suki lends a hand with her "power":

And the episode ends. Who was the note from? Why doesn't Ian upgrade his cell phone service so he can call his parents for crying out loud? Unlocking the mystery behind Tower Prep just might be Ian's only way out. Hopefully, the ride there won't be too long.