“Tear Along The Dotted Line,” the good, the good, and the better. “Tear Along The Dotted Line” is a Netflix autobiography animated type series, with a cartoonish style where it follows the author, Michele Rech, also known as Zerocalcare. Rech is a cartoonist who originally worked on comics that depicted his life and how he went through his own events, similar to the later created netflix series. Tear Along The Dotted Line is a build up story, where everything seems to be normal but it has a big twist that was built up at the end that may come as a shock and twist to some, without spoilers I am here to dig in and review this series and determine if it’s really good, which it is. I’m really here to get you to watch it.
The series opens up with Zero in his late 30s; he seems to always be talking to this big orange armadillo that follows him everywhere. Actually his own conscience, the armadillo is always criticizing and shaming zero for all his decisions. I feel that the addition of this character really makes the show greater, as you watch the show you notice that people are also drawn as animals. Personally, I didn’t really piece together that this armadillo wasn’t real at the start, since he looked like everyone else. Zero’s cartoonish style of drawing people as animals and with cartoonish proportions and how he voices every character himself really diving into the feeling that we are in his mind, in his own shoes. The armadillo goes on depicting and projecting his own thoughts through an imaginative being like they aren’t his own. This is a key point that plays out throughout the entire series. It really helps build onto the point that Zero has serious anxiety and shows how he seems to deal with it, while to the viewers it just seems comedic. The armadillo also seems to instigate and cause Zero to seriously rethink and overthink minor situations. Even the littlest things caused him to go down in a spiral of possibilities, which I personally think really greatly portrays what it can be like to go through these things.
Personally, I enjoyed this show a lot. The way it keeps you in by keeping the story interesting and comedic. The characters are enjoyable and most of all relatable, this show is based on real people and experiences. So it’s common that people can often relate to Zero or even his friends, who play a big role throughout the series and are shown to be a pillar in Zeros life. For example, he looks up to his friend, Sarah, a person he looked up to and believes that if she did anything wrong it would all go wrong for him too. Later, he’s told that she can’t be this sacred statue that protects the little village in his own head. He has to construct his own. Not everything is as it seems. The unintentional feeling that Zero creates a whole different world where he digs himself his own hole and overthinks situations into his own problems and lives with these false ideas is something people can relate to. The constant reminder that not everything is about you is shown throughout the series, and even more in the second series This World Can’t Tear Me Down, which follows the same group after the first series. The series shows that the world won’t form around you, you can’t simply follow along the dotted line and live your life as you expect you will. Sometimes you will cut outside the line and bring in other people, problems and issues. And there isn’t anything that can be done about it, which is something Zero continues to learn throughout the series.
To conclude, I think that everyone should at least watch “Tear Along The Dotted Line,” it’s a short six episodes that are about 15 minutes each. It’s a short story that can tell so much whilst looking like a funny cartoon. Personally, on my first watch I never really thought of it as something serious. Just a guy and his crazy ideas and his friends, and a big orange armadillo. Nearing the end it became clear it was something bigger the entire time. Not realizing everything until it’s too late, the second watch really opens your eyes. As you can see little details that build up and reveal the real deeper meanings. So basically I would very much recommend this short series, I’d personally give it basically a ten out of ten. If you want to have a little fun while indulging into an immersive and deeper story in a short amount of time, give it a watch.