Expectations can be funny. And in the case of "Clone High USA," an animated series premiering at 10:30 tonight on MTV, they can cut both ways.
The show's intriguing premise is that a mad scientist has created clones of various historical figures and now, 16 years later, they are all attending the same high school. In addition to the usual teenage anxieties, they also struggle with the legacies of the people whose DNA they possess.
The series revolves around five characters: Abraham Lincoln (voiced by Will Forte), Joan of Arc (Nicole Sullivan), Gandhi (Michael McDonald), John F. Kennedy (Christopher Miller) and Cleopatra (Christa Miller-Lawrence). Most behave more or less as you'd expect them to: Abe is lanky, awkward and preternaturally honest; his main rival, JFK, is a hopeless womanizer; and Cleo looks to exert power over everyone with her sexiness and smarts. Joan is still a crusader, but she's given up religion and gone goth. Gandhi, however, has completely rebelled against his "clone-father" and become the ultimate hormone-fueled party animal.
Their nemesis is the scientist who created them -- and serves as school principal -- the evil Cinnamon J. Scudworth (Phil Lord), who has a robot butler named Mr. Belvetron, whom calls everyone Wesley.