Top 5 Amazing World of Gumball Season 4 Episodes

Hello, Spongey here.

Time to do a list for a recent Season of a show I follow! Yeah, this is now a thing I do, sometimes. Just remember that I’m not obligated to do these kind of lists every time. Only if I have enough to say, or I am passionate enough, will I do a list for the Season of a show I follow/did a list for before.

This is why I have no plans to do a Steven Universe Season 3 list. Yeah, sorry. You don’t wanna see someone praise Mr Greg for the 1000th time anyway. I wasn’t quite up for doing another SU list, but you bet your ass I’m going back to Gumball!

Yeah, back when I did my Top 11 Amazing World of Gumball Episodes list, I planned to do a list for Season 4 because I was passionate about some episodes, and was actually sad I couldn’t put them on that list due to my own rules.

Yes, even before I get into this I am telling you some of these would have been on that list back when I did it, not even factoring any new ones since then that could make it. Man, Gumball is weird.

It can go from “pretty solid” to ‘BEST THING EVER” very often. Like with Wander, it has episodes so good that the show can be close to the quality of insert whatever show people see as amazing right now here.

Season 3 onward has kept the show mostly “very good” to “Great”. Yet it’s not a show you would think would be like that, given the problems it can have. (Not to mention having one of my least favorite “Dud” Episodes…).

You can read my previous list for my details on the show in general and such. I’ve noticed with some shows Season 3 is either a weaker one, or the best one. And in the latter case, Season 4 will be not quite as good, but can often pump out some of the best episodes ever.

Happens on CN a lot. Happened with Kids Next Door, Adventure Time, Regular Show, and now Gumball. Season 4 is fairly close to great with how good the best episodes, and how it keeps raising the bar for the show.

But it’s not quite as great as Season 3, since it has more lulls between awesome eps, and a few more weaker ones. Season 3 had none that come to mind (even if some could be a bit mixed) but I can think of some in Season 4. Not a big deal, that’s gonna happen.

Season 4 did up the ante by having a minor arc. By minor I mean there’s this guy who is a sort of recurring villain now, who appears like 3 times in the season. Nothing huge, but man, even this show has an arc of some kind.

But yeah, Season 4 was pretty solid. Here’s hoping Season 5 will be as good, without dropping too much. Some of the episodes impressed me so much that I’m here. Today we’ll look at the episodes from the past season that I liked the most.

Which ones would make it on my current Top 11? Which ones were the most interesting, funny, and creative? Am I rushing this to just go with the list? Yes, to the last one! Let’s do this.

This, is my Top 5 Amazing World of Gumball Season 4 Episodes

(This was almost a top 8, but I decided to lighten my workload, as I just finished something that took 20 days total to do. Yes. Look for that October 1st)

5. The Origins

Writers: Ben Bocquelet, Mic Graves, Louise Coats, Andrew Jones, Ciaran Murtagh, Daniel Berg, Nathan Auerbach, Joe Parham and Tobi Wilson

Oh boy, we’re off to an interesting start. This is the obligatory big one that everyone praises, or at least was until another episode we’ll get to. And yes, my usual reasons keep it low on here, but most of my choices are about equal as it is hard to rank these episodes as they are great for different reasons. Except the top 2, they are my top 2 episodes.

This episode is the first true double length episode of the series, although it’s done like two 11 minute eps, with part having it’s own title card and brief funny recap. As the title suggests, this is as flashback to show us the secret origin of Darwin, how he came about and all that.

This is an episode that works more than it should. See, the story focusing a lot of Gumball and Darwin’s love for each other, a lot. To the point that it pulls out a lot of cheesy tropes you expect in a story like this.

By the way, I mean Darwin literately only survives off Gumball’s love, to that point that it’s because of a comment from him that Darwin grew legs. Seriously. A lot of this isn’t directly parodied…and yet the whole is just as emotional as something like this is supposed to be.

I can’t pin down why. One reason would be that it’s still funny. They still have tons of jokes, and it’s not a cheese fest all the way through. There’s great moments like the reason Sussie is the way she is, how Darwin comes from the Van from The Puppy, and tons of other little asides.

The comedy doesn’t distract from the drama, it actually makes it easier to digest. This show tends to be good at mixing the jokes in the drama, most of the time. If I’d compare this to anything, it would be The Shell.

I like that one better because it more directly parodies it’s tropes, but this is in the league. The story itself is also well written. It starts with them trying to deal Kid Gumball, who is very yperatic and he calms down when they get him a fish, but they keep having to replace the fish as they keep dying.

This helps really establish the family dynamic. Gumball may be hyperactive and hard to deal with, and they are doing this to keep him calms, but they clearly love him anything to go such lengths and all that good stuff.

Each step of the story showcases this well, and the character are all in top form. And while some of this is cheesy, it’s also sweet. You do see Gumball and Darwin’s connection pretty well, and the 2nd half especially goes all out in showing their love for each other. It’s a journey home story as Darwin is accidentally flushed and ends up in the Ocean. They manage to make this engaging with how sweet it is.

They go all out in showing their love and as over the top as it is, it’s effective. There’s a number of close calls where Darwin just barely misses them and it’s just as emotionally intense as it is funny.

So when they get back together, it’s really satisfying. Also, the music and animation are genuinely strong in the bigger parts. We even get a musical number about how Darwin is on his way, which is all big in how he’s going home, but it becomes funny with all the dangerous terrains he comes across.

Gumballw should do a musical episode, because it’s songs to be really awesome. My favorite is the one about Gumball wanting his ass slapped. That’s a thing that happened!

There’s just a emotional quality to this special that makes it, despite how cheesy it is. You can tell put a lot of effort it into to make it genuinely work as a story, even with all the silly humor. The whole episode is just sweet even though it shouldn’t be.

It just shows how weird this show is. Also, the timeline confuses me. The show seems to take place around the present, and Gumball is 12 so this episode set when he’s around like 5 or so should be set in the early 2000’s or so, right?

Well, wrong, it seems like the 90’s because there’s a joke about Richard creating “The Internet” which is literately just a bunch of nets. He also has a Nirvana parody shirt. Either time is weird of Richard is just that stupid.

I’m leaning towards the latter.

But yeah,it’s nature does prevent me from loving me, but it’s still great in it’s own weird way. It’s cheesy and cliches, but it’s done in such a way that makes it surprisingly engaging and emotional.

A well written story and tons of good humor makes this one better. It’s cheesy but gosh dang it’s loveable. I don’t know what more I can say so I’ll end this here. The Origins is a strong special that shows the strength of the show, as it can make something cheesy into something funny and sweet.

It’s good for their first special.

4. The Signal

Writers: Ben Bocquelet, Mic Graves, Joe Parham, Andrew Jones, Ciaran Murtagh and Tobi Wilson

Gumball is a show that does a lot of experiments, but there’s only so many experiments you can do. By this point, I thought the show couldn’t really surprise me with what experiments it does. Episodes like this prove me wrong.

It’s hard to really describe the premise, but basically Gumball and Darwin’s relationship is strained when some some freaky accidents makes Darwin think Gumball is insulting him. By that I mean, the world is glitching like a TV causing it too look like Gumball said crazy stuff.

Yeah, that’s the gimmick of this one. It’s kind of a more subdued version of that one Futuarama episode, but which it playing out like a TV signal going crazy. This episode goes all out with ,to the point where the title card glitches out.

That did get me, because my TV is an asshole, so it’s entirely believable it could have gone out at that moment.

This does start out a bit slow, mostly just having Gumball stuffier a bit, but later he it gets crazier, from having Gumball skip words and thus say something bad, to having them skip through time a bit and stuff like that.

Because their falling out happens due to misunderatanding, this could have been boring or stupid, but I think it works. Mostly because they keep it funny instead of just having Darwin be boringly mopey.

They make some good jokes with him being upset he is, and how Gumball is screwed over. Plus, from his perspective, it makes sense that he would be upset. I don’t get why this doesn’t’ effect Darwin until later though..

To be fair, this isn’t supposed to make sense. Nothing is ever quite explained, at least now why TV effects “real life”. This is an episode that exists so they just can have fun with a crazy premise, and it works very well.

Of course, the highlight is when all hell breaks loose, with time skipping all over the place and commercials interrupting life. It’s fast paced with tons of great creative gags. There’s tons of gags with this idea, including how this ends up affecting Richard.

This episode really took me by surprise with how creative and enjoyable it was. Even if this was somehow done before, this goes all out with the premise, and is a lot of fun. It also has kind of a creepy ending.

No spoilers, but the way things are resolved is interesting and a bit of a mindscrew, especially since it’s never brought up again.

I suppose there are better “experiments” episodes this is one of the most interesting due to how none it makes sense, in the best possible way. There’s honestly not much more I can say. When something is funny, it;’s just funny.

This has a creative slant to it, but it’s not the kind of creative I can ramble on about, you know? Still, it’s an out there episode with a great set up that they do a lot of funny things with. Doing a misunderstanding plot right is just the icing on the cake.

Oh, and it has a joke about someone being hurt by barbells that’s actually funny and not horrible! What’s not to love?

The Signal may not give me a lot to talk about, but it’s a creative fun episode to wa-

3. The Signature

Writers: Nathan Auerbach, Daniel Berg, Ben Bocquelet, Louise Coats, and Tobi Wilson

Hey, remember The Authority and The Man? I tied them on my Top 11 List because I felt they were thematically linked due to focusing on Richard and his mother. I bring them up because this episode is basically a part 3 to the “Richard’s family trilogy” and thus would have been on the list along with those.

(I even mentioned this ep in that section, something I forgot I did until I went to re-read it for this post)

When Richard finds out Louie and Jojo plan to get married, he adopts Louie to stop that from happening. Yeah, that’s the basic plot, and is the focus for half of it. The episode works at first due to how hilariously absurd that premise.

We get good jokes about Louie being treated like a kid, but then it becomes a story of escalation with everyone trying to fix this by starting a chain adoptions, starting with Louie adopting Nicole.

Yep.It’s a lot of fun with some good silly gags. Then it takes a turn. Eventually, it gets to the point that the person in the family with the most power is…Richard’s Dad. You know, the one who left him a long time ago.

Yeah, we’re going into that again. This time they track him down to get him to adopt Richard and fix this whole mess. This is where the episode becomes something special. To the surprise of no one, Frankie Watterson is a deadbeat who is kicked out of his residence and only visits Richard because he figured they’d give him a home.

And of course, it gets emotional as Richard and Jojo face the deadbeat they hate so much. Spoilers, this is one of the stories where the deadbeat dad is forgiven. I know I praised Blendin’s Game for subverting that, but just because I like a subversion doesn’t mean I don’t like it when it’s played straight, when done correctly at least.

I think it works due to the emotion, and how unexpected it is. It starts like a silly episode but drops this bomb on you. And it’s at a good point in the episode, giving them time to focus on it enough.

They don’t explain exactly why he left, but what they do here is nice enough to make up for it. I won’t spoil exactly how certain things play out, but it is very heartwarming. Yeah, it’s cliché to go this route but I think it works in context.

However, I kind of have to dock points because…well in the end his Dad adopts Richard again and is willingly to be his Father again. …And he hasn’t’ appeared since! This was early in the Season, so they’ve had plenty of time to bring him back.

They brought Rob back a few times later in this Season, so why not Frankie? I mean, Louie being their grandpa is addressed in The Check but not Frankie. This especially stands out because this show has good continuity, especially in this Season.

I loved this one a lot more back when I first saw it because I thought Frankie would become a major character but nope, haven’t seen from him since? Maybe he’ll appear in Season 5 but it shouldn’t have taken that long.

It does prevent this one from possibly being higher, but I still see it as great. It’s just very nice to see them address, and Frankie making up for his mistake is very heartwarming? Cliche? Maybe? Rushed….eh, sure but dang it, it just works for me.

Yeah, first few eps on the list have some cons that prevent them from being higher and I consider them to be interchangeable. This is just higher due to a better joke/story mix and the story being more interesting.

This is another episode where the helps make like it more than I might otherwise. Although unlike The Hero, the problems aren’t too big a deal. Frankie vanishing is the only one that really bothers me, and it’s not this episodes’ fault.

So yeah, there’s not much else to say yet again. This episode as a great entry to a sort of trilogy, and gave me something I was interested in seeing. It starts as a absurd premise turned into something very good, but becomes something pretty sweet.

While I hope they build on this, the episode stands as great for now. It’s another episode that’s just as funny as it is sweet, while having some interesting stuff in the sweet bits to boot.

Sorry I’m not saying too much but I think the top 2 will make up for it. But yeah, The Signature is another get angry in a sort of trilogy that isn’t a trilogy.

The top 2 is where the list gets interesting because these are the ones that are in my current top 11. Sure, Signature is but tied with two others. These would have their slots, and these would be roughly in the overall top 5. Yeah, let’s do this.

2. The Routine

Writers: Ben Bocquelet, Louise Coats, Nathan Auerbach, Daniel Berg, Andrew Jones, Ciaran Murtagh, Tom Neenan, Andy Wolton, Joe Parham and Tobi Wilson

When it comes to the major characters, Richard is one of the more divisive ones, at least early on. He’s another example of a dumbass Dad, and you either dislike him before of that, or like him in spite of that.

Recently some have lightened up on him since he has been getting better episodes here and there. Episodes about him can be divisive, most notably The Hero although that’s due to his treatment more than Richard himself.

I’m in the camp of mostly liking him but I will admit his episodes aren’t always the best, although there’s a few on my top 11. But I don’t think he had one I could call “Amazing”….until this episode.

The plot is that Richard goes to the store to get Mayo. Yeah, that’s it….oh, and it’s done in the style of an epic fantasy adventure. That part is important.

This show is really good at parody, and making mundane things surprisingly awesome/funny, and this one is a perfect example of that. I’m not sure what to say without spoiling everything. This episode hits a lot of notes parody various fantasy stories, most notably Conan.

I mean, it even begins with similar narration from Discount Mako. There’s also a bit of Neverending Story with the Car being Richard’s Steed, called Cartax. Spoilers, it also meets a similar fate in a swamp.

The thing that makes this one work so well is the tone and scale. Despite being a big joke, it really captures the feel of a big adventure, being really epic. Especially with the music, and animation.

I’m starting to realize how good the music is on this show, when you really listen to it. It can set the mood so perfectly. Like any good parody, it captures the mood of what they are parodying, which makes the actual jokes even funnier.

Most of the humor comes from Richard, as the concept of him being an fantasy adventure is funny enough. There’s plenty of good jokes that come from his interaction with fantasy tropes, like the “Trolls” at the Toll Booth, and the Witch.

Along with the humor, there’s slight emotion when Cartax sort of dies. You didn’t exactly get to know it or anything but just the way it’s done makes it just a little bit of sad, with how Richard reacts.

My favorite joke is the reveal of who the narrator is. I won’t spoil it, but it’s hilarious, and awesome at the same time.

Which sums up this episode. Character wise, it’s good for Richard showing he can be competent. Sure, he’s not perfect but he got that mayor is and I like how the family doesn’t know he got it.

But it’s not done in a mean way, it works for how the story is set up. One detail I found interesting as that it starts out as mundane as it sounds, and Richard just treats it like an epic adventure.

But as the episode goes on, it becomes more like one for real, with the obstacles he faces and how the big bad is an actual villain ravaging the land. I think it works to give us a taste of both ways to do something like that, and the escalation is neat.

This episode is just awesome. Not only did it do good things for Richard, but it serves as a great homage to classic epic fantasy adventures. It has the feel of those epics to make it even better, and the whole is just a ton of fun from start to finish.

I was impressed when I first saw it, and I still love it with each viewing. This is the kind episode that makes this show so good, and it shows that Richard can hold an episode on his own if you do it right.

Overall, this is a very strong fantasy adventure parody, that is also the best Richard episode, and is just awesome all around. Yeah, that’s all I got, it’s just good epic fun.

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

  1. The Uploads/The Love: I think they need to cool it on the compilation episodes, but they still can be good, and these were the best of the four we saw this season. Both take simply concepts (internet videos, and love) and makes tons of joke with the format. Some highlights include an Up parody, and Richard’s game review. Also, a sort of gay joke that’s actually funny!
  1. The Detective: In love mystery episodes, and while they did one before, I like this one more since it’s less like clue and more like True Detective, being a bit more gritty with an actually solid comedic mystery. I dig it
  1. The Nest: This is a sequel to the Puppy and it’s even better, being more messed up in the best possible way. This was the closest to making the list, but I guess the ones that made it just had more to them.

And my favorite Gumball Season 4 Episode is…

  1. The Disaster/The Rerun

Writers: Ben Bocquelet, Joe Parham, Andrew Jones, Ciaran Murtagh Nathan Auerbach, Daniel Berg,, and Tobi Wilson

Okay, let’s address something first. The latter episode of this two parter is technically a Season 5 episode. Yes, this takes from one season to the other, and they just aired together. But it’s impossible to talk about one withot the other, and it’s the package as a whole that makes it my favorite.

Sorry if you’re picky about that kind of thing, and yes if I do a Season 5 list, The Rerun can’t qualify. Anyway, we need some context before I get into the plot. Rob was a minor character who was dropped and they took advantage of this starting with The Nobody.

See, in The Void they discovered…well a void, where the world’s mistakes vanish to. Rob apparently ended up here and escaped after he failed to Gumball and Darwin’s attention when they went there in that episode.

Long story short, he’s a nobody in the world now and before finding out his backstory, Gumball and Darwin give him the role of the villain since all the other character types had been taken.

And now Rob is their nemesis, complete with backstory. Then comes The Nemesis, the Season 4 premire, which further explored his villain role, He also appeared in The Bus but it’s not important to this episode.

The point is, Rob is their enemy, and they know it as this is the shows way of parodying stuff like that. This is the minor arc I mentioned, and oh boy does it come to a head here.

Rob gets his ultimate revenge when he gets his hands on a Universal Remote straight out of Click, as in one that actually controls the universe. This comes from the same van Darwin and the Evil Turtle came from, by the way.

I’m not even sure where to begin with this one. When I saw these episodes for the first time, I was blown away beyond belif. I know this sound weird but a cartoon episode hasn’t quite affected me in a long time, at least when it comes to big event episodes like this.

But let’s slow down a bit. When you get down to it, the concept is pretty simple, just one using a magic remote to get revenge., The show often takes simple concepts and takes advantage of every possibility.

But usually it’s every comedic chance…but here, it’s every dramatic chance, along with the usual comedy. There’s tons of great jokes with the idea, especially in the parts where Gumball and Rob finally have a big fight.

The creativity and humor is exactly what I’ve come to expect from this show, just turned up to 11 due to the scale. The Diaster is mostly spent with Rob ruining Gumball’s life, which is funny, interesting, and really heartbreaking.

Most notably, he makes Darwin think he’s been insulted, and he makes Richard and Nicole gets a divorce, and it all just gets worse from there. I mean, it’s insane how bad things get for Gumball and it’s cruel in the best possible way.

It’s heartbreaking watching all this happen, andit never really goes overboard, as the chain of bad luck stops right there it should. Although Penny falling to her near death may have been a bit much. At least Rob pauses life before anything crazy happens there.

This is like a souped up version of The Signal, as this has also life becoming like TV in order to screw with Gumball. At the end of Disaster, Gumball ends up rewinding time back to the start to the episode, giving him a chance to fix things, which is what The Rerun is mostly about.

Yep, it’s Gumball’s take on Groundhog Day, pretty much ,and it’s one of the more unique takes I’ve seen, since it’s done on purpose and we only go through the day one extra time. This time he’s aware of Rob and tries to thwart him but things only become worse.

Mostly because long story short, Gumball accidentally makes his parents way younger which through complicated time stuff, worse things happen, let’s say. This time it gets rather dark and I won’t spoil it here because it’s…yikes.

Okay,so the episode is hilarious, intense, and creative but what really makes it amazing is the story, and Rob himself. Before he was just a silly parody of a villain, but here he becomes a real threat, that you feel sorry for.

Let’s think about it. As he said, he didn’t want to be the villain. He’s only that because Gumball and Darwin made him into a Nobody, and this was the only rule he could fill. They really screwed him over and he has a good reason for being mad at him.

They really take advantage of all this, to say the least. Instead of just stopping him and forgetting he has a reason, Gumball eventually takes pity on him and is able to apologize for what happened.

There’s way more to it than that, but I don’t want to just recap everything. I could do a full review of this episode to explain why everything is so awesome, but I don’t have the time for that.

They turn all this into an engaging and emotional story. You feel bad for Rob and the writers thankfully know this, so he gets a happy ending in a good way.

Well, sort of. I won’t spoil the very ending but it’s slightly bittersweet ending. But a very good one, since it still ends with Gumball having apologized for everything and all that. The way the ending works just makes this episode even better.

Since there anything wrong with this episode? Uh…well one joke near the ending is a bit off, but the follow up to it makes up for it. Also, some of the 4th wall jokes have references to the full credits, the full theme and even CN’s bumpers.

The first jokes will fall flat for some because CN shortens the theme in America, and the credits are pushed back. And Bumpers are always changing. Yeah, that’s the biggest nitpick ever but whatever, it’s something I noticed.

Now, all of this is totally great. It uses a concept to give us something very funny, creative, dark, engaging and emotional with an awesome villain. But there’s one thing that makes this even more amazing.

Think about the basic plot. Someone is mad at Gumball because he screwed him over in the past. Sound familiar? …Yeah, that was the plot of The Promise, my least favorite episode.

And this episode….does it right, by acknowledging that Gumball was the reason for everything going on from the start, and it takes pity on the person who is mad, giving him an actually good ending,

They took my least favorite, and not only fixed it, but made it into something amazing. Okay, this episode really only has what I mentioned in common ,and this was likely unintentional but still, they did this kind of story really well this time!

That’s just the icing on an amazing cake. I was worried I’d like this one less on re-watch, and I only loved it as much as I do because of the hyped, but nope, I still love it. It just blows me how how they put so much into these two episodes.

At it’s core, it’s a genuinely great story, that happens to have tons of creativity and humor to it. I said The Shell kind of summed up every aspect of the show that is great, and so this does one, but I like it even more.

Mostly the basic story is more interesting me. I know I don’t like to give the “favorite” award to the “Big” episode but sometimes they deserve, and these episodes are perfect examples of that.

But you know…being my favorite of the season isn’t where it ends. I considered this when I fist saw it, but I needed to wait a few weeks and come back to it be sure. And now I am. This episode combines everything I like about the show.

The creativity, the humor and the animation are all here, and it has great story and heart to make it even better. In an odd way, it sums up the show in a nutshell, with how unexpectedly well written it is, beyond just being funny.

I know this is a bold thing for me to say but,…i think this is not only my favorite episode of Season4…but my new favorite episode of the show, topping The Tape.

…Yeah, I may regret saying that but at the moment, I seriously believe this. It seriously has everything I personally like in the show, and on it’s own is just mind blowing. Maybe not everything feels the way I do about this episode, but it’s like Twilight’s Kingdom

I start of loving it, before deciding it is my favorite episode because it is nearly perfect. Am I overhyping it? Maybe but I don’t care, I genuinely think that, at least at the moment. I think I’ve said enough.

With all of this and more, at the moment say The Disaster and The Rerun combined makes up my favorite episode of The Amazing World of Gumball. Because it’s…well, amazing.

And those were my favorite Gumball Season 4 Episodes. Not my best list, but I think my top choice made up for it. And yeah, those episodes solidified my decision to do this list. There’s not a whole lot more to say, this was another good season for the show.

It’s so weird how the show goes to simply pretty good, to being something truly special. This is the same show that has one of my least favorite “Dud” Episodes ever. Usually, it is just pretty good/mildy great with just bits of Amazing-ness here and there, like plenty of other shows.

So I guess it’s not too weird. Will I do a Season 5 list? If I’m passionate enough sure. Honestly, don’t be shocked if I don’t do MLP Season 6 list for that reason. Season 5 should be interesting, as the creator teased a crossover special with another CN showing.

I guess that’s just gonna be a thing they do now. 2015 had Say Uncle, 2016 has TTG v PPG and 2017 will have Gumball and…hmmm….the upcoming Ben 10 Reboot? Hey, they keep doing these with divisive shows after all.

We’ll just have to wait and see. I guess you want me to adress the show ending, since I’ve talked my anger for the current trend of shows I like ending. Well, see, the show is going to end after Season 6.

The show will have had 6 Seasons. That’s more than enough, and as long the show ends the way the creators wants, I’ll be happy. Also, we actually don’t know what’s happening. He said:

Also you know, I’m the one leaving after season 6 but it is not necessarily the end of The Amazing World Of Gumball’

He has yet to elaborate on that. Who knows what this means but I honestly hope it doesn’t mean he’s leaving and the show will go on, because that would be way worse than if it ended without getting a real ending.

But I suppose we’ll have to see. There’s plenty to look forward to in the meantime. As for what’s next for me, Part 1 of my big Halloween 2016 Special hits on the 1st, and the next Horrorland review should be up before that.

And a scene by scene review will be soon after both. I’m gonna be busy the next 3 months, Holiday Clusterfuck indeed. Either way, hope you enjoyed this, list some of your favorite below or whatever, I don’t care.

Guess that’s all I have to say so…

See ya.=

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General Review: Storks

Hello, Spongey here.

Time for more animation! Yeah, I ended up skipping out on Blair Witch last week. Figured ‘I’d save money, plus apparently that one wasn’t’ too good, despite them pulling a 10 Cloverfield Lane on it. I’ll see it on DVD and hopefully I’ll like it.

But for now, this! Warner Bros has had a spotty history in terms of animated films. Aside from a good one here and they, they seemed to more concerned with ripping off Disney than playing to their strengths.

Quest for Camelot. That’s all I have to say.

But recently it seems like they’re trying a bit harder, as in 2014 they had The Lego Movie, which could have been cheap cash grab, bit it turned it to be a hilarious, smart, and even rather sweet cash grab.

After that, I was interested to see what Warner Animation Group would do. We’ll get The Lego Batman Movie next year (which I hope will be awesome) but in the meantime, there’s this. For some reason, a bunch of people are scoffing at it, but I was interested from the first trailer.

From the premise, and the trailers, this looked like a fun comedy, especially with the animation. Speaking of which, for this they outsourced the animation to Sony Pictures Imageworks, which is why this looked a bit like a Sony movie, in a good way.

Another reason I was excited was the crew. The sole writer is also one of the directors, the guy who brought us Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Neighbors 1 & 2, and was a writer on the recent Muppets films, most of which I like. (Haven’t seen Neighbors 1 or 2 yet, although they look good).

The other director has done work at Pixar, directing the short Presto, which I like.

But most of all, I just want a good animated comedy. Oh sure there’s been good animated features that have been funny, but they sell themselves on the story or other elements. Angry Birds, Secret Life of Pets and Sausage Party, and the like disappointed me in one or another, usually by just having problems that get in the way of being funnier.

So from the looks of like, this can be the solid animated comedy I’m looking for. And the reviews so far aren’t too bad, so hopefully I’ll like this. Although it now has a 60, which means they’re kind of ‘Eh” on it.

But after they considered Secret Life of Pets to be Certified Fresh, I’m not trusting them on animated comedies.

Will Warner continue their success and delivery a good time, or will this be another disappointment? Let’s find out.

This, is Storks

(But first, there was a Lego Ninjago short before the film. I personally enjoyed it for the the 4th wall humor, and it gets more excited for future Lego films. So I think you should be sure to catch it)

ANIMATION:

I said that the animation is done by Sony, and one look at the film very much proves that. And in the final product, it works out pretty well.

Admittedly, the overall look isn’t anything new compared to everything else out there. The humans look pretty regular, but are varied enough to be fine. The background are well done, but nothing that stands out amazingly well.

No, it’s the character animation itself that stands out, especially on the animals. This is some of the fastest CGI animation I’ve seen since Hotel Transylvania, and it’s glorious. This especially shows in the facial expressions.

They are good all throughout the film, but there’s certain moments where they clearly tons of fun creating these hilarious expressions, like the bit where Junior keeps bumping into glass. Like with some of the sony movies, the fast animation can bring out more laughs than anything else, which is not a bad thing.

Plus, it still looks good for a feature. Sure, they don’t break new ground the animation is cartoon-y, but the designs are still appealing, and it’s nice looking enough. There really isn’t much more to say on the animation the front.

Design wise, it’s fairly regular, but the execution is what makes it works, by looking good enough, and having some great character animation that is fast paced with very good expressions.

Perhaps it doesn’t look like anything new, but the execution of the character animation makes up for it, at least to me.

WRITING:

Storks used to delivery babies, but after an incident, they not deliver packages for CornerStore.com. One stork is going to become the new boss of the company, when a run in with a incident accidentally creates a new baby, and new he and a worker they were planning on kicking out must get the baby to a family before the current boss finds out.

Like with Angry Birds and Secret Life of Pets, this is a comedy first and foremost. Which means I’ll do an Enjoyment section again. But it also means the story could likely fall by the wayside like those films, meaning the film is hard to review objectivity.

I’ll go into how as it is a viewing experience in the next section, as I can focus on how the writing it on it’s own. When you look at it, it has tons of generic elements, as well as elements directly from certain films.

We got someone who wants to be the boss, only for someone to jeopardize it. We have a mis matched pair going on an adventure where they have to learn to tolerate each other. The backdrop involves modernizing a classic story, like in Arthur Christmas, the and mismatched characters must deal with a baby, like in Ice Age.

Oh, and the main character lies to the other and it’s revealed near the end of act 2. Yeah, this is looking incredibly generic and trite right now. But yet…somehow…i still like the movie. And the writing doesn’t really both me that much .

I have no idea what it is because they don’t anything that new with it, and or anything like that. I can’t explain why some sloppy parts are better than in anything else I’ve bitched about.

Aside from the comedy, there are some reasons. One is the concept. It’s interesting to see how the current Stork world works, and this is a fun setting.

Although since this is about making babies, adults will have some…questions, to say the least. Like…how is there a machine that can just create babie? They can just create life with no problems!

…But this is a cartoon, so you’re not supposed to think about it too hard. And they do fit in an extra theme, which is family.

Tulip wasn’t able to get to her family, Junior has to accept the idea of one, and a subplot has a kid wanting a baby brother and wanting to bond with his parents. Who are workaholics. See what I mean?

That theme gives the film some heart, and some bits are quite d’aww worthy. Although that does bring me to the biggest flaw in the writing, which like everything else, I’m not sure why I excuse.

The film is pretty faced and focused on Comedy which does mean some parts can be rushed, and they don’t dwell on some more serious bits as much as some may want. They do allow the sweet moments to happen, and the jokes don’t ruin anything like in some things I’ve reviewed.

Some bits are rushed for the sake of some lampshade humor, while some are just kind of rushed. The other storks decide to go back to Babies in the end (Spoilers for a movie you can predict every beat of) because….the plot says so.

I can easily see this being a bad thing for some, and it is kind of an issue. Yet again, it doesn’t bother me a ton. Mostly because the fast pace leads to comedy which I’ll get into in the next section.

That and the stuff they want to focus on is given the time it needs, and the ending is complete. Unlike some films, the most important parts they give the most time to, are completed, like Junior and Tulip’s bond and her quest to find her family.

That bit is interesting, as most films just go “eh, the people you grew up with are really your family” and she wouldn’t bother seeing her real parents. But spoilers, she does go to her parents in a happy ending.

I think this works since she is still buddy with Junior and works at Cornerstone along with being her family. It’s a nice balance.

Overall, the writing is kind of weak but somehow I don’t mind it. It’s predictable with tons of generic elements, but as a whole it just kind of works. The heart pulls through, and the films feels genuine instead of cynical.

Plus, even at it’s most flawed, it’s never too awful. At worst, it’s just a bit messy and weak, nothing offensive. And it’s best, the writing has an interesting theme and makes up for it’s flaws with charm.

Oh, I should say how the subplot with the kid works. I think it works since they don’t dwell too much on the main cliché and it gives us some nice moments, as well as serving as a good break from the crazier main story.

Oh, and during the baby delivering montage, we see a couple gay couples. Cool.

So yeah, I find myself going easy on the writing despite the problems that exist. Maybe it’s only due to the comedy, maybe it’s how well intentioned it is, but something just works where others fail.

Either way, the writing is the weakest aspect, but something about makes me tolerate it.

ENJOYMENT:

Now here’s the big thing that makes the film work for me. This film focuses on Comedy, which is subjective. For me, it really works. The film is really entertaining to watch and frequently funny. I mean, I actually laughed out loud quite a bit, more than I expected

It’s no comedic masterpiece of anything, but the comedy has a charm to it. It’s very quick with a lot variety, including cutaways that actually work. When I say, quick I mean quick. The fast pace problem I mentioned at least leads to good jokes.

The main source of humor is the banter between Junior and Tulip, which works out because how fast the comedy with them is. Although I will say that because Comedy is subjective, it won’t work everyone.

For some, it may be trying too hard, as some drawn out bits could become annoying for some. And the quickness can be annoying general for some people, I can just tell. But it just worked for me.

Usually I am annoyed by some of the stuff they do here, but a lot of made me laugh. I was entertained from start to finish, and never got bored even with all the problems. The whole was just very enjoyable to me.

I’m a big fan of very quick cartoon-y humor when done right, and this movie has a lot of this. Although the enjoyment can go down when a joke fails or some writing bits confuse me. There’s a BLAM in this that I won’t spoil, but it comes from a pigeon and is just…weird.

But despite minor things, I got plenty of enjoyment from the Comedy here.

CHARACTERS:

Like the writing, the characters have generic ideas, but somehow work for me, although here I think I know why. Starting with Junior, voiced by Andy Samberg, he’s the main character that serves as the neurotic straight man of the team. Get ready to read this a lot, but he’s typical but likable.

He works mostly comedy wise since he has funny reactions to Tulip and it’s fun to watch them play off each other. His development doesn’t lead to a lot, besides him just liking Tulip more but in context, it works okay and is at least complete. This is all helped by Andy Samberg’s performance. He can work as straight man with a crazy edge, and it’s own well here.

As for Tulip, voiced by Katie Crown, she’s can be seen as the best main character as her main goal is realatable and her silly nature makes her very funny. She’s not as annoying as a character like this can be, as she’s not a huge screw up and they focus on the good aspects of her, mostly.

Again, the acting helps. The voice acting is another strong point, as they help make the characters more likable than the writing might. These two make for a fun team, even if their dynamic is typical.

As for the Human side of things, we have Nate and his parents, voiced by Turell and Jennifer Anniston. They oddly work better story wise than character wise, as they aren’t that interesting but they serve the story well for reasons I mentioned.

Plus, the kid is likable enough especially when he bonds with his parents, making for some cute bits.

Then we have the villain, Hunter, voiced by Kelesy Grammer. He gives good humor, mostly due to the solid performance from Kelesy Grammer, but he’s a villain in a big animated feature, so he’s just….the villain. Once he becomes the villain, he’s a bit dull, being evil for the sake of it.

He’s serviceable I guess, but that’s it. More memorable, but weirder, is the secondary villain, Pigeon Toady, voiced by Stephen Kramer Glickman aka Guastavo from Big Time Rush. Better than the last time we saw him on this blog, but he’s odd.

See, he talks like a surfer dude guy, saying brah a lot. I can see where that could have been funny, but it’s just kind of annoying. Thankfully, they ditch him once he tells Hunter what is gong on. This makes him point but at least he’s not in it too much.

Then we have my favorite characters, these wolves voiced by Key and Peele. Sure, they only serve as an obstacle, but they stand out because they are hilarious, from the way they talk to each other, to how they go nuts for the baby, to how they all transform into things.

Yes. We wish had more obstacle characters besides them and these penguins but man do they still stand out as the highlight of the cast. There’s another character voiced by Danny Trejo, but I can’t quite go into him without spoilng stuff. I’ll just say he works.

Overall, the characters have typical ideas behind them, but the comedy and voice work helps make then mostly likable.

Final Thoughts:

I should dislike this film because it has a lot of generic-ness in the writing, and can be too fast for it’s own good. But yet…Storks worked! The writing has interesting themes with good heart, the character animation is very strong, some of the characters are likable, but mos of all, it is FUNNY.

Above all else, the movie is just a lot of fun. The comedy and fast pace help make it enjoyable despite the problems it has. You can just tell, they had fun making this and just wanted to give us a fun time with nice bits of heart here and there.

Can I explain what makes certain parts work better than in other films? Not really. But when something entertains, you learn not to question certain things. This proves Warner can just a fun time, regardless of how the writing is.

I’d recommend to fans of cartoon-y humor and those looking for a good, that aren’t too picky. So if you managed to like Secret Life of Pets or Hotel Transylvania despite some average writing, you will likely enjoy this.

If you find yourself easily annoyed by certain fast humor, or can be easily distracted by weak writing, than you can avoid thiis. Can be a fun rental for you but that’s it. For everyone else though, this is a amusing family film.

It’s got problems to be sure, but damn it, I had fun inspite of myself. Amd sometimes, you just wanna laugh.

Writing: B- (Am I being too nice here? Maybe but I don’t care)

Animation: B

Enjoyment: B (a high B, mind you)

Characters: B

OVERALL: B

Well, I got my good animated comedy after all, dreams do come true! But seriously, why are critics kinder to Secret Life of Pets than this? The ones I follow (Chris Stuckman, Schmoes Know, Mr Coat etc) rightfully like this more but the ones on RT were able to look past Pets’ flaws to enjoy it, so why not the same with this?

Whatever. We have to wait til November for more animation, as Dreamworks trolls us

(Speaking of animation, i can’t wait for Sing….SO I CAN STOP SEEING THAT TRAILER AT EVERY MOVIE I SEE!)

. As for the next general, hopefully next week we’ll look at Tim Burton’s X-men, I mean,…yeah, that’s what it. Looks good though.

See ya.

Posted in General Reviews, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Even Stevens Movie

the_even_stevens_movie_poster

Ironically, it’s not very even

Hello, Spongey here.

Well, it’s scene by scene review time again. This time it’s for that year tradition: My brother’s birthday. Yep, as you recall, each year since 2013 I’ve done a review of his choice and I won’t let a chance in schedule change that.

This year, he picked yet another DCOM. One I planned to review, to the point where I kind of wrote the intro last year, but had to can it when I couldn’t find the film at the time. (Now I have it on my DVR along with a majority of the films they showed in the big 100 DCOM Marathon. Woo hoo).

Some of the intro will still be here, btw, I saved it. He had more choices than usual since I had more ideas, so it’s interesting he picked this, mostly since I kind of had to it.

It’s the last of the DCOM’s based on Disney Sitcoms.I know I said we covered all of them, but I was referring to the official Disney sitcoms. There’s two shows based off of semi popular Disney Channel shows we still gotta cover, but only one is a DCOM and the other wasn’t on the list cuz I forgot.

This film happens to be based on Even Stevens. For those who need the exposition, straight from a wikpedia this was a show that followed the life of the Stevenses, a family living in suburban Sacramento, California, mainly focusing on the clashing personalities of its two younger siblings, Ren and Louis, played by some guy who’s not famous and Kim Possible.

As side note, I will not make any cracks about Shia in this review, because that’s been done.

Anyway, this was a fairly well known show, and I’ll say up front that I’ve only seen a few episodes. However, I’ve seen enough here and there to know what the show is mostly like. I have a decent feel of the characters, so I won’t be completely lost at least.

From what I saw, it’s an alright show. It’s fairly funny and it’s got plenty of charm. It’s not the best show ever, but it’s good. Plus, that musical episode was awesome.

It was popular, so of course it got a movie in 2003. I have no idea what people think of it (aside from how TV Trash doesn’t like it), so we’ll see how it goes. I’ll be mostly judging it on its own so any dumb fan complaints you have can be left at the door. Since writing this intro last year, I watched the film to do the review so I know how it is, but shut up.

The writers here are two guys who have worked on the show, and went on to create Corey in the House, of all things. The director is the brilliant man who brought us Bratz the movie!

And also The Suite Life movie. Please be more like the latter.

So with that out of the way, let’s see how they made a movie out of this show.

This, is The Even Stevens Movie

The movie opens with a guy sitting at a computer doing stuff until he selects the Stevens family, which gives us our title. We won’t be seeing the details on this for quite a while, sorry..

We truly begin at Ren’s Graduation as Ren is giving her Valedictorian speech. To the surprise of no one, Louis is looking to sabotage her. The prank amounts to distracting her with a beach ball or something. I never heard he was particularly clever.

There is more to it, as he planed to dumped Confetti on everyone, but Beans messed up and it ‘s Spaghetti instead. I’m not too familiar with Beans in the show but based on this movie alone, I assume he’s rightfully hated.

Louis is fine with the Spaghetti thing, which kind of makes the mistake pointless. Everyone is mad but he isn’t Summer School for this or anything like that. Jokes aside, this nicely sets up the conflict between Louis and Ren which is a focal point of the story, sort of.

They just kind of brush this off and we move on to Ren meeting up with her boyfriend Gil. To kick Ren further, Gil is going to Maine for the Summer and also he’s dumping her. For pretty no reason.

He says he doesn’t wanna be tied down or whatever. He’s basically a dick for no real reason. I have no idea if he was even in the show, so who knows if this that big of a problem.

You dump me in a pancake house and you wonder if I’m upset?”

At least this Gill isn’t turning into a fish creature. …Hey, you know I had to make one Kim Possible reference.

She storms and tells Mom what happened. So far I feel way more for Ren than the actual main character of the series. Speaking of which, Louis has made a high tech lounge chair to hang out in all Summer. Also, one of his friends is the main guy from You Wish!

After that riveting scene is over, Beans shows up as his parents have dumped him here for the Summer. I guess they tolerate as much as we do. Seriously, he serves no real purpose in the film other than to be mildly annoying.

After a few minutes of boring filler, Tim Medows comes in, to show them a presentation, aka the plot. Yeah, it took us 17 minutes to get us the plot. It may not seen like that much but I skimmed over minor filler, and since nothing that’s happened as been too interesting, the wait feels like too much.

Miles tells them they won a vacation to the uncharted but awesome island of Manelino. Yes, there is a twist to this but you’ll have to wait even longer to get to it, unless you’ve seen the Trailer.

He tells them there’s no catch and they can just sign up. Louis doesn’t want to go a tropical island because reasons. He finds out there’s no modern conveniences, but he don’t wanna go before he hears that.

I guess it’s unanimous, we’re going to Madelino!”

And with that, we’re off. They land on Madelino where the natives are happy to meet them. They put special focus on Ren meeting a guy named Mootai. Gee, I wonder if he’s gonna be a bland love interest.

After they check out their rooms, they head out to have a montage set to an early 2000’s pop song. Which of course means it’s by Aaron Carter.

After that, Donnie thinks he recognizes one of the natives as one of his hold class mates, which of course they shrug off. Foreshadowing! Actually, that’s decenly done since they don’t beat you over the head with it. After a moment with Mootai, the family is invited to eat a gross island delicacy because comedy. Tim Meadows tells Louis they have real food hidden in the palace pantry which turns out to be true.

It also has something which opens a secret door which literally says Forbidden on it. I can’t see this going wrong at all, especially with Louis involved. The door leads to a fancy looking room with a cool throne.

But of course, sitting in it causes something bad to happen, which in this case is the entire palace collapsing. The natives are….angry to say the least. This is all Miles fault for telling him about something which leads there, but at this point no one’s gonna believe Louis if he says that…which he never does, for some reason.

Also, we pretty much just got here and Louis majorly screwed up. Shouldn’t we spend more than a montage before they get screwed over like this? But the concept is good, testing for patience for Louis, in a situation where he could possibly grow or something. Spoilers, that only kind of happens.

With that, the family is on their own and has to make their own shelter. We get an interesting moment between Ren and Louis as she bitches at him for what he did, and get some insight into his character.

Sorry I’m not perfect like you. ..You have perfect grades, perfect behavior, a perfect life”

You don’t know what’s going on in my life”

So you had a little boyfriend trouble, boo hoo”

See, this is some interesting character insight here, which spoilers, we don’t quite get enough of. Even here they just kind of brush it off.

A bit later, Miles tells them if they apologize to the Island Elders, they could clear everything up. But apologizes must be made of groups of 3, meaning the whole famiily can’t do at once. That doesn’t sound suspicious at all!

First up is Donnie, Mom, and Louis. They apologizes and before they get the results from the gods, they must feast. Feasting with the people you currently hate is a bit weird. Oh, and I forgot to mention only these 3 people were told of this entire deal, as the others are away waitng from the others to come back.

Again, not suspicious at all. How are Beans, Dad, and Ren doing anyway?

BEANS: Wanna go skinny dipping?

…Uh….so Ren goes out to see what’s going on. She bumps into Mootai and they another moment. It’s kind of cute even though he’s still kind of bland. He does a reason which we’ll get into soon enough.

Mootai tells her about the feast without mentioning the apology thing, which is quite convenient for causing trouble between the 2 groups. Don’t worry, the reasoning for this suspicious will make sense when you find out what it is. After the feast, the leader asks the gods to forgive the family and apparently they say no, for some reason.

And now, no one on the island can interact with them. To make it worse, the next plane won’t be here for 7 days. This family just can’t catch a break, can they? At least there’s a reason which I’m getting to. They go back to their shelter as tensions are now rising.

This is interesting and all, but since they got shunned, the fact that they feasted clearly is a moot point now. And now we finally find out why their luck is bad. See, as it turns out, this entire situation with the island is actually a reality show called Family Fakeout.

Yep. I have slightly mixed feelings. This mostly works, as it explains pretty much everything and is a good concept in itself. However…we’re now about 44 minutes in. It took us 44 minutes to start the actual plot.

I know you need to give us time to get used to the island but since things are kind of dull, it just makes the wait worse. Especially this is where the movie starts to get interesting. It shouldn’t take this long to get interesting.

But otherwise, this is an interesting idea, making fun of reailty shows like this. Does it go anywhere? Mostly yes, but it’s not perfectly done and we’ll get to why as we go along. Some clunky exposition tells us all of this, including how Louis friends at some point told them about the family.

They make a deal out of this, but we never see them talk to Miles, so how do I know of it they had reasonable motivations for doing this or whatnot?

Usually I would wonder how a show like this can even function without outcry but given what we have on, this isn’t too implausible. This show is even popular, as we see a bit of people watching it, at home and at the diner.

Isn’t life funny when it’s not happening to you?”

I love how over the top douche-y Miles is.

To recap, the family is now trapped on an island where everyone hates them, with no modern convinces, and half of the family hates the other half. Now this is an interesting situation, and the best parts of the movie involve all this crazy-ness going on, as they are pitted against each other and put through hell.

The next day, they are woken up by Beans farting. Lovely. Dad’s half of the family bumps into Miles, who says emergency food is coming in but it “accidentally” lands far away from them.

Dad has been out of for awhile and Mom has been bringing home the bacon so to speak, and Miles takes advantage of this by convincing him to not tell Mom about this since Dad can bring them food on his own. Again, stuff like this makes the movie pretty interesting.

And yeah, even when I watch movie beforehand I won’t get too much to say. There’s not a ton to mock since the movie is either just interesting, or kind of dull. Miles tells Mom’s half about the food drop which naturally heats things up further. We cut to them arriving at the drop place but find that the food has been eaten, and the other half finds the same thing.

Right after, Miles tells us about the whole plan like we couldn’t figure it out on our own. Back at home, Louis’ friends find out that “Mandelino” is just an island only a bit off the coast, meaning they could go there and save them.

So this they are able to grab a boat and head out. I guess they have no parents to object to this. The family meets up and is pretty angry at each other for supposedly stealing the food. With that, they finally split up for good.

Looks like things are getting personal, and interesting”

Agreed. Thank you for making a comment for me! We finally get back to Mootai, who we know is just an actor put there to eventually give Ren further heartbreak. If you guessed that he’s starting to like Ren, you’d be right.

Spoilers, doesn’t quite go anywhere.

The people at home get to vote on if they think Ren will let Mootai kiss her, and we witness an epic shipping war. Which is pretty funny. Kind of surprised they are letting her say no, although not kissing her is making her less happy so…i guess I answered my own question.

We see “Mootai” on set a bit later as he’s having doubts about all this, especially when he’s told to dump her after he gets a kiss. This is one of the more interesting bits in this whole situation…and it goes nowhere, sort of.

Louis’ friends find the island but a big wave strands the female one away from the You Wish one. The You Wish kid is found by the show crew and trap him in a trailer so he can’t find the Stevens’ family.

I wonder what they are gonna do with him when the show is over. Just saying, he has parents to get back to (I think) and him vanishing isn’t gonna look good.

The next day, the two sides try to fend for themselves, and Beans pissed in their fire. At this point, I officially dislike him. Ren gets pissed and goes to Mootai. Ren finally decides to him in a rather nice moment, as intentionally fake as it is.

This causes Mootai to break character and start to admit he’s fake. Miles is having none of this, and sends the “Natives’ out to stop them. The leader even tells Ren Loius told them about Ren and Mootai to distract her.

Anger tends to take over logic, you see. Just look at any comments section!

You Wish kid somehow breaks out of the trailer and sabotages the crew so that the show gets knocked off the air. Female Friend wakes up and bumps into Donnie, and they talk it out before heading to find the family.

Meanwhile, Mom and Dad rather quickly sort things out and seem to be calmer now. Wish we had an actual big moment with this but whatever. They do actually manage to put 2 and 2 together once they talk it out and see Miles claims to both sides seem to clash.

Hey, smart people exist in DCOM’s after all. They conveniently bump into Female Friend and Donnie at this point and find out the whole story. In the middle this, there’s a bit of Miles angrily firing people for no reason. It’s funny I guess, also insert obvious joke here.

You Wish kid appears and tells them that he sold them out. They brush that off to focus on the more important thing going on here. So him selling them out is ultimately a wasted plot point.

The crew gets back on air and we rejoin Ren as she out to kill Loius. Ren going savage is like the best part of this whole thing. Yet I’m just wondering if the show will be sued if she does manage to hurt Louis in some way.

You ruined my life!”

When?”

The day you were born”

Her delivery makes that really creepy.

Ren gives chase and they end up near a cliff. Miles…actually thinks about what I said, and goes out to stop Ren before she kills Louis. Wow, more logic! He tells them the natives forgive them but Ren is too far gone.

The family catches up but she won’t listen to them either. She pushes him off and he falls to his death,. ..Well, that was a dark ending. So that was-

okay, it’s not the end, nor does he die. It turns that was a giant prank on Miles, doing for a competing show called Gotcha! The show was established earlier but I forgot to mention it, whoops.

This prank itself is pretty awesome, and a cool way to get back at him, but how the heck did they set this all up? There’s so many reasons this makes no sense, but I wanna get this over with.

You see Miles, we may argue sometimes, but it takes a lot more than a cheesy tv show to rip this family apart”

Then they…explain how they did it.

When we found Ren, she had Louis trapped in a tree…when we told the kids it was a set up, they aside their differences and we all came up with this little charade”

.Crap, this movie just randomly got smart. They even say that the friends called Gotcha, although I wonder how they got here and set this up so fast. So it makes sense, but only barely. Still, a decent climax to be honest.

A bit later, Ren and Louis have a moment where they apologize for what happened. It’s very nice, even I wanted more of stuff like this. Oh, and Mootai, who is actually named Jason, appears to resolve that stuff.

Ren just…immediately forgives him for what he did. Come on, she’s not gonna try to murder this guy too? They have a moment and she leaves. Glad one of the most interesting elements amounted to bland love stuff.

With that, the family finally leaves the island for good. Then we narration that serves as a “Where are they now” segment….from Beans. Great. Dad got a new job, Louis went back to doing nothing of interest, Jason came over and now he and Ren are together for real. And Beans still exists.

And of course, the story ends with them arguing…and a pop song by Chrsity Carlson Ramono because hey, no DCOM is complete without a song by the main female star! A fine enough ending I suppose, despite the writing problems that exist.

Well, that’s about it, let’s end this.

Final Thoughts:

Eh, that was alright. It’s far from Trash, but I can’t help but feel it’s missing…something. To be fair, I think the main problem is that maybe the show wasn’t meant for a movie like this. But Suite Life managed to make a decent flick so that may not be it.

The show wasn’t known for anything big or deep, but you could explore more in a film than they did. As interesting as the plot concept is, it would be more fitting for a TV Episode, because as it is, they drag it out.

The biggest problem is that the film is …kind of boring. Not hugely so, but still a bit boring. The few episodes of the show I’ve seen had a lot more energy and the actors were allowed to get a big bigger.

We get spurts of being very interesting, but it doesn’t quite go all the way. Story-wise, some things are kind of half baked. Mootai shows this perfectly. His deal is an interesting one, as he ‘s faking being in love with Ren, while being unsure about this whole situation.

But in the end, after he tries to tell her, we just get that small scene and that’s it. No further exploitation of his character or anything like that. Speaking of characters, why is Ren pretty much the main character?

She gets all the big emotional development, while Louis is just kind of there. They develop together but not much for Louis. I may not have seem much of the show, but I know it was mostly about him, and heck, the Hunnkah episode had development for him.

On the bright side, it’s mostly harmless. The nice moments do get do show the heart it has, and the concept is a really cool one. I like how it makes fun of reality shows, and the climax was kind of awesome.

It can be quite interesting, but it’s mostly just…there. I’m not sure what the problem is, what went wrong, or if anything went wrong. I just know this could have been very good when it’s just…alright.

If you’re not too demanding, both fans and regular people can enjoy this, since it’s never painful (aside from Beans..) but if you want something a lot more interesting and complete, you may have to look elsewhere.

It’s weird how this is the weakest of the Sitcom DCOMs, even if has less big flaws than some of them, but there you go. It’s not bad or anything, just kind of okay. Has enough interesting parts to be kind of worth watching, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to see it again or anything like that.

Eh.

Grade: B-

Yeah, that was a weaker review. The kind of boring things are the worst to review, but I had to do this, because I gotta cover the Sitcom DCOM’s. And also my brother asked for it. Happy Birthday once again.

Maybe next year we’ll get another Camp Rock 2 and not another this in terms of stuff to talk about. As for next scene by scene review…well that’s in October, which means it’s time for the Halloween reviews.

I’ll explain how they’ll work around early October when I post the first review. As for what it is…eh, let’s get Mostly Ghostly 3 out of the way.

See ya.

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General Review: The Wild Life

Hello, Spongey here.

Well, I took a bit of a break, didn’t I? Sorry about that, I wanted to save up some money, and the films coming out didn’t grab my interest. Don’t Breath looks good but I’ll wait  til Dvd on that one.

But we’re finally back with another animated feature. One that I know…nothing about. This film is an enigma to me. I got the trailer a few times, but I never heard of it before and doing research didn’t give me too much.

It’s a Belgian/French film from the studio behind Fly me to the Moon and A Turtle’s Tale. That’s all I really know about it. Plenty of odd films come out, but not in American Theaters nowadays.

I was surprised my local theater carried this, but not Nine Lives. On the bright side, it has nothing going against it, minus being from the studio behind two badly reviewed films. And also some of the directors and writers of those films.

Okay, I’m a bit worried now…but hey, even a 20 something on RT won’t deter me. I know so little of this film aside of the premise, that this will be interesting. It will be interesting when lined up to all these other animated films this year.

The concept is that it’s Robnson Crusoe from the POV of the animals. I’ve never read that one so this should be especially interesting for me. I don’t tend to go into films this blind, so this will be extra fun.

With all that said, will this film be a pleasant surprise, or will it be like Robinson Crusoe…primitive as can be? Let’s find out!

This, is The Wild Life

ANIMATION:

Being from a small studio, it’s safe to expect less animation. What we get is a mixed bag. It doesn’t look horrible, and some of it works. The main two locations of the ship and island are well done, with enough detail to make them look livable.

The island it’s exactly a paradise, but it looks enough. That’s the highlight of the animation, as the character is mixed. Sometimes it looks nice with solid rendering to make them realstic but still cartoon-y but other times it’s direct to video quality.

The humans never quite look right, and the movements can be slightly jerky or too fast at times. It’s hard to describe but it just looks off. It can look fine during action heavy scenes. The animation in general is very standard.

At best, it looks solid for the budget, but unspectacular, and at best it’s a slightly higher scale Direct to Video effort. It looks passable enough for what they were going for, and while it can be sub par, I can’t complain due to not being a big studio.

Plus, looks better than Norm of the North. At least it almost look theatrical ;sometimes.

WRITING:

n a tiny isolated South Pacific Island, Mak, a parrot and his friends live the perfect life. Then one day, after a violent tropical storm, they wake up to find a huge ship broken up on the beach. Two strange creatures emerge from the bowels of the shipwreck: Robinson Crusoe and his dog Aynsley. Unbeknownst to everyone, two ferocious cats have also survived the storm. They are determined to take control of the island and make the human pay for the years of bad treatment they had to endure as ratters in the darkness of the ship’s hull.

Slowly but surely the islanders drop their guards and welcome the newcomers to their island. Until one day, the cats with multiple litters of youngsters decide to put an end to it all and wreak havoc on their little piece of Eden.

As I’ve said, I’ve never read the book or seen any other version, so I have no idea how it works on that level. I can just say how it plays out on it’s own. And on it’s own, the writing is…not very good.

Yeah, let’s get that out of the way. At best, the writing is just kind of generic. At worst, wow is it messy. But I’m getting ahead of myself. The basic concept it’s a bad one, but they don’t use it for much.

The concept to begin with is basic, which is fine. But in order to keep our attention, you have to give us something other than the basic plot. This mostly doesn’t. It amounts to what you would expect from the set up.

They are scared of Robinson but Mak wants to get to know him. They eventually find out he;s find and bond with him. And I told you the extent of the depth in the writing. Some of these bits are borderline interesting, but not only is it rushed but in the end not resolve too well.

Most of the film is spent with either them dicking around or them helping Robinson, while the Evil Cats do nothing. Seriously, after a run in with them they go into hiding and do nothing until the climax. …Well, one does something but we’ll get to that.

Speaking of rushed, they often rush anything interesting. At one point something happens that I won’t spoil, that they did not earn due to the poor pacing/writing and is not brought up again, despite how big it seems to be.

Speaking of pacing, man of that out of whack sometimes. Like I said, things are often rushed but other things go on too long. Any time an action scene happens, it will drag on forever, especially the climax but we’ll get to that.

As for the humor, it’s not horrible, and there’s a chuckle sometimes, but it’s mostly just easy jokes with no real wit. Not the worst humor, but pretty flat. For the most part, I was going to just write the movie off as simply not very good.

It had plenty of problems, but is just boring. Some of the stuff with them bonding can be nice enough, and it’s not always painful. It didnt’ piss me off….until the endi…actually, no. It’s not the ending because there is no ending.

This has one of the worst abrupt “endings’ I’ve seen in a long time. At one oint, the writers flat out giveu p on nay story or development and give us an overlong climax that seems to never end.

Then before we can care, it goes back to this pointless framing device in a very lazy way that ruins the point of even having one. After stuff happens, …it stops. By that I mean, the credits roll…while Mak is narrating what happened, while a freaking slideshow plays.

That’s right, not only do they start the credits while the ending is happening, but they don’t even bother to animate it. What happens is important enough to deserve full animtion, and no real enidng happens right before this happens.

Anything the film was building up to is TOLD to us here in such a lazy way. I was honestly insulted with how bad this ending was. I’ve seens films that seem to just stop but this is just beyond lazy.

I didn’t care beforehand, but an actual ending would at least make sense, and sasyfying anyone who cared. But if you do care, you will be pissed it all lead to nothing. I know I’m ranting but just…wow.

Before the movie just bored me, but not it pissed me off. So yeah, the writing is not good. At best, it’s just generic with nothing that interesting, and at worst it’s incredibly lazy and doesn’t care at all about proper story structure or any kind of development.

There’s more I can say but I’ve gone on long enough and some belong in the next section. Overall, the writing is “Eh” at best, and very poor at worst due to crappy pacing and no ending. This is just…wow.

CHARACTERS:

The biggest problem with the film before the ending would sadly be the characters. In order to make a simple story work, you need likable or well developed characters. However, these guys are bland at best, and unlikable at worst.

Starting with Mak. He’s sick of the island and wants to see what else is out there. Yes, that cliché and that’s all there is to him. He’s the dreamer that everyone scoffs at. And he’s the best animal character because at least he’s not an asshole, and has some reason what he’s doing. He’s just a dull protagonist.

Then we have Robinsin Cruseo, voiced by Yuri Lowenthal. On purpose,he’s in the background most of the time but he’s the most passable character because at least he’s somewhat nice, and gets a couple nice moments here and there.

He barely does anything though, aside from making a treehouse. In the climax he adds nothing. That’s kind of the point but I think them teaming up in the end would have added to their “development”.

And we also have villains in the form of these evil cats that want to kill them because reasons. Honestly, I’m surprised Wikipedia found a reason because it’s poorly explained in the film. They aren’t too threatening and their dynamic is typical. The female one is the brains while her partner is dumb.

They would just be pointless but they carry something odd. The female gets pregnant at one point to breed more evil cats. The thought of these two doing it is bad enough, but she gets preggo again later on.

Now, keep in mind her male friend does not like her too much and is best confused by her. He didn’t like the first batch of kittens because they are evil like the mom. He has no reason at this point to do the deed.

So the only way this could happen is if….uh…yeah. I don’t know, but this sounds like something that belongs in a children’s movie!

It’s sad that this is the most memorable thing in his movie before the ending. Honestly, it’s not worth it to list everyone else because no one changes enough for them to matter. The most important one is this other bird who is the voice of reason.

When they bond with Robinson, she acts like a bitch and thinks it’s not worth since he’ll just leave them later. This is never brought up later. Ugh. Otherwise, the other characters are just stereotypes defined by their annoying voice.

Any depth they could have goes away with the non-ending. Doesn’t help that they can be dicks and almost never shut up.

Overall, the characters are very dull with nothing to make them interesting or likable. I don’t think I hated one, but I never found one to be good. Getting the characters right is important in simple film like this.

They failed, making the entire thing just a bore. These characters are not only dull but become the film’s biggest problem.

Final Thoughts:

Some say a boring film is worse than an annoying/frustrating and The Wild Life is exactly what they’re talking about. Sure, the animation can be passable, and it’s sometimes harmless fluff, but the incredibly dull characters, and weak writing with crappy pacing topped off with a Non-Ending make it just a stupid sit.

Above all else, it’s boring. The writing makes it so you don’t care about anything going on, so you just kind of sit there watching people do things. There’s no attempt to engage the audience and any attempts are pointless with the ending.

Even if you cared, the movie surely doesn’t care if you care with how it ends. They simply did not care. Honestly, it can just be simply dull rather than terrible, but some truly poor writing in the end drags it down further.

Like Norm, this has no business being in theaters. Even with the okay animation, it feels like a direct to to video feature in terms of writing. Even with me getting the trailer a few times, I’ve seen very littler advertising.

Which is why I had only 4 people in my screening…two of which left! It hadn’t even gotten that bad yet. Maybe they left for another reason but ouch, this is the emptiest theater I’ve been in.

So yeah, I don’t recommend this. Maybe to very young kids, but I doubt even they would care about it. At best, it’s a rental. It’s not even interesting like Norm, it’s just boring. Norm still reigns as the worst animated film of the year, but this is now 2nd. At least Ice Age, Rachet, and Angry Birds had their share of inspired moments. This was just…bleh.

Not really horrible, but with very poor writing, it’s not worth it, sadly.

Writing: D-

Animation: B-

Characters: C

OVERALL: D-

Hopefully Warner Bros can save us with our next animated film. It could be fun. As for the next general review, it’ll either be that or a return to a found footage classic next week. We’ll see if I feel like seeing it.

Either way, at least I finally got to go to a movie again. Even if it sucked. Hopefully I’ll see something better next. If my theater carried this, I’d hate to see how Nine Lives is, given they skipped that one.

See ya.

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Game Shakers-Babe’s Fake Disease/Tiny Pickles

Hello, Spongey here.

Time for a live action TV Review, but now it’s Nick’s turn once again. Yay. And it’s Dan Schneider, even more Yay! Okay, so far we’ve touched most of his full shows, except iCarly, Zoey 101, and his most recent one.

I need to find an iCarly ep I can do a full post on that most people haven’t covered already. I have one I could do in the style of the Subplot thing I did, but that’s it. No, I won’t do the Seddie crap. I haven’t seen enough of Zoey 101 to find a bad enough episodes, so we’re left his most recent show.

And it’s a doozy. For the most part, I can’t say I fully dislike his orginal shows. Icarly and Victorious had dark sides, and Henry Danger is pretty middling, but there’s enough to go there for them to be mediocre at worst.

Then came Game Shakers. It’s not horrible, or as bad as Sam and Cat, but it’s very poor. The best thing I can say about is that it can be sort of amusing due to that certain Schneider charm, but even then there’s better stuff out there.

It’s about these girls who start a mobile gaming company with the help of Kel Mitchel playing the rapper guy from the Sam and Cat episode he was in. Well, not really but that was the inspiration for this show, and he might as well be Peezy B.

You can watch PieGuy’s video for all the problems with the set up alione, but the short version is, this is all of Dan’s tricks, watered down with barely any substance to speak up. Each character is the types he tends to use, with no further development to speak of.

Babe is Sam, Hudson is Gibby, Kel is Spencer, and I guess Kenzie is Quinn. And the one kid from Haunted Hathways is…Freddie, maybe? He gets abused sometimes, but aside from that he has no personality.

As others have went to, the show barely focuses on the game stuff, and none of the characters are actually gamers. They play phone games sometimes, that’s it. Phone Gaming is just as valid as real games, even if they are like drugs sometimes , according to Gamer’s Guide…and Sam And Cat, oddly enough.

Speaking of which, weird how Nick pulls out a game based show not long after Disney. Comedice? …Probably. This shows honestly feels like it’s just using the subject to pander to kids.

Icarly, Victorious and hell even Henry Danger, committed to their premises and it wasn’t until later that they veered away. That’s fine since most kids are watching for the silly actors at this point, but early on you have to actually focus on that aspect.

I don’t have time to ramble on further, but my point is the show can offer mindless entertainment, but that’s about it. Most of is just meh, but not much makes it any better than “eh”. The acting is decent I suppose, but the comedy is weak, and the characters, while not mostly awful, are pretty weak.

I’ve noticed that both this and Henry Danger feel a lot more toned down. Dan is infamous for the cruel comedy, and these shows don’t focus as much on that kind of thing. Oh, it’s still silly but feels very safe and nuetured, even with some moments here and there.

There’s even way less innuendo, which is like my favorite part of his shows. This, along with the younger actors, tells me Nick is trying to fix the mistakes of Sam and Cat, and make it more kind friendly, and keep it on for longer.

While the characters kill someone and lie about. ..That someone is a robot but Invisible Brad was not. …Yeah. Anyway, I do worry about Dan because he is running on fumes, and I do want him to keep making stuff since even Sam and Cat has it’s moments.

He just needs to shake things up, or get new writers. Or stop writing so much. Seriously, he has written every single episode S&C (with the post I just did I keep thinking Dan is writing for Sanjay and Craig when I type that).., HD, and this.

But whatever, because I hate myself, I decided I wanted to do a GS Episode, and watched as many of the currently released episodes as possible, to see if a reviewable episode exists yet. As a show currently in it’s first season, I could have waited if no bad enough ep existed.

But in this case, it’s important to get down the flaws now and compare them to later. Also, I wanted to the former especially because it highlights a common flaw in the shows, especially recently.

And yep, it’s another double feature. It’s easier to explain the flaws of both episodes this time, so hopefully I can make both quicker. And like LPS, one has a subplot we’ll skip. See, I managed to find at least four or so episodes that are worth reviewing, or discussing in some way.

Yeah. One was Poison Pie, but Pieguy took that one down pretty well. Although my main problem was slightly different, so maybe I’ll cover it in a quickie someday. There’s the robot one I mentioned, and Party Crashers which has cruel endings to both plots, despite sweet moments before those moments.

Again, maybe for a quickie but in the end, these two stood out as the most reviewable, so double feature. Let’s just get into them, they are very flawed.

First: This, is Babe’s Fake Disease

Writers: Dan Schneider, Sam Gill, and Jana Petrosini.

Before I start, this is another gem that aired this year. In February, same month as Weekend With Inga and Girl Meets The Window. That must have been a bad month. (Guilt Tripping was January, if you’re wondering)

The episode starts with Hudson and the Rapper’s song playing with these clacker toys.

Quick playing with your clackers!”

That sounds…dirty, somehow.

This opening involves the subplot, which I shall be skipping. I get that you don’t want start the main plot too quickly but starting the episode with the subplot just feels like padding to me.

Babe comes in and says she’s been stuck in the girls bathroom for 25 minutes. They didn’t notice because they are deaf and didn’t get her text. This is hilarious and adds so much to the episode, as you can see.

Kenzie is about to go out with her geeky friends and invites Babe but she thinks she’ll feel left out. She then decides to come along because the plot needs her to, and also Kenzie thinks she’s hotter or something.

After the theme song, Babe and Kenzie are out with the geeky friends who constantly talk in technobabble, which confuses Babe. Oh Dan, you and your outdated nerd stereotypes. At least they look normal most of the time.

Her attitude changes when a hot guy comes in. Yeah, she’s more than a little shallow which will at least bite her in the butt. Scott and Babe manage to hit it off which eventually results in a funny moment:

For the love of god, will you two quite awkwardly flirting and just make a date already?!”

I don’t know why that’s funny, think it’s how abrupt it is. So far I’ve noticed each part of the main plot is just a snippet before it goes back to the subplot. It feels very little happens before it thinks it’s time to go back to another story I don’t care about.

We’re now almost 8 minutes in and things aren’t going too fast if you combine both plots. The main plot should take precedent in an episode like this is the subplot is as small in scale as in this case.

After Kel is done yelling, we cut back to Babe as Scott is now boring her. Yep, no transition, he’s just now randomly boring for no reason. For an episode with sluggish pacing, it sure it can move too fast sometimes.

At this point, Scott changes from having little character besides being flirty to being kind of weird and doing stuff like suggesting an over complicated solution to a simple problem. Well, at least he doesn’t like Pee-Wee Babies, right?

After that unfunny scene, Scott is now the guy who texts a girl constantly. I like how he gets worse with little transition. Honestly, he’s not even that bad. He makes forks and texts a lot. What a horrible monster.

This is Textual Harassment!”

.What?

This is Textual Harassment!”

…YOU KNOW-FOR KIDS!

Seriously, I know I complained about the show being watered down, but there’s a limit, guys.

Babe of course wants to dump in, and Keznie asks her to let him down gently since he is part of Keznie’s little group. Because he seems like a stable guy you’d want in your group.

Before Babe can go anything sensible, Double G says when he was with a crazy girl, he made a fake disease to get her off his back. And now Babe will try that because…reasons. First off, your friend asked you let him down gently, please do so and don’t be an asshole.

I’d complain less if it weren’t for how the episode ends. But the biggest problem with this is that the titular fake disease isn’t introduced until 14 minutes into a 22 minute episode! That means with the time you have to take to fool Scott and such (plus the subplot), you’ll have no time to do anything else, much less good things.

The poor pacing becomes a huge problem here, and it only gets worse

The next day at school, Babe start her plan with Keznie helping because reasons. Her fake Disease is SVD, Sleep Violence Disorder. When she falls asleep, she has bits of sleep violence if she is woken up while in a deep sleep.

That is incredibly convoluted, and they only buy it because she shows off some of it in class. They don’t consider that she may be acting. But yeah, she acts horribly violent and even hurts Scott because…he was a bit creepy.

…Really. I know you want him off your back but actually hurting him is going too far. Not to mention hurting some of your classmates and teacher in the process. This is cruel and stupid.

I didn’t kill anyone this time, did I?”

Then she is kicked out of school because she has a disorder that hurts other people. You know, if this took place in reality!

Either way, the plan worked and Scott leaves. This is met with applause. …Ugh, this is Mad About Shoe all over again! Screw you, fake audience!

Well, now we’re at 20 minutes, with no time to settle this and the sub plot. Let me explain the subplot: Rapper Son used an app that let him look at what we’d like when he was 40 and he was ugly, so went to great lengths to use stuff that would prevent this.

This includes a man named Bobby Dong. Yes. It was pointless and was just annoying. But let’s “wrap up” the main story first. Kenzie is understandably not fond of what Babe did. Even though she helped her.

You said not to break his heart”

Instead, you broke his collerbone!”

Good point, I’m glad the episode is at least acknowledging that what she did was bad. Even if Babe doesn’t care. Before I comment further, back to the subplot. It turns out Rapper Son being Bald was only an option on the app, not certain.

She didn’t’ see them so I can excuse her not knowing. But uh…why take a dumb app seriously to begin with? Of course, Rapper Son is angry and chases Kenzie. Hilarious. The end.

…Wait, what? That’s right, that’s the end of the episode. Babe did something immoral, and got away with it…despite being called out. That’s….what? I can’t even begin to describe how bad this is.

First off, the pacing is the reason this happened. Because it took too damn long to get the plot, and went too fast with Scott, Babe was able to do this in a long scene, and have no time to resolve anything.

With how it’s wirten, her bad actions were descion and they used the bad pacing to excuse it. That’s beyond bad writing. You have to actually try to be that bad. Look, I can be okay with characters doing bad things, if they either are punished, or them getting away with it is clever in any way.

Here, she’s called out and then it ends. She doesn’t’ even really get away with it on purpose or something, it happens because the subplot got in the way! It’s bad enough to have characters do bad things, but the way it happens is just bad writing.

I’ll likely say more in final thoughts, but for now you get the main problems: Typical bad aspects of Schneider all rolled into one. How did this take 3 writers to make!?

Can it get worse? Let’s see if our other turd tops it. This, is Tiny Pickles

Writers: Dan Schneider, and Jake Farrow

The episode starts with the kids testing their latest game. Hey, this one actually features the gaming stuff! They ask Hudson to get some Candy, and he brings them a woman off the street named Candy.

Haha get it? Cuz he’s stupid?

After the theme song, the girls argue over the name of their game. One name is fitting and short, and the other is overly long. Haw haw, moving on. Double G shows up to take them to The Helen Show.

Helen Show, huh? Obvious parody is obvious. Wait, didn’t Austin & Ally have a Helen Show Are we crossing universes here? They were able to get on because John Stamos canceled. They suggest it’s because he’s depressed and they buy it.

I don’t get it.

Next, we find out the Helen is actually Helen from Drake and Josh. Not the actresss, the actual character. …Okay, the Schneider-Verse is already confusing, and this just made it worse. In a previous episode, they mentioned Drake and Josh by name.

When a character just asks if they wanna watch Drake and Josh. She wasn’t acting, she got bored of this dumb show and wanted to watch something good. But seriously, we get it,. You used to be good, move on!

Now we have this. How did she become a talk show host? Never explained. Why even use her, it adds nothing!

By the way, they are skipping class for this, just for a fake with one of Double G’s bodyguards filling in for one of the girls. Okay, that’s actually kind of funny but still. They are about to announce their new game when Double G interrupts.

It’s called Tiny Pickles!”

Roll credits! That’s not their game, by the way. In case I didn’t’ make that clear. This game is based on a dream he had and the show ends before he can say anything else, or they can speak up.

Yeah, he is forcing them to make a game based on his dream for no reasons, instead of the game they want to make. He’s kind of a dick in this episode, and not in any funny way.

He got the dream after eating at a Clam restaurant, and apparently he “quit’ before and it’s treated like…well…yeah.

Not as bad as Textual Harassment, but still…weird. (By the way, Open Office says Textual is a real word. Huh).

They go along with it because these kids keep doing things they don’t have to do. Well, n this case they do but whatever.

I’m sure it’s gonna be a whole montage of fun”

…Okay, that was also funny. Sure we get a dumb montage of them doing weird things for their game. And Double G being a dick. Eventually, they call him out for it after the montage is over.

…Except they focus on the game being bad. Not that he’s a dick about wanting the game. No, the problem is that it’s bad and he should feel bad.

Well, maybe that’s your opinion”

You’re no The Dude, my friend.

Also, yes, they somehow screwed up calling a character out for doing something bad. That’s a theme today, isn’t it?

The game makes no sense, and the mechanics are just bad”

You are no AVGN.

Double G is sad that the kids don’t like his game. He plans to go on Helen again and say his idea sucks and let the kids make the game they wanted. Okay, that’s a step but there’s a big problem here I’ll get to in a minute.

He sulks off…and the kids cheer. Wow, what dicks. Babe rightfully calls them out,.

‘”Don’t you feel bad?”

‘Why should we be?”

You’re a dick.

Because Double G feels bad, and he’s our business partner. And he’s your Dad”

‘That doesn’t mean he’s mentally stable”

Wow, fuck you, kid.

They randomly change their minds even after that and we move on. Okay, Double G feeling bad is fine but that’s the only credit I can give this scene. The main reason this fails is everyone is a dick and only stops being sicks for the wrong reasons!

Double G only feels bad because his game is disliked, not because he forced them to make a game they didn’t wanna make. Even if it the best game ever, his actions would not be excusable.

He has no reason for making the game either. He had a dream, so what? It doesn’t touch him on any level, who cares?

The kids act even worse, insulting his game and going too far in being jerks. They only change their minds because…Double G feels bad. They still hate his game and are jerks, but he feels bad, so let’s help him.

That’s all they say too. He feels bad. I’m not expect anything deep, but if you want me to take this seriously at all, I need more than that. The big issue is that they force them to be jerks JUST so we can feel bad for Double G.

It’s cheap, manipulative, and just bad writing. Why make him likable at all when we just use cheap tactics? Ugh, and it actually get worse!

On the Helen show, they are having Matt Bennett. Wait, the guy who played Robbie on Victorious? Now it’s even more confusing! Especially since Helen the character appeard on Victorious.

Double G’s Bodyguards get rid of him so he can go on. Keep adding to his lovable ness, sure. When he comes on instead of Matt, no one really questions it for some reason.

Want me to sit on your lap?’

..Moving on. He’s about to talk about his game when the kids come in. They are here to show Tiny Pickles. Because they fixed up the game they were making to be his game. Wait, what?

We took the awesome game that Keznie and I made, and we just ended some stuff from your insane clam dream”

So instead of either showing off his game, or actually doing something to fix the problem, you made the game YOU wanted and not what he wanted. In others, nothing was really fixed and Double G is just okay with this.

All the interstices of this plot are just gone in favor of a dumb happy ending that make no sense. And Double G doesn’t have to make up for being a jerk because reasons. None of the excuses for this happening matter because of how rushed and badly written this is.

And thing is, this could have worked. I’ll prove it. See, here’s what should have happened: They talk to Double G and he not only apologizes for forcing them to make the game, but explains why it’s important to him. Fill in your reason here, as long as it’s reasonable.

Now we get why he wanted to make it so badly and he didnt’ tell them either because it’s embarrassing or he was just too excited. The kids apologize for being so harsh about the game, and they all hug it. He admits it’s not very good, and they decide to use their game to make Tiny Pickles good.

There, now everyone’s actions are understandable and made up for, and you still the ending we get. Was that so damn hard, guys? And yeah, the real plot is seriously over now. Bad pacing ftw.

Cut to Matt in a sack outside as he gets run over by a truck. He keeps on taking because as we all know, getting run over Is just a minor inconvenience.

Then it turns out the truck is being driven by Rex from Victorious. …We’re done here.

Final Thoughts:

This is what Dan and his screw are up to now? Yikes. We have one episode that uses contrived tactics to make us feel bad for a jerk, with no one being that likable with a rushed happy ending and one that used bad pacing to excuse a character doing something immoral, that is dull as dirt on top of it.

With Tiny Pickles, I get what they were trying too hard, but some jokes get in the way and it simply does not work for reasons explained. What I suggested would have fit if they tried.

With the other one, there is simply no excuse for the writing here. As I said, haing people do bad things is fine, but not to this extent, and not in this way. Which is worse? Well, Tiny Pickles has the bigger real problem, and more characters are unlikable, and also had weak pacing.

But at least it has some amusing moments, and actually tries to tell a real story. It does it badly but that’s more than I can say for Babe’s Fake Disease, which is barely a story and has no real ending that works.

It’s also less funny and a lot duller. Pick your Poison, but in the end I’ll call BFD for being less of an episode. To be fair, both episode are just dull or weak until their big problem but BFD is worse on re-watch once you realize the big problem.

Also, Tiny Pickles is at least about gaming.

Either way, both fail pretty badly. This show is just not good. Some kids can enjoy it on some level, but most adults won’t and the writing is just too poor, with very little identity of it’s own. Maybe not the worst thing ever, but still not very good.

Look Dan,you and your crew probably work hard, but clearly you’re slipping. Maybe Nick is to blame but you should do more with the hand you’re given then this. It’s just getting kind of sad.

Grade for Both: D-

Not sure what I’ll do next for a TV Review, I have possible ideas but nothing set in stone. We’ll just see, leave suggestions below. In the meantime, no idea what’s next for the blog besides General Reviews, again we’ll see what happens.

See ya.

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Goosebumps HorrorLand-Little Shop of Hamsters

Little_Shop_of_Hamsters

Jack Black Approved!

““You had to pick Abominable Snowman of Pasadena, you couldn’t have picked Little Shop of Hamsters”.-Jack Black as RL Stine

Hello, Spongey here.

Well, time to continue Arc 2 of Horrorland with an…interesting entry. R.L Stine has said that he often comes up with the title first, and goes from there. This even goes back as early as Say Cheese and Die.

He loved the silly title for this book but…couldn’t come up with a fitting title. He said that he went through various drafts before he decided on the story we have now. He found the others a bit too silly or bad.

Given what we have now, I’d hate to see the other drafts. I’ve found that backstory interesting, given it’s rare to get full backstories for Goosebumps books. On a only semi related note, Stine admitted on Twitter recently that Go Eat Worms “isn’t that great upon rereading.”

Guess he agrees with Zack and I.

Since Arc 2 began on a fine note, let’s see if we keep being passable. Doubt it with that title, but I’ve been surprised before. Let’s get into it. Can’t be worse than the other giant hamster Goosebumps book.

This, is Little Shop of Hamsters

The book opens with our main character, Sam Waters, telling us about how he loves animals and wants a pet. But they don’t let him have one for reasons. He’s naturally visiting Horrorland with his friend Lexi, where they banter at Werewolf Village.

They get hungry and stop at a restaurant. Yeah, as you can now tell, the opening segment of the Arc 2 Book’s has them getting into some danger in Horrorland that has nothing to do with anything.

Maybe it comes into play in the finale, I don’t remember, but it feels liike padding as it is. Otherwise, no problems so far. Of course, the food there is very gross, and a shrimp basket Sam orders tried to eat him.

Still better than INSERT EATING ESTABLISHMENT YOU HATE HERE.

After that scare, they quickly leave. That was even shorter and more pointless than the clown stuff. They of course end up at Chiller House, only this time on their own so really Chef Belcher did nothing.

Sam is naturally interesting in something called an Insa-Gro-Pet. Tiny creatures that you drop into water and grow into big pets. I can’t see how that could go wrong at all. He buys it…along with a fake phone full of candy,

This guy is a smart shopper.

Then they leave, along with a tiny toy horror. End of Part one. Wow, they got through all that quickly. Makes it more pointless but at least wastes less page time.

Sometime later, they are walking and find a store called Little Shop of Hamsters. You know the drill, I’m not saying it this time. Then we get a false scare they think a guy in a hamster costume I the real deal.

Seriously.

This guy is Mr. Fitz,the owner of this new store. Sam thinks he could have a hamster, since they aren’t too much trouble, and his parents simply want him to prove he’s responsible. That’s a fair reason but this rarely turns out well in cartoons, so how high are HIS chances?

A bit later, they leave but Sam finds out that Lexi took a hamster from the store for him to keep. That’s stupid for a few reasons and thankfully, Sam calls her out but the store is closed when he tries to return the hamster.

But he can still walk in anyway, and returns the little guy but he finds himself swamped with hamsters trying to get at his candy. They seriously try to make this scene scary, or a little a tad tense. Mr. Fitz barging in is way scarier.

He explains the situation and Ftiz is cool with it. Huh, that was way too easy. I hope that scene gets a point later. At home, we meet Sam’s family, including a little brother named Noah who likes to bite.

You know, like most little brothers.

Then for no reason, Lexi out the insta grow pet and puts in Noah’s drink, where it becomes huge. Seriously, it’s so random and if it’s a revenge prank, then this is kind of dangerous. Especially since the grow pet becomes a big problem as it grows quite a bit.

It eventually gets small again but not before making a mess, and telling Sam’s parents a bad is a bad idea. Because getting a toy pet that is bad means he can’t handle a real pet, good logic.

Also, you might want to look into a gift shop that sells something so crazy like that. Oh, and Lexi does get off scott free even though this is her fault.

The next day she does apologize, but it’s a bit too late. Sam accepts it right away because reasons. Clearly he wanted to move on the more important topic of this cool new iPhone app.

Because Apple wanted some shameless plugs, I guess.

This takes up almost an entire page by the way. They check on Noah and see him eating an Insta-Gro-Pet. How young is this kid, if he’s biting people and eating strange things? Also, they would have noticed him earlier if it weren’t for being distracted by the phone.

Product Placement fail.

They take the thingy away from him, which he cries about. They calm him down with candy…and then Mom randomly comes in, without anyone hearing her, and bitches about how Sam is feeding the kid candy.

Okay, this is a beyond contrived thing to happen and it just makes me hate Noah. It was established she was gone and as I said before, how did they not hear her come in? She had to walk in early enough to hear the build up to this, right?

Later, Sam decides to apply for a job at the Hamster Store to prove he’s responsible. I’m sure this will turn out well. He gets the job and Lexi wants one too but the only thing she could do is dress up as a hamster in front of the store.

This…excites her. …This is worse than the cool attic thing. After some work, some of the hamster starts fight each other over the phone candy. Yep, our big scare has hamsters fighting due to candy.

Again, I would hate to see the original versions of this story.

He takes care of them and later leaves, seeing two hamsters watching him through the window. You know, this book could serve as a good parody if they just made it more insane.

At home, Sam realizes he left the candy phone at the shop. Whoops, guess he has to get it back the next day. Thankfully, Fitz hasn’t noticed a phone in the middle of a hamster cage. Sam sneaks into one to get the phone.

He finds it…but it’s empty. Wah wah. He gets out before anything happens, but he knows the hamsters are waiting for him. That’s a sentence I just typed.

Later, Sam finds the box the phone came in and tries to call the company to see if they can help. Gee,i wonder if he won’t get to them or if they will be of no help. Actually, he gets through to them.

I like being wrong sometimes.

However, he is no help because he’s never heard of the candy turning things into monsters. Well, now I don’t know why the hamsters are monster since he seemed pretty legit. Well, I do know but it’s funnier if I don’t.

The next day, Sam goes to work and tries to tell Fitz about what happened but he has his ipod on and didn’t hear him. Wah wha. Well, you can just tell him again…or not as he forces you to clean hamster shit.

Whatever. Also, how he has his noticed the Hamsters being weird yet?

He goes in and faces the evil hamsters which are fighting each other as well as him. He tries to tell the Hamsters that he has no food to keep them from bugging him, but it doesnt’ work on my dog, and it doesn’t work on them.

A hamster gets it’s hands on an Insta Gro Pet Sam had in his pocket and eats it. Yeah, turns out it’s those things that make them grow. That’s kinda clever and kind of dumb. Sam got two things, and they first make you think one is pointless, so it’s shocking when that seems to do soemthing.

But whoops, it’s the first thing actually. That’s clever, but also predictable because all of the summaries of the book mention the Intsta Grow, making it clear it will come into play later. Nice try, but no nice.

I don’t remember them eating the thing, by the way. As a last resort. Sam eats one to grow big and fight the monsters….You are now rehashing the climax of Monster Blood 2 now? Using the idea wasn’t bad enough?

He fights them off until the Insta Gro wears, returning them to normal. He gets them back in the cage before anything too bad happens. Epic climax!

Fitz come in and..

That was FABULOUS!”

No comment on his choice in words. Why is he happy? Because it wasn’t the candy OR the Insta Gro! It was this special water that was mentioned like once earlier. Yeah, I take by everything I said, now it’s just an asspull.

The water is an anger drink he’s been testing, and it hasn’t worked until now. See, he wants to then them vicious in order to start a Hamster Wrestling Leauge and get rich off of it.

Allow me to repeat that: The villains plan is to make hamsters evil to start a Hamster Wrestling League. That is something that happened. He even wants Hamsters to replace guard dogs, and even use them for the army.

That….is…amazing. The most hilariously stupidily awesome thing ever. Why couldn’t the rest of the book be like this?! This is the stupidest thing ever but it’s so ….silly! It makes no sense but the sillyiness makes up for it!

Also, the Insta Gro was kind of useful in making them big but it didn’t happen until near the end and the big thing going on had little to do with it anyway. Of course, he wants to Insta Gro to help his cause.

I could rule the world with an army of giant Hamsters”

That’s another thing I typed. Also, ….you know the joke.

He escapes so quickly that it’s not even funny and meets up with Lexi. Cool but Fitz still has the water so he can still do some bad stuff. Just saying. Wait, Lexi drank some of that water. I know where this is going.

Sure enough, she attack him. Fitz said the hamsters have been drinking it for awhile and it took until now to kick in, so this makes sense. Also, the end. Abrupt ending, yay. We do have an Epilogue, but it’s the same as before.

We are told the anger juices wore after a day and not much happened. She was kept on a leash at home and her parents didn’t question anything for some reason. I’m glad we got a follow up to that but it’s still kind of dumb.

Again, that night the little horror glows and he’s taken to Chiller House to pay for his toy.

The fun is just beginning! But first, we have to wait for the others”

So we can just skip til the last book, got it. The end, for real.

Final Thoughts:

It’s weird to say I was disappointed by a book called Little Shop of Hamsters…but I was disappointed. I like the grounded idea of a kid wanting a pet and it going wrong, but the execution is lacking.

The main problem is there isn’t much of a story. It just kind of meanders without much happening. There’s filler, and the main driving force is angry hamsters. Seriously. Stine does nothing with the concept and they are in a cage he has to go, so it’s not much danger.

And like the first Monster Blood, it’s weird on how this is happening. The phone is pointless and the Insta Gro only kind of does stuff. The best part is the ending where it finally goes batshit but it’s so late that it does little with it.

If it went all out the whole time, this could have been hilarious dumb fun. As it is, it’s just kind of dull with one really funny part. It tries to find a middle ground between taking the concept seriously and going all out with it, but come on, no one expects you to take this seriously.

So it really fails on all fronts, too dumb to be scary (the Kids Next Door episode with the ghost hamster was genuinely creepier), too boring to be fun.

It’s done better than in Monster Blood 2 but it still could have been better. It’s readable I guess but not interesting enough to waste your time on it. Not terrible but very average. The most boring book about evil hamsters ever written.

Grade: C+

Again, this is what Stine accepted after many rejected drafts? Ouch. Next time on the HorrorLand reviews, I try to make as few head puns as possible.

See ya.

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A Look at Sanjay and Craig

Hello, Spongey here.

It’s a cliché at this point to talk about how Nickelodeon, isn’t it? We all know how of all the big kids Networks, this has fallen the hardest. You all know the reasons, mediocre cartoons, too many mediocre live action shows, etc etc.

You don’t need me to go into more detail then everyone else already has. Like I said, it’s a cliché. And like most cliches, it’s getting a bit old. Do we need another Nick rant at this point? Especially given how some people are under the impressions that because something is bad, means the people behind it are horrible or something like that.

Nick gets that a lot. Apparently making bad business decisions makes you evil and worthy being pulled from air forever. As much as people complains about Cartoon Network during it’s Dark Age, I didn’t see many people pulling the same crap, and hey, they got better.

I personally think we should be more constructive. Point out the positives and focus on those and try to help them improve. People wonder why some companies refuse to listen their critics. Well ,that might be because some people just yell and make insults instead of actually trying to be calm of constructive.

If I worked at Nick and saw half of some of these so called rant videos, I wouldn’t listen to a Critic ever again. It’s a bit harsh but it’s true. With all of that said, you can say what you want, just keep all this in mind.

The reason I’m going into this, is because it ties into the show we’re talking about today. It’s a Nicktoon that kind of represents Modern Nick as a whole. It’s similar to shows of yesteryear yet has plenty of the flaws of the modern fare, while still having the positives of said fare as well.

It’s quite strange in that way. I brought it up back in Bad Episodes of Cartoons I like list, which an episode of the show topped for reasons I will go even deeper into here. It had plenty of hate early but people have started to turn around on it.

Why is that? Why did I admit to liking it? What’s so strange about it? Let’s find out.

This, is A Look at Sanjay and Craig

Created by Jim Dirschberger, Andreas Trolf, and Jay Howell and premirng in 2013, Sanjay and Craig follows the exploits of the title characters, a 12-year-old boy named Sanjay Patel, and his best friend, an anthropomorphic snake named Craig as they go on crazy adventures.’

That’s…about it. Nothing too complicated when it comes to the story, really. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover so buckle up. First, the superficial stuff, starting with the animation. And here’s our first bit of controversy.

The character designer for this show also worked on Bob’s Burgers which leads to the shows looking a bit similar. Some people just don’t care, but some people actually have a problem with it, since some well known animators can change up their styles greatly.

Well, for one I don’t see the problem with sticking to a style if it works. As long as you don’t just make the same stuff over and over again, it’s fine. And honestly, once you get into either show, they aren’t really THAT similar. Bob’s Burgers uses the style to fit it’s calmer tone and simpler writing style, and allows for some crazy movement in the rare moments it needs it.

This show uses it to give itself the ability to branch off and do tons of things with it. It is not a simple show by any means and the style compliments it by using the simple style to do a lot. Even early on it managed to look distinct compared to the other show.

The animation isn’t groundbreaking but it does look nice and when it wants to look good, it looks good. The Bob’s Burgers thing isn’t brought up that much but I felt it had to be addressed in some way.

There are some other things like music I can address, but I’ll address that over time…and there’s not much to say in that regard. So let’s move on to some important stuff.

This show had a bit of a bumpy start, thanks to what episodes Nick chose to air first, along with what direction the writers were trying to take it.

I can’t blame anyone for disliking the show at first, because the first half hour kind of sucked. The first episode is about these two jackasses running around a hospital because they wanna see a butt surgery.

Yes. It’s filled with dumb humor and is just two jackasses being stupid. It had a few amusing moments but otherwise was just dumb.

The sister episode was even worse, featuring the same jackasses trying to find the perfect laugh and annoying people with stupid laughter. That’s all it was, aside from a kind of funny opening. It’s everything people think Funny Pants is.

This was the worst possible first impressions, and to make it worse it wasn’t even the first one made. The first one made was…well, we’ll get to it and while it’s not the most appropriate pilot ever, it’s still way better.

This gave people the impressions that it was all the show was, but it really wasn’t…for the most part. It was very hit or miss in Season 1, but showed more promise than people gave it credit for.

Then starting with Season 2, it improved to the point where I could actually say it good, instead of a mixed bag. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s look at how the show is in general on it’s own…and begin with the general flaws.

Yes, this show has gross out and generally annoying antics sometimes. That first half hour sums up all the problems on that front. Sometimes the leads are your typically bad Nick Show leads where they annoy everyone and are the opposite of likable.

I usually go into characters later, but I’ll go into the two during the “General” section since they kind of represent the show in a way. They can also feel like the same character, seeing as neither is really dumb and both do the same things sometimes.

I know you need them to be believable friends, but you can still have them stand out on their own. They manage to do eventually but we’ll get into that later. Then there’s the gross out, oh boy.

That is easily my biggest problem with the show. I don’t mind gross out in general, but it’s rarely done well and this show just plain sucks at it most of the time. The strange thing is, it’s not as focused on it as you might think.

No, a lot of the time they just randomly insert it where it doesn’t’ belong. Some episodes are totally normal without the gross out jokes. And even in episodes about the gross out, you could have trimmed it down.

I think Unbarfable is the only episode with just grossout with no substance at all. A lot of the other bad episodes simply use too much bad gross out. One example is Old Farts which starts out with an okay premise of them pretending to be old people, but is ruined by needless bad grossout, among other things,

Yeah, Gumball’s The Crew pulled that off way better. Hell, even the title card for this ep is really gross for no reason. Yet it’s not as bad as the title card for Screamday. If you thought the farting on the Fart Baby title card was bad, this one has SCREAMING.

And the episode itself starts with the boys just screaming because it’s scream day as the title suggests. It is the one worst starts to any episode EVER. The rest isn’t much better. Apperantly Craig’s farts come from the heart.

Yes.

One example of it taking away from the plot is Cold Hard Cash. It’s actually kind of nice in parts, but all anyone remembers is the big joke about the diaper full of shit. Yeah. I’m ranting, but this is a big problem with Season 1 especially.

The other things can be problematic but the gross out, and generally immature jokes make it all so much worse. Season 1 is frustrating, because it has plenty of good things, and even my favorite episodes, but also so much garbage.

I guess I can discuss other bad episodes here since I went into detail on it’s worst already, and thankfully no ep has outsucked it. I know people such as Mr Enter has gone into Fart Baby but I think there’s more to say.

For those who haven’t seen the episode, or his take, it’s about Sanjay becoming the Daddy of a baby fart. Yes. I won’t explain how because I barely get it. You already know the problems: It’s almost nothing but fart jokes with Sanjay and Craig being annoying jerks to everyone, and it somehow tries to be heartwarming in the end.

You can be sweet even with dumb humor, (the show itself has proven that) but this fails because of how badly written it is. But my biggest problem is actually the…baby thing. See, while the baby is a fart, to them it is a baby and they treat it as such.

And yet they spend most of the episode squeezing Sanjay’s belly to annoying people with farts. At one point Sanjay falls on his belly, and when it first appears Craig tries to…get rid of it.

You know what both of those equate to in real life. What the hell. In a show aimed at kids like this, that is just…not cool. It’s not a big thing at first but it really squick me out. This whole episode is messed up and not very funny either.

Thankfully, the bad episodes get better later on. When the series improves, there are some bad ones but they do get less bad. They did another fart episode that was annoying, but at least had a decent ending.

Season 3 managed to have just one “Bad” one and it involved no gross out. I won’t explain it, it’s just another ep with a character being a jerk, not much to say.

Okay, enough ranting let’s be more neutral to positive. Understandably, the show has been compared to other shows it seems to be ripping off in some way. It was at one point a subpar modern Nicktoon, of course it had recycled elements.

But as it went along, it managed to get an identity. Yeah, like plenty of modern Nicktoons it’s about two “Bros” annoying people on a surreal adventure, but there is more to it. There’s less emphasis on annoying people than in, say, Fanboy and Chum Chum.

Heck, the Megward the Wizard becomes more of an actual villain later on, who is even redeemed. The show’s own brand of surreal humor sticks out more as well, especially when it drops the gross out.

Oh yeah, I didn’t even mention how they go from toning it down, to flat out dropping it. Even some good episodes might have light gross out early on, but starting in Season 2, most episodes don’t have it at all.

But some did, which fully stopped in Season 3, at least in my memory. In general, they put more emphasis on the good elements of the show and tone down the bad stuff. Early episodes would have the two being assholes to everyone, as especially shown in the first half hour block.

Even in Season 1, there would be focus given to them genuinely having fun with their friends,and not annoying anyway. Episodes like Traffical Island and Cup 0 Universe showed the better side of their fun.

I personally prefer the episodes that have them with their other friends, as the characters stick out better in these situations and they tend to be a bit sweeter. Speaking of sticking out, Sanjay and Craig manage to work better later on.

While do they have the “Too much” alike problem, even later on, the little things can make them stick out more. Like I said, I’m going into them in this section. Sanjay, voiced by Baljeet himself, is the human of the two so of course he goes through more human situations and that’s basically his angle.

In most episodes focusing on their relationship he can usually be the more understandable one. Although he can certainly be the one to blame in the more interesting episodes. He’s basically the straight man. He’s the less interesting of the two, but I think he works just well enough, especially in episodes like Traffical Island.

Then there is Craig, voiced by Chris Hardwick. I think the actor alone makes him stand out. I don’t know, he’s just naturally funny sometimes, even in Back at the Barnyard. He’s the sillier one, meaning he’s more likely to get them in some crazy situations. He can also be a bit of jerk, which can backfire in episodes like Heartyface, but can also work if given the right motivation.

He works better than Sanjay because he does get unique comedy, made better by the local performance. As a snake, he has to disguise himself as a human in the GREATEST DISGUISE EVER. It’s so good sometimes I forget he’s even in disguise because they rarely bring it up.

Heck, I had no idea he was hiding the snake thing from Sanjay’s Parents until a Tail of Two Slither. At least it kind of makes sense, because their neighbor kind of hates snakes. Anyway, Craig manages to be the more interesting and amusing of the two, but together they can work even better when they are written well.

Infact, their friendship kind of drives the show most of the time. Especially later on they focus on the sweet-ness of their friendship instead of just having them be annoying. Instead of being just bros, they do come across as actual friends later on, and they get some sweet episodes out of them.

Sanjay and Craig is the last show you would expect, but that word can surprisingly to it sometimes. Which brings us to what the show truly is at it’s best. Like pretty much any show like this, the creators were very inspired by their childhood.

And the reason for some of the grossout is that, to qoute one of the creators, “Both Jim and I have moms who are nurses, and they’ve told us a lot of gross stories over the years. So that idea kind of came out of those stories.”

(SOURCE: http://www.mercurynews.com/entertainment/ci_23393975/sanjay-craig-creator-adapts-his-approach-nickelodeon )

As much as I don’t like the gross out, there is technically a reason for it. Even the ever so terrible Unbarfable was inspired by actual experiences. (SOURCE: http://www.ew.com/article/2013/05/23/sanjay-and-craig-nickelodeon-interview ) But of course, they also tried to put in the heart from childhood, which comes in later on.

Early on the show was kind of see as a throwback too 9’s Nick which some didn’t’ agree with due to it’s poor quality. But at this point, it kind of is. Those shows were sometimes known for being gross or weird (Ren & Stimpy) while others were known for being down to earth or sweet (Hey Arnold).

This..kind of combines both. I’ve explained both sides, and it’s interesting how they both come into play. Sometimes trhat clashes, but usually it can mix in. Even the better told stories can have their wacky moments that keep things from being too saccharine. Sometimes it works, and sometimes there’s a fart jar.

They do clearly try harder later. They even said that Season 2 would have, and I quote, more heart, less fart. That’s the perfect way to put it. I’m not gonna pretend like it turned into some amazing show that you should all see.

No, it’s still not for everyone,. It has it’s bland elements and people tend to prefer quiter shows most of the time, especially nowadays. I’m just saying that show becomes closer to genuinely good rather than hit or miss like before.

Oh, and the show can be funny too. It is technically a Comedy show after all. And like everything else, it did improve. When it’s not trying too hard to be gross out weird, it can be amusing.

It’s hard to describe the humor without spoiling it too much, but it can use it’s surreal nature to good effect. Hell, even Unbarfable manage to get a chuckle with Hector’s Stomach, and some of Belle’s reactions in Fart Baby are amusing too.

Some of my favorite jokes are the really out there ones, like the endings to Middle Shame and Snake Parts Unknown. I won’t spoil them but they are so weird it’s hilarious. The humor in this show does tend to be weird and brash but usually it tends to work.

As I keep saying, it’s the gross or cruel humor that tends to bomb. I can only think of one example of the gross out working and we’ll get to that one. So yeah, the humor isn’t always the best, but it can work when they try.

I suppose the next thing to touch on would be the guest stars. Yeah, like any cartoon, this show has gotten itself some interesting guests, some of which I did not expect. There”s the usual sports stars no one’s ever heard of, and one time they got Anthony Bourdain to parody himself, and he’s even kind of the villain.

Yeah, they manage to use guest stars better than some shows I can mention.

But of course I have to mention the most famous ones on this show, starting with Snoop Dog. No, really. In the special Street Dogg, he plays a, get this, rapper. He’s actually used pretty well, as they get a solid story out of him instead of just being there to be there.

He’s not the best actor ever, but he’s okay and they do put his rapping skills to good use at least. But that’s the guest star that shocked me the most. No, that would be Dolph Lungreen.

Yes. The town is actually called Lungreen so I suppose this had to happen, but it’s crazy that it did, given that no kid watching this show has ever heard of him. Unless they saw Kindergarten Cop 2.

Yes, that’s a thing. He appeared in the Christmas Episode, meaning I get to go into more detail in 2018 when I review the Modern Nick Christmas Episode. (What, doesn’t hurt to think ahead). He even plays himself to make it even better.

My memory isn’t the best, so I can’t say anything about voice acting skills, but story wise he works. So yeah, this show can get some cool stars and even use them well! That’s a nice bonus.

And we’ve reached the part I know you love…the characters! Yeah, I know I usually leave them for last, but in this show I find the episodes more important, so they will go last.

I already went into the main characters so this won’t be too long. There are quite a few characters but they aren’t too complex, so I cam make this quick enough.

Let’s stay close to our heroes, with the parents. Veejay the Dad is surprisingly not quite the dumbass Dad. Sure, he’s a bit goofy compared to Mom but he’s mostly just a normal father. He has done some crazy things in the past which usually leads to interesting episodes like PartyBoy and Man of Sqeual. With that, you can argue he’s the more interesting the two, even if he’s not quite as cool.

Darlene the Mom, voiced by Grey Delise, is the badass Mom we tend to see in these kind of shows but it works since the Dad isn’t too dumb, so it’s not as typical of a contrast. There isn’t quite a lot to her but Butt’s Up Alone, and the other Darlene/Noodman Episode (Friend Card) make her okay in my book.

Next would be the friend, starting with Hector, voiced by Matt Jones aka Gunther from Kick Buttowski. He’s a mixed bag as the dumber friend. Sometimes he’s too annoying or gross (Beside the obvious, there’s Wolfie) but other times the voice actor alone makes him funny. There’s not a ton to him but he has enough fine moments.

For our female friend, we have Megan Sparkles (Insert NC reference here…or MLP if you prefer), voiced by Linda Cardellini. Being the female friend in a show like this, she’s kind of a badass and can be the voice of reason. She’s pretty enjoyable and can even be developed well shown in episodes like Susan Loogie. She can certainly be a favorite.

The boys’ obligatory hangout is the fry cade which has it’s own share of character, starting with Belle Pepper, voiced by Nika Futterman. Because no matter what I do, I can never escape the Rush Zone.

She’s the daughter of the guy who runs the place and Sanjay has a crush on her. Yep, it’s that shtick but to be fair….they really don’t focus on it that much. It’s there but in only drives a few episodes and it’s not qutie as annoying as it is in most shows.

It doesn’t quite progress but they never pretend like it will, it’s just a thing. Weird how this happens to be one of the things they pull off better than most shows. On her own, she’s not the most interesting but can have amusing reactions sometimes, and can serve the story well if the plot works.

Guess we can move up to her father, Penny, voiced by John DiMaggio. He has a hook for a hand or something, so you know he’s the kind of grumpy but mostly nice-ish owner guy. He can be pretty funny sometimes and he works well in his role, and the one big episode he has was good.

A frequent visitor to the Frycade is Chicken Chuck, voiced by Nolan North. He’s a weird one and can be used well for some amusing moments. His bigger roles are solid too, especially in one episode I’ll be getting. Like most of these guys, there’s not a lot to talk about, but he’s cool.

And then we have Noodman, voiced by Tony Hale. He’s one of the more…mixed ones. Sometimes he’s the jerk-ish neighbor, who hates snakes, while other times …he’s the Squidward of the show.

Now, it is slightly more justified than most, but it can be a problem, especially when he switches role a lot. In later episodes, he’s a more concerate villain, and tends to have less torture. And his final episode ended with him as a good guy!

But one episode did taint him a bit, and it would be Family Re-Noodman. It’s another one I don’t like, and I’ll explain here. Sanjay and Craig sneak into his family reion for reasons I don’t care about, and find out Noodman is the way he is because his father treated him like a dirt..

And as we find out later on, this is a Noodman thing as his father’s father treated him badly, and so on. I’m not sure how to feel about the latter part but the former makes Noodman a bit of a tragic character.

And through the episode, Craig starts bonding a bit with Noodman .The torture Noodman goes through is sad to watch and you really feel bad for him, especially because his Father might be one of the worst in all of animation, like ever.

Seriously, he keeps pranking Noodman into opening a jar of nuts that is actually those streamer things, and at one point he seems he actually has nuts, but they are actually snake eggs. He tells him this after Noodman has eaten some. Yes.

Sanjay and Craig take pity on him and get revenge on Noodman’s father which is beyond glorious to watch. So now Noodman is happy-ish and the boys realize he’s not so bad.

.And at the very last second, the two find out the wings they came to Noodman’s place for to begin with has Blueberries in them. Then they get mad and plan to prank him with the nut jar, the end.

.Remember what I’ve said about endings? This is a new low on that level. What the actual fuck?! I get that Noodman will likely be back to being a jerk by the next episode, but you could have ended happily.

If they were trying to do something ironic here, they FAILED. You can’t do all the crap you did with Noodman ,then have our supposed “heroes” go back and want to prank him, with something quite traumatic.

This creates the big Noodman problem in season 1, as he often would be tortured without doing anything to deserve it first. Heck, in the episode RIGHT AFTER THIS, that happened. Said episode was Fart Baby, by the way.

Thankfully, they fixed him in Season 2, and especially Season 3 with him being less evil. But man that episode is hard to bounce back from. And after all that, this is still a more dignified role for Tony Hale than Road Chip.

Next is up is the Dicksons, all voiced by Grey Delise, except for the Baby. They are Sanjay and Craig’s Neighbors, who have a band and are the “Cool” older kids. At first, they were basically poser jerks but as the series goes on, they become a lot nicer to the kids.

They are amusing but can be gross sometimes. Especially the baby who exists for shit jokes, but they shed that later on. They even become sympathetic in Enter Sadman. So with their nature and development, I like them.

Our final real character is Remmington Tufflips, supposedly voiced by __. I said that because the credits jokingly say it’s Tufflips as himself. That’s funny, but the only place that said the actual actors’ name was Wikipedia, which it’s always accurate, to say the least.

He’s a former action star who is a bit washed up but is still idolized by the boys. That sounds a bit like Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy to an extent, but it’s different in that he’s an 80’s action star, leading to different jokes.

He’s also a bit jerk-ish but not overly so, making him pretty amusing. There’s a funny episode where they binge his movies and realize how dumb they are, and man are they delightfully stupid.

His nature makes him fun, with how he makes fun of 80’s and 90’s action stars. He’s the most consistently enjoyable character to me, and episodes about him tend to be fun. There’s one that’s basically just a Tufflips movie that we’re watching and it’s glorious.

So yeah, I like him fine. And that’s really it for the character, sort of. As usual, there re some very minor ones not worth getting into. I suppose I can mention Huggle Bunny. He’s some guy in a bunny suit, but you only see him as the suit, and he never talks so he’s quite mysterious.

Which is why he is so funny. He’s the focus of the Christmas Episode, and there they do some funny stuff with him, even if he’s intentionally creepy sometimes. But yeah, those are the character worth mentioning.

It’s not that greatest cast ever, but most of them stand out as solid and you’ll have a favorite or two. Even the weaker ones can pull through sometimes. I’m glad I didn’t put them last though.

And finally, The favorite episodes. Here, I get to get into examples that prove the show can be good.

This is the kind of show where the episodes I point to as the best are the ones that are the most notable period. It’s not the kind with like 30 amazing episodes, but more like 10 or so notably great ones, than the rest are just pretty good not as worth getting into.

But that applies to plenty of better shows, so it’s not a bad thing. And even as it is, I still had trouble deciding which ones were worth getting into as there are plenty of little examples of the show’s good qualities. In the end, I picked 11 or so episodes. Yeah, more than I expected but all of these get the “Great” rating from me. All are worth while in some way.

So let’s get into them. This is mostly in no order, except the last one.

Booger Johnson

Writers: Greg Araya, Carl Faroulo, & Andreas Trolf

As a general rule, any episode with a gross word in the title will be terrible. But then this episode came and defied that.

Sanjay and Craig must take care of Megan’s pet Gerbil but Craig keeps trying to eat him. Because you know, he’s a snake. I know it’s easy to forget, but this episode brings it up. This episode works from the conflict alone.

Craig wasn’t WANT to be a jerk but he can’t help his desires, it’s in his nature. There’s good tension as Craig tries to ignore his nature, and it causes some tension between the friends as well.

They could have made Craig a hungry asshole the whole time, but even at the start he seems to do this on instinct rather than having malicious intent. He clearly tries once Sanjay sets him straight, but he just can’t help it.

It’s an example of a simple conflict making for an engaging watch. The ending is a bit off, but it’s not too big of a deal. Otherwise, this episodes defies expectations and is well done, and even a little sweet.

The sweetest story to ever have Booger in the title.

Songjay

Writers: Neil Graf, Jay Howell, Derek Iversen & Jonny Van Orman

The story of this one is that there’s a special comet that night and the boys want to look at it with someone, but no one wants to. On it’s own, it’s a fine story that can be fairly sweet.

But here’s the thing: This episode is a musical. Yep. An interesting one because it’s one song that plays for the whole episode, with only tiny bits of dialogue in most of it. It’s really unique in that way and it makes an already nice episode even better.

This show isn’t the most experimental but when they do one, it tends to pay off, and this is the best of them. What can I say, I love musicals, especially when it’s lampshaded.

Okay,i guess this is a thing”

So yeah, very enjoyable one and the payoff is funnier than it should be…Oh, and it aired on the same day as that Steven Universe Musical episode. What.

Bike O Psycho

Writers: Jim Dirschberger, Neil Graf, Derek Iversen & Jonny Van Orman

Sanjay and Craig find an abandoned bike and take it in, but run into trouble when the original owner shows up. On the surface, this is another nice episode with the two bonding with a bike like you would a pet, with a nice bittersweet ending.

But there’s an…interesting layer to it. Chido, the original owner, is not very kind to the bike and not only carelessly left it in the bushes, but trashes it in other ways. But not only does she not care, but she claims the Bike “loves it”.

The bike is treated as if it were some kind of pet, to the point where they do “if you love something, set it free” thing at the end. Since the Bike is a pet in this situation….i don’t think I need to say what Chido’s actions equate to.

…Yeah, and usually that would make things more awkward and make me not like the episode. But it..kind of works. It’s actually kind of realistic to how this kind of thing works, down to claiming that they like it.

She may be a bit over the top about it but hey, it’s a cartoon. I think what make it work is that they don’t take it TOO seriously, and it never gets too uncomfortable since they don’t linger on her actions too much.

There’s also the ending where we see that the Bike belonged to the wild and was no one’s to own. That’s a kind of nice way to resolve this, and makes it different from the other episode like this, which we’ll get to.

Despite some awkward parallels, I think the execution was a lot more mature and asseciable than it could have been. A heavy on to have this early on our list, but ah well. Against all odds, this is a nice and solid episode.

(On a final note, Chido appeared a few more times in the Season 3. She’s a villain in the next episode…not so much in the ones after that. Not sure how to feel about that, but she’s fine on her in those eps so I can let it slide)

Butts Up

Writers: Derek Iversen, Blake Lemons, & Bryan Mann

Another episode that defies the gross word in title rule!

While playing a game involving a tenns ball and a grage door (which ends with someone being hit on the butt, hence the name), a random girl steals their ball and they try to get it back but find themselves face to face with…The Butt Master.

It turns out The Butt Master is Noodman and he takes the pets of kids who loose to him at Butts Up, so the two must help get the girls’ pet bird back. This episode is way more epic than something with butt in the title should be.

Noodman works well as a villain here, being kind of threatening and actually evil here. Yes, it kind of messes up any examples of him being good, but I don’t care.

The big thing that makes this episode great is the twist that Noodman’s precious cat once belonged to Sanjay’s Mom. It’s kind of a sad scene when this happens, and certainly puts both characters in a new light.

So yeah, this episode is fun, interesting and makes Darlene even more of a badass. Oh, and the girl is voiced by Tania Gundai, aka Sashi from Penn Zero. Nice.

Traffical Island

Writers: Matt Layzell, Tom Parkinson, & Joe Stillman

In airdate order, this is the first episode I would call great and the one that got me a bit interested in the series.

The kids get trapped on a highway median thingy and hilarity, and drama ensues. They first see the situation as a chance to start their own soecity and just have fun, and this is where the first great element comes in.

The first half of the episode is just kids being kids, and it’s a lot of fun because it’s so innocent. The kids feel real here and there’s some fun and creative jokes with what they do. But then it gets a bit dramatic as Sanjay becomes a bit controlling and starts fighting with the others.

The transition to them fighting feels natural enough and where it goes is pretty engaging. There’s some real emotion here and goes beyond just another “character becomes a jerk” story. Normally him being a dick would bother me but the execution makes it excusable.

This is the first episode where the show started to reach it’s poteinol. It has kids just being kids and gets some drama out of the situation, as well as comedy. The characters are actually likable, and it becomes pretty sweet in parts.

I think for some people, this could be a good one to start with, for those reasons.

Trouble Dare

Writers: Jim Dirschberger, Neil Graf, & Blake Lemons

This has to one of the more “popular” episodes, for good reason. When a bug infestation kicks them out of their house for the night, they try to crash with Tufflips, but the Dicksons are already there, so they must compete with them in a game of Family Double Dare.

Yes, Double Dare. Complete with Mark Summers and Harvey. If anyone ever says Nick doesn’t respect their past, this episode proves them wrong. This episode feels a true love letter, and gets the tone of that show perfectly.

And because they are homaging the show, the gross out works because it actually belongs. Most of it is actually funny, and even has heart as Sanjay is the reason for the bugs and that leads to nice stuff at the end.

It’s a genuinely funny episode, that is a nice throwback, with some real heart in places. It’s another good one to start with.

They did a Guts episode later on and while it was also pretty good, it couldn’t top this.

Tale of Two Slithers

Writers: Greg Araya, Carl Faruolo, Neil Graf, Blake Lemons, Will McRobb, & Chris Viscardi

This was the first 22 minute special, but it fares pretty well, not being a ratings trap of any kind, like for real.

Craig meets his long lost brother, and naturally this causes friction between him and Sanjay. This is a fairly cliché set up but it mostly doesn’t fall into the whole dumb “third wheel” thing you often see. Well, it does but it’s written well.

For one, it makes sense that Craig wants to be with Ronnie given how long they have been apart, and he has been looking for him. Given the situation, I see why he wasn’t mentioned, and it’s early enough in the series. Also, Ronnie was added to the intro for this episode, which I didn’t even notice on first viewing.

Sanjay is okay with this at first, with both being aware of why this is all okay for now. And the conflict ends up happening because of a scheme by Ronnie, which works way better than if they randomly decided to bicker on their own.

And in context, it makes sense why Ronnie’s plan would work. Oh, and of course he’s kind of a bad guy, because he’s rather angry at Sanjay for taking Craig from him. So the situation actually fells pretty natural, and even the contrived elements work to make a nice story. Things even resolve naturally.

Also, there’s a hilarious parody of the intro later on. Ronnie works because he has a good motivation, and gets nice development in the end, turning to good. Add in a nice ending with the parents, and you have one of the better constructed episodes.

Besides being a bit cliché, and a dumb fart joke, this is a well done special that is sweet, and surprisingly well written. Since it was near the end of the Season, I think this is where the writers started trying a lot harder.

Hot Sauce Boss

Writers: George Gendi, Will McRobb, Tom Parkinson, &Chris Viscardi

This was the first episode of Season 2, and was a sign of things to come. I remember seeing this for the first time and this was the first time I thought the show was improving.

Penny catches Chuck using his own sauce on his wings instead of Penny’s sauce, causing a big bar between the two. First off, yes, it is treated like Chuck is cheating on him. The fact that he finds this out in a bathroom doesn’t make it any better.

I do have a soft spot for spoofs of cheating stories, and this is a good example of one. It’s a fun episode with the ensuing war, and all the amusing jokes that happen because of it. But of course it’s the story that makes me like this one.

There’s some real emotion in all the silly-ness and it’s a fun and engaging story, with a very satisfying conclusion. The cliché works here, as it’s just as fun as it is sweet. Some nice details make it even better and more well rounded.

On top of that, there’s no grossout and the bits that border on it are actually amusing here. I hadn’t seen every ep at this point, so this very much impressed me.

With it’s solid story execution, good character, solid humor, and story, this was a strong way to begin Season 2, and the good era of the show.

Alien Craig/Galaxy Geeks

Writers: Blake Lemons, Bryan Mann, & Chris Viscardi (Alien Craig) /Josh Engel, Aminder Dhaliwal, Jim Dirschberger, Jay Howell & Chris Viscardi (Galaxy Geeks)

I put these together, because they happen to be connected. In Alien Craig, the boys and their friend pretend they are on a spaceship, doing Star Trek-y thing. Then one day Sanjay forgets to take out the trash…again.

Feeling ashamed, they head out to give the trash to the dump, and use their “Spaceship” to do it. First off, this is another one that is just plain fun. It has more of kids just being kids, ramped up with their imagine stuff.

There are some good jokes, and the whole thing is just fun especially with how they see normal stuff as space stuff. But it’s the heart that pulls this one through. Sanjay genuinely forgets to take out the trash, and isn’t just not doing it and he feels really bad for missing out.

His dedication is nice, and all leads to a nice ending. Not only does this episode show more of kids being kids, being genuinely creative and fun, but it shows it can be heartfelt as well in a very natural way.

If that’s not enough, then they gave this a sequel with Galaxy Geeks. Their spaceship adventures are back, and this time they need to get some wings for Dad, but Noodman actually wants in on this, and they aren’t sure if they can trust him.

Everything I said about Alien Craig applies here, with how fun it is and it’s just as fun as before, because I just like seeing them do this. I could watch a whole movie of this, it’s so cool.

But once again, the story works too. This is an example of Noodman’s development later on, and it working. At first it seems like he honestly wants in on the fun, which is quite nice. But of course it turns out it was all a trick to get their wings. Which actually works as twist he seems very genuine, and in a way it seems like there was a part of him that was being honest. And what makes it great is that it turns out he wasn’t really betraying them, he was doing that as part of the game.

Being the bad guy is fun for him, he didn’t really want to do this for real. It adds some insight into his character, and everything feels geuinge. Plus, any episode where Noodman is good is usually sweet like this.

Which one so I perfer? Well, Alien Craig is a bit funnier, and more releatable, but Galaxy Geeks works a bit better as a story, and has more to with a bigger villain and him betraying them.

Plus it’s more refreshing with the Noodman stuff. I’ll call it even, as both episodes show that this series can provide innocent fun, along with some heart. Both are very enjoyable.

And we’ve got one more left, and it’s a big one. My personal favorite episode is..

The Giving G

Writers: Will McRobb & Madeline Queripel

I know what I’m to say may sound a bit hyperbolic considering the show, but I think this episode is fantastic. Yes, really. There are plenty of episodes I consider to be somewhat great in some way but this episode is just…dang.

Allow me to explain why. Sanjay and Craig find an inflatable Gorilla and they, along with their friends, befriend it. The first great thing about this one is the Big G itself. It’s not alive at all, but they treat it like it’s the best thing ever, which works.

Because when they find it, we get a montage of them playing with it which is actually quite whimsical. We genuinely seem them gain a connection to the thing and the montage has more of the fun kids being kids stuff.

And despite not being alive, G is still personified in small ways. We see the ways it ‘helps” them and even plays with them. He doesn’t just do nothing, with the kids praising it. They have a reason for liking it, and the connection strangely feels real.

They also play it for comedy so it’s not meant to be taken too seriously for most of it. My favorite joke is when they hug it and Noodman yells at them to get a room. For most of it, this is just a surprisingly sweet little episode.

Then comes the ending, oh boy. The wind blows Big G away and The Dicksons find him, but aren’t willingly to give him back because they quite enjoy him too. Long story short, they fight over him and end up having to chase it down.

They get him but fight over him so much…that he pops. Then we cut to…a funereal for Big G, where everyone is sad over this, including the Dicksons.

Big G, wherever you are, we hope that you’re happy, and you are far away and there aren’t too many pointy things. We didn’t know you that long, but you’ll always be our friend”

And the best thing is, you’ve brought us all together”

I say this a lot after emotional moments but….DANG. And the episode proper ends with them seeing a shooting star, which is actually Big G. This show can have it’s sweet moments, as I’ve shown but…this is another level.

When I first saw this, I couldn’t believe it. There’s a nice moment, then there’s this. First off, on a story level, that works because unlike say Fart Baby, you actually have a connection with the thing before you’re meant to feel sorry for it.

We do see it as a friend to them, even with the montage being a bit brief. They do everything to personify it, so it’s not just some random object that they like. We really see it is a friend, which how it even touches the Dicksons.

So when it kind of dies, I did kind of feel emotional. It’s the kind of emotional manipulation that works, because they’ved actually earned it. What really helps is the song that plays. I have no idea what song it is or what it’s called, but it’s really sweet and sets the mood very well.

If it wasn’t for good for how good that montage was, this wouldn’t have worked as well. My only complaint is that if the montage was a bit longer, this would hit even harder. The connection is still felt, but perhaps slightly more of it and less of the Dicksons stuff could have helped.

Otherwise, this episode is damn great. Like, wow. It made me feel emotional over an inflatable gorilla. And it came from Sanjay and Craig. Before I saw this one, I found episodes I liked but I never thought it could reach this level.

And while I can’t say I cried when I first saw it, I did come close. Yes, it sounds silly but it’s true, and the unexpected-ness was part of it. But even now it is an emotional scene, but the episode is well constructed.

The characters are all likable and the connection is believable due to Big G being well character-ized. Some good humor helps bring it all home. But here’s the weird thing: I used to say to myself that a show has reached great-ness if it makes me emotional in some way,.

I rethinked that after this episode because…that would put this show on the same list as stuff like Avatar. Yeah, that would be weird. But still, the fact that it can do this means something.

Regardless of how the show itself is, this episode is still great with how charming and emotional it is. This episode alone makes up for Unbarfable , and that is why it is my favorite episode.

So there’s Sanjay and Craig. But let’s talk about it ending. After 3 Seasons it ended and on a good note with Hooray for Bollywood. They go to India and end up running into Ronnie who…wants revenge. Despite clearly being good at the end of his last appearance.

Yeah, that’s weird but otherwise, this was a good finale. It was pretty fitting on most levels. Going to India makes sense, and on it’s own it works with the comedy and the moral about Nostalgia, which fits in the context of the story.

But of course, the best part is the ending. No major spoilers here, but it fits perfectly as an ending to the series, with reflection and everything. I’m not sure if it was planned to be the ending, but it’s still well done as a finale, arguably more so than the other forced finales I’ve talked about.

I’m fine with the show ending for two reasons. One is that 3 equally lengthened seasons is a good number for this kind of show. Don’t want it outstay it’s welcome. The other, besides not really being my favorite show, is that this was a good time for it to leave.

When the show began, the Anti Nick had truly begun, and while 2014 was the height of it, this king of helped started in 2013, along with Sam and Cat and other minor things. Now that it ended in 2016, the hate has died down thanks to Harvey Beaks and The Loud House.

Nick has a long way to go, but there is less hate because good stuff is mostly what we seem to be getting. So it’s kind of fitting that the show that defines modern nick ends right now, on a very good note.

Kind of deep when you think about it. In the end, Sanjay and Craig was a strange show. It could be the exact same kind of terrible crap we see on Nick, but it could also be among their better recent works.

It managed to greatly improve as it went on, showing that even the weakest shows can learn their lesson. (Which means certain shows have no excuse). It is an odd for me. Even when it got better, it still had those minor elements of a weak Nick show.

I don’t know, some episodes still had that air to them that kind of prevented it from being fully good like other good Modern Cartoons. And at it’s best, certain flaws I bring up may still exist that could bring it down for some.

I managed to fully like it by Season 3, because it’s main flaws were gone by that point, and even the weaker episodes weren’t too bad. So in the end, I did manage to look past it’s flaws, in order to see the good and mostly enjoy it.’

Despite it’s weaker points, I see it as an important show in Nick’s lineup for all these reasons. While even Breadwinners has it’s moments, it never got to this point where it kind of became good, and could have amazing episodes like The Giving G.

Bad shows can have good episodes, but I’ve never seen this happen. Sometimes a good shows starts out weak, but this is quite different. And quite frankly, I’m glad. It shows people can learn from their misktkes.

Like all the networks have at some point. They can make mistakes but I see plenty of improvements. Like I said, it’s better to do what I’m doing and calmly suggest improvements, rather than just ask for them to be hanged.

This is thankfully calming down, and things have improved. I think if we keep all of of this in mind, things get even better. In the end, it’s no big deal if a network happens to be pleasing us, but a lot of people act like it is, so I have to comment on it.

Honestly, the main reason I did this post is to say what I said in the intro, as even now, it really needed to be said. Plus, the show itself really interested me with it’s quality, so it was worth getting into.

Now, I’m not saying the show is for everyone, or is great. I get why some couldn’t get into it, or still may not like it. Early on it can be annoying or gross, and even later on certain characters can be a bit weak.

And of course, it’s still a comedy show and that is always subjective. Most of the hate was around during Season 1, when I wouldn’t blame too much because most people wouldn’t stumble upon The Giving G after watching the pilot.

It died down a lot after Season 2, and now I only hear of it in passing from people who just lump it in with the bad stuff, clearly not having seen any of it since 2013.

And as I said in the intro, you can complain about Nick or anything as much as you want, just be civil. At least attempt to be constrictive in some way. The fact that it’s gotten better slgihtly just proves my point.

Again, you have every right to criticize something, but there is a difference between not being pleased with the direction something is going and having your reasons for disliking content, and just ranting forever about dumb shit no one cares about, and being an asshole.

I’m glad this kind of thing is dying down to an extent. You can argue it makes my point moot, but it’s something to keep in mind for the future. I doubt anything I say will change people’s minds but whatever.

Back on topic , Sanjay and Craig shows us that even not so good things can either have their moments, or even become good. I’ll go further on diamonds in the rough some other time (Hint Hint) but this show sums that all up perfectly.

It’s a mixed bag, but the garbage was almost worth it to see some gems, I might not have seen otherwise if I just stubbornly avoided it. That’s why I foolishly give anything a chance. I’m marathoning Planet sheen at the moment for that very reason.

I’m a madman, I know.

It certainly was an interesting show, and I wish Nick, and really all these channels and the hard working people who work there, the best of luck to give us more of Giving G, and less of Unbarfable.

If you either haven’t’ seen the show, or avoided it after watching some episodes, give it another chance. Watch the episodes I mentioned or just start from Season 2..

As for official releases, there is a Season 1 DVD via the Amazon Burn thing which is function l enough. Nothing beyond that in turns of DVDs though. The series is on Hulu, and all the usual places you buy TV shows.

So it’s not too hard to find. And yeah, that’s all I got. It’s a strange mixed show, but I think it’s worth it. The Nick Hate should slow down, stop being assholes, and yada yada.. You all get the point by now.

This is like the 3rd look at post I’ve done this year, okay? I’m tired. I wanted to do another this year but I’m starting in September I’m going to be swamped with tons of projects so that and the Disney Canon thing may have to wait til 2017 while I focus on Holiday stuff, lists, and of course the usual reviews and minor things I come up with.

I really did this just because I feel like this is all needed to be said, because I’m sick of the hyperbolic attitude regarding all this stuff. I never change people’s minds, but it’s nice to get my thoughts out there.

Hope I at least offered a different perspective, as well as the usual things my posts can have. You know, terrible grammar and shit. This is something I’ve had the idea for since late last year, so I hope this turned out well.

So yeah, that is all I got, enjoy this, check out the show if you want, and be nice in the future. Now to go back to vloging about ponies, fapping to Debby Ryan, and being pissed at assholes on the interest.

As god intended.

See ya.

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