Hello, Spongey here.
If you recall, back in August, I reviewed the series finale of Special Agent Oso. The show itself was a CGI preschool show about a dumbass named Oso who is a dumbass.
But if you want a full plot rundown, check out my review:
In that review, I called out the show being formulaic and making no sense, but still called it a guilty pleasure because it’s so much fun in how dumb it is. I then went on to look at the series finale.
Yes, a preschool show had an actual finale. It was shockingly good, with some really sad moments that put the entire series in prescriptive, and gave us an ending that will warm any cynic’s heart.
How that came out of…this, is anyone’s guess.
But what I did not tell you, is that there is ANOTHER episode from earlier that same season that came close to being genuinely decent.
I saw it after I first saw the finale, and it ended up being the 2nd best episode. I saw 2nd best cuz…it’s still really stupid, but it has it’s moments.
And what do you know, it’s a holiday episode! Yeah, that’s the only reason I’m reviewing it, but whatever. On top of that, it’s a 40 minute special! Joy, twice the stupidity!
So what is it about this jolly episode that makes me cheerful? Let’s find out!
This, is The Living Holiday Lights
After the still awesome theme song, we open on a snowy mountain, where Oso is doing his latest training exercise. Long story short, he ups parasailing and he needs to land on Rapide, which is his talking french train.
For once, Oso succeeds on a mission on his first try. WHAT SORCERY IS THIS.
Anyway, his boss, Mr Dos, calls in to tell him that Oso is one training thingy away from getting a special holiday present. Oso is excited, but he has to wait for his next assignment.
Oso starts to talk to Wolfie and Dottie, but they both leave saying they have to do something for a friend. Gee, that’s not suspicious at all.
“I’m really excited about my special holiday president, but Wolfie and Dottie don’t seem to care.”
They do, they are just doing something special for you. ..Oh come on, the writers aren’t exactly being subtle about it.
Rapid esays it’s family that makes Christmas special, not presents….Wait, the train has a family?
“But of course”
And his family pops up out of nowhere. How can a freaking train have a dad, or cousins or anything? …I don’t know, and I don’t care.
After Thomas the tank engine’s retarded children pop up, Oso asks what their train family holiday is like. So of course, they sing about it.
Yes, french trains are having a song about a train family holiday. I am not stoned at all. It’s pretty catchy but…so weird!
After …that, the family leaves. …Fine.
BIG LIPPED ALLIGATOR MOMENT!
So we then we cut to our dumbass kid of the week. This is Celeste,whose Mom wants her to put up the Advent Wreathe.
“I’d love to set up the Advent Wreathe…but I’m not sure how”
Then asks Mom and she will quickly tell you. Oh what, that’s what a SMART person would do. Instead, the agency’s spy…ladybug sees it and moves on.
But guess what? This is a 40 minute episode so we get THREE dumbass kids for the price of one! The next is Noah, whose Mom wants him to set up the Hanukkah menorah.
Yep, we have another much needed Hanukkah special. As long as Adam Sandler stays out of it, I’m game.
On of that, we also have Kwanzaa as Braden must set up the Kanara . But both kids don’t know how to do say. Again, just ask!
The spy ladybug thingy sends out the message. Oso is told he needs to talk with Mr Dos, so they head over to HQ.
This is the first time Mr Dos has asked to see Oso, which means may finally see Mr Dos’s face! …Or not, as his big awesome room has a big screen which just as his voice. I think Mr Dos is literally just a computer at this point.
“Oso, it’s beginning to look a lot like a crisis”
“Everywhere you go?”
Okay, that was funny.
He tells Oso that there are 3 kids in trouble at the same time. This is seriously the first time more than one kid was in trouble at once? Really?”
“You’re the only agent available”
Do they only have like 3 freaking agents?
Also, Oso will get his present when he finished the mission. Yay.
Anyway, Oso then asks Paw Pilot for his assignment codename. Oh yeah, this is another part of the formula I sadly didn’t get in Thundersmall. In this part, we get our bad Bond pun in the form of a trippy, yet catchy song sung by Paw Pilot.
But to be honest, it’s pointless to have a trippy song after TRAIN FAMILY HOLIDAY!
First, Oso must go to France to help with the Christmas part. Why France equal Christmas, I have no idea. Then we get an ad…which is odd, as preschool shows rarely get ads, especially on Disney Jr. But ah well.
After the break, Oso meets up with Celeste. The france thing is an excuse to teach kids some french thing or whatever.
Paw Pilot gives us our first special step. Yep, this what takes most of a normal episode. Gets steps to do something easy, he fucks it up at first, the kid realizes how to do it, and Oso is of little help.
I know this is cheap, but I’m skipping this entire part. Nothing really interesting happens, so you are not missing much. I just summed up an entire Oso episode in one paragraph, without all the filler.
Long story short, the kid sets up the wreathe with Oso’s “help”. Also, the “family is better than presents message” is hammered in again.
“I’m a special agent. I don’t really have a family”
This part, makes no sense. They say Oso is a “stuffed bear” which only comes up in like 2 episodes and I’m sure one of them was the Handy Manny crossover. I’ll review that one another day.
How can he have no family when the freaking TRAIN has one?? Where he does live? Where was he before he signed up for the agency? How DO you sign up?
Nothing about this show made sense in the first place, but they made it even worse with the “Oso has no family” crap. I don’t get it!
Anyway, now Oso is off to Israel. While he waits to arrive, he calls Wolfie to see what he is up to. He does this cuz Wolfie and Dottie are the people he cares about, and thus are his family. But we’ll get to that later.
Paw Pilot then gives us the special steps for Mission 2. She even gives us ANOTHER trippy song, but it’s all about Hanukkah.
…At least we finally have another Hanukkah song.
After a train goes to Israel from France in only a few hours, Oso meets up with Noah. I never got how the kids know about Oso and all that, as it brings in so many questions.
And again, I must skip this part as they go through the motions as before. Only Mom actually helps out a bit here so my earlier anger no makes no sense. Long story short, they light the menorah.
After another ad, Oso has to go to America for the Kwanza part. On the train, Oso calls Dotty but again, Dotty says she doesn’t time right now and says bye. To make things worse, the train can’t move cuz their path has been blocked by…well the sea.
Which begs the question: How did they not know there was a freaking ocean in the way? Did they not know that the path from Israel to America is a bit long?
And now it gets all sad as Oso can’t get to America to finish his mission. Guess they can’t call on Whirly bird…which is fine since he pops up here.
“Who were you expecting? Santa claus?’
No, I was expecting the Adams family.
After Oso hops on, Paw gives us the steps for our last section. And of course Whirly bird does something dumb cuz he has shit hearing. Wait, he doesn’t even have ears.
Anyway, Oso meets up with Braden. And again, I must skip it. Nothing really happens here, but it’s less dumb then most Oso/Kid stuff cuz lighting up the thingy is a bit more of a hassle then most things on this show, and it makes sense in this context.
Also, I didn’t mention the animation last time, so I will now. It’s a mixed bag. The stuff with Oso is decently passable I guess, and the Unique HQ is very nice to look at it. However, the humans….look like crap. I can’t show you but man, are they some of the most uncanny valley humans you’ll see in modern day CGI.
Anyway, the assignment is complete. But..
“Everywhere I go, I see people celebrating holidays with their families’
Oso realizes that even though he has no family, his best friends are just as good, and he shoiuld spend the holidays with them. This is kind of nice, but the real big moment comes in a bit.
So now Oso has to head back to HQ, and while he’s there, he sets up a Christmas tree. However, Wofly, Buffo and Dotty are not here. Even worse, Mr Dos isn’t there when Oso calls in.
And now Oso is really depressed. He got some presents from the kids, but they are no fun without someone to share it with.
PAW PILOT: I’m here, and I care about you.
Yeah, but you aren’t even real, you’re just a…face.
Either way,Oso has a small moment with Paw, until Buffo shows up, pissed on Paw’s plans ot seduce Oso. Buffo tells him Wolfie and Dotty are coming, but the blizzard obscures their vision.
Oso says he thinks lights can help them, cuz his assignment made him think of lights. Sure enough, he has Whirly bird shine a light to help Wolfie and Dotty. Wait, for once he learned something useful from a mission and he used it in a smart way?
WHAT SHOW IS THIS.
So yeah, Wofly and Dotty make it home, and Mr Dos calls in. So now Oso will get his special holiday present.
So what is it?
A bunch of the kids Oso has helped in previous episodes show up to greet him, along with each Digi-medal he got for their respective assignments.
Okay, that is some awesome Continuity porn.
“I think that spending the holidays with people you care about is the best present anyone could get…and I’m oh-so happy I could spend it with you too.”
…Then it just kind of….ends. They light up that tree, the kids show up, Oso makes a bad pun and it just…stops. We had at least a half hour of build up for…that?
But you know what? I really enjoy this ending. It’s actually genuinely sweet. It shows that while Oso has no family, his friends are the just as good AND all the kids he helped were more than kids he helped. They were friends too.
Like the finale, it’s a nice part that makes you reflect on the series. It’s not nearly as good as that episode, but since this came before it, it’s the next best thing.
It’s a fine ending that gives you that nice holiday feeling. That is not a bad thing. But how is the ep overall? Well.
This special was a mixed bag. For the most part, it’s critically, just okay. It’s mostly a typical Oso episode, with all the problems that plague other episode.
Oso can be dumb at times, it can be repetitive, the animation on the humans sucks, and like I said, there are a ton of things that make no sense. Like the show itself, it can be a confusing mess.
However, it has a genuinely sweet element to it. While it makes no sense for Oso to not have a family, I do think it is kind of sweet with how realize his friends are his family and all that.
Like with the finale, it’s a nice character moment, and like I said, the continuity is great. And while the “family is better than presents” message is cliche (and not subtle at all) I still feel it is a sweet thing, and it fits the story well.
So how is it? Half is the usual guilty pleasure stuff but the other half is genuinely decent. All in all, it probably only appeal ot those looking for something to riff. The finale may sway haters, but this will not.
Either way, I still enjoy it. …Also, does it anyone else it hilarious, that as a train, Rapide actually WANTS coal for Christmas? ….
Don’t worry, this is my last pure Oso review….cuz the Handy Manny crossover is not PURE oso.