“I just need you to be a little more positive, okay? You’ve been such a debby downer the past few years that it’s starting to ruin you a little bit”-Norty (sort of)
Hello, Spongey here.
2018 is coming to a close and…I’m tired. Not of the year itself, but of just…everything in general, ever since 2016. Since then pretty much everyone has been complaining about each respective year in some way.
It’s the same thing ever year: “Man this year sucked but there was some good so let’s try to make next year better” but then the following year sucks too so we repeat the cycle all over. I joined in all this and now I’m getting tired.
But in a way I can’t really blame everyone. Each year has crazy things but the social media age has made it easier to know about things we wouldn’t know or care about before. Between that and my personal life, things pile up to the point where I want to complain about it.
Sometimes I even make Deviant Art Journals where I go into my dumb inner problems I don’t like talking about!
There’s the things that sadly happen every year like tragic celebrity deaths and big tragedies, along side our current president and his pals being the worst, but then this year I had more personal stuff I can’t get into (which made this year worse than 2017 which had a lack of that stuff).
Oh and there’s the little issue of perhaps my biggest initial inspiration turning to be a scumbag, along with the rest of his scumbag website. Meaning a huge part of what I base my life around (reviewing films) is just tainted now.
All of this stuff combined does make it hard to not go through this every year, but I think it really needs to stop. Looking on the bright side can be incredibly different but said bright side does exist. Good things still do happening, and we also need people that can look on the bright side more easily. Constant pessimism is never healthy.
And that’s where this review comes in. I am not one to review some random cartoon episode since that’s the job of other people But I…really just NEEDED to talk about this. I was going to wait until a Next Best Gumball episodes to cover it, but given the message I think this review needs to happen sooner rather than later.
Gumball is a show that’s gotten a reputation on Twitter for all the “loledgy” jokes it can make sometimes but that really doesn’t paint the right picture. The thing that makes it good is that it can both do that and still have tons of sweet moments with a strong family dynamic.
This episode really sums up the nature of the show, while also giving us at timely message that frankly everyone needs to hear right now.
This will basically be an analysis on that as it is what made me want to do this review but I’ll still makes jokes and go into why it’s a great episode even aside from that. Either way, let’s dive into this rather special review.
This, is The Faith
Writers: Ben Boquelet, Tobi Wilson, Joe Markham, Jack Bernhardt, and Cariad Lloyd
The episode starts with the Wattersons watching the news as a new color has been discovered…but the TV goes black and white when they show it. And already the episodes concept is being used for good comedy.
But it’s not quite the TV’s fault as Anias walks in, having turned black and white as well. Nicole reveals it was black and white at the super market and yet it’s only just now effecting their house.
Only I could nitpick an episode this good.
As it turns out, the whole town of Elmore has had all the color sucked out of it which is already tuning things upside down. Like how Rocky’s blind date said she would be the one in gray. Again, using the concept for good jokes.
But it’s not just stuff like it, as someone tells the two that the “nice boy” who did the recycling has given up so a hole in the ozone has been burned. Yeah, this episode shows off the shows ability to put a silly spin on stuff like that while still telling a story as we’ll see.
That same kid seemed to do everything around here, so chaos spreads like the ducks he used to feed going bonkers. Oof, Elliot better watch out then. We get a few more good jokes out of this, as well as some suspense as they have to find this kid in an Elmore that has gone mad.
They did an episode sort of like this with Larry only this goes in a different and more dramatic direction. That kid also ran the scouts, so when Gumball and Darwin bump into them they have gone all Lord of the flies, which is kind of awesome.
Thankfully they haven’t earned many badges so that get out of that comically quick. They find a spot where it is constantly raining and it turns the kid who gave up is Alan. He’s this balloon guy who is always upbeat, much to Gumball’s anger.
They don’t get along much which has lead to some episodes with him at odds and frankly they tend to be mixed as the joke can get old. But that makes this one even better. Alan giving up is a pretty big deal, as you can see by how many things he did for the city.
“What have you lost, Alan?”
“My faith in the world”
Usually when I say “Releatable”, it’s a joke…but I think a lot of people actually can agree with him. The world has gotten so bad that Alan now thinks it’s pointless to even try.
“People don’t change. Goodness knows I try to stay positive and turn the other cheek but what happens when you run out of cheeks to turn?”
Seeing this really is heartbreaking, mostly because it is happening to a lot of us these days. We’ve seen just how bad things can get, and sometimes I can really agree what he’s saying here. I’ve seen positive characters feel a little down, but the nature of this really puts this example in a different league. Gumball is part of the problem as he still acts like a bit of a dick, even with how hard Alan tries to be friends with him.
So the nature of the world has even made the most positive guy in Elmore give up. How is Gumball going to fix it? With a song of course! And here is where the episode went from really good to truly special for me.
First off, this would only be number 2 on the journal I did since I think Nobody’s a Nobody has better flow, but this still is still amazing. The first half has Gumball going over all the reasons the world kind of sucks now, while throwing in some minor positives.
“The prospects for society are turning for the worst, the environment is suffering and cannot be reversed. But the nasty kid who makes everyday so rough, in the end gets hit by karma which will kind of make you laugh”
That part alone got a bit too real for me but damn if it’s not catchy.
“Life ain’t perfect it’s meeh, some bits are okay but most of it is BLEEH”
This song does not sugar coat the truth at all, so how exactly is Alan supposed to feel better? He gets a little verse to show of his voice that has him ask that. Said voice is amazing by the way.
“If you stop halfway up the mountain you will never see the view…You’ll wonder how on earth you can put up with all of this, then you’ll come across a memory of perfect bliss”
And that’s the message: Yes, everything can kind of suck but that’s exactly why we need people like Alan to look on the bright and bring a little happiness to the world. Even people like Alan can find that hard to just by thinking of a good memory he get happier.
Just with this reminder, Alan brightens up and the city is colorful again. And on top of all that, Gumball finally admits they are friends. Well, after a gag where he seems to stomp off.
“Eh, maybe a little”
D’aww, that’s the perfect the cap to all this. And now to dive further into the message.
This could have been more an essay format but I did an experiment already this month so this is how we’re doing it. This episode, mostly in the song, really impacted me.
For one it really shows the creativity the show has, with great comedy that it gets out of tis black and white world. Both sides of the show are seen here, being cynical but still positive in the end.
But unlike most episodes it uses that to tell a moral, one that may one of the most important I’ve seen. It reminds me of Tommrowland, which has a similar message about how we need to actually work towards fixing the world instead of just complaining about. it. That movie came out in 2015 and has aged sadly quite well. This episode’s moral is simpler but just as effective for me.
Staying positive is incredibly hard sometimes, even for some of the more positive people out there as Alan shows here. But we need people like Alan who can brighten things up just by existing.
The song shows him brightening up just by thinking of a good memory, and small things like that can help you. It can be a bit more complicated that at times but generally looking at the bright is helpful, no matter how small those bright spots are.
As Gumball said, if you stop halfway up the mountain you will never see the view. The message is quite simple but the way the song tells makes it really impactful. It makes it clear how hard it can to be positive, but you still have to try.
The nice part at the end is really powerful thanks to how the lyrics are, along with the singing and music. Everything comes together to create something special. This episode aired in February and coming off 2017, it was already very well timed.
But boy has it become more important the more this year has gone on. It will likely be relevant every year, so this review isn’t going to age at least. Full Disclosure. I come back to this a lot. Not just when I need some music, but when certain things happen.
Sometimes I feel like Alan, thinking too much about all the crap going on both in my life and the real world. Infact, I got the idea for this review after I went to this song after a pretty bad bout of self pity, which was after some more bad drama came up.
I’ve had media have an impact on me, but not many do that too much lately beyond just giving some extra joy in some way. This one flat out gives me a message to keep in mind. It really is that real compared to others that done things like this.
Although I will admit that Norty video I quoted at the top ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2ZPzkhoUf4 ) has kind of helped me too as it goes more into why we need to stop focusing so much on the negative, no matter how hard it can be.
(UPDATE: He did a new video that is frankly even better and serves the same purpose as this review does. Thanks, man Here it is:
I’m not saying to never be negative because of Yin and Yang and all that, but focusing so much on it is not going to solve anything.
So…yeah, this episode is pretty important to me. It shows that even the best of us can be bring brought down by how bad everything bad. We have no idea if things will get better, but they won’t improve unless we can pick ourselves up and do something about it.
It’s simple but incredibly effective with what I got out of it. Not many media can do that, but leave it to Gumball to do it by doing what it does best: Giving us some positvity despite some snarky humor poking fun at society.
Thank you Gumball, you’ve genuinely managed to help me a little bit this time.
It’s not often I use these posts to preach but this episodes moral just made me wanna do this. I don’t normally ask for you guys for anything, but I’d like you to mention some positives in your life you can think of when you feel down. Because that’s what this episode is all about. Almost every negative can come with a positive.
I’ve had ups and downs with the blog, but at least I’ve done an interview with an actual person in the industry which some bigger reviewers don’t often to. I still have some great online friends/family I can come to that somehow can tolerate me.
I put on a facade of being pretty joke-y but I’m got as many personal issues as anyone else (as you can tell by the fact that I had to go to some cartoon song and an Internet video to remind me of the good in the world. And also that journal. This post was mostly written a month ago) so things like that really do help me out.
Bottom line, every year can kind of suck but let’s try to look on the bright side because all this negativity can get tiring. As the song says…
“So keep following the light, no matter how much your breaks. Cuz this sad old world will need your hope, to fix it when it breaks. And at times when you can’t take I, and you want to day to end. Take my hand and you will find, life is beautiful, my friend!”
(Sorry to get cornier than usual…but that’s what this year has done to me, hope this was good either way. See ya for the Best/Worst Thi