Top 5 Regular Show Season 7/8 Episodes

Hello, Spongey here.

In late 2015, I counted down my favorite Regular Show Episodes to celebrate the release of the movie. And now Regular Show is over. However, it’s thankfully a case where the creators chose to end it ala Gravity Falls.

It certainly left a legacy behind it. It, and it along with Adventure Time helped bring both Cartoon Network and TV animation into a new golden age. In that last,i went into more detail into the show and why it’s so good, so you can there for more detali.

It’s not exactly perfect (as you saw in both my bad Episodes of Cartoons I like list), but It’s stll really good. I even liked the points where some fans were not as impressed. Honestly, despite some kinda wonky romance bits, Season 6 was fine, better than the same Season of Adventure Time honestly.

Back when I did the list, I planned to cover my favorite episodes of Season 7, the current Season at the time. However, I was going to combine it with a list of the best Adventure Time Season 7 episodes, as I also did a list for that show.

But CN took it’s sweet ass time airing AT season 7 and by the time it ended, RS Season 8 begun and I think it’s ending was announced. A bit too late to that idea by that point, and I figured this idea was better.

Adventure Time will likely get a list for Seasons 7-9 all together when the show ends, okay?

But back to this idea. Even with some rocky moments, I am glad Regular Show ended on it’s own terms, and before it went on TOO long. Honestly, I wish AT did the same instead of getting a 9th Season but ah well.

I figured the best way to celebrate it’s run is to discuss the best episodes from the 2 Seasons I could not cover there. Yep, we’re listing my fave eps from Season 7 and 8. But here’s the thing; doing a list for both season separately wouldn’t quite work.

For one, I don’t have enough to say about all 10 episodes that would go there, I had enough trouble with some of the 11 on my first list After thinking, I decided to just put the two lists together.

So yeah, these will be my favorite episodes from both seasons combined. I thought it was a good idea, even if there’s a chance one season may get more spotlight than the other.

Before we get into it, let’s go over the Seasons themselves. Season 7 was considered a return to form and I agree. It’s one of the better seasons, I think. There were a lot of stand out episodes and the arc they did with Rigby, which we’ll get to it, was really good for him.

They also dumped the romance and ended the whole Margret thing on a good note. CJ’s pretty much gone forever though but ah well. They also set up that crazy ending, which we will get to as well, well with episodes we thought were pointless.

My only issue with the season was that all the development Rigby got meant Mordecai didn’t quite as much. Otherwise, it was a pretty good season. Season 8 wasn’t as good though, but still decent. They went to Space which is a bit of a shark jump but it was decently handled. It did have some kind of purpose once the arc of that season begun and it was very interesting.

A bit odd but I’ll give my thoughts on it as we go on. My thing with Season 8 was that the episodes themselves were mostly just…good. Not quite as many stood out as previous seasons, mostly because quite a few were dedicated to the arc.

And in general the Good episodes didn’t stick out as much as in other seasons. However, it was still good, and the best episodes managed to leave a solid impact. And it ended the series well.

With that said, which episodes in these seasons were the best? Which kept up that Regular Show spirit the most and did the best job in closing out this great series? Time to find out.

This, is the Top 5 Regular Season 7/8 Episodes

5. California King (Season 7)

Writer: Ryan Pequin

Spoilers, there’s a tie later down the last and the episodes were originally in separate slots. Once I combined them, that meant there was an extra slot open for my new number 5. It was hard to pick as all the eps I could put were about equally great in some way.

But in the end I went with one that would be a good way to start the list, as is it’s greatness is somewhat typical but this show’s standards. That’s not even an insult, but let me explain.

Rigby throws away the Trampoline he sleeps on and gets a real bed, but he soon misses Trampy and goes to the dump to rescue Trampy but he finds that it’s harder than it sounds, because the dump is now ruled by a dude named Ziggy and the place is like a maze.

Or should I say…Labyrinth. Yeah, let’s cover that first. This episode has pretty much everything needed for a great Regular Show episode, including the 80s’ homages. This is all an homage to Labyrinth, complete with a Discount David Bowie.

And it had …interesting timing sadly, but it made for a really nice tribute. This concept leads to good jokes with the maze itself and just much Ziggy is like that character from the movie. It gives the episode a unique feel and gels with the other elements nicely.

The whole thingy with Trampy is just a way to get us into the plot as it is a basic “the new shiny thing isn’t always” better moral, but it’s a good way to get us into this. The best part of the episode is this talking can dude.

Yes, really. It starts as a gag but becomes important later on and even becomes heartwarming. Yeah, it’s that kind of episode. It takes typical things, combines them with weird things and makes it epic than heartwarming.

That’s what I meant by typical for this show. That’s not a bad thing, it’s why I like it so much. It: everything you need: David Bowie, 80’s homages, and unexpected heart with a can. Even if the cat comes in a tad later, it still fits pretty well and leads to a really nice ending. We never the can again but ah well, the show has enough reoccurring characters as it is.

The episode is fairly basic in it’s great-ness compared to others, but I like it that way. It gives you more than you may expect from the basic set up and delivers what you would expect from this show in terms of the execution.

And when it does it this well, it’s hard to complain. I really enjoyed the homage here and it indeed has the most sympathetic talking can in Media history. I won’t spoil anything but trust me, it’s nicely handled in the context of the episode.

This doesn’t build up to an amazing episode per say but a fairly great one. I like it just a bit more when I first saw it but given it”s on the list, I still really like it. The combination of elements gives me a tad more to say than my other choices for this spot and oddly enough, it’s basic great-ness makes it a fitting way to kick off the list.

Don’t worry, the other entries give me more to say. As it is, California King is the complete package with a fun homage and good heart. It’s got everything you want in an episode and it becomes a really solid episode with all these elements in there.

Yeah, let’s move on before I run out of ways to pad this out. Also, R.I.P. David Bowie, I’m a year late on saying that but it’s a fitting place to do it.

4. Struck by Lightning (Season 7)

Writers: Tobey Jones and Owen Dennis

When I first saw this episode, I found it to be great but somehow I thought I would like it slightly less upon re-watch. Thankfully, that did not happen and I like it ust asmuch. I don’t know, it just seemed like the kind of episode I would love slightly less later on, but whatever, here’s why it’s great.

Muscle Man and Hi Five Ghost are, spoilers, struck by lightning, and now suddenly forget everything about each other. As in, they know everything EXCEPT their friend, as they were struck while high fiving each other.

It’s the most specific lightning strike ever. This episode provides a unique on this kind of plot. It mostly has to do with exactly what they do with the idea of them forgetting their friendship.

They try to just get them to bond over what they usually do jog their memories, but it doesn’t work. They realize just how different they are and they don’t have fun with the activities they used to enjoy.

They even try just getting struck by lightning while high fiving but it doesn’t work either. See, the whole reason they become friends (shown in a whole episode in the previous season) is due to a certain event, and they just lead to them becoming close despite being wildly different people.

This angle is really fascinating. A lot of friendships can be circumstantial like this. Sure, they are still strong and some come from two people with similar interests meeting, but in cases like this, it’s different people they were able to bond after a certain situation.

It’s not like they hate each other after the memory loss, they just can’t find that connection now that they started from step 1. Muscle Man even sees why Hi Five Ghost wouldn’t care as much for him now.

It’s a fascinating angle to take and it makes the episode. Everything else is pretty good too, from the amusing moments to the expected heart at the end. It’s just slightly of this type of episode.

But it’s that angle that bring it up and makes everything else even better. The moment where they reenact that event in a last ditch effort is very well done and emotionally rewarding after everything that happened.

The pacing is also too, with good build up, and decent time given to each part, from them discovering they can’t bond anymore to Mitch’s dedication to fixing this. The way it all comes together makes it a pretty engaging episode.

It’s not the most emotional episode ever, but it’s well written and nice in the right areas. I noticed I have a soft spot for a good Muscle Man episode. Even my all time favorite is one. Despite how mixed he can be, he can make for a good protagonist when written well, which is mostly is later on.

I guess a jerk-ish character getting well done episodes makes them even better when they end up being as good as ones like this. Especially if the character keeps getting more development/depth as the episodes go on.

Even if fans somehow keep saying he’s horrible and are shocked when he gets his like 5th good episode. But even about how I hate the Steven Universe Fandom/

But yeah, this episode is really good. It makes a kind of typical plot interesting with a fascinating scenario and look at how friendships get started. It shows the bond of the two very well with a well paced story and great emotional payoff.

It’s another great Muscle Man episode and another really solid story for our list. It’s a really solid episode.

3. Meet the Seer (Season 8)

Writers: Benton Connor and Sam Spina

Oh boy, this is where things get interesting. I almost want to say something about every little thing in this episode but I don’t have that much time so I’ll try my best to keep this short.

SPOILERS FOR SEASON 8 UP TO THIS POINT AHEAD

Long story short, it turns out Pops is actually an ancient Chosen One god dude, and his brother, called Anti Pops, is an evil dude. It’s their destiny to fight every 14 billion years and restart the universe because they are evenly matched. …Yeah, it’s complicated and weird.

I’m not how people feel about this whole thing overall, but I can someone finding it really odd. I’ll say more about it as we go along, but in general, it works. Pops is still very much Pops, and it is enjoyable in just how cliché and odd it is.

It takes over the season but the way they handled it makes up for it. They did some good episodes with it, like the one where the whole episode is about using the power of training montages. Yes.

Then we get to this episode, where they must go to Planet Neilsen to …well, meet the seer get help. Yeah, when I heard the name of the planet, I knew something was up so let’s get into it.

See, ontop of being another episode of the whole Pops Arc thing, this may as well have been called Format Wars 3. Yeah, if you recall, I have The Last Laserdisc player on my previous list which had this crazy story about a literal format war. The sequel upped the ante and brought up streaming.

I said the following about that little series:

And not only do they bring up Dvd, but they bring up Internet Streaming! (which must be hilarious if you watch the show off iTunes or something). I think they could have saved it for a 3rd one but I guess they didn’t want to do a 3rd one ala Brilliant Century Duck Crisis Special. Although there is still Blu-Ray to talk about…”

Well I was wrong, they more or less did a third one and they do bring up Blu-Ray but it actually talks about streaming way more. Planet Neilson is a planet where all “Universes” can be seen under one roof, with analysts tracking the views of the universes.

Then streaming took over the planet and banished the Neilien workers, who try to preserve the old format.

Because, what happens when you want to watch your favorite universe, but the internet is down? Or if you want to see the glorious quality of a DVD instead of the poorly compressed video of streaming?”

You know, I think they might be saying something.

Yeah, this episode gets really meta and it’s pretty clear what they are saying with some of this. I’ll cover this part first. The commentary they have here is really spot on. Not subtle at all but it’s not the only aspect to the writing at least.

It’s not secret Networks these days have been relying a lot on streaming, ESPECIALLY Cartoon Network. They don’t rerun certain shows as much (except for you know what) and so many episodes are lea-i mean released early online before they air.

We won’t get into a huge debate here, but I’m not fond of the idea of streaming totally taking over. It’s useful for original shows on Netflix/Hulu and older shows that don’t air anymore, but it shouldn’t replace all new programming.

The networks have been trying to replicate the whole Netflix Binge thing which has had mixed results. Streaming a lot less reliable than DVD/Blu-ray and live Tv for the reason that qoute above showed pretty well.

Streaming is cool and all but it shouldn’t replace regular TV. Oh and on a side note, stop bombing every single chance you get. Please just have a normal schedule, this especially goes for the shows that ONLY seem to air on bomb format.

Sorry, I was on a roll there. Anyway, that’s part of why I like this one so much, I personally agree with the commentary so much.

The only issue I have is that when you look into it, the Neilson System is dumb. Ratings only count for those with a Neilson Box which everyone. So for most people, tuning in live does nothing.

Yes, it’s incredibly stupid but I don’t know about the details enough to really say more than it just sounds like a dumb system. But anyway, they are right about the whole psychical media thing,

They bring DVD back (now upgraded to HDDVD) and bring Blu-Ray in too. They are both good guys which is kinda odd given the previous episodes but it works in it’s own way, with the whole streaming thing.

They have this bickering sibling dynamic which gives us the best comedy in the episode. I don’t know why, their back and forth is just funny, especially with how superior Blu-Ray acts.

Then we have the Seer (voiced by Yyvette Nicole Brown), the watcher of the universes. She goes on about the Regular Show universe and how it started strong, got wonky with the romance, but got more interesting recently.

This episode is so amazingly subtle.

Okay jokes aside, this stuff is great too. They’re self aware about the ups and downs of the show and it’s pretty amusing. To be honest, this isn’t the tightest episdode or anything like that, it;s mostly a bit of action that sets up some stuff for the finale, like Blu-Ray’s introduction and how The Seer tells Pops that “doing something difference makes all the difference”

Usually that kind of episode isn’t my thing, but I really like this one. Mostly for how it brings back elements of the Format Wars series and serves as an interesting commentary on streaming

My own biases make me like this, I’ll admit. But on it’s own, it is enjoyable with the action and humor. It’s just not the most story focused episode ever, you know? But as it is, the small things make it a highly enjoyable one for me.

It’s the kind of episode that has certain I personally appreciate, which makes up for certain flaws or aspects of it. The nature of it won’t make it a fave for everyone, but I think it was really good with it’s commentary, action, and comedy.

It also did a nice job gearing us up for the finale, along with the following episode where they make a Blu-Ray Box Set of their adventures.

It’s almost like their telling CN something.

But yeah, a really good set up for the finale as well as providing interesting comedy and humor. I like it.

2. The Eileen Plan Rigby’s Graduation Day Special (Season 7)

Writers: Toby Jones, Owen Dennis(Graduation Day only), Ryan Pequin, and Minty Lewis

Yep, this is the tie I was referring to earlier. Discussing these two together just made sense, especially as a way to talk about Season 7’s Arc. Of course, we’ll go over the earlier one first to introduce this arc.

While the gang is chilling, Eileen reveals she made this list of things she wanted to do when she was older, back when she was younger. One of them was to marry someone super smart. Spoilers, Rigby isn’t super smart.

Rigby is bothered by this, since not only is he not smart, he hasn’t graduation high school. So he decides to fix that by going back to High School to get his diploma.

As you can tell, this really shows Rigby’s development throughout the series. He went from a slacker to a slacker with a girlfriend that wants to finish High School. The Eileen thing alone is interesting, given how he acted in her debut episode.

I wish they didn’t wait until the very end of Season 6 to hook them up but better late than never. These 2 ended up being pretty cute together and this episode showcases their relationship very well.

Eileen shows she finds her old list silly but Rigby still wants to improve himself for her. Eventually he goes on to do for himself, as he sees he needs to finish High School. This is also a nice extension of his arc in the movie.

On it’s own, this is a nice Rigby story and also some good humor. The jerk jocks in his class are amusing but I especially like the teacher who isn’t a jerk (not even close, really) but is pretty neutral to everything and has moments like when warns them not to fall in a pit in this cave they go to.

It may not prevent you from passing the class, but it will prevent you from being alive”

I don’t why, but I love that line. Anyway, Rigby’s studying conflicts with some dates which creates an interesting conflict as he doesn’t want her to know about this. You know what’s going to happen in the end but the journey is a good one.

Of course, there’s a heartwarming ending where Eileen says she doesn’t want anyone super smart but Rigby still wants to do this for himself at this point. It’s a really nice ending especially with a little thing they do that’s nice and also kind of amusing.

Overall, a strong episode in it’s own right but it becomes stronger by starting an arc. They had more episodes with him dealing with High School stuff, and they were pretty solid too in various ways.

Which bring us to the Season 7 finale, Rigby’s Graduation Day Special. You know, in case you forgot this was a 22 minute episode. Actually, they have to put “Special” in the titles of the specials so they can qualify for an Emmy. An odd rule but okay. The basic plot doesn’t need to be explained so let’s get into the details.

For obvious reasons, this shows Rigby’s development further by showing how far he’s gotten. He still has trouble, as he can’t think of a good speech which leads to some nice scenes. We see he still is far from perfect, but he’s gotten a lot better and when he does give his speech, it’s pretty awesome. I’ll even spoil my favorite line from it:

When you do the hard stuff, it becomes no that hard”-Rigby 2016

There’s some other stuff in here, tying into other arcs. There’s a small thing with Pam, a woman Benson fell for which is nicely done here. The ending of it…well, we’ll get to that.

The most interesting aspect of this episode is Mordecai. He sees Rigby doing well and gets kind of jealous as he liked being smarter than him. He isn’t really a jerk here though, you see where he’s coming from as it’s hard to deal with someone who is better than you in generally, but especially in a situation like this.

With all the development for Rigby in this season, it was nice for Mordecai to get some of it. There’s some nice scenes with them, like when they both sulk while one puts on their “Sad Songs Mix” which is great.

My only problem with this part is…well not quite an issue with the episode itself. This whole thing with Mordecai? Never addressed again. Once the ending happens, we never focus that deeply on his issues in general for the rest of the series.

Some other stuff is ditched in Season 8 but this was the most disappointing. I would have liked to go deeper into how he feels, maybe show him trying to get further in life or something like Rigby did.

But nope. At least they get some closure but that’s another story. Thankfully, this stuff works very well on it’s own. All this makes for a great special but then we have the ending. Okay, so early in Season 7 they had The Dome Experiment Special which has the park being put under a dome for an experiment and after shenanigans, the show moved on and we figured the dome was a one off thing.

But it comes back in The Button, only this time they can go in and out freely. It lead to some interesting episodes, including the whole Pam thing. This episode has the dome finally packing up but at the end, they get called there for something.

And then it blasts off into space. Yep. This blow everyone’s minds when it aired and it’s a crazy twist. Thankfully, it was handled well and even leads into the whole Pops thing. Infact, you can see Mr Mallered shedding a tear as this is happening, which is a nice touch and good foreshadowing.

Yes, that means the whole Pops thing was planned out in early Season 7. That’s really good planning there and it makes certain things worth it. The way this all came together makes it so this ending works even better than when it aired.

Overall, these episodes provide great development for Rigby, helping making fully 3 dimensional compared to what he seemed early on. They both do a great job starting and ending his arc while being good experiences on their own.

I like the latter a bit more just because of all the elements together and the ending, but they are about equal in terms of greatness. They do their job very well and are highly enjoyable for their solid stories.

These episodes really show how good the Season mostly was and provided us with a very solid arc. Overall, some great stuff.

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

I’ll have two per season to make it fair.

SEASON 7

The Lunch Club: This is a good homage to Breakfast Club that actually makes sense on it’s own and provides good development for Rigby and Benson, it’s really good.

Guys Night 2: “Thomas” comes back and they close his little arc very nicely, makes his whole reveal worth It.

SEASON 8

Space Creds: Another one where a simple situation becomes something crazy with a weirdly nice story that the leads couldn’t care less about. Nice and amusing.

Christmas in Space: I’ll talk about this in December (hint hint) but it’s really funny and has a neat format.

And my favorite Regular Show Episode from Season 7/8 is…

1. A Regular Epic Final Battle

Writers: Toby Jones, Owen Dennis, Ryan Pequin, and Minty Lewis

Look,you know me. I don’t like to be predictable or go for the easy choice…But come on! Not even I couldn’t keep this from being number one! And keep in mind, the Gravity Falls didn’t get number one on that last…because I had a bigger connection with another ep but that tells you how good this mostly was, even when compared to the rest of these gems.

Let’s get into, there’s quite a bit to cover. It’s split into 3 parts so we’ll discuss each part separately. Part 1 is mostly set up with the gang arriving on Loliland for the big battle. Yeah, the planet is a reference to JG Quintel’s original student short, which is really cool.

It works as a calm before the storm kind of thing, by nicely building to the fight. It also has some comedy with Anti Pops needing to hitch a ride with a space cab. Yeah, as evil and crazy as he is, they do some good comedy with him as he’s obsessed with giving services bad star ratings.

He’s voiced by Robert Englaund which is did know until now. His debut was about dreams. Subtle.

After seeing how each battle has gone in the past, they want to do something different. They plan a big prank to play on Anti Pops so the fight can end early, in their favor. Pops isn’t sure about all this, which I’ll get into later.

At the end, they pull it off and all sorts of bad stuff happens to him. But just as they cheer, he gets back up again.

That tickled”

End Part 1. Part 2 is pretty much one big battle. Seriously all 11 minutes of it is a huge battle, and it is glorious. But it also has good jokes, this being my favorite:

Do you think of how many people we’ve seen probably die?”

Eh, I’m sure they’re all fine”

The fight is just amazing. Besides Pops and Anti Pops ducking it out, every single person you can think of helps out featuring tons of references to earlier episodes. It’s the Duck Special turned up to 11!

Pretty much everything happens here and it is energetic and incredibly fun to watch. There’s even jokes during the fight itself to make even more fun. Going into further detail would spoiling the fun so ‘ll just say it is really entertaining.

I won’t even spoil how it ends an dhow part 3 starts. They do something so funny I won’t say anything about but trust me, the start of part 3 is pretty crazy and really funny. But that brings us to part 3…

SPOILERS AHEAD. I can’t discuss part 3 without going into the ending which I usually don’t spoil on these lists but I have to give my thoughts on it so if you just want to skip to my overall spiel on the finale and such, just skip to where it says “End Spoilers”, okay?

There isn’t much to say about most of part 3, it has the same energy as part 2, along with something really neat at the start. I especially how the fabric of reality breaking is shown as storyboards, kind of like Gumball’s The Money turned up to 11.

Now, Pops hasn’t liked the idea of having a real battle with Anti Pops as he isn’t violent. He even tries befriending him which fails miserably. And how does he stop him? He gives him a bug hug which makes him shrink and causes him to change as they fly towards the sun.

I haven’t heard too many opinions on this but I can see some being mixed as a huge solves the problem and Anti Pops becomes good. It also kinda of clashes with that episode where Pops attempt to be friend him fails.

Stories like this can be mixed if they go the easy way out like this but here…it mostly works. How so? Well, besides it being not overblown they do something rather interesting.

This is the biggest SPOILERS so if you were somehow still here, go away unless you’ve seen it or don’t care. Pops dies. If you stayed here, that’s your punishment.

But yeah, he and Anti Pops go into the sun and they both die. But it’s in a Bittersweet way as Anti Pops changes rather before than and Pops assures Mordecai and Rigby that everything will be fine.

So while a hug solves everything, Pops still makes a heroic sacrifice and Anti Pops does die. I like to think it’s to show that he was still bad but he can change his ways in the after life. Spoilers we don’t see where either is now, but we do hear Pops…

But yeah, this was the most shocking part of the finale. Killing off a character in what is technically a kids show is just crazy. I suppose they only got away with it since it’s the finale and Pops is already pretty old.

Jokes aisde this moment is incredibly emotional and so is the ending itself. It’s just a montage showing what happens afterwards but it’s really well edited, gives us neat information and it’s all set to David Bowie’s”Heroes”. The song pick was perfect by the way for obvious reasons.

The entire montage is perfect as it shows us the fate of the characters to make up for how not all of them got a big detailed send off. Some did get episodes beforehand like Thomas in Guy’s Night 2.

All the peeks we get make sense and the final note…well this won’t be totally 100 percent spoiled but it’s really awesome. It gives us nice reflection and a perfect ending line. It’s an emotionally satisfying ending that is anything but regular.

END SPOILERS.

Overall, this finale is fantastic. Yeah, the payoff to the battle is slightly mixed but they make up for it with tons of epic energetic action that makes all 3 parts fun to watch, and an incredibly emotional ending that gives the characters all a nice send off.

The ending line is also almost as perfect as Phineas waving goodbye as far as ending moments go. There’s also minor thing in the ending part some may take issue with but I agree with the writers on that it’s more fitting.

So yeah, this was a strong finale full of action and emotion. I’ll say right I kind of perfer the Gravity Falls Finale as far as recent cartoon finales go, but that’s more of a preference thing. It’s still a great finale.

A great finale to a great show. I think it’s easy to see why it’s my faorite episode across both Season 7 and 8.

And those were my favorite Regular Show Season 7 and 8 Episodes. It wasn’t my most detailed list but I wanted to do this to talk about the finale and say goodbye to the show. It deserves it.

It was a very enjoyable show that also manged to have some emotion to it here and there. It helped get CN out of it’s rut and I’m glad on a nice note. ..Even if it needed an real marathon to send it off.

Yeah, I’m upset about that too.

Overall, Regular Show was very good, full of solid episodes, even if it has it’s flaws as we’ve discussed before. It ended on a perfect note, as it should.

So yeah, this was fun. But you know, I’m not sure it’s enough. I want to do something a little extra. There’s gotta be something else I can do that I haven’t quite done on the blog yet. But it’s not like there’s something you could say, scene by scene review, that could tie into all this..

Regular_Show_the_Movie

…Oh yeah, that’s perfect!

See ya.

Jolly Good Show”

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General Review: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2

I’m Mary Poppins, Y’all!”

Hello, Spongey here.

It’s been a bit since a General Review of a Live Action Movie so let’s do one. And of course it’s a Comic Book Movie. The latest from the MCU, no less! We’ve got 3 this year, and our first is a sequel.

I talked about Guardians of the Galaxy in my look at Phase 2 here on the blog but in short, it was a really fun break from the formula with a unique style, a great cast, and even a bit of heart.

It’s become one of the more beloved entries and while I do like others more, it’s still really good. With how popular it became, of course we have our sequel. There isn’t a whole to say before we start, since James Gunn is the sole writer/director here thus not much to say on that front.

Most MCU sequels tend to be good with how they really dive into the character development, with all the backstory out of the way. Heck, some of my fave MCU films so far like Iron Man 3 and Winter Solider are sequels, so I have high hopes for this.

The reception has been pretty good, but some people have been slightly mixed in terms of the story. Interesting. Will the guardians wow me once again, or will it fail to hook me on any kind of feeling?

Let’s see.

This, is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2

The Guardians travel throughout the cosmos as they help Peter Quill learn more about his true parentage. There’s more to it but that’s the basic gist.

Marvel sequels can sometimes be mixed as for every Winter Solider, there’s an Iron man 2. I am glad to say that this one is more on the latter side. This is a really good sequel that I honestly enjoyed just as much as the first movie.

Yeah, it has some problems when it comes to the script but the first film had it’s minor faults too and they make up for it by being just damn enjoyable. And sweet but we’ll get to that. Let’s discuss the flaws first.

I will agree with some people on how this movie can have a bit of excess sometimes. Not that it has too much going or whatever, but sometimes it can have breaks between certain important things to focus on something else, and even if the other thing is cool, it can go on too long before we get back to what I was more interested in.

It perhaps takes a bit long to get into the real plot but the opening few minutes do set things up well enough for that not to be a huge problem. It’s hard to really describe but the script could have been tighter when it comes juggling the plot elements, you know?

While the humor still works, there is one or two place where they could have a cut a joke like when Mantis wakes up Drax and they have to remind us he finds her gross before we move on.

But my problems aren’t too big and as I said, the rest is so good I can forgive some minor issues here and there. This has everything that made the first great and then some. The humor is still there, to the point where it can compete against Lego Batman for funniest movie I’ve seen so far this year.

Granted, I haven’t seen a ton so far but whatever. The dynamic with the characters is still strong and they provide many funny moments all over the film. There’s also the general sense of fun, with the added addition of the action scenes and of course the soundtrack.

I was just flat out enjoyed this one, which doesn’t always with how critical I can be sometimes. It also wisely doesn’t rehash the first film, it just takes what made the first film worked and ramps it.

Especially in terms of the story. The main emotional core is Starlord meeting his father, played by Kurt Russel and dealing with his feelings. Now, they do go in a direction most stories like this do which I usually don’t like, but it works really well here,.

Without spoiling it, what they do isn’t made too obvious and it hits me in the gut like it should, and like it does for Peter. Ego (subtle, by the way) is very charming and what they with him ends up being very engaging.

They tie this in to themes of family and they pull it off. Especially on Peter’s side, I totally side with him here as he goes through all this stuff with his Dad. There is one scene with him and Gamora just kind of made me roll my eyes with how cliché it was, but other wise this story was good.

The other characters are still solid with the writers fleshing them out more. They all are funny and each one good moment. Drax meets this woman raised by Ego who can feel other people’s feelings, which is mostly well done and again, gives Drax more development. Although I could have done without the gag of him finding her gross or they could have hooked up a bit more.

I don’t know, maybe less romance in this kind of movie is good. They managed to avoid anything too serious with Peter and Gamora after all. Speaking of Gamora, she has a thing with her sister that’s nice and Rocket gets his good scenes among his funny asshole lines.

Baby Groot is cute. That’s all there is say about that.

They also surprisingly flesh out Yondu very well. He’s given a backstory and he gets some real development. Him and get Rocket get an especially good scene together. I didn’ think he would be one of the best parts of this movie but there you.

This brings me to the heart. The first one had it’s heart and this has even more of it places. That’s another reason I don’t mind a lot of the stuff going on, it leads to some great emotional scenes.

The most notable part being the ending. No spoilers but it really works well with the themes present and it has just a great note to end. It gives you the feels so to speak. The excess works better when it comes to the heart than the humor and even action to an extent, I think.

The small issues in terms of writing and coherence do exist, so like the first one it’s not objectively the best MCU film, but also like the first one, the great things make it one of the most enjoyable.

Although we really didn’t need FIVE post credit scenes, only one of which is important.

There are some cracks here and there, with a bit of excess in places, among other minor things, but overall Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 is a really strong sequel with the same humor we’ve come to expect, along with great visuals and action, alongside the same strong cast of character and quite a bit of heart.

I really liked this movie, being really enjoyable and even really sweet, in the same way the first film was. I say it’s on the same level as the first, with the strongest parts being better, but the middling parts being about on part, which evens it out.

If you liked the first one, you will enjoy this one. How much depends on you, but it’s more of what you liked from before, so you’ll at least get some enjoyment. If you didn’t like the first one, you may like some parts more but overall you’re better off skipping it.

But if you do dig the first one, check this sequel out as it’s very strong on almost all fronts. A solid start for Marvel’s 2017 slate.

Grade: B+

Wow, 3 B+ and it’s only May. Either I’m getting nicer or 2017 is off to a solid start with this first quarter. Can’t wait for Summer Movie Season to start in June. No, it hasn’t started yet, Summer isn’t in may, duh.

Anyway, I’m not sure if I’m seeing anything else in May. I’m interested in some films but I’m not 100 percent on anything. So next might be an animated Superhero who runs around in his undies, but we’ll see.

See ya.

(Oh and Stan Lee’s cameo was great…as was Howard the Duck’s. Seriously, we gonna get that Howard reboot?)

Posted in General Reviews, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Mulan 2

Mulan2DVD

Once there was a girl who was true to her heart. She was so true to her heart that everyone died. The End.

Hello, Spongey here.

There’s a fair number of things that it seems every reviewer like myself has to cover. A Bayformers movie, a Uwe Boll film, etc, you know what I mean. I’ve tried to cover most of them but there’s one stone left unturned.

Oh yeah, it’s time for …a Direct to Video Disney Sequel.

Yay.

As you all know, from 1994 to 2008, Disney made tons of Direct to Video sequels to their hit films. They weren’t all awful but most were mediocre and really not worth watching. They were really infamous until John Lasseter finally stepped in and stopped this.

Disney is thankfully not doing DTV films in general anymore. They are steeping back into doing animated series of their films but that trend was pretty good, so I’m fine with that.

I myself was lucky enough to have only seen the few decent ones. Lion King 2, Aladdin 3, etc. I hadn’t seen one I disliked until semi-recently. You can’t blame me for avoiding the infamous ones.

But last December, Doug Walker covered them all in Disneycember so I got…curious. See, Disney, for whatever reason, has packaged some of these sequels with the originals in certain DVD/Blu Ray Releases.

So was the case for Mulan and The Hunchback of Notre Dame which I picked up. Since I had the sequels, I figured I’d watch the day before Doug posted his review for each. …Yeah, I can see why the Sequels get a bad rap.

Mr Enter covered Hunchback 2 pretty well already and I have nothing to add to it. Instead we’ll tackle the sequel to Mulan. I’ll get to talk about the original further someday (hint hint) but in short, I think it’s pretty good.

It has problems, like Mushu being kinda of annoying and the villain being weak, but it’s still a solid film with a strong lead and it’s a fun adventure with “I’ll Make a Man out of you” being one of the best Disney songs of all time, like seriously.

So of course in 2004, Disney decided to crap all over it as they liked to do back then. This one has always been cited as one of the worst Disney Sequels, especially after Doug ranted on it so much that he broke his mic yelling.

Not even kidding about that.

Since I’m reviewed it, you can tell I agree about it being pretty bad. It is easily the worst of the DTV Sequels I’ve seen so far, especially when it comes to insulting the original.

Before we go any further, I should remind you that I first saw this the day before Doug’s review went up, meaning most of my opinions were formed before he said anything, the points others brought up just simply made me really want to chip in.

With that said, let’s go over the creative team. Of the 2 diretors, one has done nothing and the other has done other DTV Sequels like…Lion King 2. Huh. Oh the THREE writers, one did nothing, one did…Heaven is for Real, and the last has done quite a bit, from other Dtv Sequels, to Shrek (Not kidding), to Disney Sitcoms. He’s even still on the latter to this day, writing for Bizzardvark.

Yeah, an odd group to be sure. With that said, how does this sequel bring dishonor to us all? Let’s take a look.

This, is Mulan 2

The movie opens with The Ancestor Ghost people honoring Mushu with his pedestal as the guardian dragon person. Right off the bat, he’s an annoying jerk about it.

Mulan saves China one time and now he thinks he’s the Emperor”

We just started and already I hate one of the main characters, that’s impressive. But I’ll wait until later to rant on him, oh boy.

After the title sequence, we see some of Mualn’s family hanging in what is the only good scene. There’s some amusing banter here.

The children all love Mulan”

And why not? She’s strong, she’s brave, she’s beautiful”

If you to say that, it’s probably not true…especially in this movie.

We meet Mulan as some kids want learn from her. Her first lesson is about balance. She teaches this through our first song. Now to be fair, this song is okay-ish and the best song in this movie.

That isn’t much as the rest are not good. Not awful but there’s too few, some are rehashes and the music just isn’t grand enough for what these songs are trying to accomplish. This becomes more apparent later.

After the lesson, Shang shows up and proposes to her. We don’t actually hear said proposal because pfft, who wants to see that? Also, this is supposedly only a month after the first movie so maybe they are going too fast.

But it’s Disney so whatever.

Mushu is actually happy to hear it, the only time in the entire movie where he’s close to being a good person.

This is must be a magical moment for you”

It’s not every day you get engaged”

No, I meant telling me you’re engaged. After all, I gave you and pretty boy the hook up”

…Nevermind. Okay, let’s get this out of the way. Mushu is far and away the worst part of this movie. As I said, he was a bit annoying in the first movie, but only a bit. He’s actually okay for most of it, and you at least can tell he does care about Mulan on some level.

Here? Nope. He’s an annoying selfish asshole for all of this. But oh trust me, it gets worse. Mushu announces to The Ancestors that Mulan is getting married.

They are very happy…because when Mulan gets married, Mushu loses his pedestal…for some reason. Can’t say I blame for throwing a party over this.

He’s distraught but Cricket attempts to set him straight.

‘I gotta kiss my pedestal goodbye, because my girls’ happiness comes first”

Good on you. Mulan’s folks appear to give her and Shang a gift to remind them of how harmony is important and yada yada.

Mulan and Shang are as different as sun and rain. And when the infatuation wears off, their tree of life is gonna end up with root rot. Oh sure she seems happy, that’s the real tradgey here. The girl don’t even realize how miserable she is. That’s why I gotta nip this thing in the bud…This is not about my pedestal, this is about Mulan making the biggest mistake of my, I mean her life!”

.I…f…where do I even start with that? What the hell?! I told he gets worse. Mushu went from just being annoying to be a gigantic selfish asshole. Yes, he plans to break up just to keep his pedestal.

Do I even need to explain why this is bad?! Before he could be seen as harmless but this is just…..wooooow. And this is more or less the main conflict, believe ir not. Oh, there’s more but most of it wouldn’t happen without Mushu’s dumb plan.

More on that as we go on.

The Emperor calls on Mulan and Shang so they head to the palace where he tells them the Mongols’ have been attacking but he has a plan. He wants to form an alliance with another kingdom.

You will across 3 princesses to Qui Gong. There, they will marry Lord Chen’s sons, and seal this critical this alliance…If this wedding does not take place, the alliance will crumble and the Mongols will destroy us”

And here’s our real plot. At first it doesn’t sound too bad, but needless to say the execution is….weak. Remember that last part, it’ll be important later.

Mulan isn’t sure about this arranged marriage thing, even though it’s at least for a good reason. Trust me I’ll say more about that as we go on, like everything else. Shang only needs 3 men to help and he picks Yao, Ling and Chien Po of course.

Even though they’re far from ideal picks, especially in this movie. Heck, we do a comedic cut to them being fools. They’re sad because they can’t find a girl. I care very deeply about this. They jump into our 2nd song, a rehash of A Girl Worth Fighting for.

Meh. Being based on a good song gives it an advantage, but it’s still pretty lazy. It doesn’t even last long before Mulan and Shang show up. Lame.

That night, they start their mission and meet the 3 Princesses. They talk a bit and head out.

Just enough time to stop Mulan from making the biggest mistake of my, I mean her life”

I hate you.

I think now is a good time to discuss the animation. For the most part, it’s actually pretty good especially by DTV Sequels standard. The character animation is decently fluid and the backgrounds are nice.

It’s not without it’s problems. The character animation can be a bit too much, leading to some uncanny expressions, especially in an infamous scene we’ll get to. But for the most part, the animation is the one of the few positives to be found.

Anyway, Mulan is starting to have 2nd thoughts on this due to the arranged marriage thing.

In an ideal world, everyone would marry for love. But the world isn’t perfect”

I know, because this movie exists.

While he’s a tiny bit too accepting of all this, he’s got a point. But I’m sure the film will see both sides of this and treat this issue with respect and not horribly dumb it down.

Yao falls for one the princesses and she seems to return the feelings.

But you didn’t even talk to him”

A true romantic can tell”

Arraigned marriage is bad, but saying you’re in love without speaking to them is good. Huh. It’s worth noting most of the film’s screentime is spent on the 3 princesses, these 3 “Soldiers”, or Mushu with Mulan being more of a side character for most of it.

What, were you expecting Mulan 2 to be about Mulan? Puh-lease.

They take a break and the princesses interact with the bumbling soldiers, but the one Ling is paired with isn’t too crazy about it. Which of course means they are meant to be.

Many people call me a royal pain”

Gee, I have no idea why. Also, Ling is annoying here.

Sadly, it’s time for Mushu to become important again as he puts his plan into action. We get a montage of him trying to mess with the two but it just ends up giving them some cute moments.

At one point a horse stomps on Mushu. That’s the highlight of the movie.

He accidentally makes their carriage go out of control and crash but they make it out fine. Great, now Mushu accidentally almost killed everyone. Lovely.

I bet he and Mulan are two nasty words from an all out feud”

Have I mentioned I hate you?

This indeed happens as the argue over if they should follow their map or not.

What if we get lost?”

The we pull over and ask directions”

We don’t need to pull over and ask directions. We have a map”

What if is with men and asking directions?”

After writing that, I read it in Dory’s voice instead. You’re right, I would much rather be watching Finding Nemo/Dory right now.

Yao conveniently finds a Forrest path which solves that argument, then they kiss and make up. Well, it’s nice they can things out quickly I guess. Mushu is still going to be a dick though.

Mei is really starting to fall for Yao and wants to give up the mission. Again, interesting set up for something they totally botch. This brings up to our next song, with them going on about how they want to be like other girls.

…In this time period, where girls normally don;t get to do all this crazy stuff they sing about wanting to do. Infact, they really shouldn’t want to be like other girls. Mulan, the title character, isn’t like “other girls” and that’s kind of a good thing.

Yeah, they kind of missed the point here.

Mushu goes up to a half-sleeping Shang and tricks him into thinking she’s bad mouthed him, using a fake Mulan and his Mulan impression. I didn’t know Mushu was good at impressions. And by that I mean just having the actresses say lines so we can excuse Shang being too stupid to not realize Discount Eddie Murphy (because of course even this movie was beneath the real guy) and Ming Na sound nothing alike.

Jokes aside, screw Mushu. Like wow, here he goes too far. This is just, wow. Shang gets up and yells at Mulan leads to this!

mulan

…Told ya the expressions get…out of hand.

But yeah, Mushu tells Mulan maybe this is a sign it won’t work. I know I’m getting repetitive but my god he is just so terrible here! His shtick isn’t charming or funny, it’s so bad! I’m not sure how you could possibly do something like this without making the character in question horrible but this was most certainly not the way to do it.

We interrupt the plot to have the guys and princesses go to this village without permission, for reasons that elude me. This pisses off Mulan but pleases Mushu, because I guess the writers figured we haven’t wanted to punch him in the last 5 seconds so let’s fix that.

They’re together?”

Mhmhm”

Together together?”

Don’t you understand Chinese”

…You’re speaking English.

Mulan tells Mushu that Shang shouldn’t know about this so of course he wakes him up. Boo. At the village, the princesses and the 3 guys start to bond which I guess is almost nice, but at this point all hopes of me caring about anything in this movie are gone.

Mulan shows up and as soon as they quickly explain, she’s happy. That was easy. Shang on the other hand, is not happy. He yells at them for even thinking of dropping the mission and tells off the bumbling solider guys.

I get why he’s mad, but yeesh, he’s a jerk here. He even goes off on Mulan to make him even worse.

This assignment has made it clear. We are very different people”

Maybe too different”

I could go off on Mushu, but to be fair, what he does just brings up some issues they always had and makes them address them, but the execution is beyond contrived and the way they settle this later…oh boy, we’ll get there.

So they get back on the trail and everyone’s sad…except Mushu.

Isn’t it a great day?”

Fuck you.

Mulan is too mopey to really talk to Mushu and he actually starts to feel guilty. Then he confesses. Okay, he gets one point. Doesn’t make for EVERYTHING ELSE but whatever.

You mean you got between Shang and Me so you could keep your job?’

When you say it like that it sounds horrible! Because it is.

What you did was unforgivable”

I see the movie is reviewing itself now.

Mulan sees one good thing about this: It means all her problems with Shang weren’t real problems and were just due to Mushu so that solves everything. Yep,there there absolutely no issues under the surface that Mushu happened to bring up

Yeah, they not only just sweep their problems under the rug but it makes basically the entire personal conflict of this film entirely pointless! There is still the arranged marriage stuff I guess, but making half of your plot based around a misunderstanding caused by a character being terrible is bad writing, to say the least.

Then because reasons, Bandits attack to give us an action scene. To be sure, any excuse to break up the crappy story is fine by me and this does add something. Mulan and Shang end up up on a bridge, which the bandits cut down.

Mulan is able to save herself and she’s holding Shang too but he decides to be heroic just goes “Save yourself” when he falls. I appreciate the attempt at drama but at this point, I just don’t care.

They treat this as dramatically as they should at least, they just happened to ruin it with the bad writing before hand. After this, the princesses will go through with the wedding. And the scene right after shows Shang surviving.

Eh, would have been more dramatic if we found out at the same time Mulan did. Also, of course he didn’t die, the movie would have been over quicker.

They make it to their destination and Mulan tells the Emperor here that the princesses all died and she will be arranged to be married in their place. Yeah, she’s that broken up over Shang’s “Death”.

I guess I could see this working with all the writing problems, especially regarding Shang and Mulan, it doesn’t exactly hit it’s mark. And of course, the person she is getting married to not only a jerk, but a tad young.

She’s so old!”

Because to really show that arranged marriage is only bad, he can’t be a good person. Nope. Shang meets up with the others, who are glad he’s alive. So thus he runs off to save the day.

I would give up 1000 pedestals to stop this”

Ever heard the phrase “Too little too late”, Mushu?

A bit later, the wedding starts, but Shang crashes is, romantic comedy style. Yep, this is what Mulan has come to. Not fighting evil people, just a big cliché like this.

Lord Qin wants Shang seized for disrupting a wedding that will unite the kingdoms but then Mushu steps in, pretending to be the Golden dragon of unity through contrived means. He forces Qin to wed Mulan and Shang as they are right for each other. Also he says the princesses can marry who they please.

That’s nice and all…but what about the kingdoms? Do we have an alliance or what? Are they all fine just because this guy told them it’s fine? Are we going to address or that just imply China is doomed?

Because…uh yeah, that’s a point others brought up even I wasn’t focused on when I watched this. Marrying for love is nice and all, but are we just going to ignore the pretty legit reason you’re doing this? Qin is treated like a bad guy, but he just isn’t!

This is a pretty huge oversight on the writers part. They could have at least handwaved this, or even tried to find a comprise that would still unite the kingdoms. But I guess everything is fine because of an incredibly forced and rushed climax. Ugh.

Later, Mushu is leaving his pedestal. Sorry, after all the shit he did, this turn around fails hard. Shang shows up and combines the family temples which apparently means Mushu keeps his pedestal.

Yeah, that thing that was his motivation for being so horrible in even the movie’s eyes? He gets it after all. I don’t even know what to say other than ugggggggh. Oh, and Mulan told Shang all about Mushu and Shang isn’t at all upset over the crap he did because whatever.

Shang even did the temple thing even though it would make more sense to be Mulan’s idea. Mushu then goes right back to being a jerk to everyone, including the ancestors. Thus showing he has learned absolutely nothing.

Fuck you, Mushu. And the film ends here, because of course it book ends itself with Mushu being terrible. Also, hooray for rushed endings that don’t address Mulan’s side of this. It’s not like her name is in the title or anything.

At the end of the credits, they say “This film would not have been possible without the inspiration from the original motion picture and the work of it’s talented artists and animators”

Do I comment on them needing to say this almost to remind us that at least the original exits, or on how they’re almost pinning the blame of the existence of this movie on the original.

Either way, we’re done.

Final Thoughts:

Wow, this was a bad one. At least it’s short, only an hour and 13 minutes. To be fair, the animation is decent, and there are some good moments and ideas here and there. Sometimes, they do try,

But most of the time, they don’t. The problems seem pretty obvious at this point. They try to have a “Marry for love” lesson but use in a story where that marriage is happening to unite 2 kingdoms in order to stop some Mongols.

And they don’t address that at all and just simplify it to it’s most basic element which is just…wrong. Some films could and have done something like this while actually addressing the little elephant in the room, this making for a satisfying story. Didn’t Brave do something like that, actually?

The story ends up being pretty broken two. The marriage conflict ends up being too simple and the Mulan/Shang conflict is completely dropped once they find out Mushu did because all the issues he brought to the surface just no longer exist.

Thus, the only other conflict is totally forced. And did I mention Mushu is an annoying unlikable prick? I won’t say more on that but yeah, Mushu sucks hard in this. He makes it all even worse.

The poorly written plot in turns make all the characters numbed down or extremely annoying. Mushu’s portrayal plus the broken writing make this a bad one. It’s certainly an insult to the good movie and is just a badly written film in general.

Some Disney Sequels have less of a story due to that 3 segments thing, but of all the ones with a story, this is the worst I’ve seen. Hunchback 2 has less good things in it but is mostly just ungodly boring, this is piss me off bad at points.

So yeah, it’s a bad one with a badly written story and tons of other issues that add up to quite the frustrating experience. Avoid it and stick with the good one.

Grade: D

(If you’re wondering, the DVD has a quick feature on the cast, which has a running gag of Mushu not being mentioned until the end because even they knew he sucked. There’s also Deleted Scenes which I will not watch If the stuff that made it in is this bad)

As for next time, let’s do something good. Not saying what it is, it’s a fun surprise.

See ya.

Posted in Play by Play Reviews, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Goosebumps Hall of Horrors-Night of the Giant Everything

Nightofthegianteverything

The spider is only  in one part and it’s not an evil mutant spider. Yeah.

Hello, Spongey here.

Time to continue covering Modern Goosebumps with our 2nd Hall of Horrors entry. The only thing to bring up before we start is an interesting bit of backstory. See, sometime in the early 2000’s Stine planned a series called Goosebumps Gold.

It was canned because his contract ran out but some titles were announced and so far, most have actually been retooled in recent Goosebumps titles. The Haunted Mask Lives become Scream of the Haunted Mask and Slappy New Year….well, duh.

The only one that hasn’t happened is Happy Holidays from Dead House. Because a sequel to the first Goosebumps book ever totally isn’t the best idea ever.

The comes today’s book, which seems to be take from “The Incredible Shrinking 5th Grader” from GB Gold. That’s pretty interesting. Yeah, that’s all I got, just figured I’d share that. The first HoH Book was surprisingly good, so let’s see if this one keeps it up.

This, is Night of the Giant Everything

From now on, we’re skipping the wrap arounds with the Story Keeper, as there’s not much to say there.

The book opens with our protagonist Steven doing magic friends for his friends Ava and Courtney. Oh god, please be better than Bad Hare Day. Of course, he’s not that good of a magician and is friends mock for it in a way that makes me wonder why they are friends.

Steven does something with Silly String but Courtney grabs at it and gets a bunch on her face.

Steven, do you know how to spell revenge?”

..It was your fault, dumbass. Also, great friends you have there. They storm off angrily.

I told you. They’re crazy about me”

We’re off to a good start.

Steven goes to his piano lesson, which as we know can be suicide. ….Wait. His teacher thankfully says nothing about his hands, and gives him cookies!

He watched til I finished every last crumb. But there was nothing strange about that-right?”

I don’t even know what to say to that, this “Foreshadowing” is that obvious.

A bit later, Steven searches for the bathroom and finds a room that Mr.Pinker tells him not to go in. We get it, he’s going to be important later.

After that, he meets up with his “friends” who will be his assistants in a magic act for a talent show. Weird how they are still willingly after what happened. They practice some stuff and Steven juggles eggs with one landing on Ava’s head.

Expect major revenge, Steven””

Okay, you officially have the worst friends ever. Also, who talks like this?!

Not that Steven is any better, as he laughs off this instead of calling them out.

Steven goes home to find that his parents now have some kind of bird that they say flew in the window. Don’t worry, they are putting up a lost and found notice in case it belongs to anyone, so I can’t complain too much about them keeping it for now.

After some small stuff, we move on to the big talent show thingy. The first thing to mention is that the crowd goes wild when Ava and Courtney come out which is…ew. And again, they still agreed to do this?

It actually goes pretty well at first. But he tries a trick with him juggling balls and drinking water at the same time. It goes wrong because the cup is not fill of water, bur something that makes him freak out and ruin the act.

And it turns out to all be Ava and Courtney’s doing.

Just something we mixed up in chem lab”

And you’re officially on my list./ What the hell?! Doing all this for petty revenge over something stupid is bad enough but you gave him random Chemicals you don’t know about? You have no idea what those could do!

Giving him toilet water would have been safer and just as effective! Spoilers, this actually isn’t what makes him shrink, it’s just a fake out but for some of the book, you think this whole situation is caused by his friends.

Just….wow.

Steven runs home and he suddenly finds himself shrinking. Sadly, his clothes don’t shrink with him so he’s naked now. Ew. Thankfully, the first thing he does is get some clothes a Ken doll.

Stine was thinking ahead of me for once.

This is where we get some Honey I Shrunk the kids Antics with Steven finding his way around the house. I’ll be skimming a fair amount of this because there’s not much to say about someone stumbling around.

I will this is the best part so far because it is interesting to see he handles being small and all that. He tries to call Ava but his voice is too small so she can’t hear him. This is reminding me that no one ran after him for some reason.

He mentions that his parents are out late tonight, meaning they weren’t at the talent show thing. Given this, I’m surprised this didn’t get the supernatural punishment.

He decides to go to Ava’s house to ask her what’s up but that means a pretty perilous journey is ahead of him. I gotta say, these scenes do get decently intense with how he has to get through a normal house while being really tiny.

That’s always the fun part of these kind of stories. Things get more dangerous when Bugsy the bird thing pops up. ..Then it goes away, which makes that part pointless. Then Steven bumps into a spider and has to fight it with a toothpick.

10/10.

Bugys gets rid of the Spider for him, and Steven moves on trying to get of the house. After fumbling with a boot (don’t ask), he gets outside. As cool as these scenes are, they are almost padding as there’s more of this stuff then there is real plot and given we need an explanation for why this is happening…yeah.

He’s able to make it across the street way more easily than I expected and goes through a convenient cat door and into Ava’s house. She also conveniently has no stairs so he makes it to her room easily.

He’s able to get to her and tells her what is going on, after she freaks out a bit. He think she can fix this, but it turns out that thing he drank was not chemicals, it was just vinegar. While actually getting chemicals is worse, lying about it and scaring is also really bad.

So yeah, I still hate these two “friends”.

On the bright side, she’s willingly to help. It’s almost like now all the crap with them was pointless. Unfortunately, a gust of wind blows him out the window and he goes on a little adventure and winds up near the piano teacher’s house. Time for him to become relevant!

Steven goes in and stumbles upon that secret room and it’s full doll houses and buildings for a little town. He finds it odd but eventually leaves and bumps into Mr Pinker making cookies. Then he realizes maybe those cookies made him shrink.

Sure, why not. They foreshadowed it enough…Then a couple pages later, he talks to him and he reveals there was nothing in the cookies and they are just store bought.

Eh, it was still wasn’t the most far fetched theory involving Steven. This has been your obligatory joke of the day.

But yep, that’s now TWO big pointless red herrings. Great writing. The dollhouse stuff is just an…odd hobby. He didn’t want him in the room because….reasons.

Mr. Pinker thankfully helps him by taking him home but they find two guys standing on the front stoop. They claim to know what is going on and say they have “parents permission” to take him away.

Pinker calls out this lie but they just take Steven anyway. Wah wah.

They tell him that Bugsy is their bird. Ah, at least one suspicious plot element wasn’t a red herring. The bird was a giant hawk that they shrunk down and it’s responsible for all this..

The Shrink Hormone is carried in the bird’s saliva. I know it sounds crazy”

It does.

A bird’s tounge did this to me. How crazy is that?!”

Very.

Yeah, one one hand this was “foreshadowed” but it’s also…extremely contrived and silly. This lab shrunk a bird and made it so it’s tongue shrinks things? Both of Steven’s theory, while dumb, would have worked a lot better.

Which is saying a lot given how I feel about the Ava and Courtney thing.

They take Steven to their lab and lock him up. To the surprise of no one, they want to keep him here so their secret doesn’t’ get out. Also, they don’t know how to fix Steven.

Between this and losing a dangerous bird, worst Scientists ever!

Steven mentions that Mr. Pinker knows they exist but they just kind of ignore that because Steven also claims his parents know and they spend more time debunking that. Okay then.

He tries to think of a way to escape.

Dr Beach and Dr Marcum weren’t even good at keeping birds prisoner”

When a kid points out your stupidity, it’s time to pack it in.

After trying the normal methods, he has a canary kiss him. I don’t know what to say to that. This…actually works and he gets bigger again. I’m not sure how this works or why Steven thought it would work but whatever.

Wait, if it’s that easy, how did these scientists not figure it out or try it?! Maybe they knew and were being evil but then why put him next to the thing that can make him grow?!

Like I said, Worst Scientists Ever.

Steven then escapes the lab so easily it really confirms my statement. And yes, he’s back to being Naked. Lovely.

He makes it home as his parents are there and he explains it all to them. They believe every word of this because we don’t have much time left. That and when your son appears naked, you’ll believe anything.

After dinner, he enjoys being big again. But then Bugsy randomly flies in and kisses Steven. The end!

.Yep, that’s it. One of the most abrupt endings in awhile. Yeah, not much to say about the ending other than it’s abrupt and hurts the book quite a bit in terms of story. Yeah.

Final Thoughts:

This one was…eh. Especially after a surprisingly solid first Hoh Entry. I like the main adventure. It’s nothing I haven’t seen before but it is interesting seeing how he deals with being small. There’s some creativity there and that stuff is pretty enjoyable.

The rest is…eh. As I said, there are two very blatant red herrings, which one leading to two of the most hateable Goosebumps characters in awhile. The fact that they are pointless makes it even worse.

I know this is Goosebumps and I will give it some leeway on some level, but a lot of this is just too dumb, especially the real reason this is all happening. None of it makes any sense and once again, these are the dumbest scientists ever.

This stuff makes for a fun book to riff on, but not exactly a well written one. I think that sums it up: The shrinking adventure is enjoyable, the rest is poorly written and stupid. There’s far worse written GB books out there but this was a…mixed bag.

It can be enjoyable though, only you know what is piss me off bad here. That’s really all there is to it. It’s pretty average when you put the pros and cons together.

Grade: C+

A bit disappointing after claws but ah well. The next one is better from what I recall. Hopefully it is.

See ya.

Posted in Book Reviews, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Max Steel

Max_Steel_poster

Max Boredom

 

Hello, Spongey here.

After…the interesting last review, where I looked at a famous old film, I think it’s time to go back my roots?: Crappy recent movies! While I watched as many hated 2016 films as possible for my worst list, I did leave some unseen because they weren’t on DVD yet.

So for this month, I wanted to choose from two example of that which had finally come out for my viewing “pleasure”. I teased Collateral Beauty because it seemed funnier to tease, but I did intent to watch both.

Collateral Beauty was…weird for me. I should review it, as it really manipulative, and has the main characters “friends” do awful acts even the It’s Always Sunny cast would find cruel. It also has weird pacing and structure at times.

However, a fair amount was just kind of eh, without much to comment on. Some of the scenes with Will can be seen as…fine, if you don’t know the context. The acting is also good, at least as good as it can be.

The movie was certainly not good, but it would just be odd to review for me, and it wasn’t bad ENOUGH all the time. Thankfully, my other choice did give plenty to rip into so here we are. At least the felt like a completed film with a reason to exist.

But first a brief backstory. Max Steel is a Mattel toyline that had a couple cartoons, most notably the 2013 one, which I had never heard of or looked into this movie came out. Clearly it had some kind of fanbase to last long enough to be rebooted but I wouldn’t say it’s super popular, just a thing people like.

I’m sure it’s fine but I’m sure no one was asking for a movie. But hey, I’ve liked movies based on things I’ve never heard of, or had little knowledge of. But it’s clear they had no intention of making this for the fans of the franchise.

They gave it a measly (by Hollywood standards) budget and plopped it out in October of 2016, only a couple months after releasing the trailer. They gave it a somewhat small release with very little advertising. The result? Bomb horrible.

The Critic Reaction was…um…well…it has a whopping ZERO on Rotten Tomatoes, with no Census. That’s right, no one even wanted to review this thing. That’s said. The few people who saw it hated it and I can’t exactly blame them.

I have seen worse, hell it wouldn’t crack my 2016 bottom 5, but it would be in the Dis Honorable Mentions somewhere. It’s a mixed of dullness and bad writing that makes it pretty bad.

It has it’s slow parts, but I thought it was mostly worth reviewing, so here we are. First off, it was filmed in 2014 bcause of sort it sat on a shelf. It can amazing movies like A Thousand Words and Monster Trucks!

The director Sorority Row, because naturally you want a horor director for a Merchandise Driven Superhero film. The writer is more fitting, as he tons of Superhero credits like Thor 2 and being a head writer on Avengers Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

I think there was some studio interference for the movie to turn out like it did. But let’s see why this thing fails to the max.

This, is Max Steel

After a whopping 55 seconds of logos, the movie opens with our main character Max as he is moving into a new house. You can from this first scene how dull he’s going to be, with he shows little emotion here. Can’t quite blame the acting, given how weak the writing is to begin with. Well, aside from the fact he looks too old to be a high schooler.

(Still better than Monster Trucks in that regard I suppose)

They clumsily explain that he’s moved a lot, and his Mom is played by Maria Bello. I’d complain but she’s easily the best part of this movie. She’s actually trying at least. He’s hanging around when he notices he can mess with technology with his hand.

This is meant to be just a quick little thing before the title and they drop it for a bit, so I guess I can’t complain too much here. I can however make a joke about how right after the title, he’s in the bathroom with his shirt off.

Did I mention Taylor Lautner was supposed to be in this at first?

This is the next morning and leaves and bumps into the love interest. He acts loopy since he just had a little spill on his bike.

Meet me after school, okay?”

.Why? He’s never seen you in his life. You want to actually help him instead of saying that and just leaving? Okay then.

He walks into school late (a cliché that never happens in real life, no matter how often you see it) and we find out though more bad dialogue that he’s the son of some remarkable scientist person. He’s dead now so way to open some wounds, teacher guy.

After school he does meet up with the girl and just goes with her. I’m confused, they clearly set up this being his first day of school and she just randomly wanted him to meet her after school for no real reason?

She fixes up his bike but she never said “Hey, I can mix your bike”, she was just needlessly cryptic and Max said nothing because he’s dull and emotionless. You know a movie is bad when it can’t get a basic scene like this wrong.

He goes home and sees his Mom talking to a guy named Miles, who worked with his Dad. They partake in a boring dinner scene and they randomly cut between this and a scene of this big accident happening at this…Science…Place. They don’t have one scene than another, they put them together in this big mess.

With how dull the dinner scene is, it’s very daring when something mildly interesting happens in the middle of it. It’s like they knew the movie was boring and tried to wake me up. The dumb thing important information is revealed here, like that Miles was there the night of the accident that killed his father, but they still cut to this other crap.

I’m just saying it’s jarring and badly edited.

Thankfully, it ends and Max goes to Google…with his shirt off. Again, Taylor Lautner had this role at one point. He wants to know more about the accident but he is interrupted by his glowing hand. Don’t you hate it when that happens?

The next day he screws around with these powers which more or less do whatever the plot demands, but it’s mostly connected to technology and such. At Lunch, his powers go a bit crazy and make the vending machine spew out soda, and the students just swipe them without questioning it.

To be fair, that’s exactly what I would do.

Later, he google “My fingers emit liquid energy”. Kinky. Then he googles “What am I????????”. He does while showcasing no emotion whatsoever. Have you find a big problem with this movie yet? Because I see nothing wrong here, clearly.

Max talks to Mom and asks for more information what Dad but she says it’s complicated and he might not be ready. That will just make him more curious and get him into this big “Adventure”, good going.

The next day, he meets with the girl as they have forced “chemistry”.

You haven’t hooked up with any cliques, but you’re friendly with everyone. You don’t attract a lot of attention, but you talk just enough so that people don’t think you’re weird.”

We have not seen any of things. We’ve had like two small scenes in school and I could not see evidence of any of that. Either some scenes were cut or this is a horrible case of telling and not showing.

He has a little freakout with his powers that I can’t really explain but then we cut to him waking up at home, so I guess that scene didn’t matter. Cool.

When he wakes up, he finds a small flying robot dude in his room. ….Yep. And he talks. And he’s annoying. It’s hard to describe why he’s annoying, I just dislike his voice. His dialogue isn’t much better but it’s not like, obviously bad like other annoying sidekicks.

I can say that he pops in so suddenly, it feels like there’s no build up when there kind of was. His name is Steel and we immediately get into ET type hijnks when Mom comes up. There’s not a ton more of it but there is sadly more of it. Oh, and they reference ET directly right after to make it even more subtle.

I also love how I don’t care about the lead because he’s so boring before this happens, so I couldn’t give less of a crap about any of this. Plus, as I said, Steel is already annoying.

Steel explains that he has to be around to suck up Max’s excess energy so he doesn’t explode. This is a neat idea but poorly explained. They spot random suscopus guys with guns and run off and Max says they must go somewhere safe where they “wouldn’t attack us”

So to school, which is full of kids. GENUIS!

I know that want more “hide the alien” crap but this is so stupid. It’s just a bad excuse for lame “comedy” where Steel gets more annoying. It’s even pointless as we don’t get more school stuff with Steel after these small scenes.

Seems like that girl creature has put out some kind of mind control virus on you. We should probably kill her”

Our hero’s sidekick, ladies and gentlemen!

It just sucks”

What?”

You’re right, this movie does suck.

They attempt to have a serious moment with the two but right after that one joke, it’s a bit /Mood Whiplash-y. There actually is one funny moment when they go to this one place and Steel says they have to obey a Restricted sign because it’s in ALL CAPS.

It’s in all caps, looks pretty serious”

Doesn’t make up for the rest of the “Comedy” with him but whatever. They are at this vagabonded factory like place. They drop their quest for a moment to mess around as they find out they have more cool powers when they work together.

After enough messing around, they combine to create that thing on the poster. They don’t actually say Max Steel in the movie because it’s trying to be a “dark and edgy”. With that title. Yeah.

A bit later, some creepy looking vans appear and they try to run. Max is able to get a ride from Sofia which leads to more award-ness from them. They talk about naming his bike because why not. How did we get from a “Tense” chase, to awkward romance humor?

Max and Sofia goes to Miles’ so Max can sk him what he knows about his father’s death. He doesn’t say that much a freak out makes Max leave, making this scene almost pointless. It does have a point though, to show us a creepy shot of Miles that made me call that he’s the villain.

Oh, like you care about spoilers.

Speaking of the freak out, sometimes Max gets random flashes that show him that accident that killed his Dad and he’s been finding out bits and places, like how Steel was there but Steel doesn’t recall anything. This should be interesting but it just…isn’t.

Anyway, he runs out a storm starts up and eventually Steel conventionally shows up so they can form Max Steel. A bad guy that Steel alluded to earlier pops up and they gotta fight it. By the way, Max can see out of the suit via Iron Man Rip off Technology!

Now that’s shameless.

This first action sequence would be good if we could see anything. Yeah, it’s one of those movies where they the lighting and camera work makes it hard to make out anything, although it’s not AS bad as some other movies I guess.

Go Turbo!”

Insert obvious jokes here.

Max gets a flash that somehow tells him Steel is an “Ultralink” which Steel says are the bad guys and being an idiot, Max gets mad even with Steel saying he”s “not like them”. We’re almost an hour in, so it’s time for the duo to pointlessly breakup over something stupid.

Told you every movie ever did this, and it’s pretty stupid here. If only because I do not give a single crap about either character. One is dull as dirty, and one is annoying. Your characters don’t have to amazingly complex, but we need a reason to care about what’s going on. You also need…good writing, which is not here. At all.

Through a confusing series of events, Max finds out bad guys have taken Mom and calls Miles who reveals he knows of the “Ultralinks” (not the dumbest name ever but close) and that they want Max.

He goes this factory place to find her but Sofia calls her and finds out she’s safe at home. After their call, Mom turns to…these random suspicious looking guys.

Miles Edwards ordered you to kill Steel”

Yes M’am”

I am the largest share holder at N Tech, so the only person you take orders from is me”

When I first saw this, I thought it was about to turn out that she is the villain. But nope, that would actually be amazing. Instead, this bit doesn’t make any sense.

Also, I likely got the company name wrong but I don’t care at this point.

We finally get the full flashback showing how Max’s Dad died. He did an experiment, it went wrong and he died. Also, Miles was behind because he’s evil, what a twist. Yeah, everything about this backstory is very predictable because they more or less telegraphed it or told us this stuff before.

Yawn.

Even the added twist of Dad sacrificing himself is just…eh, because it’s also cliché and I really just don’t care enough for this to matter. Miles shows up in his Power Rangers cosplay and Andy Garcia’s credit, he’s the only member of the cast who is at least trying to have fun. He yells every other line here and it’s…almost amusing.

He wants Max’s energy because….he’s evil, I guess. Also, his dad is an alien making Max a half breed. That part is yet again poorly explained and even the half breed thing is done to death. Honestly, I can forgive any of this is they either explained it more or made the characters and story engaging in the slightest.

He has Max strap himself to this thing to suck up his energy.

That’s too much energy”

At least it’s not Pink.

He forms Max Steel and we get our climax…filmed in a dark and dank place where we can’t see shit. Gripping.

Stealth Mode”

We have stealth mode”

Hooray for pulling things out of our asses. It doesn’t even help as Miles catches him right after. Those guys Mom was with show up but they end up doing jack as Miles takes them out.

You can choose smart, or you can choose dead. I chose smart, your father chose differently”

That line is amazingly bad. Also, no one in this thing chose smart. Max gets the drop on him and gives him too much energy, which makes him explode. That was kinda smart on his part but it feels pretty anti climatic in execution.

Oh, and they try to make us think Steel is dead…for all of 5 seconds. Yay.

Mom shows up.

You totally married an alien?”

STEEL: Hey, what’s wrong with that?

…Too easy.

Sometime later, Mom gives him the whole story and admits she should have told him given there was a chance of him possibly exploding or something. I agree, you’re kind of an idiot that way.

I never suspected Miles”

Because again, you’re an idiot.

It was Miles who suggested we come back..in case the energy manifested in you”

.He willingly took Max to the place where he cold bump into the one thing keeping him from exploding many times in the films, instead of keeping him away. …..I apologize to Mom, he’s the biggest idiot in the movie!

If they exploded the Max exploding thing better, maybe this would make more sense. Why was he only in danger of exploding when he got here, given Max never says anything about going through this before? If the city itself is why, it raises more questions about Mom’s decision.

And how did no one know Steel is alive? He left before the explosion but where did he go? Why did he have no memory? EXPLAIN! OR EXPLAIN BETTER!

She says there are more Ultra links out there and they will come for Max eventually. Can’t be a crappy cash in film without a hook for a sequel that will never happen!

Max goes to Sofia, who the film remembers exists. Yeah, her vanishing before the climax really shows how strong of a character she was. She mattered so little to the overall story that this scene feels tacked on.

Maybe it was good we didn’t kill her”

Too bad we didn’t kill you.

Max forms Max Steel to fly, which they couldn’t do before but I don’t care because roll credits! Yeah yeah rushed endings but at least it’s over. Plus, I’ve seen worse. And thankfully, there’s no mid or post credits scene to further rip off other Superhero movies.

Final Thoughts:

I’ll start with the positives. The effects are decent, and a couple actors like Maria Bello are at least trying. The rest on the other hand, is not only bad but flat out DULL. I apologize if this wasn’t my best, this is a film that’s mostly boring and sometimes did not explain things well.

It was just barely review able with how it got sometimes. This isn’t the worst movie of 2016 but it’s still bad. The main problem is how boring and generic it is. It feels like so many other films of it’s kind, and does nothing that interesting.

It doesn’t help that the lead is incredibly boring as well. He has no personality to speak of, and there’s just no reason to care about him. The rest are just as dull, from the one dimensional villain, to Steel who is pretty annoying.

In some films the situation itself could save some character issues but there they don’t do anything with the few decent ideas it has. The story goes in every direction you expect and the way it plays it just dull.

And also very stupid. As I said, nothing really makes any sense and they either have no explanations, or explanations that raise too many questions. And the way it’s written makes it so I don’t care to look further into it. So don’t try to explain it to me, I don’t care. (I know I may have missed something but either way it could have been explained better).

The whole thing just reeks of being a cynical cash grab. Any attempts at heart are snuffed out by the weak writing and how dull the whole thing is. It’s fairly typical in it’s problems, and isn’t quite awful, hence why it’s only at 11 as far my Bottom 11 of 2016 goes. (It’s worse than Mother’s Day and Nine Lives, but better than Wild Life and Mr Right0.

So yeah, the movie is a bust. It’s mostly generic and boring, with a few dashes of incompetence to make for a totally weak cinematic experience. It’s not even interesting bad like even Jem is, it’s too boring for that. Just skip it.

Grade: D-

That was…dull, but at least interestingly so. As for next time, I think I should do a kind of movie I haven’t done yet, as I’ve crossed off some other types on the “Every Reviewer must do this” list. I think I know the type, but which one should I do..

Mulan2DVD

.This will be fun.

See ya.

Posted in Play by Play Reviews, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

More Bad Episodes of Cartoons I like

Hello, Spongey here.

In late 2015, I did a list of Bad Episodes of Cartoons I otherwise like. It’s probably one of my favorite projects I’ve ever done. I had to do even more research than usual, even if it took me longer than most projects, which is saying something.

I don’t think why, but it is fun to look at when things I like screw up. After all, you can’t love something if you’re not willing to point it it’s flaws. I’m mostly happy with that list, at least given what I had seen at the time.

However, I obviously wasn’t able to see every episode of a good show, and there were some shows I hadn’t even seen at all at the time. In that post, I said I wouldn’t do a follow up to it since I like to stay positive.

…Yeah, I lied. Okay, I had every intention of keeping that promise…but man in that year and a quarter since doing that post, I’ve found so many more duds. Some tame ones that showed me the varying levels of bad, and some so bad that would have been on the list if I did it back then.

And I figured I may as well share some. Don’t worry, I have another project in mind that should make up for this. I plan to hopefully make this a yearly thing and I had a ton more ideas to put here that couldn’t fit due to being bad enough to discuss but not quite urgently bad, you know?

With that said, none of these episodes would quite in bottom 5 of the original list, although some come veeery close. Actually, about one would but we’ll get there.

This list will be a bit different. I’m not counting them down like before. I wanted to rank them but it was a bit hard so I figured I’d make it easier on myself and instead put this in order of when they aired.

We’ll go from 1994 to 2015 on this. Yeah, nothing from 2016, at least nothing list worthy. That’s really my only rule. I tried mostly having notably bad ones on here, nothing just “weak”. Last time a few slipped on like Bird in the Hoof but this time it’s mostly bad ones. There’s one on here that’s simply “Meh” with all the rest being flat out bad, or at least extremely mediocre.

This is gonna be fun. We’ve got bad episodes of all kind this time, and most of time they make you want to pull your hair out. We have characters being unlikable, Non Humor, and stories that hardly count as stories.

We have 10 Episodes to get through, so let’s see what horror some good show can bring us this time. Oh, and nothing I’ve already covered outside of the lists such as Hot Dawg. So let’s get into it.

This, is More Bad Episodes of Cartoons I Like

Fed Up With Antoine/The Odd Couple [Sonic SATAM]

Season 2, Episode 6a/9a

Writer: Len Jansen

That’s right, we’re starting with a tie, this will be a fun list. Sonic SATAM was a solid show, and one of the better Video Game Cartoons out there, being a more serious take on Sonic that still stays true to it’s roots.

But honestly, I don’t love it as much as some others. It had problems. To be fair, most stem from it being canned after 2 Seasons because good shows being screwed over is not a new thing.

But it still had issues, like how this somewhat serious show still has Urkel as Sonic saying slang no one has ever said. But I can forgive that and some minor things, as the show did improve.

Then there’s Antoine. Now, he’s far from the worst character in a good show (We’ll meet a worse one later), and he’s not awul. He is however, weak. He’s a stereotypical cowardly french guy who didn’t develop that much. He’s only annoying sometimes, and he can be amusing due to Rob Paulsen’s performance but he didn’t do much for me. And as I said, he never really grew. This wasn’t the most development heavy show ever, but he still needed more.

He did get slight spotlight, but it was always played for laughs. One episode in Season 1 had him screw up for dumb reasons but that one had it’s moments at least. Then comes TWO Antoine Episodes in Season 2, as part of the few 11 minute episodes they did. They both failed, especially by the standards of the show.

Let’s take a look, starting with the earlier one, the appropriately titled Fed up with Antoine. We start with Antoine having blown a recent mission but claims he has everything under control. Yeah, right off the bat they are clearly trying to make him as annoying as possible.

Then Sonic tells him he has to get back home alone. And now our hero is a jerk too, great start. But he was joking, so that was pointless. Later, he asks Bunny Rabbot to teach him some Martial Arts because …why not. They didn’t write a good enough transition between the opening and this decision.

He starts training and he claims he’s amazing while Sonic treats him like dirty. Yeah, both sides are incredibly unlikable here. That’s more or less the main problem, but they really go to great lengths to show it.

He runs off and runs into some bikers and ruins their bikes trying his Kung Fu and then they make him their king. And that’s our other problem: The pacing. This show doesn’t work as well in 11 minutes, especially not in this episode. The plot moves as faster Sonic himself and it really ruins the story cohesion.

It’s clear they have plans for him with how they act, so at least they aren’t actually this dumb but it’s made too obvious too. Antoine naturally takes advantage of this to be a jerk right away and Sonic finds himself right away.

Antoine won’t go him because the power is already getting to him and wants Sonic thrown in the Dungeon. They really skipped like 50 steps in doing this plot, if they wanted us to find anyone likable. For one, he was a jerk BEFORE getting the crown.

Come on Sonic, Antoine has his good points”

Besides his head?”

Well yeah. He….has good hair!”

Wow, not even the characters can find anything to like about him. That’s really sad. They find out the bikers are cannibals and after they find that out, we cut to them trying to cook him. Not sure why why needed to go through all this, it’s poorly explained.

Also, I shouldn’t be rooting for the villains.

The Freedom Fighters kick their butts and rescue Antoine. Then we cut to him telling the others later on that he got himself out and is still a jerk.

We should have let them eat him”

The End. Wow, that was a trainwreck. Nothing worked about ti, at all. Everyone’s an asshole, the plot is rushed, and an any attempts to build a story are ruined by the pacing and everyone being a jerk. Also, no one learns anything from this. But more on that after we go through The Odd Couple, which is almost as bad.

Through reasons too contrived to get into, Sonic’s house is destroyed and he must stay with Antoine for awhile. As the title suggests, Sonic is dirty and Antoine is a neat freak. It’s done a well as you can imagine.

Antoine is typical with his neat freak-ness but he switches between being okay with it, as some people just like thing clean. But other times it’s unreasonable for the sake of cheap comedy. He’s also not happy to have Sonic here, because I guess he really hates him. His reaction is that over the top.

While Antoine is uptight, Sonic doesn’t really seem to even attempt to sympathize with him and just makes messes without thinking. Some if it is just normal stuff but other times it’s the kind of thing anyone would be mad at like getting food on his face by accident.

Either way, a lot of it is just too typical to be that funny. All Sonic does is tell him to chill without even really noting his problem. He doesn’t even call Antoine out or anything like that, he seems almost too stupid.

And Sonic sleep runs because why not. This causes Antoine to snap and just go insane and does Sonic (after randomly waking up) help him at all? Nope, he just leaves. What a good friend.

Then a tree crushes Antotine’s house without crushing him somehow. And before that, this is said.

Not only is he totally out of his tree, he lives like a pig”

Oh screw you. And then it just…ends with a tree having falling on Antoine’s house, with him still going crazy. How…hilarious. That wasn’t even a story, it was just a bunch of stuff happening.

Besides being very cliché, both sides are weirdly written. Sonic, in the end, is an inconsiderate jerk and Antoine is kind of understandable but his one joke gets old fast. Most of the time he is going too far with Sonic is a jerk hear so I can only feel bad for Antoine.

In the end, he’s even punished with Sonic getting off scot free. He did go too far but he just wants Sonic to stop being a dirty jerk, that’s not bad enough to deserve a tree falling on his house!

I imagine his portrayal is not great for those with OCD or the like. I don’t mind it being played for Comedy sometimes, but this goes too far and is just badly written ontop of that.

But back to Fed Up. They try to do way too much in the time span, with him learning martial arts, finding the bikers, then going mad from being King and all that. At least the other one fits into 11 minutes, it’s just the jokes that make it fail.

And yes, Fed up is way worse. Odd Couple is not funny and has odd moral problems, but the other one just does everything wrong on every level. Everyone is a jerk all the way through and both sides sucking don’t make the other better, it gives us no one to root for.

This show better than to have jokes like Sally not knowing of anything good about Antoine. Come on, you’re better than that. There is really is no attempt at a real story here, it all becomes a bunch of nonsense at the end.

There’s chances to make a story, but it’s just a bunch of jokes but the bad writing just ruins them. And again, no one is likable but it’s not even at least funny. The length and the fact that it’s over quickly is the only reason I don’t hate it more, because man is it really poor.

Odd Couple is bad but it’s a hair better than this, because it keeps it simpler and has more almost okay moments at least. Fed Up With Antoine is the kind I mess I did not expect from a show like this. It wasn’t perfect but it was usual smarter than this.

There’s not too much else to say. Odd Couple is cliché and dumb and the other one is a borderline non story with unlikable characters. Both episodes give me really no one to root for and are pretty weak.

I can see someone….maybe liking them if they find the antics funny but I sure don’t. Besides a show like this can do better than episodes too reliant on humor, this isn’t SpongeBob. So yeah, this episodes suck and I think they make for a good way to begin our list.

I’m padding this now so let’s wrap it up and move on to the rest. I swear the other sections are longer.

My Sister,My Sitter [The Simpsons]

Season 8, Episode 17

Writer: Dan Greany

Oh, this one is going to be fun. The Simpsons is a show I’ve always wanted to find a bad episode from the classic seasons anyway. I mean, Pre Spongebob had a dud so this show has to have one to.

I rewatched Seasons 1-8 which are generally considered to be the classic era. I’m of that opinion to, 9 and 10 were okay I guess but not quite on the level as before. So I’m sticking with these Seasons for an episode worthy of this list. While some episodes weren’t that great,i didn’t find one too bad until this one in Season 8. I disliked one or two before but this one…oh boy, it’s bad.

Lisa decides to become a Babysitter after getting in to Discount Babysitter’s Club, At first she gets no takes due to her age, but Ned needs a sitter for Rod and Tod because Maude has been held hostage (…Yeah, this episode has it’s moments), and picks Lisa because he’s desperate.

Act 1 isn’t too bad , and is mostly funny. However, it creates a big problem for later. She’s able to take off them pretty well, so Ned recommends her to others and she gets a decent booming business afer that. So yeah, she’s surprisingly decent at this. Sure, we only see her with Rod, Todd, and then Ralph but she also did sitting for Hibbert and others we only hear about, so who knows how those kids are?

One night, Homer and Marge go out and need a sitter. They put Lisa in charge because she has gotten some decent experience under her belt. It’s safe to say they do have a reason for picking her despite her age.

Keep that in mind, it’s very important. Marge made the decision so you know it’s reasonable.

Bart is upset, which is fine. At the moment it’s in tune with his character, even with him showing anger. But right here is where it gets….bad. As soon as they leave, Bart becomes a real pain.

Some of what he does at first is okay, he’s just acting out due to not liking this situation. Then he starts just annoying her only to piss her off, which in turns pisses me off. Trust me, it gets worse and the way things end do not make up for it.

Bart gives Maggie Cofee Ice Cream (That’s a thing? I want some).

I guess that’ll make things more interesting”

It does, but not in a good way. This is at least close to amusing, with how Maggie acts while on Coffee. Bart orders food in her name, and also has an AA meeting be hosted at the house. This is where it really goes downhil. It stops being just innocent and funny, and becomes Bart legitimately being a terrible person.

To add on to it, he calls Krusty for an “Emergency Bachelor Party”, and called an ambulence for an Emergency “Sister-ectomy”. THEN someone shows up saying they got a report saying Lisa spotted a UFO. Now it’s just getting old and each one is less funny.

I didn’t see any UFO

That’s right miss, you didn’t”

Okay, that’s funny.

But seriously, Bart is beyond obnoxious in this episode. I get it, he’s not happy with Lisa as his babysitter, but it’s no excuse to Flander-ize him THIS badly! He’s very much annoying her on purpose and his antics are supposed to be funny but only get more aggravating.

Eventually he fall down some stairs, which is his fault by the way for trying to run away from Lisa, and gets hurt, twisting his arm. Lisa of course wants to get him to the Hospital….but Bart refuses.

I’m going to perserve the evidence until Mom and Dad get home. And you’ll never babysit again!”

That’s right, he gets hurt but refuses to get help so to have Lisa be punished for something that was his fault. Then he tries to hurt himself ON PURPOSE to get her even bigger trouble.

I…j…what?! Up to this point, they at least tried to keep it silly and humorous but this is just…bad, even by Bart standards! Someone hurting themselves to get someone in trouble is not funny, at least not how it’s executed.

This is where Bart becomes irredeemable in this episode. Naturally, his attempts to himself get him knocked out, which serves him right. She calls 911 but is denided dut to Bart’s prnak calls from earlier.

Yep,his silly antics from earlier end up screwing them both over. Just….wow. Lisa tries to call Dr. Hibbert directly but doesn’t want her parents to find about this, as she’ll get in trouble. Okay, this is the first time she does anything that she could be blamed for and I understand her fears….but she doesn’t assume they’ll trust Lisa over Bart, who is…you know, bart?

She even thinks Hibbert will blame her, even though she babysat for him so he knows she’s usually good at Babysitting! But to be fair, this needs to happen for the plot and I can see WHY she’s not thinking logically, so I can barely let it slide.

Instead, she decides to take Bart straight to Dr. Nick. She puts him in wheelbarrow and heads out Nick’s. Thankfully, there’s a wheelbarrow line. Sorry, but your sometimes good jokes aren’t distracting from how bad this all is

The line is full so she tries walking all the way to a real hospital. At one point Bart falls out and goes tumbling down and somehow winds up right next to the Peir where Homer and Marge are at for their thing. How (In)convenient.

Lisa’s chain of humiliation is complete and the payoff isn’t worth the set up as it’s as unfunny and cruel as the rest of it. Hibbert even blames here which is dumb for reasons I mentioned. Lisa doesn’t even try to defend herself because…the episode needs to pin the blame on Lisa without actually trying SOMEHOW!

It’s a cheap way for her to make a mistake. She doesn’t even TRY, only to get cut off or something! I’ll give them that they had her make some mistakes but besides not being enough, it’s still all Bart’s fault.

Sometime later, Bart is healing and apparently just let her take the fall during this time because he’s a horrible jerk.

I’m sorry I was such a jerk last night”

Nope. Way too little, too late. This would mean more if you owned up to it told your parents what really happened! Cute apology but it’s not enough. Not to mention that tiny bit is ALL we get.

Lisa gets calls from Hibbert and Ned, asking her to babysit.

Aren’t you afraid I’ll take drugs and injury your children?”

Yes, that is a concern, but it’s hard to find a sitter”

Roll credits after Ned agrees even after Lisa tells him what happened. Wow, this is an Esoteric Happy Ending if I’ve seen one. Or just, really forced. Remember, they think she did all these awful things to bart, but still hire her because…..reasons.

It’s played for laughs but…no, you don’t end an episode like this with a dumb joke. They at least tried to have a happy ending but it’s so forced and makes no sense. What a crappy way to end a crappy episode.

I ranted on Bart but man is he bad. I get, he doesn’t like Lisa as his babysitter for various reasons but it is never fully explored. He gets angry and that’s it. If he has these deeper reasons some people finding, they should hint at it more.

This falls in the trap a lot of later Simpsons episode do by focusing so much on humor that it makes the story worse. They care more about making gags about Brart being awful that they forgot to treat him like a real character. They attempt to combine comedy and realsim due to the situation but man does it fall compare to most Classic Simpsons episodes.

I like it when they explore Bart and Lisa and further but it fails. They try to make this seem like all Lisa’s fault, showing that she’s in over her head. But remember Act 1, and how it showed her as a good babysitter? And Marge picked her due to her inexpert we saw her get. They had a good reason that we saw evidence for!

For once, showing hurt the story! Act 1 completely makes the point of the episode fall flat. If this was her first time as a sitter for kids, this would be better, as she would really be in over her head. Also, make Marge be reluctant and Homer gets her to agree. As it is, Marge is more at fault than Lisa by the episodes own logic!

Yeah, how come no one is mad at the parents that allowed this to happen?! Sure, she’s over her head due to it being Bart but he’s the one to chose to be a little pain. That would be an issue no matter who was babysitting. Heck, given his nature I bet he is a pain to sitters In general and I think it’s been mentioned at some point.

There’s some good jokes and the little subplot with Homer and Marge is fine but it’s not enough. They barely explore Bart’s side, making him a little terror, and Lisa ends up being blamed for something that’s his fault, with the most insulting happy ending ever.

I can see where this could have worked, it’s a good set up. But man, they botched it and the fact that it came from Classic Simpsons is…sad. This comes close to being like a later episodes, just with slightly better jokes.

Of course, some people do like this one, and I guess that’s fine. But for me, Bart was more annoying than funny, the cruelty was too much and the writing is really weak, with some scenes destroying the point they are making.

It just doesn’t work. Like everything on here, you can like it, I just could not stand it. It proves even the best shows can mess up sometimes. These all do but this more so, of course. Between this and Pinch Sitter, I’m thinking Babysitters don’t always bring out the best in shows…

(Wasn’t even the first lackluster Babysitter episode for this show either)

Arnold Betrays Iggy [Hey Arnold]

Season 3, Episode 10a

Writer: Steve Viksten

This was on the original list for a little while before I found new ones that knocked it down. My other reason at the time was that Mr Enter had covered this one pretty well and I thought I didn’t have much to say, so I put it off, even though it is a tad worse than something like A Bird in the Hoof.

In hindsight, the other excuse was a bit weak. I did some other things to say, mostly due to how the show usually is. So I’m here to correct it and add a few more things. The better or nicer the show is, the more devastating the Dud is and while there’s far worse, this falls under that category.

Everyone has gone into how good and important Hey Arnold was. It told great stories and was great not just for a Nicktoon, but for any kids show in general. But of course nothing is perfect and I figured it’s Dud wouldn’t but this bad, but here we are.

I won’t say as much as with these others since Enter did cover most of it’s flaws, but I’ll still say plenty. One day Arnold finds out that a “cool” kid named Iggy wears bunny pajama’s. Why is he wearing them?

Never explained. I suppose it’s not the biggest deal as some people just like doing silly things like this and don’t have a real reason but they really could have gotten that across better. Arnold, being who he is, promises not to tell.

And he doesn’t…but Sid and Stinky pry enough to find out. Sort of. When they mention Iggy, Arnold laughs and mentions it relates to what happened at Iggy’s house. Yeah, Arnold, maybe it’s not a good idea to mention that part.

It was just something he was wearing”

…You’re an idiot.

It wasn’t like he was wearing bunny pajamas or something”

…How oddly specific of a guess, Sid. This is beyond contrived. Because of Arnold’s reaction, they figure that out but Arnold still didn’t quite say that. You know, Arnold does have himself to blame for saying too much, like that was wearing something that was funny but I can forgive that vs what happens next.

Because they are assholes, Sid and Stinky tell everyone Iggy’s secret. Iggy is naturally mad, even when Arnold swears he didn’t actually say anything. The small part of this that Arnold did was clearly to make it so he wasn’t totally innocent but they never address this so it’s kind of pointless.

Iggy stops talking to Arnold tries to make it up to him by apologizing and giving him chocolates. It doesn’t work. Then it transitions to months later as he is still mad. Okay, this is getting silly. Look, I get why he’s mad but he looks like an asshole when he refuses to hear Arnold out at all.

Arnold offers to do his chores for a whole week to earn his forgive-ness and he does so. Yeah, this doesn’t look like Iggy is taking advantage of him at all. Especially since even after that, he doesn’t forgive him.

They do finally strike a deal: Arnold shall wear Bunny Pajamas’s,…in public….with a red carpet and news people….Wow, SLOWEST NEWS DAY EVER. Also, Grandpa says he’s gonna take pictures of this because he’s an asshole now.

Oh, and by the wearing, Bunny Pajama’s isn’t as funny as they keep thinking it is. I get the kids finding it funny, not so much the adult. It’s at this point where Sid and Stink FINALLY realize this is mostly their fault and mention this to each other in front of Iggy. Even this part is contrived!

.And the two still say they are taking pictures and aren’t doing anything to fix their mistake. Wow, you guys are assholes.

It’s too late anything as Arnold comes out and is embarrassed. This scene would be a lot more effective if you know, everything else wasn’t so botched. Iggy feels bad at the whole situation….but Arnold is giving him the cold shoulder.

The end. …Wait, what? That’s right, it ends on a Downer note, with Arnold being embarrassed, Iggy realizing his mistake but Arnold being an asshole about it because….irony. I can almost see what they were going for, it’s a “ha ha, the roles are reversed” ending but it fails because how they screwed up everything else.

It would be refreshing to have Arnold get mad at someone, but not with how it’s done. The main issue with this episode is that characters go to extremes too quickly. Sid and Stinky are assholes who pry and even when they realize their mistake,do nothing, the kids mock him for waaaaaay too long and Iggy refuses to forgive Arnold for too long and so on.

Plus, Sid and Stinky get no punishment, but Iggy does. Sure, Iggy was a jerk but at least he had a reason, those two not so much. And the ending is just insulting and a poor attempt at some dumb downer ending.

It’s not the worst, but due to the focus on the plot, nothing really interesting or funny happens. The only time I laughed was a scene with Grandpa earlier, maybe. This is clearly a “serious’ episode but the story sucks so that fails.

I do find it odd that Gerald wasn’t in this one, by the way.

Speaking of odd, the writer of this episode is mostly known for writing well…a ton of episodes, since he wrote more than any other writer on the show. This includes classics like Arnold’s Christmas and Helga on the Couch!

To be fair, when you write 65 episodes, you’re gonna screw up. But still, I don’t see how this episode could waste any more great people I like.

1111m

  1. stand corrected. ..Really?!

But yeah, this one’s bad. Far from the worst on this list, but everyone is unlikable, the story is very contrived and the ending is stupid. This is the kind of episode that just looks bad on the list of episodes, with it’s insulting nature.

So there, I covered it. It wouldn’t be on the list now with all the new additions but at the time, it should have been there. Sorry.

By the way, this episode, with it’s character derailment and insulting ending, is easily the best episode on here. Yeah

Operation L.I.Z.Z.I.E. [Codename Kids Next Door]

Season 1, Episode 7b

Writers: Mr Warburton, and Mo Willaims

I was surprised at how well this show held upon re-watch. It used it’s creative premise very well and managed to work for adults despite being about fighting adults. I’ll go into more detail on this show in a more positive way (hint hint) but in short, it was pretty good.

Some flaws held it back though. Sometimes they would ruin a plot with a dumb joke, and Numbah 4 could be too much of a butt monkey. But then there’s my biggest problem with this show…Lizzie.

If I don’t care for Ronaldo that much then I full on dislike Lizzie. At least he improved and hasn’t been bad in awhile. (Yes, this was written after Rocknaldo aired. I stand by what i said). I’d explain why I dislike Lizzie but reviewing this episode will show why….as it was her debut.

It’s a bad first impression. Let’s dig it!

At a Carnival, the other operatives see Nigel with a girl named Lizzie and being kids, they mock him for having a girlfriend. Yes, they establish that they were flat out together already but we never see really why he liked her to begin with. Trust me,this is a problem.

I can let the mocking slide since they are kids, as well as Nigel being embarrassed for the same reason. I get why Lizzie may be upset over Nigel denying that they are going out in front of his friends but she immediately starts to lose me when she gets mad and pushes him to the ground.

For the moment I see why she’s mad and such but as you can see, it’ll go too far. The next day, Lizzie claims she’s over it and gives him a gift: A strange looking helmet that doesn’t look suspicious at all. He puts it on and turns to leave…but she takes out a remote and fiddles with it, and suddenly Nigel wants to go with Lizzie rather than the comic shop with 2 and 4.

Yeah, spoilers, turns out this is helmet that can control people. And any small bit of humanity Lizzie has goes right out the window. It’s bad enough she pulls this crap, but the real problem is how the mind control works.

It’s hard to describe but Lizzie does a thing and Nigel does what she wants, as you’d expect, but it’s shown in a really unsettling way. It’s actually quite freaky how he says stuff like “I’m going with Lizzie”. He’s in clear discomfort as he does, and him being controlled is not smooth like in most shows.

It’s not even really played for laughs, and it’s not funny because of that. This is one of those things that becomes worse later. Also, I get why Numbah 4 doesn’t find this odd, but isn’t 2 supposed to be smart?

He at least finds it odd, as he tells the girls about it and it turns out it is a Boyfriend Helmet. A Device that is legally sold which does all that.

They sell these things?!”

I agree, if it was 2×4 Technology, I’d get it but this is an actually thing that is sold legally? They say it’s not cheap and Lizzie doesn’t really look like the rich type. Oh, and the effects become permanent over time, which I really hope Lizzie didn’t know about.

They figure out where Nigel and Lizzie are at, and while there, we get this

Before we know it, we’ll be going steady, then we’ll get engaged, and then we’ll get married! And you won’t ever see your stupid friends ever ever again!”

This isn’t her big crossing the line moment, but holy crud. He protests and she uses the helmet again and this scene just got really disturbing and not funny at all. I don’t even think they’re trying to be funny which is fine until the ending, oh boy.

The other operatives show up and Lizzie forces him to fight them. Yeah, this is where she crosses the line. To recap, she uses this creepy helmet to force him to be with her, than forces him to never see his friends again, then makes him fight them!

Gotta say, Lizzie is one of the craziest villains we’ve seen on the show, and that’s saying something.

Long story short, they end up being defeated and then the helmet blows up…after Nigel sees how much the restaurant is charging for their meal. Okay, that’s funny. Finally,an actual joke with the helmet.

Don’t ever use one of those things on me again, Lizzie”

No no no, you tell her to sod off and then have either arrested or highly punished for the horrible crap she did. Does he do that?

NOPE.

…Wanna get some ice cream?”

And they leave, with the other operatives still sitting there in defeat. The End. Oh boy, where do I start? Well, first off, even if this ending and how things play out is played for laughs, it’s really not funny.

What Lizzie was kind of horrible. I repeat: she uses this creepy helmet to force him to be with her, than forces him to never see his friends again, then makes him fight them. That’s flat out villainous behavior and yet she’s forgiven for really no reason.

I’m 100 percent sure she was supposed a villain but for some baffling reason, this happened. My main problem here is that what she does is too disturbing to be that enjoyable, especially with the ending. There’s not that many jokes in this episode in general, so it can’t make up for it’s issues with comedy.

But you know what, I could almost forgive this…if this was Lizzie’s only appearances, or if she appeared again and got better. ….Nope. She showed up and while had some good episodes like CAKED 2 (My favorite Caked Episode, if only for her being great for once), she was mostly still bad.

Not only was she kept as his girlfriend, but she was an annoying nagging girlfriend, which could have been funny in small does but they kept going back to this. Episodes like DATE, LEADER, LUNCH, and especially HOLIDAY had her being pretty bad. Doesn’t help that HOLIDAY also has a stupid misunderstanding plot. Honestly, that one’s almost as bad as this one but this is too much worse for them to be tied.

Heck, even her final appearance had her being bad. They tried a better harder to justify her actions but it just didn’t work out. And then she didn’t appear in the finale. You know where Nigel does a certain thing I’d like to see her reaction to?

The fact that she’s the one who broke up with him is really lame. What the hell does he see in her? Yeah, this makes this episode even worse. It has a bad introduction to a mostly bad character. The fact that she had some okay episodes does keep her from going on my list, bad I still dislike her.

And this episode started it all, with her somehow hooking up with Nigel despite doing some horrible things. This would certainly be on the first list if I saw it then. It’d be somewhere around where Your Ed Here was. What it means for the series is both why it would be that high, and why it wouldn’t quite be higher.

Others are slightly harder to watch and it really is they did with her later that bothers me so much. If this was a one off, I would still dislike it, but I forgive it. Not the case sadly. Still, this is a pretty bad one.

It has a character doing something pretty horrible, and is forgiven in an unfunny joke ending, then goes on to be just as bad in other episodes. This episode and Lizzie in general is a blight on an otherwise pretty dang good show.

Big Bug/Cold Sweat [Code Lyoko]

Season 1 Episode 5/Season 4 Episode 27

Writers: Alan Serluppus (Big Bug), Bruno Regeste and Sophie Decroisette

This tie is the oddest entry on the list. Everything else is an American show but here we have a French Cartoon, with this covering the English dub. And yet no anime, sorry. Code Lyoko is a bit complex to explain but in short, it’s a French show I gave a shot and mostly liked.

It’s far from great, though. Season 1 especially had it’s flaws. There’s quite a bit of filler (Yes, I’m using that word correctly), some episodes feel very bland and while the characters are fine, usually the best episodes work on a story level and the characters just work in it, and on their own they can fail.

I’ve gone into deep detail on DA so go there for more info on the show. But yeah, it could pretty good but man, then episodes dragged it down as all the problems with the show can be found.

We’ll start with Big Bug, but won’t spend too much time since I exhausted a lot of thoughts on DA, so go there for more passion. Still, I can sum things up here too.

http://spongey444.deviantart.com/art/Spongey-s-Notebook-Big-Bug-Cold-Sweat-631108172

PieGuyRulz did a video on how the problems with some episodes can be summed in a word “Frustrating/’ or “Problem” and went into how either can be seen as worse. I bring this up because Big Big sums up a Boring Bad episode perfectly.

Code Lyoko had kind of a problem with a formula. Especially in Season 1, Each Episode has the basic formula of “Xana is screwing stuff up so they go into Lyoko to stop it and deal with some other thing back on Earth”. It could work but other times the Earth stuff wasn’t strong enough to hold the episode, thus making it boring or forgettable.

This episode has that problem but takes it up a notch but having it’s Earth Plot be light and bad on a normal level. Because Sissi the Alpha Bitch (Yes, that’s her name, although not her real name, at least) is being a mild annoyance so they play a prank on her involving Odd’s dog.

Odd is not supposed to have a dog on campus which they somehow forgot and expected Sissi not to notice or care. Already this is contrived as all hell. So Odd gets detention for that which prevents him from going to Lyoko with the others.

This is the only interesting concept in the episode and they did it way better in many other episode later on. Did I mention this was only Episode 5? Also yes, they had Sissi get them in trouble for a different reason than they should, just to make her look worse when really, the others are worse than in her in this one.’

After bland Lyoko stuff (I don’t even remember what Xana did in this one, and I don’t want to bother looking it up), they do the return to the past (don’t ask). Do you think they’ve learned their lesson and won’t do that cruel prank again?

Nope, they just do a worse one which involves one of her lackies, who did nothing wrong in this episode, by the way. It’s done in a way where Sissi doesn’t know they did it. She’ll figure it out at this point but I guess that doesn’t matter.

Yeah, this one is those “Protagonist Centered Morality” situations. Sissi might be slightly annoying but she does nothing worse than usual. I can’t remember what she does in this because it’s just that boring.

But what our “heroes” do is way worse. Both pranks are just kind of cruel and the only punishment is slightly forced and then reversed. The whole situation basically makes all the characters into jerks.

I’m not asking for them to be perfect, but perhaps getting away with petty dumb pranks is a bad thing. But like I said, this one’s problem is being boring. It’s problems aren’t even uniquely bad, I’ve seen worse cruel prank type plots before.

And it’s all the plot amounts to, since the Lyoko stuff doesn’t stand at all. Even If the set up of the plot wasn’t bad, it would still fail because barely anything happens. Doesn’t take too long for Odd to break out and by the end, nothing is learned or really accomplished besides the usual.

Boring Bad Episodes don’t usually bother me that much but this went to great lengths. It has morality problems that aren’t even unique on top of that. Without the actual character/moral problems, I could forgive it being boring bad but here we are.

Some boring bad episodes aren’t even worth talking about but this one is, so…that’s something. Yeah, I’m just stalling because I said most of what I could on the notepage. So let’s focus more on Cold Sweat, which is later in the series. So much later that I thought they were past these problems but here we are.

Odd leaks an embarrassing picture of Yumi because he’s an asshole. Seriously, right off the bat there’s a major character problem. When Yumi comes in he asks Ulrich to cover for him and he says yes….for some reason. He agrees before finding out what Ulrich even did, which should have raised alarm bells for him but nope.

Yumi yells at him but Ulrich keeps his promise…even after finding out what he did. We just started and 2 of the main characters are completely unlikable for no reason. Good going.

‘Why did you do?”

I haven’t the slightest idea”

She doesn’t question further and just leaves. Ugh.

They go to Lyoko to a thing I again don’t care about and Ulrich explains the to the others what happened and they aren’t mad at him…for some reason. After this, the problems slow down as mostly get Lyoko action for a bit, and I will say it’s more interesting and enjoyable than in Big Bug.

It goes on for quite a bit too but at some point Odd and Yumi have downtime and the crappy parts start up again. Yumi wonders why Ulrich did it and he comes up with a bullshit reason rather than telling her the truth. And it’s not the reason that Odd did it, it’s some dumb thing about Ulrich wanting Yumi’s attention.

Oh yeah, pointless ship pandering. The action starts up and we do get a cool climax with a lava monster which spoilers is important to the series kinda. Yep, it’s Mastermind of Disastermind all over again.

Long story short, they do some stuff and go back to Earth, having bumped into a new problem I don’t care about explaining. It’s story arc releated, so it’ll just fly over your head. They head home and Yumi and Ulrich have a “moment” which fails because A, it’s blatant ship pandering and B it’s all based on something false. Not to mention that she should be mad he thought this crap was a good idea. He can get her attention without being an asshole.

Next time, try talking to me instead of doing something so dumb”

Exactly!

And right after, Odd calls Yumi and admits it was all him. Yeah, the transition to Odd feeling bad is nonexistent. And Yumi is really mad about it despite the moment they had.

The next day, Yumi leaks an embarrassing picture of the two as revenge. The episode ends with Ulrich chasing Odd instead of the person who leaked the picture. Plus, he told Odd to tell her! It was before their moment, but still.

So in the end, most of the characters are assholes for no reason. Odd leaks a picture because reasons, Ulrich covers for him because reasons, and despite a moment, Yumi does something bad as petty revenge and everyone is mad at each other. What great friends.

Both episodes have petty revenge being shown as okay, weird. This has more good things than Big Bug as most of the episode is set on Lyoko and only a couple bad things happen there.

But this episode still sucks because nothing about the human side of the plot works. The characters are jerks for no reason and the ending is so stupid. At least in Big Bug the torture happened to an Alpha Bitch, so you can argue it’s not too bad. Here, it’s just so off what they do to each other.

What more can say I about this one it’s own? It’s pretty simple, everyone is a jerk for no reason, or dumb reasons. As for which is worse…eh. The good stuff happens for a longer time in Cold Sweat but it’s problems are bigger.

Yet Cold Sweat at least has interesting problems while Big Big is boring in every way. However, I can almost see why they though the torture to Sissi was a good idea since she is a bitch. I just don’t approve of how they did it.

It’s a tie, both are equally bad when you compare them. Either way, these episodes were huge screw ups. Every problem the show has is found in these episodes and they are just bad.

I suppose Big Bug can get slack for being early in the series, but Cold Sweat was one of the last few, so there’s no excuse. The show did get better and ended on a nice note. And before you ask, I have seen Evolution. My DA has more details but in short….meh.

These would be on the list now, somehow right below LIZZIE. Fairly close but that pissed me off more and did more damage to it’s series, so there you go. Either way, these episodes suck pretty badly.

Neutopia [Futurama]

Season 6, Episode 20

Writer: J. Stewart Burns

We covered one Matt Greoning show, so here’s the other one. Like most people, I love Futurama and I liked the Comedy Central Era too. Now, I haven’t re-watched the whole series so I can’t this is the worst episode, but it’s bad enough to be here.

While the Comedy Central era was still good, it was more prone to bad episodes, this being a prime example. Let’s get into it.

This one doesn’t start too bad. The Planet Express crew must pay their mortgage to keep the building and it’s 11 million dollars. But it doesn’t take long for the seeds of the problem to start. Amy and Leela blame their financial woes on the Men’s dumb ideas.

-you should listen to a woman’s idea for once”

Yep, we’re covering this again. This has …different problems form The Intruder though. It gets more leeway for being more self aware since it is an adult cartoon and spoilers, they ATTEMPT to teach the right lesson.

They come with the idea to become a commercial airline, but the men shut it down in favor of a girlie calendar. Yeah, the men gets pretty badly flanderized in this episode. It’s not so bad now but oh boy.

They can’t do this with only two female employees, so they get a third one: Hermes’ wife. Oh he gets more likable by the second. Then they realize 3 isn’t good enough either, and just go back to the airline idea.

Well, that was pointless. Well, sorta, but we’ll get there. Fry and Hermes are made the main pilots, instead of their actual trained pilot because they have to be sexists as possible for the sake of the story.

Because of Fry’s bottomless stupidity, he falls asleep and they run out of fuel, causing them to crash. It doesn’t long for them to decide to from a society to survive on this seemingly barren planet which naturally becomes another excuse for the genders to bicker.

Notice how the men are acting waaaaay worse than the women here. That’s going to a problem in the end.

Then a rock monster creature pops up because why not, who notices their fighting and how it’s based on gender. His species only has one gender so I guess I’m calling him an it or they. Because even it says it has nothing better to do so, they will do a series of tests to see who is the better genre.

This goes as well as you’d expect. Yeah, you see they will attempt to teach the moral about both genders being equal but you can’t do that one the men as protryed as worse all the way through. So far, the women haven’t done anything really bad or dumb, not even Amy. You know, the kinda dumb one. They don’t take full advantage of the differences between the genders….unless it’s to make lame stereotypes jokes, like how the women immediate know the answer to some of it’s questions like “Name any 12 of the Desperate Housewives”.

I’m not sure how this show usually handles gender dynamics but this episode sure as hell doesn’t do it well at all. Besides, it took long to exploit any flaws of the female gender.

The real test will have them trying to get to the “Cave of Harmony” before the sun gets closer as this planet’s sun can get of burn them alive. Later, both Hermes and his wife sneak to the other side to get something and bump into each other. Then they do it because….sure.

By the way, them both getting this same idea is the first time both genders seem equal at all. Too little to late. They oversleep and wake up in time for the sun to start cooking them, but the rock person saves them.

It turns out this test was supposed to teach them to work together, which of course failed. It figures the only way to resolve this conflict is use his space magic to remove their genders and pretty much neutr them all.

It takes 15 minutes into a 22 minute episode to get to the Neutopia. Wow. It leaves and they just randomly jump into working on fixing their ship. By the way, they can survive in the sun now even them it was cooking Hermes back before because screw consistency.

They actually get things done a lot faster and in general are more efficient.

This place is like a Neutered Utopia, A Neutopia”

Roll credits!

Hermes and his wife have a moment ….and then he remembers what sex is like and demands that the rock monster give their genitals back. It agrees to do this because even though they are happier this way, Hermes wife says humanity isn’t about being happy and yada yada.

I get it, they are doing the moral where differences are good and such….but he brings their genders back right away. That’s right, the titular Neutopia lasted for for less than 5 minutes of a 22 minute episode.

Yeah, the other big problem is the pacing. It wastes time on things that aren’t important and rushes through some interesting ideas. I’m not sure what else they could do with this idea but it gets almost no time to develop at all.

And it’s done even done, as they are accidentally given the wrong gender. Oh great, Rule 63. But before the rock person can fix it, Zap Branigan shows up and kills him out of nowhere.

I got your distress call and came as quickly as I wanted to”

Okay, this episode does have some funny moments.

They go home and the women find it is hard being a man for various reasons I can attest to. But the men are doing pretty well as women.

Now when I say stupid things, guys all laugh and buy me stuff”

You seriously digging that whole deeper when it comes to the gender stuff. Then they remember the foreclosure plot line, as this episode can’t focus on too much at once. They now have many women on staff so they can ….do the calendar.

We do get to see the process, because fuck you. This includes a Naked Farnssworth. …..Can we just end already?! They sell enough of them to get a profit.

Thank god most of our fans are huge perverts”

The another rock alien the other mentioned before shows up to fix their genders, because why not pile on more stuff. And with a small bit with Hermes and his wife, the episode just kinda stops.

I went more detail than with the other ones because I figured doing that gave you a better idea of how much of a mess this one is. As a look at genders, it fails because the men are portrayed as stupid as possible, with women always being smarter. It takes too long for them to be equal

I’m okay with stereotypes jokes if they’re funny but here they just feel so lame and the writing is piss poor. It does too much in one episode and in the end nothing is really developed. Oh, and saying that not having anything that defines you as one of the “two genders” makes you a boring slab certainly raises….unfortunate implications.

The characters are all unlikable for most of it and the bickering is just not fun to watch. There is a happy ending at least but honestly, the only positives I have for this are there are some good jokes and I like the idea of what are trying to do.

But they messed it up big time. The Comedy Central Era had problems but it was never THIS bad! This episode is just a mess with tons of unfortunate implications and it’s just not fun. Another bad blight on a great show.

Starter Pack [Regular Show]

Season 4, Episode 3

Writers: Benton Conner and Hilary Florido

And we have our first of two shows that were on the previous list. In this case, I think,episode is objectively…just as bad as the one I picked. I had not re-watched it until after I did it, and I would have consider it tying them if I had seen it that point.

I mean, this has more I can point to as good,but at least that episode had a point to it. This episode is just…confused. You may recall that Thomas had a rocky history in the series, and this his first real episode after being introduced in Exit 9b.

It did not start him on the best foot. Thomas goes through his initiation where the other workers play playful pranks on him via a fun montage, which is the highlight of the episode. But the next day, Muscle Man keeps pranking him because he thinks his initiation has “just begun”.’

Of course, he goes too far which worries Mordecai and Rigby. However, Thomas keeps telling them he’s fine with it because he feels it’s still in good fun. It’s important to keep everything about the first half in mind.

What Muscle Man does of course starts out harmless enough, but his pranks keep getting worse, like giving him an atomic wedgie via driving the cart. Ouch. Thomas claiming he’s okay with it, is clearly a lie he’s telling himself, because he thinks Muscle Man isn’t being a jerk and doesn’t know how far he can go.

That nuance is very important to mention. Thomas is in over his head here, clearly. Oh, and no one else thinks this is a problem at all. Not even Skips, who laughs at that prank I mentioned. Yes, even Skips is out of character here.

They shrug it off simply because Thomas is okay with it. They do know just how bad Muscle Man gets right? Does no one remember Prankless? Benson just shows him a video on how pranking goes wrong, and Muscle Man doesn’t get the point and thinks the cruel even by his standards pranks are a good idea.

Yeah, if you think he was Flanderized in White Elephant, oh boy. Anyway, they just want Thomas to stand up for himself and decide to help him. They do this by pranking him and telling him Thomas did it.

Not the most effective plan but anything to make the characters seem in the wrong when they are actually aren’t, right? The plan almost works. I say almost because they prank him …but after being told Thomas did it he goes berserk and legitimately tries to kill him.

…The hell?! He’s not exactly the most sane guy, but he never goes THIS far. And all because someone played a small prank on him after he did tons of them? He throws a freaking building on Thomas, and while they reveal that it was them, it’s not before the building crushes his car with him in it.

We just killed Thomas!”

…Something even more anger inducing is about to happen.

We should have left it alone, and now he’s dead because of us”

In a terrible but predictable twist, it turns out Muscle Man and Thomas faked that. Yes, Thomas was in on that and they both made Mordecai and Rigby think he was dead. Do they explain how the hell they planned all this?

Of course not. Muscle Man even just runs off. The episode ends with the two walking off Mom, followed by a dumb joke with Thomas

…Where do I begin with this? Just, wow, this episode is even worse than I thought before. The first problem is that they never explain how they even set this up. They never imply anything. Was this the plan from the start, or did they come up with it later? How did both of them find out about the plan to come up with their counter plan?

You need to at least attempt to explain this, guys. But that’s a small issue compared to the big one: The moral is basically “If you see someone being abused, then don’t interfere because fuck you, that’s why”.

The episode seemed to be building up a “Fight your own battle” moral…but that doesn’t happen. The situation is “resolved” by Thomas cruelly pranking the two along with Muscle Man.

It’s supposed to some sort of comeuppance but that’s hardly a fitting punishment for not letting Thomas deal with it himself. But here’s the thing, Thomas did show signs of not exactly liking it and he knows what it is like to have cruel pranks played on him. So he decides to do that to them but worse for no reason?

That’s the thing, after a couple scenes of him saying he doesn’t mind it, we never go deeper into how he feels? Does he really think this is fine? Why did he go with Muscle Man’s plan? Never explored, as it’s all from Mordeicai and Rigby’s POV.

If we get some insight into how Thomas feels, perhaps the moral could be more justified. And yes, the reveal with Thomas in The Real Thomas might explain things, but i’m fairly sure they didn’t plan it out when they wrote this, and even if they did, that’s dumb. We shouldn’t have to wait 2 more seasons for this episode to make slightly more sense.

It is worth noting that it seemed to slightly backfire on Thomas as his car got trashed and he clearly doesn’t like that. However, what I said doesn’t’ make up for that, and that means the only person who is happy in the end is the person who did the worst stuff!

If the ending to White Elephant was tacked onto this, I would have enjoyed it so much more.

This episode is just confusing. I can’t tell if I should take this moral seriously given the set up or not. If I do, then it’s…problematic, but if I don’t, then they ruined a possibly okay story with a dumb joke that makes everyone terrible.

The whole thing is just confusing, cruel, and messy. They ignore basic rules of story writing just to pull the rug out from under us and have a big dumb joke ending. I’m not saying you can’t turn a moral into a joke, but you can do that while still writing an okay story.

Going to White Elephant, some found it refreshing that they didn’t’ turn it into a cheesy moral and just let Muscle Man have it. As much as I think they botched it, I see where it could have worked and if you can see that one as a guilty pleasure if you hate him enough.

This, appeals to no one really. Any joy is taken away by how bad the writing is. Even the writing on White Elephant wasn’t this bad. And yes, this is worse and should replace it on the list. I’m just glad Thomas improved after this, and indeed came back after Real Thomas, because this did not start him on a good note.

In short, this episode is confused and doesn’t know how seriously it should be taken and becomes a big mess with bad morals, and everyone being out of character, cruel, or unfairly punished.

Not much works aside from two minor things, the opening and the tape that is kind of amusing. Otherwise, this was a mess, and I’m glad the show didn’t sink this low, or even as low as White Elephant afterwards.

And yes, expect a follow up list for the last couple seasons to discuss it ending and such. After this, I need it.

The New Black [The Boondocks]

Season 4, Episode 10

Writer: Rodney Barnes

When it comes to adult cartoons, The Boondocks was a surprise gem for me. It’s one that mixes vulgar humor, with wacky situations and of course racial/social commentary and good stories. Even when it wasn’t being super deep, it was an enjoyable Adult Cartoon. Give Adult Swim Credit, when they get it right, they get it right.

Then Season 4 happened. It had no involvement with the original creator, confirming this is ALWAYS a bad sign. I swear MLP is the only show to survive without it’s original creator. To be fair, Season 4 was mostly just…okay to me.

Only two episodes were flat out bad and most of it was fine. However, 2 episodes were REALLY good, and the rest is mostly…just eh. They tried an arc for the first time but it didn’t work that well.

The show was once good at doing it’s own thing and not copy thing what other shows are doing, even when it does into the crass jokes. Season 4 changed that and felt like it was trying to be South Park when it comes to the storytelling. Because of that, the spark was just missing. The better episodes felt closer to it’s own thing instead of a copy.

Sometimes it even becomes like Family Guy, down to a having a character (obviously jokingly) saying that they don’t respect the viewers intelligence. Yes, it;s a joke but that’s something Family Guy would pull. The comes the bad episodes. We had Grandpa Dates a Kardashian which basically has one joke and you can guess what it is. It wasn’t funny and the attempt at satire at the end felt forced. But at least it had one in retesting idea and I can see the humor making up for the issues for some.

Not so much for this episode. I don’t hate it as much as some entries on here but it’s still bad. Especially because it ended up being the SEASON/SERIES FINALE. But guess what? It wasn’t the finale in production order, they aired out of order! They did the same with the premiere too. The heck?

But onto the episode. There isn’t quite as much to cover in terms of plot at least. It starts out simply enough. Riley sees a gay kid dancing and he says “That’s Gay” in his usual way. That’s part of his character, so In most cases I’d be fine with it.

Then right away this little bit gets him in hot water to the point where it makes the news. First problem, this is a rehash of a previous episode and it’s done much worse here. This episode is pretty obviously satirizes something…..but what they are satirizing is a different story.

The set up is they take a dumb off hand comment very seriously and turn him into the most hated person in town. There’s a set up for satire but the execution is…confusing.

But it was gay, why should I have to apologize? I saw gay, and I said gay. That ain’t bully, that’s an astute observation”

Keep that line in mind, I’ll rant on it later. This episode does hit on some good jokes or points, like when Reverend Goodlove points out that you can say the N word on TV but not the other F word or they’ll blip it. That’s funny but….South Park did it, and the DVD’s are uncensored, including for this season, thus killing the joke.

The other problem with this episode is that it’s boring. Most of it is the same: They want Riley to say sorry, but he refuses to do and keeps wanting to call gay things gay. Because it’s not clear what the message here it feels aimless. It’s also not funny because most of the jokes come from the situation, which is not a well written one.

Eventually, Robert says Riley is “Special” to excuse his behavior. And now this episode is about that. Yep, the episode changes gears to be about this. They try to fit in as part of the bigger satire but this is where things go off the rails.

The pro gay people boo because they hate mentally handicapped kids and the cycle begins anew. Then we get jokes at the expense of mentally disabled people, that would not out of place in Family Guy.

Needless to say, awful jokes like that shoot any satire they are going for in the foot. There’s actually a lot of jokes like that, like when Riley is confused as to what LGBT means or when Sweetlove (Yes, that’s the character’s name) says he “needs” Riley and they right away think they want to do him.

Yeah. The President of the Special Abeld Alliance against deformation shows up who is mad since Riley is not really specially abeld. He’s mad because…he’s not in on this and gettng money off of this. The “Yes Homo” people were the same way too. This episode tries to make fun of everyone but it backfires and just insults everyone. Because the family has no family, they’ll have Riley come to the special Olympics.

You’re literally making me a poster child for retarded kids!”

Don’t say the R Word. That’s a very bad word!”

Two Weeks later, Riley finds that pretending to be special worked for him as he got away with a lot because of it. Which we don’t see but hey, it would just further remind me of South Park.

At the Special Olympics, Riley quits at the last moment and uses the R word in front of everyone. All of the mentally handicapped people are drawn as stereotypical as possible, by the way.

So they stomp him in the nuts, then chase him. The end! …Wait, what? Yep, an abrurt ending and one of the worst on this list. Not only do they switch gears halfway through, but it gets no true resolution and no one learns anything.

There’s so much wrong here. One problem is there’s no one to root for. People like Robert just kind of exist and Riley is homophobic and ablest and no in any kind of funny way. Heuy is there but says barely anything and just tells Riley to apologize and that’s really it. There’s no one to connect to.

Even in the most over the top satire, you need SOMETHING to connect. If not that, then a clear understanding of what you are trying to say. The only message I can see is in te title. It’s true that things like this just repeat themselves, first people are outraged over use the N word, then it’s all about Homophobic statements.

People can be oversensitive sometimes but what kills this is the context. See, if I were to use the events of the episode to find a moral, it would e “It’s okay to be Homophobic, as long as you use the right wording”.

I’m not kidding, that’s all I can find. Because there’s no one who is in the right (Besides MAYBE Heuy, but again, he does nothing), I can only see that. It tries to advocate free speech I suppose but it just fails.

It tries to be like South Park attacking all sides, but you still need some kind of clear message. Even this show gets it. The Obama episode attacked both sides but it wasn’t the kind of episode that needed a real message, and you got the idea that they saw the pros and cons of both.

If you’re not going to take a side, at least be funny. But as I said, this episode is mostly boring and with only a few amusing moments. And at worst, he have jokes making fun of gay people and the mentally handicapped, which are just not funny above all else.

This really feels like it’s trying to be South Park but it’s more like Modern Family Guy, it’s honestly that bad. There’s good IDEAS for satire, like with the title but the execution is a mess. No one is likable, the plot switches and has an abrupt episode, and it’s not funny.

I can forgive anything if it’s funny but it’s just not. Any point it wants to make is just muddled or doesn’t come through. I’m sure people have pretentious essays about the ‘point’ of this episode and if anyone can calmly explain what they are truly saying, I’d love to hear it, but the episode isn’t even interesting enough for me to want to think about it.

And given what show this is, that’s kind of sad. Would this be on the proper list now? Eh, almost. I don’t hate watching it as much as others but it’s enough of an insult to a once good show to be a runner up.

I’m sure they had a point somewhere, but it got lost along the way. Ah well.

American Fung [American Dad]

Season 12, Episode 14

Writer: Greg Cohen

And we have our 2nd entry from a show that was on the list. This episode had aired when I did the list, but now when I first saw Bully For Steve and decided it would be on the list. I can’t remember if I saw this one after I had posted it, but I didn’t mention it so I guess I hadn’t.

It would go on the list instead of it. Because for all of that episodes problem, I’ll say this: It has a plot.

Well, okay this has a plot but ….oh boy. American Dad was able to step out of the shadow of Family Guy and become it’s own things. Even it’s bad episodes, for the most part, aren’t Family Guy.

The biggest exception is this episode, which feels ripped straight from Family Guy. This is from the first Season the show was on TBS and this is the only TBS Episode I’ve seen. I hear those episodes are still good so I guess this is just a fluke.

This shouldn’t take too long. The episode immediately begins with a sign of what we’re in for. A live action guy named Fung Wah tells us how funny american televsion is.

Who is funniest?”

Well, I think-

Seth MacFarlane”

Uh….sure. Long story short, this Chinese business man has bought out American Dad. Not for real, it’s just a joke. Yes, that is the main “joke” of the episode. The idea is a lot funnier than the actual execution.

That crap takes up most of the episode, but there actually is an “attempt” at a “plot” aside from that. Stan forgets his and Francine’s anniversary so he has her put in a mental insituation to give him time to plan it.

.Wait, what?

That’s the actual plot. We just started and Stan has been derailed beyond all belief. That’s actual impressive. Do I even need to explain the problem here? From what I’ve seen, he would never be this awful, or this stupid for that matter.

3 Days later, he goes to get her out and he has his anniversary gift….a bucket of chicken. This episode is already kinda defying my reviewing style, because do I need to explain why this is horrible? It speaks for itself!

I Hate You’”

At least she reacts accordingly. Which is kind of amazing, actually. However, her breakdown from this causes her to kept up in the mental hospital.

Oh god, I totally ruined this,….birthday?”

Fuck you.

As you would expect, the scenes with her in there have as many tasteless jokes as you expect. This is where it really becomes like Family Guy. And to be honest, there’s not a lot more to say.

Recapping the whole plot is pointless because I just told you what it all is. The Fung Wah stuff amounts to him popping into the show so the characters can suck his dick and the actual plot has Stan being horrible,a bunch of tasteless jokes.

Let’s just skip to the end. Stan breaks her out but gets caught, and they are taken to have a lobotomy. Only now does Stan attempt to apologize but it’s too little to late, even in universe, as the lobotomy happens.

Then they cut back to Fung Wah who randomly says that things worked for them. Apparently they left and fixed all their problems at one of Fung’s hotels, in a lazy way to tie the two plots together.

And it ends here….after more drawn out shit with Fung to pad this out to 22 minutes. Yeah, that wasn’t too indepth because this is more focused on comedy but god is it not funny. The main problem is the Fung crap drags on for waaaay too long.

I get where this could have been funny but it drags on so long and none of it is funny. Some of the parts with them dropping what they are doing to praise Fung are amusing, not so much it going for so long, especially at the end.

They drop all pretenses of plot for this. The actual plot is not much better. Stan is horrible and the situation is used for lazy bad jokes. I’m not sure how the heck this could have worked, but that’s why this was a big idea.

The Fung thing is funny for a skit it an episode, but outstays it’s welcome when dragged out. This wasn’t exactly “piss me off from offensive-ness” bad, but “this isnt even an episode” bad. There’s more or less no real plot in the end and the jokes drag on too long to be funny.

It’s something different, but in a bad way. Doing “Research’, I found a Reddit post analyzing the purpose and well, it kinda makes a point.

https://www.reddit.com/r/americandad/comments/3bz7k2/the_purpose_of_american_fung/

I can’t really dispute it since it is made clear this just all dumb satire, rather than a real story. Although he goes a bit too deep. This is kinda satire just to the that extent. Honestly, my problem is that I don’t find it funny at all.

The jokes go on too long, snuffing out the mildly amusing concept. American Dad and Family Guy for that matter have episodes clearly set aside to be jokes or satire and not be stories. But even the lesser ones try harder than this.

As much as I subjectively really dislike it, I suppose me just not finding it funny puts it above episodes that try to have a plot and become horrible. I was expecting to get all mad in this section but really I’m just…eh.

After a 2nd run through, I just find this one really boring because it drags. Stan is horrible but not in a way I need to explain. And if it is on purpose, it’s just not funny. It relies almost too much on humor, even more so than the funniest episodes on the show.

Sometimes basing your episode one joke can work, sometimes it can’t and it really did not here. Is this the worst American Dad Episode? To me yes, but I will admit some do worse by trying more, somehow.

It’s just an extremely bad and failed experiment I didn’t find funny. But if you did….that’s fine. I was just wanna move on to episodes that actually give me something to talk about. So let’s do so.

And our final entry is..

Hundred Dollar Gus [Uncle Grandpa]

Season 2, Episode 12

Writer: Zac Gorman (Story by like 50 people)

I spoke about Uncle Grandpa in the Weird Al post and yeah, I still like it. It’s certainly flawed but it has gotten better and can be funny. Infact, I wanted to put one ep on the previous list but I wanted to reverse the list for better shows at the time.

But now I like it more and it’s time to take on an episode. I haven’t seen every single episode, at least not many recent ones so I’m not sure if it’s still the worst, but it’s certainly the worst I’ve seen.

Let’s talk about Pizza Steve. He’s on the same level as Bloo and Howard as sometimes his nature is funny, or he is toned down, but other time he’s an annoying jerk which can ruin episodes.

Steve’s case is odd as there exists some episodes where they tease him learning a lesson…but nope, lame comedy ending. Brain Game, Numbskull, and Prank War all fall under this and it’s kinda getting old.

This episode has it at it’s worse, as it’s after all 3. It has other problem so let’s take a look. We start with Steve complaining UG’s been in the bathroom since “The Ice Age” ….Wasn’t his voice actor in Ice age 5 a year later?

Whoa.

Pizza Steve finds a hundred dollar bill and tells Uncle Grandpa it is not his, as not UG’s. Hard to tell from how I constructed that sentence. Instead of thinking of something that made sense, he tells him that the dollar bill is actually Mr. Gus, and that the real Mr Gus is some “weirdo stranger”.

UG doesn’t question anything and calls the cops. I know his intelligence often changes but this is pushing it.

Don’t taze me bro!”

Really? I thought it was lame when FOP said it, but…wow.

With the “Stranger” taken care of, they go the mall to spend some money. And that’s our incredibly stupid premise. I know this show has no logic, that’s usually okay. But usually the premise makes more sense than THIS!

The entire plot happens because the main character is a flat out gullible idiot, and Steve had the lamest excuse ever. It’s a dumb set up, even for this show. I mean, what’s he gonna do once he spends the money? Tells UG Gus turned into the objects he bought, or what?

Most of the episode is Steve facing close calls, with Uncle Grandpa almost finding out or becoming suspicious and Steve trying to hide the truth. The set up makes this less funny than it could have been, and it’s mostly repetitive.

Steve at least starts feeling guilty but each time he just keeps on doing what he’s doing. At one point his conscience speaks to him in the form of Mr Gus of course, but then he says “I forgot, I don’t have a conscience” and just spends the money.

Yeah, it gets boring and aggregating fairly quickly. To be fair, they do put in a few jokes during all this, some of which are even funny like when Uncle Grandpa gets a Caricature by someone who hates their job. Not enough to save this but eh, it’s not all bad at least.

Eventually, Uncle Grandpa sees Steve spend the money but just thinks the lady took Mr. Gus. They frame it in a such way for this to barely make sense in terms of how it plays out.

He takes “Mr. Gus” and the cops chase after them. Cops who are all 2 weeks from retirement. Like I said, it has it’s moments. By the way, they still have this car thing he spent the money on, so just giving the money back is not an option for Steve.

They get cornered and now Steve considers coming clean to get off the hook. So of course….he doesn’t and they all end up in jail,but Steve tells UG that they are in the RV so it’s all okay. The end!

…Wow, that was a stupid episode. Not even in the funny way, for the most part. There are main problems and we’ve touched on them. 1st is that the premise is stupid, even for this show. There’s no reason for UG to buy anything and that’s the only reason this plot even happens.’

It’s an Idiot Plot and it’s not even a funny one, like some episodes. For all the shows’ weirdness, it’s typically done for Comedy, not as an excuse for bad writing. The actual plot is the same thing over and over again and thanks the ending, there’s no reason to re-watch as you know no one will learn anything. That’s another thing. We get it, Pizza Steve will just be back at Square 1 in the next episode. You don’t need FOUR episodes with insulting endings to remind us!

Especially because there no exist good episodes where he learns something, even if it’s still all silly with him going back to normal in the next episode. It may have been funny at one point due to being surprising, but now it’s not, so it’s just a predictable punchline.

The whole episode hinges on it so just makes the whole thing pointless. I mean, at least Steven uses a lie to make UG happy but after he refused to tell the truth and got in jail, that’s not really enough.

Is Pizza Steve so selfish he would rather go to jail than tell the truth? Come on, he’s not THAT bad! This stretches his character too far, I think. Maybe someone finds this funny but in this episode, it’s just dull and annoying.

But to be fair, I dislike it slightly less than my first viewings. It at least has some good jokes and I’ve sat through worse on this list. Arnold Betrays Iggy is still the “Best” thing on here though.

Even with it being not terrible, it’s just the worst from the show as the premise is not even good, on top of all the usual problems. It’s just a mostly stupid, and and annoying episode. Not the biggest way to the end the list,but  a decently fitting one.

And those were 10 more bad episodes of Cartoons I like. This is fun to do, for some reason. I had seen so many more I had to share them. As for the worst of this patch, probably American Fung, followed by Starter Pack than Operation LIZZIE. Those just bothered me the most with their incompetence.

I may do a third someday but I’d have to find at least 5 more worth diciussing, and I only had a couple ideas that got kicked out. May be awhile before the next one. But before I even think of doing another, I have another idea.

I’ve been mostly down on good shows for the sake of these lists. How about something positive? You may wonder if the opposite can happen. You know, Bad Shows having an actually good episode?

Well, you’ll find out with…

Top Good Episodes of Cartoons I DON’T like!

COMING EVENTUALLY

See ya.

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General Review: Smurfs The Lost Village

Hello, Smurfey….i mean Spongey here.

Two Animated films two weeks in a row? Now that’s s Smurfng nice treat! …Okay, I’m not doing that during this whole review. But anyway, let’s talk Smurfs. I went into them a bit in my review of the 2011 film so you can there for my info.

The Smurfs is one of those things that’s just there for me. Haven’t seen too much from it but of course I know the basic details. Most people seem to think Smurfs in general is just kinda there, a harmless mildly amusing kids thing and yeah, that’s how I feel.

So I’m in the middle, I can go either way. I certainly went to the negative way when it came to the Live Action films I reviewed years ago. They got some parts right, but they were mostly soulless cash ins that send them to our world for some baffling reasons.

They made money but the 2nd one didn’t do AS well as hoped, so that franchise stopped there. However, soon after they announced…they would be starting over and doing an all animated version for their next movie.

Needless to say, this made a lot of people happy. Fully animated talks on old cartoons tend to far better, as long as you don’t dump it on DVD and put wrestlers in it for some reason. (Oh, you’ll have your day on here eventually….)

And when the trailers came out, I got more interested. I honestly though it looked pretty good, with great looking cartoon-y animation and some amusing bits. Sure, there was plenty of ways it could fail, but I think it looked decent, even taking the previous films out of it.

Now it’s here an we’ll see how it is. Shockingly, it has a 31 on RT which kinda fills me with dread but Black Nerd liked it so that’s cool.

The writers have not done much, and the Director has done a lot of solid animation work like directing Spirit Stallion of the Cimarron and Gnomeo and Juliet.

And it’s being done by Sony Pictures Animation. Not sure if I’ve talked about them before (Besides reviewing Hotel Transylvania once), but I like them fine. They got a really solid cartoon-y style for them and their films tend to be pretty fun. Insert reference to a certain someone who does not like them here.

With that said, will this be the animated Smurfs film we’ve been waiting for, or is a pile of Smurf? Let’s find out.

This is Smurfs: The lost Village

ANIMATION:

At this point, I think Sony has nailed Cartoon-y Animation and this film nicely applies it to the world of Smurfs. It is more retrained than usual but it fits the world. The Smurfs look exactly like they should, being cartoon-y and nicely designed.

The world is nicely realized. The village looks fine but it’s the forbidden Forrest and the Lost Village that really shine. There’s some nice colors and it’s a well crafted world. The character animation is of course cartoon and moves fast , while still looking good. The designs are good, although it does do the big nose thing.

I wouldn’t say there’s anything amazing in the animation, but it is a nice looking film with decent eye candy for kids. Not too much to say, mostly because I want to write more about the other stuff.

So yeah, the animators did a good job capturing the world of the Smurfs, being Cartoon-y but still toning things down from their usual stuff to fit with the franchise better. It’s a nice looking film overall.

WRITING:

A mysterious map prompts Smurfette, Brainy, Clumsy, and Hefty to find a lost village, while Gargamell tries to catch them and Smurfette deals with being the only female, with no defining trait like the others.

Let me answer your first question: Yes, it is better than the live action movies. But in gneneal, eating a cupcake is better than eating dog poop. It kind of goes without saying. With that out of the way, how is the writing on it’s own?

It’s…decent! I’ll say right now it won’t blow you away, but it’s not supposed to so, it’s a Smurfs movie. I will say the biggest problem with it: It plays it very safe. There’s no surprises, and nothing groundbreaking or great.

It mostly works but there are small cliches like a pointless “Romance” and a cop out ending. But otuside of that, there’ nothing actually bad here. It plays it safe, but the story at least make sense in it’s own way, and there’s thankfully a lack of annoying pop culture stuff. …Except for a bit with a Selfie but it’s only one part, thankfully.

Some will enjoy the safe route, others will find that it makes the film bland. I can see why but I think it works. I do wish it took more risks…but after the other movies, I’m glad it’s just faithful to Smurfs at all.

As for the story itself, the best aspect is Smurfette. They go into her backstory and palce in the village, as she was made by Gargamel and doesn’t have a defining trait like the other Smurfs.

They actually do a good job of going into this. Sure, it goes how you expect with a typical moral but it’s a good moral for kids and the scenes that explore her are nicely done. Nothing complex but it works and is the highlight of the film.

The overall journey is typical but is a fun little adventure that lends itself to some amusing moments. The humor mostly worked for me with the characters giving me some decent laughs. Again, nothing crazy but the humor is mostly good, minus a butt joke or two.

That butt joke, is as PG as the film ever gets. It is one of the most G Rated Films I’ve seen in a long time…but it’s rated PG because the MPAA is full of idiots.

As I said, it plays it safe so there’s nothing too deep or shocking. Things still play out well, and while they with the village what you expect they would do, it’s still well done and they have some fun there.

By the way, yes Smurfs 2 also had a Smurfette story but this time, it’s well done all the way and there’s none of the NPH Daddy drama crap. At least they took the only good parts of the other movies.

There’s not too much to say. The writing plays it safe which can be an issue in some parts, but for me it mostly made for a fine script which is a decent adventure with some nice exploration of Smurette.

It’s a totally safe kids film but it’s not insulting, nor does it totally shut off adults. It doesn’t offer a ton but for what they did, I personally think it works fine. Safe but it works for what it is.

CHARECTERS:

The characters fit with the rest, as there’s no one who is complex but they act exactly like the should, and the voice actors bring them to life. There’s not a lot to really examine but it focuses on a core group, fairly well.

Starting with Smurfette, voiced by Demi Lovato. Yes, she’s relevant enough to be a Celeb voice actor. Smurfette is the best written character due the story given to her. She’s not super complex but she’s easily likable with her finding her place in the village. She works as a solid lead for the film.

Our villain Gargamel, voiced by Rainn Wilson, is pretty fun. He works as the villain and he offers some good jokes, especially with his moments with Azreal. He’s a decently fun villain and is the same Gargamel we know and enjoy.

Our main bunch of Smurfs are Brainy, voiced by Danny Pudi, Hefty, and Clumsy, voiced by Jack McBrayer. They of course don’t go too far beyond those names, but they are decent. Brainy is an enjoyable smart guy who can be a tad stuck up, Hefy is the weakest due to his random crush on Smurfette that goes nowhere but he’s fine and my favoite is Clumsy because he;s just funny. Jack McBrayer is the standout for me with how he plays him.

Papa Smurf is there too but he’s not in it much and he’s fine. That’s actually it, as the rest as a spoiler. Even if the trailers tried their best to give it away. I will say those charecters work too, with most of them being amusing with good actors behind them. A tad undercooked due to only being in the latter half but ah well.

No one is amazingly complex, but everyone is enjoyable in their own. Some are a bit stale but they keep the focus where it should be, with a solid lead in Smurfette and some decent support. I can forgive some safeness here from the the writing, given the kind of film it is.

Overall, the characters work and hey, no one’s hateable at least.

Final Thoughts:

So….why does this have a 31 on RT again? Why is it rated lowe than Boss Baby, Secret Life of pets, and Trolls, plus so many more worse films? Because while Smurfs The Lost Village plays it safe to the point of having under cooked elements and being predictable, it is a decent kids film, with well done animation and a good story for Smurfette and some enjoyable performances.

I can totally see some finding it average, but it’s nowhere near bad. It’s mostly a “Cute” film but there’s nothing wrong with that. Not all animated films need to be Zootopia or Kubo, sometimes you need a Winnie the Pooh. It’s true to the Smurf spirit and is a cute diversion.

Nothing more than that but that’s fine. I’d recommend it to Smurf fans and famalies. I wouldn’t pay full price and if you’re not into this kind of kids movie, it’s most likely a rental if you don’t have kids.

But for what it is, it’;s fine. There’s nothing I can call BAD in it, the worst elements are average at worst. It’s charming film with moments of decent laughs and heart. Sometimes, that’s all you need.

Animation: B

Writing; B

Characters; B

OVERALL: B

Yeah, that looks like a the report of a totally unremarkable kid but ah well. Much better than last week. Next review is…next week as there’s ANOTHER animated film! It’ll hopefully come to me given The Wild Life did. It looks…not good but you never know, hopefully it’ll be okay…ish.

See ya.

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