This month I want to give a shot at my current favorites in the world of television animation and my three evasion.
I do not intend to put them in any winning or losing order, other than the indication of what I like and dislike. So number 1 is not a symbol of the one I like most. etc.
Always start with a like-able one!
Alex Hirsh – Gravity Falls. For some reason Alex has got on the Disney flagship with a show that I would call nothing but genius. There is a lot of debate about whether it is a kids show or not. And since Disney itself is starting to rape the eyes and ears of the pre-teen generation with tremendously horrible shows about stardom and retarded children not going to jail for being more stupid that the law allows them to be… this is a marvelous gem hidden in a ton of crap. Gravity Falls is in itself a gem, a animation about a pair of twins that go to their great uncle in a town that holds a ton of mysteries and anything supernatural that comes to Alex's mind. In that short description it doesn't look too out of the ordinary, but the level of fan service in the show, hidden messages, strange symbols and the thick underlying plot that is only slowly revealed… has a base of brilliance that is executed to perfection by the characters of the show. If you take the five main characters; Dipper, Mabel, Stan, Soos and Wendy you already have a array of like-able broken people that lets their insanity shine through every so often. It is weird and love-able and is a show I personally look forward too seeing more of… SOON PLEASE.
Jim Davis – Garfield and Friends. This is a show from the 90's and I grew up with this orange milestone of sarcasm and gluttony. The Saturday morning show of Garfield and Friends are a well written array of remakes in many aspects of history and just general human storytelling. I know it sounds doubtful, but I learned a lot of American history from this show. Not that it is right or accurate, god no. It is changed for comical affect. But making me aware of the historical events has later made me seek out libraries and, of course, the internet to look for the truth in the comical re-enactment. The raw line of Garfield's sarcasm and getting his comeuppance has been a large part of understanding karma and injustice when I was a kid. Seeing how slapstick humor could get too far and how loveable characters reacted to this aftermath has given me so much leverage in the world. I can only thank Jim so many times for making my childhood funny and memorable in a good way.
Matt Groening – Futurama. Since the Simpsons has become more American than apple pie and hence turned into fan service itself I have only little to say of it. It was good while it lasted… I miss the old days where they didn't adhere to every little pop-culture fragment just to come up with for a new episode in that slowly suffering blue whale… but enough of that.
Matt had painted himself into a corner a few years ago and started the Futurama project with some of his close friends and co-workers. This show was set a 1000 years into the future where everything we could dream of in a future Utopian world had come true. Space travel, robots, mutants, aliens living co-aside with humanoids and of course the most important character feature for the link to our time, a time traveler due to cryogenics.
Philip J. Fry is a parody of the everyday young man, although I know that they made him dumber than average to make him more curious about the new world, misunderstand the purposes of our time and by that turning him into a love-able plot device. Could the show work without Fry? I think it could work with almost anyone, as long as they wouldn't mind being ridiculed for being hopelessly out of date. The characters are well rounded and through seven seasons getting increasingly stereotypical. But I don't blame Matt for that. I blame the fan base for finding the characters peculiarities fun to adapt. It is the world that is imitating art here and not the other way around for once. I can only applaud this show and the many well written episodes. It has potential to become even greater if they don't jump the Simpson wagon and copy every small modern scrap of viral pop culture. They were slowly beginning to do the same with this show giving mundane viral crap a space twist with a vague result. Matt needs to rethink his priorities if he wants to come back for a third time! Anything else… nope… only kudos for making a good show, just don't drop the juggling plates please!
Okay it is time for my flame war. I have three things are making me piss blood out of my eyes. Again, not in particular order.
Lauren Faust – MLP FIM. For unknown reasons has My Little Pony been revived to rip money from the screaming children that thinks that magic is real and in the shape of either friendship or traumatizing color scales. How bright can a show be before your pixels starts to pop? I can see the point of teaching children more about friendship, and going outside, and playing with friends, and having fun, and being buddies, and braiding long hair, and being friends forever without contemplating how long for fucking ever is. Although sitting through a show as an adult gives a good sense of what it is or what limbo is going to be when we get there.
First up, they are suddenly not for small kids with growing colorblindness anymore, teenagers are targeted and adults are making psychotic parodies of them, making the word viral change it's meaning forever since 2011. Why does a thing like this exist… this juxtaposition of telling kids to go OUTSIDE and play with your FRIENDS and at the same time screaming at the kids to stay tuned for more colorful hypnosis in the form of color patterns that ought to be shot at sight if it was the real nature. Do what you want with this… but I guess I am not going to a bro'ny any time soon!
DC Comics and Marvel Universe – The various superhero shows. WTF OMG LOL AFAIK DERP. I think I covered every acronym that I feel when I see such a show out. I admit I have seen some of them and know about most of the current shows being thrown at the teenagers and post teenagers with a trebuchet at full velocity. To harp on a whole set of worlds, universes and psychotic fans that would slit anyone's throat just to make them agree with them (that they are not wasting their time), would be senseless and apparently rather dangerous, and lucky for them… and my throat, it is not that I am hunting today.
There are many that would disagree and say that the worlds put up and taken down, because they become either too entangled or their hero is too omnipotent so the writer can't get out of their corner, are awesome and they are in it for the ride. I personally say Bullhonkey! Letting fan-wank be published like that and make it semi-indulgent to read to the point that the fan's vision of a hero reaches it's peak is one thing. But then having nowhere to go and them regretting that they didn't rip off other ideas and therefore redoing it all is just mindbogglingly painful to watch.
The worlds has become to big and too weird. We have no clue which world we are currently watching and therefore lose any connection with what the heroes are fighting for, and against. The heroes have fought gods and therefore destroyed the concept of what a god is. They have fought aliens and therefore destroyed our general hope of receiving life from space without nuking it to see if it moves. They have fought secret orders and conspirators so elaborate that they have destroyed our hope in governments to ever be good or trustworthy. Artists are alienating everything in the hope to make another issue or episode and the horde of fans are swallowing it.
The issue I have with this is how big and confusing it has become and the animated series are not making anything easier. I know that it isn't all people that jump onto everything they read, but I bet you that many people are sitting there, of a dark evening, either dreaming that conspiracies are real or that we are lied too in new and fashionable ways… so the government can dance with the space aliens and live forever on Gornblat 7 just past the 25th milky way.
The last one is broad too and I think it touches me deeper since it was a part of my childhood too. Commercial cartoons…
We have seen them all. Transformers, TMNT, He-Man, Jawsome, MLP back then too… fuck
The concept of making cartoons/animations that would throw crap at kids, so they go berserk and want to buy the merchandise. Somehow, it was popular in the 90's to make abortively stupid shows with no sense or sensibility of content or elaborate plots, or even like-able stories. They make catch-phrases of everything and put the characters in mortal peril every two seconds, so they can either come out on top, as a smug bastard, or level up… making a new and improved character to buy the shit out off!
At first it was only that which we have seen in shows, but when the franchise monster exploded late 90's with spiderman car and motorcycle, turtle space invaders and more transformers than there is room for on Akalo, Andellor, Antilla, Athenia, Beest, Bhul, Centaris Seven, Ceti Alpha Seven, Chaar, Cheynne, Combatron, Cybertron, Daffodil II, Darhos, Delta Pavonis IV, Deneb IV, Dread, Earth, Edaps, Eurythma, Femax, Feminia, Floron 3, Gaea, Ganzfort, Ghennix, Gigantion, Goo, Gorlam Prime, Greengard, Hive, Hub, Hydrax Plateau, Hydrus Four, Hyperion, Jhi, Jungle Planet, Junk, Jörmungandr, Kaiba-5, Klo, Lanarq, Lithone, LV-117, Master, Menonia, Methuselah, Micro, Monacus, Moriturus, Mumu-Obscura, Nebulos, New Kaon, Paradise, Paradron, Pequod, Pirate Planet, Planet Q, Planet X, Pz-zazz, Quintessa, Regalis V, Regulon Four, Rigel 6, Rigel III, Scarvix, Talos Four, Taros Four, Tasmo, Thrull, Torkulon, Twin Star, Unicron, Varas Centralus, Vehicon, Velocitron, Vs'Qs, Wednesday, Xeptos, Xetaxxis, Yst, Zamojin, Zarak, Zel Samine put together, it became too much. Thank god that most parents said "enough is enough!"
My final word for this consumernism would be… blargh!