Tag Archives: Adventure Time Recap

adventure time recapping: all your fault and little dude

Double header! 
So what happens when you finally hit a bump in the road? I mean, you have to know it’s going to come some day, right? No relationship can continue on without any sort of instability forever, right? 

 
It’s what kept me from writing this for over a week now. Adventure Time is my unconditional comfort food. Plop me down in front of a Czech dinner and I’ll scarf it down with alarming speed. I look forward to it each and every week for years now. I was resistant to it at first, sure, but it’s like yoga for my childhood. Sure it’s sometimes difficult to get through and makes me cry like a girl… ok, losing the yoga metaphor… I hope. 
 
I digress, the Lemongrab character is something that I’ve thought long and hard about. I just can’t find what makes him funny. He’s like that kid in school whose inexplicably popular, even though his only discernible positive quality is blowing snot rockets with alarming velocity. Which, while impressive, is mostly irritating. Kind of like Mumford and Sons. 
 
I’ve not given up Lemongrab. Maybe I’ve missed something! Maybe there’s something wrong with me… or maybe there’s something really helpful about finding a problem with something or someone that you love. Maybe it means that you’re growing as a person, better able to accept flaws. Nothing’s perfect and the lows mean that you’re more able to appreciate the highs that they’re able to give you.
 
 
SPEAKING OF HIGHS this week’s episode gets everything right. It’s everything that makes Adventure Time  that warm embrace that I get to start my week with. Sweet gravy-soaked goodness.
 
The show’s never been afraid to be weird, but in an unflinching highly deliberate and sincere fashion. It’s like on the Simpsons, when the following exchange happens:
 
Frink: “Yes, over here, […] in Episode BF12, you were battling barbarians while riding a winged Appaloosa, yet in the very next scene, my dear, you’re clearly atop a winged Arabian! Please do explain it! 

Lucy Lawless: Uh, yeah, well, whenever you notice something like that… a wizard did it
Frink: Yes, alright, yes, in episode AG04-” 
Lucy Lawless: Wizard!

 
 
It doesn’t waste time trying to bore you with explainations like, “why do they have a sausage-flare? Why do they call them sassages? How does an anthropromorphic hate turn food into poo? It doesn’t really matter. Would an answer really make you happier as a viewer? 
 
It reminds me of J.J. Abrams. He has a box that he received from his father at a young age, that he’s never opened. He’s never once opened it. Not even one peak. The mystery will forever remain. It’s what made Lost so breathtakingly unsatisfying. As a creator, you owe it to your audience to either answer questions appropriately or not at all. Adventure Time stratles that line to an impressive degree. You’re left longing for answers about the back story while feeling that much closer to the characters in the show. Just like early season of Lost. Can you imagine how much more satisfied we’d all have been if they’d simply never promised to answer questions about the origin of the island? Did we really need to see “Across the Sea?” Did a single human-being feel that they know more about the show, the origins of the island, or the characters on said island following weird reveal of WHO WERE THE BODIES IN THE CAVE THAT none of you honestly remembered from season one… you know… that burning question you had… and why do they fight over wine or something….
 
Adventure Time circumvents all that nonsense, because no one really cares about how flower/Master Shake wizard came to be. He was underground to hide himself from the world until a magic flower grew out of his head and gave life to Finn’s hat. Now that that single sentence is out of the way, let’s have a story arch where there is a clear redemption of his character where he’s allowed to overcome the demons his father thrust upon him through the power of maternal love. Just a few sentences that allows you to feel close to a character whose first appearance is coming out of the ground and snarls a bit. 
 
Finn and Jake spin around in a pool of water and make a whirlpool that’s small and kinda sucks. Everyone does it as a kid, he’ll I’ll still do it any time I’m in an above-ground pool, which admittedly happens so often. 
 
But in the end, good moms can put an end to badness. The last sequence is kinda great. All it takes is some good parenting to turn evil into good. You get to see the once evil hat made good, and the Wizard no longer turns everything he touches evil. Balance is restored and everyone gets to be happy. All because someone’s mom was a mench along the way. I gotta imagine Osama bin Laden had a shitty mom. I bet she was a real piece of work. 
 
 
Rando thoughts:
 
Why’s there a raspberrying horse? Why’s there a saloon? A cowboy? Banana Guards don’t seem to be particularly helpful.
 
Master Shake should be everywhere.
Kitchen gloves stop heat. Heat and magic. 
 
“He turned it into poo! This is poo now! Smell it!”
“BMO hit you on the butt… hehehe….”
“Sassages”
“You’re gettin’ kinda fat, dude.”
 
Anime-explosion jokes! 
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adventure time recapping: jake the dad

You’re doomed to become your parents. It’s scary stuff. There’s not a whole lot you can do about it and the further that you try and pull yourself away from them, the closer to them you become.

In the first episode to start out the new year, Adventure Time two strong themes are tackled. The first being that having children can be a horrifying and totally daunting experience for those that are unprepared, the second is that your parents have a tremendous impact on who you become. This is not only terrifying for the people unfortunate enough to be the children of the particularly deranged, but the deranged themselves also have an undo amount of stress placed upon them.
jakethedad
Jake is constantly consulting his parents for advice on how to raise his new pups, even though they do not seem to have had the healthiest of relationships. Jake literally has traumatic flash-backs when he thinks about his father and his abusive tendencies early on in the show. He tries his best for most of the run of the show to not become him. But then, the moment he lays eyes on his new children, he dons his father’s old hat. Even when the kids knock his cap off while playing, the shape-shifts it back.
The decision to make Lady not speak English is especially fun in this episode. It’s terrific fun just utilizing tone and body language to try and ascertain what she’s trying to get across to her children and husband (husband? I don’t think they’re married. The smut we allow our children and manchildren to watch these days.) She comes off as completely motherly and familiar, down to the soft sigh as she watches Jake get mauled by foxes. It felt a lot like watching my mom shake her head disapprovingly whenever my dad would try and tackle something too big for his own good; a mixture of slight contempt with a twinge of happiness and love thrown in for good measure. It was a sweet hot chocolate moment.
Jake’s ability to change forms felt an awful lot like dad as well. When you’re little, they do tend to feel indestructible. You take things like taking the night watch and making breakfast for you for granted. It isn’t until you’re older, when you first “save” them for the first time that you begin to see that they’re human, and soon after that point they’ll see you as older, somehow. Not even equals, really. There will always be a certain sense of respect for the relationship there, but there comes a time when the parent lets their guard down and allows themselves to be taken care of by the person they brought into the world.
Closing thoughts that didn’t feel like they fit anywhere:
I liked the fact that the pups were kind of creepy-looking. I don’t think that one of them even has eyes. All-to-often on television, every single character is perfect and it’s hard to relate to physical perfection. Having them be a tad odd meant that you could relate with one of them. Also do not know why they could become invisible? Disappear? Evaporate? Whatever they did it was dumb in the best way. Just like the moppy-headed one using dog-powers with her hair to make a ducky.
Having the father on TV, for once, love the fact that he was a dad and not go on a HRNG MIDLIFE CRISIS HOW ZANY quest was a breath of fresh air.
Snakes rarely jump out of boomboxes, thankfully.
I don’t think I want to know what the bread-game was…
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adventure time recapping: all the little people

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Everyone has played god in some form or another. Whether it’s been through some sort of artistic expression or a video game, people like to play a complicated game of what-ifs. The easy comparison to be drawn with this episode is something like The Sims. People can turn an innocent bit of curiosity into a full-blown “addiction” given the right pieces. Especially if those pieces include dark magic.

Throughout the episode, Finn shoves miniature versions of the Adventure Time cast into situations with characters they might not have otherwise interacted with. This sounds like a simple plot, where most other shows would have cast this into a sort of side-story where it is revealed to have been part of some character’s day-dream or something, Adventure Time instead paints the picture of a dark, eerie, somewhat disturbing reality. Characters are into crying while being spanked, body-building to seek revenge, crying for a full 16 weeks, and an implied threesome.

Finn sits there for weeks on end, the house is a wreck, he has horrifying pit stains, which leads me to believe that the episode isn’t just about a retelling of The Sims or something like that. It’s almost as if Finn is cast, temporarily, into Magic Man’s role. He’s given power over an entire domain, not unlike the writers for the show.

It feels like an entirely meta episode. The writers tell a story about the inherent power that comes with being able to control someone’s destiny completely, which, conveniently enough, Finn does at one point using a pencil. This symbolism should not be lost, as it’s a rather overt chance for the writers to share with the audience the perils of writing in general. At first, when Finn shows Jake that he’s messing with people’s relationships, Jake mentions that “it ain’t wholesome” and that he needs to “leave for a few days to clear his head.” Even someone that was on Finn’s side was put off by the narrative thread that he chose to pursue. Conveniently enough, he leaves for 16 weeks, or about half the time it takes to make an episode of Adventure Time. Of course, this is stretching, but it fits into the narrative I’ve constructed, so I’m keeping it.

Finally, both Magic Man and Finn state that they’re “not coming back.” Which seemed to be a nod that the writers of the show often feel like Finn. They, and all writers in general, put people together, break people up, and sometimes mess things up in a way in which people get all up in arms about. There’s not a whole lot you can do that’ll satisfy even your closest allies, so from the outsiders point of view, you do come off as a “Magic Man.”; all-powerful, but at the same time somewhat bumbling and goofy.

Or it could be that the writers of the show giving a nod to the people who write NSFW fan fiction about the Adventure Time cast and crew, subtly noting that they’re creepy and spend too much time doing so. The buff Princess, people spanking, implied threesomes, constant crying, kissing everything that moves, Finn tonguing himself, and drenched cat-fighting all points to that, but what do I know?

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