Tag Archives: Adventure Time

adventure time recapping: all your fault and little dude

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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: mystery dungeon

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Sometimes you produce a monster, an abomination. And that abomination farts on your face because it’s a book with a developmental disorder. Or something.

 

Adventure Time has always been a show obsessed with the creative process. It’s meta-commentaries on what it means to write/create have always been particularly poignant for me, personally. This episode went in a slightly different direction than episodes past, while the work is still celebrated, it’s shown as being bastardized, broken even. The Ice King knows what the story is in his head, he can picture the characters as if they were real utilizing his imagination.

 

When given a shot at bringing his creation to life, he comes up with a Saw-esque kidnapping scheme in which the strengths of various characters are utilized in order to get to a mythical creature to literally give his characters to life. This is even more like Saw when you consider the mastermind’s single-minded devotion to making his dreams a reality.

 

This darkness is pervasive throughout the episode. A character is squeezed to “death, ” a character has to cut her way out of the belly of a horrible shark-monster, and a “child” is neglected so that the Ice King gets the mere chance at making his dream a reality. And that is the reality of the situation that the show is talking about here, you can’t really hope to give birth to something without sacrificing all else. It’s what made Steve Jobs a tremendous success while simultaneously being lower than pond scum. He was a morally reprehensible piece of shit who disavowed his own child so that he might have a shot at transforming a crappy garage-based start-up from an acid-based fever dream to the ubiquitous multimedia conglomerate that Apple Inc. is today.

 

But even after the long road full of sacrifice, his creation just farts on his face. The other characters just look on with pity and a bit of disgust. But the Ice King is happy as a clam. He could not be more thrilled with his creation.

 

If I can make things current event-driven for a moment, The Ice King’s look of relief was not totally dissimilar to that of Obama’s face after the inauguration.

 
It’s deep satisfaction. It’s been a long road getting there, full of sacrifice, betrayal, literal and figurative monsters, but at the end of the day they’ve given birth to something they find beautiful, even if not everyone else does.
 
Disorganized thoughts:
 
Lemongrab isn’t funny. I do not understand his shtick at all. He just yells… I think? Maybe there’s something there I’m not getting…
 
I think it’s so ballsy for a kid’s show to regularly ditch its main characters for the duration of an episode, or any show for that matter. Usually we’re stuck with the same 5 or so characters for the entire run of the show. That was something that I used to really love about The Simpsons. Even Apu had multiple episodes about him. 
 
Tom Kenny is a fabulous voice-actor.
 
Pie-flinging robots with parental issues; something all children can relate to. 
 
This is the specific face both Obama and the Ice King made:
 
 
Mousing over the image should show the gif, if not, click the link above. I really love this gif. He looks so resolute and content all it once. You can even see his nose flair out as he gives a soft sigh. Powerful stuff. 
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adventure time recapping: davey

It took me a bit to write this, due to the fact that I didn’t really want to say the following: Finn and Jake are both complete assholes. Not a moment after slicing a dragon in half via its butt crack, his adoring admires come to thank him. Rather than just having dinner with them, he makes a great deal of effort to totally change his appearance to his new alter-ego “Davey Johnson.” Now, things like this happen in just about every single superhero fiction. Think… Superman and his Fortress of Solitude “Raaaaah this responsibility is too much to handle, better run away until someone I care about gets hurt while totally ignoring every other schmo gets hurt.” Or Spiderman does the same thing, but with haircuts… and bad writing.

Then Jakes goes and tries to un-Davey Finn, and gets himself in trouble, just like every superhero story. And it works, Finn snaps out of it. The day is… saved? And the episode is overall really funny.
daveytvdm
But I don’t come to the show for it just being trite and silly, so I’m going to stretch a bit. Relationships are bummers. Even marriages end in divorce half the time. You get two people who ostensibly love each other more than any one else, you stand them in front of hundreds of people, they proclaim their undying love, then they actually get a lawyer to write up a contract stating how much they love each other, and they combine finances and all sorts of other junk, worse still, they have children’s lives to ruin, and they still don’t make it half the time.

It’s what makes growing up so scary. You’re not just growing, you’re changing, and you just have to hope that the person you’re with somehow changes with you. Full disclosure here, I was with the same person for 6 years. We were high school sweethearts and we thought we were never going to change. I assure you, rarely have you seen a couple that worked as well as we did, but it died, as all relationships eventually will, due to the fact that I changed. I’d had enough of living that life and opted to change, just like Finn. The change, like Finn’s wasn’t just internal, it was external as well. I changed my hair, I lost weight, changed wardrobes; moving on from someone really is as large of a change as Adventure Time purports it to be.

Which is what makes Jake’s choice all the more disconcerting. Finn is totally happy being Davey. Sure it’s selfish, but as a form of escapism, it’s no worse than drug and alcohol use. But then Finn actually says that it’s his fault that Jake went to jail. Which is, of course, astoundingly false. Jake broke the law and was punished for it, and then it’s somehow his fault? And he has to break Jake out?

People grow and change, and trying to force an adult to think one way or another is  an unfortunate way of looking at the world and in the end, it just ends with more heartbreak than otherwise allowing the person to leave would cause in the first place.

Unorganized musings:
Dragon butts.
The Banana Guards are really funny, even if they’re just the “copz r dummm” trope.
Re-using the auto-tuner is a terrific touch.
Finn going bald means that he’s “destroying his beauty.” Sorry bald people…
I would pay an absurd amount of money for a BMO.

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