(Hy)Lights #5: Gravity Falls

ORIGINAL DATE: August 18, 2012

Okay, remember back when channels such as Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network & even Disney Channel actually have some entertaining animated shows, that is if you’re a ‘90s kid or anyone further then back? Well, it’s no contest that the state they are in now is still holding on but very little. As for now, Nickelodeon did have Legend of Korra and as much I enjoy that show after they ended its run, Nickelodeon isn’t worth watching then. Cartoon Network, on the other hand, has brought some current entertaining shows like Adventure Time, Regular Show, Gumball and counting the Adult Swim/Toonami block. Even new networks like the Hub kept me focused with the only two shows I watch, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and Transformers Prime along with other old-school shows that I need to catch up. But what about the Disney Channel?

 

Well, no. Virtually nothing on that channel as kept me interested enough to watch. Mostly it’s very awful kid sitcoms or sub-par animated shows and Disney, in the past, has some great to watchable animation. Okay. Phineas & Ferb was okay but after a few episodes, it’s just the same repetitiveness that gets very tiresome and I just don’t want to tune in anymore and as for Fish Hooks…….yeah, not watching that. However, I need to look up TRON: Uprising and Motorcity since I’ve heard good things about it, but this isn’t about those shows. This is about Disney’s new animated show that I keep hearing about via Tumblr gifs Gravity Falls.

The show is created by Alex Hirsch, who is known as a former writer on The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack (which was a decent show) and Fish Hooks (yeah…..NO!!) and the show concerns the adventures of 12 year-old twin brother and sister Dipper and Mabel Pines, whose summer plans are ruined when their parents send them off to their Great Uncle Stan in the fictional town of Gravity Falls, Oregon. “Grunkle” Stan lives in and runs The Mystery Shack, a tourist trap which overcharges unlucky visitors for a glimpse at the world’s most bizarre museum, but little do Dipper and Mabel know that there really is something very strange going on and they must rely on one another to find their way in this unfamiliar town.

I recently watched episode 1-8 at the time of this review and from what I saw in the episodes, this is something that I can get on with, despite being on a network that shows some very badly-made TV shows. It fuses sci-fi shows like The X-Files and Fringe but it’s very Disney-ish but has some traits of Flapjack, Camp Lazlo and Regular Show. I can see from the Tumblr gifs and the reactions/responses that I got from people that this could make Disney Channel…..well, more watchable than usual.

 

Let’s start with the main characters: Dipper Pines is the smart and conventional twin of the duo and plays off as the level-headed but still is a wimp but not an annoying wimp. Also, at first I couldn’t tell that Jason Ritter (son of the late John Ritter, also was in The Event, Freddy vs. Jason, etc.) was voicing him, even though he’s credited as Jason Morgan for some reason in the end credits, but credited his real name from Wikipedia and ImDb. Mabel Pines is the very optimistic and energetic twin with a braces-filled smile and for me, she is one of the funniest characters in the show but I especially think that Kristen Schaal brings the humor and basically she is what made the character actually funny because if some other voice actress would’ve done that role, she would be fine but it would’ve be the same.

Great Uncle “Grunkle” Stanford Pines or Grunkle Stan and Soos (both voiced by series creator Hirsch) are really bizarre and strange characters. Grunkle Stan is the type of businessman that, of course, wants to make money much like another cartoon character that you should already know. He’s pretty hilarious, too, in small doses. Soos is the portly handyman-child and as for him, he is a side character so there isn’t much to do with him even though aside from the kids, he notices the strange things going on in the town. Then there’s Wendy (voiced by Linda Cardellini) and she’s the very mellow 15-year-old girl who works at the Mystery Shack and guess what……Dipper has a crush on her and this is where this side story gets too predictable with the 12-year-old boy falling in love with the older girl (She’s 15) and will probably keep it up until he meets someone his own age. It’s just going to turn up as the usual.

 

There are many, many guest stars and characters that appear on the show such as Lil’ Gideon, who owns the Tent of Telepathy and has a crazy obsession with Mabel, and he is voiced by the creator of Flapjack, Thurop Van Orman. Other guests include Coolio, Larry King, John Oliver (another Daily Show alum), Ken Jenkins (Dr. Kelso from Scrubs), Alfred Molina, Niki Yang (from Adventure Time) and other various voice actors that I can’t all name at once.

FINAL VERDICT: Yeah, I’m still going to watch this show albeit that means I’ll have to watch the Disney Channel again but it would be worth it to see it air and then after it finishes, I’ll just avoid the channel like herpes. I think it’s the only thing on that channel that actually catches my attention but if it was on Disney XD, which would be a completely different story.

But I will not give a grade to this show yet, but as of now, it is leaning toward an 8/10.

 

So, until then, I’m MAK2.0 aka The Hybrid, and I speak for my damn self.

GRAVITY FALLS – courtesy of Disney Television Animation

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