Saturday, October 14, 2017

Review: Gravity Falls "Summerween"

You know, just for fun, I'll do my usual post-Goosebumps checklist to see how this episode fares as a Goosebumps episode.

Barking Dogs: No

Boring Best Friend: No
There are very few "boring" people in Gravity Falls.

Child Grabbing: Yes
The Summerween Trickster nabs the kids multiple times.

Foliage POV Cam: Yes

Mad Scientist: No.
But who knows exactly how the Summerween Trickster became sentient in the dump? Perhaps Old Man McGucket was mixin' himself a batch o' toxic chemicals what went bad.

Murder: Yes
Protagonist Murder: 1
Soos ate a man alive.
Total Murder: 1

Red Paint: Possibly.
I'm not sure what Stan's fake blood was made from.

Werewolves: No

The mailman does not appear.
X-Files Shout-Out: No
Yeah, I could see something like this as a Goosebumps episode, especially with one of the protagonists murdering the main monster. Although Soos's method of execution is a bit more brutal than, say, aging an old woman to death.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Recap: Gravity Falls "Summerween"

Today, Gravity Falls does its first Halloween special.

Ordinarily, this wouldn't be very noteworthy, since plenty of cartoons do Halloween specials. And I'd actually be recapping this on Halloween. But this show takes place during a single summer, meaning that simply setting the episode on Halloween is right out, barring time travel shenanigans. And it's too soon after the last time to do more time travel shenanigans.

So how do you take a show with an already heavy supernatural/sci-fi element and give it a distinctly Halloween theme without actually setting it on Halloween?

The solution they hit upon is certainly creative.

Happy Summerween, everybody!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Review: Goosebumps "Be Careful What You Wish For"

On a note unrelated to my examination of this episode, the tagline for the original book was “It might come true.” Which isn’t so much a “tagline” as it is a “continuation of the saying that forms the book’s title.”

It’s not relevant one bit, but it bugs me.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Recap: Goosebumps "Be Careful What You Wish For"

R.L. Stine is often written off as somebody who writes nothing but kiddie monster stories with nonsensical twist endings. But I think it's important to keep in mind that the man can branch out if he ever wants to. I mean, we are talking about Jovial Bob Stine, the author of 101 Vacation Jokes, here.

Today, I'll be covering the first episode of Goosebumps's second season, which adapts a book that, had it not been printed as a Goosebumps book, might be found in the "young adult magical realism fantasy" section of the library, rather than the "children's horror short story anthology series" section.

It's a very precise library.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Intro: Doctor Who "The Face of Evil"

"Man is a Religious Animal. He is the only Religious Animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion-- several of them."
- Mark Twain, The Lowest Animal

Writer Chris Boucher was very interested in religion. Not any specific religion in particular, just religion in general. Since the man was a devout atheist, he looked at religion from more of a sociological/anthropological standpoint. It fascinated him that over the years, across the globe, Earth has had a metric buttload of religions. Buddhism, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Shinto, Vodou, Wicca, Pastafarianism, Jedi, and tons more, and that's not even counting the various Abrahamic religions. And all the various versions of each Abrahamic religion.

I mean, look at a term as simple as "Christian." That could mean anything. Lutheran? Baptist? Methodist? Protestant?

But I'm getting off track.

The point is that there are a lot of religions. And as Mark Twain noted, there are quite a few contradictory religions out there. Odds are, some of them aren't going to be entirely correct. I mean, I think Thor would have choice words for the people who say that Zeus is responsible for lightning, you know?

Chris Boucher looked at this phenomenon and thought "Where does religion come from? What sort of events fuel the creation of a full-blown system of morals and beliefs? Why are humans compelled to make gods for themselves?" So he began writing a story that would examine the consequences of a tribe of humans who inadvertently created their own god... in a pretty literal sense.

Typing that makes me want to replay Black and White.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Review: Goosebumps "The House of No Return"

Alright, this might have been a slow-paced episode packed to the brim with unclear protagonists which resorts to filler instead of plot, but...

....

Oh, crap, I think I just used up everything I had to say about this episode.

Recap: Goosebumps "The House of No Return"

Goosebumps is basically the kids' version of a B-grade slasher flick. It's cheesy, low-budget, and even if an episode isn't good per se, it can often be so-bad-it's-good.

Of course, there are some episodes that are simply so-bad-they're-still-bad. Chief among these is "The House of No Return," an episode so bad that it's not worth it to end this introduction with a proper joke.

I was considering some kind of joke regarding House of Mystery #131, but I'm not putting in the effort to make a joke only two people will get right away and only five people will bother to look up. Not for this episode.