Dark Qiviut

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Status Updates posted by Dark Qiviut

  1. One thing I learned over the years — every time a brony or ex-brony bitterly bitches, moans, cries about, and bashes bronies and the fandom for being toxic, they themselves hypocritically are — or support an attitude — more toxic than the bronies and fandom they claim to hate. :lol:

  2. The more I think about, the more I'm convinced (and thank MrEnter's latest review for F&M for making me think about it more). "We're a Work in Progress" is the worst song of the entire series. Worse than the bungled Cloudesdale Anthem, the CMC showstopper song, the generic songs from EQG1, Unleash the Magic, Awesome As I Wanna Be, or battle for Sugar Belle. Why? Because it tries to teach a moral — with a straight face — that is not only broken from a storytelling level, but harmful and toxic in real-life context, as well.

    1. In universe, the RM6 publish an autobiography of what they learned through season 4, but the stereotypical straw fans view it entirely as a work of fiction. We saw how the characters learned through every lesson, but their readers didn't, so unless they were very clear they learned and grew, they're going to have a wide array of judgments and opinions of their actions, both good and bad. When your premise is fatally flawed, the lessons run the risk of being hurt, too, because they're the driving point of every single episode. Every episode is narrowed to the lessons they're trying to teach.

      The moral within the song is a lazy coverup for really bad writing over the years. Flawed characters are inherently interesting, but characters being flawed is no excuse for them behaving badly or out of character. IRL, a person may regress and forget the lessons they learned. But RL and fiction aren't the same. When a character has to repeat a similar outcome and lesson again and again, the stories feel pointless, and the character becomes more of a waste of time than something relatable or intriguing. FS relearning from her mistakes is really bad writing. Yes, they acknowledge how they're a work in progress, but a declaration of improvement isn't evidence of improvement, and the episode puts forth no effort in showing that, not even when FS mustered the courage to confront her harassers.

      Thirdly, it's very hypocritical. This series has a long history of both reforming and redeeming villains and antagonists, like Discord, Sunset, DT, and Starlight. What do they all have in common? Their old behavior wasn't tolerable, and they recognize it. But rather than take it all for granted, they tried to improve and become better people. This song literally handwaves it all as a waste of time, and that it was bad for the show and reformed bad guys to self-improve, a complete contradiction of what FIM preaches.
    2. Apply this to a real-life context. Liking someone in spite of their flaws is a very reasonable message. But the song literally treats their flaws as part of who they are and what makes special as people. That's not a good message to teach. Acknowledging your flaws is fine, but how do you go about an improve it? By recognizing it and making sure you correct them. Individual flaws make or break friendships or relationships.

      To take it from a personal note, I used "objectively" and "factually" way too often in the previous years to the point where I used them more as reactionary buzzwords than concrete conclusions from presented evidence. Not to mention episodes I once wrote off as objectively terrible or bad (or vice-versa)…well, some of that has changed, like Bats! (from calling it good or average initially to borderline-awful), Equestria Games (from declaring it as one of the ten worst of the series then to being poor to mediocre now), Flight to the Finish (from calling it not good initially to being one of S4's big three), or even Stranger Than Fan Fiction (from calling one of S6's worst to one of the better episodes that season). Why? Because I gain more knowledge and understanding of the episodes as time and crappy episodes come by, and my tastes changed as a whole. I gained a better understanding of the craft and became better as a reviewer. (A part of me cringes from how I behaved back then.) Nowadays, I use it much more rarely, only apply it when I'm absolutely sure, and try to not fuck up when using it.

      What this moral's stating in a real-life context is how self-improvement is pointless. You're flawed? Good! You're fine as is. Uh, no. "Being yourself" doesn't work that way. This lesson applies perfectly in Aladdin, because Aladdin lived a lie and deceived Jasmine, his friends, Agrabah, and himself. F&M doesn't have that leverage, because the song, its moral, and those who sing it acknowledge their flaws and don't give a shit if they try to change and become better. "Changing and becoming better" being, y'know, one of the show's most important themes.

      And how does this toxic moral apply to real life in general? Here's some examples:
      Quote

      He never tries to self-improve, but that's okay, because I like him because of that.

      Quote

      He's a complete asshole, but being an asshole is what makes him so endearing.

      Quote

      She's a reckless driver who drives 30 miles over the speed limit and never wears her seatbelt, but I lt it slide, because it's part of who she is.

      Quote

      They're very abusive to their spouses and children, but they're fine as is, because they're flaws to their personality.

      ^ The song and attached moral were teaching that slippery slope of accepting bad behavior without concentrating on its implications. It's legitimately a dangerous lesson to teach, especially to kids.
    1. Dr Ned

      Dr Ned

      I agree that's a dangerous lesson to teach kids

    2. Anti-Villain

      Anti-Villain

      Quote
      Quote

      He never tries to self-improve, but that's okay, because I like him because of that.

      Quote

      He's a complete asshole, but being an asshole is what makes him so endearing.

      Quote

      She's a reckless driver who drives 30 miles over the speed limit and never wears her seatbelt, but I lt it slide, because it's part of who she is.

      Quote

      They're very abusive to their spouses and children, but they're fine as is, because they're flaws to their personality.

       

       

      That's not just a slippery slope.

       

      That's...

       

       

    3. EpicEnergy

      EpicEnergy

       

      Further Things I Want To Add 

       

      1. I actually like the song, but not because of its moral; rather, because of the music. However, I noticed what it was saying when I sang it out loud - our flaws make us special! What! They bond the mane six and keep them strong! Are you kidding me!

       

      2. I could give you reasons why the song is good in other ways, but I won't because what if a 6-year-old heard this song, understood the moral, and applied it? They would be like - hey mom, so you like me because I throw temper tantrums all the time? That is what makes me special? Is that what makes me strong? Is that what holds me and you together? 

       

      3. Twilight says, "our flaw are what brought us together". Liar alert! What brought them together, according to the overall plotline of the series, was the magic of friendship - they were destined to be friends, as they all got their cutie marks at the same time. Are their flaws part of that magic? Even if they are, that isn't what brought them together. Twilight didn't like Applejack because she was too honest. They didn't like Rarity because she sometimes was a stuck-up drama queen. Twilight didn't say - oh Fluttershy, I just love how you were so shy and not assertive the very first time we met; I love that about you. 

       

       4. " it's our flaws that make us work". So, Applejack's flaw of being way too honest worked is season 7 ep. 9 ("Honest Apple"), when she made legit everyone quit Rarity's fashion show?

       

      5. The developers could have chosen better words to put in that song! The concept should be that flaws are not the point of our book – what really matters is how we got over them time and time again, and how we learned from those flaws. We make mistakes, we learn from them. We work on our flaws. You shouldn't look at our flaws as seen through our book; you should look at what we learned from them and how that made us better. At least, that is in my opinion a better way of re-wording the moral and story in the episode. 

  3. One complaint I'll never understand about The Perfect Pear is why DHX didn't state Bright and Buttercup were dead or how they died. They're missing the point massively. The episode explicitly states their passing, but treats their death as common knowledge throughout Ponyville. TPP ain't about figuring out how they died, but how they lived.

    1. Dr Ned

      Dr Ned

      I have no clue on that either

  4. Give credit to Miami. They played fine tonight against the Pats. :)

    1. Captain Clark

      Captain Clark

      They did but you also have to put some blame on New England. Especially Tom Brady. He played absolutely horrible. Two interceptions and completed under 60% of his passes. 

    2. Dark Qiviut

      Dark Qiviut

      And had a Miami defensive line that was smothering him.

    3. Captain Clark

      Captain Clark

      Absolutely. He was getting hit more and harder than any 40 year old should. 

  5. I'll never understand the hatred for Glideance's moral. Was Dash right to be upset at her parents? Absolutely. But was she right to yell at them, swat Bow's hoof away, belittle them, and suggest that she wants nothing to do with 'em anymore because she embarrassed them? Heck, no! She took her parents' joy, love, and dedication for her for granted and considered all of it interference. Not a lot of people are that lucky to have such supporting parents; Scootaloo looked up to Bow and Windy, because they are the parents she yearned for and appreciated them. The moral shown and expressed was right on the money.

  6. "Being in character or likeable doesn't make the actions okay."

    It's a lesson I said a lot when it came to FIM, and the same applies to other shows, too. An action may make sense to the character, but if what he, she, or they committed is stupid, mean, or any other negative trait, and if it affects the story, you need something to tell the audience the story won't tolerate that kind of behavior. Soos is stupid with a heart of gold. Stan's an asshole and, to quote Mother's Basement in his GF review, "a conman with a heart of passable gold substitute." There needs to be consequences for their actions, and they have to be addressed by other characters and /or the story itself.

    Land Before Swine handles this perfectly. Before the intro, the episode doesn't portray either of them in the right.

    1. Soos's stupidity historically makes the situation worse for both the twins and himself. Although it started harmlessly, Dipper's already frustrated with him accidentally destroying the film. When he nearly runs himself over, Dipper confined to Mabel, worried that he'll only worsen their journey to rescue Waddles. As it turns out, he does — winds the ball of yarn and destroys the lamp, both without any malice. Dip's frustration mirrors our own, because without him, they'll probably rescue Waddles by now. In Dip's POV, Stan ain't taking Mabel's feelings seriously, and when you see how carefree and absentminded he behaves, you can see where he's coming from.
    2. Grunkle Stan is an asshole, and a lovable one at that. All series, his behavior landed him with some consequence, traditionally ones not affecting him. LBS's the first one where he encounters something supernatural and goes on a supernatural adventure, and with the others working to hide it from him, it's a big twist of events for us viewers. Stan breaking his promise to Mab is the perfect time for him to witness a supernatural creature (and nearly make him pay for it).

      But when he tries to be a bigger asshole by lying to her and saying it out of the blue when witnessing the underground cave of hibernating dinosaurs (with great use of continuity from The Deep End), Mabel was completely justified to be angry at him for reasons already stated. As long established both here and in the past, she and the pig are really tight, and losing Waddles means losing a really dear family member. If he won't care about Waddles, then why the hell should Mabel care about Stan? The voice acting (with Mabel's voice breaking as she disowns him) adds so much emotional weight to both the overarching theme of maturation and episode's of regaining trust.

    Aside from them doing bad or stupid things, LBS adds one more caveat: make them fix the problems.

    1. While they're trapped, Soos gets an epiphany, understanding how clumsy he is and may commit actions that really bother Dipper, but lets him know he's a good guy. Yet, even though he's dim, he's very instinctual. When he sees how the baby pterodactyl is looking, he knows how far apart their eyes are, so walking in a straight line takes advantage of his blind spot and allows them to escape the nest. Then when there's virtually no way out, he uses his strength to burst them up the geyser.
    2. When Stan tries to use Waddles as dino bait, he eventually realizes (through clever voice-acting and visual subtlety) how much Mabel really means to him. She's his niece, and both care for each other. If he loves her, he'll keep Waddles safe. And he does just that: strapping Waddles on his back and punching the pterodactyl to protect him. The adventure brought all three closer, and he tolerates Waddles now.

    This is in complete contrast to Old Man McGucket. He was absolutely reckless, completely unaware that his stupidity worsened their predicament, and continued to get into trouble. Reaching out to touch the baby pterodactyl was his grandest (and most gruesome) mistake.

    Mr. E didn't give it an Admiral for no reason. Land Before Swine tackles both jerkiness and stupidity, but rather than tolerate it, they inflict consequences to the story, the plot puts them in the wrong, and highlights their best qualities to help everyone resolve it and regain everyone's trust. It's a more difficult plot to handle, but done spectacularly. So far, the best episode of the series! :D


    Grades:

    1. Tourist Trapped: A-
    2. The Legend of the Gobblewonker: C+
    3. Headhunters: A
    4. The Hand That Rocks the Mabel: A
    5. The Inconceiving: C+
    6. Dipper Vs. Manliness: A-
    7. Double Dipper: B
    8. Irrational Treasure: C
    9. The Time Traveler's Pig: A
    10. Fight Fighters: A
    11. Little Dipper: B-
    12. Summerween: A
    13. Boss Mabel: C+
    14. Bottomless Pit!: B-
    15. The Deep End: B-
    16. Carpet Diem: A-
    17. Boyz Crazy: D+
    18. Land Before Swine: A+
  7. Boyz Crazy done.

    No way to cut it. Aside from their often-animalistic behavior, Sev'ral Timez and their five members are nothing more than quarter-dimensional, boy-band stereotypes. There's nothing about them to actually differentiate from each other, sans the clothing and outdated, 1990's jargon. Their "personalities" are flatter than cardboard and can be shared from any of them aside from their clothes and slang. Jargon/slang is repeated way too often, flattening the dialogue and aging the gags real quickly. Every joke from them comes from being associated with the Dreamboat sub-stereotype of boy bands, acting like animals, or both without any extra dimension behind them; they're quick, shallow, forced, and repetitive. You can have one of these characters, add more dimension to make the character rounder, and write out the others entirely. Because they lack creativity, it's very difficult to care for them and their desires to be free from Ergman Bratsman. All five being trapped in a large hamster cage makes Bratsman really evil and controlling, but because he doesn't appear so often and is written out 2/3 of the way through, he loses his presence as a threat.

    Other jokes related to the A-plot don't work, too. Candy ramming into the soda vendor was pointless, and Grenda making out with a Sev'ral Timez cover was cringeworthy.

    Unfortunately, Mabel's desperation for keeping them in the Shack becomes contrived, too. Sure, every guy she liked ended in separation, but the episode doesn't do enough to show us why being around them matters so much to her. Being confined to a short braiding scene and a montage ain't enough. Give more time to grow Mabel's attachment to them. How? Maybe she helped them learn how to eat and drink, talk without relying on forced slang, new clothes to scream individual personalities for each, being able to walk on two feet instead of four all the time. Sure, the pacing would be pretty quick, and the beginning might have to be cut a bit, but Mabel helping them grow up and adapt within maybe a day or two would help her feels like she contributed to GF society and made their lives better. They'll feel indebted to her, and vice-versa. So when she does let them go (probably to a new house to something), freeing them will break her heart, but be the right thing to do.

    However, they keep their animalism and are released into the wild. Candy's line of them not lasting a day made their release really unsettling. Sev'ral Timez has no idea what food, water, trees, dirt, daylight, or probably a bathroom are. One of them almost choked to death from swallowing a tape dispenser. The forest of Gravity Falls is very dangerous, and they're completely unprepared to survive out there. What if they come across a bear, cougar, rattlesnake, or a supernatural demon? They can't defend themselves, 'cause for all we know, they don't know they exist. Mabel not forcing them to live in her room was the right idea, but the implications aren't thought out at all.

    Thankfully, the B-plot saves it from completely tanking. Dipper's wild theory of Robbie hypnotizing Wendy fits in his character and continues to progress their rivalry, but he also feels justified. The CD, packaging, and way he sang to her made him suspicious. Stan believing Dipper foreshadows the future of the series (and calls back to Tourist Trapped's last scene of Stan sneaking off behind the soda vendor). The episode subverts the accusation of hypnotism to Wendy being rightfully mad at Robbie for plagiarizing another band. She's justified to break up with him. Though she acted misandrist towards Dipper, it's not hard to understand where she's coming from. Wendy was betrayed one too many times and doesn't appreciate Dipper's lack of foresight after she felt hurt. Kudos to Stan for giving Dip words of encouragement after he felt terrible for what he did. There were also two really great jokes here:

    1. Stan spitting his soda in Dipper's face after the song may be a mind-controlling scheme when rewound.
    2. Stan ramming into a blocked road.

    Even though the B-plot's good, the awful A-plot really sinks this episode.


    Grades:

    1. Tourist Trapped: A-
    2. The Legend of the Gobblewonker: C+
    3. Headhunters: A
    4. The Hand That Rocks the Mabel: A
    5. The Inconceiving: C+
    6. Dipper Vs. Manliness: A-
    7. Double Dipper: B
    8. Irrational Treasure: C
    9. The Time Traveler's Pig: A
    10. Fight Fighters: A
    11. Little Dipper: B-
    12. Summerween: A
    13. Boss Mabel: C+
    14. Bottomless Pit!: B-
    15. The Deep End: B-
    16. Carpet Diem: A-
    17. Boyz Crazy: D+
  8. Finished The Deep End (Gravity Falls, Ep. 15).

    There's a boatload of comedy here in this episode. When the comedy lands, it lands really well. The best ones are Soos telling Dipper not to think about why the sun on his towel wears sunglasses, Mabel sneaking about to get to know Mermando, Mabel sighing in relief after realizing he doesn't have a girlfriend. Some dark jokes, like the pool boss revealing his prosthetic hand, Mermando not being able to breathe when beached, and Stan's back catching fire work real well. Initially, the Jail Pool Kid worked well as a dark joke, but because he was left there for too long, the joke became less funny and more sad, if not mean-spirited.

    Gideon makes his return, and that white-haired SOB remains as devious as ever. XD He and Stan continue their rivalry, but he reveals his cleverness and intelligence by always having some backup plan in case Grunkle Stan wants to take his spot. This show uses its continuity to its advantage, and TDE ain't no exception.

    This episode focuses a lot on Mabel, her crush angle, and getting to know Mermando while fulfilling her kiss dream. No, she ain't afraid to admit lusting over him, but as she gets to know him, begins to appreciate him for his caring personality. When he reveals how much he misses his family, she decides to help him, a side of her personality that rounds her character.

    The pacing here was really tight, although maybe a little quicker than others. Probably because the show uses jump cuts rather extensively, and the scenes go through rather quickly. There's a lot of content here, and it crams it through. But if there's one scene that doesn't work at all, it's the climax. The episode tends to rush his beached scenes and plug in a lot of comedy here, but this is the first time where he actually shows great danger, but the scene plugs in a quick "I think I'm dying" joke, and Mabel takes a picture of both Dip and the dying Mermando "kissing," severely downplaying the serious situation. Mermando telling them both they could've dragged him to the lake undercuts the tone more.

    Act 3 and the pacing can be filtered a bit (and the climax given more dignity), but it does a nice job overall.


    Grades (Boss Mabel grade changed):

    1. Tourist Trapped: A-
    2. The Legend of the Gobblewonker: C+
    3. Headhunters: A
    4. The Hand That Rocks the Mabel: A
    5. The Inconceiving: C+
    6. Dipper Vs. Manliness: A-
    7. Double Dipper: B
    8. Irrational Treasure: C
    9. The Time Traveler's Pig: A
    10. Fight Fighters: A
    11. Little Dipper: B-
    12. Summerween: A
    13. Boss Mabel: B- C+
    14. Bottomless Pit!: B-
    15. The Deep End: B-/B
  9. Clinton campaign, I have a protip: The Russia boogeyman didn't cost Clinton the election. Who cost her the election? The campaign for colluding with the DNC, sucking up to big corporate interests, Clinton's skeletons in her closet (both recent and otherwise), and Clinton being too egotistical to campaign in Wisconsin and Michigan till it was too late. Trump's win was Clinton's own doing.

    But the Clinton campaign has its head so far up its ass that when Brazile outed the collusion, they had the gall to cowardly accuse her of being Putin's lapdog. Russia has already been treated as a Neo-McCarthyist scapegoat for quite some time now to cover up the political process's and the Clinton campaign's own failures. Jesse Ferguson and every idiot who signed his open letter to her made that xenophobic scapegoat a racist one, too.

  10. S7 episode rank, from best to worst! 

    1. The Perfect Pear: A+ (best of the franchise)
    2. Shadow Play: A+ (best two-parter)
    3. Parental Glideance: A+
    4. Marks and Recreation: A
    5. Discordant Harmony: A-
    6. Uncommon Bond: A-
    7. Once Upon a Zeppelin: A-
    8. It Isn't the Mane Thing About You: A-
    9. All Bottled Up: A-
    10. A Flurry of Emotions: B+
    11. To Change a Changeling: B+
    12. Triple Threat: B-
    13. A Health of Information: B-
    14. Celestial Advice: B-
    15. Not Asking for Trouble: B-
    16. Campfire Tales: C+
    17. Rock Solid Friendship: C+
    18. Forever Filly: C+
    19. Daring Done: C+
    20. Fluttershy Leans In: C
    21. A Royal Problem: D+
    22. Secrets and Pies: D
    23. Honest Apple: F
    24. Hard to Say Anything: F
    25. Fame and Misfortune: F (third-worst of the series)
  11. Finished Bottomless Pit! Mabel's story is the best of the four. Finding those truth teeth because she's sick of Stan lying and scheming everyone makes sense, as kids normally have a B&W worldview of lying. The moral presented — sometimes lying is the best solution to solving a problem — is really gray (for a family-friendly show) and nicely framed. Some things, like Stan's gross revelations, are best left unsaid.

    If I have to place them all in order, from best to worst (with a grade):

    1. Mabel: B+
    2. Stan: B-
    3. Dipper: B-
    4. Soos: C-

    Avoid the racial stereotyping, cultural appropriation, and unfortunate implications, and you got something real good.


    Grades:

    1. Tourist Trapped: A-
    2. The Legend of the Gobblewonker: C+
    3. Headhunters: A
    4. The Hand That Rocks the Mabel: A
    5. The Inconceiving: C+
    6. Dipper Vs. Manliness: A-
    7. Double Dipper: B
    8. Irrational Treasure: C
    9. The Time Traveler's Pig: A
    10. Fight Fighters: A
    11. Little Dipper: B-
    12. Summerween: A
    13. Boss Mabel: B-
    14. Bottomless Pit!: B-
  12. Summerween is a type of gem that would make the writers of Courage the Cowardly Dog salivate. Being Halloween, it ain't fun without being creepy, and the Summerween Trickster is a horri-licious delight. He shows how creepy he can be, both from his physique and swallowing that poor child whole like an egg-eating snake. The Jack-O-Melon may sound silly, but the Trickster's presence and usage of it as a clock turns it into an hourglass of life or death.

    Yet, there's a great contrast of wanting to impress Wendy. Despite being twelve, he wants to grow up as quickly as possible and not embarrass himself in front of both her and Robbie. In what could be just one creepy kid-friendly slasher episode, it adds great subtlety into his conscience. He wants to go to the party, but doesn't want to disappoint his friends or Mabel. "What am I gonna do?" and how he said it really add that depth into the conflict without telling you directly to your face.

    But it isn't only just staring at Mabel's scrapbook and Summerween poster. Occasionally, he stares at his watch. By doing that, he reinforces his wish to be there without wanting to hurt Mabel's feelings. However, can you blame her when she finds out he plans to ditch them once the candy's collected? Not at all. Mabel wants to have fun and be scared — y'know, live like a little kid.

    The one real flaw in this episode, and which Mr. E is on point with, is Mabel admitting to Dipper she wanted to trick or treat with Dipper so bad because she doesn't know how many she'll be able to do left. On one hand, it breaks some of the suspense from the scene; there's a lot at stake here, including the threat of death, and it doesn't feel like the proper time story-wise to insert this fear. Conversely, it also shows another personal side from Mabel. Although Dipper wants to show like he's growing up to Wendy and himself, Mabel's the opposite of that. It's foreshadowed (although a little too subtly) by how she wants to live this trick or treat night to the fullest in Act 2.

    Soos's decision to start up that bobblehead toy was really stupid, but it got some much-needed consequences for him, leading to the battle and eventual admission by the Trickter to just be appreciated. At the end, the Tricker turns from really creepy and terrifying to sad and personal. How fitting for Soos to eat him up (including what looked like his heart — talk about black comedy).

    Overall, an excellent episode, one of GF's best.


    Grades:

    1. Tourist Trapped: A-
    2. The Legend of the Gobblewonker: C+
    3. Headhunters: A
    4. The Hand That Rocks the Mabel: A
    5. The Inconceiving: C+
    6. Dipper Vs. Manliness: A-
    7. Double Dipper: B
    8. Irrational Treasure: D+
    9. The Time Traveler's Pig: A
    10. Fight Fighters: A
    11. Little Dipper: B-
    12. Summerween: A
  13. Done with Little Dipper. Teasing and making fun of each other can be fun to read to read and write, but sometimes watching it between close friends and relatives can be a little too unsettling. Dipper being teased for his height (which he can't control) was teasing too far. As a result, Dipper shows to be the most sympathetic and empathetic, even though he gloated over being really good at many games. Soos did the right thing calling her and Stan in on their mocking, though he accidentally contributed to Dipper's internal conflict.

    Although Mabel's in character, this episode is her worst appearance yet. Not only for making fun of Dipper's height, but for being stupid here, too. She was easily baited by Gideon's gummy bears, whispered to Dipper about the crystal's properties while Gid was a few inches away, and then became mesmerized by Gideon's beautiful hair. It didn't show her in the most positive light.

    Their bickering has serious consequences, including having Soos shrunk, too. They realize their mistake and apologize while trapped in the salt shaker, making their teasing in the beginning a little easier to swallow, no pun intended.

    Gideon goes into crazy bitch mode. Lots of jokes (including the tickle bomb in the climax) at his expense were really great, but Jesus Christ, what a brat! No wonder why his mom's so nervous around him!

    Overall, a fine episode, but not one I'll likely watch again anytime soon.


    Grades (Inconceiving and Vs. Manliness have singular grades now):

    1. Tourist Trapped: A-
    2. The Legend of the Gobblewonker: C+
    3. Headhunters: A
    4. The Hand That Rocks the Mabel: A
    5. The Inconceiving: C+
    6. Dipper Vs. Manliness: A-
    7. Double Dipper: B
    8. Irrational Treasure: D+
    9. The Time Traveler's Pig: A
    10. Fight Fighters: A
    11. Little Dipper: B-
  14. Why is Stan such a good scammer? Because he can sniff out scams when he sees 'em. Outwitted Gideon's scheme to transfer the Shack ownership to him and later swatted open the jar of termites that wanted Gideon's head. XP

  15. Fight Fighters is a comedic, nostalgic goldmine. The timing of each joke, whether it's about heights or arcade games, was absolutely perfect. Everything from "Oh, my car!" to Mabel reiterating the talk show title to Grunkle Stan to the "dangerous" litter on the street to Dipper getting hurt by the sharp pixels makes this over-the-top, silly plotline loose and fun to watch. It doesn't take itself seriously, making all of the jokes fit swimmingly (including seeing Rob run down that fire escape with McSkirmish throwing barrels after him, a reference to the classic Donkey Kong game).

    The sprite work is absolutely breathtaking. They could've made it simply sloppy, but the details make the character, over-the-top story, and animation styles/angles very convincing. The chiptune and sprites for the end credits work perfectly. So, why does Fight Fighters remind me of Street Fighters? :P

    Oh, and the cryptogram at the end is one of the best jokes of the show. XD


    Grades:

    1. Tourist Trapped: A-
    2. The Legend of the Gobblewonker: C+
    3. Headhunters: A
    4. The Hand That Rocks the Mabel: A
    5. The Inconceiving: C/C+
    6. Dipper Vs. Manliness: A-/A
    7. Double Dipper: B
    8. Irrational Treasure: D+
    9. The Time Traveler's Pig: A
    10. Fight Fighters: A
  16. Stan: You know, studies show that it's more dangerous to carry a ladder inside the house is more dangerous than a loaded gun. That's why I own ten guns. In case some maniac tries to sneak in a ladder.

    Mabel: Grunkle Stan… *hands on hips* Why you actin' so cray-cray?

    Why didn't I see that joke coming? XD

  17. The Time Traveler's Pig was character development times three for Dipper. His jealousy of Rob over Wendy culminated into this one, and the consequences of his actions were very massive. When he doubles down his decision to sacrifice Waddles for not wanting to hurt Wendy, their relationship frictioned, and it only became worse with each travel. You can't blame Mabel for being so distraught over not being able to have a relationship with Waddles, who she grew super-attached to. Dipper was shown how much Waddles meant to her in very grueling and graphic fashion, to the point of starvation and depression. Selfishness clouded his judgment, and this episode provided a brutal lesson he so desperately needed to learn.

    The one question I would have is why Blendin Blandin was arrested for their crimes. But given the show's use of continuity and making the series a continuous narrative, I'll let that go. (I've already seen some spoilers for the S2 episode, so I won't discount it here.)

    A major step up from Irrational Treasure! :D


    Grades:

    1. Tourist Trapped: A-
    2. The Legend of the Gobblewonker: C+
    3. Headhunters: A
    4. The Hand That Rocks the Mabel: A
    5. The Inconceiving: C/C+
    6. Dipper Vs. Manliness: A-/A
    7. Double Dipper: B
    8. Irrational Treasure: D+
    9. The Time Traveler's Pig: A
  18. Finished Irrational Treasure.

    The first twelve minutes are really nicely done. Mabel has a really good conflict. She can be really silly, and Pacifica bullying her for being silly was a good trigger to her path to being taken seriously. The mystery to cracking the fraud was loose, but kept the twists and turns to make it interesting.

    But in the second half, the episode completely dropped the ball. GF was founded by the disgraced 8th and a half president of the United States, who founded it by jumping off a cliff by accident and had his existence erased from history by being literally insane. And in the final chase scene with the dumb cops, Trembley admitted to never signing the resignation papers (through some half-baked exposition), and to Dipper, that meant he was still the president?!

    OK, that's bullshit! The president holds office every four years, unless he's elected out, too incapacitated, or dead during term. There wasn't an official line of succession for the president at the time, but the four-year clause has been in place. So he would no longer be the president. GF may have a lot of paranormal activity, sometimes to the point of silly or bizarre. But the president being alive while encased in peanut brittle, and the whole half-president plot twist doesn't make any sense and stretches the lore of the show. I don't care if this episode isn't supposed to be taken seriously. You can be loose and silly, yet make sense.

    If IT was the last nine minutes, I would've failed it, but the first half counts, too. Every show has at least one dud. This is the first.


    Grades:

    1. Tourist Trapped: A-
    2. The Legend of the Gobblewonker: C+
    3. Headhunters: A
    4. The Hand That Rocks the Mabel: A
    5. The Inconceiving: C/C+
    6. Dipper Vs. Manliness: A-/A
    7. Double Dipper: B
    8. Irrational Treasure: D+
  19. Now into Irrational Treasure.

    After Grunkle Stan tried to manhandle the mechanic and then insulted Gideon for being girly last time, he earned Gideon's tomatoes. XD

  20. Finished Double Dipper.

    If there are two key flaws in this episode, they're Pacifica Northwest and Dipper's behavior in Act 2. Pacifica is a flat antagonist and resembles nothing short of the rich bitch. However, it's Dipper I have the biggest problem with. Once his fantasy of being jealous with Rob kicked in, he became really, really dumb. Seriously, risking your cover by asking two clones to steal Rob's bike so you can be with Wendy? I don't care if he's a kid. Considering the respect Wendy has for him, his act felt out of character. On top of that, the fight between he and all his clones were tacked on and too long.

    But once all but Tyrone melted, the episode significantly improved. The episode's strength was the character interactions, and there was a buncha that in the final few minutes. Even though Mabel was cheated out of winning the crown, she gained something much stronger: two new friends named Grenda and Candy Chiu, both of whom are great characters. Those two choosing to stay behind with Mabel rather than tail with Pacifica was the top moment of the episode.

    Not one of my favorites, but it's a good one.


    Grades:

    1. Tourist Trapped: A-
    2. The Legend of the Gobblewonker: C+
    3. Headhunters: A
    4. The Hand That Rocks the Mabel: A
    5. The Inconceiving: C/C+
    6. Dipper Vs. Manliness: A-/A
    7. Double Dipper: B
  21. Mabel asks her twin bro to just talk to Wendy like a normal person.

    It's on Step 9 of his checklist. XD

  22. Finished Dipper vs. Manliness.

    Dragon Quest, take some notes. This is how to critique stereotypical masculinity correctly.

    The Manotaurs perform some stereotypical behavior to be a "man," but there are no implications of sexism and xenophobia. Rather than going after the Manotaus and generalizing them for the whole, Dipper only calls out their behavior and sticks up to his own morale and preferences. The Multi-Bear is a really nice guy who likes to listen to Disco Girl (a parody of ABBA's Dancing Queen, one of my favorites from the band), and Dipper can relate to him.

    Although Stan and Mabel tease him for not being manly, this part of their personality doesn't last very long. The B-plot of trying to impress Stan enough to hook him and Lazy Susan (a great character herself) up is nice, and the payoff is both sweet and hilarious.

    While DQ is supposed to critique stereotypical masculinity, the story's structure, dialogue, and antagonists paint masculinity off as toxic, period; and Spike is shamed for being a dragon. DvM doesn't shame him for being man, instead criticizes the one-dimensional stereotypes attached to it. There's more than one right way to be "masculine" or a man. To top it off, when Dipper explains it to them, Stan says he did the right thing. To have a character, who can fall into that stereotype if you're not careful, affirm his morals is an marvelous touch.

    Another well-done GF episode! :D


    Grades:

    1. Tourist Trapped: A-
    2. The Legend of the Gobblewonker: C+
    3. Headhunters: A
    4. The Hand That Rocks the Mabel: A
    5. The Inconceiving: C/C+
    6. Dipper Vs. Manliness: A-/A
  23. >Manotaurs deny Dipper manly lessons

    Dipper: Fine! That's okay with me. Obviously, you guys think it will be too hard to train me. Maybe…you're not *man* enough to try.

    --

    Sly little bastard. XD

  24. Onward to Dipper vs. Manliness!