|Remind me to add graphics to this image. (Image taken from Google Images. I apologize.)|
Well, I’ve done it. I have covered 10 hours of television. The first season of Gravity Falls was fantastic. From the plot, to the characters, to the drama, to the humor, everything was close to (if not outright) well done.
However, I don’t believe in perfection. Between that belief, and the fact that as an internet reviewer, I must produce a decent output of “negative” content, I have decided to look back and see what 5 episodes were the weakest this season. I might say something different compared to what I said in the review; I apologise for that. Again, these episodes are not necessarily bad. Flawed? Yes. Bad? Not really. This season was, by TV standards, excellent; these are just subpar compared to the high standards of this awesome show.
So here we are, back at another segment of “Not Another Top (X) List!” This week, X=5, and we’re looking at the…
Top 5 Worst Gravity Falls Episodes of Season 1!
5. Boss Mabel
The fans were put on a long, long wait for the premiere of “Boss Mabel”. FOUR months, the fans had to wait, and the end result was a bit of a disappointment.
Not that it was a bad episode, of course. I actually like the idea of exploring a darker, more selfish/id-driven side of our favorite characters, as well as a look at the various ways power and leadership can be used. That’s what makes the characters and the plot so fantastic; they’re naturally flawed characters, and the plots are accessible to all viewers. This would’ve gotten a higher score…
…but the episode was drier than Arizona. The comedy was weak, and potential plots could’ve and should’ve taken shape. Instead, it was a safe episode. Going the safe route does not always translate to fantastic success.
Again, not a bad episode. Just a bit dry.
4. Fight Fighters
This episode is considered one of the better episodes on the forums and on actual professional lists of “Best Episodes” for the show. For one, I will give them credit.
I actually found the main conflict to be one of the more interesting and developed of the season. The concept of taking video-game characters and thrusting them into the real world made for some damn good action. Plus, I like the idea of Dipper slowly being driven to irrational behavior due to his crush on a teenager.
Yet, this episode failed on two counts.
- Mabel was reduced to little more than a comic plot, which could’ve been good, but there was very little humor. Thus, it really came off as filler. I did like the start of her bonding with Stan, though, so I’ll give her that.
- This episode seemed to mark a watershed moment where, if the Dipper/Robbie/Wendy love triangle wasn’t resolved (or pushed off) soon, it would bring the show down. It was distilling Wendy to a mere object, for one. Thank god for “Boyz Crazy”. May Wendy get more development in the next season!
Not even being the first episode to show a bond between Mabel and Stan could save this episode from 4th Place.
“Summerween” was yet another episode that was decent for the most part. It was quite funny, gave some action to two characters that other shows wouldn’t have given them (Candy and Grenda), used some great colors and lighting, and unveiled a decent, well-developed villain.
This episode’s problem, however, was it’s cliched conflict. Again, it was almost good. Showing Dipper take the plunge into maturity or hold on to the traditions of his childhood could’ve made for an interesting episode.
Really, it contains one cliche that, in any other show, would make me turn off the rest of the episode. It’s the damned “Liar Revealed” cliche. Dipper not only falls victim to it, but it throws the Trick-or-Treaters (Dipper, Mabel, Candy, Grenda, and Soos) in peril. Also, might I mention the fact that Wendy is now thrown into another triangle; this time, it’s Dipper, a seemingly unattainable romance with Wendy, or the maintenance of a platonic/sibling relationship with Mabel. Thankfully, it does not distil the characters as much as it does in other episodes, but it really does enough damage.
2. Dipper vs. Manliness
This episode, in hindsight, was pretty damn boring. It wasn’t totally dry, and I did appreciate how they tried to flip the “tomboy is comfortable with herself” cliche to fit Dipper.
But, the humor fell short, Mabel was reduced to another bit plot/filler, and the entire episode was pretty damn predictable. Plus, Dipper’s sensitive side is not really mentioned in future episodes. I think they just wrote this episode to fill in a spot.
Really, I have little to say about this; it was just not that memorable. Sadly, I have more to say about our next episode…
1. The Time Travellers Pig
This episode is by far the most controversial episode; either it was a fantastic foray into sci-fi, or it contained elements that dented season 1’s quality.
I am of the latter. This was the closest I came to hating an episode of an otherwise fantastic show.
This episode’s main problem was with character. Again, character is one of the reasons why Gravity Falls is considered one of the best shows on television. Thus, we have our main three distilled to sitcom levels to fulfill a plot; Dipper wants to date Wendy, Wendy is a mere object (this, sadly, stuck for most of the rest of the season), and Mabel is an immature, self-centered Gilligan-type character who ruins chances to obtain goals. Nihilism can work when applied against Dipper (see “Boyz Crazy”), but that only worked because the plot in that episode was quite complex. Here, the plot is quite simple.
Also, the time travel aspects are not explained well enough to prevent plot holes; is there a duplicate effect?
The time travel and causality used in this episode could’ve been interesting. It could’ve helped us explore character. Yet, it was used for a plot that was stupid. And, it introduced the most useless character in the show… a pig. I simply do not see the symbolism or the appeal of the character. Maybe it’s just me.
Still, it’s a runaway winner of the worst episode of the season.
Questions? Comments? Complaints (of which you might have many)? Comment! Next up, the top 5 BEST Gravity Falls episodes of Season 1!