Feb 24, 2016

[TV] Gravity Falls: Season 2

Wow, Gravity Falls is actually over.

And while I had mixed feelings about the show's first season, I chalked a lot of that up to it being a new show. But to have things wrap up so quickly just felt, well, weird. And that's not a pun given the nature of the show.

Thankfully the show managed to wrap things up well enough and it got a decent ending. Sure, the pacing of the show certainly felt like it accelerated mid-way through the season, but on the whole the series finale was still a decent enough ending for this venture.

From the very beginning, it struck me that the show seemed determined to be clever with its plot hooks and many little secrets and inside jokes. And when you set out to create a show like that, even a children's show, that can be quite a lot of work for the writing team. It's a shame that the show's creative team didn't get to write another season of stories for this crew. I'm sure they had their reasons.

Synopsis: Gravity Falls is an animated series created by Alex Hirsch for the Disney Channel and later shifted to Disney XD.  This second season ran for a full 20 episodes just like the first one.

The first half of the season followed the largely episodic format of the first season. So lot's of little weird adventures and the occasional hint of something more just beneath the surface of things. Naturally one of the episodes that stands out the most is "Little Gift Shop of Horrors," which is a quirkier version of the sorts of Halloween specials that The Simpsons runs. I particularly loved this episode since it includes the story where Waddles becomes super intelligent thanks to some weird mushroom and thus we get a pig that speaks with the voice of Neil deGrasse Tyson. And a lot of this season was characters by special came voice actors including Nick Offerman, Mark Hamill, Patton Oswalt, and Nathan Fillion.

But the second half of the season really amps things up several notches as we give up most of the episodic story telling and really push the meta-plot into overdrive. Spoilers ahead.

And yes, I'm still giving spoiler warnings at this point.

The revelations about Uncle Stan not quite being just Uncle Stan (or being stan at all) were certainly interesting and they really threw the whole show's direction in for a loop. Plus the big fulfillment of finding out the mystery behind all of his late nights in the secret basement laboratory beneath the Mystery Shack. And once the real Stan joins the cast, then things get pretty serious.

And while the show sort of returns to a more or less episodic structure at this point with it's slightly expanded cast, it's only a matter of time before everything needs to come together. And for Gravity Falls, all roads lead to the need to deal with Bill Cypher, the strange triangular demon that had been introduced at the end of the first season. And as much as we all felt that Little Gideon was annoying, Bill is just bad news for everyone. And the show really got a chance to push things beyond belief in terms of showing us just how bad things are when Bill gets what he wants.

I really feel like there's a lot more story left in Gravity Falls and as much as the end of the season was a pretty good one, the whole thing just felt rush. And so the last season can only really get 4 crazy weird things that are inevitably drawn to Gravity Falls out of a possible 5.


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