Weekly Watch 2017: April 9 – 15

  • Hey Arnold! Season 4
  • The Amazing World of Gumball Season 2
  • Animaniacs Volume 1

This week I logged over 5 hours on Hey Arnold! alone. I loved that show so much as a kid and it has remained practically timeless–except for Big Bob’s Beeper emporium–since it first aired in 1996. The beepers definitely date the show. However, the rest holds up incredibly well. This show is the epitome of classic. I cannot express how much respect I have for this show and it’s diversity of its major and minor chatacters. The storytelling is also crazy engaging and it’s hard to put the show down. My only real critique of the show comes from watching it 5 hours back-to-back and watching the subtle changes in characterization happen from episode to episode. I think this is a nitpick considering that’s not how the show was originally aired or “meant to be formatted”. Geez, that was a little pretentious. 

On my rewatch of Hey Arnold! I’ve found my favorite characters have changed from Arnold and Phoebe (the most relatable to my young self) to Helga G. Pataki. Fiercely independent, headstrong, stubborn, mature, a little crazy, loyal, and “not really that bad because it’s totally a defense mechanism”, Helga is amazing and deserves so much credit. She grows the most as a character throughout the show, where her development happens through dofferent facets like family, friendships, and crushes/love. None of which take precedence over the other in an overarching way. 

Quick note: not every episode of Hey Arnold! passes the Bechtel test, but many do. Often episodes with female characters build or reinforce strong friendships among the female half of the cast.

The Amazing World of Gumball is my new Animaniacs. The whole thing is about the humor and the antics, no one learns their lesson, and the main cast isn’t human. Yakko is Gumball, Wakko is Darwin, and Dot is Anais. The parallels continue, but I’d rather not beat a dead horse. Plus, then I can maybe get you to watch it.

My favorite characters are as follows: the Wattersons. Yep. The whole family is so beautifully balanced and the episodes boast all of their qualities so well that it’s impossible to choose. I love this little animated family and I love this show. 

It’s time for Animaniacs! This is my 100% all time favorite show ever in the history of the universe. Aside from my love affair with Warner bros., Animaniacs did everything right. It took the Looney Tunes style/aesthetic/mood to a whole new pop-culture-y, world wary, 4th wall breaking entity on crack. Every episode is jam packed and sure to make you laugh. It’s like Whose Line is it Anyway?, Space Jam, the whole of the 90’s, your characters from Looney Tunes, and classical music were placed in a cauldron and left to boil until perfect. For the love of everything good in this universe, go watch Animaniacs

Who are your favorite characters from these shows? What do/did you like or dislike? Is Animaniacs literally the best show ever? Let me know in the comments!

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