March 24, 2016 // No Comments
So I’m a little late to the party on this one, but I finally got to watch the final episode of Gravity Falls today.
I laughed. I cried. I cheered. I sat with a warm feeling in my heart.
And I knew I had to write something about this wonderful show.
For those not aware, Gravity Falls is the story of a pair of twins – Dipper and Mabel – who are sent to stay with their Great Uncle for the summer in the little town of Gravity Falls. Quickly the siblings discover that the town is littered with paranormal activity and begin to unravel the mysteries thanks to a mysterious journal created by an unknown author.
The show is aimed at children, but reaches all ages with it’s humor. For me the humor consistently reminded me of The Simpsons and the show itself is very reminiscent of Futurama. Much like that sci-fi comedy, Gravity Falls loves throwing in background clues and hints for future events, as well as making up multiple mysterious codes for the audience to solve.
Instead of pandering to the audience, Gravity Falls challenges it and then goes on to do something ever rarer, it rewards them. Any show can challenge you with mysteries and clues, but it’s actually very rare for the answers to feel satisfying. What Gravity Falls does is make sure that if you figure out the answers, that the answers are presented in a satisfying way and are supported by their own build up. The reveal of the author is a great example of this and once you know who it is, the clues they littered throughout are a joy to find.
That isn’t to say the appeal here is primarily in the mystery, the humor is laugh out loud funny for all ages and much like those two shows I mentioned above, Gravtiy Falls litters itself with characters both loveable and genuine.
I am not going to lie, I see a lot of myself in Dipper. I was and still am a nervous wreck who over-plans everything and is fascinated by the paranormal and the idea of adventure. At one point Mabel complains about Dipper never cleaning his clothes and he responds with “Cleaning clothes is just a waste of time!”
That line stands out to me because… yupp that sounds about how my brain processes that particularly chore XD
Mabel herself is also hilarious and adorable, and I definitely know someone like her in real life (cough my fiancee cough) and Great Uncle (or Grunkle) Stan is a never-ending series of hilarity. He has hands down some of the best one liners in the entire show, and that’s an oft fought over crown. The supporting cast is great, as is the inter-personal drama between them all.
Mabel and Dipper are written as genuine siblings, the storyline of Dipper and his first crush plays out naturally, as does Mabel’s own little dips here and there into boy crushes.
But above all this, I must discuss Bill Cipher, which means getting into spoiler territory so… if you wanna watch it fresh, stop reading here.
Bill Cipher is the ultimate big bad of Gravity Falls. A dream demon, Bill is hinted out throughout the series with background images, before being introduced as a monster-of-the-week summoned by Gideon Gleeful (first series main antagonist, think toddlers in tiaras meets a evangelical preacher). Upon returning in later episodes, it becomes very clear that Bill has greater and grander plans, and seeing them unfold is fun enough, but Bill himself is probably one of the best villains Disney has ever had.
Really, Bill is a very basic villain with little nuance. He’s power-hungry, sadistic and openly admits to being completely insane. He treats disaster and mayhem with the same regard as a naughty child who’s released ants into his sister’s room, but it’s the execution that elevates him. Alex Hirsch – series creator – brings this character to life vocally and gives a really hilarious performance that can become unnerving very quickly. The things that Bill does also elevates him. This character’s idea of a thank you gift can range from deer teeth freshly pulled from the poor creature’s mouth, to generating a severed head that endless screams at you.
And even if you suck up to him, there’s a strong chance he’ll just turn your face into a nightmare of mismatched orifices.
Bill is a villain you love to hate and he’s given just enough screen time to make you love him without grating on you. I could quite honestly write up a long article about Bill, his motivations and character, but this has gone on long enough.
Gravity Falls is a show I honestly count as one of, if not the, favourite shows of all time. It has weak episodes, but it’s never outright bad or boring. I love the characters and I love that the show knew when it was time to bow out and wrapped it’s story line up neatly. I sat with tears in my eyes as the credits rolled, but a big grin on my lips as well, because it had been such a fulfilling experience.
If you have children aged 8 or up, I recommend it but I also just recommend it for anyone who wants to watch it. It’s a solid show that out-does a hell of a lot of shows that are aimed at adults. It’s funnier than your average episode of Family Guy, smarter than an episode of CSI and more heart-warming than any soap opera you can watch.
Tightly written, endearing and an all around amazing show, Gravity Falls is special to me.
I hope it’ll be special to you.