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Jan 172012

And… we’re back. I missed this; I missed the show and writing about the show. I write about other things, but none resonate out from my neurons so far that I can still feel tremors in my blood cells a month later. Please don’t let that healthy, heart-opening bout of euphoria surprise you. I’m eating a crispy banana.

Perhaps I should have spent the off-time writing about the free 266 page eBook Frederator released. It’s full of sketches and production art and it’s as hypnotic and silly and perfect as any episode. In that vein, I could have done (and should do) a piece on the title cards. This week’s was exceptional.

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Dec 142011

When I look at the Adventure Timepage on my Cartoon Network app, it shows the last six episodes. It’s hard to forget how dark they were. Finn’s broke his legs, Jake experienced dementia, a “croak dream” predicting his own death, and was poisoned repeatedly by a tiny feline assassin. The holiday specials were less grim, but still barren of conventional action or plotting. Either could have been directed by Jarmusch in 1995.

The new episode converges the dark with the minimal. Finn and Jake arrive at Marceline’s for a jam session without the whole band (no Bubblegum or Beemo). Finn holds an untied, blown-up balloon he considers the future of music. He qualifies that point with an excellent song that includes one of the best hooks of the year: “Shake your extremities.”

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Dec 082011

“No recap the day after Adventure Time aired a two-part Christmas-ish episode?” millions of readers exclaimed at some point Tuesday evening. Most of the major papers covered it. Rick Perry was so frustrated he showed his true colors.

I was working. Your shock is very convincing. Did you study Meisner? Are you my mom? Either way, it’s true: sometimes even an AT recapper/Nerdmelt intern needs to earn some lettuce. You might be thinking, “but what was he working on that could possibly be more important than 21 minutes of Finn and Jake being kind of bored with the Ice King’s video diaries?” Let me tell you.

(“I hope he doesn’t tell us,” everyone thinks.)

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Nov 292011

My Thanksgiving involved more mortality-talk than normal. That’s what happens as everyone gets older, our expectations for others elapse into a panic that no one will live the lives we hoped they might. My grandma, who will be 80 in January, let my sister and I know that she’d “knit baby blankets for us… just in case.” They’re in the top shelf of some closet, where she can’t see them. You know, just in case something really depressing happens, like she passes on or I have a kid. Both alarming.

Thankfully, Adventure Time brandished a genius Thanksgiving special that took the holiday out of the awkward family dining room and reminded us there’s an entire magical world out there to believe in, experience, and get to know. It did this by following two characters that haven’t appeared on the show before. Television is selfish in a way; we demand soaring exploits from the same characters week in and out. Only one kids-ish show could neatly take the piss out of the way every audience in the world behaves on holiday in which we’re all meant to confront “what we’re grateful for” as though we haven’t done that at all for a whole year. It’s Adventure Time!

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