Saturday, September 17, 2011

Ducktales, Season Three, Episode Eight: "Bubba's Big Brainstorm"

If you'd told me that there was a Ducktales episode in which Bubba uses technology to become a genius, I would've bet you money that I could tell you what the title was. And then you'd've taken my money, you jerk, 'cause I sure wouldn't have said "Bubba's Big Brainstorm." But I'm not the only one, right? This IS obvious? Tell me in comments.

Actually, I might've recouped some of that lost money, 'cause I would also have bet you that it would be fucking terrible. Then again, that would've been a sucker's bet, and you probably wouldn't have taken me up on it. Dammit…I just can't win. But yeah. I was sort of vaguely laboring under the illusion that from now on, Ducktales episodes would be at least okay. I guess there needed to be a Bubba-exception in that proposition, but even as far as Bubba goes, you wouldn't quite expect this.

The idea is that Bubba's so dumb that he gets straight-Z's on his report card, so he uses a "thinking cap" that Gyro's invented to become an obnoxiously self-satisfied, slightly fey genius with a British-ish accent, alienating HDL. Then they all go to some sort of native-island-y place to find treasure, where Bubba learns the True Value of Stupidity. The end.

Seriously, the anti-intellectualism just drips from this episode (the know-your-place message reminds me of the awful "Superdoo," but this one's actually much worse). Note that there's nothing inherent in being smart that means you're also going to be a selfish, cowardly, vaguely racist (the way he brushes aside the notion that the treasure belongs to the natives on the basis that they're too dumb to appreciate it) jerk, but the episode at no point indicates that these traits are at all separate from the increased intelligence. The whole thing resembles some sort of crazed, nationalist rant about intellectuals sapping our National Vigor.

And they can't even get that rant right: we're supposed to hold Bubba in contempt for being too cowardly to beat a monster with a club, but wholly unremarked is the fact that, just minutes ago, they would all have been horribly crushed to death if smart-Bubba hadn't been able to correctly answer a series of riddles.

In all, this episode is quite repulsive. Seriously, Ducktales: fuck you.

Stray Observations

-As Bubba ineffectually tries to decide which passage to take: "Louie's coin-toss is never wrong, Bubba! We go right!" Yeah! Your √©litist commie faggot book learnin' is no match for our good old-fashioned common-sense salt-of-the-earth, uh, blind luck! Christ, guys…

-Also, note the way it's made quite clear that Bubba isn't just smart-Bubba; he's a completely different person (as explicitly evinced by the way he says "goodbye" and "I'm back!" when changing back to "normal"). We don't even want to suggest that Bubba could even potentially have something of the Evil Intellectual in him. God forbid.

-"How long is a piece of string?" "Twice the distance from the center to either end!" So the answer is "twice as long as half a piece of string?" And only the genius could figure that out? Ducktales' idea of relative intelligence is kind of terrifying.

-"They became so smart they forgot their own survival skills and couldn't fight back the monsters of their time!" When you say "survival skills," you mean "laser-spears," right? The dumbness just doesn't stop.


  1. Also, are we supposed to assume that Uncle Scrooge and HDL just MISSED EACH OTHER COMPLETELY when they ran through the tunnel?

    And the advanced Thinka civilization could create talking, hovering robots and crushing contraptions and laser spears and couldn't fight the monsters? Notice how there was all that advanced technology, but the "treasure" was a picture book with no words? I don't think that's what really happened to the Thinkas. More likely than not, it was just a children's horror storybook that the idiot descendants propped up, THINKING it was the treasure, because being as dumb as they were, they'd never seen a book before, so they assumed it was rare and therefore valuable.

    I don't know what your "obvious" title is. What are you thinking?

  2. Well, it's not some big deal or anything--it just seemed obvious to me. I'm giving it a little while, and if no one chimes in, I'll announce it, at which point it will seem incredibly anticlimactic.

  3. I was gonna say "Algerduck," but close enough. I'm not saying it's a great title, but given the way the show likes to shoehorn duck-oriented words into popular phrases and titles and things, it seemed like a natural.