Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Darkwing Duck, Season One, Episode Thirty-Five: "Life, the Negaverse and Everything"

Hmm.  Sorry for the long silence here.  I've been busy with, um…well, not writing cartoon posts, apparently.  Anyway, here's this, which is pretty entertaining, and I'm certainly not gonna complain about the Douglas Adams title.

At the end of a Fearsome-Five heist, Quackerjack wonders why Negaduck never wants to "hang out" with them afterwards.  Truly, it's hard in any circumstance to wonder why anyone would want to hang out with Negaduck, but his response--because "I hate you guys 'cause you're just a bunch of losers!"--seems ill-advised; I mean, how masochistic are these people meant to be?  Pretty substantially, it seems.

Anyway, what ultimately happens is, DW gets sucked into the Negaverse, where everyone's personalities are reversed.  I like that they include pretty much all the important characters in this (well, except Morgana, I suppose), and there's a lot of fun stuff: punk Launchpad with five o'clock shadow is nice; the leather-fetish-Nazi-biker-chic Muddlefoot family is even nicer (no swastikas, obviously, but I'm pretty sure if the show could've gotten away with it, there would be).  Unfortunately, not everyone fares so well: Gosalyn is all demure and "lady-like" in a pink dress with her hair in curls--in contrast to her normal-universe obstreperousness, sure, but given that everyone <i>else</i> goes from 'good' to 'evil' or vice versa, it's distractingly inconsistent.  More irksomely still, the 'good' versions of Bushroot, Megavolt, Quackerjack, and Liquidator aren't visually distinguished in any way from their regular versions--nor do they do anything really memorable to make them stand out.  I enjoy the conclusion when they all get Darkwing costumes and are apparently set to become Nega-Gosalyn's new daughter, but this really raises the question of why Negaduck would possibly have adopted her in the first place.  I would've liked it if they'd complexified his character a bit by deciding that, in spite of everything, he was a good father figure…but they don't.  So what gives?

Regardless, not a bad effort.

Stray Observation

-Negaduck keeps calling his enemies "knobs."  Clearly not a British-produced episode, then.

-"So long--I'm off to create MORE unnecessary pain and suffering--losers!"  Okay, which onea you jokers leaked Romney's victory speech?

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Quack Pack, Episode Six: "Pride Goeth Before the Fall Guy"

So the idea here is that there's Columbus had a fourth ship that somehow got lost somewhere.  But it's been recovered!  An' there's an awesome treasure aboard!  An' Daisy's network has exclusive rights to film the unveiling!  But there's a MASTER THIEF, Nigel Nightshade, who wants that treasure!  Crud!

Nigel's a short, smarmy guy who looks exactly (seriously, exactly--I feel like someone could've sued someone if anyone had been paying attention to or cared about Quack Pack in any way) like Leisure Suit Larry.  The other notable thing about him is that he's clearly voiced by the same guy who does Steelbeak in Darkwing Duck.  "Clearly" because he uses exactly the same voice.  I guess he didn't feel the need to come up with something new for a one-off character like this, but I found it really distracting.  I like his work as Steelbeak, but only when he's actually playing Steelbeak.

Now, this whole missing ship/treasure business seems potentially interesting, but the show does exactly nothing with it.  How'd this ship get lost?  What's the deal with this treasure?  Don't ask, 'cause the show ain't about to tell you.  Instead, it's going to give you this really long, tedious business where Nigel worms his way in as Donald's assistant cameraman, because he thinks this will get his hands on the treasure, for reasons that are more or less wholly incomprehensible.  He plays some dumb slapstick tricks on Donald to get him fired so he can take his place, and then…I dunno.  He gets the treasure somehow.  It's unclear and dumb.  And then Donald uses his own trickery to get it back.  There's a final chase sequence that I guess is okay, where the ducks follow him through deserts, jungles, prehistoric lands, ice fields, and so on, but that's about it.  This episode is not exactly well-paced, nor particularly entertaining.

Stray Observations

-Okay, when Donald's tricking Nigel into thinking there's an extra treasure he should go after, he calls it the treasure of Tralfamadore, after Vonnegut, which is kinda cool I guess, but you've gotta stick in a Pynchon reference to really impress me.  An easy way would be to include a sailor--a pig sailor, no less!--named Pig Bodine.

-So…is the idea that Donald has always been Daisy's cameraman and they just never made this even remotely clear, or did they just come up with that for this one episode?  I feel like a better show wouldn't leave me asking questions like that.