watchathon
watchathon
The Watchathon!
A blog where I watch TV shows (and the occasional movie) and write down my thoughts. MAIN BLOG: https://stardustwhip.tumblr.com/
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watchathon · a day ago
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Phineas and Ferb, S1E9: One Good Scare Ought To Do It!
Hello, and welcome to the Watchathon, a blog where I watch an episode of TV every weekday, with a blog post where I write down my thoughts afterwards.
And now, here’s my thoughts on Season 1, Episode 9 of Phineas and Ferb: One Good Scare Ought To Do It!
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If I had a nickel for every show I watched as a kid with an oddly cruel little sister character, I’d have two nickels. Which isn’t a lot, but it’s weird that it happened twice, right?
Well, that was a fun little jaunt into spookiness!
Maybe it’s just the general admiration I have of the spooky aesthetic which makes me love Halloween almost as much as Christmas, but I really liked seeing the haunted house that Phineas, Ferb and friends cooked up.
And it’s a shame that One Good Scare never got a studio version without dialogue released, because it would be going right into my Halloween playlist.
This episode also introduces to us Jeremy’s little sister, Suzy, who is cruel towards people outside of her family for reasons that I still can’t quite wrap my head around.
Of course, you could probably chalk her behavior towards Candace to an inversion of the “overprotective big sibling” trope with her not wanting her big brother Jeremy to have a girlfriend. But that wouldn’t count for how she apparently treated 8-year-old bully Buford Van Stomm with that same cruelty.
Did Buford attempt to bully Jeremy, and Suzy took revenge? Did Buford have a crush on Jeremy that Suzy nipped in the bud?
God only knows what goes on in the head of Suzy Johnson, but not even the most divine of deities could tell us what’s going on with the other character introduced in this episode: the Giant Floating Baby Head.
The Giant Floating Baby Head is one of those running gags where you laugh at it due to the sheer absurdity of it. It shows up in the most inexplicable places, and never gets any explanation. Even Phineas and Ferb, our resident child geniuses, never have any clue what it is. 
And that’s what's so hilarious about it, the way that it just sort of shows up inexplicably, more and more out of place with every time it shows up in the series. Whether it be in semi-fitting places like its appearance here in a haunted house, or in less understandable circumstances like its later appearances as a prop when the boys are building a monster truck arena or as a customer at a fancy restaurant.
…Boy, I’ve really gone on for a lot longer than normal, haven’t I?
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watchathon · 2 days ago
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Phineas and Ferb, S1E8: Jerk De Soleil/Toy to the World
Hello, and welcome to the Watchathon, a blog where I watch an episode of TV every weekday, with a blog post where I write down my thoughts afterwards.
And now, here’s my thoughts on Season 1, Episode 8 of Phineas and Ferb: Jerk De Soleil/Toy to the World!
Jerk De Soleil
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First time we see Candace’s wild parsnip allergy, and it makes for a really good blues song with her voice being done by Dan Povenmire. They don’t really get that many jokes out of it, but they do get in a solid punchline where Candace is mistaken for Buford and launched through the roof of the circus tent.
Also the first (speaking) appearance of one of Phineas and Ferb’s friends, Django Brown. If the name doesn’t ring a bell, that’s because he doesn’t get any appearances past the first season, outside of a handful of non-speaking cameos, and one speaking cameo with a different voice actor. He only has four episodes with a speaking role counting the aforementioned cameo, and one where he’s a main character.
The world may never know why Django Brown got a demotion to background extra… I mean, we could probably make theories based on how little there was to his character, but still. The world may get confirmation as to the reason, I guess.
Toy to the World
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Congratulations to Candace on getting her first fursuit!
I like the idea of Phineas and Ferb getting to run their own toy factory, giving it all a Willy Wonka-esque style. I just like the idea of kids getting to make over an adult environment like a factory in a delightfully childish way. Even if they may have caused the eventual end of humankind. (Link to Phineas and Ferb wiki page on the badinkadinks.)
Plus, a few gags with Candace’s retail job at the mall’s toy store. Which, to be entirely honest, just makes me pine for the days when toy stores were a thing.
And lastly, I’m pretty sure that one businessman who was pitching the different takes on Perry is behind all the adult reboots of the world. That’s my headcanon at least.
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watchathon · 3 days ago
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Phineas and Ferb, S1E7: It’s About Time!
Hello, and welcome to the Watchathon, a blog where I watch an episode of TV every weekday, with a blog post where I write down my thoughts afterwards.
And now, here’s my thoughts on Season 1, Episode 7 of Phineas and Ferb: It’s About Time!
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Ah, the episode that made thousands of people decide to ship a human man with a platypus.
I could go on, but I really don’t want to get into shipping discourse here. Just sayin’, the joke of archnemesis relationships being played like a romantic relationship feels a lot different once you’ve become aware that a lot of people actually think it’d be a cute romantic relationship.
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watchathon · 5 days ago
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Phineas and Ferb, S1E6: Get That Bigfoot Outta My Face!/Tree To Get Ready
Hello, and welcome to the Watchathon, a blog where I watch an episode of TV every weekday, with a blog post where I write down my thoughts afterwards.
And now, here’s my thoughts on Season 1, Episode 6 of Phineas and Ferb: Get That Bigfoot Outta My Face!/Tree To Get Ready!
Get That Bigfoot Outta My Face!
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I feel like I would be making a JoJo reference here if I were an anime fan...
Well, this was really fun. I have sort of a soft spot for camping episodes. Rarely are they among my favorite episodes of a series, but I don’t think I’ve ever really disliked one either. They’re just a fun situation to put a cast of characters in, especially when you have a character like Candace among them who usually wouldn’t even think about spending time camping out in the great outdoors.
Tree To Get Ready
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Boy, the Zords in the latest Power Rangers season look kinda weird.
Sorry to repeat myself, but it deserves repeating in this case: It’s always nice to see Phineas and Ferb doing something nice for Candace. You always get the feeling that she would be welcome to join in on all their projects if she so wanted, but seeing them put their child prodigy brains towards something that’s specifically for her, and her eagerly joining in, never fails to give me a warm, fuzzy feeling. And it’s been happening a lot more often than I remembered. Something which will hopefully continue.
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watchathon · 8 days ago
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Phineas and Ferb, S1E5: Raging Bully/Lights, Candace, Action!
Hello, and welcome to the Watchathon, a blog where I watch an episode of TV every weekday, with a blog post where I write down my thoughts afterwards.
And now, here’s my thoughts on Season 1, Episode 5 of Phineas and Ferb: Raging Bully/Lights, Candace, Action!
Raging Bully
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The first speaking role of Buford and Baljeet. At this point, they’re just filling the part of stereotypical bully and nerd respectively, but that’ll change soon enough.
One moment I particularly liked in this was the creatively comedic way of getting past the censors by having Phineas and Buford’s fight be a thumb-wrestling match, complete with the referee citing actual Standards and Practices guidelines while giving the rules for their fight.
Lights, Candace, Action!
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The humor was just top notch in this, somehow even better than Phineas and Ferb usually is. I’m rarely the type to laugh out loud at jokes (more often just smiling really wide) but I had several laugh-out-loud moments just watching this, with all the hijinks that Candace went through before, during and after filming the movie. My favorite being the gag of Ferb editing the film and making Candace look like the live-action Ashley Tisdale. That just slayed me as a kid, and I still die laughing every time I see it.
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watchathon · 9 days ago
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Phineas and Ferb, S1E4: Are You My Mummy?/Flop Starz
Hello, and welcome to the Watchathon, a blog where I watch an episode of TV every weekday, with a blog post where I write down my thoughts afterwards.
And now, here’s my thoughts on Season 1, Episode 4 of Phineas and Ferb: Are You My Mummy?/Flop Starz!
Are You My Mummy?
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This episode is a take on the formula where Phineas and Ferb don’t actually accomplish their goal. Instead, the story is about their search for a mummy, and Candace trying to bust them.
It’s unique since the usual thing that we would expect the episode to center around is the antics that Phineas, Ferb and friends get into while they’re having fun with whatever big thing the boys have created for the episode. But in this case, Phineas and Ferb are searching for something rather than creating something, and their plotline centers around that search.
Which leads to a lot of unique jokes, like Phineas and Ferb thinking that the runaway gumball machine is a booby trap (or, for that matter, thinking the movie theater has booby traps), or the chase once Candace encounters her brothers while she’s wrapped up in bandages with her mouth full of sticky expired bubble gum, giving her the appearance of a mummy.
On a side note, there were a lot of clips from this episode that I recognized from the music video for “We’re Back!” from Candace Against The Universe. And oddly, now that I rewatch that video, they’re all in quick succession. Candace running from the gumball machine (0:29), Candace poking her head through the theater door (0:33), Candace spying on her brothers through the bush in the movie theater’s lobby (0:36), and the zoom in on Candace in the backseat of Lawrence’s car (0:38). Weird, innit?
And lastly, the elevator music in the scene where Candace gets on the elevator is significant due to how it’s foreshadowing for the very next segment (heck yeah, perfect segue!):
Flop Starz
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Ah, the episode which prompted Disney to demand that every episode have its own musical number, one of the few times that executive meddling has resulted in something being good.
And I can see why the songwriting on show here caught Disney’s interest. Despite the intentionally-meaningless lyrics, Gitchee Gitchee Goo is an incredibly catchy song with a good tune behind it. Not to mention, Vincent Martella (Phineas), Ashley Tisdale (Candace) and Olivia Olson (Linda’s singing voice and the voice actor for Vanessa) have great singing voices that are shown off here.
And as we’ve seen in a few of the episodes so far, and we will see many times in the future, these songwriters are also very much capable of pulling off songs with lyrics that are actually meaningful and relevant to the story.
Lastly, to explain what I said previously about how the elevator music was foreshadowing, that elevator music in Are You My Mummy? was “I’m Lindana and I Wanna Have Fun” by Phineas and Ferb’s mom back when she was herself a one-hit wonder. It’s her explanation of what a one-hit wonder is that inspires Phineas and Ferb’s big project, and one of the things she mentions is that “before you know it, their song ends up as elevator music.” 
...Not that she would know anything about that.
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watchathon · 10 days ago
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Phineas and Ferb, S1E3: The Magnificent Few/S’Winter
Hello, and welcome to the Watchathon, a blog where I watch an episode of TV every weekday, with a blog post where I write down my thoughts afterwards.
And now, here’s my thoughts on Season 1, Episode 3 of Phineas and Ferb: The Magnificent Few/S’winter!
The Magnificent Few
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This is the debut of Vanessa, and she’s introduced as Dr. Doofenshmirtz’s assistant rather than his daughter. The reveal that she is his daughter is actually played for laughs, being a humorous twist that she was actually there for Take Your Daughter To Work Day.
Another thing which feels weird in retrospect when you’re looking back on the series like I am now. I would imagine when this episode first came out, people were expecting a dynamic similar to Drakken and Shego from Kim Possible. Partners in crime who both work together to take down our hero.
Instead, what we would end up getting is a father involving his daughter in his work, even though she doesn’t really care, which later develops into a very wholesome father-daughter bond. But I am getting ahead of myself, aren’t I?
S’Winter
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First thing that stuck out to me: This is in July?! We’re there already?! I guess we can chalk it up partially to continuity being fluid, partially to a difference between production order and broadcast, and partially to how they did not expect to have four seasons and two movies, but still. That line hit me like a truck… 
Moving on, we see the first interaction between Candace and Vanessa. It’s only a couple lines, but it is the first ever time that these two characters met.
All in all, I’d say that this is a pretty fun time. I would say a fun winter episode, but for whatever reason I’m not really certain I should be calling it that. Maybe it’s the amount of references to it being summer, maybe it’s just my preference for their later wintertime specials… Whatever the case, that’s not a mark against the episode. It was still incredibly enjoyable, and I’d still be all too willing to rewatch it, whatever time of year it is.
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watchathon · 11 days ago
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Phineas and Ferb, S1E2: Fast and the Phineas/Lawn Gnome Beach Party of Terror!
Hello, and welcome to the Watchathon, a blog where I watch an episode of TV every weekday, with a blog post where I write down my thoughts afterwards.
And now, here’s my thoughts on Season 1, Episode 2 of Phineas and Ferb: Fast and the Phineas/Lawn Gnome Beach Party of Terror!
Fast and the Phineas
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Probably (though I may be wrong) one of the few episodes post-Rollercoaster that plays the formula entirely straight, without changing it up or lampshading it at all. Or, well, it nearly does so, since the Phineas and Ferb plot is much more centered on Candace than it is on the titular brothers or their friends, giving her a grand total of five busting attempts within these eleven minutes.
Otherwise, it is pretty much the standard formula. I will note, though, Phineas at least is skewing more towards the innocent cinnamon roll we will later see, gladly showing off his invention to Candace rather than trying to hide it at all.
Lawn Gnome Beach Party of Terror!
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This is the first time Candace really joins in on the boys’ project, having fun at the backyard beach just like her brothers and her friends are. Really, she’s all too giddy to spend time at the backyard beach. It really shows us how the only thing stopping her from always enjoying her summer like she does here is her obsession with busting her brothers. Kinda sad when you think about it, no?
But it is still just nice to see her letting go and having fun with her brothers’ project of the day, rather than trying so hard to bust them. 
She and Linda also show self-awareness of the show’s formula for the very first time, Linda immediately returning home once she realized that Candace hasn’t tried to bust her brothers all day, and Candace begging her mother to not go into the backyard because she knows the beach will be gone by the time Linda would see it.
Buford makes his first appearance. Strange in hindsight when I always remembered his first appearance as being Raging Bully, but I suppose we can just consider that his first major role? Either way, he works fine as the generic bully bit character they needed, even if by this point I’m used to thinking of him as being part of Phineas and Ferb’s friend group.
And lastly, this is Doofenshmirtz’ first tragic backstory. One of Doofenshmirtz’s most iconic characteristics is his large array of backstories so cartoonishly tragic that they’re impossible to really take seriously, and they’re certainly one of my favorite running gags in the series, if not my absolute favorite, due to how outlandish they can get. 
Take for example, his backstory in this episode. It’s tragic to imagine a child who’s forced to work all day and night. It crosses the line into hilarity when he’s forced to stand still and take the role of his family’s lawn gnome.
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watchathon · 12 days ago
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Phineas and Ferb, S1E1: Rollercoaster/Candace Loses Her Head
Hello, and welcome to the Watchathon, a blog where I watch an episode of TV every weekday, with a blog post where I write down my thoughts afterwards.
And now, here’s my thoughts on Season 1, Episode 1 of Phineas and Ferb: Rollercoaster/Candace Loses Her Head!
Rollercoaster
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As the first segment of the very first episode, this has the responsibility of setting up the formula that will be played with in all sorts of ways in the future: Phineas and Ferb build something fantastic, Candace tries to bust them, Perry fends off Doofenshmirtz’s latest scheme, Doof’s inator takes care of the boys’ invention before Mom can see it, roll credits.
That said, there is some early-series weirdness that can come as a surprise when you’re revisiting this episode. For one thing, it lacks in the musical numbers, genre savviness and lampshade hanging that would later come to really make the series.
Then there’s the characterization of Phineas and Doofenshmirtz. Phineas for most of the series is upbeat about his projects and just wants to share the fun with whoever wants to join in. All around, a pure cinnamon roll, save for a few scant occasions. Here, Phineas is more sarcastic and somewhat more antagonistic towards Candace, casually lying to her about his and Ferb’s project (saying that they’re doing homework), and making reference to charging the other kids to go on the rollercoaster. Two things that the Phineas of later episodes would never do.
As for Doofenshmirtz, while he isn’t quite as much unlike his later characterization, there are a few differences. His scheme to reverse the rotation of the Earth is much grander in scope than his evil plots tend to be, for one thing, and it comes without a cartoonishly tragic backstory to explain why he’s doing it. Also, his device isn’t referred to as an inator.
But hey, this is still just early-series weirdness. The crew’s still getting their footing at this point, and it makes sense that characterizations aren’t 100% set in stone. And as for the lack of the series’ signature self-awareness, like I said, this is where the formula is set up so it can be played with later on. Playing it totally straight so it can be subverted, inverted, and all kinds of -verted down the line.
At the end of the day, it is still a fun watch, and that’s the most important thing for this series as far as I’m concerned. Even if the characters are off compared to how they would be later on, the humor is still as top-notch as it will be for the rest of the series.
Candace Loses Her Head
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I mentioned above that one of Phineas and Ferb’s best qualities is all the ways in which it constantly plays with the formula rather than always following it beat for beat, but something that you don’t really realize until you rewatch it like this is how it was doing so as early as the first-produced episode. And even the segment which would actually end up being aired with Rollercoaster would veer away from the formula, and to an even greater extent. But, I’m getting ahead of myself.
For most of this segment, Candace is trying to bust her brothers as usual, but near the end, she sees what the boys have been doing and switches gear to trying to show her mother the beautiful birthday gift that the boys made for her.
Granted, as I said, most of it is just the standard formula, but it speaks volumes that the show wasted no time in changing things up, right after the formula was established. I feel like they knew from the start that the show would be at its best when they did this.
Besides which, it is just plain sweet to see the boys making their sister’s birthday present into their project of the day. Even if, as tends to happen with said projects, it doesn’t last long.
This is also the first time we ever see Jeremy in person. He was referenced in Rollercoaster as a boy Candace likes who works at Slushy Burger, but here we actually see him. Not that he’s given much characterization at this point, but it does at least set Jeremy up to be a recurring character, rather than just a single offhand mention of a crush Candance has.
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watchathon · 28 days ago
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Carmen Sandiego, S3E5: The Jolly Good Show Caper
Hello, and welcome to the Watchathon, a blog where I (try to) watch an episode of TV every weekday, with a blog post where I write down my thoughts afterwards.
And now, here’s my thoughts on the Season 3 finale of Carmen Sandiego: The Jolly Good Show Caper!
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This episode gives us what may be Carmen’s most daring scheme yet.
We learn that it’s Roundabout who’s been the one behind the mysterious release of VILE operatives. Even before he took Shadowsan’s spot in VILE faculty, this was the role he filled. And without him, well, things would suddenly be much more difficult for VILE, wouldn’t they?
We’re led to believe that Carmen is falling into Roundabout’s trap by taking on the mission of stealing the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom. But in actuality, it is Roundabout who fell into Carmen’s trap.
What I love about this scheme is how it subverts the audience’s expectations. Not that anyone even imagined that Carmen would actually be shipped off to VILE, but I (and I would imagine many viewers) expected a story about Carmen finding a way to escape after being caught in the middle of her theft.
Instead, what we got was Carmen feigning her capture as part of her plan to expose Roundabout. Serving as a reminder just how much of a master thief Carmen is, and giving us a very satisfying takedown of one of VILE’s highest-ranking members. 
Really, I’m not exaggerating when I say that the first time I watched this episode, I had the dumbest grin on my face for the whole rest of the episode after Shadowsan started to explain their plot.
It’s just so very satisfying to see a member of the VILE faculty being taken down a peg like this, losing his power outside of VILE after he’d been fooled into thinking he’s won. Even more so than Carmen’s usual missions, this felt like it was a real triumph, worthy of being the season finale.
…I’m pretty sure that Netflix was pulling their usual nonsense and splitting the third season into two pieces, but if they had to do that, then this was a good place to end their “third season.”
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watchathon · 28 days ago
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“I’ll watch all of these episodes and write out all of these posts ahead of time so that I don’t miss a day!” she said, foolishly, before forgetting to publish the post for the season finale.
Anyways, sorry for being a day late, but that post on the Season 3 finale of Carmen Sandiego is coming right up.
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watchathon · a month ago
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Carmen Sandiego, S3E4: The Masks of Venice Caper
Hello, and welcome to the Watchathon, a blog where I watch an episode of TV every weekday, with a blog post where I write down my thoughts afterwards.
And now, here’s my thoughts on Season 3, Episode 4 of Carmen Sandiego: The Masks of Venice Caper!
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First things first, this is the return of Shadowsan’s brother Hideo. The last time we saw Hideo, we had a bittersweet ending where despite his attempt to atone for previous mistakes, Shadowsan still hadn’t earned his brother’s forgiveness. Here, Hideo learns all about what Shadowsan, Carmen and the rest of their team have been doing: stealing to save priceless artifacts of cultural value from actual thieves who would hoard them or sell them for money. And Hideo approves of this, seeing this as his brother “doing a samurai’s work in ninja’s clothing.”
While I would have been fine if they’d left it at the bittersweet ending, I do appreciate that they followed up on it and brought Hideo back (with a speaking role this time) so that he and Shadowsan could truly make amends. I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but I’m always predisposed to unambiguously happy endings. I just like stories a lot better when all’s well that ends well and the heroes live happily ever after. I can appreciate the depth to an ending that has some sadness to it, but it just feels better when a story (or a character arc, in this case) ends on a purely wholesome note.
Another big thing from this episode is how Devineaux finally sees for himself that Carmen isn’t the villainess he’d always thought of her as. Throughout the whole series, it’s been clear that he thought of himself as the hero and Carmen as his nemesis. Here, Devineaux is forced to confront how everything is not as it seems when Carmen gives back the masks and leaves, only asking him to treat them with care and inform the museum about the weaknesses in their security.
This is a sort of character arc that I had been expecting Devineaux to have since the beginning. From the start, he felt like a character who would understand if he would just let himself. If he looked past the surface level, he may have found himself seeing Carmen the same way Julia does. But his pride meant that he would never see himself and Carmen as anything other than pure good and pure evil.
However, now that he’s been forced to see the truth, it’s clear that he has some doubts about his previous black-and-white viewpoint. He’s confused about why Carmen would just return the masks without asking for anything in return, looking back on when Julia would look deeper into Carmen’s MO and wondering if she was right after all.
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watchathon · a month ago
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Carmen Sandiego, S3E3: The Haunted Bayou Caper
Hello, and welcome to the Watchathon, a blog where I watch an episode of TV every weekday, with a blog post where I write down my thoughts afterwards.
And now, here’s my thoughts on Season 3, Episode 3 of Carmen Sandiego: The Haunted Bayou Caper! I would have saved it for Halloween, but I’ve got the Halloween special planned already for the next three years, so…
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This serves as a sort of breather episode, the most comedic episode of the season coming in between two episodes that are heavier by comparison. 
And it certainly delivers on the comedy front, with several laugh out loud moments. Especially the ending where, after a whole episode of Ivy frustratedly trying to convince Zack that the mansion isn’t haunted, Chief pops up out of (from their perspective) absolutely nowhere and proclaims that the haunting shall begin.
It also works really well as the Carmen Sandiego Halloween special, being a story set in an allegedly-haunted mansion that’s holding a costume gala, where villains hide in secret halls behind the walls and watch you through the eyes of the paintings… 
This is definitely an episode that I would make a point to rewatch around the Halloween season, especially since it’s pretty much standalone, having no connection to the ongoing plot and without an ending that leads into the next episode as many episodes have.
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watchathon · a month ago
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Carmen Sandiego, S3E2: The Day of the Dead Caper
Hello, and welcome to the Watchathon, a blog where I watch an episode of TV every weekday, with a blog post where I write down my thoughts afterwards.
And now that the introductions are over with, here’s my thoughts on Season 3, Episode 2 of Carmen Sandiego: The Day of the Dead Caper!
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First things first, this marks the episode where Julia reaches her breaking point and quits ACME. Through the series, we have seen her evolution from being the one who’s trying to figure out what Carmen’s MO is, to being the only member of ACME with full awareness of what Carmen’s MO is. Or at the very least, the only member who both knows and cares.
It was only ever a matter of time before she decided to leave ACME, and now she’s finally done it. 
Then there’s the main story of the episode, with Carmen trying to reach out to a young art thief and keep her from enrolling in VILE’s academy. It’s clear to see from the way that she talks to Sonia that she sees herself in the young girl, to some extent. A good soul who’s being led down the wrong path by a parental figure, as she once was. I would presume, then, that Carmen sees this as an opportunity to teach Sonia a lesson that she instead had to learn the hard way.
And not only does she keep Sonia from going to VILE Academy, Sonia instead ends up following in Carmen’s footsteps, stealing back the art that Ms. Contreras had her steal, returning them to their rightful place and righting the world’s wrongs. Something which Carmen clearly surmised, judging from the smile on her face after the client list goes missing, and which she seems all too pleased about.
This was a story that I really loved, and it’s why this episode is my favorite of the entire series, at least currently, having not seen Season 4 as of yet. I just really like the idea of Carmen not only stealing from VILE, but leading it’s potential recruits down the right path before VILE can get their hands on them. 
And, one last thing, I hope we eventually get to see at least one of Sonia’s missions in stealing back the art. Perhaps as a short or something?
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watchathon · a month ago
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Carmen Sandiego, S3E1: The Luchadora Tango Caper
Hello, and welcome to the Watchathon, a blog where I watch an episode of TV every weekday, with a blog post where I write down my thoughts afterwards.
And now that the introductions are over with, here’s my thoughts on Season 3, Episode 1 of Carmen Sandiego: The Luchadora Tango Caper!
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While I don’t have a lot to say about this episode, there were two things I thought were worth mentioning:
Firstly, I will say that I quite liked Lupe Peligro, as a character. Despite how Carmen, Zack and Ivy broke into her house, something which would justify angrily kicking them out, she’s all too understanding, wishing luck to Carmen on her search and even inviting the three of them to watch her match later that night.
Then, when Coach Brunt has stolen a fellow luchadora’s mask and has Carmen figuratively on the ropes, Lupe doesn’t even hesitate to fight Coach Brunt, saving Carmen and attempting to expose the impostor. Lupe is just all-around awesome, is what I’m trying to say.
Another thing that caught my eye in this episode is Julia Argent, and particularly her heavily-implied disapproval of the continued search for Carmen. We saw in Season 2 that she was the most willing to believe that Carmen wasn’t evil. And though I didn’t cover it for the blog, the To Steal or Not to Steal interactive special showed her as being all too aware of Carmen’s tendency to just give the stolen property to law enforcement, rather than taking it for herself.
So, of course when Chief orders ACME to return to the hunt for Carmen Sandiego, Julia’s not all too eager. Whereas Chase Devineaux is practicing his one-liners in the mirror and bemoaning how Carmen hasn’t been seen lately, Julia is doing research, and she sighs when there is a lead on Carmen’s location.
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watchathon · a month ago
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That Update Post I’ve Been Meaning To Do
So, I have finally finished Kamen Rider Build, save for a few extra things which I may or may not do eventually.
And that means I’m back to doing more western animation, at least until January next year when I cover yet another tokusatsu, because this blog has the most confused demographic ever.
First up: starting next Monday, May 17th, I will be covering Season 3 of Carmen Sandiego, saving the fourth and final season for September. I know I said before that I’d only cover one season a year for every series, but when one of those seasons is only five episodes and the other is eight? Yeah, I can do two.
Then, I will be starting a whole new series at the start of summer vacation in my county, June 7th. Well, okay, technically summer vacation starts on June 9th here, but I don’t wanna start on a Wednesday, so...
Anyway! You might be asking, why specifically do I want to start at the same time as summer vacation? Why would it be appropriate to start specifically at the same time as kids around the country are leaving behind school for a few months?
Well, hypothetical person asking these questions, to that I say: Summer vacation only lasts so long, before school comes along just to end it! So, the annual problem for our generation is finding a good way to spend it. Like, maybe...
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Watching and analyzing Phineas and Ferb, the cartoon that I and many from my generation consider to be the absolute best cartoon we grew up with!
This is, like Kamen Rider Build, a series that I’ve been wanting to do since before I even started the blog. Why, it was one of the reasons I wanted to start the blog; to log my thoughts as I revisited my favorite cartoon from childhood.
Phineas and Ferb is one of those series that stays just as good when you’re an adult as it was when you were a kid, but I’ve never really given it a full rewatch, only ever watching a scant few episodes.
Heck, come to think of it, I don’t believe I’ve ever actually watched Phineas and Ferb properly. Considering that as a kid, I just watched reruns as they came on, which left me unable to really appreciate the character development and continuity.
So join me, come June 7th, as I watch Phineas and Ferb in order for the first time in my life!
(PS: As I said before, I’ll only be covering one season, the very first, to avoid burnout, but I think that’s really for the best so I can give my best in terms of analysis. Also, I don’t think it would be possible to finish all four seasons plus specials and two movies, before I’m due to finish off Carmen Sandiego in September. Not to mention the 12 Days of Christmas...)
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watchathon · 2 months ago
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Kamen Rider Heisei Generations Forever
Hello, and welcome to the Watchathon, a blog where I (try to) watch an episode of TV every day, with a blog post where I write down my thoughts afterwards.
Today, I’m watching Kamen Rider Heisei Generations Forever, as a final bonus post for my coverage of Kamen Rider Build!
...Yeah, I know it’s technically a Zi-O movie, but it’s, like, half a Build movie, okay? At least 33%.
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If Heisei Generations Final was a tribute to past Riders, and Kamen Riders as a concept, then Heisei Generations Forever is a tribute to the legacy of Kamen Riders, and the fans who grew up with them and love them to this day.
The entire concept of the movie is that the main casts of Zi-O and Build are transported to a world much like our own where Kamen Riders are mere fictional characters. And the main movie-exclusive character, Ataru, is a Rider fanboy whose greatest wish was to meet the Riders.
This, of course, results in a lot of allusions to the history of Riders. From major things like how the air date of Kuuga’s first episode is a plot point, to even minor things like Ataru’s initial uncertainty whether Kazumi is himself or Otoya from Kamen Rider Kiva (another character played by Takeda Kouhei.)
And then there’s the final act of the movie, where every Rider gets their turn in the limelight. Whoever your favorite main Heisei Rider is, they got a moment where they had the focus as they beat up mooks, quite a few even getting dialogue via archive audio.
And it was just... pure bliss, as someone who’s been watching Kamen Rider since she was eleven. To see the love given to all these Riders. How, even though Zi-O and Build are the main focus, the filmmakers clearly realized that all of these Heisei Rider series hold a place in the hearts of fans.
I won’t say it’s perfect. Like, I still can’t quite wrap my head around how the world where Riders are fictional works. Riders were fictional before Tid came along (Shingo knows them as fictional characters despite being a singularity), but also he caused the Riders to be fictional by preventing Kuuga from existing? Not to mention quite a bit of less-than-ideal CGI. But I can easily look past that and focus on the story, which was simply brilliant.
This movie was a love letter to Kamen Rider, and the fandom thereof, and I adored every single second of it.
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watchathon · 2 months ago
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Kamen Rider Build: Series Review
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If you were to ask me what I would most want in a Kamen Rider series… the answer would sound a heck of a lot like Kamen Rider Build.
Sci-fi instead of fantasy, a continuous serialized story, twists and turns around every moment… It’s as if I wished upon a star for my ideal Rider show and my dream came true.
And it’s executed masterfully. So many moments where it gets emotional, and I cry every time. No other Rider series has really gotten to me the way that Build does, I mean it.
Those twists and turns never come out of nowhere, despite what big changes they can be. It would be so easy for a turn from a war story to a cosmic horror story to feel as though it was just a shocking swerve with no setup, but looking back you can see how there were pieces put in place since the very beginning.
Heck, the very premise of the series, with Pandora’s Box, the Skywall which sprouted after somebody touched it, the corruption of the politicians who were nearby at the time… from the very first arc, there’s setup for the war, for Evolt, for just everything that comes up later on in the series.
Then there’s our main cast who we follow through that wild story. Kiryu Sento, the titular Kamen Rider Build, and his trusted friends and allies.
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We see in Be The One and the last story arc that the public of Japan isn’t in favor of Kamen Riders. In Be The One, Inou brainwashes them into chasing down Build with the intent of destroying him, but he’s just working off of what was already there. The people already see the Kamen Riders as a symbol of war, not as superheroes.
But Sento doesn’t care. He and Team Build aren’t fighting for glory. They don’t expect to be rewarded, not even with the gratitude of the people they’re saving. They fight to forge a world of love and peace. It’s even revealed that this ideology originates from Katsuragi Shinobu, when Takumi asked him why he became a scientist.
And that’s what I love about Sento, as a character. That’s what I love about this series. These aren’t heroes who fight with any particular motive. They don’t expect even a “thank you,” and even the Riders who seek revenge, that isn’t all that drives them.
They’re heroes so that they can protect people and create a brighter world. And that’s my favorite kind of hero. The hero who fights because it’s the right thing to do, and any other reasons or motivations are secondary.
This whole series is proof that such a hero doesn’t need to be a perfect boy scout. Kiryu Sento, Kamen Rider Build himself, is self-admittedly narcissistic and egotistical, but he still fights to protect people above all else and he couldn’t care less whether or not said people even like him.
He fights for love and peace, as the rest of the heroic Kamen Riders do as well eventually. Banjou Ryuga starts off only looking out for himself. Sawatari Kazumi literally kicks down Sento’s peaceful ideology. Himuro Gentoku starts off as a villain. But through character development, they all eventually become heroic in the same way as Sento.
But let’s not forget our main villain, Evolt, my favorite villain in any superhero story I’ve ever seen.
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We’re first introduced to him as Isurugi Soichi, the typical kind older man who assists a Kamen Rider in his adventures. A man who has accepted Sento as family and helped him to get started in his career as Kamen Rider Build.
But then, thirteen episodes in, we find out that he’s really the secret identity of Blood Stalk, the mysterious villain and one of the current leaders of Faust.
Which would have been enough of a twist just on its own, for one of our main hero’s most trusted allies to be evil all along. It comes with a lot of nuance, and it raises a lot of questions: how much of his bond with Sento was genuine? What was his motive for encouraging Sento? Does he truly love Misora?
And then, we start to see that Isurugi is being controlled by some malevolent entity, which later turns out to be Evolt, the one who destroyed the Martian civilization and was sealed in Pandora’s Box.
I know, there have been some people against this twist. At least insofar as thinking that it would’ve been more interesting for evil Isurugi to just be evil all on his own.
Which I understand, but I would argue that the idea of a former astronaut being possessed by an Eldritch horror for ten years and being forced to work towards his own world’s destruction is the more interesting idea. Just for how horrific an idea it is.
And that’s what I love so much about Evolt: the horror. Yeah, he’s not exactly a deep character, but his unquestionable evil and unimaginable power makes him a unique villain. 
I can’t claim that pure evil villains are something new. Saturday morning cartoon villains who are evil for evil’s sake are a cliche at this point. But Evolt adds a new twist to the idea by playing up how nightmarish the idea is. He’s a malicious entity that lacks emotions entirely, and even once he does have emotions, it only makes him feel joy from all the death and destruction he’s caused. And it’s nightmare fuel for the entirety of the last third of the series.
I could gush about the story and the characters for hours, but I think you get my point. There are very few flaws I could see with this series, and none of them big enough to ruin it. 
Like, my biggest issue is how Kazumi’s being a Miitan fanboy could be kinda creepy at times and was a wasted opportunity to have him learn to see Misora as more than just Miitan. But, even with that, Kazumi is still a fully-developed character with depth to him. 
There’s really no doubt about it; Kamen Rider Build is my favorite Rider series, and that’s that.
Now join me next time for my ten-page essay about how gay Sento and Banjou are for each other!
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watchathon · 2 months ago
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Kamen Rider Build, Final Episode: The World Build Created
Hello, and welcome to the Watchathon, a blog where I (try to) watch an episode of TV every day, with a blog post where I write down my thoughts afterwards.
And now that the introductions are over with, here’s my thoughts on the Final Episode of Kamen Rider Build:
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So. Here we are. Finally we have reached the end of the story of Kamen Rider Build.
It’s unexpectedly bittersweet, but it also feels complete. Despite the existence of the New World V-Cinemas, which the crew surely already knew about the existence of, the ending to the series itself doesn’t really go out of its way to set them up. 
Which is much appreciated when there have been a few Rider series which did end without the story fully resolved, or even including a scene in the finale that introduces the villain of the movie. It would’ve been so easy to do so here, but fortunately they let the ending speak for itself. The V-Cinemas are more of a bonus, if anything.
Then there’s the ending itself. Sento has defeated Evolt, and finally created a new world of love and peace, with no Skywall, no Evolt... and no Kiryu Sento. Because of how Evolt indirectly caused Sento to be created, there is no counterpart to him in the world where Pandora’s Box was never taken down to Earth.
This means that whenever he meets somebody he knew in the old world, they have no clue who he is. At most, they’ll mistake him for Sato Taro from the band Lynks... until, he meets Banjou Ryuuga from the old world, who also doesn’t have a counterpart because of how he was born with Evolt’s DNA.
And so, even though Sento might be lacking all his other friends from the old world, he’s still got Banjou. And he has the knowledge that everyone else is alive and well. Even people who died like the other Riders and Prime Minister Himuro, are alive in this new world.
Like I said, it’s a bittersweet ending. All of Sento’s friends except Banjou have lost their memories of the old world, and their friendship with him. But, Sento did create that world of love and peace in the end, that he was fighting for all this time. 
And, I think it’s really just the perfect ending. Sure, it would’ve been nice to have a totally happy ending, but I think this is still a satisfying conclusion to the story. Everyone is in a better place than they were at the start of the series, very much literally. We see for ourselves that the main cast is all happy and living their best life, even if they don’t have their friendship with each other anymore.
It’s just... satisfying. Despite the downsides, it’s satisfying to see all the lives lost are back and doing well for themselves.
And... now I suppose I’m done with these by-the-episode thoughts on Kamen Rider Build. But I’m not done with Build. I’m going to be taking the next few days to write a review of the series, giving my overall opinion on the series as a whole. Then, I’ll be doing one final bonus post to cap off my coverage of Kamen Rider Build (for the moment.)
But before I sign off... I must give one final “they knew what they were doing.” I mean, really. The gold Rabbit and silver Dragon Bottles being a Best Match? “Banjou and I are the best match?” It’s not as though they don’t know the connotations. A few years later, in Zero-One, they’ll use the phrase “Best Match” again, for people put together by a matchmaker. They knew just how gay they were making Banjou and Sento, and you can’t change my mind on this.
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watchathon · 2 months ago
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Kamen Rider Build, Episode 48: To a World of Love & Peace
Hello, and welcome to the Watchathon, a blog where I (try to) watch an episode of TV every day, with a blog post where I write down my thoughts afterwards.
And now that the introductions are over with, here’s my thoughts on Episode 48 of Kamen Rider Build:
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If there’s one thing that I can say about this episode, it’s how two major characters reach the final conclusion to their arc here.
First up is Gentoku. Ever since he was cured of the Pandora Box’s influence, he’s felt that he could never measure up to his father’s expectations. Until Taizan’s death, Gentoku was working with the goal of reunifying the country then handing control over to his father. And after his father’s death, he was simply lost. Still feeling that there’s no way he could atone for what he did as Night Rogue.
But here, with Kazumi’s forgiveness, and the citizens cheering him on during the final battle with Evolt, he finally has an answer to the question of whether he can be what his father hoped he would be. He is, and he will defend the future of the country even if he has to sacrifice his life to do it.
Then there’s Banjou. Here, the episode ends with Banjou trying to sacrifice himself so that Sento doesn’t have to. And, I know that I’ve said this again and again, but it is very much a far cry from that jock who, in the first few episodes, couldn’t even understand the idea of fighting for someone else’s sake.
Banjou has had perhaps the most character development of anyone in this series. Not to say that the other characters have been flat, but Banjou’s had the most stark before-and-after differences. Slowly transforming from a self-centered muscle-brain into a true Kamen Rider. 
And it’s been entirely natural. There was never any one moment that I could say changed him greatly. It’s been a gradual change influenced by everything that’s happened over the course of the series. With several moments influencing his transformation.
To put it another way, I could compare Banjou between any two episodes and see only minor differences. But if I compared Banjou in this episode to Banjou in, say, Episode 3? Then they would seem like entirely different characters.
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