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Over The Garden Wall


President Squidward
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I searched and everything, and I don't think we even discussed this at all. It premiered on Cartoon Network last Monday for five nights and ended yesterday. What do I think about it?

 

It was amazing. Loved the animation. The Characters (Wirt is the best <3). The story and the plot twist. Everything. Sad to see it go but it was a great miniseries and I'd love to see Pat McHale and Nick Cross work on something together again.

 

Did anyone else watch it?

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I absolutely LOVED it. It was pretty darn impressive for CN's very first miniseries, and pretty much had everything you needed for a perfect animated series (at least in my opinion anyway): appealing art style, lovely animation, well-executed storyline, and likeable characters above all.

 

(For those who haven't seen it, shame on you.)

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I absolutely LOVED it. It was pretty darn impressive for CN's very first miniseries, and pretty much had everything you needed for a perfect animated series (at least in my opinion anyway): appealing art style, lovely animation, well-executed storyline, and likeable characters above all.

 

(For those who haven't seen it, shame on you.)

 

I haven't seen it because I have Dish for my TV, which doesn't have Cartoon Network anymore, and I also can't find the full series on Youtube.

 

That's right...I went there. Come at me bro.

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Okay, now that I've let it sink in for a couple days, here are my thoughts (lots and lots of text ahead):

 

Spoiler

 

I think this show would've been a lot better had it not been a mini-series. I like the idea of vignettes, but in practice it really didn't work out. I didn't care enough about Wirt and Greg's quest to get home because each episode felt like a filler with only the last minute or two really having an impact. I thought giving Wirt a semi-love interest Lorna was a big mistake because it undercut Sara's importance. Sara was the driving love interest in the story, so why bother introducing Lorna and have her and Wirt sing a duet together about finding each other? To give Wirt more confidence in girls? He gained all the confidence he needed when he stood up to The Beast in the last episode. We needed more Wirt/Greg interaction and relationship, and having an episode focused on Wirt and some girl that never appeared again was a huge weakness.

 

So, I just touched on some points that I'll go into further. First, let's talk about Sara. Why the hell are we supposed to care about Sara and Wirt's crush on her? We see it in one episode, and it's the penultimate episode. We find out in the mansion episode that he likes a girl, and then that suddenly becomes relevant in the second-to-last episode of the series. Kudos to the writers for continuity, but seriously. Are we supposed to care that Wirt likes a girl? Lorna was introduced to us and we got to know her more than Sara. Every interaction Wirt and Sara had was awkward and Wirt stammering. Wirt and Lorna had a duet together. Why introduce a girl like Lorna while Sara is still the endgame? It was pointless. Had they had more time per episode, having flashbacks to Wirt's school life would've been extremely beneficial in establishing his relationship with Sara and Sara as a character in general. We would've gotten attached to her and we would've been heartbroken when episode 9 rolled around when we see Wirt and Greg fall off the wall. We would've actually cared about them getting home because we would've known there was something at stake.

 

Another thing is Greg and The Beast. I never felt like Greg went through any kind of character arc. We knew from the get-go that he liked Wirt and that he'd do anything for anyone; he went to go get his frog even though he knew a beast was in the woods and Wirt told him to stay put. Nothing was gained from Greg being the one to "sacrifice" himself to The Beast; Wirt sacrifice himself would've had more impact. Not only would we have seen Greg grow up, we'd see Wirt be selfless. Had we gotten the flashbacks (or even if we just had episode 9) we'd know what Wirt would've been giving up. Wirt had a life before the forest, whereas Greg probably didn't because he's just a kid. Of the two of them Wirt wanted to go home more, so having Greg be the one to give himself up was almost a cop-out because we didn't see either of the characters grow up. We saw Wirt at the end be confident, but he also would've been confident if he gave himself up because he'd know that he wasn't the only person that mattered and life is short and while the Unknown is scary you'll at least know what's in the Unknown if you go for it and that's less scary than not knowing.

 

Another thing I wasn't the biggest fan of was the one time they semi-broke the fourth wall. I think it was a conversation Wirt had with Beatrice and he said something along the lines of "that was incredibly vague". I didn't get why that was needed, because the show hadn't been self-referential up to that point and it wasn't again after that point. It took me out of it for a moment. If the show wants to acknowledge it's a show then it should've done it multiple times before then, it shouldn't just have "hip" dialogue for the sake of it, because the show never tried to be that type of show. They didn't need Wirt acknowledging what Beatrice was saying was vague because we as the audience already got that, and he hadn't commented on her stammering prior to that moment (which would've been a golden opportunity to employ fourth wall-breakage).

 

I really enjoyed the soundtrack and the ideas this show had, and I really wanted to enjoy the show as a whole, but it was way too ambitious for a 10 episode mini-series. I commend Cartoon Network for greenlighting it, I commend everyone who worked on it for doing the best they could (because it was still damn enjoyable), I commend Elijah Wood for not rejecting the role, but it had so much potential that it squandered. I hope this show paves the way for more mini-series' in the future because I think other writers could take a stab at it and have better results.

 

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I just saw the series when they aired every episode during the encore presentation. And I really liked it. I really enjoyed the animation, the music, the characters, and the plot twist. Though I wish it could've been longer, I still thought it was good.

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