Thanks, WatchMojo. I almost missed out on Gravity Falls.
I’m not the kind of guy that usually takes Top 10 lists to heart but I do love watching videos on YouTube that do show these kinds of lists. And if there is one YouTube channel that makes their money on making Top 10 lists, it’s WatchMojo. They have lists on a whole lot of topic and one of those lists just so happens to be the Top 10 Hated Disney Animated Shows. On that list, Gravity Falls made it to number 7. Now, while I don’t usually take Top 10 lists to heart, that same list had Teamo Supremo, The Wuzzles, The Buzz on Maggie and The Mighty Ducks, shows I hated with a passion. So I decided to skip the show.
I can’t place all the blame on WatchMojo. This same list had Kick Buttowski, a show that was pretty watchable and had some good funny episodes so that should’ve warned me on how legit the list is in the first place. However, I actually did happen to catch one episode of Gravity Falls, the one about the history of the town and its founding, and I wasn’t impressed with it. So I decided to skip the series entirely.
However, a few months ago, I saw one YouTube personality, the Nostalgia Critic, put up a video noting his Top 11 list of the best Gravity Falls episodes. I have a lot of respect for the Nostalgia Critic as he and I appear to have the same tastes. It was also around this time when WatchMojo put up, not one, but two Gravity Falls-centric Top 10 lists to sort of apologize for putting it on the previous list. Because of these cases, I did decide to give Gravity Falls another shot.
And I’m glad I did! Gravity Falls is a sensational show and something that you shouldn’t miss!
If you were like me and haven’t seen the show before and don’t want to be spoiled by some of the more important events, don’t worry. This will be a SPOILER FREE review of the show.
Gravity Falls revolves around Dipper and Mabel Pines, a couple of twins who are spending the summer with their Grunkle (great-uncle) Stan. Grunkle Stan runs the Mystery Shack, a home that’s filled with fake supernatural attractions. However, despite the Mystery Shack being a scam to trick tourists, it turns out that the town of Gravity Falls and its surrounding area has some real actual mysterious happenings and occurrences…
The best thing I can say about Gravity Falls is that it’s fun for all ages. I know that sounds really cliché to say that something can be enjoyed by both kids and adults but it’s true in the case of Gravity Falls! Kids will love the general silliness of the characters as well as the good hearted humor while adults will appreciate the continuity and how it pokes fun at classic horror shows and nostalgic properties from their own childhood. In fact, I kind of feel sorry for the kids that watch Gravity Falls as they won’t be able to fully appreciate how deep the show is. I love how events from a previous episode will affect a future episode and how some characters actually evolve and grow.
Gravity Falls is also pretty famous for having a lot of Easter Eggs in each episode and it a big part of why the show is really good. In the end credits, you’ll see a bunch of scrambled letters that you have to decipher to get a hidden message. Eagle eyed viewers will spot hints in the background of what’s to come, leading to speculation of future events. You gotta admire the writers for adding these little Easter Eggs, trusting that viewers would be smart enough to figure them out! Now, that’s believing in your audience!
The two leads, Dipper and Mabel, are great. Dipper is the more analytical kid while Mabel is the more energetic and spontaneous one. Usually, I would get irritated by the silly archetype in a cartoon and I would usually go for the characters like Dipper. But, honestly, it’s hard not to like Mabel as she’s filled with this youthful innocence that’s actually really identifiable even for someone who’s developed an indifference with overly-positive characters like me. I guess there’s just an honesty with the character that just resonates with me.
Dipper and Mabel are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how great the cast of characters are in the show. Grunkle Stan is great as the lovable fast-talking scam artist who runs the Mystery Shack. The Mystery Shack’s kind-hearted but dim-witted Soos is good for a laugh as well. Wendy, the teen who works part time for Grunkle Stan is just, well, incredibly cool. The entire townsfolk also is quirky and likeable for the most part. For me, it’s Tyler Cutebiker, the “get ‘em” guy, who stands out as I always crack up when he says his catchphrase!
Of course, Gravity Falls isn’t just about being silly and funny all the time. The show has some really serious and, surprisingly, some genuinely scary moments as well. Well, maybe not frightening for adults. However, there are some episodes that I would think would be rather terrifying for little kids. They aren’t nightmare inducing or anything like that but they are rather disturbing to a point. Even so, I’m actually amazed that Disney of all companies, would let some of the visuals and subjects be shown! It’s great Disney had the guts to test kids boundaries in a sense to help them grow and appreciate more “grown up” imagery.
Additionally, there are actually really heartfelt moments between the main characters of Gravity Falls. The show touches on themes like growing up, being there for your family and friends, being yourself and more. They do have a message and seem like they are trying to teach kids something but it’s never done in a heavy handed manner as the lessons are learned through the story and the characters themselves.
If I were to nitpick on some of the problems of the show, I would say it would be that, while most episodes are fantastic, the ones that aren’t just feel kind of blah. Case-in-point: the episode I mentioned regarding the founding of the town. It was fine for the most part but, at the same time, felt so contrived and had no real meaning to the overarching plot of the show.
However, I can only think of one or two episodes that feel this way. The rest of other Gravity Falls episodes are generally awesome and I really glad I decided to give the show a second look… and a third look as well. I’m actually rewatching the entire show as we speak, trying to catch all the little hints that took place throughout the show’s run. And even though I know what’s ultimately going to happen, I’m still having a blast watching the adventures of Dipper, Mabel, Grunkle Stan, Soos and Wendy in the not so sleepy hamlet that is Gravity Falls.
I highly recommend watching Gravity Falls. Go watch it with your kids if you have them; you won’t be bored at the least while you’re viewing it with them. If you have friends who can appreciate horror tropes, you can watch it with them. If you like good shows in general (and who doesn’t like good shows), you owe it to yourself to ignore that stupid WatchMojo list (even if they have been apologizing for the error) and go watch Gravity Falls.
By the way WatchMojo, I’m still waiting for you guys to atone for saying that Kick Buttowski is one of the most hated Disney shows. If you don’t, well…
Have you seen Gravity Falls? What did you think of the show? Let me know in the comments section below!