Goodbye, Gravity Falls

Oh, Mr. Hirsch, did you have to break my heart right after Valentine’s Day?

If you’re reading this blog and you’ve never seen Gravity Falls before, either order the first six episodes on DVD through Amazon, rent the DVD from your local library, or buy the first season on iTunes.  I’d recommend the marathon on Disney XD today, but it’s already started and you ought to watch the episodes in order.  It’s definitely one of the best shows on the Disney Channel right now, if not THE best.  (Phineas and Ferb still holds a special place in my heart.)  But today, it ends for good.

In Gravity Falls, a pair of twins named Dipper and Mabel Pines go to spend the summer with their great-uncle, Stan, in the town of Gravity Falls.  He’s a con artist who owns the Mystery Shack, a tacky museum/shop that supposedly showcases mystical creatures and objects that he’s found.  Stan doesn’t actually believe in the supernatural (or so he says).  But Dipper and Mabel start having strange adventures in the town and surrounding woods that suggests there’s something weird about Gravity Falls.  But what’s really going on and who can they trust?

This show appeals to me on a personal level because I used to spend weekends in the summer at my grandparents’ summer house in the Poconos.  Every year, I hoped that I’d get to go on some adventures with my family, but it never happened.  Then again, some of the monsters that Dipper and Mabel are so scary that it’s probably for the best that I had nice, normal summers.

Despite that connection, it took some persuasion from one of my best friends before I gave Gravity Falls a chance.  I saw the clip of the barfing gnome and thought I knew what kind of show it was- Disney’s attempt to make a hip, edgy Cartoon Network knockoff.  “See, it LOOKS like a typical, Disney fairy tale, but look!  The gnomes barf rainbows!  We totally know what the kids want today!”  Then my friend informed that I had to watch this show because it just had a funny episode where Mabel learned that it’s okay to say “no” when a boy pressures her to date him.

Wait…what?  Gravity Falls did that?

Yes, they did.

It’s just a typical episode of Gravity Falls: one that tells a good story with well-developed, entertaining characters, clues to the overarching mystery, and lots of scenes that are funny or scary or emotional in the best ways.

Everything about this show is well-written, especially the characters. Dipper and Mabel act like a real brother and sister who love each other. Sometimes they disagree and sometimes they selfishly put their own needs before their sibling’s, but it’s all very relatable and they always come back together in the end. Disney definitely seems to be tapping into good stories focused on sibling relationships, with Frozen and Big Hero 6 and Gravity Falls.

There’s also Grunkle Stan, who reminds me of Mr. Krabs with his money obsession, except Stan’s funnier (in my humble opinion) and has more depth. The other Mystery Shack employees, Soos and Wendy, are great too. Bill Cipher is now my favorite modern Disney villain. I don’t want to say too much more because of spoilers. There are so many good twists to the story, and they happen a lot sooner than you’d expect for a show like Gravity Falls. The writers actually answer all of the questions you have…and then give you several hundred new questions to ask.

I wish I could think of something more eloquent to say about the show right now, but I’m running out of time. It’s ending in a few hours. If I try to make this post as spectacular as any Gravity Falls-related thing ought to be, I’ll never get it done (not that my posts are anything close to spectacular on a regular basis, but still). It’s hard to think of how to explain or summarize Gravity Falls‘ general awesomeness because there’s too much to talk about.

So, if you haven’t seen it yet, and you like animated shows that appeal to all ages, definitely check out Gravity Falls. Its quality is right up there with Avatar: The Last Airbender, Phineas and Ferb, Spongebob, etc. It’s probably right up there with Adventure Time and Steven Universe too, but I’ve only see a handful of AT episodes and a couple of SU clips, so I can’t say for sure. But Gravity Falls is good. Go watch it now.

If you think animated shows are stupid, and that’s why you haven’t watched Gravity Falls yet, well, that’s okay, but you should give it a chance.  You never know until you try. (I was going to post the clip of Grunkle Stan criticizing anyone who doesn’t like kids shows, but even THAT has a big spoiler in it!)

If you are a fan, then what are you looking forward to the most about Weirdmageddon: Part 3? Personally, I’m dying to see how Stan fits into everything. He has never participated in a Bill adventure before and coincidentally missed an important discussion about him before the finale started, so in my mind, that can only mean they’ve got a really important connection. Just as long as that fan theory is wrong and he doesn’t die at the end, I’ll be happy.

Goodbye, Gravity Falls. I will miss you and so will a lot of other animation fans. Here’s hoping it shows up again in some other form, i.e. Disney Infinity or Kingdom Hearts. We KH fans need a Bill Cipher boss battle.