Sunday, 25 August 2013

The land of Ooo

I'm a nerd.

I'm not saying this in a self-deprecating manner; I'm comfortable in my nerdy skin. It wasn't always like this, but growing up has a way of making things ok.

One of my nerdy qualities is that I love cartoons: SpongeBob Squarepants; Kung-fu Panda; Jimmy Neutron; Planet much as I like The Simpsons, American Dad, Futurama, and I'm reassessing my liking The Family Guy. My most recent discovery is a show called, Adventure Time with Finn and Jake.

Adventure Time is a strange, wonderful, quirky world, and not at all your typical cartoon. It has a dark, foreboding undertow (a post-apocalyptic world) that does not overwhelm the light-hearted innocence and coolness of the two main characters: Finn the human (Jeremy Shada) and Jake the dog (John DiMaggio - of the Futurama fame).

The whole series is peppered with flashbacks of the characters (both major and minor). For example, the Ice King's character used to be an antiquarian named Simon Petrikov. The storyline goes something like he used to be in love his fiancĂ©e Betty but then he came across a magical crown that slowly took over him and his priorities. His subjects are penguins and he has a penguin sidekick named Gunter.

In one of the flashbacks, as he becomes more and more the Ice King and less and less his original form, we find that in order to protect a little girl named Marceline from the post-apocalyptic zombies after the Mushroom War he had to rely more and more on the magical crown but at the cost of his sanity and humanity.

[Pendleton] Ward described the show as a "dark comedy"; he said "dark comedies are my favorite, because I love that feeling – being happy and scared at the same time. It's my favorite way to feel – when I'm on the edge of my seat but I'm happy, that sense of conflicting emotions. And there's a lot of that in the show, I think." (

The whole thing is brilliant.

There is also the music being as Finn, Marceline and Jake are musically inclined and liable to break out into music at any moment.

I've always been fascinated by the Greenlandic culture. It has a distance for me that makes it an almost magical wonder. It has an easy eloquence about it being as the Inuit language is strong, and, more importantly, culturally relevant in a way that it has kept the linguistic traditions in the modern world that other Inuit cultures are currently struggling with. It also has music (of every kind).

Adventure Time has that quality (for me).


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