A Look at Gravity Falls: “Weirdmaggedon 2: Escape From Reality”


Jason Ritter and Linda Cardellini, blurring the fantasy and reality lines

“You can’t argue with the results. People are happy here. Does it really matter if it’s real or not?” – Mabel Pines

Gravity Falls is ending. The show hasn’t been cancelled but it’s going to be over in short order. Well, kinda. One more super-sized episode – to be aired at some unspecified date (likely sometime in the new year!?!), Disney XD was never one for scheduling the show with any consistency – and that’s it. Alex Hirsch, the show’s creator (and, to my mind, genius) said that this was part of his plan from the start, to create a show about one amazing summer among two siblings on the verge of growing up. Summers don’t last forever. Amazing ones are even shorter. Weirder and weirder things have happened to the Pines twins over the course of this summer (spanning 2 television seasons) – gnomes, merpeople, sea monsters, video games coming to life, time travel, body swapping. Pretty much anything Mulder and Scully would have investigated was also investigated by Dipper and Mabel during their stay with Grunkle Stan at the Mystery Shack.

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Channel Surfing #4: My Week in TV – Gravity Falls, Sharon Van Etten, Reign

A quick collection of things that I’m finding fascinating, frustrating and fun on TV this past week. 

What’s happening on Gravity Falls?

Normally, when I do a round of Channel Surfing, I start by bemoaning that a once loved show has started showing signs of decay. This time I’m going to start by celebrating an already delightful show for steadily improving from its first season to its second. Gravity Falls is an animated series created by Alex Hirsch that airs on the Disney Channel (or Disney XD – the Disney conglomerate has a weird way of airing TV shows, sometimes months will go by without new episodes airing at all and sometimes an episode airs on one channel and then the next episode airs on the other – but I digress). Yes, it’s a kid’s show but it’s a kid’s show that has been heavily inspired by adult material: The Simpsons (most notably and obviously), Twin Peaks, The X-Files, old B-movies, among others. The show surrounds the Pines twins, Dipper and Mabel, who have come to stay with their old, bitter great-uncle, Grunkle Stan. Grunkle Stan owns and operates a tourist destination/hall of oddities called The Mystery Shack. You see, lots of very strange things happen in the town of Gravity Falls and Grunkle Stan intends to make a few bucks off of all the weirdness. The twins get thrown right into the thick of it, living and working at the Mystery Shack, solving mysteries, happening upon gnomes and monsters and clues and cyphers on an daily basis. The strangeness of Gravity Falls becomes a kind of new normal for the kids and they grow to love the town as much as they grow to love Stan. At the end of season one, they decide to stick around.

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Email Roundtable #23 – Q&A

In this edition of the Email Roundtable we each asked a TV related fantasy question. We also got some special guests to weigh in!

Jane asked: Which TV character would you pick to be your real life best friend and why?

Steph: I had a really hard time with this one…but i’m gonna go with Joan Harris from Mad Men. As snappy as she sometimes is with other women, I’ve seen some genuine lady bonding from her. I think she’s a good listener, blunt and fearless with advice giving, and an all around good time. She has a sense of humour and incredible style. Borrowing clothes and swapping juicy stories over Old Fashioned’s–sign me up! Mind you, I don’t think anyone else could ever wear a Joan Harris dress and not disappear into the bossom’s netherworld.

Graeme: I was going to pick someone cool like Raylan Givens from Justified but then I realized 1. he only cares about his job and 2. everyone close to him is targeted by the mob to be murdered. So I’ll go with ALF. Fuzzy, funny, sarcastic aliens are awesome.

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Email Roundtable #21 – No One Likes the Monkey


Kerri: In your estimation has there ever been a good use of pets/animals on TV? Most of the TV pets that I can think of are used strictly as comic relief. Who is your favourite TV pet?

Katie: I can’t think of a pet that has been used for plot purposes, other than teaching kids about death (and teaching parents not to try to replace their child’s dead hamster. They always know.) My favourite TV pet is a pretty obvious choice, but it has to be Eddie from Frasier. That was just such an all around good dog.

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Yearly Leftovers – my favorite bits and bites from 2012

Sick of making leftover turkey sandwiches? Read some of my leftover TV favorites from 2012! A smattering of things that I haven’t had a chance to write about that I’ve loved over the past year. No lists, no numbers, just some of my favorite stuff. 

Gravity Falls’ title sequence – It seems that more and more that title sequences for television shows are becoming short, efficient works of art.  I can’t think of a show that has a title sequence that is quite as brilliant as the one for Gravity Falls. Every episode begins with a beautiful sequence, animated to look like a time-lapse film, that takes us through the weird and wonderful town of Gravity Falls. The title sequence smartly recalls the title sequences of Twin Peaks, The X-Files and even Northern Exposure but its frenetic pace, quirky music and in-jokes tell us exactly what we are getting ourselves into.

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Email Roundtable #9 – A Few of Our Favorite Things of 2012 – Part 1

In the interest of it being a particularly busy time of the year and because it is also the time of year for lists we thought we would forego our regularly scheduled Email Roundtable. Instead, we have each asked each other about a few of our favourite things from 2012. We attempt to discuss those things here. **Warning: this article probably contains spoilers**

What this exercise taught us, is that we all love Christina Hendricks.

What this exercise taught us is that we all love Christina Hendricks.

Katie asks Kerri: What was your favorite episode from any TV show? (pt. 2, what were you doing while watching it?)

I’m going to cheat a bit answering my questions so please bear with me (and I plan to discuss more of my favorite episodes and moments in my next blog post). The sexy answer to this question is “Christmas Waltz, an episode of Mad Men that includes one of my favorite scenes in an episode of TV this year: the one with Don and Joan at the bar. Continue reading