Gravity Falls, You Have Officially Won Me Over as a Fan.

Hello Everyone,

My God Alex Hirsch, if I could shake your hand and say “Job well done!”, I honestly would.  When I used to look at the cartoon lineup of Disney X D, I usually ended up just flipping to the History Channel, NatGeo, or the Travel Channel.  That is, until I saw Gravity Falls.  My curiosity was piqued, but I bypassed it thinking it was another run-of-the mill Disney animation where everyone loves their royal masters and mistresses and the world eventually becomes “clean” through them by magic means.  However, after listening to the awesome rendition of the show’s theme song on the YouTube channel, Epic Game Music, I decided to check the show out for myself and I can honestly say, I was bypassing a gem every time I flipped passed it on the TV Guide.  Now, I know Disney X D is for kids and preteens, and being a 29 year old man, their programming wouldn’t really have anything to offer me.  However, if they were planning on using this show to rope in older viewers, I believe they might have succeeded.  If you want to know more about the show, you can Google it for yourself and learn about the story and hopefully, you will fall in love with it also.

First, let me say that the key strength of this series is the chemistry of the various characters of the story.  We have Dipper Pines, who is a very intelligent and curious 13 year old which seems to drive his passion of investigating all the paranormal cases of his town of Gravity Falls in Oregon.  Then, there is his sister Mabel Pines, who is a carefree, happy, and often clumsy kid.  There is Grunkle (great uncle) Stanley Pines who is a fast talking cheapskate, Wendy who is a very laid back and cool teenager, and Soos who is childish, goofy, and naive, but is still able to help the kids on their investigations as he is very handy with tools.  These character occupy the same location for most of the show which is the Mystery Shack and so, as the show progresses, they all learn and grow together.  For example, Dipper has a crush on Wendy, but later on in the show, she lets him down gently and Grunkle Stan helps him cope by trying to “teach” him to be a ladies man, which obviously ends up backfiring immediately.  Eventually, Grunkle Stan admits to Dipper that he is not much of a ladies man and that Dipper should not follow his advice.  Dipper learns that it is better to be who are than pretend to be someone you are not and Grunkle Stan learns that he should be responsible when giving advice.

By giving the characters such unique and deep characters, they are able to give the series an efficient cohesive in terms of story.  The story of this show is very unique in that there are subplots that keep going until the end of the season which leads to the subplot becoming a pivotal point for the series.  This can be seen in the recent season, where the hint of Grunkle Stan hiding a secret behind the vending machine in the shack is hinted at in several of the episodes.  One of the episodes where this is most apparent is when Dipper and team go inside Stan’s head to save him from Bill Cypher’s control.  In one scene, Soos opens a door to Stan’s memory where he sees him entering the secret room behind the vending machine.  Naively, he leaves this memory before it is over to check out his more “interesting” memories.  Eventually it is revealed what is behind the door in the series and thus gives the story even more of a plot twist.  The humor can be bit random like another great animation, The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy by Maxwell Atoms, but the story differs as it is much deeper leaving the audience guessing at the end of each episode and the atmosphere is more upbeat, which I personally prefer.

You see, this is more than just a cartoon about a group of kids investigating the paranormal cases of their town, this is a story about characters that the audience (myself included) can relate to and how they mature in their own ways.  This is why I have to say that I can relate to Dipper the most in the series.  One reason is that when I was his age and for my whole life really, I was always fascinated by tales of the paranormal like Bigfoot, UFOs, and Ghosts.  As a kid, I enjoyed watching shows like Sightings, Unsolved Mysteries, and the Twilight Zone.  One time when I was a kid, my friends and I organized a group to investigate the paranormal activity in the neighborhood.  That night, we saw a hand hit a window in a dark upstairs apartment window.  However, now looking back at that moment, it was probably some guy making love to his girl and she slapped the window in a moment of excitement seeing as their bedroom window might be above their bed, but still, those were good times (especially for that couple).  I can also understand Dipper being so awkward, because I was also socially awkward as a kid so I usually kept to myself and remained highly introverted through high school.  I can also relate to Dipper being awkward around girls, because I was the same way when I was a pre-teen and still a bit that way even today.

So, if I had a chance to meet with Alex Hirsch, I would congratulate him on a wonderful show.  I cannot wait to see how this season ends and what next season will hold.  However, you can expect a ton more plot twists and revelations as the mystery of Gravity Falls begins to unravel and I can’t wait to be there when it does.  As I close this post, I wonder if the character of Dipper is based on Alex Hirsch himself, because if so, I have found an excellent person to chat with about the paranormal, especially the X-Files, Kolchak the Night Stalker, UFO Files, and so many other shows.

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