Wanna hear about my horrible nightmare?
Okay, so last night I had this nightmare that was actually a horror AU for Danny Phantom.
so the basic premise was that instead of ghosts it's demons. which is an idea I've seen before, more than once (not recently though so I'm not sure why I was dreaming about it??)
but my brain was like, "those AU's aren't scary enough. let me help with that." 😈
alright, since this is kinda long (and I'm literally describing a dream I had. even if it is very cinematic) I'm going to put it under the cut
okay so in the dream/story Danny is younger, like 8-10 years old I'd guess and he comes into his backyard one night to find his Dad digging. and young little Danny thinks to himself, "why's dad making hills in the backyard? that's weird." so he goes over and slowly realizes that something is very wrong.
basically, lil Danny figures out that those aren't hills but dead bodies and his dad isn't his dad anymore. he's possessed.
oh and in this horror universe, demons eat souls, and doing so is so traumatic and horrible that it kills the person.
so Danny is trying not to panic because he thinks that his demon passing as his dad won't hurt him as long as he pretends he doesn't know that he's a demon.
but because Danny can't lie to save his life (literally) the demon catches on immediately and is like "Oh! You figured it out hu?"
by this time the pair has left the backyard and walked around to the front of the house and is in the street. And because this demon likes to play with his food or something, he lets Danny get a head start.
so he shows his scary demon face which is the sclera turns black and the irises turn red and his mouth gets a bunch of long needle teeth. Like the supernatural version of vampires
and then proceeds to chase Danny down the middle of the street.
it easily catches up (because of course he does, this is my nightmare after all, and running away never actually works)
Then it has him, holding him up in the air from behind with one clawed hand gripping really tight to his torso and the demon's head is dangerously close to Danny's, its mouth hovering just above his shoulder...
Then, Maddie, our expert marksmen momma bear, comes in to save the day! She snipes that demon right in the middle of the forehead and he falls back dead!
Unfortunately... as the demon falls it 1) bites Danny in the shoulder and one of its teeth breaks and stays in his shoulder and 2) the claws dig in and up under Danny's ribs and puncture his lungs as he falls down onto the pavement.
Danny's arms wrapped around his body to try to stop the bleeding but it doesn't help because he's still drowning in his own blood as he tries to breathe.
And that's when I woke up because in the dream I was Danny.
RET Time : Spider Lilies
I don't think I ever posted this here but back in April I tried to wrote a short ficlet based of an idea @bibliophilea came up with for the RET Time AU because its really neat n i end up writing this but never upload em for some reason askdjaskd
It doesn’t matter how hard everyone fought them, the trio will always win. And Amity Park will always fall. Such is fate.
It’s the intricate choreographed dance between the three of them. Such grandiose gestures, so extravagant, and yet they moved so flawlessly among themselves. Not one misstep or wrong timing. They knew each other's moves by heart and went along with the flow. Even as they make up the steps, the others would surely follow.
A beautiful three-way tango only those with strong connections could do. The 'power of friendship and love' sounded like a child’s play, yet it was the strength of their bond that let them usurp the throne from Pariah and threw both realms into chaos.
What a stunning performance it was. At the cost of the timeline's fate. But what can one do? Such is life.
Alas, all good things must come to an end, and this one was no exception. Their existences meant a doomed timeline. Even on the off chance that they were defeated, the world was already ruined. Humanity will move on, but the three will not. The world will have to live with that, for better or worse.
That is, unless you have something to say about it.
The Observants had been making preparation behind the curtains. Something that could contain the patrons. It would take their corruption away, but not all. Being tangled and tied up for so long would leave marks on the three of them, even when all the strings were cut off. They would be lost, with no one to guide them, and the guilt would consume them and their future would be bleak.
A rehabilitation for the young ones, you suggested to the Observants. Until they are cured from their corruption. A ‘necessary’ step to prevent the three from enacting revenge towards the ones who stripped them of their powers. The council were inclined to agree, as they did not want to handle the three who were once their monarchs. You will take them under your wings. Offer them your guidance in place of the previous ones. You will extend your hand to the children standing in front of you. Not with malice, but with patience. You know they do not have other choices, but you offer nonetheless.
They will hesitate. But they will take your hand
And so, they will don a new name, to fit their new roles.
But to you, they will be known as
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Dan on the phone: Hello?
Pharoah!Tucker: Hey what's up?
Dan: I need your help. Can you come here?
Tucker: Uh, I can't, I'm buying clothes.
Dan: Alright, well hurry up and come over here.
Tucker: I can't find them.
Dan: What do you mean you can't find them?
Tucker: I can't find them. There's only soup.
Dan: What do you mean there's "only soup"?
Tucker: It means there's only soup!
Dan: Well then get out of the soup aisle!
Tucker: Okay, you don't have to shout at me!
Tucker: There's more soup.
Dan: What do you mean there's more soup!
Tucker: There's just more soup!
Dan: Go into the next aisle!!!
Tucker: ... There's still soup!
Dan: Where ARE you right now?!
Tucker: I'm at SOUP!!
Dan: What do you mean you're AT SOUP?!
Tucker: I'm at soup!
Dan: What store are you in?!
Tucker: I'm at the Soup Store!
Dan: WHY ARE YOU BUYING CLOTHES AT THE SOUP STORE?!
Tucker: FUCK YOU!
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Urban Jungle: How It Should Have Been
First of all, I would like to explain that I am actually quite fond of Urban Jungle, and I don’t mean this as salt; rather constructive criticism, maybe even an alternative to the episode we were given.
In my humble opinion, while the episode wasn’t bad per se (although said opinion might have a lot to do with me being, as I said before, very fond of it) there’s certainly room for improvement.
I rewatched it recently and it’s come to my attention that the timing and its execution was definitely off. What do I mean with this? Simple; the plot advanced too fast when compared to earlier episodes.
An early ghost with similar goals to Undergrowth, that is to say, to rule the world in their very own way would be Ember in her debut in Fanning the Flames. But aside from different powers and motivations (obviously), the real difference between both episodes comes from their pacing. Which is what I think is one of Urban Jungle’s biggest flaws in terms of execution.
In Fanning the Flames, Ember wasn’t officially introduced as a villain until we were five to ten minutes in (from when Danny and Sam realised she was a ghost, to Ember revealing her plan and casting the love spell on Danny). Unless my memory fails me, Undergrowth, on the other hand, was introduced as the villain even before the opening credits rolled in, and explained his plot shortly after.
There’s no build-up there.
I understand that choice is probably a result of the episode focusing more on Danny’s new powers than his actual confrontation with Undergrowth. His being a plant ghost was probably also another way to show Danny’s Ice Powers’ efficiency better. But in all honesty, that choice really took away from everything the episode could have offered.
For example, instead of introducing Undergrowth from the get go, they could’ve thrown hints of his existence/plan during the first five or so minutes of the episode. Like having the news talk about the mysterious disappearances of people involved in less than ecologically ideal businesses or who were simply disrupting nature in places where there’s suddenly more vegetation. Or having mysterious plants growing around Danny and his friends, signalling Undergrowth was watching.
Furthermore, I believe some of the critics the episode received had a lot to do with the fact that, unlike his other more advanced powers, Danny soon gained control of his Ice Powers.
On the one hand, I can’t deny that the main difference between, say, duplicating himself and his Ice Powers is that Danny indeed had someone to train him in the latter (Frotsbite), as opposed to his duplicating technique, which he had to learn all by himself after refusing Vlad’s offer. With that in mind, it’s easy to see why he would learn to use them sooner.
But on the other hand, Urban Jungle would have truly gained a lot had it been the climax of Danny finally mastering his new powers, instead of learning of their existence then. From this perspective, it would have been better to have Danny learn of his cold core sooner (maybe a hint of it when he met the Far Frozen) and training to master it from then onwards until Urban Jungle, when it was most effective.
But probably the fact that season 3 was 13 episodes long instead of the usual 20 played an important part as well… They got to speed things up.
The other aspect that could be improved and that is also somewhat tied with the timing of the episode is Sam’s involvement.
It was high time Sam was brainwashed, it’s true. And if you don’t know already, then you should know that a piece of my heart belongs to Plant! Sam. But in a way, despite being the episode where she was brainwashed, she had very little to do with it.
When Danny and Tucker got brainwashed in Control Freaks and King Tuck, respectively; the plot actually had to do with some sort of weakness or flaw of theirs.
In Danny’s case, Control Freaks was an example of his ghost half being more of a nuisance or a disadvantage than the help it usually is. Which would then be expanded upon in episodes such as The Ultimate Enemy, Identity Crisis, and Phantom Planet (whether you consider it canon or not; we’re not talking about the episode here so it’s not really important atm). And even if Freak Show was using Danny’s ghost half against him, Danny still managed to fight the mind control several times throughout the episode.
In Tucker’s case, Hotep-Ra took advantage of Tucker’s desire to be listened to and to be in charge to get him to use the Scarab Scepter and send Amity High to a place where he (Hotep-Ra) would be in control. Hotep-Ra used Tucker’s flaws and insecurities against him, taking them to an extreme where it was almost impossible to get him to snap out of his self-serving tirade.
Sam didn’t have any of that.
She wasn’t even a real antagonist (for lack of a better word) in the episode. She was just brainwashed and didn’t even confront Undergrowth herself. Danny did all the work.
And this is where an improved execution would’ve been key. Had Undergrowth kept an eye on Danny and company using his plants, he could’ve seen Sam being passionate about nature and changing the world; the kind of attitude Undergrowth was looking for in a caretaker, and more importantly, the kind of attitude he could bend to his will by taking it to its extremes.
Because that was the perfect way to get Sam to lower her guard enough for Undergrowth to brainwash her!
After witnessing Sam’s love of nature and her activistic ways, he could have presented himself before her, and before she got the chance to run away or attack him, Undergrowth could’ve played with her innermost desires and her flaws. Sweet-talking her into helping him with some sort of speech about how she’s the only one who understands the importance of Mother Nature, how everyone else is so focused on trivial, shallow things they can’t even see past that, and how no one will ever stand up for a better world...but her.
Because Undergrowth would’ve been the perfect exaggeration of Sam’s flaws!
Sam is a girl who believes in a better world. A girl who’s not afraid to stand up for what she believes in and demand a change when things aren’t as they should be. But she’s also so eager to change the world that sometimes she jumps the gun without taking other alternatives into consideration, which can make her act rashly or seem forceful at times (keep in mind, she’s fourteen. Wanting things done fast is a very human thing to do, especially if you’re not mature enough to learn some patience).
Undergrowth embodies that, and is also an extreme of it. Because what could be more forceful than replanting a planet through mind control and having your plants take over the world?
With this in mind, it would’ve also been a good opportunity for Sam to get some character development. As in, having her realise there’s nothing wrong with promoting a change, but that there are limits as to how someone should do so. Just like Tucker learned he might not be the best candidate for school president if his motives were mostly self-serving. Not like Dash was any better, but...
Moreover, there could’ve been a parallel between Sam getting Danny to snap out of it in Control Freaks and Danny getting Sam to snap out of her own situation in Urban Jungle (maybe even using Undergrowth’s children against him…). But because the episode focused more on Danny’s powers, Sam was more of a...let’s say, greater reason why Danny had to defeat Undergrowth.
Having said that, I still really love Urban Jungle as it is. But there are times when I will just kick back and enjoy the show, and other times when I’ll have to see it under a more critical way of thinking. And both approaches are equally good ways to consume content, in my humble opinion :)
Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.
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