Powerpuff Girls 2016 - The Final Stack Up (The Best)
It’s been a good time, friends, but the time has come. Which episodes managed to be great?
Same rules for the worst list apply here, except, of course, I have to say a bad thing about each of these episodes. A lot easier to do than the opposite, sad to say, but I'm not going to let that bother me. Also, I have to reiterate that this is my opinion and my opinion alone. Some may hate one of these episodes, and that's fine. Without further ado, let's look at 10 episodes that managed to get the top spot.
And yes, you can imagine the Cartoon Cartoon Top 5 music here.
The Top 10:
10. The Fog
PPG 2016 never really did a good villain team-up episode. The closest I'd say it ever got to that was one of the comic runs, where the villains all gather together in one big Bureau of Bad…to discuss the times they almost got them like that episode of Batman. There is also this episode, where Mojo Jojo, The Gnat, Bianca and Barbarus Bikini, and nobody else of importance team up to please a rather threatening villain that is more than meets the clouds.
Really, this episode shouldn't be seen as a villain team-up, but as a "Buttercup learns a lesson" episode. At first, it seems to fall into that tired "Buttercup does something bad, her more girly sisters get into trouble because of it, and the tomboy has to save them" plot, but the episode decides to do another twist that is actually pretty satisfying to see.
The episode even ends with a shot of the Powerpuff Girls flying towards a bunch of villains. That would have been a great way to end the reboot, actually; certainly better than Sitcom Dad having a Meet Dave-esque meltdown.
Bad thing: There's a reason why I avoided calling this a real team-up, because they only really team up at the end of the episode. The rest is just the villains trying to beat up the girls solo, or duo in the Fashionista's case, and them getting one-shotted. That should be normal for a Powerpuff Girls battle, but compared to episodes like the original's Meet The Beat-Alls, it's a real missed opportunity.
...also, they completely wasted that yarn villain. If ordinary rope can stop the Powerpuff Girls, this guy should be the Powerpuff Girls new arch-nemesis!
9. Toy Ploy
Going from one episode featuring Discount to another, here's an episode where Jojo decides to interrogate the Powerpuff Girls' toys to find out their biggest weakness. Trust me, it is better than it sounds.
This is another "three shorts" episode, this one using the Powerpuff Girls' favorite toys as its framing device. Blossom has President Dinosaur, who even the episode itself comments is rarely seen in the reboot, Buttercup has Monsieur Ducky, because Buttercup apparently has a soft spot for Ernie from Sesame Street, and Bubbles has Octi, who is revealed to be female in this episode and only this episode.
The Blossom part has a decent plot about Blossom having to deal with a pterodactyl who won't surrender. The Buttercup part is a send up of war documentaries, talking about Buttercup playing pranks as if they were military operations. The Bubbles part is just a little slideshow, but it does have some neat looking drawings, and it concludes with an absolutely adorable ending for the framing device. It's cute, I couldn't hate it.
Bad thing: Blossom's segment is definitely the odd one out, as the story doesn't even involve President Dinosaur until the very end. Not that I hated her part, as mentioned before, but when it doesn't use the framing device, it just makes me think it's an idea they couldn't expand into a full episode. That's what these seem to be, but at least try to hide it!
8. Take Your Kids to Dooms Day
I can see this one's inclusion in my best list as a controversial pick, since there's a major issue with this episode that will turn a lot of people off from it. Namely, and I am going to spoil a major part of this episode here: this episode involves Silico, a villain that was hyped up to oblivion in his first appearance, getting beaten up by someone who is normally a bumbling Sitcom Dad in a ridiculously animated fashion. I was not that bothered by that, though part of that is because he was already ruined by Halt and Catch Silico. This episode doesn't ruin him any more than the revelation that "they broke my toys!" being his reason for being evil.
Also, there's a good reason why I said "in most episodes" in that last paragraph, because this is not a Sitcom Dad episode. Sure, he's a total dork here, but that's still more fitting of the original Professor than being a doormat, saying really bad advice, or just being an oblivious dingus. Okay, sure, there's one scene where the evil plan was outright blurted out to him and he didn't really take it seriously, but I'll take that as a joke. Also, in the way the episode does it, him beating Silico made a little more sense than it seems? He made the suit, of course he could make a better one.
There's also this cute scene where the Powerpuff Girls, obviously disinterested in the Professor's actual job, trying to make their dad look like this cool superhero by making a cheap home movie about him. It even comes with Bubbles holding up a cardboard cutout of Townsville at the beginning of it. Reminds me of that awesome cartoon about three superhero girls fighting crime that aired on Cartoon Network all those times ago. I think it was called "Teamo Supremo."
After that aforementioned "Professor beating up that villain that really deserved better" scene, we get an ending that's only downside is that it has the opposite problem of Memory Lane of Pain's ending: it treats the Professor as a good father figure when every other episode treats him like a Sitcom Dad. I do not see that problem as horrible as that episode's, though. The Professor should be a good father figure and Bubbles shouldn't be an "everyday hero". All in all, I think it's good.
Bad thing: I already mentioned the bad thing, so I will do this minor aside: we learn that Barry's mom is a stay-at-home ninja...who apparently speaks Korean? The show has used Japanese quite a bit before, so it's not that they can't tell the difference.
7. Power-Up Puff
Sure, this episode may be just a way for them to introduce everyone to the hit new accessory that will come with all of these toys, but I can't hate on how they did it. The episode involves Buttercup and Bubbles suddenly getting Green Lantern powers that can easily defeat giant monsters. Blossom feels like the odd one out, as her powers don't seem to show up.
While it is a little predictable how this episode would turn out, even if all the merchandising, promos, and the one episode that aired before this didn't spoil this episode's twist, I can't fault this episode for how it did it. It actually made me feel an emotion other than bewilderment, disgust, or apathy, which is more than I can say for a lot of the early Season 1 episodes.
After I watched this episode, I was worried that they weren't going to use their fists anymore. It turns out they barely even use the aura powers outside of special occasions, so that's all moot. Not much to say, other than this episode isn't too bad.
Bad thing: I get that this episode was supposed to make Blossom feel sad that she doesn't have aura powers, but sometimes it just goes way beyond uncomfortable. This is especially true with this line from the guy I was praising a few paragraphs ago!
Sitcom Dad: We don’t know if you will get powers. You may even lose the powers you already have, and be an ordinary little girl for the rest of your life! Uh, I love you! Good night!
Honestly, I'm surprised I didn't come up with the Sitcom Dad joke sooner than Green Wing.
6. Lights Out!
As implied with my #1 worst, I almost considered putting Find Your Bliss on this list. However, I realized it was really only okay in the beginning, it just had one of the best endings in a show that desperately needed episodes that even ended properly. This is the best Bliss episode, and funnily enough, it's the only one that doesn't have the word Bliss in the title.
Beyond being the best Bliss episode, the episode itself is pretty good, too. It's one of the many, many episodes that involves a science fair, and Bliss is showing off the Buggly, an earpiece that can generate anything! It's all well and good, until the power cuts out and the Bugglies stop working. And then Bliss turns out to be Silico in disguise, as he uses the Bugglies to control all of Townsville. Definitely a step up over his previous appearances, including the aforementioned Take Your Kids To Dooms Day.
This all ends with a surprisingly good fight scene between a trio that can make auras and someone with the power to generate anything, with the telekinetic teleportation girl helping out in various ways. Bliss doesn't heavily overshadow the other three with her ultra-super-duper-powers, something her other episodes definitely don't do. I can understand Power of Four doing it for the vast majority of its runtime to show how cool she is, but Never Been Blissed is basically the Memory Lane of Pain for everyone not named Bliss. They don't go too far in the other direction, either. She's necessary, but not overpowered. Perfectly balanced, that's how it should be.
Bad thing: This is the episode that gave us the term "uphill rollercoaster", a running gag that has no bearing on the plot, and has absolutely no payoff. This can describe a lot of running gags throughout the whole reboot, actually.
5. Home, Sweet Homesick
Starting from here are episodes I felt were genuinely good. Not "good compared to most of the reboot", I mean actually worth a watch. This is the lowest of the 5, but it certainly deserves its spot among the best. See, the episode starts off with Discount Jojo's hand getting broken by Blossom, complete with a bone breaking sound. 10/10, great episode. I'm just kidding, the rest of the episode is good, too.
The funny thing is that this episode essentially has the same moral as Painbow, except done in reverse. In Painbow, Buttercup needs to learn that there's a time for fun and a time to be serious. In this one, it's the complete opposite; Blossom sneers at this fun space camp, and wishes it would be serious. Blossom would be the only kid ever to enjoy Mario is Missing, apparently.
A particular stand-out scene is a musical number that happens right when Blossom goes into space. It's a parody of Space Oddity, and it perfectly fits the episode's tone. I will admit that some of the reboot's musical numbers that don't involve Buttercup grandma beatbox solos are actually quite good by themselves, but this is the only one to be nominated for an Annie. In fact, it's the only Annie this reboot was nominated for; they didn't nominate that horrible princess episode unlike a certain lesser non-animation-related award show. Unlike that one, I could say that nomination was deserved. Maybe not a win, but still.
It's good to see a use of a moral that actually did it justice, and it's good to see Blossom learning to have fun. Kind of wish it sticked, but nothing seems to stick with the Reboot Puffs.
Bad thing: There really isn't a reason why this plot needed to be done with superheroes beyond how she can survive in a rocket without a spacesuit. I have no reason to wonder why this episode starts with a Discount Jojo beatdown. Maybe that's why it's so good; it doesn't feel like a PPG 2016 episode.
4. The Oct-Father
It's amazing to think that an episode I reviewed just over two weeks ago would make this list, and it's easy to see why. What starts out as a decent Godfather parody turns into a psychological thriller, where we get to see what the Powerpuff Girls are from the villain's point of view. Kind of like a version of Taken where we focus on the kidnappers. I always wanted to see that sort of thing; that's one of the reasons why I was intrigued by that Bureau of Bad comic. To make a long story short, I was disappointed with that one, but not with this one.
Princess is running a scheme where she takes kid's toys when they're away from them, and ask them to give her offers that she will probably refuse in exchange for them. She tries this with Octi, and finds out that Bubbles has become a hardcore monotonous vengeance-seeker. We see all of the emotions she goes through with this as she desperately tries to get Bubbles to break with no avail, to the point where she breaks. It's entertaining, and it made me want to know what's coming next.
This is the best episode of Season 3, though it's not the best Princess episode, believe it or not! Princess is one of the few original villains that the reboot has not ruined, and this episode isn't the only example of that.
Bad thing: No, I don't think asking Bubbles for Octi would have her give it to you, ending.
As hinted before, "character development" is practically non-existent in PPG 2016. It's sort of ironic; as most western cartoons of the 10s tended to go towards arcs, PPG 2016 was perfectly happy by being episodic and having everything go back to the status quo. If Blossom learned how to have fun, she ended up hating fun in the next episode. If Buttercup learned anything, pfft. This episode felt like a glimpse into a universe where PPG 2016 was like other cartoons that were airing in 2016.
Princess' father's company's stocks go down by a lot, causing her to become poor enough for her to beg the Powerpuff Girls to have her live in their home. Bubbles and Buttercup disagree with having this person who wanted to tear down their house a day ago live with them, but Blossom wants to bring out the good in her. After many nights of her being annoying, Blossom and Princess eventually bond over business, and we get a tease of a Princess face turn. They seemed to do that a lot in this reboot, but this is the episode where it felt genuine.
With that plot, a really cute musical number in the style of Schoolhouse Rock, and an ending that is downright heartwarming, this episode is worth of the number 3 spot. The saddest thing is that this wasn't a Season 3 episode; it was a Season 1 episode, during a time where people could have thought this was just like Steven Universe's more episodic Season 1. It really made me think this show was going to go places, and while it's disappointing that they never really went anywhere with it, I can't fault this episode for it.
Bad thing: Gotta love that character that only existed as an excuse for Princess to be evil again! And by love, I mean loathe. I don't need to mention his name, because that's all he did.
2. Fashion Forward
Out of all of the new villains, the Fashionistas are easily the best out of all of them in practice. The only problem I have with them is the lack of in-universe explanation of why she's paired up with a giant pink gorilla. Sure, she's a good excuse for this team to be any sort of threat to the Powerpuff Girls, but is there any other reason? The best we get is that Bianca considers Barbarus her "sister" in Bridezilla, already implied by her having the same last name. Whatever, that's beyond the scope of this list.
A new brand of scarves designed by these fashionistas becomes the latest fashion trend, and the Powerpuff Girls are denied them by their father figure because the Fashionistas are sending the wrong messages. Blossom seems to be the one that agrees with him the most until her peers in the student council decide to kick her out. Will she disobey her father? It is a good premise that ties into the superhero element of the show very well.
This episode is also one of the good Sitcom Dad episodes, to the point where I could call him Professor Utonium here, too. He becomes active in trying to get Blossom to learn the lesson he was trying to teach them, to the point where he is the major player in taking down the Fashionista's big evil plan. It's not a bad lesson, either: don't bow down to peer pressure, and looks aren't necessarily everything as much as the Fashionistas say it is.
This is the best episode of Season 1, though I would say it is a very close call with Poorbucks. This was the first episode that really stuck out to me as a episode I would watch again, and that meant it was downhill from there...except for one certain episode in Season 2.
Bad thing: As much as the Sitcom Dad's antics here don't bother me as much as certain other episodes, it just seemed ridiculous that him saving the day was more of an accident than anything. If one argues that he accidentally did it because he accidentally hit the Chemical X...he didn't, Jojo pushed him into it. I hope they still remember that.
Blundercup - I can see why people would hate this episode due to the odd premise of Buttercup turning into butter, but I actually found it interesting. We see a villain with lousy powers take the abilities of the extremely overpowered by normal superhero standards Buttercup, and Buttercup has to beat this villain with those lousy powers. In a way, it reminds me of Jojo's Bizarre Adventure, and anything that reminds me of Jojo's Bizarre Adventure needs to be in this list.
Splitsville - Here's another three shorts episode that was actually pretty good, with a neat idea for an ending! Too bad the Blossom part had that one scene, though. You'll know when you'll see it.
Our Brand Is Chaos - An excellent idea for an episode: Blossom going to all-but-said-to-be-Hell, and taking it over in her own way. Execution can use some work and it needed a better B plot, but still.
Man Up 2: Still Man-ing - This episode got a Neutral Buttercup when I reviewed it, but I can admit it grew on me over time. The minions, the motives, that killer vehicle Manboy has in this episode and only this episode, an actual fight scene in Season 1, I'd say this episode is a stand-out now.
Small World - This may be the only episode longer than 12 minutes I didn't hate at any point, though one part is a little disappointing than anything else. I was actually a bit intrigued with how the Powerpuff Girls could stop this Cheery Gumdrop Villain. Okay, maybe that villain wasn't that great, but still.
The Trouble With Bubbles - This episode could be a dishonorable mention as well, though I wouldn't call it a bad episode by any stretch of the imagination. It was so close to being an legitimately great episode, but it was ruined by the poor direction of the second half. What could have been great serious scenes are played for laughs for no reason. For a reboot that seems to love to have the "there's a time to be serious, and a time to be funny" moral, the reboot itself seems to need it the most!
Now that that's out of the way, here is a little backstory to this #1 pick. I watched quite a few episodes in Turkish. I will not say how, but I will say why: because episodes of PPG 2016 tend to air in other countries long before they get aired here, and getting a early look really helps with writing reviews even if I couldn't understand the language. When I saw this one in particular, I was convinced that this could either be the best episode of the reboot, or an episode that's almost worthy of being the best, and I only needed to know what they were saying to find out which. And, sure enough...
1. Bubbles The Blue
Much like Home Sweet Homesick, this episode was all about feelings. Specifically, this episode is about Bubbles being sad for some reason, and Blossom and Buttercup try to figure out ways to cheer her up. In a way, both of them end up missing the point. Here's a big hint to that: this episode is actually about depression. Not just being sad, but about the actual medical condition. That's not just one of my wacky theories, either; it's been confirmed to be about depression, and, for once, I sincerely believe that, because, unlike certain episode, they hit it out of the park with this one.
Buttercup deals with this in over the top ways, like stealing happy ray guns from Discount Jojo. Blossom, on the other hand, is just thinking it's something she did. In a way, Blossom is even more hurtful than Buttercup, as she eventually outright says that Bubbles must be doing this solely for attention, a sadly common line people with depression have to deal with. I've already detailed a lot of what this episode does right in my review of it, but there's one other aspect that needs to be highlighted.
Unlike Home Sweet Homesick, it seamlessly ties this serious message with the Powerpuff Girls' usual superhero setting. While they're trying to figure out what's wrong with Bubbles, Blossom and Buttercup keep getting interrupted by a giant armadillo that's destroying the city. We later learn that the armadillo actually has his own emotional problems, and only Bubbles could understand him. How does Bubbles get involved when she's constantly moping on the bed? Simple: the Professor decides to give her a talk about how it's okay to be sad sometimes. It's like he's an adult!
Best episode of Season 2, best episode of the reboot, way better than I thought it would ever be, and it might even crack the Top 50 Best Powerpuff Girls Episodes if I included episodes of the original. Okay, maybe I wouldn't go that far. Maybe.
Bad thing: I get what they were doing with Buttercup's character in this, but some of her antics are just not funny. One of the worst examples of this is right at the end, where she outright ruins the mood of what would have been a great final shot. This is especially bad when good final shots is something this reboot is starved for.
Well, that's it for the stack ups, but there's still two questions I need to answer.
How do the seasons stack up?
Season 1 is the season most people will think about when they think of this show, to the reboot's detriment. It was a growing period for the show, and "growing pains" would be an understatement. This was the season that brought us the twerking scenes, the references to internet memes, the Nike swoosh fight scenes, and 6 of the episodes on my worst list. Some may argue that Season 1's bumbling incompetency may be more interesting than the mediocrity that plagues most of Season 2 and 3. I disagree.
Season 2 is an improvement over Season 1 in every way. They toned down the meme references to the point where I can only think of that one reference to the late Grumpy Cat. It didn't have any twerking from the Puffs, and the crime fighting increased by quite a bit. Also, they didn't misspell the word "storyboarded by" in the credits at any point, which is an improvement over Season 1. It's not enough for a Happy, though.
Season 3 is a slight improvement over Season 2, if not as significant between the jump between Season 1 and 2. I would say that it did have a few more guilty pleasure episodes in my opinion, though they did not make the Top 10. It did give us its best special, as easy as that merit is, and it's good to see that the show didn't deteriorate like most last seasons. Sadly, it's not enough for me to consider giving it the Happy.
It is interesting to see the slight improvement over each season, which is sort of a tragedy considering the reboot is often represented by that No Me Gusta face it pulled in the first season. Sure, there were some rather ugly face faults in later episodes, but nothing got as bad as that. Speaking of which, I must answer one last question:
Was PPG 2016 really that bad?
It's not the absolute worst show that has ever aired on Cartoon Network; I'd rather watch this over Problem Solverz or Pet Alien. When it comes to The Powerpuff Girls...yeah, it's not a pretty comparison, let's leave it at that.
I'll say this: PPG 2016 is the worst of the three Cartoon Network reboots by a considerable margin. Teen Titans Go, while everyone loves to hate it, does have its moments of pure comedic gold, and it had a great movie. Ben 10 2016, from all I've seen, is a pretty good kid's action cartoon, and I have heard it's actually really good after the first season. Only time will tell if it compares favorably to Thundercats Roar, if that show ever gets to exist.
After watching every episode of this reboot, I can say that if I decided to stop watching the show after that twerking panda episode, I would have missed a little bit of content that is of at least decent quality. Unfortunately, that is a small minority of episodes in a muck of episodes that are mediocre at best.
It's not that bad, it's just not good. Watch the original series, watch the movie, watch that 2010 Powerpuff Girls Rule special, and give this one a pass. One may miss out on some decent episodes, but in the end, ignorance is bliss.
For those who read my reviews since the beginning, those who just found me because of these lists, and everyone in-between: thank you.
Hurrah for Cartoon Network and the Powerpuff Girls. Bye.
← The Final Stack Up (The Worst) ☆ n/a →
Powerpuff Girls 2016 - The Final Stack Up (The Worst)
It’s been a good time, friends, but the time has come. Which episodes managed to be the worst of them all?
This is the final stack up, and it's not just me saying that because the phrase "stack up" just caught on in my vocabulary. Out of all of the episodes, I'm going to make two different stacks of episodes: which episodes were the worst, and which were among the least worst. I would say "best", but I feel like that's a bit overselling even for those episodes. Let's start off with the worst, because I just want to get that out of the way.
Here's the criteria for that list:
It must be an episode of PPG 2016. As much as its quality is rather surprising, I consider TTG v. PPG a Teen Titans Go episode. While it even features one of the crew members, it has the Teen Titans Go animation, the Teen Titans Go theme song, and, for better or worse, the Teen Titans Go humor. Also, the Narrator appears in it for more than 10 seconds, and that’s just not allowed in PPG 2016.
It must be at least an episode of PPG 2016. The shorts are just too short and simple to rate among the full episodes, and I'm not rating PSAs or commercials. If one needs to know, Bubbs and Donny Get The Mail is the worst, and Mojo Builds A Shelf is the best.
In a challenge to myself, I have to say at least one good thing about each episode. I'd like to believe there's at least something good in even the worst of media.
This is my opinion and my opinion alone. There's some universally hated episodes I personally did not hate as much, and I am sure there’s going to be episodes people love that I did not particularly care for. It does not mean their opinion is wrong. In fact, this list is based on my current opinions, so that can even apply to past me's opinions.
The Bottom 10:
Without further ado, let's wade through the muck first, starting with...
10. A Star Is Blossom
At first, I didn’t think this episode was particularly horrible; the review even initially had a Neutral Buttercup, the “bad, but not that bad” rating. The more I thought about it, the more I felt this episode wasn’t deserving of it.
The whole episode hinges on Blossom being uncharacteristically evil and jealous of her sister’s success, to the point where she locks her in a boiler room all so she can be the red-haired warrior woman that she wants. It all just turns into this non-sequitur plot with this Viking woman that doesn’t really do much for me. Erica the Red was more annoying than anything, with her being so tough, butch, and not particularly bright being her only character trait. They do try to throw that moral about not being jealous in there somewhere, and it just feels forced.
I would be remiss to talk about one rather infamous aspect of the episode: the way it uses Jared Shapiro, a new “love interest” character. He seemingly has no other character in most of the episodes he appears in than being the love interest of a girl who is barely past the “boys have cooties” age. While this is not the worst episode with him in it, this is the episode where he’s the creepiest. One example is where Jared attempts to kiss Bubbles right on the lips, and Bubbles shouts for her understudy in apparent horror. That was the big joke to end the episode, and all it did was make me feel queasy even when I pretended to not hate this episode.
Good thing: I did enjoy Ms. Moss a little more here than in Drama Bomb, even if Drama Bomb was better in most ways. Maybe it’s because she isn’t entirely the villain of the plot, even if she was the cause of the problem. The viking problem, not the Blossom jealousy problem.
9. Snow Month
Snow Month: the episode that aired during Winter that explicitly takes place during Spring. Admittedly, they probably needed an episode to air during Christmas time, and there were no Christmas episodes in Season 1. Airing Twas The Fight Before Christmas was not an option. While I could see showing off the original would confuse viewers into thinking this series was good, it certainly would have been better than this episode.
That screenshot shows the truth, this is an episode where Jared is a major player. This was meant to be his very first appearance, though thanks to the mixup, episodes featuring him as Blossom's fantasy boyfriend have already aired. Here, we get to see him outside of Blossom's fantasies, giving her a note asking if she likes him. This utterly terrifies Blossom, and at least sickened me, and she causes a Snow Month to prevent her from seeing him again. To be fair to Blossom, I would want to avoid Jared, too.
There's a subplot involving this titular snow month causing a bunch of yetis to move into Townsville; yetis that act like rich yuppie tourists that openly discriminate against people that aren't their kind. Either that, or they were terrified people that had to leave the Matterhorn because of butthead yetis who destroy buildings. They can't seem to decide if all yetis are bad.
As for the other plot, it just ends with a total cop-out where Jared didn't really mean anything with that note. Throughout the series, no real progress is made with the Jared and Blossom relationship, even when Blossom just outright blurts out that she's in love with him in another episode. Happening to share the name of a certain spokesperson is only one of his problems...and that's the last I'll say about that.
Good thing: There's a cute sledding scene. I just found it cute, and Blossom even uses her powers at one point. It's good.
8. Professor Proofed
We go from one male character I didn't really like to another, and this time it's a character that is trying to be one character from the original. I'm not saying that the original Professor Utonium was an absolutely perfect father figure with no flaws whatsoever, but the reboot's version of him seems to be written more like a Sitcom Dad most of the time.
While he was making a growth ray, Sitcom Dad gets into an accident thanks to his bumbling and dangerous actions. And by bumbling and dangerous actions, I mean Buttercup shook a pepper cloud in his face. Yet, it's his fault, apparently, and he ends up becoming a man in a protective bubble. Sitcom Dad just goes along with all of this, because he decided he's not going to do anything of worth in this episode other than being. He's more of a prop than anything.
That's it, really, the episode is just a one note premise that doesn't do much with it. There's a giant baby caused by that growth ray, but the most they do with him is have him cover Bubbles with spit. If "kids being overprotective of their parents" is the funniest joke ever, this episode does not prove it.
Good thing: There's some decent commentary on inattentive parents. Oh, not from Sitcom Dad, but from the parent of the baby that becomes a giant.
7. Memory Lane of Pain
If you asked me which of the three Reboot Puffs is my least favorite a year ago, I'd say Bubbles. She's the only one that's inconsistent. Some episodes, she's an insufferable brat and/or crybaby. Other episodes, she's impossibly stupid, and not because she's written with child-like naivety. And in this episode, she's written as if she's the most incompetent superheroine alive.
This is one of those "three shorts" episodes, though it's really two and a really lousy ending. Blossom takes on the Rubber Bandit while Bubbles gets destroyed by a Dali dolly bomb, Buttercup takes on Popsicles while Bubbles gets turned into one of those ice cream bars, and Bubbles gets to learn that she's an everyday hero by a bunch of people talking about how she saved kittens and joined barbershop quartets. What?
I get what the ending was supposed to allude to: you don't have to be especially talented or have superpowers to be a hero. The problem is...Bubbles is a superhero. She has definitely been a major factor in saving the day in several episodes before this one. It just wasn't enough for this reboot to stab Bubbles' original voice actress in the heart, they had to stab all of the Bubbles fans in the heart as well, and that's terrible.
Good thing: The way the Rubber Bandit and Popsicles were taken down were pretty cool, and I would think if they were in episodes that weren't meant to be torture for the poor little blue teddy bear, they may have been okay.
6. Buttercup Vs. Math
As much flack as I gave the idea of giving Bubbles the ability to code in Viral Spiral, especially considering this reboot's constant gag of her misspelling words, at least I can argue that Viral Spiral was a decent enough episode to get girls into a STEM field. This episode, at first glance, appears to have the same mission, except instead of Bubbles and programming, it's Buttercup and mathematics. After watching this, I grew to appreciate Viral Spiral a lot more.
In this episode, we see Buttercup has a knack for math, testing herself into honors math. This gets her the disdain of people she considered her friends, even more jealousy from one of her sisters, and she has to hang out with nerd stereotypes that would make Urkel disgusted that call her a "math queen". It's no wonder Buttercup spends the entire episode fighting against this trait that's just forced upon her. This is the exact opposite of Viral Spiral; it makes math look like something only for super nerds, and people interested in math should be ashamed of themselves.
A special focus should be put on how they treated Blossom in this episode. In Viral Spiral, Blossom was glad to see Bubbles getting into coding. Here, it's A Star Is Blossom times 100, as she gets angry at the thought that the "muscle" of the group tested into honor's math and she did not. In the end, Blossom tries to take on the math-based villain, and ends up getting turned into a literal zero. That's it, really. Only at the very end does this episode give Math the respect it deserves, and it's so tacked on that I wonder if it was all meant to be a gigantic joke. If it was, it was not funny.
Good thing: The battle scene does at least give a good lesson about math: don't just take it all in at once, simplify it! Also, they did a joke involving decapitating Barry. Not that I hate Barry, far from it, but the fact that they even did anything like that is surprising.
5. Horn, Sweet Horn
Bubbles finds a new BFF, a horse with a cardboard tube on his head named Donny. While most horses just whinny, this horse can whine. He can whine about how while the horn he had was mere cardboard, he knows that inside, he's a bonafide unicorn. Since Bubbles really wants to be friends with a unicorn, she takes this wanna-be corn to the lab and tells the Professor to change him with his transmogrification ray so he can fulfill his dreams. Everything goes downhill after that.
With this talk about being a unicorn inside, Sitcom Dad warning Donny that it's his body and it's a serious choice, and a line about "adolescent self discovery" later in the episode, some may believe that this episode was meant to be a gender identity allegory. In fact, that was said to be the case in an interview with the two directors of the show. If that was the case, maybe having that transmogrification ray turn him into an out of control monster was not the best idea. To be fair, one of the writers had come out and said that the allegory wasn't intentional, though they decided to wait until after everyone shared their disgust with this episode to say that it wasn't.
Donny is just a terrible character all around, and he will prove it even more in another episode. Hint, hint. In this one, all he does in this episode is whine. Wah, I'm not a unicorn. Wah, science ruined me. Wah, I hate you for doing this, Bubbles. Slap. Wah, what have I done. The ending is ridiculous as well; it turns out that Donny's hair was hiding a horn this whole time. If I had a horn on my head, I would certainly feel it even if my hooves couldn't reach it.
In the end, Bubbles gets a horn that will summon him, which she will never use. Sadly, it turns out Donny can just barge in at any time without it. Oh well.
Good thing: A coalition of unicorns could have led to more interesting stories. I am really stretching for positives with this episode in particular; the only reason why it's even this high up is that it just didn't offend me as much as the next four.
4. Once Upon A Townsville
The Powerpuff Girls try to make a stereotypical Disney-esque princess into a superhero, something she is clearly not, and, in the end, they learn the lesson that people should accept each other for what they are. On paper, that doesn't sound like a bad episode, but the way this episode handles it is just questionable to say the very least. Simply put, this episode is about the Powerpuff Girls saving a princess from putting herself in grave danger, and they're considered the bad guys.
There's even a whole montage of her putting herself in grave danger, and except for one scene, it's more disturbing than funny. In the end, the episode seems to give the Powerpuff Girls a stern lesson over their actions in this episode, as if they were in the wrong for saving her from what are essentially suicide attempts! What were they supposed to do, let her die? I'm all for letting girls be themselves, but there is a limit to that.
At least they got into the Disney-esque spirit by making this one a musical, and one of the songs, otherwise a complete ripoff of Missy Elliot's Work It, has a Buttercup beatbox solo featuring stock images of the elderly. I wondered if it was meant to be a joke about how these old characters are desperately trying to be hip to the youth that this reboot is supposed to be for.
Oh, Once Upon A Townsville, if only there was someone who loved you. Well, the Emmys did, as they gave this one this reboot's only Emmy nomination. Sometimes, the Emmys are wrong. Either that, or Cartoon Network should have submitted a different episode.
Good thing: I kind of liked the joke where Buttercup keeps swapping away all of the poisoned apples. At least those only put princesses to sleep.
Here it is, this reboot's most infamous episode. Clips of this episode became infamous overnight, and everyone seems to agree that this is the episode that shows how bad the Powerpuff Girls reboot truly is. While I disagree with the notion that this is the absolute worst, I cannot disagree that this episode deserves to be on this list. The episode involves the Powerpuff Girls having to stop a rainbow that causing everyone to be unnecessarily happy...except them, because they ate anti-mind-control pineapples. Better explanation than the nothing they give in the episode itself.
This all leads to the worst minute in reboot history. While this show's rainbow dimension sears anyone's eyes slightly harder than an episode of Problem Solverz, we get Blossom referencing the "literally can't even" meme of the early 2010s right after hearing Bubbles say "OMG, yas!". Not too long later, we get the scene that most people think about when they think about PPG 2016.
The twerk scene. To be honest, I think people are really overselling this scene. It's bad, it's uncomfortable, and it dates the show, sure, but there's a lot more to hate about this episode. The animation errors that are even more numerous in this episode, Sitcom Dad in a speedo, the fact that Allegro is just a bad Him wannabe, I could go on far longer than I did in my initial review.
There is supposed to be a moral about how there's a time to be serious and a time to be funny, and we know this because Buttercup outright blurts it out near the end of the episode. It's easy to be distracted from that, considering everything else. It's a bad episode that is worthy of the first Disgusted Buttercup. However, it's not the worst episode of Season 1.
Good thing: The way Buttercup punches out Allegro in the end is pretty well animated by reboot standards.
2. Odd Bubbles Out
No, this is the worst episode of Season 1. Because they just knew Horn Sweet Horn was going to be a huge hit, they just had to make another episode featuring this not-so-lovable hell horn, and this one is worse in every possible aspect. The episode involves Donny getting together with Bubbles, even down to going to school with her. Nobody questions why a unicorn is walking around with them, but I can ignore that. He then makes a brand new friend named Chelsea, which makes Bubbles really, really angry because how dare he make another friend. Not to say that there are other reasons, of course.
If I were to give Horn, Sweet Horn one thing; at least I know who was the most annoying character in that episode. Donny just hangs out with Chelsea off-screen, not even talking to Bubbles and treating her like she's not as cool. Bubbles is acting like some crazy ex-girlfriend over Chelsea even existing; it's as if Donny should only have her, and she makes no effort in joining in any of the activities Donny is doing. Maybe the idea was that neither Donny nor Bubbles were in the right, but all this really does is give me an episode where nobody was likable.
...and then Chelsea turned out to be an evil robot made by this show's version of Mojo Jojo, all so Bubbles can look good treating her like an irredeemable enemy. Kind of funny how the "silly monkey with the silly hat" that I call Discount Jojo for various reasons hasn't even appeared in this list until now. Most of his worst moments just aren't in the absolute worst episodes, it seems.
Good thing: ...and honestly, his plan in this episode isn't one of his worst moments at all. Making a fake robot friend was one of the better Discount Jojo plans. Such a shame it was wasted on this episode.
Hustlecup - No episode from Season 3 made the Bottom 10, but that's not to say that Season 3 didn't have any stinkers. In fact, this episode would have been the number 11 pick if I went that far. A sports episode where the sports parts are written very poorly, an ending that does not make sense, and a waste of what should have been a special appearance by one of the Gorillaz.
Quarantine - Quarantine was practically a blank check for what could be a really funny episode: Mojo Jojo and the Powerpuff Girls stuck in a room together. If only it was the actual Mojo Jojo, and the Powerpuff Girls didn't just relegate themselves to just constantly beating him up. It's just a painful episode all around, and could also be a good candidate for a #11.
The Wrinkle-Gruff Gals - Hey kids! Are you being bullied for being different? Why not follow their advice and try being different? I was way too easy on this one.
Tiara Trouble: In theory, an episode that involves the villains participating in a talent show should be a laugh riot. It's too bad most of the jokes are, "tee hee, what if they were dressed in women's clothing?" Also, it gave us the infamous Bubbles No Me Gusta face, which is up there with the you-know-what scene from Painbow.
Presidential Punchout - A really bad version of Impeach Fuzz. The only good thing about this episode is that it shows a universe where the most sane candidate could win an election. If only, if only.
Halt and Catch Silico - The most interesting villain that the reboot managed to cooked up is tarnished by this episode, as we get to hear his very confusing and laughable even in-universe origin story. Anyone's imaginations could have done better; they may as well have kept it a secret forever.
Huh, confusing and laughable origin stories, what does that remind me of? Admittedly, including this episode is a little against the second rule for this list, as it is just one part of a multiple-part special. However, it has certain unique and horrific traits about it that really puts it over the edge. And that episode is...
1. Bliss Reminisce
As a whole, The Power of Four wasn't bad. It had a solid opening, a slightly-less-solid ending, and a rather boring middle part that could have been cut down by an episode. Oh, and there's this part. There is so much I could say about this episode's flaws that I could make a top 10 just of the worst parts in it. In fact...I'll do it right now!
The Top 10 Reasons Why Bliss Reminisce Is The Worst Episode of PPG 2016:
This is more in hindsight, but out of the entire series, this is the only time in the entire reboot that Chemical X is ever mentioned in the episodes themselves. Such an important item in this series, and it's never used outside of what is essentially a joke in this episode.
Discount Jojo adds basically nothing to Bliss' origin story. They could have at least explained that Bliss was the inspiration for him pushing the Professor into the Chemical X, but we don't even get that. All it adds is that Jojo was Bliss's only friend at one point, which has at least one negative connotation.
That face Jojo makes in the middle of the episode, complete with stock image eyes and lips. Eugh.
Her name isn't just Bliss, it is Blisstina Franchesca Francis Mariam Alicia Utonium. Even disregarding that overly long names is a trope associated with overly idealistic fan characters, what the hell is a Blisstina? I know what a blossom, bubbles, a buttercup, a bunny, and a bullet are, but there is no such thing as a blisstina. They could have just stuck with Bliss.
Sitcom Dad is kind of a jerk to the other three throughout this whole episode, which clashes with his appearance in the last episode. There's sort of a reason for this, and I'll get to it a little bit later in the list.
Discount Jojo wants to tell his side of the story, but the Powerpuff Girls make him skip over the whole pushing Sitcom Dad into the chemicals part. I can't help but think this was done to not ruin that "great joke" that appears later in this list, but it also makes me wonder if they were even aware of one of the biggest reasons for Jojo being their arch-nemesis.
Sitcom Dad promising that he'll never leave Bliss, and, a few seconds later, he has to leave to get an reward for "best ham"! Sitcom Dad, everyone!
He even dares to say that Bliss is his favorite of all of his creations, despite ignoring her existence for the past 5 years or however long its been since the Powerpuff Girls were created. Again, seems to be a trope associated with overly idealistic fan characters.
We do learn that Bliss is made from Chemical W. That's fine, it gives an explanation to how she has so many powers that the Powerpuff Girls don't have. What I can't accept is that we learn that he not only accidentally knocked into a vat of Chemical W, but every Chemical from A to V as well! There is no indication whatsoever that this wan't just inspired by someone saying, "Chemical X, what about Chemical A through W, wakka wakka!"
Oh, that whole Professor Utonium making the Powerpuff Girls because he wanted a family, or being inspired by an incident involving time travel? No, silly, it's because he was envious of another scientist who did the same thing! The Reboot Puffs were made out of envy, really good to know. That scientist and her creation will never become important, ever; she's just there to take credit and decency away from the man they dare to call Professor Utonium.
Oh, and I didn't like it.
Good thing: It would be impossible to do a top 10 best things about this episode, but there is a mediocre joke involving a garage door that almost made my constant frown at this episode disappear.
With bad episodes like these, why did I continue to watch the show? I would say it's my job, but I didn't really get paid for this. Turns out, there are some okay to even, gasp, good episodes of this show. Episodes that actually made me happy that I did this experiment. I certainly would have never experienced them if I decided to quit watching the reboot after Season 1, which was my initial plan.
In the end, I felt it deserves to be its own article. See you tomorrow for The Best.
← Sideline Dad ☆ The Final Stack-Up (The Best) →
Powerpuff Girls 2016 - “The Oct-Father”
Written by: Jake Goldman, Haley Mancini
Written & Storyboarded by: Alicia Chan
Directed by: Nick Jennings, Bob Boyle
Leave the reboot, take the cannoli.
Our story begins with Pepe, not the Muppet or that other guy, but a kid with an Italian accent. He's going to make an offer that will probably be refused. Specifically, he's offering his diorama of The Tortoise and the Hare to Princess, in exchanged for Pockets, his pilfered snuggle toy.
This episode is sort of a pastiche on the Godfather. It doesn't entirely reference the plot of the movie, at least not the plot points that are normally parodied, but the style is mostly here. It's a little more subtle than most, mostly sticking to using low-lighting, some psychological elements in the plot, and Princess acting like a Donna. The female equivalent of a Don, that is.
Princess has gained a new habit of stealing these snuggle toys from the poor kids that dared to be away from them for more than five seconds. According to her, these toys don't deserve to be snuggled by these neglectful children, and only by people. By that, she means that they need to give Princess what she wants, including homework assignments.
Unfortunately for Pepe, Princess has standards. Muscle Girl, that's her name as far as anyone knows, deems this diorama B+ worthy at best. Princess doesn't settle for anything less than perfection, and she decides Pockets should stay with her.
Pepe: But I used-a 4-a glue-a sticks on it!
Princess: Should have used 5.
He probably never had a chance anyway.
Muscle Girl then kicks poor Pepe out like a football, kicking off his mouth and nose, too. Joking aside, there's a good use of comedic timing here that got a chuckle out of me. Surprisingly, not the only one in this episode, believe it or not!
Along with being a Godfather-esque episode, this is another episode that seems to entirely focus on Princess's point of view, along with Witch's Crew and Can't Buy Love. They really seem to like this particular character, and yet they couldn't be bothered to give her episodes a unique background for its title card. If anything, it should be blue, because Blossom and Buttercup barely appear in this anyway. At least, I thought that was what the multi-colored backgrounds were for.
Even more fitting to the Godfather, it is Italian Week at Townsville Elementary, and one of the big events is a giant sculpture contest. Princess knows she can win that contest if she gets to bring that. Princess should know, she was the star of the episode where Bubbles actually lifted a building. This one doesn't have any people in it!
Princess does get some doubt from Dancer Guy, yes, that's his name as far as anyone is concerned. Come to think it, it is pretty fitting that Princess refuses to refer to her rap posse's members with their actual names, even if they had them. The Answer Guy knows that Bubbles never lets Octi out of her sight, and Princess takes this doubt quite well...
...by ordering Tiger to tear into Dancing Guy. This becomes a running gag, and I laughed every time it came up. Part of it is just how over the top it is; we even hear some rather violent ripping noises in following shots. There is a lot of violence in this episode, and none of it involved the Powerpuff Girls...yet?
We get a montage that doesn't come with a self-aware song about montages, where Princess tries in vain to steal Octi. She even has an Octi Stunt Double! I can see Bubbles doing that sort of thing.
Princess ends up echoing the Dancing Guy that couldn't dance around the tiger, saying that Bubbles never lets Octi out of her sight. This plot can't go any further until she can steal it, so what could happen? A sleeping potion, courtesy Discount? Princess just pointing somewhere and saying "look, it's Tara Strong"?
No, Bubbles just gets distracted by a butterfly, and then walks in the air in a way that makes her look incredibly silly. I am putting that very mildly, the only grace I can see is that they did not give her a ridiculous facial expression beyond her pupils shrinking. Gotta force that snuggle toy kidnapping somehow, I guess.
She looks around the playground. She looks around the lockers. She looks under the desks, throwing them aside whether they had kids on them or not in another case of random violence in this episode. She even checks the garbage can, continuing a rather interesting to me trend of this reboot putting the Powerpuff Girls in the garbage. In the end, she can't find Octi, and she reacts in a way one might expect.
The next morning, as Blossom and Buttercup are working on their entry in the giant sculpture contest, what looks like a regular-sized spaghetti and meatballs made out of paper mache, they notice that Bubbles is down in the dumps. Not Bubbles The Blue down in the dumps, but "I cried all night" down in the dumps. At least, that's what Blossom and Buttercup was saying; we don't get to see it beyond that "Octi" scream from a scene ago.
As she's holding her coffee cup, she tells the other two not to worry about it, because...
Bubbles: (in an entirely different voice) I'm taking care of it.
Yeah, this joke is a little out of place, even if I could commend them for not even shrinking her pupils here. It's just pure, serious rage, which is what you would expect. That's it, really, there's nothing here that isn't done a lot better in the next scene.
The only other aspect of this particular scene is that it starts a meatball-related gag. It barely comes up and isn't nearly as funny as the tiger mauling scenes, so why bring it up here?
At the school, Princess offers Bubbles a little help with her lost and found situation, but Bubbles decides to refuse that offer. She speaks, in monotone, that she will not play with her, because she only plays with Octi. It's not the kind of monotone where I can question if her voice actress got enough sleep the day before they recorded it, it's an intentional one. It's not really anyone from the Godfather as much as it is Liam Neeson's character from Taken. In fact, it kind of becomes more Taken than Godfather beyond this point.
I was a little taken aback by this character change at first; after that scene and with Bubbles' usual character, you'd think Bubbles would be childishly angry, or keeping a smile on her face while indicating to Princess that she will not like it when she's angry. In a way, that's sort of the point, as even Princess is freaked out by this change of character.
But Princess won't be intimidated by her anti-criminal threats, though she seemingly stops short of telling Bubbles "good luck". She opens her vault, the password being $$$$ because she's a rich girl, and takes out Octi. She then attempts to saw one of Octi's feet off with a sawed knife that she happened to be carrying. I don't think schools would allow that sort of thing, but I'm sure "affluenza" played a part in it.
Dancer Guy interrupts her before she can do that, because, unlike Bubbles and Donny, he can get the mail! He gets punished in the same way; with a tiger mauling by Tiger. She ends up reading the message anyway, and it turns out it's from Bubbles, with one clear message:
"Don't even think about it." Bubbles apparently correctly assumed that Princess would harm Octi...or did she know? Even Princess couldn't answer that.
While Bubbles is out of character, this note is sort of fitting for her. This threatening letter is written in cursive, has crude drawings that need descriptive text, and has little hearts all over it. None of the words are misspelled, and we all know how they love giving the coder the trait of something that causes syntax errors, but I am okay with that. Once again, Princess won't stand down by the threat, but she might need a little help.
She decides to get all the school bullies together, including Big Joey. Not to be confused with Joey the Camp Director or the late Joey the Milkshake That Was Sucked By The Devil. Don't ask. The Big Joey that ended up in Unicorn School in one episode raises the question on why they need to answer to Princess. It's because Princess stole their snuggle toys, too. There is a bit of humor in that these kids look way too old for them.
They manage to find her in the library, and they rush right in...only to come out with utter terror in their eyes. I would joke about how Bubbles probably made one of those horrifying faces, but it does make a lot of sense. Sure, Big Joey is practically the size of the door, but these are just regular children against someone who can fire lasers out of her eyes and lift towers with no problem whatsoever. Even Princess should know this, since the whole point was to get her to lift a tower.
That "steal the Tower of Pisa like Carmen Sandiego" plot gets forgotten, but it's easy to see why it would be forgotten. Princess is in a nervous wreck at this point, not getting a wink of sleep as she desperately clutches onto her stolen toy. Suddenly, a text message comes in, with another rather fitting way for a certain blue octopus seeker.
Princess: Knock knock? Who's there? Me? Uhh...me who?
Bubbles: Me...at your window.
Wow, Bubbles is so serious, she can't even do a proper knock-knock joke. Granted, she probably couldn't even with Octi. Bubbles just suddenly shows up at Princess's home. If the villains seem to know where the Powerpuff Girls live to crash their home, the Powerpuff Girls could know where the villains live, too. Princess adds another question to this.
Princess: But what about my 14 levels of security?
Bubbles: Should have used 15.
That's a good callback, though one might wonder how Bubbles would be able to reference a line she wasn't around for. A coincidence of coincidences? Actually, there's an answer for almost everything here, and one might not like it at first. Princess turns her bed into a giant golden robot suit, and at first, it seems like it works.
And then she gets knocked into the ceiling, and eventually, the robot is punched so hard that Princess falls off of her mansion. Presumably, to her death. Okay, sure, she's falling in what seems to be a grey void, but that is certainly the implication. I was joking about waiting for the Powerpuff Girls to do some violence in this episode; I was not expecting anything like this! Then again, murder might be a bit too much of a punishment for stealing a toy.
It is, as it turns out that it was all a dream. At least, up to the Princess's mansion getting invaded part. On one hand, what a cop out; Princess finally getting a beating for doing some villainous, and it had to be undone with the king of bad plot twists. On the other hand, considering this episode is about Princess psychologically tormented by Bubbles and her threatening stares and letters, it still works! Way to go, making me give a thumbs up to an "it's all a dream" scene.
As Princess eventually realizes said psychological torment will only stop if she gives Octi back, Dancer Guy comes in once again to offer Princess some delicious flapjacks. Noticing Princess is not exactly pleased by his interruption, he decides to snap his own fingers to get Tiger to gnaw on his bones again. I wasn't even expecting a payoff to that running gag, because this is PPG 2016, but color me surprised.
Princess decides to tell Bubbles that she won, giving back her precious toy. However, she wants Princess to give back all of the toys. We're left to question if Bubbles knew about this because of that one confrontation earlier in the episode. She normally doesn't seem that attentive to what's going on around her.
All the kids, at least, they're supposed to be kids, get back those toys, much to their delight. Princess asks if everyone's happy now, proving that she didn't really learn anything, and she gets her own punishment for it. Mauling by a tiger? No, silly, we can't have Princess get hurt outside of a dream!
She just gets crushed by a giant paper mache meatball. Oh yeah, that's what the Blossom and Buttercup plot was building up to. At least the Italian Week Sculpture Contest was not completely forgotten. The episode ends with Bubbles monotonously saying to Princess that if she ever wants to play with Octi again...
Bubbles: (suddenly happy again) Just ask!
(touches Princess with Octi)
Again, I was taken aback at first, but after her monotonous and threatening voice in the last few scenes, it's good to see Bubbles happy after she got Octi back. It's a better ending than most endings in this show. When this was a See It First episode, I had a feeling this would be a shoo-in for at least an intended season finale. That feeling turned out to be incorrect, unfortunately.
Does the title fit?
They definitely tried to parody the Godfather, though there's no actual father in this entire episode. Oct-Mother would be more accurate, but it would obscure the reference.
How does it stack up?
Funny running gags, and an actually good attempt at a psychological horror story by kid's show standards. I enjoyed this episode, and not in a "guilty pleasure" sort of way. That's pretty rare.
Next, Sideline Dad? Sitcom Dad? May be more alike than you think!
← Man Up 4: The Donnyest Game ☆ Sideline Dad →
Powerpuff Girls 2016 - “Sideline Dad”
Written by: Jake Goldman
Written & Storyboarded by: Kyle Neswald, Jaydeep Hasrajani
Directed by: Nick Jennings, Bob Boyle
Yeah, it should have been left on the sidelines.
Our episode begins with Blossom's head in the cosmos, talking about how soccer is the epitome of the cosmic dance that is sports. That is a near-direct quote, as this scene tries to look and sound way more profound that it actually is.
Blossom: What makes soccer so great is its simplicity! One ball! Two teams! No hands!
Well, except for the goalie, but I can see what she was going with. If you're expecting this to be Blossom trying to convince Buttercup that soccer isn't lame, don't. Unlike other superhero-related reboots, they don't really take any pot-shots against soccer, not even from people who are in the wrong. Pretty surprisingly for an American cartoon. Since this is a "girl power" show, it might be due to how good the US women's soccer team is, though no obvious connection is made. Before Blossom can get even more philosophical, Buttercup tells her to kick the ball already!
The Powerpuff Girls are playing this soccer match with some of the other kids at Townsville Elementary against another team from Citysville, playing this entire game on foot. I always thought that this looked awkward with their designs, but at least there's a decent excuse: they are just trying to be fair by not using their superpowers when nobody else can use them.
Oh yeah, another team! Right off the bat, this sports episode does one thing right compared to another sports episode from this reboot: the other teams actually exist. It is not like Derby Dollies where the other teams that are not made up of evil robots were never shown. They even have names; here, the Townsville Turtles are competing against the Citysville Capybaras. Why are Townsville's team called the Turtles? Not to insult the mighty turtle, but I don't think they're referring to any kind of turtle that knows Ninjutsu. There's no indication that this team is terrible, and they really shouldn't be when they have three kids who have ultra-super-powers.
Well, maybe victory would not be that guaranteed, considering Bubbles likes to play tea parties with Octi in the middle of a game! Oh, that silly blonde and her complete ignorance of everything around her! Not that Blossom pondering about soccer's place in the world of sports is that much better, either. Once again, it looks like Buttercup is the most competent member of the trio, whether it be in crime-fighting or sports.
Bubbles does manage to get her head back in the game before any goal for the Citysville team could happen. She kicks the ball away so hard that, from her goalie position, she kicked it right into the other goalie's, causing the net to explode. So much for the "not using their superpowers" theory, but not that I'm complaining.
While everyone celebrates with their children in tow, including one of the Cabybaras for some reason, the Puffs fly up to their loving father figure to ask him if he saw them do so well. Unfortunately, their father figure was too busy reading a book. See, because he's not a jock, he's a man of science. This is going to be a Professor-focused episode, and it would be a good sign for this episode if I continued to call him that. Unfortunately, the rest of the episode will make that very hard for me.
The Professor also asks if it's time to go, and since it looked like everyone was leaving, I just assumed yes. I get that this is him not having any interest in the game to the point where he just wants to go, but all of this combined with the celebration scene leads to some confusion in the next scene.
That next scene is set at Penguin Pete's, where the Professor treats them to pizza. I thought Penguin Pete's was an ice cream shop, since penguins are normally associated with cold weather, but I guess they serve nice and hot pizza, too. Either that, or they just wanted to use backgrounds they already made. The Professor tries to act like he paid any attention to this important game, and the Puffs immediately see through their Sitcom Dad's attempts at that.
Sitcom Dad: Wow, you really showed them what for!
Blossom: We lost by three.
Maybe it wasn't the end of the game, because it looked like everyone on the Turtles were celebrating their big win at the end. It feels like a bit of a whiplash, but it is possible we're supposed to see this from Sitcom Dad's point of view. Buttercup decides to ask her clueless father figure that the hard-hitting question that she knows that he will not be able to answer: what was his favorite part of the game?
We cut to the insides of the Sitcom Dad's brain, which is piloted by tiny versions of Sitcom Dad. It is certainly not Herman's Head or Inside Out; it's more like that terrible movie where a bunch of tiny people are piloting a robotic Eddie Murphy. With all of the brainpower of at least four Sitcom Dads, he ends up saying that the game was very outdoors.
While apparently staring at his children while they sleep, Sitcom Dad laments that he couldn't properly cheer for his kid's sports game. He has a reason for it, and it would be a good reason.
Sitcom Dad: But I just never got into sports...
Yes, he never got into sports, which makes perfect sense considering in Hustlecup, he was shown to be some sort of basketball prodigy. To be fair, if any episode's canon deserves to be thrown in a fire, it's that one. I kind of stopped giving them the benefit of the doubt with that, though. One second after that bombshell line, we get this one!
Sitcom Dad: I don't know the first thing about this "sock-air".
He was able to pronounce the word "soccer" at least one time before this, but now, poor Sitcom Dad is too dim-witted to pronounce words correctly. He couldn't even be consistently wrong!
We get a sports-related montage of him studying this "sock-air", right down to a "Gonna Fly Now" parody playing over it. Even though I called him Sitcom Dad, they do get that he's a science guy, as he uses robotic legs, holograms, and augmented reality stock images. In the middle of it, the music stops as he takes the time to read about Soccer 101. It’s a bit awkward, but I get it.
After that montage, we cut to the next game. The Mayor has decided to become a sports commentator, because he clearly has nothing better to do. It's not like there's any monster attacks happening any time soon! If only there was an assistant that would take over his job, but I guess that wasn't fitting of the messages. Unfortunately, the Powerpuff Girls do not share his excitement, all because of the knowledge that their dad is ignoring them.
The Mayor: Will Bubbles be able to block the shot, or will she just stand there, looking sad?
Having seen their fights, the latter should be an easy assumption, even if he doesn't know they were sad because their father would rather study science than cheer for his kids. That's not a bad description of the usual Reboot Puff strategy, in fact.
That training really paid off, as Sitcom Dad is actually really into this. He even got jersey with the first three digits of pi on it! It's a little more clever than, "oh, it's the science guy", as the Townsville Turtles logo actually looks like the pi symbol. Probably unintended, but still. He wants everyone to do the wa-ve! I'm pretty sure the Professor would know how to pronounce that.
Blossom and Buttercup are in complete disbelief over this, and Buttercup makes a quip about how it could be the Professor's escaped evil clone. That line could have worked by itself as a joke, but they decide to take this way further.
Sitcom Dad's "Evil Clone": Hahahaha! The plot thickens! Hahahaha!
It looks like another uphill roller coaster, as we get this running gag where an evil twin of Sitcom Dad, complete with the twirly mustache. is evilly laughing. Every time, he's in some sort of garbage disposal. Only one episode later, and I can still continue my "they sure love throwing their characters in the garbage" joke.
Thanks to seeing their father cheer for them, Bubbles wakes up from her bout of sadness and kicks the ball to Blossom, who kicks it to Buttercup, who then kicks it right into the goalie's stomach. This time, it's not the net that explodes.
Instead, it seems to be the kid that explodes. I sort of laughed at this, and then wondered if I really should have. This leads to another montage of the Townsville Turtles winning game after game, mostly just the Puffs making goals. Regular, not exploding goals, that is. Maybe they needed to balance the ridiculousness of the Puff's goals with how ridiculous Sitcom Dad looks.
He even colors his face and his far-more-muscular-than-it-should-be chest in the PPG 2016 colors. Don't worry, this doesn't become a thing. However, if he's trying to show his team spirit, why not color himself in the colors of the team? It makes sense that Sitcom Dad would put his children over anyone else, but it makes sense even if he wasn't their father; it's not like anyone else is doing anything of worth. Turns out, that's part of the plot.
As the Powerpuff Girls are celebrating their winning streak along with their super-dad/super-fan, Coach Darby, or Coach Dorby as the Professor calls her in a probably unintended continuation of the "Sitcom Dad can't pronounce anything" gag, shows up. She's here to tell Blossom that Candice should start the next game. Why? Other than Blossom's tendency to get her head stuck in the cosmos, this is just here to give Sitcom Dad a reason to go bananas. Also, who is Candice?
Sitcom Dad isn't going to take that, and starts raising a fuss about it. Because of that, Coach Darby decides someone is going to leave the team...herself. Okay? The Powerpuff Girls immediately fret, because the championship game is in two days, and they don't have a coach anymore! This gives Sitcom Dad an idea, and, oh boy.
Sitcom Dad becomes the new coach, and he has a training regimen that seems to be made more for people with superpowers than ordinary mortals. He replaced all of the soccer balls with boulders to improve the kid's kicking strength, made kids run across a lava pit with soccer balls and the apparent lack of convection protecting them from being burnt to a crisp to improve their hustle, and even got a lion to chase Robin! Why?
Coach Dad: She knows why.
Outside of the rule of three, that last one just seemed like the Professor being cartoonishly evil for no reason even more than the other two. Maybe it would make more sense if the lion was chasing whoever this Candice was, since her replacing Blossom was what caused this coach switch to happen in the first place. Since it's just another kid that at least we know is not Candice, it just seems random. Speaking of cartoonishly evil...
Sitcom Dad's "Evil Clone": And they say I'm the evil one!
No, nobody did. If anything, this could be the real Professor looking at Sitcom Dad's apparent new villainy. I have a reason to believe this, just wait and see.
He does have an explanation for the other two, at least. Bubbles flies up to the Professor and tells him that this kind of training is way too hard for ordinary mortals, but Coach Dad doesn't budge. He also decided to replace the referee with something that would make the championship match completely fair...
...the Robo-Ref 9000! It has impeccable vision, it can make cappuccinos, and it has ways of dealing with horseplay. This is shown by it punishing a random kid playfully chasing Robin with eye lasers. See, it's funny because children are getting hurt. But wait, what did that kid say?
Random Kid: I'll go get you, Candice!
Oh, that's Candice? Could have fooled me, because, and I know I don't have a screenshot here, but it's clearly Robin Snyder getting chased. Maybe Robin has a evil twin of her own, or maybe it's a mistake. If it is a mistake, the unthinkable, I know, what's worse is that Bubbles called her Robin in that previous lion chase scene! Forget Sitcom Dad, even the show couldn't be consistently wrong!
Bubbles, this episode's designated complainer that is right, tells Sitcom Dad that he's taking the fun out of the game.
Insert another Meet Sitcom Dad joke, where he doesn't know the meaning of the word "fun", and thinks it must be some sort of food! Okay, there's a little more to this cutaway gag than just being unnecessary: it's to show that all of this soccer knowledge has replaced his knowledge of anything else. My mistake, it's not Meet Dave, it's that gag from Spongebob's Squilliam Returns! Finally had to steal something that wasn't the explosions, I guess.
It's the big game, against what seems to be the Citysville Capybaras again judging by the Cs on their shirt. Unfortunately, despite bringing his own coach, the robot actually calls a fair game, letting the Capybaras get goals, and giving the Turtles justified fouls.
For example, the robot gives Blossom a yellow card for being off-sides. It doesn't look like she's off-sides, but Blossom goes with it anyway. Who doesn't go with it?
Coach Dad, of course. He isn't too happy about any of this, as his face contorts in a way that's still on-model. They actually avoid doing any weird face gags in this episode with one exception, and while this does give us quite a few shots of the Professor making some questionable faces, it could been worse. The Robo-Ref eventually gives the coach a yellow card of his own, which he takes quite well.
Robo-Ref 9000: Yellow card. You must calm down.
Coach Dad: Calm? I'll show you calm! (flips the Mayor's table)
Elderly Lady: Wow, that guy's out of control!
Oh, really! He just seems like an upstanding member to society! Eventually, he throws a chair, which lightly bumps the Robo-Ref 9000...
...and he succumbs to Rampancy, deciding to use this Red Card worthy foul as an excuse to disobey the First Law of Robotics and just start zapping randomly. One of the lasers hits the bleachers right after everyone runs away. Another one of the lasers is heading towards the Reboot Puffs, and...
...surprisingly, the Powerpuff Girls manage to not just stand in one place and be sad for once. Aw, I was hoping to say that this repeats the oddity from Trouble Clef where the people of Townsville are better dodgers than the Puffs. It turns out that this episode has its own oddities.
They tell their clueless father figure that they'll take care of it, thankfully not like the way Bubbles said it in the previous episode. The Reboot Puffs do what they do best, and they do it very well.
That is, they seem to be the best at getting Monster Punch, Girls Downed. I do like the variety of ways he does it, using all of his different features, like using. It does feel a bit inconsistent with the way the shots are done, though. Blossom's in particular sticks out like a sore thumb.
The Powerpuff Girls eventually ask how he got this robot. I would think he built it, because he's supposed to be the Professor. He's makes robots, whether it be Schedule-Bot, or the Dynamo from the original. However, they decide to go in a different and kind of interesting direction. No, he didn't make the robot...
...the evil dumpster-dwelling clone did! If there's one other positive I can say about this joke, it's that at least this Evil Sitcom Dad joke isn't just another uphill roller coaster, as it actually ties into the plot. It's canon now; he has an evil twin.
Then again, I'm seeing one Professor that makes robots, and there's one Professor that's apparently controlled by tiny versions of himself that forces kids to jump over lava pits and have lions chasing girls with indeterminate names. Who is really the evil clone here?
Sitcom Dad does get an idea thanks to the little people in his head: start cheering for the girls. This gives the girls the strength they need to come up with this plan: since the Referee has to keep his eye on the ball, they quickly pass it between each other. This ends up confusing the robot to the point where he explodes! Wait, wasn't he going to explode anyway? Whatever.
Despite the giant crater on the ground, they still go through with the game anyway. I guess there's a bit of humor in how nobody really seems to care, but it just feels like it's rushed. Just like this ending, where, in a little bit of a bookend, this other dad gives Sitcom Dad a suggestion.
Other Dad: If your kids love soccer, they'd love hockey!
Sitcom Dad: Hawkeye?
Yeah, trying to channel the MCU is not going to work. We end this episode on another Meet Dave/Spongebob reference, as the little men in his head continue to panic, as they apparently did since the beginning of Mr. Dad's existence.
Does the title fit?
Sideline Dad kind of reminds me of Sitcom Dad.
How does it stack up?
I'm kind of in the middle with this one. On one hand, it's a Sitcom Dad episode, and while it's not anywhere near the worst he's ever been, I wouldn't consider "not knowing what a sock-air is" a good look for him. I couldn’t get into this one that much, but it could have been a lot worse.
That's it for Season 3! Next time on the reboot...
...wait, is this it? Is this the end? Granted, this show is not officially cancelled, but as far as I can tell, there's nothing suggesting that anything is in the works, or if there's any more episodes. No finale, no big villain team-up, no virus robots, no nothing. From what I can tell, this series may have ended with this bland soccer episode. I can't say it wouldn't be fitting for the reboot to end abruptly, as most episodes tend to end abruptly!
I'll say one thing: even if this is the end, beautiful friends, it's not the end of Fly Pow Bye's experiment. Next Saturday, we're going to end this experiment with a final stack up. See you.
← The Oct-Father ☆ The Final Stack Up (The Worst) →
Powerpuff Girls 2016 - “Brainlord”
Written by: Jake Goldman
Written & Storyboarded by: John Martinez, Andy Cung
Directed by: Nick Jennings, Bob Boyle
Should have done the noodle dance.
This episode starts with Townsville under attack by a monster. If the Narrator was here, this could be an opening of an original episode. It's not just any monster either, but it's Gothra, a monster that first appeared in Bucketboy. Giving the reboot some credit; the original never really had a recurring monster in their rogue’s gallery, the reboot introduced two of them. For this episode, they add something else to this potential beloved villain other than his looks: vocal cords!
Gothra: Roooooar. Once I destroy you poser humans, you will finally understand how sad and empty life is!
Honestly, the monotone and yet loud roar would have been just fine, but they really wanted to show off that Gothra is a goth. At least he has a personality, and he will hammer in with every line he says.
Also like the original, the Powerpuff Girls show up to beat the stuffing out of him. Blossom tells him that they're going to turn his frown upside-down. Smiles are a goth's worst enemy...I think that's what she were going for?
Unfortunately, the Reboot Puffs show their usual failure here, as, of course, this leads to a Monster Punch, Girls Down. Womp, womp. Not even a minute into the episode, this even including the opening theme song, this living pun manages to punch the Powerpuff Girls into a crater, them completely helpless from the wrath of a goth moth.
One of two things can happen from this: the Reboot Puffs get up and use a different strategy than just rushing in and punching him, or they stay helpless before someone else gets to save them from their peril. If you picked the former, welcome to the reboot. Before Gothra can crush the Reboot Puffs like his dreams, get it, goth, he gets blasted by this episode's knight in shining armor.
In comes Brainlord, a superhero that can shoot lasers out of his gigantic brain, wearing a costume with white and purple stripes and a big purple cape. Using his almighty brain power, Gothra explodes in an explosion of justice. As in, the cloud even spells and whispers the word "justice."
The Powerpuff Girls awaken to see their savior, and before you can say "Major Competition", which is not exactly what this episode is ripping off but I wouldn't blame anyone for assuming at this point, we get to hear his origin story.
He was the hero of a planet called Braintopia, beating up the bad guys, and rescuing the overly large brained people. Unfortunately, the Braintopians had a custom to keep their heads super shiny, which blinded them all from a meteor bigger than their entire planet. He survived, not because he was chosen to be put in a rocket before the big cataclysmic event, but because he was in another galaxy to get his car washed.
In other words: Superman’s origin story, except with jokes!
The Powerpuff Girls didn't find it funny, though. In fact, they found this origin story so sad that they get tissues, and Buttercup outright says that this is the saddest origin story she's ever heard. Even sadder than Bliss's origin story, apparently! Yes, it is pretty sad to know that all of his friends and family are dead, but why show this? Is it a joke on how the Powerpuff Girls are saddened by this silly story? Is this just a way for them to force a tear jerker moment? It's not working.
After hearing that sad, sad story that they really wanted to let you know is sad, Blossom decides to offer this total stranger dinner at the Powerpuff home. I mean, he's a fellow superhero, and he just saved them from that 90's Hot Topic customer! What could possibly go wrong?
To be fair to Blossom, there is no hint that something is up other than this person's costume looking a little similar to a certain arch-nemesis. They can drag this on until a big reveal in Act 2, but they don’t wait that long.
Brainlord: Yes, see you tonight...
Discount Jojo: (changes face back to his own) ...for your doom! Hahahahahaha!
...they just reveal immediately that Brainlord is actually Discount Jojo in disguise. There is a point to this: it's to make this episode a Discount Jojo-focused episode where he gets to live along with his arch-enemies. It's just like Not So Secret Service or Quarantine, and those episodes were so good that I was overjoyed to see another one of...I can't even complete that sentence.
Even in the Brainlord costume, his voice is just Roger L. Jackson doing a different voice. There are a few times where he goes a little too close to the Jojo voice, and that actually works in this episode's favor.
His main plan is to infiltrate the Powerpuff Girls' home, earn their trust, enter the Professor's lab, and blow up the Professor's black hole machine with a bomb. This is all shown with pen and crayon drawings. I kind of like this, actually, it reminds me of that other arch-nemesis.
The first thing Brainlord does at the dinner table is ask where the Professor's latest invention is, as he claims he was a minor celebrity on his formerly existing home planet. The Professor decides to show him exactly that, though it turns out he invented something else since the black hole machine: spaghetti and meatballs a la Utonium! He is not too thrilled about this, until he decides to take a bite.
We then get the "Buttercup really liking Jojo's waffles" scene from Not So Secret Service, except instead of stock footage, it's a bunch of random scenes where Jojo is happy. It is better. After that glorious dinner, the Powerpuff Girls decide to sing him a song teaching him all about the place they live. Wait, could this be some much needed worldbuilding?
The Puffs: Welcome to Townsville, Brainlord!
We hope you're not plain bored!
Too late! They then sing the many different reasons why Townsville is great. They mention that the beach should be checked out, how the mall is neat...and that's it. No, not the song, but that's the only two reasons we get to hear, as they instantly skip to number 487, which just says that’s the end of the song. Missed opportunities all around, I'd say.
What gives this "overly long song" joke far less of an impact is that Brainlord was not even phased by the length. In fact, he was so charmed by this song and dance, that he asks for an encore! Before we can get a song about the 487 reasons why Citiesville sucks, Brainlord says that this song was such a blast, reminding himself that he had a Powerpuff-destroying scheme to do! He asks to go to the little Brainlord's room.
Brainlord turns his face back into Jojo, and he tells himself that while the Powerpuff Girls being such great hosts almost makes him not want to, he wants to go through with this plan anyway.
The Professor really had to step the security down from the one he once had, because the only thing between dastardly villains and Chemical X, dangerous transmogrification rays, and black hole machines is a security question. Specifically, it asks what the Powerpuff Girls' favorite thing is. Jojo, using the utmost of his genius, decides to make a perfectly reasonable guess.
Discount Jojo: The Powerpuff Girls' favorite thing is...being destroyed by Mojo!
Obviously, that wasn't the answer, and if he gets the question wrong again, the lab goes into total lockdown. Suddenly, Bubbles shows up, and Jojo has to put on his Brainlord face. He puts on a facade that he's just thinking about his home planet and how much he misses it. Bubbles tells him he can stay at their house, and maybe they can show him their favorite things! Brainlord responds by evilly laughing, but Bubbles doesn't pay it any mind. In fact, the scene just changes immediately after he laughs; we couldn't even get a joke out of Bubbles' obliviousness.
The next day, we get montage #1, where Brainlord goes to a carnival. There's really no jokes here, it's just Brainlord and the Reboot Puffs having fun on all the rides. It's very pedestrian; I would have loved to see them enjoying these rides and games in a superhero way, like, say, Brainlord attempting to use his brain lasers on the bottle game. Maybe they were worried about copying Despicable Me...but when has that stopped them?
After all that fun, the Powerpuff Girls suddenly start talking about how family is so important to them. Oh, and Buttercup says this.
Buttercup: Yes, blood is thicker than water, blood rules!
I get it, like related by blood, but I can't say I didn't enjoy how they just shoved in the phrase "blood rules" into at least one episode. Bubbles ends this family talk by saying family is their favorite thing, and Brainlord suddenly runs off to the Powerpuff home.
Thanks to Bubbles' big mouth, Discount now knows the secret password and gets it right the second time, giving him full access to the lab and that black hole machine. Using a stick of dynamite with a timer on it, he's going to destroy the people that gave him entertainment, because he is a bad ape!
While cheering, Bubbles calls down to Brainlord that they're going out for ice cream! Wow, the Powerpuff Girls are just having the best day of their lives, and Jojo doesn't want to miss out on any of it!
We get another montage that has the same purpose as the carnival one, with most of the same problems. The only difference is that we get scenes where Jojo has to keep extending the clock because he just doesn't want the fun to end.
Well, okay, I guess there is a scene where Brainlord gets his fingernails painted. Oh, that Discount, while he's learned a few more jokes, he's still finding some way to do something feminine.
In the end, the Powerpuff Girls offer this scrapbook of all the times they had. This is the part where Jojo finally decides that maybe the Powerpuff Girls aren't worth destroying after all. I mean, being with the Utoniums has been a total blast for him! After saying something along the lines of that, Brainlord suddenly realizes he may have forgot something.
It's here that the episode finally figures that there has to be some sort of problem that isn't caused by a one-joke moth, as the bomb explodes, causing the black hole generator to make a black hole. They don't seem to think about how this black hole generator suddenly activated or got destroyed, though that might have taken a backseat to them holding on to a door frame to save their own lives.
The black hole generator can only stop if someone goes in the vortex and blows it up. The Professor also happened to be carrying a bunch of dynamite just for this purpose. That's just something he carries around. You know what they say, better to have it and not need it than vice versa.
Blossom: I'll go!
So Blossom decides to let go, not realizing that everyone was holding her leg. Thanks to Blossom's mistake, everyone goes into the vortex and ends up floating around in the vastness of outer space. Discount and Sitcom Dad die, and eventually, the Reboot Puffs stopped thinking. Oh wow, I guess there really was a satisfactory finale for this series!
No, I'm just kidding, of course it's Brainlord that ends up taking the dynamite and sacrificing himself. For all the Powerpuff Girls knew, their family friend just had the time of their lives, and is now going to suffer what is most likely a painful death...or is that really the case?
There is a slight twist to this, and I usually don't spoil the twists, but I have to talk about this one. Right before Brainlord lets go, Bubbles drops this bombshell.
Brainlord: Remember me!
Bubbles: We will, thanks, Mojo!
Brainlord: Yes, and never for, wait, you knew?!
Outside of this one little scene, nothing is made of this sudden revelation that Bubbles knew this whole time. It feels more like something they just threw in in the last minute to give the episode some sort of a big twist.
Some may also ask how Bubbles knew Brainlord was Jojo. Honestly, with his constant yelling of his plans throughout the episode, the Powerpuff Girls would have to be deaf to not figure it was probably him. If that was the case, why did they not do anything to stop this from happening? Whatever.
Oh, and that black hole just leads to a dumpster. This reboot sure loves putting their characters in the garbage; feels like a hidden message.
Does the title fit?
Name of a character, and one that doesn't even use his brains.
How does it stack up?
Out of all of the "Mojo Jojo has to live with his arch-enemies" episodes, this is probably the least worst one, but it's still not anywhere near mediocre. While Not So Secret Service couldn't find a plot and stick to it, Quarantine was just horrendous, this one's just mostly boring.
I debated on giving this a really low Neutral or a really high Disgusted. I wouldn't lie and say the montages weren't charming, if they were a bit too pedestrian to my taste, but that’s really all this episode has. Sorry, Brainlord.
Next, it can't be worse than Foodfight!, can it?
← Tagalong ☆ Checkin' Out! →
Powerpuff Girls 2016 - “Our Brand Is Chaos”
Written by: Jake Goldman
Written & Storyboarded by: John West, Angela Zhang
Directed by: Nick Jennings, Bob Boyle
Not really that hell-ish.
This episode begins with Blossom, away from her sisters, reading her favorite book at home. Being Reboot Blossom, this book is all about tax codes. Just in case a six year old girl reading tax codes isn't enough for people to consider that she's an unrelatable nerd, the book is even the "Overly Complicated Edition". Unfortunately, before she can get to her favorite chapter about deductibles, she gets interrupted by everyone's favorite Santa Claus Claw Demon.
For the first time since Blisstersweet Symphony, Him makes an onscreen appearance in the reboot. He had one mention in Mojo The Great and got replaced by a generic devil in Ragnarock and Roll, but this is his first on-screen appearance in Season 3. There's already one problem with his appearance in this episode: he doesn't have his echoed voice. That is going to be a sign.
Blossom tries to throw the book at him, not exactly saying that joke but a different one that fits just as well, but Him shoots her with a beam that shrinks her before the book could even leave her hands. Him happily tells Blossom that...
Him: Your soul is mine!
Even without his voice filter, this episode's Him is far closer to the Him I would imagine him to be. I'd rather see Him as Shang Tsung from the first Mortal Kombat movie than the Frogurt salesman from that one episode of the Simpsons. Blossom asks how this happened, and he explains to her that her sisters did it.
We get a flashback to Bubbles and Buttercup, or Bubblescup as they essentially share the same role in this episode, going ga-ga over the Snowsploder 7000 Turbo. It's a rocket powered bobsled that comes equipped with a waffle maker, and it's available for the low, low price of $585!
Unfortunately, Buttercup only has $4, and Bubbles has a huge wad of cash that only goes up to $580. I guess if she can eye laser any potential mugger, she can carry her whole life savings with her. Unfortunately, with only $584, they're a dollar short, and they'd give anything to get that dollar. Suddenly, Him shows up to offer them a contract: they get that dollar, but they have to give him Blossom's soul, which he says is the most important thing to them.
Yeah, apparently not important enough, as they agree to this contract immediately. One would think an offer from such a prominent member of the Powerpuff Girls' Rogues Gallery would give Bubblescup some pause, but the episode wouldn't continue if they didn't sign this contract with no thought whatsoever. I mean, it's just their sister, what harm could selling her soul possibly do compared to the agony of not having a rocket-powered bobsled that can make waffles?
Bubbles: Ooh, I love the red ink!
Maybe I'm just bewildered that this reboot could imply that blood exists, but I found that particular line funny.
After that flashback, Blossom is immediately condemned to Him's realm, shown for the first time in this reboot. The original had so many great shots of that realm. In fact, it's one of the few things that were improved in Season 5 and 6, because they took advantage of computer animation to make it as surreal as possible! With 2016's amazing technology, what does the reboot do with it?
Eh, just put some random objects in a purple and green gradient, and have them all float in the void. I could see this as Blossom's personal hell, and the way she reacts to it implies that could be the case. But, no, Him says this is his home, and this is how he likes it.
As Blossom is starting to go insane from all of the nonsensical items in this realm, like apples and oranges in the same basket, Him is going to play in a mariachi band. I guess since this is the Chaos Realm, grabbing a joke from the Soundless Slippers pile makes a lot more sense.
Meanwhile in the world of the living, Bubbles and Buttercup run into a problem: they may have the exact money for that bobsled, but they still need to pay tax! If only Blossom was there to teach them about the importance of that.
Just kidding, of course Bubblescup get the bobsled and are having the time of their lives. Pretty much every scene with Bubblescup's portion of the episode has the same premise: they don't have any remorse over what they did to Blossom. They don't even mention her name. I could understand Buttercup not realizing the error of her ways, because she's the rascally little green princess, but Bubbles is okay with this, too?
There's a little more plot to this, and I really mean little. Their amazing bobsled has caught the eye of a fellow professional bobsledder, who wants to sign them up to be a part of his team...
...the Quacksledders! It may not be the Disney-related Ducks I usually talk about, but this is the closest we get to a crossover between the two shows I review, so I might as well mention it.
Speaking of which, much like an episode of a different show I just reviewed, they try to do some sort of transition between these two plots. Most of them come off like this one:
Buttercup: (after becoming a Quacksledder) This is the best day ever!
Him: Ugh, this is the worst day ever!
This feels very forced by comparison. The shots aren't even remotely similar visually. This would have been mitigated a little if Him actually lived in a fiery place of misery, because at least there would be some contrast to the icy place of happiness that Bubblescup is in. As Him is complaining about his trumpet player keeping the band from becoming great, he bumps into a door.
Him doesn't remember there being a door or a giant wall in his realm, and he has to press the buzzer. The guy behind that buzzer asks if he has an appointment, and he tells him that he's the supreme ruler of this realm. The guy tells him he isn't. The door opens, and Him can't believe his eyes when he sees that monster with red horn-like structures on her head.
Somehow, Blossom took over the realm while Him was busy with his band, rebranding it as Chaos Incorporated. They don't elaborate how this happened. She just says that she lived in a place that was disorganized, and then she organized it. She then opens a window showing a bunch of demons in cubicles, making cold calls.
This is an episode where Blossom's soul is sold to the devil, she goes to a place that is essentially hell in all but name or looks, and Blossom ends up becoming the supreme ruler of it. As soon as Him says "what" at this, we get a Townsville news bulletin.
No, there's no real transition here. This bulletin is all about the hit bobsledding sensation. They appear on magazines, boxes of WhEaties, and they even their own hit record in Japan. Newscaster Nick StillNoLastName interviews them to ask what their secret is. Needless to say, they don't say it was because they sold their sister's soul to the devil.
Bubbles and Buttercup are ready for Bobsledageddon, and Buttercup specifically tells any potential challengers to "bring it on".
In come the Tracer Triplets, the constant winners of the Bobsledageddon. I can't help but think that's because they are apparently the only other team that decided to show up for it, as we don't see anyone else. That's still one more than the Battle of the Bands from Electric Buttercup, at least. Also, they're evil! How evil?
Yellow Tracer Triplet: Also, we don't think baby animals are cute!
Nothing actually caused them to say this, but they had to say it because they're the bad guys! Bubbles is absolutely delighted to hear this from them.
And by that, I mean she makes this veiny face and turns her pigtails into fire. She then tackles the not-Derbytantes, leading to an off-screen beatdown even Buttercup can't bear to watch. See, the joke is that Bubbles is normally a cute little teddy bear, but sometimes, she gets angry! What an original joke, and not something that has been overdone.
This plot is so boring. If I have to watch this plot for another minute, I'm going to go nuts. I don't belong in this plot, see? I wish we could go back to the other place.
Thankfully, we do, using an explosion as a transition. At least it's something. This totally-not-a-place-where-damned-souls-are-tortured-for-all-eternity has now become a call center, where demons like Him cold call people with amazing offers that only cost their soul.
Blossom shows up, and she's cosplaying and acting as the boss from Office Space, complete with a coffee mug and suspenders. This outfit only lasts this one scene, and it's only there because this reference just wouldn't be as funny without it. It's not really that funny even with it, to be honest.
Because he failed to abide by the dress code, which did not include Santa Claus outfits, he gets demoted to the mail department. I wish they would have elaborated on this beyond having winged devils taking care of this, but I can assume this is where all the junk mail comes from. He wants his realm back, and his sentient leprechaun cup gives him an idea on just how to get it: tear up that contract! Thanking him for the idea, Him shoves his sentient leprechaun cup into the mail chute.
Oh yeah, maybe I should elaborate on that. See, this would cause a distraction, so Him can go to the filing cabinet to find that contract before Blossom can fix it. There, that explains everything.
Blossom, now back in the suit she was wearing before, catches Him in the act, revealing that the contract was in her stubs this whole time. Boss Blossom doesn't want to go home, she has so much to do. She just got finished collating the koalas. Chaos, ooooh!
Those koalas do end up being the last straw, as he starts firing lasers that turn into a walrus, a Christmas tree, and an accordion. I originally was confused by the Christmas tree, considering what this villain represents, but then I realized he wears a Santa Claus outfit. As for the walrus and the accordion...chaos! Ooooh!
This fight scene isn't too bad, actually. I actually liked this one bit where, while Blossom is putting those random items Him was firing at her in a filing cabinet, Him just bursts out of that cabinet and punches her out. That actually took me by surprise, which, surprisingly for an episode with "chaos" in the name, is pretty rare.
Best of all, it's not one-sided, with both combatants dishing out pain on each other in an equal amount. I'd argue the devil should be putting up way more of a fight, but I'd argue this lack of chaos has weakened him.
This ends with the devilish supreme ruler of this realm of pure darkness playing a game of tug-of-war with Him. How that sentence isn't me making another potshot at the Reboot Puffs is part of the reason I kind of like this episode. I mean, Blossom taking over what is essentially Hell.
After the obvious conclusion of a tug-of-war involving a piece of paper and a pair of claws, everything gets reset. Chaos Incorporated goes back to the uninspired gradient nothing-scape it was before, and Bubblescup's bobsled disappears while they're in mid-air. Fortunately for them, they can fly. Unfortunately for them, they forgot that about as much as they forgot how important Blossom is to them.
After an exterior shot of the house with sitcom music playing over it, feels like the Powerpuff Girls to me, I lie, we see Bubblescup practically mummified in full-body casts. Blossom tells them that she hopes they learned their lesson.
The episode does at least do a book end, a literal one, by having Blossom read the Tax Code book to them. The soul sellers groan, as if this wasn't a deserved punishment. Episode end.
Does the title fit?
The "brand" part actually fits into what Blossom wants to do with Him's.
How does it stack up?
I honestly couldn't give this a Disgusted. The plot seems like it was going to turn into another "Blossom gets the short end of the stick" episode, but it ends up turning into a rather unique episode.
I can't imagine Him fans are going to be very happy with this one, though. I would personally disagree, as I found it funny that the biggest evil of the franchise was relegated to just being a mere white-collar worker, but I can see how people would hate that.
I really didn't have much to hate about this one outside of a rather useless B-plot that only served to give the A-plot a decent premise and nothing else. I debated whether or not this should be a really low Happy or a really high Neutral, and I think the concept put it slightly above that threshold.
Next, a tale about a tail unlike any other. There's a good reason for that.
← Rebel Rebel ☆ Tagalong →
Powerpuff Girls 2016 - “Checkin’ Out”
Written by: Jake Goldman, Haley Mancini
Written & Storyboarded by: Benjamin P. Carow, Caitlin Vanarsdale
Directed by: Nick Jennings, Bob Boyle
A special night time version of Fly Pow Bye this week! Thankfully, this store is open 24/7.
Our episode begins with Townsville under attack by a nameless alien invasion, as led by an evil alien that bears a striking resemblance to Vilgax from Ben 10. First Logan from Never Been Blissed, and now this. Wonder when Dollar General Gwen will show up. He has come to destroy this world unless they give him something he really wants: a nice dinner.
Earth has a ton of great chefs that can easily fulfill that request for that nice dinner, and they probably would accept. I'm sure there's at least one guy on the planet that will drive him in his yellow Chevy in his quest to go to the fabled "Flavortown." However, Dollar Store Vilgax seemingly only wants meals from people that look like bug-eyed aliens, and the Reboot Puffs take it upon themselves to satisfy his hunger. This sounds like a start of a commercial for Powerpuff Girls Macaroni and Cheese.
Wow, that mac and cheese has really gone bad! No, this is actually a dish called Plat de Fantise de Gelee de Cereales. In English, a fancy jelly cereal dish, and that's assuming they meant to say "fantaisie." I should not knock them on their French, because I'll admit that I used Google Translate for that. This is what Blossom decides this alien would really like, mostly because the site said it was "out of this world". Certainly doesn't look like anything of this world, so it's probably fitting!
Bubbles looks at this dish and says that this dish is so fancy, that they have to go to the fanciest supermarket in town...
...Savings Pig! See, the joke is that this store doesn't seem like a delicatessen, and the "savings" implies that it's a discount store. That seems to be a running theme in the reboot; they went to discount superhero clothing stores on quite a few occasions. I would have preferred Malph's, but I guess it wouldn't be as funny if that was said by a redneck impression.
They manage to get all but two of the ingredients...at least, that's what Blossom claims. Did the recipe really call for an unwrapped chicken drumstick and a sausage? Also, even if this is the Savings Pig, how can the Reboot Puffs afford all of what's in that cart on a 6-year-old's allowance? It might be hard to convince the cashier that the fate of the world should be payment enough. Chances are, we may not even get that far.
Blossom tasks Bubbles and Buttercup for cereal and jelly, deciding to get the two items that the dish is named after last. The dish's name is in French, but they do have someone who can speak French on the team, along with every other language. This episode...kind of uses that later in the episode? Bubbles asks what kind of cereal, and Blossom says that the recipe doesn't say. I would think that would be important, but I guess they couldn't spin a plot like this on us if it was specific:
Blossom: I don't want to sound over-dramatic, but the fate of the world rests on what cereal you pick.
Yeah, Bubbles, calm down, it's only the end of the world.
Buttercup is tasked to find the jelly. The recipe isn't clear on this one, either, but I could see Buttercup just assuming what flavor it is. She is an uncaring rascal, after all. Moving past the jelly sauce and the jelly mayo, she finds that the regular, plain jelly has been moved. Buttercup scoffs at this sabotage against the world, which may be a little more literal considering the world is in peril, and she's on the case!
Literally, as the scene goes into this black-and-white film-noir-esque comic style, as Detective Buttercup, PI starts to investigate the disappearance of this rare ordinary jelly.
If you haven't guessed yet, this is a three shorts episode, where each Powerpuff Girl gets their own story that combines their supermarket sweep and their imagination. I must say, this visual choice for Buttercup is a highlight of the episode, and it is really disappointing that Buttercup's part in this is the only part that really does this. It would have been interesting to see this reboot's version of The Bare Facts. They do borrow one thing from that episode, and really don't do it as well.
We suddenly cut to Bubbles trying to decide which cereal would be the best to add to this dish. There's Rainbow Raspberries, Marshmallow Majorettes, Count Von Sugar, and Leprechaun Lingonuts. It's made by leprechauns, for leprechauns, as proven by an actual leprechaun that happened to be shopping. By that name, I hope it's not made with leprechauns. Unfortunately, none of these cereals jump out to Bubbles as something that would appeal to aliens! If only Quisp still existed!
It's not that they don't jump out, period, as, suddenly, the mascots for all of those cereals hop out of the boxes, ready to advertise themselves to this impressionable youth. Surprisingly, Bubbles doesn't start screaming and flying out of the store in horror like that one Sprite ad. Instead, she starts a dance party with them!
Thankfully before Bubbles gets to twerk again, we immediately cut to Blossom getting in line, knowing fully well that Bubbles and Buttercup can find jelly and cereal in time. Thankfully, she never heard about the Bubbles getting the mail situation, and it's probably for the best that nobody does. She uses the express line, with a rule against having more than 115 items.
However, she notices the line is taking too long, and notices the elderly woman in front of the line has 116 items in her cart, one more than the limit. Shocked at this crime, she goes up to a clerk and demands that she takes her away, and she gets ignored. But how, this misdemeanor might cost Blossom a whole 3 seconds of the poor cashier scanning that one extra item before she can save the world!
Suddenly, Blossom gets into an imagination spot of her own, where this old lady is the Witch of 116 Items, sitting on a pile of them on top of the only bridge to town, preventing everyone from going home! She imagines herself as Lady Blossom of the Savings Pig, giving a little more meaning to the store's name by making Blossom look even more ridiculous.
That's all we get out of that plot before they cut back to the Buttercup plot, where she terrorizes a hapless clerk who was just stocking some Soup Soap. She demands to know where the jelly went, or she'll give him a jawbreaker! This is a set up for a joke about the candy, but it feels a little forced. If someone is holding me against a wall, threatening me with something called a jawbreaker, that candy would be the last thing I'd think about.
He obliges when offered said jawbreaker for that info, saying it's in Aisle 64, and Buttercup just leaves. The clerk then demands his jawbreaker, and Buttercup, ever so thankful of this clerk who gave her all the information she needed, throws it at him with enough force to actually break his jaws. Oh, that rascal!
We don't get to see what happened to that clerk as this transitions to...the Blossom plot? In the span of 3 minutes, they changed the focus 5 times, and they couldn't even be bothered to take turns. This episode just rapidly changes between these three plots randomly, as if a baby just decided to start teething on a remote control. We get one joke, and then the scene changes, and then another joke, and then the scene changes, rarely can the plot actually breathe. It gets kind of annoying.
A partial thing that might be causing more harm to this kind of editing, also seen in episodes like Splitsville, is that Blossom's part is lackluster by comparison. Bubbles and Buttercup get pretty relatable situations, letting their imaginations fly with being indecisive and finding relocated items. Blossom, on the other hand, is getting angry over something most people would just brush off. Seems to be a general problem with Blossom, actually.
Anyway, she gets pelted by witchcraft-propelled groceries. That's all we get from this cut; it might as well have been tacked on to the earlier scene.
We smash cut to Bubbles, even if there was a very good opportunity to use those groceries as a transition, who is now in a cereal wonderland. This land is filled with cereal, their mascots, and some pretty shameless copyright infringement! Along with the other characters that are certainly on the side of parody, we have what is clearly Toucan Sam and Tony the Tiger just dancing along. Tony does look a little bit different with his yellow shirt, but that's clearly just Toucan Sam. They didn't even try to make him look different; he even has the same nose colors.
There's a possibility that they owed Kellogg's some product placement for making that Powerpuff Girls cereal from decades ago. I doubt it.
Everyone, except for Tony and Toucan Sam, the latter of which only appearing in that one shot, asks Bubbles to choose them, even telling her to take them all if she can't decide on one. Just like the Buttercup plot, this is relatable, though in a different way. Anyone had those times where they couldn't decide between one thing or another, even something as minor as cereal choice, and this is a decent metaphor for that mental state.
But we don't have time to think about that, because we already switched to the Buttercup plot. Buttercup manages to find Aisle 64, represented in her imagination as this secret warehouse with a little peephole. It's a nice touch. Eventually, the perpetrator of the jelly scandal smacks her with the door, and runs off with the last jelly jar in the store. Buttercup chases after him, and we get another smash cut to Bubbles.
The episode switching the channel yet again, we see that Bubbles finally decided on giving the aliens some Cherry Chimpanzees with their jelly. The other mascots don't take it too well. Again, a good sight into this kind of mental state; no matter which option you choose, you always get the feeling that the other choices were better. By the way:
Leprechaun Lingonuts mascot: When we're done with her, she'll be seeing stars...and rainbows, and...
That joke was funny. Maybe it's funny compared to the "it's not even made of real chimpanzees" joke that Not Count Chocula says, but still. Both FoodFight and this episode have obvious Count Chocula clones; I guess it's far less risky to skirt that copyright when he's already a parody.
Meanwhile, Blossom is cutting up all of those groceries, ending with Blossom making a cheese board, a fruit bowl, and a ham sandwich. The joke is...she's cutting up food? After effortlessly slicing and dicing like a Slap Chop, the Witch says this completely original line:
Witch of 116 Items: You fared well against the appetizers...but how will you do against the main course?!
Yeah, you're no Broccoloid, lady.
After a sword slice transition, something this episode needed more of, we see that Buttercup catches up to the jelly-thieving crook. She decides to reveal who he really is: Big Peanut Butter! Sort of like Big Tobacco and Big Pharma, Big Peanut Butter was in a conspiracy to make him more desirable for the recipe. He snaps his fingers, and his goons show up, ready to take her on, crunchy-style. Buttercup, undeterred, says this one liner:
Buttercup: I always know how to get out of a jam!
I'll give them this: it's better than "let's strawberry jam out of here."
Unlike Bubbles, who runs away at the sight, Buttercup isn't afraid to punch out all of the goons in a slideshow beatdown. And then Buttercup realizes she's now surrounded by four heavily bruised customers, plus a poor clerk with a broken jaw. Okay, that actually didn't happen...as far as this episode is concerned, anyway.
She asks the monkey what she can do about this. Gasp, Bubbles talking to animals that can't talk back?! One minor bit of disappointment is that she just talks to it in English just like Lassie. All the pieces were set for another animal impression; it's an animal, Bubbles can supposedly still talk to animals, and, even though he's a cereal mascot, that monkey can't even talk!
This monkey's plan is to melting them all with milk. Can't say it's not a fitting end for this part, though she should thank the shooting stars and four leaf clovers that Captain Roofofyourmouthkiller wasn't one of the options.
We quickly go through everyone else's ending in the same haphazard way the rest of the episode goes through, which fits a lot better since this is what leads to the conclusion. Buttercup, even with her ability to fly super fast, even keeping her green contrail that doesn't make sense with the part's style, she couldn't stop the Jelly from crashing into the ground.
As for Blossom, the Witch just ends up running out of items. Seeing an opportunity to attack, she takes out some baguettes and starts to slideshow beat down her into submission with them. Why baguettes?
Because that's what she was holding outside of their imagination. Okay, I slightly lied about lying about Buttercup, though we never get to see who or what she beat up outside of her imagination. The Reboot Puffs get banned from the Savings Pig, leaving them with no other option but to serve the aliens a casserole made of whatever they had in the cupboard. To make this long story short, they get away with it. They even say they got away with it.
Buttercup: Uh, did we just get away with this?
Yeah, in your universe, maybe. Oh, and thanks for forgetting the lesson you learned in Imagine That, girls. That is how the episode ends. Once again, the day isn't saved thanks to the Powerpuff Girls. They just get away with it, don't they?
Does the title fit?
Perfectly describes one of the plots in this episode, at least.
How does it stack up?
While the way I ended this review made it seem like I was going to give this a Disgusted, I couldn't really give it one in the end. I can't really knock this episode's creativity. The Buttercup part is a good send-up of the usual film noir tropes, the Bubbles part has a few decent jokes, and the Blossom part participated.
In the end, it's not okay enough for a Happy, nor is it offensive enough for a Disgusted. In the immortal words of Fake Tony the Tiger, this episode is grrrr-medio-grrrr.
Next, this show lays another bomb.
← Brainlord ☆ Drama Bomb →
Powerpuff Girls 2016 - “Tagalong”
Written by: Haley Mancini
Written & Storyboarded by: Benjamin P. Carow, Caitlin Vanarsdale
Directed by: Nick Jennings, Bob Boyle
A tale of tails.
After having a road trip with Bubbles so long ago, it's now time for the Professor to take Blossom out on a road trip. They have to get to Citiesville to, get this, the State Science Fair. Out of the last four episodes I reviewed, three of them involved a different science convention, and the only exception didn't have the Professor in it. Maybe he was at the Monster Island Syence Festival that day.
It is a little different: it's not the Professor that's entering this fair, but Blossom. She has a science project to show off, though it had to be a Plan B, as she couldn't finish the Plan A in time. The Professor tells the other two to be good, and stick together. Bubbles seems to like the latter far more than Buttercup, as she ends up being super clingy in this episode just so Buttercup has a reason to not want to be with her.
Buttercup has every other reason, because he has her own plans: the day happened to be the release of the the 100th issue of the Space Towtruck comic book! Buttercup doesn't want Bubbles to join in, because her hands are always sticky. Bubbles then starts chewing on taffy, getting it all over her hands, only because she needed to prove Buttercup's points.
Buttercup quickly flies off to get that comic book, hoping that Bubbles wouldn't follow her.
We then go through various scenes where Buttercup tries to hide in different places to lose Bubbles, but Bubbles and her sticky fingers and face already beat her to them. One of these is a garbage disposal. Silly Buttercup, that's where she belongs!
Buttercup does manage to find one place where Bubbles doesn't want to look into, even though it's probably just as fitting for a Reboot Puff to be in...
...the sewers! She also beat up any monstrous sewer clown that offered her any balloons, judging by that one right next to her. I do appreciate the subtlety, as one might miss this on their first time watching this.
Luckily, not only did she make it to the comic book store in time, she managed to get the very last copy. Buttercup is so understanding at all the poor people who couldn't get that limited edition.
Buttercup: Muhahahaha! In your face, anyone who isn't me!
She can't even be subtle about it, even doing an evil laugh while pointing at all the sad Space Towtruck fans. They might as well draw her with lightning strikes and give her devil horns. Really, this is all so we don't have to feel bad for Buttercup when this comic she saved up for a year for gets ruined. She's the bad guy!
It's pretty fair to say that Bubbles is half as bad, as the first thing she does is fly up to Buttercup and grab her comic book to see how cool it is. She couldn't even bother to wash her hands before handling the precious merchandise. Bubbles tries to fix this by tearing the comic in half. How would Bubbles think this would help anything...I should stop at the word "think".
After easily being handed the two halves of the comic from Bubbles, because the damage has already been done, Buttercup flies home to find some tape or glue to stick the two halves together. She also tries to avoid Bubbles and her constant offers to help out. Judging by Bubbles actions in this episode, that's a right assumption.
Eventually, this leads to a tug-of-war with a little bit of cartoon smoke cloud fighting mixed in. They happen to be doing this above Blossom's Plan A: a chemical. Eventually, they fall on top of the table, causing that chemical to spill on top of them, causing an explosion.
That chemical turned out to be a DNA combining tonic, and thanks to that, for most of this episode, Bubbles' head is now attached to Buttercup's butt. They never put it that way, but that's what's happening here. She's even a rather stretchy tail, because of all that taffy she was eating. See, there was a point to that beyond ruining Buttercup's comic.
Buttercup isn't too pleased with this situation, more due to the sister she was trying to avoid being connected to her at all times, and the situation gets even worse when the smartphone hotline rings. Funny how crime only seems to happen at the most inconvenient times.
This time, it's Discount Jojo riding a tank shaped like his silly hat, armed with a hammer made to destroy the Townsville Dam. Why? Because his evil lair needs an oceanside view! Unfortunately, Discount is stuck in a traffic jam, which he apparently didn't even notice until halfway through his announcement of his evil plan. Left with no choice, Discount does a one-liner.
Discount Jojo: It's hammer time!
Not going to touch that.
Wow, this season got pretty dark. Last episode had Blossom going to all-but-said-to-be-Hell for a dollar, and this episode outright has Discount Jojo crushing people in their cars. This doesn't have people screaming, or any bloodshed, but unless Jojo thought this parking lot was a traffic jam, there's no other conclusion from this.
While he sets his murder machine on autopilot, glad that was cleared up, Jojo has all the time to read the 100th issue of Space Towtruck. A huge coincidence, but a coincidence that does tie in to the other conflict of the story. This rampage has to be stopped, and who else should but a bug-eyed freak and her bug-eyed tail?
Unfortunately, they're having a problem being able to move together, almost turning into some sort of crazy mixed-up puff. Huh, crazy mixed-up puff, that sounds familiar. Jojo thinks this whole situation is hilarious, and Bubbles agrees, because oh, that silly Bubbles.
Buttercup decides to do one of her trademark plans: Operation Battlestar! Yeah, I guess she's taking over for Blossom, since she's too busy at that science fair.
Unfortunately, the two had different ideas on what "Battlestar" meant. Bubbles thought it was a starfish, while Buttercup thought it was a tank. While Bubbles is usually the silly blonde, I can see why she was confused here. After Jojo hammers this useless combination, he says that this is a lot like the comic book he's reading. He does explain he stole an early copy of it, to explain how he got a limited edition comic and that he's even more evil because he didn't even have to save up for it.
Bubbles tells Jojo that this is the comic she was going to read, and tells him to not spoil it for her. Having not went to the Swiper school of surprisingly suggestible villains, Jojo does his most insidious plan yet: spoil the big plot twist! You won't believe what kind of reaction comes after this!
Yeah, they just drew a little smiley face on Bubbles and called it a day. How lazy! Oh, and the chemical has mutated Buttercup even further, turning her into a two-frame muppet with 5 sugar cubes for teeth.
I get it, spoiling a major story arc is minor compared to, say, crushing people's bones in a traffic jam, so maybe Buttercup is supposed to be animated like an overreacting buffoon. They could have done that without giving us whatever this was. Unfortunately, this hideous animation does not scare off Jojo's intention to spoil the shocking twist...
Discount Jojo: Space Cat grows wings!
Buttercup: NOOOOOOO! (falls face fist into the concrete)
To people who don't know that epic Space Tow-Truck lore, as I sure didn't until I looked back at the one episode that actually had it, Space Cat is Space Tow-Truck's beloved pet cat. Unlike normal animals in this universe, Space Cat can only meow. How unrealistic!
Why am I talking about this? To distract you from Discount Jojo's overly wrinkled face in this one shot. They sure hate the elderly.
After Buttercup's big no, we cut to the B plot of the episode, where the judges are saying a big yes to Blossom's project! A better transition than the last episode. They did cut to this plot a little bit before, but it's just to set up that Blossom only brought this baking soda volcano.
The crux this B plot is that said baking soda volcano project, a stock science project that's appeared in many, many other cartoons, is considered original compared to the DNA combining projects everyone else was doing. That's the entire joke. Well, there is this one:
Random kid: Aw.
Moose: That's okay, son. Better luck next year.
Forget the volcano plot or the tail Bubbles plot, I'm way more interested in how that kid turned his father into a moose/eagle hybrid.
Sadly, they cut back to that tail Bubbles plot, leaving us only to wonder the possibilities. While Jojo drives up to the dam fully convinced that these two couldn't stop him, Bubbles asks Buttercup if she should stretch up there and get Jojo's comic book while he's busy flooding Townsville. Wow, Bubbles just really likes to steal comic books in this episode! Sure, she's stealing it from someone who stole it himself, but still.
Buttercup has had enough of dealing with Bubbles' help, and angrily tells her to not do anything while she stops Jojo from flooding Townsville...
Bubbles: What's capeesh?
Bubbles: (softly, worringly) ...ca-pee-chee?
Bubbles pronunciation of that last word is closer to how capische is pronounced in Italian. If you don't remember, because her usage of it is practically mythical in this reboot, Bubbles has the ability to talk to animals. In the original, this did at least extend to human languages like Spanish and Japanese. This could be a joke on that, or maybe I'm just looking too deep into this. Probably the latter.
After telling him "not so fast, Mojo!", with the person who would say "Jojo" keeping her mouth shut, Buttercup attempts to do a slideshow beatdown. Unfortunately, Discount Jojo wasn't a dummy, because he buckled his safety belt! Well, at least I can't fault this show's educational value. Showing no damage, and Buttercup never even attempting to unbuckle the seatbelt, Discount decides it's...
Discount Jojo: Time to bring the hammer down!
From MC Hammer to C.W. McCall. Okay, it's not an exact quote. This hammer hits Buttercup, making her hit the dam. Thankfully, this doesn't break the dam. Well, damn, how they would fix that would have been a little more interesting to see.
Before Buttercup can hit the ground, Bubbles ends up biting a nearby tree, saving Buttercup before "getting hurt". I guess since falling from a great height caused the Puffs to be bandaged from head to toe in the last episode, it's better safe than sorry. Bubbles then, with tears, apologizes for disobeying her, saying that she only wanted to hang out with her.
Anyone can guess what's coming after that: the once an episode "I'm sorry for being a jerk" scene, which seems so sudden. A minute ago, she was telling Bubbles not to do anything, but after that one time Buttercup was "saved", she's now talking about how she likes to spend time with her, too! Since when?
Finally, with this family issue quickly getting resolved in a forced way, the combined Powerpuff Girl can strangle someone.
No, Bubbles, not strangle her! This strangling does give Buttercup an idea: to do Operation Taffy Tangle. Isn't making up these operations more Blossom's thing?
If there's one thing I can't fault this episode for, at least they knew what to do with the stretchy tail. Bubbles does use her tail's stretchiness to go into Discount's vehicle's gears, which were stationary until this one scene, and break the vehicle from within. Then, they do a combined aura power.
At first, I thought, wait, why is the shark green? But then I realized what was actually happening: the blue and green auras combined together into a hybrid, and a different kind than the kind of hybrid they usually do in this series. This makes sense, since they're both a part of the same body now, and it also gives some closure to the starfish tank scene from earlier. At first, they were like two parts that didn't go together, and now that they're working as a team, they make this hammer/shark hybrid creature. At least I can appreciate this twist.
In the end, Discount Jojo's gets bruised and beaten just like old times. And once again, the day is saved, thanks to...
...Space Towtruck. Sure, the Narrator is still probably enjoying his 100 day vacation along with Miss Bellum, my headcanon, but the reference is an okay substitute. Also, it appears to be taped up, so Bubbles initial plan to steal Jojo's pristine comic didn't happen. Probably a better idea.
This episode ends with Blossom and the Professor coming in to see what happened and gasping at it. We're left to wonder how they get Bubbles and Buttercup of their situation, and that wonder will probably be better than what this reboot would come up with.
Does the title fit?
Bubbles does act as the tagalong, whether it's because she's intentionally being annoying, or because she's directly tied to her.
How does it stack up?
This episode heavily reminds me of that one Dexter's Lab episode with the Chinese finger trap, except they did this conjoined twin thing instead. Other than that, it's just a by-the-numbers plot. I can't really hate this one too much, but I wouldn't want to stick to it, either.
Are you tired of Discount Jojo? If yes, why, and if no, good news, because he's in the next one as well.
← Our Brand Is Chaos ☆ Brainlord →
Powerpuff Girls 2016 - “Cat Burglar”
Written by: Haley Mancini
Written & Storyboarded by: Benjamin P. Carow, Caitlin Vanarsdale
Directed by: Nick Jennings, Bob Boyle
Does it belong in the litterbox?
Our episode begins with this cat-like villain wandering around Townsville, ending up at the Old Townsville History Museum, clearly with the intent to steal its most precious item: a pickle-shaped key. As soon as this thief makes a cat shaped hole in the glass protecting it, far too small for the key to fit through, an alarm sounds.
A second later. I would question, but they do explain it later. Unfortunately, the Cat Burglar decides not to heed Blossom's advice and leaves with the key as soon as Blossom and Bubbles open their eyes. Blossom theorizes the villain was just too fast.
As soon as she says that, Buttercup, being mysteriously absent when the Cat Burglar was on screen, quickly enters the scene. She bashes into a wall, asks where the bad guy is at, and kicks a statue of Townsville's 1st Horse. At least that gets a label. It's almost like she got interrupted from something important, like stealing a giant pickle key, but that can't possibly be it.
The next day, Bob LaGrange and Nick LaNobodyKnows report on the cat burglar, who has been stealing precious things all around Townsville. In unrelated news, even they say, they talk about how this rare Fabergé egg sandwich is being shown off at the Gemnasium, talking about how priceless it is. There's a joke there that may have been intended; it's clear that the newscasters are just begging for it to get stolen so they have something to report tomorrow.
That's just not enough for this scene, as Bob ends this newscast with a joke about how he hopes that burglar will skip breakfast. Nick then complains that Bob stole his joke, and tells Bob that he's going to get it. At most, this fills up a minute they probably couldn't fill otherwise.
Blossom and Bubbles are angered by this news for different reasons, reminding us that they are separate characters with separate opinions. Blossom is angry that they got away, while Bubbles is angry that they are defiling the good name of kitties everywhere. The Powerpuff Girls know not to just assume it's a boy thief or a girl thief, and use the singular "they".
They do get distracted by that Fabergé egg sandwich, long enough to not pay Buttercup any mind when she suspiciously tells the girls she needs to go to the bathroom. A few seconds after Buttercup leaves, they get a call from the Mayor.
Turns out, the burglar does know the importance of the first meal of the day, and has stolen the egg sandwich before the Puffs could even show up this time. The Mayor is sad about this egg sandwich, bu he doesn't even mention that pickle key. Why even make the first item stolen a pickle key if you're not going to do anything with its obvious association?
While the Cat Burglar did cut the lights, and the alarm if their lack of mention of it says anything, the Mayor only knows what he heard: "later, dude" in a gravelly and yet girlish voice. Not girly enough for him to not call the thief a "he"; I guess The Mayor is too old fashioned for the singular they. Bubbles reacts, because she's the only person in the entire world that calls people dudes.
Blossom and Bubbles get a notification that the Townsville Mint's alarm is going off. At least that explains how the Powerpuff Girls were able to know immediately when the pickle key was getting stolen, though it doesn't help that this notification uses the ringtone. I almost thought the Mayor was calling them somehow.
At the Townsville Mint, they finally catch the Cat Burglar in the act, and the Cat Burglar immediately attacks. This is where we get our big fight scene between the two Puffs and this Cat Burglar. This person can beat up the Powerpuff Girls, even Bubbles' aura powers succumbs to the almighty might of a cat scratch.
As outright violence didn't help, Blossom decides to use her wit. She uses her eye lasers to laser a giant coin, letting it fall and hit the burglar right on the head.
Cat Burglar: You're going to need more than a few cents to stop me!
Blossom and Bubbles: Huh?
Were they going huh at how the burglar managed to survive, or did they not understand that sense and cents pun? Bubbles says that burglar sure sounded like Buttercup, but Blossom responded that it wouldn't make any...sense. See, there was a point to that joke.
We fade cut to the Powerpuff home, where Buttercup mysteriously has an ice pack over her head. She claims that she was body slamming some tractors, because she's the tomboy and that means she has to do man man man things. Blossom and Bubbles look at each other, not believing Buttercup at all, knowing fully well who the culprit has to be.
In a secret bedroom meeting away from Buttercup, they talk about how it is clearly Buttercup. Really, the only real things against Buttercup being the culprit is that we never see the Cat Burglar fly, and that the cat burglar has claws, implying fingers. The Powerpuff Girls don't walk and don't suddenly grow fingers...in this episode, anyway.
Bubbles ends up thinking it isn't Buttercup, but not for any sensible reason. Bubbles, telling Blossom not to laugh, says she thinks it was a piece of cheesecake. Blossom laughs at this, but I wouldn't have reacted with laughter. I would be worried about Bubbles' mental well-being. Bubbles was outright saying it sounded just like Buttercup a few scenes ago, a few scenes before that, and even a few scenes after this, so this gag doesn't even fit in. I guess they just needed a "oh, that silly blonde" joke.
But enough about trying to put in logic in Bubbles-related gags, we got more gags to fill this episode with. They get a call from the Mayor, who hired this bounty hunter to do a lookout for the cat burglar. He then cartwheels out of a window, screaming in pain.
Yes, this could be considered another “time-wasting” gag, but at least it's quick, fitting of this episode, and actually sort of funny. I can see the humor in this guy incompetently trying to spot this thief, and getting hurt along the way. Sadly, this is the only time it appears, as they decided to focus on what they thought were much better jokes...
...like this joke where Bob and Nick get angry at each other again for what feels like another minute! There's a minor payoff where Bob and Nick end up getting into a fist fight leading to. Oh yeah, and that Gemnasium is getting a pearl onion casserole. At least their food/jewel pun jokes are as good as they could be.
That night, they go undercover to see what’s really going on at the Gemnasium. Blossom even came up with a secret identity: she's Palomar Rodriguez, a shipping manufacturer that wants to know the price of lumber. Bubbles only came up with "I have a mustache" in a funny accent. They could have just as easily just hid behind the bench, but this scene does do its job in filling even more time.
They also bring up that cheesecake again, as Bubbles points towards a piece of it that happened to be in the garbage. At least it is where it belongs.
She's at a soup kitchen that happened to be behind the Gemnasium. Not only is Buttercup not the thief, but she's the exact opposite of a thief; she's a giving person, giving soup to the homeless. She even bumps her head on the pans.
Bubbles wonders why Buttercup and the Cat Burglar are never seen together, or who or what the Cat Burglar really could be. Such logic coming from the person who thought cheesecake was the true evil of this episode; it really shows how out of place that gag is.
Even though they see the Cat Burglar go into this indeterminate factory and how they did it, they decide to burst through the walls anyway. I'm not complaining, at least it's more confirmation they can still do that without breaking their bones! Saying "not so fast", bursting through the walls, this is already more Powerpuff Girls than a lot of reboot episodes are.
They corner the Cat Burglar, who cannot be Buttercup, and the burglar decides to reveal themselves. Or, as it turns out...HIMself!
Oh, I wish.
...well, no, I don't...
...but it would have made more sense than Pug-Faced Pauly. I would not be surprised if they came up with a plot where Blossom and Bubbles suspect Buttercup is a criminal long before they decided who the real culprit should be.
He even spends the time explaining how Pug-Faced Paulie managed to steal Buttercup's only apparent defining trait: he hung out with a bunch of surfers! The one thing they didn't explain is how he can easily defeat the Powerpuff Girls without his Chompers, but I think three seasons of Anything Punch Girls Down already did.
Pug-Faced Pauly: ...and hang 10! Hang 10 for good!
Yeah, good luck trying to hang someone who can fly, Pauly. At least, I think that's what you are implying. The Powerpuff Girls surrounded by his gang, and we are left to wonder if the Powerpuff Girls would be beaten up by this gang of dogs. Before Pauly could give us the answer, he's interrupted by a brand new set of characters.
That's because these cats show up. We get to meet Pauly's arch-nemesis-that-we-will-never-see-outside-of-this-episode, Bella Bengal Bobtail and her gang, Da Cats. They're angry because they heard about this plan to give cats a bad name, giving a little more weight to why it's Pauly instead of, say, The Caped Cheesecake Curmudgeon.
I like how they have detailed drawings of each of the members, just like Pug-Faced Paulie did in his first appearance. There’s a lot of variety, with plenty of potential jokes they could do with them. They could have been in an interesting episode on their own, but we only have two minutes left.
They get into a big slideshow psychedelic fight scene. The Powerpuff Girls decide not to get involved, and...that's it, really. While it is implied that the cats are winning, we never really see a conclusion to this fight. It just seems to go on off-screen while the Powerpuff Girls just sit and watch.
Buttercup eventually shows up, also bursts through the wall. Blossom and Bubbles tries to get Buttercup to spill the beans, but she makes up yet another story. They end up deciding that it isn't that important to know why Buttercup thinks it's so horrible to let people know she helps the needy.
The Mayor suddenly shows up, also knowing exactly where the Powerpuff Girls were, to show off that he figured out who the real culprit is. I'll give you a hint: it's not apple pie!
Does the title fit?
Name of a character episode that happens to be a pun on an actual term, which is better than a normal name of a character episode.
How does it stack up?
I wouldn't call this a bad episode, but not an episode I would want to watch again. The jewel food puns are at least actual jokes, and they did put some effort to the cat counterpart to Pauly's gang. It's too bad there's really only 5 minutes of actual plot here, with everything else focusing on jokes that aren't really that funny. This cat burglar coughed up a hairball, but at least it's not puke.
Next, one of the Gorillaz makes a guest appearance! I hope it's Noodle!
← The Spoon ☆ Hustlecup →
Powerpuff Girls 2016 - The Top Title Cards
One of the artistic choices the show makes is its use of unique title cards. On one hand, the reboot's title cards lack the punch of the original's. The original had the Powerpuff Girls flying, making. In the reboot, it's lumpy text with some drawings surrounding it with some soft ambient techno over it. On the other hand, the reboot lacks the punch of the original, so they fit perfectly.
One improvement I can see with these title cards is the variety. The originals do not have pictures, it's just white text on black background. The reboot has these works of art for each episode. I don't hate the original's title cards, far from it, but I couldn't rank them. Just for fun, I’m going to rank my top favorite title cards of PPG 2016. These will be ranked based on if they fit their episode and whether or not they look great.
10. The Trouble With Bubbles
Out of all the Bubbles coding episodes, this is my favorite one. While the title is actually kind of generic, it does show that this is an episode where Bubbles codes a clone of herself and prints it with a 3D printer. The title is even laid out in a way similar to Scratch, a beginner's programming language that the Powerpuff Girls even had a tie-in with at one point. It's a little more literal than something abstract or symbolic, but it works.
9. The Secret Life of Blossom Powerpuff
Yes, they actually believed that the Powerpuff Girls' last name should be Powerpuff in Season 1. Let's ignore that, as that's one of the few aspects they did change their mind on in Season 2. I like this effect of Blossom getting split into two different versions of herself, one in a Victorian dress, and the other as an astronaut. This does perfectly show what this episode is going to be about: Blossom imagining herself as different versions of herself much like Walter Mitty.
They had to leave out one Blossom for this title to look good. Honestly, I would have went with the breakdancer Blossom, as it would have been a contrast between the elegant Victorian Blossom. The astronaut Blossom still works as a "Past vs. Future" contrast, and the cynic in me also notes that they are also the low points of the episode.
8. The Tell Tale Schedulebot
Maybe I'm going for more of how it looks rather than what it represents. The title references a horror story, and, while it's not exactly a reference to the original story, the title card represents a horror theme. Yes, Schedulebot seemingly rises from the dead in one of the very, very few times they referenced plots from previous episodes, and the title card shows it as this zombie rising from the dead. They put this title card in this artsy cloud-esque smudge, with lightning inside of it, which adds to the effect.
7. Once Upon A Townsville
The episode's idea is that it's a Disney-esque princess in a modern day world. I did not get this at first, thinking this was just a generic city. I didn't even notice the little circle around it, which is supposed to represent that part of the logo where Tinkerbell flies around the Disney castle in an arc.
I think the less said about Once Upon A Townsville, the better, so let's move on.
6. Save The Date
Not all of my favorite title cards are graphically complex, as this one is pretty simple: just Ms. Keane and a really, really big shadow. The obvious meaning comes from how Ms. Keane turns into a giant in this episode. I can't help but see another meaning in this, referring to the other plot of the episode that is intertwined with.
Ms. Keane is on her first date with some random dude, and she is not confident about it. She can't walk in high heels, she has a zit that we thankfully never get to see, and she's late! Maybe I'm looking too deep into this, but I'll still rank it this high.
5. Breaking Bliss
Also known as part four of the Power of Four, which is actually five parts long. Each part of the Power of Four has a standalone version, complete with its own unique title card. This is the only special to get this treatment; Small World just uses that magic hat for every episode. Outside of Find Your Bliss, which just has the title on 3D glasses, they're all pretty good. I even like Bliss Reminisce's title card, with. I decided to choose only one, and it was a tough pick between this one and Blisstersweet Symphony.
In the end, I went with this one, which is a good representation of the episode. Bliss is utterly broken inside in this episode, and the title card puts that in a symbolic way that looks aesthetically pleasing. The only real problem with this one is that the text seems to be put as an afterthought. Granted, this title card never aired on US TV; Power of Four only aired as a special, and that only came with a rather generic title card of four Powerpuff Girls flying.
4. Power Up Puff
Rather than outright showing the aura powers that were the star attraction to this episode, this episode focuses more on how Blossom seems to be overshadowed by her sisters. I do like the idea behind this one; Blossom is just way in the background while her sisters do these poses.
I will say the drawing is a bit awkward here. They forgot Buttercup's all-important cowlick, which is shockingly common in title cards. so it's a little bit lower than another episode that has a similar idea.
3. Bubbles The Blue
Well, this episode seems to rank high in any PPG 2016 list I would make. Bubbles is sitting down, looking sad, while her sisters are very tiny. I would say it represents their understanding of the episode's situation, and not in a way that can be blamed on bad writing. This episode's title card is very similar to the last entry in this list. Honestly, I would have had this in a tie.
Also, they actually remembered Bubbles' pigtail bubbles. That doesn't look like Blossom or Buttercup, though. That looks like a wrapped peppermint and one of those Ring Pops. I can still see what they were doing there.
2. Can't Buy Love
One of the more artsy title cards. They could have just had a cupcake, but instead, we get this romantic shot under the moonlight. One may have to ignore the participants here. If it is your thing, that's fine, but I don't think a lot of people would have wanted BarryBucks. The joke is that's the case even in-universe.
This episode is about Princess believing this fantasy this title card seems to portray. Everyone else around her isn't even aware of this, including the hunk-in-her-eyes-and-only-her-eyes Barry. Since this episode is from her perspective, the title card decides to use a shot from her perspective.
There's absolutely no way this title card wouldn't be #1. Just look at that volcano's majesty. The detailed lines, those two trees that give the title card more body, and that sculpt of the villain's face. This volcano lair looks like something straight out of those 80's cartoons with the over-the-top bad guys, which is exactly what they were going for with this episode's lead villain. This one is a work of art, plain and simple.
I'm not going to do a Bottom 10, because most of the bad title cards can be summed up as "yup, that's an X", with maybe some text put in as an afterthought. I will do a bottom 3, though.
3. Man Up 3: The Good, The Bad, and the Manly
One thing I didn't really notice is that they did remove the wacky inflatable tube man from the second Man Up. They didn't do it for this one. Man Up 4 at least had a different title card. Sure, it's just a strawberry, a reference to a plot that rarely even appears in the episode, but it's better than reusing the same log and tube man again and again.
The biggest flaw with this one besides the reuse is a similar problem the second one had: this title card doesn't convey Man Up 3 to me. It's just Man Up, with some really tiny fine print that says it is the third one.
2. Odd Bubbles Out
It's a Bubbles head surrounded by hearts, which has basically nothing to do with this episode, as Bubbles, surprisingly, never really got a love interest. Maybe it's supposed to represent the love of her friendship with Donny and only Donny that depends on his friendship with Bubbles and only Bubbles, but that's a stretch.
Also...Odd Bubbles Out? I know I'm judging these title cards based on their artwork rather than their titles, but that has to be addressed. It's a play on being the Odd One Out, which is certainly what's happening in this episode, but I can't even consider it a pun.
1. The Bubbles-Sitters Club
It just looks like a screenshot they put a sillohuette on. If they couldn't even bother to make the text not look like something they just slapped on at the last second, why should I put more effort in describing it?
Next week, I'm going to dedicate Saturdays to DuckTales 2017 reviews, since that show is returning. Just one per week; as much as I want to review them quickly, I'd rather not have another hiatus. I also need the time for college. See you soon!
Powerpuff Girls 2016 - “Watch It!”
Written by: Haley Mancini, Jake Goldman
Written & Storyboarded by: Alicia Chan, John West
Directed by: Nick Jennings, Bob Boyle
Yeah, this show should watch it.
Our episode begins at the Townsville Art Museum. Townsville seems to have fifty department stores and about a hundred science conventions, but this art museum that was featured in Man Up 3: The One That's Even Worse Than The First One gets to be featured again. This Art Museum proudly displays art that's good according to that sign. Or maybe it's just a sign saying "Art: That's good!". I can't really tell.
Dame Elsbeth, presumably the owner of this museum, has called the Powerpuff Girls for an emergency. Buttercup immediately assumes a red bee is the problem, and tries to hit it with a rolled up newspaper until Elbeth protects it. See, it's not just a bee, and it's not just a ruby, it's a Rubee! Get it? Someone doesn't, and it's no surprise which one.
Bubbles: Uh, I'm confused. But that happens a lot, so it's okay!
I would chalk that up to Bubbles being written like Patrick Star again, but I tend to get confused by what happens in the reboot, too. The Powerpuff Girls were called because this priceless artifact, the most valuable item in the entire museum, is completely unprotected from potential thieves.
They did have a high-tech security system in place, but someone shoved a meatball sub into the control panel, causing it to malfunction. I have read so much Not Always Right to tell you that nothing is unrealistic when it comes to people ruining technology in unique ways. Oh, if only if there was some other way to protect valuable pieces of art. Like, I don't know, some sort of glass box surrounding it like that Anubis thinker right next to the security guard? Maybe it's just too powerful to be in one? I don't know.
The head of the museum decides that three six year old girls are perfect candidates for protecting this artifact. They are superheroes with really, really big eyes, but the former does cause a problem. What if something bad happens in Townsville, and the Powerpuff Girls have to stop it? Monster attacks seem to be pretty high in this season, though that's not that much of an accomplishment.
This episode is no exception, and it's even something that isn't a silly monkey with a silly hat or someone who sounds just like him. Cat-Thulhu has risen, destroying the city and eating 1d3 pieces of catnip every turn. If you wanted to hear the Mayor call something "eldritch", this is your episode.
Blossom comes up with a plan: one of them will keep a close eye on the Ru-Bee, the other two will fight Cat-Thulhu. Buttercup is excited to answer that call to Cat-Thulu to avoid having to learn anything, until Blossom tells her she's going to be the one to watch the Rubee. Buttercup tries something to get out of this, and it's confusing to say the least.
Buttercup: Come on! Let's decide by age or something.
Blossom: Fine! Bubbles and I will fight Cat-Thulu, Buttercup, you stand guard.
Buttercup: Wait, Bubbles isn't older than me!
Blossom: I'm counting mentally.
The joke requires enough brain cells to realize she's indirectly calling Buttercup less than intelligent, but not enough to remember that the Powerpuff Girls were born at the same time. I can see what kind of joke they were going for, but it just doesn't work in the context of this series. Even of the context of this episode, judging by that "I'm normally confused" line from earlier.
Once again, PPG 2016 does another three shorts episode, focusing on how each Powerpuff Girl would protect a priceless ruby. Buttercup starts out by looking around for any suspicious people, and her eye manages to spy a Steampunk Waluigi laughing maniacally. Buttercup reacts accordingly.
Bloo said it better, needless to say. She confronts this, and he says he's just a gem afficinado, and thieves are just. Buttercup decides to take this rather suspicious man's word for it, and grabs a baby who happened to be crawling around where the Rubee is. Before she can punch out a baby, another guy shows up to be in awe over the Rubee.
This leads to Buttercup giving a slideshow beatdown to a bunch of people who just happened to be wandering by the Rubee, using the baby as a weapon! The baby doesn't seem to care, which was probably the best case scenario with this entire "joke."
Meanwhile, we get a most shocking twist. You will never believe this, this is a scene I could not see coming.
Get this, Blossom and Bubbles are tied up by Cat-Thulu, absolutely helpless without the help of that rascally little green princess that normally takes on giant monsters like they're nothing! What an unpredictable turn of events.
While the two girly ones are struggling against the giant monster, the boyish one set up this airline security system. Don't think about it too hard; the show barely mentions how this would have solved the problem of the episode and just disappears after Buttercup's plot. It doesn't even attempt to explain how Buttercup managed to get said security system on a 6-year-old's allowance.
This new security system leads to another problem: namely, Buttercup being way too suspicious. She ends up arresting Barry for the crime of carrying a piece of gum with him, because he could have reshaped it into a Gumblebee that can be used for Indiana Jones-style swiping. Heh, Rubee, Gumblebee, their use of bee puns is as good as it can get. She then has the baby arrest him so they can make this joke:
Buttercup: You've been cuffed, son! Take him away, baby.
Get it, because it's a baby. That’s all I got; the baby doesn’t even really appear after Buttercup’s part with one little exception, which is not that much of a missed opportunity.
Buttercup gloats that nothing can get past her, and she almost catches a rather familiar looking crook until Blossom gets Monster Punch Girls Downed into the museum. This ended up being enough of a distraction for that familiar looking crook to nab the Rubee, and Blossom has to tell Buttercup someone is stealing it. I'll give you three guesses on who it is.
Yup, it's Discount Jojo. Again. They really waited until near the end of the Season to dump a lot of his episodes, didn't they? He doesn't even have a good reason to steal the Rubee, he's just doing it because he's evil. Buttercup just throws a vase at him. Leave it to Buttercup to irreparably damage the property of the museum while trying to protect other property. I guess that Rubee was just that valuable for nobody to notice.
Blossom, knowing that she couldn't defeat Cathulhu with Bubbles, decides to let Buttercup fight the monster, while she looks at the ruby. It's her turn. Don't think about the "mentally" joke here, because that only existed for that one scene.
Blossom's part is pretty simple. While she watches over the Rubee, a tour guide shows up to talk about its history. Blossom then gives that tour guide a "well, actually" and gives the true story of the Rubee. She then becomes the new tour guide, guiding these people to another part of the museum. Rubee be damned, she just can't help herself but express her knowledge.
...that's really about it for Blossom's part of the plot. It's kind of a sad theme with these three plots episodes; when all three sisters are involved, Blossom always gets the short end of the stick. She had the worst part in The Squashening, she had the worst part in Splitsville, she had the worst part in the Small World special, and she had the worst part in Checkin' Out. The only episode I can think of where she didn't get the worst part was in Memory Lane of Pain, and that's only because Bubbles' part was just telling her how useless she is as an actual superhero.
If there's any positive thing I could say, it's that there's nothing offensive here. In fact, there is this one scene where Dame Elsbeth comes back and asks Blossom if her sisters are looking over the Rubee that she totally forgot about. Blossom looks back, and realizes that the Rubee is missing again, and she has to distract Elsbeth...by grabbing her and throwing her out of the room. I don't know why I chuckled at that, but I did.
This would have been a good opportunity to use different villains. I'd think the Fashionistas would have loved that Rubee on their fashionable rings, and I bet it was probably shiny enough for Pack Rat, a villain that hasn't made a major appearance since Season 1. Unfortunately, well, maybe somewhat fortunately for the latter case, that wasn't in the budget.
Instead, Discount Jojo just continues to steal it again and again, just evilly laughing about how he pulled off this perfect heist. At least there's some variety in how he's stopped. In this part, Blossom eye lasers a Gem Foot to kick Jojo right in the rear, causing him and the Rubee to fly across the room. A good visual, but leave it to Blossom to irreparably damage the property of the museum while trying to protect other property. I guess that Rubee was just that valuable for nobody to notice. I'd argue that boot should probably be more valuable than that ruby. I mean, look how huge it is!
As for Buttercup, surprisingly, it turns out that Cat-thulu was too powerful for her, too. Well, that might not be entirely the case. The reboot does make sure to show that Buttercup probably could have taken this eldritch abomination on if Bubbles wasn't trying to pat its tummy! Yes, they're seemingly going with the "Bubbles is grossly incompetent" angle that was also used in Memory Lane of Pain and a few other episodes.
At least she's not incompetent to show up just in time to grab the Rubee from Jojo's hands. Blossom asks the Cathulhu-scratched Bubbles what happened to Buttercup, and she says that Buttercup said she can handle this monster all by herself!
Buttercup: (in Cathulhu's maw) AAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!
Bubbles: I believe in her!
After the umpteen times Buttercup had to save her more feminine sisters, this is not entirely a Patrick Star Bubbles joke, even if it was most likely intended to be one. I'm sure they would use different terminology for it, but you get what I mean. Blossom tells her she will go help out Buttercup, and Bubbles should look at the Rubee, and...
Blossom to Bubbles' ears: Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah...
Bubbles also can't focus on anything, never mind a Rubee. I did not have high hopes for Bubbles' part in this story.
...and that might have been a good thing in the end, actually. Maybe my standards are getting pretty low, but I actually really liked Bubbles' part of the plot, where she just tries to entertain herself from this boring job of watching something that doesn't move or talk. Even George, the security guard that was trying to fix the security system by using other sandwiches, manages to be useful in this plot by being the person that tells her after all of her actions, she only spent ten minutes watching the Rubee. Bubbles goes mad from boredom.
Literally, as, much to the surprise of Bubbles, the Rubee comes alive. It's clearly a hallucination by Bubbles due to her boredom. I wish the scene could have implied the seemingly obvious without outright saying it, but I guess they didn't think of their audience that highly to assume they wouldn't figure that out without the bee saying "no, I'm just an hallucination, tee hee!" Show, don't tell.
Honestly, that's my only real complaint about this part, and it's a minor one. There's a musical number where Bubbles transitions to several different scenes with this personified Rubee, and it's pretty cute. I even like how Jojo comes in as a pretty good transition out of the musical number, and his method to play along with Bubbles' delusions in this part's "Jojo steals the Rubee" scene. Maybe it's in contrast to the other two parts, where he just yoinks it when the other sisters are away, but I thought it was clever.
Blossom and Buttercup end up beating up the monster, crushing all of Discount Jojo's bones. You'd think they'd be more careful after that Silico incident. Also, I can't help but see some sort of meaning to how Bubbles was involved in both of the times they weren't successful, and how she wasn't involved when the monster was defeated.
The episode ends with a callback to how Steampunk Waluigi said that a thief would be the one you would least suspect. At least, that's the most charitable explanation, and that alone makes it better than most of the reboot episode's endings.
Does the title fit?
The Powerpuff Girls do have to WATCH IT.
How does it stack up?
While not my favorite of the three shorts episodes, I expected a lot worse out of this one. I could see this as a decent Season 5 & 6 episode and a fourth-rate Season 1-4 episode, so that puts it up pretty high by reboot standards!
Next, the return of Donny and Man-Boy. May they have mercy on our souls.
← Drama Bomb ☆ Man Up 4: The Donnyest Game →
Powerpuff Girls 2016 - “The Fog”
Written by: Jake Goldman, Haley Mancini
Written & Storyboarded by: Benjamin P. Carow, Caitlin Vanarsdale
Directed by: Nick Jennings, Bob Boyle
It may be 4/20, but the fog isn't from that.
One of the sad things about the reboot is that newer audiences may associate The Powerpuff Girls with some terrible cartoon that aired in 2016 to 2019. One of the other sad things is that there are moments when the reboot almost gets something actually funny, but is ruined by either a bad performance or just poor timing. This opening joke with Discount Jojo opening his mail is an example of both.
Discount Jojo: Ugh, junk, junk, junk, letter from Aunt Janine? ...junk.
It took me three times to actually see that this was supposed to be a joke, and I can tell because he gets this wide eyed expression once he gets to it. I am sure it was supposed to be Jojo almost looking like he had some sort of soft spot for his aunt that we never heard of, but the line is read just as monotonously as the rest.
It could be likely that Roger L. Jackson is just getting through his lines to get this reboot over with. However, Jojo immediately disproves that as soon as he gets a special letter.
Discount Jojo got a free boat! Yeah, this is just the opening segment of Lisa the Skeptic. They couldn't even be bothered to come up with a different prize than the one Homer was lured in with. All he has to do is go to a hotel called the Doomflower. He walks in, and he falls into a trap door into a conference room, where he meets some other villains who were lured in by this obvious ruse.
He meets the Gnat, who laments that even with his great genius, he was fooled by this too. According to him, he's the greatest foe of the Powerpuff Girls, he should know! Yeah, I guess there's a joke here since Discount is supposed to be their arch enemy, and the Gnat is just...the Gnat. The other villains that will show up are not nearly as fitting as him or, sadly, Discount Jojo, but they're welcome anyway.
The Fashionistas show up, and I'm surprised to say there's a minor bit of continuity here. They actually remembered that Barbarus, the giant pink gorilla, is his ex-girlfriend. It's a plot thread that started in Monkey Love, and, unlike most potential plot threads in this reboot, managed to survive for another episode. Not much else is made of this outside of the one scene, which is a point in this episode's favor, but it was neat to see nonetheless.
Oh yeah, there's also these other guys that we never seen before. Not to say they have bad designs or anything, in fact, I could see potential in that ball of yarn villain, but they barely do anything to even be named in this review. Sorry if you wanted to see anything on the realm of Meet The Beat-Alls, and, if you did, welcome to the reboot. Abandon all hope, ye who enter here. In fact, calling this a "big villain team-up" episode would be an overstatement, as they don't really actually do any team moves.
As they're all wondering where the boat is, the mastermind behind this fake boat scam reveals themselves. It's The Sultan of Steam! The Villain of Vapor! The Cloud of Crime!
...The Fog, a cloud with glowing yellow eyes. This fog wants only one thing: the destruction of the Powerpuff Girls, and this villain is offering a bounty of one million dollars. This gets everyone interested, because they all wanted to do that anyway.
The anvil guy, it doesn't matter what his name is, protests, as he has never heard of this fog villain before. Speak for yourself. The fog then takes him down very easily just by enveloping him in the vapor and beating him up. This instantly gets all the villains to respect this new guy as their new leader. Even Jojo, which is kind of out of character for him. Maybe if it was Him or even Silico, maybe.
Suddenly, The Fog gets interrupted. This episode's running gag is Marsha of the Doomflower, showing up to make sure everything is going great. She's always acting all cheerful no matter what she's seeing. While I don't remember laughing at this, I certainly would know if I did, I at least find it kind of charming. It actually tying into the plot at one point helps a lot.
Meanwhile, the Powerpuff Girls are enjoying a nice sunny day with their sprinkler from Painbow. Thankfully, this is the only resemblance this episode has with Painbow outside of being a Buttercup-focused episode. Glad to see that the title card colored accordingly, a sad rarity in Season 3.
While the other two are enjoying playing around with the sprinkler, Buttercup is mad that she's not fighting bad guys and rescuing the people. Apparently, this has been one very slow month in Townsville. Thankfully, her wishes come true, as one-by-one, a villain shows up to try to defeat them once and for all.
The Gnat comes first, using a giant boot. He must have connections to that store that sold the giant terrarium and the giant jar, because that's the only place he could have got it. That's my headcanon. Unfortunately, for the Gnat, Buttercup easily punches him out, making him a rotating JPEG in the sky. Wow, that was easy!
The Fashionistas show up next, showing off their fall fashion line. Before they could do much of anything, they too become a rotating JPEG in the sky before long, this time by Bubbles! She actually gives reason to why they're beating her up aside from their threatening bling knuckles and beauty blasters.
Bianca Bikini: Fur coats!
Bubbles: No! (Makes fox aura) Fur is not fashion!
I mean, I'm not against this characterization for Bubbles. The one person who could talk to animals would be more conscious of such things. At least, I think she can still talk to animals, I wish we could have a reminder!
Discount Jojo shows up, too, with a helicopter hat. Blossom doesn't even need to come in to throw a punch, because Discount Jojo's hat ends up taking him to the sky for her. Why didn't I get a screenshot of this? Because it makes me sad.
I would talk about those other villains if they actually did anything. No really, they just forgot about them outside of the conference room moments. As an aside, it's a wonder how all these villains know where the Powerpuff Girls live; it's not like The Fog gave them directions.
Speaking of which, The Fog is not too happy with how none of them even landed a single punch on them. How did this Fog guy even know that they didn't? Hint #2 that something is up.
Bianca: At least our hair stayed in place. (hi-fives Barbarus)
They haven't done that many of those "gags so funny that they have to add in a fistbump as a makeshift laugh track" in season 3, so it took me a while to realize that is indeed a fistbump gag. Maybe that's a good thing, maybe it is not. What I can say is that Bianca's hair isn't even in place, so the joke does not even work.
As this villainous fog turns the crab man, it doesn't matter what his name is, into a Maine crab dinner, The Fog decides to forgo the entire "million dollar" and commands them to defeat the Powerpuff Girls or else. The Fog then gets another interruption from Marsha from the Doomflower Hotel, and we get hint #3 on something being up: she refers to The Fog as Ms. Fog. Well, maybe there's nothing saying The Fog couldn't be female, but as soon as the villains leave, we get our big reveal.
Oh yeah, hint #1 is that The Fog's voice just sounds like Bart Simpson with an even worse cold.
Yeah, The Fog is Buttercup, who was doing this just to get away from all of that boring sprinkler fun! Yes, Buttercup, a girl from a family that needs to shop at discount costume shop, managed to rent a giant conference room with a trap door. I could imagine a hotel called the Doomflower would have cheap rates, but there's no indication whatsoever that their service is poor or that their hotel has an abundance of spiders.
Buttercup knows this ruse will lead to a lot of action, and it sure did and sure will, even if it was far too one-sided. Buttercup says to herself if only Blossom could see her now, even if she knows that she would be in massive trouble if she did.
Blossom: She can.
Whoops! It turns out that Marsha has been giving some house calls to get The Fog to rate their quality service, and Buttercup decided to use the home phone number instead of using her cell phone. See, the running gag ties into the plot! If only more of them did. Buttercup gives her reasoning.
Buttercup: I'm bored! We haven't had a good fight in weeks!
Wow, even Buttercup is aware of how terrible the fight scenes are; it’s been at least 15 years since the last really good one. The two get concerned that these shenanigans will get them into trouble, because even they're aware that these plots just lead them to becoming the damsels in distress for the tomboy of the group to save. Buttercup just brushes them off, as it's not like anything bad is going to happen!
It turns out, the Destructo-Saur knows that there's a million dollars on the heads of those tiny little sugar pumpkins, and he wants it all! He says that The Fog sent him, even though Buttercup has never heard of this villain nor did she invite him with a boat that would be too small for him to enjoy. Something is up already, but there's no time to suspect anything.
Blossom starts the battle by doing what she does best: use her ice breath. Sure, the reboot has made some terrible decisions, but at least it knows Blossom's the only one who could do that! She also says a line that channels the spirit of Mr. Freeze from Batman & Robin. They may as well have done a direct quote; that movie is one of the few things this reboot could compare favorably to!
It doesn't work, of course. After seeing this dinosaur resist Blossom's ice breath, and not even making a single attempt to punch him, Bubbles comes to the obvious conclusion.
Bubbles: This guy's unstoppable!
Yeah, if only Erica The Red was still around! Thankfully for this episode, she’s not here.
After Buttercup fails to defeat him with a crossbow aura and her sisters get hit by a truck full of barbells, she gets stuck in a alleyway. Buttercup begs for mercy, and then another twist happens. It's actually a good twist here; it's one of the few decent moments out of a character that I usually dislike.
However, it does raise a few questions. I will spoil that the Powerpuff Girls end up being okay, even though they got hit by a truck full of barbells. I find it hard to just accept that they could survive getting hit by it, considering how easily they get defeated by things far less capable of defeating ordinary people.
Still in their bandages, the villains show up to finally do a team-up beatdown against the Powerpuff Girls for that sweet cash they were promised, and Buttercup ends the episode with this line:
Buttercup: If you start something...you have to end it!
This does makes me wonder if this episode was actually meant to be a season finale. I mean, we have a partial villain team-up, and the final shot is the Powerpuff Girls flying towards the villains. Well, I don't know what Bubbles is doing there, but I'd imagine the Gnat would get defeated by a stick.
Does the title fit?
Out of all the "name of a character" episodes, this one could at least represent that The Fog was this mysterious entity that nobody knew.
How does it stack up?
I was taken aback by this episode at first, but the less I saw this as a villain team-up and more of a Buttercup lesson episode, the more I grew to appreciate it. It's definitely one of the better Buttercup lesson episodes. It helps that this doesn't exactly turn into a "Buttercup has to save her sisters from a scheme she made", even if that's what it seems to imply at first.
I do wish they could have put in better fight scenes and actually did anything with those throwaway villains, but that's just a general feeling with the reboot. Other than that, a decent second twist, a running gag that fits in with the episode, and some potentially funny moments make this one of the better episodes in general. it's a fog I'm actually not unhappy to be in.
Next, a crucifixion. Seriously.
← Bucketboy! ☆ The Spoon →
Powerpuff Girls 2016 - “Rebel Rebel”
Written by: Haley Mancini
Written & Storyboarded by: John Martinez, Andy Cung
Directed by: Nick Jennings, Bob Boyle
With a rebel yell, I cried "no, no, no"!
Right from the beginning of this episode, I can tell that it was probably not a good idea to air this episode after Hustlecup. For one, it's another episode featuring the Professor in a not-so-great role. For two, while it starts in a science convention, this episode doesn’t start in the previous episode's Science-Palooza. Instead, it's just "Science Con", a name that will sadly hint at the amount of creativity this episode will have. I know that there's no continuity, but I would rather not be reminded of that.
The Professor, who can make anti-aging potions, growth rays, time-stopping hats, and time machines that only seem to affect people's clothing and personality, is about to show something amazing! He plays it up, with triumphant music playing in the background, which can only mean that it is not that impressive.
It turns out to be a data processing machine from his home lab, meant to record data from the Professor's many experiments in his home lab. The redundancy isn't entirely mine, he really emphasizes that he has a home lab. Home lab!
Nobody is impressed, not even Dr. Wendy Q. Dallen from Home, Sweet Homesick. Maybe they're just reusing the same character design since they don't clarify if it's her or not, but I'd like to think this was their attempt to make her episode's quality rub off on this one. Needless to say, it did not work.
Professor Utonium: What good is being a scientist if you can't talk science with other scientists?
Well, that's one reason to give up science and become a bumbling Sitcom Dad instead. However, it turns out a few scientists did happen to take interest in the Professor's amazing new invention, though they weren't nearly as interested in the data processing part.
Right from the bass-heavy music, one can guess that these guys are part of the Wrong Crowd(TM). That wing-haired guy even says that they're the "bad boys of science". They may as well be wearing big T-shirts saying "Hey Everyone, I'm The Bad Guy!". Knowing the Professor's Sitcom Dad-level obliviousness, I probably could suspend my disbelief for that.
Professor Utonium introduces himself to these fine upstanding young gentlemen, and these guys introduce themselves by singing their name in the style of a barbershop quartet. Sure, why not? It's funny because there's four of them. Who cares if it really doesn't fit their character and it's just completely random?
At least this fake TV show intro seems more fitting for them. They're Joe, Moe, Elbow, and Hieronymus Bass, known collectively as the Beaker Boys. The most interesting thing about this is that this scene has a narrator saying their names...and it happens to be Tom Kenny doing a slightly deeper version of his Narrator voice. Maybe this is his new job. Sadly, he does not get to stay, but he does clarify the Beaker Boys' motto:
Narrator: Real science ends in explosions!
This is emphasized by each Beaker Boy causing an explosion, whether it be via bombs, explosive chemicals, or throwing clipboards into metal vats. This is a huge contrast to the Professor, who just wanted to do actual science rather than just cause explosions all the time, but that doesn't stop him from wowing at all of this.
To be fair to the Sitcom Dad Professor, while their name is pretty close to those villains from that other show I cover, they do seem to give him more respect than any of the other scientists. They're impressed that the Professor wants to talk about real science, and, most importantly, he has a lab in his house! They want to see that lab, and ask the Professor if they could see it. The Professor has to ponder about it for a little bit.
And by a little bit, I mean not at all, as he immediately joins them on their chrome Segways. Get it, because they're nerds, but they're nerds that are bad to the bone. They even come with a biker-esque theme song.
Road hogs, rubber side down!
Hot chrome shining all over down!
I got the fever!
Eh, it's no "You're Riding That Hog".
The Beaker Boys show up at the Powerpuff home, doing the same barbershop quartet song. Blossom is the first to be skeptical about the Professor's new friends, and Elbow blowing their couch up with a chemical isn't exactly helping that suspicion. The Professor nervously laughs through all of this, mostly because they're probably his only friends that aren't family. The only other one I could think of turns into a giant spider monster.
You probably already guessed this stock plot: someone joins the wrong crowd, the wrong crowd turns on that someone, and that someone has to save himself from all the trouble they caused. The only twist is that it's the adult that has to learn his lesson from his own children. Blossom raises a concern about having these guys crash their house, and she is apparently not alone.
Blossom: All they do is blow stuff up!
Buttercup: Which is good for me as a friend, but I got to agree with Blossom here.
Why? Yes, it's perfectly logical for Buttercup to not trust someone who blows up people's couches for no reason, but logic never stopped Buttercup before. Bubbles doesn't even get a line here. The Professor pays his children's warnings with no mind, because, as their father, he knows how to make responsible decisions. Yeah, you tell yourself that, Sitcom.
Immediately after saying that, he gets peer pressured into blowing up Albert Einstein's mailbox. The Professor is clearly uncomfortable about this, but goes through with it anyway. After a collection of scenes where the Professor explodes various experiments while the Boys cheer him on kegger-party style, the Professor seemingly earns the Beaker Boys' respect.
The Beaker Boys do ask him for one thing: he needs to make a monster. The Professor almost looks like he's going to put his foot down and forget about this whole thing, but they decide to give him an offer he can't refuse...
...an official Beaker Boys jacket, custom made just for him! Despite clearly not agreeing with any of their methods of science, he's absolutely ecstatic for this jacket. It's like that special ribbon from Fashion Forward that the Professor told Blossom not to wear due to this episode's exact lesson, except it's the Professor that has to learn it here. There's one thing when Buttercup suddenly forgets lessons she's learned, but this is a case where the character who taught the moral in a previous episode now has to learn the moral in this much later one!
Anyway, we get a montage of him mixing chemicals together to create this monster. This all ends with him finishing the job "Beaker Boys style", causing a huge explosion. This shows that he is full-on with the Beaker Boys, something he will immediately regret when something bad happens. He seems to learn this lesson like a child.
The explosion destroys his lab, as this unstoppable monster made out of whatever he was concocting is formed, and it immediately starts to attack Townsville. The Professor did not foresee this at all. Sure, he does say "what have I done" after seeing his house get destroyed by the giant-eyed tentacle beast, but what did he think was going to happen? Anything for that jacket, I guess.
The Powerpuff Girls show up, and the father figure has to explain to his children how he and the boys were just messing around. The Powerpuff Girls don’t have time for their bumbling father, though, and instantly leave right before the Beaker Boys show up.
The Professor accuses the Beaker Boys of telling him to make a monster to destroy his girls. Wow, even he kind of knows their track record with giant monsters, regular-sized monsters, or even regular-sized crayons. However, they say their real intention was to distract the girls with a giant monster, and, gasp, steal his home lab! Labs don't come cheap, so when they destroy labs, they just steal someone else's. The lab was destroyed, but that doesn't seem to cross their minds.
This is the straw that breaks the camel's back. It was fine when they forced him to blow up mailboxes and blow up his own house. But how dare they steal his lab! It's implied that he would be okay with this if he was able to keep that jacket, but, of course, they don't let him have it. I wouldn't want a jacket with the name of a group of thieves on it, but that's good ol' Sitcom Dad for you.
Going right with the Beagle Bo, er, Beaker Boys' plan, the Powerpuff Girls show up to fight this giant eye monster. It doesn't work out too well, though I appreciate that they use several ways to fight it other than the usual "fly towards the monster and get punched out" strategy. Buttercup tries to poke the monster in the eye, but it keeps blinking. Bubbles participates in a Dragon Ball Z-style beam tug-of-war, but she loses.
They do add in a minor hope spot, which is more than some episodes: Blossom manages to blind it with a truck full of sand, and the monster forgets to close its eyes this time. As the monster gets knocked down, Blossom begins to make a one-liner. Of course, it wouldn't be too convenient for the Professor learning anything if this was actually successful, as the monster wakes up and covers the entire screen with its giant red eye.
After the Professor sees the big explosion from the resulting huge eye laser, he realizes the girls are not doing very well against the monster. I was worried that this would just remind him that he forgot the lighter fluid, but it's good to know at least he's getting better with that. He knows the only way he could solve this is if he went back to the lab again. Oh no, he can't go back to the lab again. He messed up.
However, he suddenly realized he didn't always have a lab, because he used to learn chemistry just from science kits as a kid! We get a flashback to a time before the home lab guy got his home lab, showing him playing with a Chemistry Chelsea set. Well, thanks for proving it, I guess. At least we know the crew are familiar with his kid design from Get Back Jojo. That episode does give a far different reason for him making the Puffs than the reboot's "I was jealous of this woman scientist who made the perfect little boy" explanation, but I'd rather not think about that.
With the inspiration from his past, he decides to do some...
Professor: ...real science!
It's not an off-model reaction shot, but it still feels out of place. I mean, he's not being evil here.
We get yet another montage of him making a new monster, using that Chemistry Chelsea set he hid under his bed. This time, he's making it in his kitchen. I do like how he uses a "#1 Dad" mug at one point, showing that he's not making this monster because he wants to appeal to the wrong crowd, but because he wants to save his children from far-more-certain-than-what-it-should-be doom.
It still makes an explosion, which the Professor claims is just unavoidable. It's here that I realize that the Powerpuff Girls came out of an explosion caused by mixing a concoction, too. Maybe that eye monster is the fifth Powerpuff Girl! It would explain why it has eye lasers.
If that's the case, meet the sixth Powerpuff Girl: Spongebob NoPants NoEyes NoEars NoNose And It Must Scream, or "Spongey" for short. It does make sense that this monster is a sponge, since this monster was made in the kitchen, though I don't recall if a sponge actually made it into the concoction at any point.
Unlike the last monster, Spongey follows the Professor's orders to save his girls instead of causing even more trouble. Eh, I'll accept it; he was made with the intention of saving his girls, after all.
Well, good news, the Powerpuff Girls did manage to survive the big explosion, but the battle is still just as one-sided as ever. Blossom devises a plan: combine all of their eye lasers into one giant one!
And even that wasn't enough to prevent the inevitable Monster Laser, Girls Down, Womp Womp. Blossom can not help but make this comment.
Blossom: Ugh, I told the Professor this is what happens when you hang out with the wrong crowd!
As subtle as a giant eye about to eye laser three girls into sugar, spice and everything nice. Before that could happen, they hear some yelling from another monster.
It turns out to be Spongey, suddenly appearing in the sky with its mouth wide open. The eye monster just stands here, staring at Spongey's gaping maw. Wow, that eye monster really is the fifth Powerpuff Girl! Another explosion happens for no reason whatsoever, and...
...they combine into one creature that makes him look even more like Spongebob, even giving him buckteeth, a giggle, and the lack of any need to destroy cities. The Powerpuff Girls didn't even have to defeat the monster; in fact, this is another episode where the ultra powerful girls are essentially damsels in distress. This episode hides it better, and it is a little more justified, but it's still the case.
One message that is not at all subtle is that Sitcom Dad learned his sitcom lesson: he doesn't need a gang to make him happy, because his real gang is right here! It sadly makes sense that he doesn't use the word "family" here. The Puffs ask the Professor about what he's going to do now that his lab was stolen by the Beaker Boys.
But he tells them not to worry, because one of his friends is going to take care of that. The Beaker Boys's first recording on their somehow completely reconstructed new set is interrupted by Spongey, in their only real comeuppance. Yeah, forget the Powerpuff Girls, just send that thing to fight battles. Seems to have a better track record, at least.
Does the title fit?
Why is it called Rebel Rebel? Sitcom Dad is definitely rebelling against being the good dorky father figure he was in the original, and he's being a rebel here, but I don't think that's what they were going for.
How does it stack up?
It's a sitcom plot, a generic sitcom plot, and a Sitcom Dad plot all rolled into one. The fight scene is not terrible, it's not a bad lesson, but this reboot has done the "peer pressure" lesson far better than this. Rebel Rebel, Mediocre Mediocre.
Next Saturday, I'm not sure if it's an episode title or an admission from the higher-ups. In the meantime...I’m going to catch up on DuckTales.
← Hustlecup ☆ Our Brand Is Chaos →
Powerpuff Girls 2016 - “Man Up 4: The Donnyest Game”
Written by: Haley Mancini
Written & Storyboarded by: Alicia Chan
Directed by: Nick Jennings, Bob Boyle
Yup, he's back.
The epic Man Up saga gets yet another episode, turning the trilogy into a tetralogy, putting it in the same category as the Shrek series. I'd argue the quality is very similar, at least in my opinion. The second one was better than the first, one of the rare sequels that was better in every way, and the third one was just horrific. It was so horrific that I didn't even want to watch the fourth one, but somebody once told me that the world was going to roll me and The Final Chapter was better than the third.
I could talk about the Shrek films all day, but I don't think that's what you came here for. Maybe I'm just trying to delay the inevitable, since the very first character we see in this episode is...
...oh boy, Donny. I was sort of hoping that Donny in the title wasn’t referring to the comic relief, as unlikely as that would be. At least they continue the cruelty streak with him that started with Total Eclipse of the Kart, as he struggles to open a jar of strawberry jam without getting it all over himself and getting covered with ants. It's not that it isn't deserved. The Powerpuff Girls, who normally help other people with jars, don't seem to want to help, though Bubbles does give this lovely advice.
Bubbles: Stop, drop, and roll, Donny!
The joke is that he's not on fire, you silly goose! Get ready, because there's a lot of jokes like this. While all of this jam related insanity is happening, a familiar face is hiding in the bushes.
Because this is a part of the Man Up tetralogy, we get the one thing that linked all of them, and the only thing that linked all of them: the villain is Manboy, a man man man man who wants to prove that he is a man man man man by doing man man man man things. The most man man man man thing in this episode is to beat up this majestic unicorn. See, it's ironic, because this majestic horned pony is getting annihilated by ants. Or, "ant-nilhilated" as Donny puts it. He's trying. Oh McCracken, he's trying.
I'm surprised they didn't leave a pause between that pun and Blossom talking about the B-plot of this episode. She doesn't want to waste any time, because they have one hour before they have to participate in the Utonium Strawberry Picking Contest.
The winner gets their photo on the fridge, along with a photo showing the "4th year strawberry champ", which happens to be Blossom! Before I can ramble on about how this show's sense of time is out of whack, I can say that the episode proves that this is not referring to Blossom being the 4th consecutive winner of the strawberry picking contest, but the winner of the 4th year this contest was held. Then again, who would have participated in the 1st? Jojo back when he was a monkey? I'm putting way too much thought into this, am I?
Donny is super intrigued by this grand prize, as if the winds of destiny were whispering "Danny". Bubbles has to slowly move her Finn-faced head in to remind him that his name is Donny, in another amazing joke for this comic relief character.
Buttercup, that rascal, tells Donny he doesn't have a good shot at being the champion of giving Sitcom Dad his sweet, sweet free strawberries, but Bubbles comes in to defend her best friend.
Bubbles: It's okay, Don-Bon! You may not be the best strawberry hunter, but you’re still my best friend!
Yeah, great pep talk, Bubbles. Yeah, Donny is terrible at absolutely everything, but at least he's Bubbles' best friend because he has a great personality he doesn't treat his old friends like dirt when he makes new ones he's a unicorn! Donny seems to take it okay, at least.
Suddenly, Blossom gets a call from the Mayor that the Blimp Shrimp is on the loose, reminding us all that the Powerpuff Girls do indeed save the world before bedtime and aren't just strawberry pickers that can fly. There really isn't much else; we don't even get to see this Blimp Shrimp; I guess we're supposed to just find rhyming funny. It's not really on the money.
Well, there is one reason: it's so Donny can do something that isn't very bright, since he can't seem to use his common sense without the girls to guide him. While he’s hunting for strawberries using his strategy of saying he will not be distracted, he sees a churro on a napkin. This napkin happens to be right next to a lasso hanging off of a tree! He can't fall for this.
(Johnny Test Whip Crack)
At least, that's what Manboy thought. Manboy is bewildered by this specimen, as not only does he not look like the unicorn in his purple guidebook, he fell for the very first trap he put up! You'd think he would know all of this, since he was clearly looking at him getting defeated by ants.
Man Boy: It says here that unicorns are incredibly powerful, are experts at camouflage, and are capable of tracking their opponents across many miles! That doesn't really sound like you!
Donny: I know! I sound more like, "Hi, my name's Donny! D-O-N-N-Y!"
I am so glad to say this is the last time he appears this season. They couldn’t even be consistent with him not knowing his name. They could have at least had him misspell it. Actually, they shouldn’t. Manboy, finding no pleasure in beating up such a weakling, offers him some training that would turn him into a commando. “A strawberry commando?”, Donny asks, and Manboy just rolls with it.
So Manboy trains his own opponent through many tasks, like jumping across cliffs, catching fish, doing pull-ups over a fire, and a few other. This training montage is played a bit too straight to be that funny, but it does have this song about how montages are only here to speed things up. No, really.
Bet you can't guess what's happening here Time is of the essence, so we'll make it clear We only got a minute for a montage song Because this episode is ten minutes long
A montage is happenin'!
I am not going to lie, it's kind of catchy, and at least it gives a scene some sort of a joke.
There is one other thing: there's a scene where Donny gets taken away by what is unmistakably a bald eagle. Later, after he starts getting the hang of being a manly unicorn, he punches that eagle right in the face without even a hit flash. I don’t even know what to say.
After his training and his somewhat justified violence against the national bird of the country this takes place in, or at least it was in the original, he ends up becoming a Rambo-like muscled hero, looking almost exactly like the picture in that purple guidebook. I always wanted to see Donny get the Musclecup treatment, said no one ever. Thanks to this training, Donny stops telling bad jokes all the time and now speaks only in gruff action hero lines. Not sure if I would consider that an improvement.
Manboy: Okay, unicorn! It's time to play the most dangerous game...and you're it!
...so he wants to play a children's playground game with him? That is the conclusion one would expect Donny to consider with that line, but how else would somebody interpret that? I think he may have forgotten a sentence.
Suddenly, Donny starts shooting horn lasers at him. He tries, for the only time in the entire episode, to use his man man man man beard powers, but they get lasered off. Much like the Reboot Puffs in certain episodes, Manboy just knows that a punch would not be able to stop him, and just runs away.
Speaking of the Reboot Puffs, we do get a peek back at the B-plot, and I really mean a peek, because there's almost nothing here. After Sitcom Dad reiterates how this strawberry picking contest's prize is that fabled picture on the fridge, Buttercup boasts that she is for sure that she'll win this time. She has a secret weapon: a dust buster. Bubbles asks if she really learned nothing from that time she used a vacuum cleaner last year.
Insert cutaway gag where Buttercup chases triple chin Ranger Smith with a vacuum cleaner. Honestly, Bubbles should have just stopped at asking if she really has learned nothing, because the answer is usually yes.
Most of this episode is just Manboy getting chased by the Muscled Hellhorn, sometimes hiding in a bush to avoid him. Donny slowly walks, yelling out to Manboy to come out, come out, where ever he is. This is the big irony; he's this big and strong manly man, and he's getting chased away by a sparkly unicorn...who is also a big and strong manly man. I think the muscles and action movie one liners really lessen this.
Buttercup shows up to suck up some strawberries with her dust buster, and she unintentionally sucks up the bush Manboy was hiding in. Hey, something that actually ties the Donny chasing after Manboy plot with the strawberry plot! Unfortunately, that's the only time the two plots really converge; Donny doesn't even seem to be interested in the strawberries in any of these scenes.
As for those strawberries, the next time we see a Powerpuff Girl is when the episode suddenly cuts to a scene where Blossom is picky about what strawberries she puts in her basket. At least that kind of fits her character, even if that seems to sabotage her plans to win. Sitcom Dad outright said the person with the most strawberries wins that coveted photo on the fridge. Honestly, that's really it for the strawberry plot until the end, and no attempt is made to connect this scene with anything else.
It's just more Donny from here on out. If there's any kind of progression, at least the training montage made him a little more competent at dodging traps. He easily dodges an arrow trap, and just walks through a fallen tree. The closest thing to an action scene in this entire episode, really. Eventually something's got to break this new character of his, and it's going to take more than a napkin with a churro on it.
Oh no, it takes a napkin with two churros to make him fall into a trap! He even reverts back to his usual voice just to yell out his love for churros. Manboy shows up that he finally bested this majestic and powerful unicorn...even though he not once tried to lay a finger on him like he said he was going to do. I guess he would take any victory at this point.
Unfortunately for Manboy, that victory doesn't last. Somehow, Donny managed to set up a trap of his own, as Manboy ends up walking backwards, stepping onto a green button, which covers him in strawberry jam. At least that strawberry jam scene from the opening has a point, as he then gets to succumb to the ants.
And not just ants, either, but he also ends up running into a beehive. It doesn't entirely reference the infamous Nicolas Cage remake of The Wicker Man, but we do get this line, which is almost as good:
Manboy: Oh my god! Bees! Bees! Gyaaah!
Okay, he says gosh, but that's not what I heard. Then he gets attacked by a shark, because random. Eventually, he does end up going into a river, which does cleanse him from the jam, the ants, the bees, and the shark. This river ends up going into a waterfall, and then goes into another waterfall. Both times, they have to point out where Manboy is with a giant yellow beeping arrow, as if the context wasn't clear enough. This scene was enjoyable, but that might be because this is the best beating Manboy ever gotten.
And now, the required "I'm so sorry I was such a doofus" scene, though we usually don't see it from a villain. Donny somehow managed to get out of the cage and run all the way down to the bottom of the twin waterfalls to confront Manboy. I honestly stopped questioning such things; maybe it's that same kind of unicorn magic that allows him to poof tickets to ice skating shows.
Donny doesn't accept this apology, and does what he wanted to do as a person who was called "It."
Donny: Tag, you're it! Now you'll have to chase me-e-e-e-e-e!
The conclusion one would expect Donny to consider with that "and you're it" line is exactly what happens. One might ask, if this was Donny's idea of playing tag, why was he trying to horn laser him? The answer, much like most other questions one could ask about this reboot, is pineapples.
Manboy, in his anger, finally decides to lunge right towards Donny to possibly fulfill his promise to beat up a unicorn. Donny moves his neck slightly to make him miss and hit a tree instead. Yeah, it wasn't as cool as when Blossom did that in the original.
In the end, they finally tie this all up with that strawberry plot I completely forgot about, since it barely shows up. Blossom has her pretty pile, Buttercup accidentally sucked up the park ranger, and Bubbles ate the strawberries she found. Since she's best friends with a character who is well established in this episode to be not too bright, Bubbles can't be too far off, you see.
Donny shows up with that tree Manboy ran into, and it turned out to be a strawberry tree. His muscular physique is suddenly gone for no reason whatsoever. Why shouldn't they just have him stay muscular at the end of the episode? The status quo never seems to bother them.
The Professor decides to give Donny that fabled photo on the fridge he always wanted, right next to a fridge magnet of a poorly drawn Texas. Yee haw. Yeah, I can't think of a better ending for this.
Does the title fit?
Sadly, yes, at least with the Donnyest Game. I guess Donny being made more "manly" does sort of continue with Man Up 3's themes, but that's as close as we get.
How does it stack up?
Out of all the Donny-focused episodes, this is the best Donny one by the virtue of having not as much to complain about. He’s not constantly whining and being an absolutely terrible analogy the writers had to deny. He’s not being a terrible friend by ditching him for a total stranger who happened to have glitter and crayons. The episode doesn’t prop him up as this incredibly important character while the characters we should be caring about are getting their butts kicked. Most importantly, it’s not Bubbs and Donny Get The Mail.
However, there really isn't much to praise, either. The strawberry plot doesn't really go anywhere beyond a cutaway gag, and this episode doesn't change my opinion on Manboy or Donny as characters. I don't hate this episode, but I didn't really want to re-watch it.
Next, another episode where a villain cowers in fear over a cutesy character. Will it be any better than this one?
← Watch It! ☆ The Oct-Father →
Powerpuff Girls 2016 - “Drama Bomb”
Written by: Haley Mancini
Written & Storyboarded by: Alicia Chan, John West
Directed by: Nick Jennings, Bob Boyle
More drama for your mamas...and daughters.
The episode begins with the beginning of a school play based on the food pyramid from the 90's, with everyone dressed up as a food item. Not only do we see the return of Robin Snyder in a sort of voiced role, though we never quite get to hear just her voice, we get to see all of our favorite students. And by favorite students, I mean just Barry. Go, Barry, you spinning bowl of chicken noodle soup, you.
Unfortunately, the kid's talents are not showing here, as they're all painfully off-key. Even the last episode that focused on play's idea of Blossom and Jared being the main stars of Townsville Elementary's drama class has seemingly been thrown out, as at least Blossom gets an intentionally bad singing voice as well. Instead, it's Bubbles that's the big star, as she gets to properly sing the big ending song about how treats are good when they're part of a...something. She couldn't figure out the last word in her song, much to the joy of the drama teacher.
A Star Is Blossom still has to be canon, because this episode also features Ms. Moss, the drama teacher that just can't believe she's working with such children. The joke, of course, being that these children are, in fact, children. At least, most of them are obviously children, at least one of them are pretty questionable.
She at least has a good reason for this sudden bout of perfectionism: the stakes have changed. After Buttercup, who is in the play as a T-Bone steak, does the obvious joke with that, she reveals that Citysville's greatest playwrite is coming to this elementary school, and if this play was good, they could go on tour with this amazing play about fruit!
We cut right from the failed rehearsals to the final version of the play, which is, according to a sign gag and not anything in the play itself, The Five Food Groups: A Hero's Journey. Even after watching this episode several times, I'm not sure what the "A Hero's Journey" is supposed to signify. I would guess it's supposed to refer to this plot about the Tomato, played by everyone's favorite brick, in his journey to identify whether he is a fruit or a vegetable, but where does Bubbles' song fit in all of this?
Then again, it's more likely one couldn't even make out what these kids are singing, as they're off-key and can't seem to sing in-time either. Of course, this is all intentional, but it's still bad enough to be hard to listen to. Ms. Moss hopes that Belle Lakes wouldn't notice, maybe possibly giving her a slight break since these are just elementary school students.
That's not the case, as she's bored watching this drivel. Finally, a character I can relate to. But hey, at least that lady right next to her is loving it! Also loving it is good ol' Sitcom Dad, who is taking pictures with this smartphone. You'd think someone who is bad at computers would use some sort of old-timey camera. Good thing the Professor shouldn't fit that description!
This reception doesn't please Ms. Moss at all. If she doesn't do anything quickly, this performance will bomb! That last word gives her an idea.
Ms. Moss continues her affinity with using mystic objects from mystic sources, though this item is a little less fantastic than the play that summons butch viking women. In this case, it's a Drama Bomb that was given to her after she graduated at an academy for master thespians, which, for some unexplained reason, is made up entirely of people in cloaks. When this bomb explodes, it makes anyone caught in the blast 10 times more dramatic!
She happens to have this bomb in a glass case that says "In Case Of Lack of Talent", and I'd say that should have been broken 114 times by now. She calls for a brief intermission, gathering all the students, and then throwing the bomb at them. Covering everything in pink glitter, the bomb's effects appear to be negligible...at least, for a few seconds.
Buttercup: Ugh, what was that?
Blossom: I don't know...it's...
Blossom and Buttercup: Magical!
Ms. Moss quickly comes in to say this is all brilliant, and tells them to go to their places with a really ugly zoom-in to her mouth. No real explanation other than "see, Ms. Moss is cuckoo!", I'm not going to show it, and you're welcome.
Thanks to the power of that Drama Bomb, that opening song from before turns into a big, artsy, and dramatic song in the style of the Cell Block Tango scene from Chicago. The unique coloring, the similar style of the song, and it even goes right down to how the food items in the pyramid looks like they're in jail cells. Honestly, I actually like this choice in visuals.
As for the audio, it's interesting to say the least, if not that memorable or catchy. It's still the same voice actors and voice actresses singing the songs here. I was 100% thinking they were going to pull out some actual singer to dub in for these characters, but it's just the regular actors actually trying to sound good. Less ideal, but less awkward than the alternative.
There is this shot with Blossom and you-know-who embracing that's just randomly in there, even though thankfully this is not a play where Blossom and Jared are the love interests. At least, as far as the viewers can tell, anyway. It does make sense in the play, since it's either two vegetables or a fruit and a vegetable, but I cannot forget all of that baggage from those fantasy scenes from Season 1 and 2.
Belle Lakes starts to get overjoyed at this. That lady right next to her is also still liking this, though the lack of change in her expression is worrying me. And, of course, Sitcom Dad is still sneaking around, taking smartphone pictures. Now that they're supposedly talented now, there's not even a joke here other than the Sitcom Dad creeping out that one guy. I wouldn't blame him.
Blossom and Buttercup are confused, as they can't help themselves but dramatically enter rooms, make dramatic poses, and speak with dramatic lines. Well, Buttercup is just dabbing and speaking as if Bart Simpson got an even worse cold than usual, but I can see what she's trying to do. At least Blossom's Shakespeare-esque lines are fitting here, and she says them relatively well.
Suddenly, the cellphone hotline rings, and Blossom asks what evil besieges the poor Mayor, and...
...it turns out that this episode features Discount Jojo as the villain again, stealing the dome from Town Hall as a decoration! I would say that this continues a streak with episodes with main villains voiced by Roger L. Jackson, but Ms. Moss is a far bigger threat here.
The Puffs attempt to leave, only to be stopped by the power of the Drama Bomb. As Ms. Moss explains, the show must go on, who cares if Townsville becomes a burning crater in the ground. She doesn't exactly say that last line, but she might as well say it.
They don't really turn Discount Jojo's crime spree into a B-plot. We just get this one scene where Jojo is so confused that, no matter how many crimes he makes and how long he makes his laughter, the Powerpuff Girls aren't stopping him. I guess I could see some humor in how Jojo is worried that the usual rhythm of things just isn't happening, it reminds me of that scene from that one episode of Batman: The Animated Series.
Joker: Without Batman, crime has no punchline.
It was done far better there, but I'm not going to hate on the reboot for not living up to those impossibly high standards. No dramatic lines from Jojo here, as much as it would be oddly fitting for this episode, but he does ask what could possibly be so vital that it would prevent the Powerpuff Girls from giving him a slideshow beatdown?
This at least decently transitions to the scene where Blossom dramatically exclaims that it's vital to know if the tomato is a vegetable or not, and even the Tomato does not know. By the way, if you're wondering where the Chicago styling is here, they pretty much forget about it beyond that one scene.
Also pretty much gone is any semblance of a followable plot in this play. I'm not expecting anything Shakespearean to show up in this reboot with or without that Drama Bomb, but there's no real connection between this tomato plot and Bubbles' final song.
Speaking of which, Bubbles is still moping that she can't figure out what that last word in the song is. This scene comes up way too often; it feels more like filler. I could at least appreciate them being over-dramatic, but other than that, it's just "waaah, I can't figure out my liiiines!"
In the end, they say they will do it together...as a whole! This word actually ends up being that word Bubbles was supposed to rhyme with "bowl". I mean, what else could it be? Treats are better than eating coal? You got to pay the troll toll? This show needs some quality control? Would have went with that one.
Essentially singing the same song as her attempt at the end song from the rehearsal scene from the beginning, since it was the only relatively good thing about it, I guess, she finally nails the end song with the help of her sisters. Belle really loved this play, and the uphill rollercoaster with Sitcom Dad still keeps going up without any real conclusion. What does conclude is the spell from the Drama Bomb, signified with some sparkles. The Powerpuff Girls are glad that they're finally free.
However, in the end, Ms. Moss learned absolutely nothing, as she promises to use a drama bomb on every play on this day forward, and then rolls out of the room. How she's going to get more of them will never be explained. The Powerpuff Girls seemingly pay it no mind that future plays might indirectly cause the destruction of Townsville, and decide, now that the show has ended, to finally take on Discount Jojo.
This isn't a bad way to end this episode. Such a old-school beating, not only does it end with a bruised Discount, it even comes with the classic line:
Blossom: Not so fast, Mojo Jojo!
If it actually had Bubbles and Buttercup saying Mojo and Jojo respectively, it would have been perfect, but I shouldn’t compare this show to that show’s impossibly high-to-this-show standards, either. The episode ends with a line that fits in with the rest of the episode, which is more than what I could say about some episodes.
I would have preferred a dramatic line read from Tom Kenny and hearts, but alas.
Does the title fit?
Name of the object, though it does cause drama in pretty much any way I can think of.
How does it stack up?
I'm a little in the middle with this episode. There isn’t much to the episode beyond some dramatic line reads, some better than others. However, it has some nice shots, and the songs, the ones that aren't meant to be terrible, are at least passable. It’s watchable, but I wouldn’t lie and say that yawning playwrite didn’t represent me at some points.
Next, Watch It, did they botch it?
← Checkin' Out ☆ Watch It! →
Powerpuff Girls 2016 - “Hustlecup” (with Captain B.Z.!)
Written by: Jake Goldman
Written & Storyboarded by: Kyle Neswald, Jaydeep Hasrajani
Directed by: Nick Jennings, Bob Boyle
Hate & basketball.
Before we begin this review, for the first time ever, I have a special guest! Yes, Fly Pow Bye has mostly been about my opinions and mine alone. Please welcome, Captain B.Z.!
Captain B.Z.: Hello, I’m Captain B. Z.! A few of you might know me as the person who archives old Cartoon Network VHS recordings and ads to YouTube but I’m always willing to give shows new and old a chance.
While I initially wasn’t a fan of PPG 2016, I grew to find it an average show around the second season and have found things to like about it, including the Bliss arc and the attempts by the writers to slowly incorporate more action. However, PPG 2016 still isn’t without its problems, as evidenced by today’s episode.
We definitely have a very similar viewpoint; I do admit that the show has gotten better over since those early episodes. This episode, however, might not be the best indicator of that. Let's see if this episode is on fire, or if it should be lit on fire.
The episode starts with electricity flowing through a bunch of tubes...which powers a lightbulb which illuminates the room the Powerpuff Girls and the Professor are in.
Captain B.Z.: Now, I’ll admit that I really like the shot at the start where it shows what’s powering up the mysterious invention - a green light. It’s completely unnecessary and doesn’t apply to anything, but it’s a nice way to start off the episode that doesn’t rely on a Family Guy TV show cutaway gag.
That opened my eyes a little. This mysterious invention is so mysterious, that each Powerpuff Girl repeating that it's so secret. What could it possibly be? How it passes through those circular tubes, and, as mentioned, how it is a green light, could be a hint at what it will be.
Captain B.Z.: Foreshadowing! It’s not just blatantly obvious anymore!
It turns out to be a new hat with a traffic light on it, called the traffic hat. The Powerpuff Girls are disappointed at first, as emphasized by a sad trumpet. Seems to be the running theme with the Professor's inventions. The Professor is ecstatic about it, saying it will be the #1 at the Science-Palooza. Blossom is confused how this hat could possibly win anything, but the Professor tells Blossom that it's not just any hat.
He tells Bubbles to throw this plate of spaghetti at Buttercup. Bubbles immediately does it before the Professor can say "when I say go", which ends up with Buttercup getting a plate full of spaghetti. I'll admit, I actually chuckled at this gag; it's all in the timing.
Captain B.Z.: Plus the fact that it’s freaking "scientific-grade" pasta. The Professor cares more about which type of pasta he gets than his own children.
How fitting. The Professor then pulls out another plate of scientific-grade pasta, and Buttercup tries to get her revenge. The Professor then yells "yellow light", and the pasta starts moving in slow motion, and then a "red light", stopping it in mid-air. Buttercup moves right in front of the pasta to look at this closely, and one can guess what happens next.
Granted, it's not that Buttercup wouldn't deserve what came to her. Despite being a victim of two different spaghetti related incidents thanks to this hat, Buttercup is very excited to use his hat for nefarious purposes. Specifically, she wants to freeze Jennifre's face when she sneezes so she'll look ridiculous. She demonstrates by making this face. Not among of the worst face gags this show has to offer, but it could have been made a little bit better.
That would be a good start.
Captain B.Z.: The face gags have their place and time, in my opinion. Plenty of shows have done really good jokes involving facial expressions, including fellow Cartoon Network series OK KO.
However, in order to make a face gag work, you have to time it just right and not have it be on screen for too long at the risk of being annoying. This is an example of a face gag I didn’t particularly find funny, but I can appreciate that it gets a callback later.
Buttercup has to promise the Professor not to take the hat to school, which she does oblige by...
...but he never said anything about taking it to the park to cause that sweet, sweet mischief! It starts with a little scene with Barry.
Captain B.Z.: Barry’s scene was one of the few redeeming factors of this episode. Partly because it was legitimately funny, and partly because we get to see Barry get injured. Shame it couldn’t have been the Professor in this situation, but we’ll get to that later.
She eventually does what she promised to do to Jennifre by red lighting her as soon as she sneezes. Jennifre was making fun of her hat, so Buttercup's actions are justified. As mentioned before, this does give more of a point to that Buttercup face from before. The other kids start to chant her name for causing all of this torment on people that aren't them, and she catches the attention of one guy who appears to be far older.
It turns out, the Gangreen Gang were hanging out at a nearby basketball court watching all of these time-stopping shenanigans unfold. Sorry to say, all of your headcanons on how Ace left this reboot to hang out with the Gorillaz are now wrong. It was my headcanon, too. They see Buttercup singing the theme song, except she says "I got the power". As much as it's supposed to exemplify Buttercup's selfishness, that's not too inaccurate.
Ace decides to challenge Buttercup to a game of Horse. If one doesn't know how the game works, Ace explains it via a scene that looks like a cross between a diagram and one of those Tiger LCD games from the 90s.
Ace: If I make a shot, you gotta copy it. If you miss the shot, you get a letter. First to spell "horse" is the loser.
Notice how he doesn't explain what happens if Buttercup actually makes the shot. It could be that he's pretty confident, but it's a big hint on how good these "horse" scenes are going to be. They decide to make a wager, if Ace wins, he gets the "doo-hickey" on her head. If Buttercup wins, she gets...
...Ace's prized scooter! What would a 6 year old girl do with a scooter? I don't even think her hands would be able to reach the handlebars! Besides, she saw Ace miss one shot, which either means he's terrible at it, or he's just acting like he's bad at basketball to lure in the mark. Buttercup assumes it's the former.
Captain B.Z.: I’d complain about how Ace has a scooter in this episode and this episode only, but there are far more concerning matters that apply to this episode’s character development, so I won’t.
...damn it, I just did it, didn’t I?
The game begins, and right from Buttercup nervousness from Ace's first shot, one can guess this is not going to end well for her. It should be noted that the very first short this reboot ever had focused on Buttercup not being able to make a "downtown" shot into a wastebasket, so it's interesting to see three seasons later that her skill hasn't changed.
Captain B.Z.: I’m debating whether or not the writers even remembered that short while writing this episode, though. If it was an intentional nod, good for them, although I’m surprised it came this late in the series’ run, when many people had began to ignore the series.
Yes, it's probably a coincidence, but a nice one nonetheless. There's no funny business, Ace manages to perfectly shoot 5 hoops in different ways, some ways so different that they didn't even bother to animate them, and Buttercup's vain attempts to copy them only adding more letters to the LCD game-esque scoreboard. In the end, Ace doesn't get a single letter, and Buttercup gets h...
Mr. Ed impression: You got hooooorse!
GYAH! What is that thing?!
Captain B.Z.: Isn’t it obvious? It’s another uphill roller coaster! It doesn’t lead anywhere and is just there to remind you that this show is a comedy. Even though there’s no punchline to this joke whatsoever.
Wait, this show is a comedy? That horse made me think this was a horror show.
After that...thing, the Gangreen Gang take their scooter home, Ace taking the "doo-hickey" with him. Back at the Powerpuff home, Blossom tells Buttercup that losing the hat was the most irresponsible thing she has ever done!
Well, except for that one time where she joined the Prune-A-Cycling Club. Get it, because pruning would be so hard if you were on a unicycle! Really, this feels like another uphill roller coaster gag, though it is one that only shows up twice. If only other gags got that honor. Also, Blossom and Bubbles joined it too, so it's not like it's just Buttercup's fault.
The Professor barges into the room, so excited about the upcoming Science-Palooza. He can't decide which shade of white lab coat he wants to bring! It's an okay gag based on how his outfit is usually the same, though that might be by comparison. He decides not to question where the hat is, and assumes Buttercup is taking good care of it.
None of the Powerpuff Girls had the heart to tell him the truth, so they decide to confront the Gangreen Gang as a group. They got to "mop up Buttercup's mess", in Blossom's words, said in a way that makes me think even Blossom is getting tired of these kinds of plots.
After a surprising cameo appearance by the pizza guy from the Small World special, the Gangreen Gang gets confronted by the girls. Bubbles said she thought she smelled a rat, because they had a joke about Grubber using a rat as deodorant, and they didn't want to just leave it in the pile.
Like a true hero, Blossom outright threatens him to give back the hat, or he will get hurt. Ace did say he won it fair and square, and those couple of misses to lure Buttercup into a false sense of security were just "a couple of misses". He decides, as the "gentleman" he is, he does another wager on a game of horse. If Blossom wins, she gets the hat. If she loses, Ace gets Blossom's favorite protractor and one of Bubbles' pigtails. The latter was specially requested by Ace, by the way. We will see how, we won't see why. Maybe that's a blessing.
So get this, Blossom is going to use her knowledge of math to enhance her game. Yeah, because Blossom is smart, she has to be, say, the mathlete of the group. It seems to make so much sense, I mean, it’s not like we’re supposed to believe that Buttercup is the mathlete! Yeah, that's what I'll go with, because anything else would be silly. This would have worked, too, but the Gangreen Gang decide do something even worse than pretending to be bad at basketball.
They decides to outright cheat by moving the basket and blocking the perfectly made shots. At least this time, we actually see five different ways they do that. One oddity is that none of these ways involve the time-stopping hat; in fact, Ace never actually uses it in any of the games. He's far from playing with honor at this point, he might as well use it.
Since there's nothing in the Gangreen Gang's rulebook that states they can't have the other members block the shots, though I highly doubt they even had one in the first place, Blossom is the next one to get...
Mr. Ed impression: Hoooorse!
GYAH! Yeah, repetition is not doing this gag any favors. In fact, I'd argue it's not doing anyone any favors.
Ace grabs the ponytail, twisting it off like a loose nail. They also take Angel-gelica. Yes, the protractor has a name, because Blossom is the nerd character that loves math. This doesn't nearly impact Blossom's looks, but is treated as just as important to her. They could have taken her bow, her hairclip, or even her ponytail. It seems to fit Ace's odd obsession with stealing other people's hair in this episode.
The Powerpuff Girls now decide that violence is the answer, threatening to crush their bones with half of a basketball court. Kind of an overreaction, I'd say, but one thing I can appreciate is that this is the only time they get to use any kind of superpower besides flight in this episode. It is sad that we need these reminders.
Ace decides then and here that the hat would come in handy, and says "red light". This makes the Powerpuff Girls and the basketball court float perfectly still in mid-air. They probably didn't even need the hat, that seems to be their usual strategy anyway.
This leads to a psychedelic slideshow beatdown, with the red-lighted Puffs getting licked both figuratively and literally. It's here that we learn what exactly what the hat brings to the plot: the ability to make a scene where superpowered girls getting beaten up by regular thugs more believable. Well, that, and a way for Buttercup to do something wrong, get in trouble, and learn a lesson that she would probably forget by the next episode anyway
Once Ace says "green light" on the court, Buttercup suffers something worse than losing at a basketball game...
...getting scolded by her father figure for the second most irresponsible thing she has ever done. A good hint on how good that pruning gag is: they don't even give it a proper background for the second time.
He decides to help the girls out, and go to the "basketball fields". Oh, silly Professor, that's not what basketball courts are called! Man, this guy must not know sports at all! However, he's sure that he can just talk to the Gangreen Gang like civilized adults, and they'll happily just hand over the hair, the protractor, and maybe even that time-stopping hat!
At the basketball court, somehow completely undamaged from the Powerpuff Girls' post-loss and somewhat-justified temper tantrum, we see that, needless to say, that civilized adults strategy did not work. As the gang is laughing at this dork, Ace offers another game of horse. Ace really needs another pigtail. Again, we see how, won't see why, maybe it's a blessing.
The Professor doesn't take it at first, because, in his words:
Professor: I'm not about to bet on a game I've never played before!
Lil' Arturo calls him a chicken like a 90's bully, and that's enough for him to change his mind. How hard could it be, you just put the ball in the hoop thingy, and he makes a practice shot by just launching the ball straight into the air. I am summarizing this because I want to point out that he is really trying to show off that he is just not good at sports. However, he's going to do it anyway.
The conclusion was so obvious, the episode just presses the fast forward button. We instantly see the Professor getting each letter. We don't even know if the Gangreen Gang decided to cheat here, it's just H, O, R, S, E, with the Professor's face zooming in with each one. In just a few seconds, the Professor gets...
Mr. Ed impression: Hoooorse!
Yeah, yeah, we get it, you stock image abomination. By the third time, I'm just rolling my eyes in disgust.
Bubbles loses her last pigtail, and all hope seems to be lost. Left with nothing else to wager, the Professor challenges him again, this time putting their residence on the line for everything Ace has taken, plus his scooter. The Powerpuff Girls object, but the Professor is so assuring by saying they always wanted to travel. I mean, what's the worst that can happen if the Powerpuff Girls leave Townsville?
Dispaired Citizens: Why'd you leave us, Powerpuff Girls?
Oh yeah, that. Okay, that was the original, but I'd imagine something very similar would happen here, too. But Townsville can go to heck for all he cares, he wants that hat back, no matter what the risk is!
The Professor looks at the basket, sweating profusely. How are they possibly going to beat Ace at his own game? He makes a desperate attempt to copy Ace's shot...
...and he makes the shot perfectly. He then tears off his shirt, revealing his hairy, hairy abs, and says that he's still got it. Wait, what? This comes completely out of nowhere; one minute, he's incompetent at sports, and then, snap, he's good at basketball now. But hey...he has a pi symbol on his shirt! That's nerdy!
"When did the Professor suddenly get good?" isn't even the only question I have about this scene. If the Professor was really trying to "hustle" these green gangsters by pretending he was bad at sports, why did he let them win the first time? Also, no matter suddenly how skilled the Professor is now, wouldn't the Gangreen Gang just cheat some more?
They at least explained that last one. The Powerpuff Girls decided not to just sit back and let the other members cheat, and tied them up with ordinary rope while Ace was too busy focusing on the Professor's sick moves. They could have did this when Blossom was getting horsed, but then the episode would have ended too early.
With the other members tied up, the Professor's unexplained sudden skill increase, and Ace never realizing he could just use his hat, Ace finally gets...
...so now the reboot decides not to do the "horse" joke? Honestly, this ending is bad enough already, you might as well go for the Full Monty and give us that forsaken furlong-runner! Maybe that horse got disqualified.
Blossom gets her beloved ruler back, Bubbles gets her pigtails back, Buttercup gets grounded again, and the Professor now has a sweet scooter for him to take to the Science-Palooza. We never quite find out if his invention is a winner as the episode suddenly ends here...but this ending sure isn't one.
Captain B.Z.: So let’s talk about why this ending doesn’t work.
The Professor has had literally no experience at playing basketball in his life, neither in the original or this series. His initial plan is to talk to the Gangreen Gang sensibly but he does even worse than the girls. Then, he becomes ridiculously good out of freaking nowhere, throwing in another muscle “joke” for extra measure.
There is no buildup to this ending whatsoever due to the Professor being such a forgettable character in this episode. It's to the point where if the girls hadn’t told him that his hat was stolen, he wouldn’t have even cared.
Does the title fit?
It wasn't Buttercup doing the hustling. I honestly argue hustling was kind of forgotten halfway through!
How does it stack up?
It's such a shame that a major appearance from the Gangreen Gang that doesn't involve them just dressing in drag for a talent show is in such a lousy episode.
Captain B.Z.: Hustlecup is an episode that suffers in many different ways, from a story that isn’t well-defined to plenty of out-of-character moments - more than average for the reboot. While I don’t mind these errors if they’re just a small part of the episode, here, they get in the way of any merit the episode might have had and make it a truly frustrating watch.
Indeed. There are other variations of H-O-R-S-E with less letters, but even if this episode was playing Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, it would still lose.
Captain B.Z.: As I mentioned earlier in the review, this episode did provide some interesting concepts. The idea of a traffic light hat that actually slows down time is pretty neat but the writers did nothing with it. I’m surprised we didn’t get another episode like “Lights Out!” where we get to see Bubbles figure out how the hat works when the Gangreen Gang steals it and messes with Townsville traffic. Sadly though, the Professor being an asshole and Mr. Ed jokes had higher priority to the writers, making this episode fall apart instantly.
Next, another episode focusing on everyone's favorite Sitcom Dad, if we discount all the other Sitcom Dads. Special thanks to Captain B.Z. for joining me with this one.
← Cat Burglar ☆ Rebel Rebel →
Powerpuff Girls 2016 - “Oh! Daisy!”
Written by: Haley Mancini
Written & Storyboarded by: Leticia Abreu Silva, John Martinez
Directed by: Nick Jennings, Bob Boyle
This episode will continue Bubbles’ trait of computer programming. I'm honestly surprised they even kept this going for so long, since usually they depict Bubbles as this silly blonde that can't spell. So far, Bubbles has programmed:
A game that was super popular, at least among the students of Townsville Elementary. Also, she made some sort of machine that can send people to the internet with only tinfoil. Apparently, that's coding?
A robotic, 3D printed clone of herself that is perfect in every way except for security, and yet not important for her to even shed a tear when it got destroyed.
The third one that is going to be in this episode may not be as impressive as #2, but it's up there.
The episode starts out with Bubbles hanging out with the other participants of the school's coding club, including Barry. Maybe they were convinced he was this breakout character, considering how many times he appears in this reboot. He probably could be if he had a personality beyond "he wears an Illuminati shirt and yet never seems to talk about it". At least he has a name; I don't think the other two even have that.
Generic Girl: How many programmers does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
Generic Girl: None, it's a hardware issue.
Barry laughs so hard that milk comes out of his nose, and they consider that just as funny as that joke. Suddenly, Buttercup barges into the door, and thinks this is some sort of fun times when she was supposed to be doing homework. It turns out, she was doing homework, and she gets to show off something she made to show off her true coding prowess.
...a robot assistant named Daisy. See, this flower's name a subtle reference to 2001: A Space Odyssey, something this reboot will not try to take advantage of in every minute of this character's existence.
Buttercup continues to accuse Bubbles of wrongdoing, possibly as a attempt to finally get Bubbles in trouble! Silly Buttercup, Bubbles can cause an entire zoo to cause mayhem around Townsville, and she'll still get off scot-free. She then tells Bubbles that she's going to be in trouble for putting this assistant all around the house. It's not like they're going to absolutely adore this thing.
They absolutely adore this thing! Blossom loves it because it reprograms other devices, as Blossom praises the device for reprogramming the Broomba to clean more efficiently. No, it didn't also give her a haircut, as much as Edna Mode would have appreciated it, that's just another case of the disappearing ponytail trick.
As for Sitcom Dad's reasoning. It scheduled the DVR to record all of the Sitcom Dad's favorite shows, like Sciencefeld! They managed to come up with a title for their Seinfeld parody, but do they do anything with it? Well, one thing: they reference the bass line used in its theme song.
That's really it.
Bubbles: Yeah, he's a scheduling wizard!
Oh, no, please don't say that word! It might attract...
Ah, too late. Schedulebot shows up to express his discontent with being replaced, and the Professor decides to completely ignore him by saying that this is the best robot ever. In one episode, he seemed to care more about Schedulebot's well being than the Powerpuff Girls, but now that this flower exists, he may as well not even exist to good ol' Sitcom Dad! This starts a subplot that nobody will care about, because it's a Schedulebot plot.
Of course, Buttercup can't be happy that her sister managed to make several robots that can make turkey dinner. The closest we get to an actual good reason is that he can't stop combing her hair, and the robot pronounces her name as "Bootercup", which the other think is just as much of a laugh riot as hardware issues and milk squirting out of people's noses.
A few minutes after midnight, Buttercup wakes up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. As she walks out, Daisy tells her not to forget to wash her hands. Then, not to forget to use soap. Then, not to use the guest towels. The absolute worst of them all, it dares to comb Buttercup's hair again! That seems to be a coding error; wouldn't Buttercup. Whatever the case, it does its job: annoying Buttercup.
Buttercup: (messes up own hair) Why don't I mess with your hair?!
Daisy: If you go to the main control room in the lab, you'll see that I have no hair, Bootercup.
Daisy also manages to get Buttercup to the lab to continue the plot, as there was no reason for him to even talk about the main control room.
It's a constant mention from me whenever this coding aspect of her character comes up: being a coding wizard would be extremely difficult if you cannot spell. Turns out, Bubbles' programming language of choice is something more akin to Scratch, a building block language that even the Reboot Puffs got involved in at one point. I guess that kind of explains that.
Buttercup decides to go through this code to change a few things, like turning off the alarm, lowering his moral percentage to -40%, and turning off his conscience. Buttercup does say she thought this word was "con science", but she already turned down the morals, and she clearly knew what she was doing then!
8.25 hours later, the girls wake up, and the windows suddenly shut with huge metal doors. Bubbles tries to fix everything by telling Daisy to open the windows. Everyone stand up and recite the line you're probably thinking he's going to say to that.
Daisy: I'm afraid I can't do that for you, Bubbles.
Okay, it's slightly different than the line from the movie, but anyone can get it. I would not be surprised if they took more inspiration from the Futurama episode that parodied it. At least they're not ripping off the original Powerpuff Girls this time; closest episode I can think of is Coupe D'etat.
Bubbles tries to go into the living room, only to be attacked by the Broomba. The Powerpuff Girls are truly unstoppable, unless there's glitter, markers, Roombas, ordinary rope, a dinosaur shouting at them, or rat tails. Who can possibly stop this robotic vacuum cleaner? Clearly it has to be the rascally...
...pink princess with an eye laser? Blossom then takes off her ribbon, ties it around her head, and tells her sisters to go into the hallway so she can finish the job. It's actually a genius plan from Blossom, as this gives a reason for her to be off-screen while she beats up the Broomba. As we all know, the Reboot Puffs can't fight anything on screen and win.
Throughout this episode, Blossom is the one that is resorting to violence and acting like an 80's action hero. This just seems way out of character for her, but I'm glad to have an episode that has a Reboot Puff other than Buttercup save her sisters.
They do have to explain what the Professor is doing during all of this, because there's no way he should be so oblivious to all of this. Turns out, he's stuck in the shower.
Daisy: Now lather.
Daisy: Now rinse.
Huh, a robot trapping a human in an infinite loop. One would think he would eventually use his brain to find out what's going on, but that brain would be very inconvenient to the plot, so this lather/rinse loop takes him out of the vast majority of the episode.
It turns out, Daisy is able to reprogram all of the devices in the Powerpuff household to rampage against them, including machines that simply shouldn’t be able to fight them, like the L-Cube! They decide to sneak around the house to avoid getting caught. Unfortunately, Bubbles just could not help it.
Bubbles: (farts in Buttercup’s face)
That all important character trait of having a flatulence problem shows up again, because why not? It seems like the only consistent character trait Bubbles has; whether she’s a maroon or a coding genius, farting is a free action for her. At least there’s somewhat of a point to this, as this allows Buttercup to walk backwards into the aforementioned L-Cube to get captured.
Blossom ends up saving her by using her eye lasers again. Buttercup’s not too happy, because the L-Cube was destroyed.
Blossom: Do you think this is a game?
Buttercup: Uh, yeah, that’s exactly what it was.
Suddenly, Schedulebot manages to open the door, coming in with full Rambo gear. Guess he was busy getting all of that while he was locked out of the house. How did he get in the house, anyway? It would have made a lot more sense if he used that chainsaw to do it, as he doesn't seem to use it at all.
Granted, that's not the only weapon he brought: he also brought some grenades. Maybe he'll use them to sacrifice himself to save our girls from all of those evil house appliances, shouting to the girls to remember him...
...and that what actually happens! Finally, Schedulebot is destroyed! Though, so are a lot of household appliances that might not be cheap to replace, but they are never paid any mind. Speaking of never paying anything any mind, Blossom, in a rare bit of her not acting as a macho hero in this episode, she says that Schedulebot probably be fine. Yeah, I'm sure he will. They never explained how he got into the door, why not not explain how he survived this?
When they go into the lab, Daisy tells the girls that he has evolved. And...that's it. Not, "I evolved, and I'm going to take over the world", or "I evolved, and I'm going to make all gum taste like black licorice", or anything else. Sure, there's some vines growing out of what seems like a hole in the ground, but they just kind of stop any potential for a god-like computer here.
Blossom tells the girls that they must go "into the breach", as they slowly fly towards the computer monitor, and they instantly teleport into the computer world. Even Bubbles seems to be confused by this. No special equipment made out of tin toil or anything, Blossom just says "once again into the breach", flies up to the computer monster, and...
...boom, they're in a place that proves that the Virtual Boy would be just as eye searing if they went with green instead of red. It's possible that Daisy did this with his "evolved powers", but there's not much that indicates that this is against the Reboot Puff's will, and that's the only way this would have happened.
Another more likely guess is that it may have wanted to do this because he wanted to kill the Powerpuff Girls in the digital world. Daisy does find out that they sneaked in here, and hears all about Bubbles' plan to repair the code. He even says the most unexpected line, I completely lie.
Daisy: I can't let you do that, Bubbles.
Also technically not the line from the movie, even if it's how a lot of people remembered it. After saying this, the cutesy flower turns into a googly-eyed plant monster. This gives us a real on-screen monster fight that doesn't end with just a random zap of Blossom's eyes.
While Blossom is dealing with the giant plant, Buttercup, under the guidance of the coding wizard, has to reverse the mistakes she made the last night. This actually affects the fight scene, as this code wrangling continuously makes the monster weaker and stronger as Blossom tries to fight it. For example, she accidentally gives it missiles, which ends up firing at Blossom...to no effect? If only I could say the reboot was getting tired of the Monster Punch, Girls Down scenes.
Eventually, they find this star piece, which looked like any other piece until Buttercup picked it up. The same thing happens with the missile piece, actually. I have a feeling they intended to have all of these pieces have different images on them, but they forgot to actually draw them. Once she gets it onto the top, we see a huge flash of light.
Suddenly, pancakes. Yeah, everything just reverted back to normal, with Daisy making delicious flapjacks. Even better for Buttercup, Daisy even messes up Buttercup's hair without care and learned to pronounce her name correctly! Buttercup gets everything she wanted, and that means everything is alright.
Everything is peaceful, the Professor got the best shower of his life, and we have a robot buddy that is so useful, it would be just too incredible to see in future episodes. What can possibly bring this plot back to the status quo? Someone using a line I didn't expect to hear in a TV-Y7-FV show.
Schedulebot: Ha, 🚚🚚 you! (repeatedly bashes Daisy with a baseball bat)
According to the closed captions, he's saying "got you", but that was not what I heard. And I thought "damn it, Utonium" was good! Aside from that, I do question the perspective of this shot, which makes him look absolutely gigantic. Maybe he has the ability to absorb grenade explosions, see, no explanation for how he survived the grenade, or maybe it's just bad animation. Surely, it can not be the latter!
After Daisy gets its head batted in, we hear a funky bass line as the episode immediately cuts to black. I guess they realized that Sciencefeld joke never really had any kind of conclusion or point! I guess since Seinfeld was a show about nothing, Sciencefeld ups the ante by being literally nothing! How fitting.
Does the title fit?
The only thing the title reminds me of is Super Mario Land. But yes, it's a robot named Daisy, and it does things that could make one go "oh." It's just barely above the "name of the character" titles.
How does it stack up?
I get how the idea for this episode could lead to something interesting, but it never quite goes anywhere good. There are some okay ideas, especially at the end, but this is one of the "meh" episodes for me. Oh, well.
Next, the Powerpuff Girls eat ice cream. No, it’s not one of my gags, they really eat ice cream.
← The Gift ☆ Brain Freeze →
Powerpuff Girls 2016 - “Lights Out!”
Written by: Haley Mancini, Jake Goldman
Written & Storyboarded by: John West, Angela Zhang
Directed by: Nick Jennings, Bob Boyle
It’s an uphill battle, in more ways than one might expect.
We're at the beginning of the episode, and we already get our peek at this episode's special guest. That's right, it's that guy that looks like Guy Fieri wearing a toupee, checking out that jetpack to Flavortown. No, just kidding, it's actually the giant wacky inflatable tube man, making his return appearance from Man Up! That was the very first episode I ever reviewed, and it gives me good memories. I remember when I actually thought this show was going to be okay, and then I watched it!
So what are all these people gathered around for? It's the Townsville Town-Topia Fair, "the town of the future", where people of all countries get to show off their inventions!
One of the exhibits is a Japanese cat robot which gets the mechanical heart of Schedulebot. He appears exactly one other time, and they completely forgot about him and his love. I am sure we are all crestfallen at how we avoided seeing yet another character in this reboot get a love interest for a sake of a love interest.
Not forgotten is a running gag where Sitcom Dad decided to go on the roller coaster that consists only of an infinitely tall lift hill. It kind of explains by itself why it is useless, both as an invention and as a joke. It just builds up and builds up, and it has no real payoff. I might as well call all of the terrible running gags uphill roller coasters.
But enough joking around, this episode main attraction is everyone's favorite DeviantART OC, Blisstina Insert-Fifty-Other-Names Utonium, or Bliss for short! She's here to show off an invention from the Universal Protection Bureau: the Buggly! Just put it on your ear, or the place where an ear is supposed to be, ask it for anything, and it will magically generate it for you.
At first, I was thinking it was called the Buttly, as it's basically a butler one wears on their ear, but I appreciate that calling it Buggly prevents any unnecessary butt jokes. Isn't that right, Buttercup?
Buttercup Wheelz: No, WHEELZ! Wheelz with a z! I'm reinventing myself for the international stage!
Speaking of unnecessary jokes involving something that has the word "butt" in it, Buttercup wants to be called Wheelz. Why? I dunno. I wish I could say it disappears after one time like Schedulebot, but sorry, it lasts for most of the episode. Needless to say, this is uphill roller coaster #2.
Blossom especially loves this device, because the thought of generating pizza from thin air can give her more time to over-analyze everything she says! That's what she says, just roll with it.
In comes Jared Shapiro, whose "hi" causes her to over-analyze about how she should have went further than just saying "hi" back! This comes up a few times after this, so this is uphill roller coaster #3. Thankfully, I'm not talking about Jared, as he disappears after this scene.
His only role in the episode, and vast majority of his appearances, is to show off how much Blossom loves him. I'm sad they didn't decide to change his character to the dork he was in Phantasm Chasm. It would have been a slight improvement.
As the Buggly is able to generate more Bugglys for everyone to share, the Puffs have more fun with it. Bubbles is busy tinkering with it, because, surprise, this is a coder Bubbles episode, too! As for Blossom, she makes a kale smoothie from Penguin Pete's just by asking the Buggly to make one for her.
Bubbles: Why didn't we just go to Penguin Pete's? It's right here!
For starters, Penguin Pete's costs money, and this thing can make kale smoothies for free! I was expecting a twist where the Buggly was actually stealing stuff from the nearest vicinity. However, that crime would be far more fitting for Discount Jojo than the villain of this episode.
In fact, Discount is too busy getting pied in the face for daring to think Wheelz is a terrible name. Also, the Buggly can also be used to give Buttercup Wheelz another accessory for a toy line that will definitely never exist at this point.
The real villain will be revealed right now, as a sudden shockwave knocks down the Reboot Puffs. Even Bliss gets knocked out by this. Clearly, something must be going on. I mean, Bliss getting knocked out?
Also, the power went out, and worst of all, the Bugglys stop giving everyone free stuff. That's the real problem here! The Powerpuff Girls turn to Bliss to ask her what happened, and she reveals that it's all her fault.
She teleports away and appears on every TV in the TV repair shop, laughing maniacally. It was her, Blossom, it was her all along!
And Silico decides to abort the ruse immediately and show himself. I guess even he thought the "evil doppelganger" plot was too cliche. And yes, Silico just happened to know everything about Bliss, including the name of her intergalactic protection agency. At least I could say being able to take the form of anyone isn't unheard of for Silico; the cliffhanger of the last episode featuring him had him turn into Sitcom Dad. Having him become Bliss is an upgrade, I would say.
He also reveals that the Bugglys were not from space, but they were invented by him. Along with being able to create anything out of nothing, he programmed in another feature on the Bugglys.
Specifically, the ability to reprogram everyone's brains to hate the Powerpuff Girls! But wait, one might ask if they really cared that much, weren't the Powerpuff Girls wearing these Bugglys too? Is this another situation where the Powerpuff Girls are immune to mind control because the plot wouldn't work otherwise? No, because Silico says that he disabled their Bugglys, but all the other ones are under his control. He probably could have reprogrammed them to play dead, but plot.
They even get attacked by their various weapons, like a giant crayon bazooka from Ms. Keane, and a croissant grenade from a random French guy, all coming from their Bugglys. Now I realize another reason why they decided not to call it the Buttly. Bubbles tells her sisters that she wishes the Professor were here.
Yeah, that uphill roller coaster sure wasn't shoved in here, I completely lie. What could the Professor do even if he wasn't on this roller coaster? After flying away from the people of Townsville, they run into a familiar face.
The real Bliss shows up. There is one line that explains that she came to Earth for Town-Topia, and presumably saw all the carnage, so it's not entirely unexplained. The Puffs immediately assume it's just Silico doing another trap, but Bliss proves that it's her by stopping them with her telekinesis. Yes, her defining trait, being able to stop the other Powerpuff Girls. A trait that seems to shared by Silico, but that doesn't seem to cross their mind.
Bliss figures that Silico wouldn't be anywhere without power. Yes, Bliss happens to know that Silico exists. Maybe they talked about him during another webcam chat where Bliss talked about how she moved a planet just by not thinking too hard about it. Sadly, that's not much of an exaggeration.
But, oh no, these reprogrammed townspeople are in the way, ready to sock them with...well, anything. I'm sure you can probably throw a sponge at them, and they would drop dead.
They could fight all of the people they loved, something they did in the original, but there's also the possibility that Bliss can just use her ability to teleport right into this building. Which they actually do. Only a second later, they get hit by a laser beam.
Turns out, this was indeed where Silico was hanging out, but, being the excellent planner who is always two steps ahead, he planned for Bliss to teleport inside! This leads to the one fight scene worth talking about.
See, this fight is actually very interesting, as it pits the girls' powers against Silico's ability to generate anything he could think of. He uses a cannon, and Blossom makes a net aura to catch the cannonballs. Bliss then lifts the cannonballs up and throws them using telekinesis. He then makes a giant, and says "you're out". Silico is rather jokey here; reminds me of one of the better parts of The Trouble With Bubbles.
Wheelz, actually, they kind of forgot about that uphill roller coaster by then, tries to fly right to him and bust his lights out, but he generates a giant brick wall. Silly Silico, he should have learned from the theme song why that shouldn't work. It goes like this:
Breaking all their bones
When they hit a wall
They gon' quit
(Who's got the power? They certainly don't!)
That might be a misquote, but that might as well be how it goes. However, this does distract Silico, as Blossom and Bliss do a team up plan to strike Silico when he's not thinking about defending himself. With the combined minds of the Game Breaker and the smartest Powerpuff Girl unless she has to do math or coding...
...they just punch him in the face. Honestly, I don't mind this at all. At least I can say they're using the abilities they had before this reboot, too.
I got to say, it's also good to see that this is a fight scene where Bliss just fights alongside the existing Puffs. No special Powerpuff Sisterhood, no Bliss just taking care of everything by herself, just good old fashioned teamwork. This is one of the better fight scenes in the reboot overall. This is not saying much, but it's something.
Bubbles sneaks up on Silico and puts her reprogrammed Buggly on him, and you can watch the episode to find out what happens next. Honestly, I already spoiled enough when I mentioned Silico is in this. I will say it's an ending similar to that one episode of Codename: Kids Next Door, and it doesn't fit the "gives you anything you want" device. However, neither does reprogramming people's brains.
Maybe they might have been aware that this could be his final appearance, as, unlike all but one of his episodes, this episode doesn't end with a cliffhanger. It's a fitting end for someone who was angry at little girls for breaking his toys. What does it end with?
Rest in peace, Sitcom Dad. You were such a Sitcom Dad. No, it's just uphill roller coaster #1, which happened to be the uphill roller coaster.
Does the title fit?
The lights going out seem to be more of a side thing than anything else.
How does it stack up?
There are some pretty bad running gags that take up far too much time. If they took out those, this could easily be a top ten episode for me. As it stands, it's merely only good by reboot standards. The fight scene is interesting, Silico actually manages to get some good lines in here and is not a total dingus, and it manages to have Bliss be useful without making her overpowered. A decent episode all around.
Next, finally, Barry gets his own episode! It could be just what I always wanted, as the monkey's paw bends one of its fingers.
← Brain Freeze ☆ Bucketboy! →
Powerpuff Girls 2016 - “Brain Freeze”
Written by: Haley Mancini
Written & Storyboarded by: John West, Angela Zhang
Directed by: Nick Jennings, Bob Boyle
An actual one may be preferable to this.
Gold is probably the last thing I think of when I think of the reboot, but that's how this episode starts, anyway. Specifically, it's a field trip to a golden train filled with various golden things named "Fort Knox On Tour." Unfortunately, despite being called Fort Knox, it isn't anything "like Fort Knox", as there's no real security here.
After touring around that train to make any joke they can think of involving gold, including this line that sadly hints at what level of intelligence Blossom is going to be at in this episode:
Blossom: It says here that each gold bar is worth its weight in gold!
No, really?! Anyway, the class gets to have a picnic with their bagged lunches. As soon as the Reboot Puffs open their bags, a monster comes out of it.
That is, Sitcom Dad, showing up via pink hologram. He tells the girls about how much they overdo it on the sugary snacks. He specifically tells them to not buy any candy with their pocket change, and that they should enjoy the healthy food he packed for them.
They tell themselves that it can't possibly be that bad, until they take a good look at them.
Broccoli, turnips, and a block of tofu. They all act disgusted at this. Even Blossom refuses to touch that strange bean curd. One would think she would be the one expressing the virtues of healthy eating. At least she's not the annoying one in this episode, at least not for that reason.
The Powerpuff Girls might actually eat healthy food for once instead of all that ice cream, and someone has to save them from this predicament!
Enter Moo-Joo Moo Moo, with his new brand of ice cream! The Powerpuff Girls can't possibly fall for this, and sure enough, Blossom has to tell the girls not to jump at this opportunity. Oh, not because she clearly recognizes this overly-large-headed ape handing out ice cream, but because the Professor didn't want the girls to spend their pocket change on sweets!
Moo-Joo Moo Moo: It's free!
The Three Maroons: LOOPHOLE!
Yes, even Blossom exclaims excitement over disobeying her dad. That ice cream must be that tempting! Bubbles then feels like this guy is familiar, but Moo-Moo reassures her that he's only familiar because Moo-Moo's head is on every cone! At this point, why not just have him say "because I'm not Mojo Jojo"? Might as well make us suspend all of our disbelief.
Either that reasoning worked or they just really want that ice cream no matter who gives it to them, as the Powerpuff Girls get their free cone. They take their first lick, thinking about how to thank this random stranger for giving them sweets that will not give them the worst brain-and-everything-else freeze ever.
Sure enough, that ice cream gives them the worst brain-and-everything-else freeze ever, as they immediately freeze and drop to the ground. This strange man offering the Powerpuff Girls sweets reveals himself as Discount Jojo.
Everyone else in the vicinity was also taken in by this stranger offering ice cream, so he's able to do what he wanted to do: steal that train full of gold. As said before, we never really see any security. There is the train conductor, but it turns out, he was enamored by all the ice cream, too.
So enamored, Jojo is able to throw him out of the screen to the ground, causing a glass shattering sound effect! Seriously, Jojo just murdered someone on-camera, who said this reboot was toning down the violence?
Eventually, the Powerpuff Girls break out of the ice, realize what's happening, and chase after the train. Unfortunately, they're still holding that ice cream, and they just can't resist taking another lick from it.
See, the ice cream also happens to be formulated with something highly addictive. No, really, that's what Blossom says; one can make their own conclusion on what exactly it is. Buttercup just says its chocolate chip cookie dough, even though she's constantly holding a chocolate ice cream.
The ice cream is so addicting, that the Powerpuff Girls just can't help but take a lick every few seconds. Blossom does manage to slap it out of Buttercup’s hands at one point, but in the next scene, she just pulls it out without any explanation. To be fair, that's the only time that happens, and they do show that Discount Jojo was busy making tons of ice cream vending machines.
At least, I think that's what these are, as they only really show up in one scene. Maybe if the Reboot Puffs chose that one that says ooJ-ooM ooM ooM, they'll get the antidote to that highly addictive material.
The girls desperately try to smash Discount's face in, while Discount Jojo is relaxing on the hood of the train knowing fully well they're just going to stop in mid-air, lick the ice cream, and freeze themselves. It's just the same scene over and over again; it barely even counts as a montage.
After effortlessly escaping, what is he going to do with all of that gold from that train? He apparently already had enough money for those vending machines, so it's not like he needs the money.
Make a giant solid gold wrecking ball on what looks like a water tower to destroy Townsville once and for all! Seems like it would only level the area around this wrecking ball, but what do I know, I'm not an ice cream inventor.
But, uh oh, there's a giant kink in the cable which, for reasons the plot needed to work with, causes the computer controlling the wrecking ball to not budge until it gets fixed. Jojo tries, but he ends up getting tied up in the cable.
Since the error has been corrected, the wrecking ball swings him around town. Essentially, this is just the wrecking ball joke from The Simpsons Movie, except they have to have him say something along the lines of "oh no, the knives factory!" The comic timing is practically non-existent here.
Discount Jojo: Oh, thank goodness, the pillow factory!
This will be a complete shock to everyone: he's not going to hit the pillow factory. In fact, I knew right when this gag started that he was going to joke about a pillow factory and miss it. Instead, he hits the broken glass factory, after talking about how he's going to hit the broken glass factory. After that, he asks why it even exists. See, our ideas are so absurd, laugh, damn it!
As the Powerpuff Girls take a very long time to get to Townsville due to those aforementioned vending machines/R2D2s, they take another lick from the ice cream and, while frozen, they get hit by the wrecking ball. It tends to happen even when they're not frozen.
After seeing Discount Jojo cry about how he didn't want this to happen and that he needs help while being swung around, they come to the conclusion that Discount Jojo is tearing up the town, and they must stop him. To be fair to the Puffs, they're not entirely wrong. Their first course of action is to, in Blossom's words...
Giving this episode some semblance of credit, they don't really do any of those off-model weird faces in this episode. I mean, this face is certainly more eye pleasing than those faces from Buttercup vs. Math. Unfortunately, resistance turns out to be futile. They try to drop the ice cream, but they can't, even though they did smack it off each other's hands earlier in the episode. They then try to hold it but not lick it, because that worked the last fifty times they tried that. Of course, that doesn't work either.
Eventually, Blossom figures out that the only way to break the habit is to stop thinking about it. While staring at this swinging ball on a pole, Blossom sees a similarity between this and another childhood sport that could easily distract her from that strange ice cream.
That is, tetherball. We even get a history of tetherball! It's just like one of those scenes from Teen Titans Go where they ramble on about the history of something, minus any attempted humor. They even have this diagram show up, but there's only scribbles here. I get that they didn't want jokes that wouldn't translate to other languages, as they never do this for the visuals, but it feels like a missed opportunity.
Using this knowledge, Blossom is able to RESIIIIIIST the ice cream and hit the golden wrecking ball as if it was a tetherball. And yes, I wasn't kidding about this reboot not wanting to have tetherballs hit on camera, as each hit is covered up with a hit flash. Sure, Discount Jojo is tied to it, but it's not like he's being directly hit by them. What's even worse is that these hit flash seem to last a whole second and are completely still this time. It is like those accursed Nike swooshes from Season 1 with even less effort!
While Blossom and Buttercup are perfectly distracted by tetherball, Bubbles needs to have a little more convincing. I guess the other side effect of the addictive ingredient is that it turns you into a reptile. Just ask that one drug dealer from that one PSA. Yesssssss!
Their solution: make up a song about a bunny that can only be sung while playing tetherball! No, not that Bunny. Blossom and Buttercup begin while continuing their bashing of this clearly-in-peril-though-it-was-caused-by-his-own-evil-intentions Discount Jojo.
Okay, so they can hit the tetherball on camera if they're singing a song about bunnies. Wow, this censorship is weird. This song just sounds like they're just making it up as they go along...which is exactly what's happening, so good job! Eventually, Bubbles comes in just to save Buttercup from coming up with something that rhymes with "say".
They hit the tetherball so hard that it spins all the way around, causing the whole mechanism to fall apart. Seems like a cruel punishment, but he did outright murder that train conductor, so it's okay. All that tetherballing made the girls hungry, and Blossom suggests they eat those healthy lunches. A few seconds of thinking, and they all decide that's a bad idea, even Blossom. Who can save them from this predicament?
Turns out, having an entire wrecking ball mechanism fall right on top of you does not even give Discount a scratch. Even if those hit flashes didn't exist, the impact the Reboot Puffs had is just completely erased by this ending.
He even repeats the same exact idea with the same exact name, except with chocolate rather than ice cream. No, really, the episode ends with the Powerpuff Girls saying "hmmm" to this, so we can assume he even succeeds, too! As the Powerpuff Girls say, always accept candy from strangers, especially strangers that gave you addictive-ingredient-laced ice cream! What a great message for the kids.
Does the title fit?
They're getting frozen by this ice cream. Not much brains in this one, though it's possible that was supposed to be a reference to Discount Jojo being the villain here. Hmm.
How does it stack up?
I just couldn't find anything to like about this episode, and trust me, I look for any sign of quality in these. It's slow, monotonous, and there's so much wasted time here that ruins any bit of comedy they could have had. Just give me the tofu.
Next, ignorance would be bliss, but instead, I get to do the exact opposite to Bliss.
← Oh, Daisy! ☆ Lights Out! →
Powerpuff Girls 2016 - “Bucketboy!”
Written by: Haley Mancini
Written & Storyboarded by: Benjamin P. Carow, Caitlin Vanarsdale
Directed by: Nick Jennings, Bob Boyle
The episode begins with Barry serving up some bakery items from his own recipes, one of the traits he managed to keep between Can't Buy Love and this episode. Unfortunately, that appeared to be his only trait!
Mayor: I'm a-twitter for these fritters!
Barry: Thanks, whoever you are!
This is as close as we get to Barry's potential "beware the Illuminati" character, as he would be the person most likely to see the Mayor as a body double. More likely than not, and judging by how this character acts in the rest of the episode, this is just a "Barry is silly" joke.
Suddenly, a monster named Gothra shows up to grab that silly boy. The Powerpuff Girls just as suddenly show up to tell him to stop bugging their friend. Before he could even tell his side of the story, unless he's one of those mythical non-talking animals, these bug-eyed freaks rush in to swat this bug-eyed giant bug out of the sky. I wince for the inevitable scene that seems to follow such scenes...
But, in a surprise twist, we actually do get a psychedelic slideshow beatdown! A punch in the face, a kick in the eye, and then a rotating image of Gothra zooming across a shot of Townsville. They must have been playing some more of those overly violent robot fighting games; it's far from their usual "stay in one place and/or assume he's a good monster" strategy. This fight must turn out to be a bad thing.
Well, kind of. Not that grateful about being saved, Barry sadly states that he wants to be a hero just like the Powerpuff Girls, and not just the useless Barry that can't even protect his gingerbread cookies. They give him a similar speech to the one they gave Bubbles in Memory Lane of Pain, except this is a lot more deserved, as Barry is just an ordinary boy. An ordinary boy with a Korean ninja mom, but they do not really talk about that anymore.
They let Barry go, thinking that their message about how he could be a "Super Barry" will not go misinterpreted. The next day at the cafeteria, Barry barges through the doors with a new identity, something he desperately needed.
Indeed, he took the identity of Quailman from Doug, complete with him wearing his underwear over his one-piece suit, and a towel for a cape! No, it's just SuperBarry. It's a wonder why he decided to wear a mask if he's just going to use his real name anyway. As he makes a feeble attempt to cartwheel across the room only to fall flat on his face, the Puffs realize calling him Super Barry was not a good idea.
Blossom tries immediately to talk some sense into him, but there's already danger a foot. Yeah, that's not as catchy as "there's evil a-foot".
It's a generic bully wanting to get his generic lunch money from a generic wimpy kid who may or may not have a generic diary. This bully kind of looks like a Ren & Stimpy character, and it's a missed opportunity that he doesn't get any exaggerated reaction shots. Left with no choice, he decides to use his superpower: his fists of fury! Clearly, with the help of his Korean ninja mom, this has to be some impressive Taekwondo!
Yeah, more like Taekwandon't. As Barry aimlessly wanders around the cafeteria circling his arms, the Powerpuff Girls show up and stare at the bully angrily, their pupils filled with fire, and that alone causes the bully to run away crying. I wouldn't blame him; he couldn't have possibly known to throw crayons at them.
The kid getting bullied opens his eyes and sees Barry in his superhero costume, and assumes he was the one who "scared him away". Everyone then joins in with his cheering. Buttercup isn’t too pleased, though she does awkwardly say that even her heart melted a little when she saw that he was happy "and crud".
However, Blossom assures her that no harm could possibly be done if Barry thinks he’s a superhero. Sure, he might think he could fly, but that never seems to cross her mind. After all, sometimes humans just fly in this universe, just ask Princess. They get a call from the Mayor that a monster is attacking the city, and not just any monster.
Once again, we see the creative genius of the monster designs. After we saw a goth Mothra, we get a giant sentient garbage can that does the Can Can. Well, I can't say this garbage can is not in an appropriate show. Honestly, monsters like these make me wonder about their origin stories. Maybe Barry threw some uranium into a trash can. Wouldn't be the first time that ended up making a monster.
Before Buttercup can dent this vile beast, they hear a familiar call from the brand new superhero they accidentally made. SuperBarry tries to use his trademark Fists of Fury again, but the Can Can Man kicks his building before he could even attempt to do any contact.
Barry isn't too happy that crime fighting was so much easier with the bully than with a giant monster. Bubbles tries to calm him down by saying that he still makes great pies. Oh yeah, there's a running "joke" where Bubbles is eating pies that have been dropped on the ground from the first scene. The joke is that Bubbles is so silly, eating those rotten pies.
Blossom also tries to comfort Barry by saying what they really meant. They really didn't mean that he could be a superhero like they are. However, that hurts his feelings, which tugs at one of the Powerpuff Girls' hearts too much. Specifically...
...Buttercup's? So now Blossom’s the one that doesn’t want him to be a superhero, and Buttercup's the one that wants him to be one? This total change of character comes out of nowhere, especially since Buttercup's usually the one to put people down. Well, I guess there's one reason, and I'll get to that later.
While the Powerpuff Girls can't exactly transfer their powers by letting him eat a strand of their hair, hey, you can't prove that can't happen, Buttercup has one idea.
She puts a bucket on his head, covering his eyes. She then puts him right in front of a garbage can. See, there’s a reason why this villain had to be a garbage can: so Barry can punch a regular-sized non-dancing garbage can and believe he’s actually punching the giant one. How convenient! They then go and defeat the monster off-screen. I would assume this giant garbage can was too powerful for them to not use the "off-camera power boost".
The monster defeated, SuperBarry raises his hands in victory. I guess nobody in Townsville was watching anything but the aftermath, as they all believe this guy who was punching this garbage can defeated the terrible Can Can Man. He’s renamed Bucketboy by the citizens of Townsville, and he just rolls with it. It's heavily implied he can't get that bucket off with his fists of fury, but that doesn't stop him from continuing his pretend crimefighting.
We then see various scenes featuring our new favorite superhero fighting crime with his Bart Simpson-inspired fighting style, while the Powerpuff Girls help him out every way they can. It comes with a song that pretty much spells out the inner psyche we see later, about how he fights crime by himself. Sure, anyone could possibly see that the Powerpuff Girls are doing all the work, but as later episodes would prove, and even original episodes have proven, the people of Townsville are not too bright.
As an aside, is there even any reason why Barry has to be the superhero? They never really tie in the conspiracy theory or the baker aspect of his character to this hero, so this kid could have been any of the muggles. It could have been Jennifray, or Maylyn, or Jared Sh...okay, Barry was the perfect choice.
Speaking of perfect choice, Barry is busy signing autographs. I will admit, there is a joke that's actually funny here. A small one, but one that made me chuckle nonetheless. Not making anyone chuckle is seeing the Powerpuff Girls tired from all of that helping. One of them seems to have a slightly different outlook on this.
Yeah, I think they're trying to make ButterBarry a thing. Yes, because they had so much chemistry before! I guess they just decided that since they happened to share the same voice actress, they might as well make them love each other for this one time and, as far as I can tell, only time.
At least this subplot never becomes "Blossom sure loves that Jared" blatant or creepy, and that shouldn't even be an accomplishment. I mean, it's pretty much just because Barry never does anything on the level of "trying to kiss Bubbles on the lips as a final joke". Yes, that happened.
Speaking of Bubbles, while she's also too tired, she has another reason to spill the beans to Barry: he hasn't been making those pies, and she's still eating that one pie from weeks ago. Despite making her want to vomit, she still says it's good. Oh, that Bubbles! But wait, if those pies were so good, how come she ate it so slowly? I can't believe there's a flaw in that running joke!
They go up and confront Bucketboy, and tell them the truth. While it looks like he's just about to realize the error of his ways, they decide to completely meet our expectations, because he's now the jerk of the episode. He just thinks they're jealous of how high and mighty he is. To prove his super-heroism, he's going to do the one thing the Powerpuff Girls could never do!
We jump to Discount Jojo's lair, as he built this "build-your-own-robot" that can destroy Townsville. All he needs is a disposable brain. Okay, Discount Jojo, give in yours. You’re the one who needed that cork fork. Thankfully for him, an equally disposable brain shows up at Jojo's doorstep, as Bucketboy decided the one thing the Powerpuff Girls never did was send Discount Jojo to his doom. I'm guessing it's the most TV-Y7 way of saying he's going to kill him.
Thankfully, he never really goes anywhere with that plan, and Jojo decides this brain will do! Wait, is he going to actually cut his head open? Wow, that's actually kind of dark! Sure, Barry did have a lot of potential, but it's clear that they weren't going to do anything with it.
Nah, he’s just going to stick that body into the head part of the robot. Thankfully, it happens to be a bot that can use Bucketboy's unique fighting style. Wow, what a coincidence! I think what they tried to go with was that Barry was full of rage because his friends didn't believe he could be a superhero, but that never really comes through. For all we know, he's just brainwashed in there.
Why would Jojo even need that disposable brain aside from plot convenience? Funnily enough, there's an answer to that! As this bot is controlled by another person's brain, he can now spend his free time doing what he loves best: online shopping! We never quite figure out what he's shopping for, but the way he says "online shopping" suggests something feminine.
Speaking of feminine, the Powerpuff Girls show up to stop this menace, only to see that Barry is inside the robot! At least there's more of a point to the Monster Punch, Girls Down, as they don't want to fight this robot.The big hang-up is that Buttercup really doesn't want to hurt Barry, and neither do the other two! I mean, Barry is their friend, supposedly! It seems that the only solution is to convince Barry to not destroy the city and realize what he's really good at, possibly with an emotional plea.
Or, they can just tear off both of the robot's arms, and just grab Barry out of there. Potential difficulty averted! Of course, Buttercup is teary eyed after saving that hunk of a man.
Buttercup: Keep it together, Buttercup!
Oh, we get it already! The robot lands on Discount Jojo, but don't worry, Jojo says "I'm okay". The robot then explodes. I guess there's some comedic timing there.
Back at the Powerpuff Girls' home, Barry reveals that this whole ordeal made him realize that he could be a superhero just by baking pies. Everything turned out okay. Even Bubbles gets her happy ending by getting that fresh pie she desperately wanted. However, she felt that something was missing.
It needed some dirt. Well, at least the Bubbles rotten pie gag has a payoff. I'm sure everyone is pleased to hear that.
Does the title fit?
It's another “name of the character” episode title, though that additional exclamation point helps a little.
How does it stack up?
This episode could have went in directions that would have made it really annoying, or we could have had a good Don Quixote type of story with a fleshed out character to love and/or hate. They decided to do neither option and played it extremely safe. This is sort of a problem in itself, because this episode ended up being boring.
This episode has a similar problem to Brain Freeze, in that it is mainly one joke over and over again, and it's not funny. It's a little better, but not better enough to avoid the same rating.
Next, a brand new villain!
← Lights Out! ☆ The Fog →