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Archive for January, 2010

So I got a Kindle…

So I got a Kindle for Christmas and I’ve just finished reading my first full book using it. I have to say I’m enjoying it a lot.

Now, I’m sure you’ve all heard a lot about the Kindle already, so I won’t bore you with a huge advertisement about the product (“And its only three easy installments of $259.00!”) but I do want to talk a little bit about it since a lot of people still don’t really like the idea of ebooks. I know because I myself was like that not too long ago. I used to not be able to stand reading anything longer than an standard news article or blog post on the computer, so the thought of reading an entire book on a screen was not that appealing to me at first (which is ironic since by that time I had written fan fiction and short stories that I posted online that forced other people to read on computer screens for extended periods of time). However, over the past year or so, I’ve gotten more used to it. I think the big reason for that is that I’m writing a lot more which allows me to get used to reading text on a computer really quick and became more interested in ebooks. Hense, the Kindle.

Now, even though I got used to reading on a computer screen, I want to say that reading on the Kindle is NOTHING like reading on a computer screen. The screen on the Kindle is a black and white LCD that isn’t backlit, which you think would be a bad thing, but the fact it isn’t backlit means it has a lot less strain on the eyes. The words displayed on the screen are always very clear and it really does succeed in not being anymore difficult to read for extended periods of time than a normal book would. In fact, since you can change the font size of books to suit your personal preferences, I would say it puts far less strain on your eyes than a normal book does, which is why changing the font is one of my favorite features on the Kindle, despite how simple that is.

Well…changing the font AND having access to tons of books. I was disappointed that not every single book I’m interested in isn’t available on Kindle, but they do have quite a lot. And almost all the books they do have are cheaper than getting the actual print version. You can get new hardbacks for about 10 bucks on average, and even books that are published in paperback are a dollar or two cheaper on the Kindle. If you really like reading and buy a lot of books (like I tend to do), the Kindle will probably actually save you a bit of money in the long-run.

Of course, the downside to this is that being able to wirelessly access the Kindle store on the device means you are constantly tempted to buy books since all it would take is a few seconds (essentially it has the iTunes Effect), but it’s still a very good device and it is convient getting new books instantly. For example, if I wanted to read Good Omens (I already own it but I want to use it as an example because the book is awesome and if you have not read it, you are a bad person and you should feel bad), before I would either have to go to Barnes and Noble and hope they have the book in stock or order off Amazon and wait for it to come in the mail about 3-5 days later. But with the Kindle, all I have to do is load up Kindle store, select Good Omens, buy it, and its downloaded to my Kindle after less than a minute. The total process takes less than five minutes. Like I said, this may lead to a lot of book impulse buying, but I do like the conveince.

Which isn’t to say the Kindle is perfect. Like I said, not every book is available on the Kindle, not by a long shot. It still has a very very wide selection, but it’s by no means perfect (I was personally disappointed almost none of Steven Brust‘s books were yet available on the Kindle). The wireless can also sometimes be a tad slow depending on what area you’re in, which is a bit frustrating since I live in the Freaking Woods. I guess I understand I’m not in a very good area, but I have an aircard through Verizon that gives me 3G wireless access and it works fine, so I was a little disappointed the Kindle’s wireless was not as fast as that. Also, the web browser in the Kindle is very bare-bones. I personally didn’t care much about the web browser, but it’s not a fantastic web-browser.

But all in all I say I enjoy the device. After all, it’s just supposed to be a device for reading and it serves its purpose well. If you read and buy a lot of books, I really would consider getting one if you could afford it. Like I said, it would probably save you a lot of money over time and, even if you don’t like reading on a computer screen or anything like that, reading on the Kindle will still feel very natural. You can trust me on that. So overall, it’s a good device that I really enjoy and recommend.

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Categories: Uncategorized Tags: ,

Good Shows: Clone High

January 14, 2010 2 comments

Now, you’ve all listened to me go on and on about the shows, books, etc. that I enjoy, but you may be wondering why I don’t review things I don’t like. While it may be funnier to do negative reviews and I haven’t ruled out the possibility of doing so (especially since I’m still mulling over doing a few reviews on the mediocre-at-best Animorphs TV series), I prefer to focus on good things that are worth your time thinking about rather than the crap that time is better off forgetting. After all, there are many reviewers out there who can tell you what you should stay away from, most of them much funnier than me. Everything I’ve mentioned so far on this blog are things I enjoy that you should take the time to check out, either by buying the book, finding the DVDs, viewing the videos online, or whatever.

However, since it’s relevant to today’s review, I will mention one thing I don’t like. For the most part, I hate teen high school dramas. Not all teen dramas, but most of them I utterly and completely despise. There are a ton of them but the ones that come to my mind immediately are Dawson’s Creek, Beverly Hills 90210, and the OC. By and large, they’re melodramatic, star actors who look like they’ve been out of high school for about twelve years, take themselves way too seriously, and focus on characters who are annoying, angsty, selfish, stupid, and are generally terrible human beings like…well, like most people you probably remember from high school. I guess you could argue that last bullet point is the intention of most teen dramas and even though most teens go through phases like that, they do grow out of them and, even then, no one teen is exactly the same while most of these shows seem to focus on the typical angsty or selfish teen stereotypes you’ve seen over and over again.

Now, I want to say that not ALL teen dramas are bad. I myself like Buffy the Vampire Slayer (mostly because it mixes high school drama with beating the living apes*** out of supernatural creatures all while watching rich characters created by the always entertaining Joss Wheaton) and I’ve seen some of the various Degrassi incarnations which, while they still occassionally fall into the pitfalls I mention, succeed a lot better than most and at least try to develop their characters in interesting ways (which sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t). But at some point, we’ve all seen one or two teen dramas and almost immediately recognize the cliches that run rampent in them. So it’s always refreshing when a show comes along and devotes itself to mercilessly making fun of every single possible stupid thing about those shows. Which brings us to today’s show. Enter: Clone High.

Tonight, on a very special Clone High...

 

Clone High was a short lived animated series that aired on MTV (which incidentally happens to be another thing I…hate now, but I believed this aired just before the network completely went down the crapper). The premise is both interesting, offbeat, and completely ridiculous on its own, which is described at the beginning of every episode with a theme song that never gets out of your freaking head. Back in the 80’s, a secret board of shadowy government officials literally called “the Secret Board of Shadowy Figures” commissions a completely insane mad scientist named Doctor Scudsworth to clone famous historical figures to eventually be used in a clone army. The clones are made and grow in a secret small town where they are raised by foster parents, and have now all grown into teenagers who, naturally, have to go to high school. Scudsworth acts as the power-mad principal while secretly planning to instead take the clones and use them in an expensive clone themed amusement park, which is just as stupid and insane as it sounds (however, considering Scudsworth is portrayed as a complete and utter nutball whose mind does not even remotely operate within the confines of reality throughout the entire course of the series, it fits).

The main characters, aside from Scudsworth and his robot butler Mr. Butlertron (did I not mention this show was a tad weird?) are all clones of famous historical figures who not only know they are clones, but try to live up to them…only to fail utterly since almost every character is completely different from the figure they are cloned of. For example, the main characters are Abe Lincoln, a guy who has delusions of being sensitive when he really is just shallow boy who only cares about hooking up with Cleopatra, who is our stereotypical over the top shallow yet popular mean girl in this program. Cleo however is in a relationship with JFK, who is a jerky jock kid who only cares about sex. Abe is completely oblivious to the obvious affections of his best friend Joan of Arc, who is a cynical angst ridden goth girl who happens to the voice of reason. And then there is Abe’s other best friend, Ghandi, who is a hyperactive party animal. So in case you couldn’t tell, pretty much every clone in the main cast now has a personality based on a typical teen drama archetype, which allows the show to better parody the genre.

Now, you may have noticed there’s a pattern in my reviews where I will gravitate towards works with strong character development with a surprising amount of depth. Clone High has none of that. At all. But what it is is a very well done parody of teen dramas that satirizes just about every single bad thing about the genre which manages to still be hilarious on its own. It’s not deep, but its not supposed to be (in fact, it’s partially the entire point since it brutally mocks how serious some characters take whats happening around them). But it is damn funny.

Every episode (which is always introduced as a “very special” episode) basically takes an idea from a typical teen drama plot (going to prom, dealing with drugs and peer pressure, entering a student election) and takes the ridiculousness of it up to 11. For example, in one episode where they deal with peer pressure, the “drug” Abe and his friends are being pressured to try is not weed or LSD or anything. It’s raisins. The teens smoke raisins. Not only that, but they apparently have hallucinogenic properties since they send Ghandi on the weirdest drug trip sequence this side of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. And then the raisins are perceived as such a threat that the PTA builds a giant wall around the school to keep the raisin pusher out. And the entire episode is told in the style of a rock opera. Every episode is just that weird, taking those standard tired plots and exaggerating them to the nth degree, with hilarious if weird results.

The plots for each episode aren’t the only thing the show exaggerates. Like I mentioned, Joan of Arc is obviously in love with the oblivious main character Abe, which is a very typical plot device in teen drama as well. Even this is exaggerated and played with to a ridiculous extent. It isn’t just that Joan is hinting she likes Abe. She basically outright TELLS him several times and he somehow still doesn’t get it. The first episode even has a dialogue between the two that goes something like this (“The point is a woman is attracted to me and I’m not going to ignore it!” “Abe, I want you…” “Sorry, I didn’t catch that.” “Um…” “Lost your train of thought? Happens to me all the time.”) Abe’s delusion of being the “sensitive” character when really he’s just shallow and a complete idiot is also exaggerated. He will often try to give a heartwrenching or stirring speech with elaborate metaphors not unlike main characters of other teen dramas, but every single one of his speeches is awful and makes little to no sense. Every show is full of jokes like this and, even if you’re not familiar with the teen drama conventions it’s parodying, it’s still funny. Not to mention the show is filled with other weird and entertaining jokes that are either just plain funny or make fun of how the cloned historical figures differ from their real life counterparts. If you know anything about history at all, there will be quite a few gags you’ll find hilarious, even the ones that cross the line. In fact my favorite joke in the entire show should make me feel like a horrible person, but somehow doesn’t. You can see it in the following video (the actual joke starts at about 1:03).

It would take me forever to say all the reasons why this show is funny, but I think it’s better if you experience it yourself. Like I said before, it’s not a deep show, but it is one of the funniest shows I’ve ever seen, even though it only lasted 13 episodes. It wasn’t popular at the time and is still relatively obscure, but you can find all the episodes on DVD. Although the DVD is only available in Canada, you can order it from Amazon, and it is well worth it. You can also find the episodes uploaded to Youtube. Although we can argue the legality and moral implications of looking at old TV shows online, I do urge you to check them out and, if you enjoy the series, to consider purchasing the DVD. I’m sure you won’t be dissappointed.

Once again, I would like to leave you by putting up some links to my personal favorite episodes in the series. Since there are only 13 episode total and I like pretty much all of them, I will try to be brief.

Abe and JFK run against each other for student body president. Like every other episode in the series, it gets out of hand and over the top very quickly, leading to smeer campaigning and sleezy campaign sponsorship by a company that markets a product called X-Treme Blue (which is itself an amusing though slightly dated parody of xtreme marketing during the 90s). It also features a guest star spot by Marilyn Manson, who (and I am dead serious about this) at the end of the episode sings an upbeat, children’s show-esque song about the food pyramid. And yes, that really is Marilyn Manson and no, I did not make that last part up. I personally don’t care much about Marilyn Manson, but even I think that it’s really funny. The actual song is catchy too. This video only links to the first part of the episode, but you can find the other two parts linked to it in the related videos.

This episode, aside from having my favorite joke in the whole series that I mentioned earlier, is pretty funny. The clones prepare for a standardized test called the PXJTs which is played as the most serious thing ever (Scudsworth even says “FAIL THE PXJTS AND YOUR LIFE WILL BE RUINED FOREVER!”) Meanwhile, Abe gets no sleep for many days, which everyone seems to treat as an alcohol addiction allegory (which again, everyone seems to think is the most serious problem ever despite how ridiculous it is). Pretty funny episode.

This is the peer pressure drug episode I mentioned earlier in the review. The one about raisins that is told in the style of a rock opera. It’s a rather trippy show, especially every part involving Ghandi’s weird raisin trip, but it’s an amusing over-the-top parody of those types of episodes and the songs in the episode are funny and catchy as well. In fact, almost all the music in this show is catchy too. Not exactly as catchy as the stuff in Home Movies, but still pretty damn good.

I could go on, but since there are only 13 episodes, I’ll just post links to those two. If you enjoy them, I urge you to check some of the others out and buy the DVD if you really enjoy them. It’s a good show and I hope you find it as funny as I did.

Categories: tv Tags: , , ,

A Few Random Bits

Since I don’t really have enough to talk about for a full post about one specific thing, I’m going to fill this post with a few bullet points explaining some of the games or movies I’ve seen recently.

Assassin’s Creed 2

I just finished up Assassin’s Creed 2 earlier today and I have to say I enjoyed the game pretty much the entire way through. I had to stop myself from making a post talking about a lot of the stuff in the game, since I don’t want to much away about the story later because I actually enjoyed discovering it for myself. However, I do want to talk about some of the things the game does well, but I’ll try to refrain from going into spoiler territory.

The story in the last game was okay, but this game really takes it up a notch. The main character (by which I mean the assassin whose memories you’re living through most of the game) is an assassin-to-be in Renaissance era Italy named Ezio, who is a lot likable than Altair, who was kind of a prick for the first half of Assassin’s Creed 1. He starts out as kind of a roguish street punk who has a weakness for the ladies. He has a strong relationship with his family and leads a pretty happy life when we first start the game. But since this is an Assassin’s Creed game, you just KNOW that isn’t going to last for long, and indeed it does not. Ezio matures over the course of the game becoming a wise, nice, sympathetic character after starting out as nice, but a tad shortsighted and impatient.

The plot is very cool and a lot deeper than the one in the first game. You interact with a lot more historical figures (like Leonardo da Vinci, who helps Ezio and occassionally makes assassin gadgets for him, which is pretty damn cool even though its not historically accurate). I really like the historical fiction/sci-fi setting the series takes place in and the game fleshes it out more, letting you learn more about the Templars and the Pieces of Eden. Some of the stuff you find in the backstory is pretty out there at some points (especially near the end where they start going into Metal Gear Solid weirdness), but as long as you realize it’s just historical fiction and not meant to be taken so seriously, you should enjoy it. Even though the story gets pretty weird, you’ll honestly want to go on to see what happens next just to see how this will all make sense (unfortunately the ending is a cliffhanger again and it doesn’t explain everything, but you definitely learn a lot more than what they revealed in the first game).

The gameplay is improved a lot as well. If you played Assassin’s Creed 1, you know every main mission in the game can be summed as A) Gather information about target, B) leap on target like a velociraptor and knife him, C) repeat until final boss. Even though I liked the first Assassin’s Creed a lot, you did kind of which for more variety once you realized you were doing the same thing for each mission. Instead of just rehashing the same formula, Ubisoft did fix a lot of the problems of this game. Each assassination mission has a wide variety of mini-missions leading up to it that are always different. There’s also more secondary objectives and more reasons to go for them. You have a few secondary missions like assassination contracts and beat up events (which amount to some lady saying she wants to pay you to beat the ever loving crap out of her cheating husband. Every time) that give you money which you can use to buy new weapons (which is another good addition. You get stronger weapons and new gadgets as the game goes on which go far beyond the few weapons you earned in the first game). You can also hunt for glyphs hidden in the memories that lead to puzzles which unlock a lot of the games backstory (which sounds like a needless fetch quest, but considering how creepy and interesting the backstory is, you’ll probably feel compelled to find all 20 of them to find out what the hell is going on) as well as find seals from assassin’s tombs, which are almost always platforming levels, to unlock the strongest armor in the game (previously owned by Altair from the first game). There’s no shortage of stuff to do.

Now, the game is about average length (maybe like 15 or 20 hours total by my estimate) which seems like the perfect length for it. It’s not too short like the first game might have felt and it ends before it starts to get old. I pretty much enjoyed it the entire way through. The only complaint I have is that, just like the last game, they end on a cliffhanger that makes you really really want to see what happens next and you’ll have to wait a couple years before its resolved.

So if you liked the first Assassin’s Creed, you’ll like this one a lot more. If you didn’t like the first game, it fixes most of the problems with that it had so you might like this one. Either way, I recommend checking it out.

Heir Apparent

After I did the post about Animorphs, I had an urge to look back at some of the books I enjoyed when I was a kid to see if they’d hold up. One of my favorite books that I read during my first years in middle school was Heir Apparent by Vivian Vande Velde.

This is a really good book that is one of the few books I’ve read that is about virtual reality that does it well (aside from Snow Crash and the Otherland series by Tad Williams). I haven’t read many other books that use the concept of virtual worlds or virtual reality very well and if you know of some, let me know since I used to be obsessed with the concept of virtual reality as a kid.

I don’t want to go into to much detail since I plan on doing a full post as soon as I’ve finished rereading it. Speaking of which, if you’ve never reread one of the books you used to love as a kid when you get older, give it a try. Not all books hold up, but its interesting to see which ones do and you may find yourself catching some stuff you may have missed the first time you read it. I will say I really recommend the book if you’re a fan of sci-fi and fantasy. It’s not a long read, but it is enjoyable and I’ll say more about that a few posts from now.

TVtropes

This isn’t something I’m planning on doing a post on, I just feel like talking about it. TVtropes has been my most visited site on the Interweb for a while now. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s a Wiki (like Wikipedia but much more informal) that has pages about tropes (reoccuring themes, plot elements, archetypes, etc.) found in fiction, video games, tv shows, film, and so on. They have pages about many works of fiction that list tropes found in it and also has pages on the tropes themselves with plentiful examples. Most of the examples and descriptions are written in pretty amusing ways.

Now, if you’ve ever visited wikipedia, you know that you can spend hours just clicking on links that peek your interest. TVtropes is like this, except worse. If you like fiction in any medium whatsoever, this will be much worse. Not much to say except to check it out and hope it doesn’t steal most of your life.

And that’s it for today. I’ll see you guys later.

Good Shows: Hey Arnold

January 4, 2010 5 comments

Now I said before I was gonna do another post about Animorphs to compliment the last one, but I think I’ll save that for next time (which looks like it will be centered around the TV show and comparing it to the book series. I just need to find some videos of the old episodes so I can see if they were as mediocre as I remember).

Anyway, we’re gonna be talking about a tv show this time and one that was somewhat popular at the time, but is a bit underrated now. That show is the Nickelodeon cartoon, Hey Arnold!

Let’s take a look back, far back, a million years ago…in the Nineties. It was a simpler time, when gas cost less than two dollars a gallon, when a new fad toy like Tamagotchi and Furby came out every year driving kids to near-Lovecraftian madness if they could not obtain them, and when Nickelodeon was still good. Which isn’t to say Nickelodeon didn’t put out good stuff after the Nineties (Avatar and Fairly Oddparents being good examples and Invader Zim being the most triumphant one, even though they cancelled it), but around the mid-Nineties was where Nick was king. They were still running successful Nicktoons like Doug, Rocko’s Modern Life, Angry Beavers (speaking of which, Rocko and Angry Beavers might end up in some future posts as well), and of course, Hey Arnold.

Hey Arnold was the second longest running cartoon on Nickelodeon, right after the cartoon that just does not die, Rugrats (I liked Rugrats as a kid, but it got worse in the later seasons. And the All Grown Up spinoff is just…just not good. At all). In case you’ve never seen the show, Hey Arnold was about a nine year old kid named Arnold who goes to school in a city. He lives with his grandparents in a boarding house filled with other odd people and goes to school with classmates just as odd. These friends of his include his best friend Gerald, a country bumpkin named Stinky, a loudmouth somewhat-paranoid and obsessive kid named Sid, a polite, perfect Canon Sue named Lila (who Arnold has a crush on most of the second half of the series) and many others.

The most prominent figure besides Arnold however is Helga Pataki. Helga Pataki is a tough tomboyish girl who is angry, bitter, and snarky most of the time. She especially likes to pick on Arnold, calling him Football Head. But, in reality, Helga is in love with Arnold. Like… really obsessed over him. But she’s afraid to tell him and instead lashes out at him, which I guess would make her a textbook Tsundere. Nobody knows her secret aside from her best friend, a smart nice girl named Phoebe, and the few people she does tell over the course of the series. Aside from Arnold, she was the most focused upon character on the show and as a result seemed to have the most depth, but we’ll come back to that.

This show had a lot of things going for it. For one thing, it was funny for both kids and adults like 90% of the most successful Nick shows. This was in no small part to the fact that there were many, many, many jokes that seemed to creep back the censor (Helga’s poetry had a lot of this in it, I think more than once making a line in them about her “girlhood” trembling, which…I REALLY have no idea how that got past the censor, but it went over most kids heads. That’s just one example I can think of now, but seriously, this show had enough mature jokes slipped in that rivaled Rocko’s Modern Life in dirty joke stealth). It also had a good cast of voice actors. All the kids in the show were voiced by actual kids (which is a rare occurrence in voice acting) and all the kids were talented and seemed genuine in their performances. Not only that, but it also had Simpson alumni Dan Castellaneta and Tress MacNeille doing the voices for Arnold’s Grandpa and Grandma, who are two of the funniest characters on the show.

The shows were episodic in nature, with the only real story arc running through the whole series being that Helga is in love with Arnold and masks it by picking on him. The plots involved a lot of stuff you would typically in a show about kids in school (there’s one about a teacher’s strike, one about getting a new teacher, one VERY funny one about Phoebe making a fool of herself in front of the entire student body and getting humiliated for it to the point she never wants to go to school again, which rings very true to anyone whose ever been picked on by a large group of people in school), but it also had a lot of episodes that dealt with weirder stuff, mostly involving urban legends which the kids either encountered or actively investigated (for example, there’s one episode where there’s a legend about a dead mobster hiding his money on a cave in an island near the city and the kids go on a Goonies style search for it). There’s also another episode where Arnold encounters a deranged man who acts like a superhero named Monkeyman whose voiced by Andy Dick, and yes, its as weird and funny as it sounds). Most of the episodes were good, although there were quite a few that were hit or miss at times (one complaint I personally have is that there’s one overused plot where somehow Helga’s feelings about Arnold are going to be revealed because of a crucial piece of evidence that somehow came in Arnold’s possession and she has to get it back. It’s used like ten times over the course of the series and, although a few of them are quite good and funny, most are just the same plot each time).

The real strength of the show, however, was the well-defined characters and the development of them over the course of the series, which resulted in the best episodes. Pretty much every character in the show gets several episodes devoted to them over the course of the series and all the characters get subtle development. There’s one character named Harold who is one part “bully” and one part “momma’s boy who isn’t that bright”. He doesn’t get that many episodes devoted to him, but they do flesh him out a surprising amount. They show he’s an orthodox Jew and portray his rabbi and his families practices accurately. He teases people a lot, but all the kids recognize he’s a good person. He even gets a girlfriend named Big Patty, who is assumed to be a bully when she’s really just misunderstood. Again, this isn’t a main focus of the series, but he gets enough episodes that you can see the progression. Most kids get this. Other good examples are Eugene (a kid who has the worst luck ever, who eventually humorously accuses Arnold of being the jinx instead of him since every bad thing that’s happen to Eugene involved Arnold in some way) and Phoebe (who is Helga’s loyal friend who is smart and nice, but allows herself to be walked on sometimes. It is shown later in the series that she can be quite the badass when she’s pushed hard enough though).

However, the characters that get the most development and best episodes are Arnold and Helga. Arnold is involved in pretty much every episode anyway, but the best ones involving him are the ones that explore his emotional baggage about his mysteriously-absent parents. And I have to say, it’s refreshing that this baggage only gets to him in several specific episodes instead of having him angst about it the whole series. It’s more realistic and makes him a stronger character showing he has some issues, but he deals with them well enough and doesn’t let it control his life. However, the episodes when he shows his more vulnerable side give him the most character development and show he’s a more three-dimensional character than people might have originally thought (since he does at first glance seem to just fit in the generic nice guy protagonist who helps people archetype). He also has some good episodes which explore his relationship with Helga, and any time when they have a moment is always sweet.

Helga has a ton of episodes as well, but the best ones are the ones that explore her family, which is dysfunctional. Her adult sister is an obsessive-compulsive perfectionist who is idolized by her parents, while Helga herself is neglected. Her dad is a blowhard and her mom is heavily, HEAVILY implied to be an alcoholic even though they never come right out and say it. A lot of episodes involve this but one of the best ones and my favorite episode in the whole series is one called Helga on the Couch. The whole episode consists of Helga seeing a child psychologist and talking about her early childhood, where we get a more in-depth analysis of her family problems, how she met Arnold, why she’s so obsessed with him, and why she acts the way she does. It does a very good job of explaining why Helga is the way she is and her interaction with the psychologist is kind of heartwarming, probably since she’s the first adult who actually listened to her. Lot of good character stuff in that episode.

It’s a very good series that I recommend very much. It’s one of my favorite cartoons of all time. I liked it so much I even wrote a fanfiction of it. Now, I’ve written fanfiction before that I was not that happy with and am sort of ashamed to even bring up, but I still like that specific fanfic. I learned a lot while writing that one and really helped me develop.

Now, like I said, some episodes of this series are hit or miss, so I want to leave you with links to some of my favorites.

Like I said, this one is my favorite episode in the series. Very good character development and good writing. This is a link to the first part of it, but all three parts can be found linked to the first part.

This one is just a funny episode that has a few good Arnold/Helga moments. Helga wins a dinner for four at a French restaurant and tries to use it as an opportunity to impress/actively put the moves on Arnold. Of course, things don’t go over smoothly, but it has kind of a sweet ending.

This is Parent’s Day, which is the first episode to address where Arnold’s parents are and the first to reveal he has some baggage about it. Lots of character development for Arnold and his grandparents. It’s also probably the saddest Hey Arnold episode, mostly because of the ending. This is another long one, so this is a link to the first part and the other parts can be found in the related videos to it.

Aaaand this would probably be the dirtiest episode of the series. This is a weird episode where Arnold visits his bland-doppleganger cousin Arnie only to find that Arnie’s town is apparently Mirror Universe (except no goatees and no Evil Spock) since it’s populated by Bizarro versions of his friends. I don’t want to spoil exactly what happens, but its one of the weirder episodes and it is really funny especially if you’re older because there are some dirty overtones in this episode. And undertones. Dirty over-undertones. Just watch it.

Starring Andy Dick as Monkeyman. Really, do you need another reason to see this episode?

Anyway, those were my thoughts on Hey Arnold. If you’ve never seen the show, check it out. You won’t regret it.

Edit: Since I originally posted this, pretty much all of the clips I linked were taken off youtube. HOWEVER, you can now get Hey Arnold DVDs off Amazon as part of their burn-on-demand DVDs they’re putting out now. All seasons of the show are currently available. Check them out

Categories: Animation, tv Tags: ,