Goodbye, Gravity Falls

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Well, after 40 episodes, “Gravity Falls” has come to an end. It’s been a wild ride since I first jumped into the show about a year ago, but the one thing that’s stayed consistent is that I still consider it one of the best cartoons I’ve ever seen. For the sake of the finale still being fresh, I won’t be spoiling anything here. Instead, I’d like to reflect on what this show has meant to me. If I happen to repeat anything from the above blog, I apologize in advance.

While no show is flawless, Alex Hirsch created one that emphasizes the importance of story and characters. Even if an episode’s story can be considered “filler,” both the main and supporting characters in “Gravity Falls” kept me coming back again and again. I loved following Dipper and Mabel’s adventures and watching them grow a little through the series. They still remained kids at heart, however, and I think it was great that a lot of focus was put into their relationship with one another. This is especially true in the second season when they learn more about Grunkle Stan and HIS family life, because it sets up good parallels between them. Honestly, I could go on and on about how I pretty much love every single character in this show. Hirsch and his team took great pains to make each character even remotely interesting, including the ones who come across more as comic relief than anything. Sure, there were some that weren’t my favorites, but I never felt any of the characters were outright bad.

I also love how this show embraced the supernatural and mythical. Obviously, Bill Cipher was a great, oddball villain and deserves praise for being one of the more disturbing ones to come out of something Disney-related lately. But I really loved every single creature in this show, good or evil. The evil ones were often menacing and just plain creepy at times, while the “good” ones weren’t quite as nice as they appeared. I’ve mentioned before how I loved the art style of this show from the get-go, and that continued to be the case with the character designs. The show knew when to keep things light and fun and when to delve into nightmare territory. I feel this is a show I would’ve loved as a kid.

One awesome thing about the show is that it never felt like it was talking down to kids. Yes, some episodes had a bit of a moral, but it was never shoved in your face repeatedly like in other shows. There were important lessons for kids, but their main purpose was to serve the story. I also loved the inclusion of the little cryptic messages you could decode. In keeping with the show being smart toward kids, having something clever like that allowed kids who understood the codes to play along with the show. I thought that was an excellent kind of interactivity, as you could easily have family members of any age work together to solve them. I’m hoping the book version of Journal 3, coming out this summer, will have more secrets like that. I can’t wait to pick it up and maybe learn some extra tidbits from Hirsch that weren’t included in the show.

Ultimately, “Gravity Falls” is a must-watch for anyone young and old. Shows like it and “Steven Universe” have given me the same feeling I had watching many of those memorable shows from the 90’s. If there’s one thing I can appreciate about the show, it’s that it leaves you wanting more while still ending on a pretty satisfying note. While I would have loved a third season, I have nothing but respect for Hirsch ending it on his terms and thus completing the story without interruption. Too often we see shows either go on for so long that they lose their luster a bit, or end up cut down prematurely thanks to the networks or low ratings. I’m happy “Gravity Falls” didn’t suffer either of these fates, and I’ll gladly continue to watch and enjoy it for years to come.

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