It is a name know throughout the lands for its playful-yet-twisted sense of humor and amazing storytelling and lore; a series that, in truth, needs no introduction. And yes; I enjoyed this series more than the famed Steven Universe. I present to you all: Gravity Falls!
Aw………where to pick up? Tah………I guess with episode 7,where I was first introduced to the series. Yeah; I didn’t start with episode 1. In fact- I didn’t really want to watch the series when I heard it was coming out. YEAH; glad I watched it! “Double Dipper” was a pretty good episode- on that definitely made me want to watch more of the show- especially the episode “The Inconveniencing.” Which was also pretty cool. For how amazing I think the story was; I think these little episodic adventures really hooked me.
“Double Dipper” saw Dipper finding a cursed copy machine that copied other people. He used this copy machine to insure that he can ask Wendy to dance with him. You get the story: We sometimes get in our own way. Which I also do sometimes- I start to think and think until I ultimately either talk myself out of the idea or just decide to do it. And I think that the idea of us being our own worst enemies is really cool concept- especially when it’s taken to a metaphorical sense. But the thing that really hooked me into the show was the AMAZING theme song. I’m sure that I’ve heard cartoon theme songs without lyrics before- but I just love the theme song and how it built up to the “Da~~~ Da DA- DA~~~ DA DA DA!” my singing SUCKS!
And I especially enjoyed seeing Stan run away with that cash register. And when we got that Weirdmageddon REDUX?! That was so creative, funny, scary, and animated so well- which pretty much sums up the rest of the show. Anyway; after this episode, I just kept watching and watching the show to religiously until the end. I liked the mix of stroy driven episodes with episodic plots that actually ended up building to something. Or; a few of them did(COUGH COUGH*Dipifica 4 Lyfe*COUGH COUGH. Don’t worry; I don’t have COVID- just a frog in my throat). Ultimately; the show was only 2 seasons. Not because it got cancelled- it was the decision of Alex Hirsch.
He broke down in an interview that the process of creating an animated series was rather taxing- more so than he had initially thought. So he ultimately cut the show short, even though I believe he stated that he wanted 3 seasons or more. The thing that I think you should take from Alex’ story and the reason “Gravity Falls” was so short is not “Don’t go into animation-” follow your dreams, dude. But I think the thing we should learn is to calm down and prepare before hand……..no, that’s not it. Maybe the message is something like “Stay calm, be cool, and don’t stress?” Yeah; that sounds closer.
Now……….I could save Bill for the end of the post. But he’s my favorite part of the show, you see. Favorite character- and overall one of my favorite animated villains aside from like Spinel from Steven Universe The Movie and Cell from Dragon Ball Z. Bill Cipher-Triangle. “Liar, Monster, Snappy Dresser.” Oh, but wait; that’s not his real name. I think it’s in Journal 2 or 3 that reveals that Bill’s true name is unpronounceable to 3rd dimensional beings. And those that try usually end up having their head burst into flames! That’s another thing that makes the show so good: The Comedy! Things like that are just casually dropped in a conversation like it’s no big deal- as if it’s just an everyday occurrence. Or even Bill’s sense of humor- it’s always comedic delivery followed by some sick twisted sh!t.
Bill is- for all intents and purposes- the main antagonist of the series. Though his role as such does come into play until Season 2. FUN FACT: An animatic that leaked online revealed that they had originally planned for Bill to appear to Dipper in a dream before Gideon summoned him. Okay; I guess you could say that Bill was the main antagonist of the 2nd season, and Gideon would be the first seasons primary villain. But that just makes the show even better because of the connective tissue this creates. Gideon- the “Big Bad” of the last season- unleashed an even BIGGER threat onto not just the town- but our entire dimension itself.
Going into that: Bill is from the 2nd dimension- a dimension he describes as “A flat world inhabited by flat minded people.” So he “liberated it- by setting it ablaze! He watched as his home burned to the ground – and then the ground burned and the dimension just ceased to exist. Which would tie into a big reveal in the “Gravity Falls: Choose Your Own Adventure” book. When Dipper and Mabel met the Axolotl in “The Time And Space Between Time And Space(classic “Gravity Falls!”);” they were permitted one question each. Dippers question: “What do you know about Bill Cipher?” And the Axolotl only had this poem to say:
30 Degrees That Come In 3s. Watches From Within Birch Trees.
Saw His Whole Dimension Burn- Misses Home And Can’t Return.
Say’s He’s Happy- He’s A Liar. “Blame The Arson For The Fire.”
If He Wants To Shirk The Blame-He’ll Have To Invoke My Name.
One Way To Absolve His Crime: A Different Form And Different TimeAxolotl
And I could go into a whole thing about that, but I already feel like this is becoming more of a “Bill Speculation” post than a “Gravity Falls In General” post. Moving on; I also liked Bill’s voice- Alex Hirsch famously voiced Grunkle Stan, Soos, and even the Dream Demon himself. It’s even the voice he uses for King in The Owl House– minus the echo effect.
Okay………before I gush anymore about Bill; let’s move on. If I talked about every single thing I love about the character- you’d never finish this post.
I think that one thing that could have benefited from the show being longer by even 1 season was the character development of 2 certain characters- one’s that occupied the “Episodic antagonist” roles for Dipper and Mabel’s development. That’s right: I am talking about Robbie and Pacifica. Now……they changed in season 2- but I and my brothers feel that it may have been a little too fast. By which I mean- did there turn from enemy to friend seem a little bit fast to anyone else? I think that a longer show would have given us a chance to see a fleshed out character arcs for the both of them- more so for Robbie than Pacifica, who got more focus overall.
Robbie’s introduction in “The Inconveniecing” immediately set him up as Dipper’s rival- both in how he views himself and in pursuit of The COOLEST Girl You Will Probably Ever Meet– Wendy. Robbie represents everything that Dipper wishes he was- tall, cool with girls and just people in general. And I feel like Robbie viewed Dipper in a similar light- he saw Dipper as everything that he wanted to be: smarter, more comfortable being himself, and accepted by everyone. Dipper didn’t need to try so hard to get in everyone’s good graces- just Robbies. And this is even more apparent in the episode “Fight Fighters.” I do not think Robbie was actually going to beat up Dipper. Like, removing Rumble McScirmish from the episode; I don’t think that they would have fought. Or if they did; it would end with them understanding each other a little bit more.
And this is especially a poorly handled character because of what his role in the story was supposed to be. He was set up to be a key factor in defeating Bill. He represented the scarred heart on the Cipher Wheel- a fragment of the only thing(at the time) that could have conceivably destroyed the Dream Demon Bill Cipher. But no– he was relegated to a background role of just having his arm around Tambry for the rest of the shows run. 1 flaw in an otherwise perfect show.
On the other end of the spectrum- you have Mabel and Pacifica, who are much easier to understand because Pacifica had a lot more episodes in which she played a role. Debuting in the first episode I saw; I immediately new what Pacifica Northwest was about. And she would make appearances here and there throughout the first season- in a small role in “The Time Traveler’s Pig” and in a much more prevalent role in “Irrational Treasure.” Which will be where I draw the idea of Mabel and Pacifica wishing they could switch lives: This episode showed that Mabel wants to be taken seriously by her peers. And it’s kind of obvious what Pacifica would get from their hypothetical swap: Freedom. The freedom to not be her parents “puppet-” the ability to be free to be who she truly is, rather than pretend to be something she wasn’t.
But how would a swap between the 4 even happen? I mean; it’s not like there was a carpet just lying around that could swap people’s bodies by rubbing your feet on it, was there? OH. WAIT. Yes there was! You could have had an episode like that, but that was another missed opportunity.
Although I must say that I enjoyed Pacifica’s little character progression in the critically acclaimed episode “Northwest Mansion Mystery.” 1)DIPIFICA 4 LYFE! 2)See #1. 3)I just really LOVED that episode! Especially the pay off from “Into The Bunker!” But the core part of this episode is still Pacifica and the relationship she has with her parents. It only serves to further validate why picks on Mabel all the time- Mabel has the one thing that she could never possess, and it manifested as jealousy. But through the twins; she learned that if she truly wants to be free- she has to take her freedom- which wasn’t as easy as it sounds. I mean; they conditioned her to respond to a bell like she was some sort of pet. But seeing her defy that to save everyone just made an already-astonishing episode(They Showed Actual BLOOD) into an iconic, show defining display of why “Gravity Falls” is one of the Greatest Animated Series Ever Made!
I think I should next talk about the Original Mystery Twins: Stanford and Stanley Pines. Their dynamic is suppose to represent a possible future for Dipper and Mabel- should Dipper take up Ford’s offer from “Dipper And Mabel vs The Future.” This episode-nay, The Show As Whole up to this point- functioned as a 1-to-1 parallel of the flashback in “A Tale of 2 Stans.” Or……not “1-to-1,” but a parallel. Stanley and Mabel- adventurous, sociable, and wacky. Ford and Dipper- The “Voice of Reason” for the most part- albeit a little bit “self involved.”
Dipper and Ford were going to leave to achieve something in life- which would require leaving Mabel and Stan behind. So Mabel and Stan both accidentally did something to try and avoid losing their closest friends. The key difference being that Stan’s blunder only broke 1 invention- and Mabel’s could have caused the entire dimension to collapse. And, while Ford continued on the path he set for himself, even without Stan in his life; Dipper decided to stay with Mabel. Which I think was for the best- considering what Ford and Stan’s lives lead to in the end.
Talking about the Mystery Twins reminds me of what I– and probably many others as well- consider to be the GREATEST “Gravity Falls” episode in the Universe. You know its name- it’s one embedded into our hearts whenever we think of Stan. I am of course talking about the episode mid-season finale of Season 2: “Not What He Seems.” What in the h#ll could I say about this episode that hasn’t already been said?
I like how serious it was the whole way through. There were very little joke- although I enjoy the humor in the show generally. But I think an episode where we put down the jokes and “get serious” is a pretty good way to show the dire situation you’re trying to convey. The gravity anomaly that was effecting the town whenever the portal started acting up gave meaning to the name “Gravity Falls.” And then you have the final part of the episode in which Dipper and Soos had lost a lot of trust in Stan- and Mabel even started to falter. But she trusted him in the end- which payed off, but also, as Ford stated- was a “calamitous mistake.” Which we saw in the form of the Interdimensionl Rift.
I think I may have said everything I wanted to convey with this post. “Gravity Falls” may be one of the greatest series ever created(animated or otherwise)- but it’s not without its flaws and missteps. I think that the show could have been longer without being too-too long, but the length is ultimately what it is- giving the show a sense of “finality.”
I hope that what I said made sense to all of you; I realize that sometimes I contradict myself later on whenever I talk, and that I don’t make much sense in the first place. But I really wanted to talk about “Gravity Falls” with people that I know enjoy quality television. Thank you for your continued support, and I’ll see you next time. Later!