The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3: The Complete Series (1990 - DVD)

While I had seen some of these shows years ago, I had extremely little memory of them now. I have to wonder what the hell I was thinking when I watched them back then. This is one of the most screwed-up cartoons I've ever seen. The writers made no attempt at all to make the elements of the game make sense in the narrative. For example, in the very first episode, King Koopa wants to turn a mushroom prince into a poodle, and while anyone who's played the games will know this is based on the kings getting turned into animals, everyone else will be thinking, "What the hell type of a crazy villain plot is that??" Then characters immediately start talking about getting "supercharged" with "Super Leaves"... no explanation to the uninformed as to what that means.

But it gets better. This is a show that has a caricature of Barbara Bush yelling, "Help! The President can't swim!", characters getting turned into babies with adult faces complete with mustache, Luigi seducing and kissing Wendy O. Koopa (who was established as being only 16 years old), Mario demonstrating racism against mummies and fishpeople (while preaching in a later episode that "it doesn't matter what a person looks like, only what they're like inside"), a Wizard inventing the world's most powerful magic wand just so he can roast hot dogs with it, a kid getting hit square in the face with flying lava and Luigi just nonchalantly brushing it off, a brief shot of Luigi's bare ass, Luigi throwing Mario's vinyl record into a fireplace in a ridiculous attempt to shoehorn in a moral, magic wands that have the power to bestow life onto inanimate objects, and a song that sounds like it's saying, "You have to piss off without getting burned", and most of that occurs even before the goddamn Milli Vanilli episode!

I can't recommend this show in good conscience, and the total chaos and nonsense started grating on me by the last few episodes, but if you want to watch it just to see how screwed-up it is, I'm not stopping you.
Rating: 2.5/5

The Original Transformers Season 2, Part 1 (1985 - DVD)

If you've read enough sections of this website, you probably know that the Generation 1 Transformers cartoon is one of my all-time favorites, and that I believe Season 2 is generally the best of everything. However, one thing that rather bugs me about Season 2 is that all the best episodes are in the middle, meaning that the second half of Part 1 and the first half of Part 2 are where all the best episodes lie. What happens is that Season 2 gets off to a slow start and even begins with the single worst episode in the entire pre-Rodimus Prime era, "Autobot Spike". Season 1 generally leaned more towards being serious and dramatic, and "Autobot Spike" is like a boiling point in which that DRAMA!! foamed way over the top. After that, there's a gradual change in the series' tone from drama to comedy, and you know me - I like comedy.

But it's not all slapstick and jokes. The highlight episode of this season is "The Master Builder", which might very well be my favorite episode of Transformers of all time. It's well-written, has a meaningful subtext, a lot of confidence in the writing, great artwork, a fantastic battle at the end, and lovable new characters, Grapple and Hoist, and man do I love that ending music.

Other notable episodes include "Dinobot Island Part 2" (part 1 is terrible but part 2 is awesome), "Auto-Berserk" (where Red Alert takes an hilarious nosedive into insanity), "Desertion of the Dinobots" (along with having classic and funny TF moments, it also gives a history of Cybertron for the first time) and "A Decepticon Raider in King Arthur's Court" (notable, amongst other things, for being the first episode without Optimus Prime).

Overall, it's a good start to a great season with only a few duds here and there. Any self-respecting 80's cartoon fan needs to have this show on their "Seen It" list.
Rating: 4/5

Seinfeld, Season 6 (1994 - DVD)

I may have thought Season 8 was a little funnier overall than this season, but at least there's less of that awkward George Steinbrenner stuff. Highlights from this season:

"The Chinese Woman", which I'd seen before, where Jerry dates a girl who he thinks is Chinese, but turns out not to be, yet acts like she is.

"The Pledge Drive", which I think should more properly be called "The Snickers Bar" since it's the one where Elaine's boss eats a Snickers bar with a knife and fork, causing a chain reaction wherein everyone around town starts eating their desserts with a knife and fork.

"The Gymast" - It's funny how karma works in the Seinfeld universe. Every little action and thing they say can have repercussions on what happens later. Seinfeld's girlfriend in this episode is Romanian, so he has no idea what to talk to her about, and the only thing he can think of is a Romanian dictator. You might think that's just a throwaway joke, but then at the end of the episode, Elaine's boss turns into Hitler.

"The Switch", where Kramer's first name is revealed.

"The Jimmy", which has my personal favorite moment in all of Season 6: Mel Torme singing to Kramer, who has been mistaken for a mentally-challenged man, as Kramer makes goofy faces from having been punched in the jaw moments earlier.

An hilarious Tanya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan parody in the last episode.

Also, it seems like "The Big Salad" episode is regarded by some fans as being one of the worst, but I thought it had some strong laughs, including this hilarious line.

I also now have a new favorite quote from this show:

George: Do you ever get down on your knees and thank God you know me and have access to my dementia?

Rating: 4/5



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