Sterling Ambivalence (sterlingnorth) wrote,
Sterling Ambivalence

Danny Phantom still disappoints...

Months ago, I lightly panned Danny Phantom, to the consternation of some of its fans. Frankly, I was torn between revisiting the show again as it has become rather popular (like most every show on Nickelodeon), or to just forget about it.

Frankly, I wound up watching the show again, because its time-slot competition is the disturbingly popular "Loonatics Unleashed" -- a horrible misappropriation of the Looney Tunes characters for use in a paint-by-numbers (using only dark hues) action adventure show.

Danny Phantom is better than Loonatics. That's not saying very much.

This morning's episode of DP was "Control Freaks", an episode showcasing Sam's relationship to her parents and to Danny. A gothic circus comes to town, and Sam and Danny wish to go. However, Sam's parents (rich socialites) feel this gothic phase is harmful to her and that Danny is a bad influence on her, so they forbid her from going. Ironically the circus appears to be having a bad influence on Danny.

That's enough of the plot; there are still too many things that annoy me about the show. Minor ones include Guy Moon's incessant and distracting musical punctuation of when people raise their eyebrows. A character lifts his eyebrows on this show roughly every 3 minutes. (It seems to be a Butch Hartman tick). This stops the show dead in its tracks. It also doesn't help that this eyebrow punctuation seems to occur every time there is a joke that the writers apparently thought was funny.

And getting to that, there was a rather unfunny gag where several characters dress up as Sam and then exclaim that "This is so wrong". It could have been funny at the beginning with Tucker dressing as Sam (he did so to cover for Sam as she skipped school to go to Circus Gothica). However, it was ham-fisted like too many other jokes in the show, and it fell flat. This joke was tried twice more in the show, becoming more pathetic in execution.

The big problem in the show is the jokes are all in the manner of a character acting in a broad stereotype and then remarking to the camera how they are broad stereotypes -- of course with the requisite wink at the camera, and of course the Guy Moon orchestrational punctuation of that moment. We're but steps away from canned laughter, folks. The show has the subtlety of a tin-drum.

I could probably write more if I was willing to watch the show again and anaylize it deeper, but I mean to avoid the show again.
Tags: animation, television
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