December 2, 2022

Gabbing Geek

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Gravity Falls “Tourist Trapped”

Season One, Episode One.

So, here we are with a little replacement show, at least until Vikings comes back.

Gravity Falls is a quirky animated series from Disney XD about the Pines twins, Mabel and Dipper.  The two are sent for the summer to stay with their Great-Uncle (“Grunkle”) Stan.  Stan lives in the wooded town of Gravity Falls, Oregon, running a tourist trap of an attraction called the Mystery Shack.  Stan puts the two kids to work with usual employees, big and probably dumb Soos and slacker teenager Wendy.

From the beginning, Dipper is convinced there is something in the woods besides this weird goat that shows up and chews on things.  Considering the episode opens in a mise-en-scene showing Dipper and Mabel fleeing something big in the woods, he’s obviously right.  The thing is tossing trees at them.  They have a golf cart.  What happened?

Well, in a nutshell, Mabel decided she wanted a summer romance and flirted with every guy she could find until she came upon one Norman.  Meanwhile, Dipper discovered a hollow tree which led him to an electronic trap door.  Inside there was an old journal warning of all the weird stuff in the forest, including the undead, and Norman sure does look like the undead.  Dipper’s worried, despite the book’s admonition to trust no one.  Very X-Files.  Mabel, a rather sunny and optimistic person doesn’t believe Norman is a zombie.  She’s hoping for a vampire.

Turns out both kids are wrong.  Norman is neither a zombie nor a vampire.  He’s a bunch of gnomes standing on top of each other, and the gnome spokesman Jeff wants to make Mabel the Gnome Queen.  She isn’t interested, and that leads to the chase since the gnomes all combine to form one really big gnome, which leads to Mabel realizing she can scatter the gnomes with the leaf blower she’d tried practice kissing with earlier.

Gravity Falls is that type of show.

Grunkle Stan, who seems oblivious to everything happening throughout the episode, has a highly uncharacteristic moment when he offers the kids one souvenir for free each.  Dipper takes a hat.  Mabel takes a grabbling hook gun.

Oh, and Stan has a hidden room under the shack for unknown purposes.

I think I’m going to enjoy this one.

Besides, we learned here that if a gnome is hit in the stomach hard enough, he will vomit a rainbow.

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