Last spring, I was looking for an interesting show to watch. A lot of my friends recommended some of the more recent animated cartoons, such as “Steven Universe,” “Star vs. The Forces of Evil,” “We Bare Bears,” etc. But a show that really caught my eye was “Gravity Falls,” on Disney Channel and Disney XD. The show revolves around 12-year-old twins, Dipper and Mabel Pines and the adventures they have spending the summer in Gravity Falls, Oregon. While they are living with their great uncle, or Grunkle Stan, who runs his own Mystery Shack, Dipper discovers a journal that holds the secrets to the town of Gravity Falls, and that it’s not what it appears to be. Along their journey, Dipper and Mabel come across many unusual obstacles along their way, such as gnomes, ghosts, monsters, a clone-producing machine, a time-traveler from the future, a video game character that comes to life with a special cheat code, a crystal that makes a person shrink or grow, a merman, zombies, dinosaurs, living mini golf balls, a young con artist named Gideon, and a dream demon from another plane of existence named Bill Cipher.
Right from the very first episode, “Gravity Falls” does everything it can to keep the viewer engaged and wanting to see more of Dipper and Mabel’s adventures. The show appeals both to children and adults alike. There are even some times where they slip in adult jokes, while keeping it subtle to younger audiences. The show’s creator, Alex Hirsch, also manages to sneak in various pop culture references, especially in the episode “Fight Fighters”. In this episode, they make various references to Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Bros., Sonic the Hedgehog, Pac-Man, and Frogger. And while Gravity Falls has it’s funny moments, it also has some serious moments to it too. There are a few episodes that focus on Dipper trying to win the heart of Wendy, a 15-year-old girl who works at the Mystery Shack. However, Dipper tries to hide it. But eventually, Wendy reveals that she has always known that Dipper has a crush on her. Here is the full scene. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0rc1ntwipQ)
Just from this scene alone, we can tell that “Gravity Falls” is not toning down to kids, relying on the stereotype that the main character ends up with the girl he has a crush on. Here, it is trying to teach kids a moral lesson and to be mature about these kinds of situations. Wendy was being honest and sincere with Dipper, and she was not trying to make him feel bad. She straight up tells him that she loves spending time with him during the summer at Gravity Falls, and that she does not want to stop hanging out with him. This is but one of many other serious and dramatic moments in the show. But things will only get better around season 2, where the author of the journal that Dipper found in the first episode was actually written by Grunkle Stan’s twin brother, and that Grunkle Stan always knew about the town’s mysteries, even though he runs his own tourist trap in the middle of Gravity Falls, Oregon. An things get really intense for the entire town when Bill Cipher emerges and plunges the town into a dark era, during the final 3 episodes of the series before its official end in February 2016. These episodes, titled “Weirdmageddon”, show Bill Cipher uses an interdimensional rift to send himself, and many other strange demons, into the reality in which Dipper and Mabel are living. As soon as Dipper and Wendy save Mabel from a strange bubble depicting Mabel’s perfect world, and in which Mabel is put in a trance, they must rally forces with the other characters they met all throughout their adventures in Gravity Falls to put an end to Bill Cipher’s evil plans. The show ends with a tearful farewell, when Dipper and Mabel take a bus leaving Gravity Falls to head back to their home in Piedmont, California.
Full of mystery and suspense, “Gravity Falls” is a very fun time for people of all ages. This series contains a lot of cleverly written humor aimed at not just children, but for older audiences too. With each new episode, there comes an even more interesting story and predicament than what previous episodes have shown, and it keeps the viewers on the edge of their seats, leaving them wanting more. Looking back on spring last year, I realized that I made a perfect decision in checking out “Gravity Falls”. And now, I can see what my friends loved about that show when they kept talking about it all those times I enter group chats with them. While this show does not show up on Netflix, it is still a fun show to watch when you’re getting tired of shows like “Arrow,” “The Walking Dead,” “Game of Thrones,” or “13 Reasons Why”. If you’re a fan of mystery, and you grew up with shows like “Scooby-Doo” and “Sherlock,” you might just have a fun time with “Gravity Falls”.