Have you guys ever watched the Powerpuff Girls’ episode “City of Clipsville”?
Because this episode is kind of like that. In a way, it’s also kind of like the Steven Universe/Uncle Grandpa episode “Say Uncle.”
This episode doesn’t make any sense plot-wise, and is mostly nonsense. And that’s what it’s trying to be. Whether you like the episode or not probably depends on how well you get the joke. And personally, I find the joke and the episode brilliant.
If you don’t know, the Powerpuff Girls’ “City of Clipsville” made fun of Powerpuff Girls fanfiction where the PPG and the Rowdy Ruff Boys kept getting together because Craig McKracken was getting tired of all of it. I suspect that similar intentions are what sparked this episode. This episode wasn’t made to be fan pandering. It was made to show the inherent ridiculousness of what the show would be like if it was fan pandering. It’s kind of like a parody of Double Rainboom to be totally honest here.
It’s a parody of fan pandering. I know this because it doesn’t take itself seriously for a single moment, and the joke is on you if you try to take it seriously. I really laughed a lot at the meta ridiculousness of this episode. In fact, this episode does what the TTG go episode “Let’s Get Serious” tries and fails to do because this episode truly gets what the show is, and what it’s not. In fact, I think that I may end up comparing the two episodes together. It attacks the notion that “slice of life” needs to be boring or down-to-earth. It attacks the notion that every character needs to have a complex backstory or be a part of a huge character arc. It’s no coincidence that one of the characters they decided to use is Steven Magnet, and that it’s part of his “arc” to know about Cranky.
Honestly, this episode is genius, once again, if you get the joke. I’m the “story guy” here, and it’s my favorite episode of season five so far, despite not really caring about any fan theories and the story of this episode to be borderline meaningless. As a parody, it understands everything perfectly, from starting from a place of seriousness to varying up the jokes wildly.
I’m actually really interested in seeing most people’s reaction to this. Because when Powerpuff Girls did this kind of thing, people really liked the episode… not because it was making fun of something, but because it was actually doing the thing it was making fun of. And if you do like this episode because of the “fan pandering” there’s nothing wrong with that, as long as you have some perspective here, and follow the real moral of the episode “don’t take it too seriously.”
A lot of people who try this don’t really pull it off, or pull it off in the wrong way. For example, the Ren & Stimpy episode “Son of Stimpy” tried to attack forced heart-wrenching cartoon episodes… but ended up being heart-wrenching to most people. Actually, there are a lot of episodes I can compare this too. If you were confused by “why the hell are they doing this!?” then I’d recommend watching it again with full knowledge that it’s a parody.