“Another Five More Short Graybles” Review

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Original Airdate: June 17, 2013

Written & Storyboarded by: Tom Herpich and Steve Wolfhard

Another Five More Short Graybles is the second Graybles episode in one season, so going into this one, it already feels somewhat like Graybles burnout. I don’t know why they chose to put two Graybles episodes so close together, but ignoring that fact, this one is a lot sloppier and more disjointed than Five More Short Graybles. Though, in typical Graybles fashion, it has some bits that work and some that don’t.

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The interludes with Cuber this time around feel somewhat lazy and more like filler than anything. Cuber hasn’t had much of a role in any of the Graybles episodes, aside from just being there to fill the “childlike host” archetype, and he still continues that trend, though it isn’t particularly entertaining and it takes up more time than it needs to. The birdhouse bit felt more slow paced than anything, and I really wish they would’ve removed this bit completely so the actual stories have a bit more time to develop and breathe a little.

The first story revolves around Jake and Jake Jr., which is easily the best story out of all of them. Jake and his daughter were perfectly jovial and had a strong connection in the previous episode, though this one focuses more on Jake’s awkwardness when it comes to not understanding the feelings of the pups and knowing how to connect with them emotionally. Jake Jr.’s concerns and frustrations in regards to her future leaves us with a very eloquently put statement that reads as relatable and genuinely well-put, though Jake isn’t able to connect as well because he still doesn’t understand where his daughter is at in her developmental stage. So, instead, he tries to amuse her with a distraction from her psychological troubles, even if it fails miserably. Again, I enjoy Jake Jr.’s presence here. I like how she’s kind of just your typical late teen, but she reads more as cool and likable than a bland stereotype. I enjoy how she supports her dad’s efforts to impress her, which shows that she may be even more mature than Jake at this point. I also like how her stretchy powers are achieved through her hair! Love the gag that ends it all as well, with Jake presenting the alleged newspaper from the following day that says, “JAKE JR. REAL COOL KID! Daddy’s Angel witnesses report. By Jake “The Dad” The Dog.” Jake is too darn sweet.

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The Cinnamon Bun bit is exceedingly annoying. I’ve never been a huge fan of O.G. Cinnamon Bun, and his appearance here really emphasizes why. He’s loud, obnoxious, and practically mentally insane at times. I don’t think there’s a single part of him that is charming or likable, and I welcome with open arms the day that he moves into the Fire Kingdom. Also, I think the Jake nightlights in this one are such a wildly bizarre sight gag. I wonder who manufactures these babies, and I also wonder why Finn and Jake have one themselves. Can you imagine having a nightlight with your face on it?

The Ice King scene is also kind of dry. I love the joke with his checklist and the separation of that one “e.” but the exchange with his penguins just seems a bit too familiar. Every Graybles episode up to this point features a story involving Ice King and his penguins, and this one just doesn’t really feel fresh or new in any sense. One thing I do like is the DVD of “Basic Mortality,” which very much seems like a pre-Mushroom War crime drama. Though, have we seen DVDs in the show before? My memory might be tricking me, but I feel like everything video related has been on VHS up to this point. Kind of seems like an inconsistency if that’s the case, similar to how all of the intricate cellular phones in the first few seasons became standard touchscreen phones after a period of time. Also, the inclusion of the “Airplanes Taking Off” DVD cracks me up, especially the review on the cover by C. Tinker: “Gripping… sensual.”

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The Lemongrab story that follows… oh man. I’ve watched this one so many times that it isn’t quite as crazy and hilarious as the first time I saw it, but it still remains one of the most jaw-droppingly amusing moments in the entire series. The voice work by Justin Roiland is terrific, as usual, and the absolute screams of terror as Lemongrab 2 is quite graphically eaten by his brother is just bafflingly hilarious. It also serves as an introduction for the eventual tension between the two Lemongrab brothers, as well as Lemongrab 1’s obsession with eating other people. All over poor little Lemonsweets, who tragically died in the incident. RIP.

Mr. Fox’s story doesn’t provide a ton… I do enjoy Mr. Fox in his smaller moments, especially his voicework by Tom Herpich, though I don’t think his character is really interesting enough to carry even just a Grayble. His main character trait is that he is incredibly lonely, though he’s kind of written without much of a personality in this one. And even then, do most people even know who Mr. Fox is up to this point? Like, even if you’re the most diehard of Adventure Time fans, I could still see someone scratching their head upon first seeing this short and saying, “oh yeah, that guy…” so his inclusion does make for a bit of an interesting choice. I do like the use of Mr. Fox’s subconscious, however. Jake’s subconscious was a gag in season one that didn’t make a ton of sense with the world of the show, though I do enjoy how this one adopts it as just a part of AT’s world and makes it more of a solidified aspect of the mythos. I do hope M.F.’s subconscious eventually led him to that treasure.

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The theme of the Graybles isn’t directly announced, which is a practice I actually support, because it makes guessing the motif that much more difficult. Though, I really only figured it out from looking on the wiki: the Graybles reference the five stages of grief, Finn “accepted” the package from Jake, Cinnamon Bun experienced a “denial” of light, Ice King used “bargaining” to watch his DVD, Lemongrab experienced “anger”, and Mr. Fox noticed the “depression” in the bed. I also think it’s funny how this one was advertised as a Father’s Day special, probably confusing most into thinking that was the overarching theme. Jake is Jake Jr.’s father, Princess Bubblegum is a parental figure to CB, Ice King is somewhat of a father to his penguins, the Lemongrabs took care of Lemonsweets, and Mr. Fox’s doesn’t really have anything to do with being a father figure. He takes care of the bugs… I guess? I’m just happy this isn’t the theme they likely went for.

So it’s somewhat polarizing, as most Graybles episodes are. I think this one’s especially rushed and doesn’t really have that many good stories, though the moments I enjoyed were a lot of fun. I will say this: it’s definitely more interesting than the Graybles episodes prior. I think I’ve watched the Lemongrab scene about 100 times more than any of the other Graybles before this. I also like how this one connects the stories with a particular line, that only gets more absurd and wacky as it goes along, my favorite being “what a jerk,” that is altered by Finn harmlessly saying, “what? A jerk?” That was a lot of fun and provided for some good laughs along the way. And it actually does have some moments that carry over into other episodes, namely the tension between the Lemongrabs and Mr. Fox’s experience with his subconscious. So while I can’t say it’s as coherently put together as Five Short Graybles or Five More Short Graybles, it’s definitely a bit more subversive than those first two.

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Favorite line: “Cinnamon Bun, you can’t sleep with a night-light anymore. You’re basically thirty—it’s starting to bum everyone out.”

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