Original Airdate: October 1, 2012
Written & Storyboarded by: Tom Herpich & Skyler Page
Here we are, kids! The 100th episode (technically 101th) episode of the series. It’s crazy that I’ve gotten through these past one hundred in less than a year, and hopefully I can do the same with the next hundred more. As always, thanks to all of you who keep coming back to read and sharing your own input every single post. You guys rock, and make this job a lot easier and more exciting to me. So, without further ado, The Hard Easy!
The Hard Easy starts out in a less-than-colorful landscape that isn’t found in your typical AT episode. It’s dull, gray, and groggy, and actually somewhat refreshing. I’m used to all the bright and vibrant hues that Adventure Time so masterfully showcases, but it is nice to get the other side of the spectrum for a change. It works with the relaxed, toned down vibe of the episode, and delivers as a perfect “rainy day” type of episode. I mentioned my feelings on the scene back in Who Would Win that focuses on Finn and Jake just hanging out, and this episode is practically the epitome of charming F&J interactions. The plot itself isn’t anything special, albeit somewhat weak, but it’s the connection between our two main boys, coupled with some really hilarious exchanges and gags, that make this episode a big success on the goofy scale.
I absolutely love the Mudscamps. Their very simplified and tiny designs are adorable, and I love the quirky and unorthodox way they communicate. Jonathan Katz voices the Village Elder, and honestly, that’s enough to make for a great character. Never watched a ton of Dr. Katz, but Katz’s voicework on Home Movies and his general approach to improvised comedy are terrific, and it really reflects Elder’s character. The conversation he insinuated between a mother and son was completely improvised, and made even funnier by Finn and Jake’s somewhat confused reaction to his bizarre behavior. It’s all together a really hilarious beginning, that sets up for even more zaniness down the line.
What really carries the episode forward, once again, is the leisurely pacing of Finn and Jake’s adventure. I love the casual conversations between the two, as well as the typically silly AT dialogue to complement the exchanges. There’s tons of enjoyably entertainingly moments between the two, including Jake getting struck by lightning (twice), Finn and Jake trying to discover how making a fire works, and the boys dramatically fighting against what they think is the Mega Frog, but it’s only a tree. The wacky humor is really upped in this one, something I think Skyler Page has mastered during his time working on the show. Page and Herpich have just been a pretty solid pair up to this point; while I love when Wolfhard eventually joins the dynamic, Herpich nails the brotherly moments between the boys, while Page adds in a hint of AT’s boisterously silly charm, making for some delightfully enjoyable sets of episodes.
The climax is a moment that combines both beauty and humor. The scene of Finn agilely gliding through air and kissing the frog is glorious, but made even better with the brief scene of Finn jumping up and separating Jake’s buttcheeks with his feet. I used to have a gif of that saved on my phone and just watch it all day long. It’s a landmark in animation. The transformation scene itself is dope too, combining elements from Sailor Moon, Pokemon, and so on. The voice of Prince Huge itself is hilariously unfitting. I don’t know why they chose Brian Doyle-Murray to portray this character, but it’s so unusual and totally does not suit the character’s appearance that it’s actually really funny to me. It’s a bizarrely transcendent ending to cap an already very quirky episode.
I don’t have much to say about this episode besides the fact that it’s fun. It’s a fun, endearing episode that brings AT back to its simplest and silliest routes, combining great interactions between our two main characters and some bizarre humor to coincide with them. It’s one I always enjoy watching, just knowing that I always leave feeling like I just experienced 11 minutes of pure amusement.