I love Scooby Doo, always have, always will. The original series will always have a place in my heart, but when Cartoon Network rebooted the series in 2012, I fell absolutely in love. The series added a serial element to the show having overarching storylines and mysteries, the humor was much smarter than typical cartoons these days, and it got really, really dark. The first season had one of the darkest endings of a cartoon season I’ve ever seen, but when the show returned for it’s second season I missed out. Cartoon Network came up with the brilliant idea to air two episodes of the show each night for like two weeks, and ultimately I couldn’t keep up and fell off the show. While looking for something to watch on Netflix today after losing “24” and growing incredibly bored with “United States of Tara” I came upon the show once again. I then binge watched four of the episodes, and realized that it might be interesting to blog about it.
Season Two, Episode One “The Night the Clown Cried”
Who were you expecting? Rorschach?
The second season opens with the reformation of the gang following the breakup at the end of Season One. Freddie’s become a hermit, Scooby’s been imprisoned within a prison like farm, Daphne’s moved on from the gang, while Velma finds herself unable to move on from her days of mystery solving. The scene where Scooby escapes from the farm and get’s chased by the gun toting red neck farmer had me flashing back to “Hannibal”.
The Crybaby Clown is an absurdly awesome foe and Mark Hamill does a kickass job. The idea of a giant robot baby clown riding on a motorcycle destroying everything in his path probably sounds ridiculous, and that’s because it totally is. The show’s villains are a ton of fun to watch, you can tell the writers have a lot of fun brainstorming the “monsters”. One of the best moments of the episode is the final one, when despite flawless planning by Fred, the trap falls apart and the gang realizes without Daphne they can’t properly function as a team. It was just such a strange end to an episode, there is a massive explosion, the town is flooded with lava, and the monster is free. The storyline itself doesn’t even get resolved till a few episodes later, this show is incredibly fun, but it really shines when it showcases how bleak the town of Crystal Cove is.
GRADE: A- 93%
THE HOUSE OF THE NIGHTMARE WITCH
The episode has a really fun opener with Velma and Marcy/Hot Dog Water in robot suites going on a mission for Mr. E(yes, there is a character named Mr. E. and he’s really badass). Marcy(Linda Cardellini! I’ll be honest I loved the original live action “Scooby Doo” movie, it’s been years since I last saw it so maybe it’s just nostalgia, but I remember this lovely deleted scene on VHS where Linda Cardellini sang a seemingly drunk rendition of “I Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You” to either Fred or Daphne(or both? It was a bit vague). It’s a really fun scene, it’s on Youtube you should look it up. Anyways I love Linda Cardellini(Freaks and Geeks RIP) and it’s great to have her here) is an excellent addition to the cast. It took me approximately five seconds to get the whole lesbian subtext feel. I really love the Velma/Marcy dynamic and I hope that as the season goes on she’ll get more focus.
The overall plot of this episode is a bit weak though aside from the epic Mr. E subplot. The whole walking house plus evil Russians plot could have been a lot of fun, but it’s kind of really rushed through. The episode was a good one, but the reveal that the Russian guy himself was the one behind the house felt a bit rushed.
GRADE: B 85%
THE NIGHT THE CLOWN CRIED PART II
“The Night the Clown Cried Part II” added some closure to the premiere’s cliffhanger with the Crybaby Clown mystery, and brings the gang back together…sort of. The episode was perfect, it was funny(Baylor’s extremely convoluted reasoning behind the kidnappings made he chuckle a bit), dark, and ends on a crazy cliffhanger. The reveal that Baylor was the Crybaby Clown may have been a bit silly and convenient but that didn’t make it any less hilarious.
It’s sad to see Marcy depart the gang though(do they really have that strict of a six person membership limit? I mean what about Scrappy). I really love Cassidy and it’s great to see her back, and that cliffhanger with Fred’s parents returning to town, oh shit. I’m happy they aren’t throwing Fred and Daphne right back into a relationship, as to be completely honest I don’t really ship Fraphne that much(I can’t believe I’m talking about shipping on a Cartoon Network show).
GRADE: A 95%
So folks that’s the first three episodes of Season Two. Depending on the reaction to this post I hope to review the rest of the season. You should definitely check the show out if you haven’t yet, I promise you it won’t disappoint. It’s what cartoons should be, it’s entertaining for everyone, and it isn’t just dumbed down action to sell action figures. The idea of these reviews is to get people to watch or rewatch and discuss the episodes.