Ongoing Investigations: Case #210

I honestly don’t know how the ending of Scooby Doo! Mystery Incorporated could have been better. Seriously, no idea.

We already knew that this was a unique series for Scooby Doo! but that feeling was furthered by all the revelations and consequences of the presence of actual supernatural goings on in the umbrella story of the Planispheric Disk.

In the last few episodes, we were also treated to the reappearance of some great characters from past cases, a slew of references from Twin Peaks to Rambo, more soap opera-like campy plot developments, and some seriously awesome imagery in other dimensions.

The best, most unexpected, Scooby Doo! show ever made. It is a show for fans of the original and people who didn’t care for the original at all! How often can you say that?

It was a bit of a journey but Scooby Doo! Mystery Incorporated ended about as well as you can ask anything to end. There were several starts and stops as it seems like Cartoon Network continues its ongoing crusade to prove that it is not much of a fan of cartoons in general. They did spit out the last 10 episodes in one go but at least they were released. I was a little worried they would never finish their series when they would go on hiatus without any real notice about when they would be coming back. But after series like Sym-Bionic Titan getting the ax with little fanfare you are always a little nervous with any series that is not Adventure Time.

The last ten episodes start with the normal masked villain of the week antics like earlier in the series but get progressively more plot intensive as they go on. The change starts with some of the episodes almost dashing through the masked villain story just to get to the piece of the larger overarching plot. The last three episodes completely dispense with the standard Scooby Doo formula entirely. It was a nice way to ramp up the story without forgetting the roots of the show.

The wonderful homages and spoofs were still in full force. I think Narutaki and I were tickled pink when Scooby Doo first appears in what is essentially the Black Lodge. It was a transcendent moment. When they do a whole episode in the Red Room it takes it to the next level. The Ska Zombies who make everyone skank to death was also great. But they throw in a ton of little winks like little tips of the hat to everything from Aliens to Adam Ant. Great stuff that never draws undue attention to itself.

And the humor is still really strong. Nothing will beat crazy hobo Fred. But really what could be better than crazy hobo Fred? Still I think we both laughed out loud a minimum of once an episode. There is just a wonderful sense of comic beats that comes from the quirky characters and the dry delivery. Anything with Fred’s feelings is comedy gold.

I don’t really want to spoil the ending. The less said about it the better. There is a nice bit of build up, some good action scenes, some classic dungeon crawling, and a big final battle. The resolution of the series also has some time to breathe so you feel rewarded after a 52 episode series.

Overall I really think this is going to be a series that becomes a cult classic. One of those things that will continually pop up on “I can’t believe you have not seen this” lists for years to come. I know it will be on any list of great American cartoons I make.

The Ongoing Investigations are little peeks into what we are watching and reading outside of our main posts on the blog. We each pick three things that we were interested in a week and talk a bit about them. There is often not much rhyme or reason to what we pick. They are just the most interesting things we saw since the last Ongoing Investigation.

Continue reading


Ongoing Investigations: Case #207

So we enter the final batch of episodes of Scooby Doo! Mystery Incorporated S2 with 16-17. While I will miss the show I’m glad they were give the chance to end the series in a tidy manner. Plus I feel overall two seasons feels like a good length for the series. While I would have liked more I don’t feel like I was robbed of anything. But we shall see how much those feelings remain when the series is actually over. Until then we have Aliens Among Us and The Horrible Herd.

After a show goes on break it is always nice to transition back into the series as if you had just watched the previous episode last week. Mystery Incorporated transitions from its big “should have been accompanied by an ominous pipe organ” revelation from Theater of Doom with a general mystery that they solve pretty quickly so they can add in some detective work on the overarching mystery.

Aliens Among Us proved that the funny was still in the series as well. Sheriff Bronson Stone seemed to be taking lessons from Giorgio Tsoukalos this episode. Also Scooby seems to imply that he is so frequently asked to dig up graves as part of their investigations that he has become slightly tired of it. Also the fact that the villains of the episode apparently lives in Frodo’s house for no well explained reason is a quick blink and you miss it gag.

Random Trivia: It seems that the GPS coordinates for Gatorsburg would put in a Warner Bros warehouse in Burbank, California which is amusing little inside joke.

The Horrible Herd on the other hand proves that Professor Pericles is playing for keeps (although killer German Stormtrooper robots is not exactly kid gloves.) There were an interesting amount of subtle Aliens homages in this episode. I am curious how much they are going to deal with the fact that a good deal of town was destroyed in this episode or will they mostly just hand wave it away. With this series either scenario is possible.

I glad to see the series is still going strong entering the endgame. I think this is really destined to be a series people look back on and wonder why it did not have a bigger fan following when it was on the air. Its lovely mixture of parody and homage make it far smarter than you would assume at first glance.

Scooby Doo! Mystery Incorporated how I’ve longed for you!!! Even after a long break, the series hasn’t lost anything. Fred still has the most amazing moments, Daphne is still awesome, and all the mysteries and oddities just keep getting piled on.

Easily the best part in either of these episodes is when Fred and Sheriff Stone have a sleepover because the gang is trying to protect the Sheriff from aliens he believes abducted him. Fred’s insights about love and how the only thing better is traps is full of sage wisdom.

Daphne’s cheese expertise, which I had totally forgotten about, comes back into play when the mass of skeleton-bee-piranha-cows descend on the town.

Throwing in the Space Kook was an excellent nod.

The Ongoing Investigations are little peeks into what we are watching and reading outside of our main posts on the blog. We each pick three things that we were interested in a week and talk a bit about them. There is often not much rhyme or reason to what we pick. They are just the most interesting things we saw since the last Ongoing Investigation.

Continue reading

Ongoing Investigations: Case #173

Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated has finally started season two! Considering the ending to season one if they did not have a second season I am fairly certain Narutaki might have been prompted to do something drastic to the executive board of Cartoon Network.

After the end of season one of Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated it was clear they would have to begin with getting the gang back together. So when a terrifying clown baby starts to wreak havoc in Crystal Cove the new mayor decides to try to resurrect Mystery Incorporated with the help of a mysterious stranger. As always such things never go easy with one member being far harder to win back than the others.

The first episode of the new season hits the ground running. The news season has that same wonderful mix of dry and zany humor that made the first season such a loving tribute to everything that has been wrong and right with the franchise. Scooby saving Private Hippy, Dawn of the Doughnuts, and Shaggy’s speech to the town council all showed they were firing on all cylinders. The ending was even a bit of an unexpected twist of the Scooby-Doo formula.

Crazy hobo Fred stole the show. There is no doubt about that. The only bad thing about crazy hobo Fred is I am not really sure how they could top that in the rest of the season. But if everything is just one or two levels below that then we are looking at a great season. Highly recommended.

Okay, I seriously just had an inkling that somehow the new season of Scooby Doo! Mystery Incorporated had started. And I was right! Only it is running in on Cartoon Network . . . in the UK. And the U.S. has not announced anything about it.

The beginning where a mysterious stranger in a trench coat and hat tells the new mayor she better get Mystery Inc back sets a great tone for the episode. The subsequent parts of what everyone has been up to since they were separated are a delight. As Hisui said, nothing beats Fred in this episode but then again he was consistently been an amazing piece in the series. Pleasepleaseplease let Fred stay HoboFred for at least a couple more episodes.

I also had some really good laughs with the hot movie star guy who is in town, he is famous for playing a were-turtle! The comedy was going full force in this story all around.

The mystery itself surprised me at the end but wasn’t really the focus or all that interesting during the rest of the episode. And I’m curious if there is going to be a new over-arching plot along with tying up things from the last season.

Continue reading