first_img Best Father’s Day TV Episodes to Stream This WeekendAll the Trailers You Might Have Missed from SDCC Adventure Time‘s new miniseries begins tonight. For a normal cartoon, a miniseries is ultimately self-contained. The stakes may be higher, the story may be more complicated, but nothing changes. By the end, it’s back to the status quo. Adventure Time, if the past seven seasons somehow haven’t made this clear, is not a normal cartoon.One of the things that make it such a unique and amazing show is the fully-realized world in which it takes place. At first glance, it comes off as silly. There’s an ice king, a bubblegum princess, vampires, a talking/shape shifting dog and a human with a thirst for adventure.  Keep watching, and you find a depth not present in many other cartoons. The world has a deep history. The characters, however fantastic, have very real, relatable reasons for how they became who they are.Islands is everything we love about Adventure Time spread across 88 minutes. It’s irreverent, silly and hilarious, as you’d expect. It’s also emotional, touching and surprisingly topical. Plus, it finally answers the shows biggest mystery: What happened to all the humans? The answer: It depends.(Photo: Screenshot via Cartoon Network)The miniseries revolves around Finn and Susan Strong. Their journey begins when a mysterious flying ship shows up in the Candy Kingdom and starts attacking its citizens. It stops its assault when it realizes that Finn is human. Just when Finn realizes the ship could teach him something about where he came from, Jake destroys it. Fortunately, BMO links up to its data port and find out that its mission was to find Susan Strong and bring her to an island. And with that, Finn, Jake, Susan and (possibly) BMO set off on an adventure.There are plenty of laughs to be had on the journey, but the miniseries picks up once the characters reach the titular islands. We quickly learn that humans fled to this small group of islands during the Mushroom War. Things have gone differently on each island. Possibly the best episode of the miniseries is “Imaginary Resources,” co-written by series creator Pendelton Ward. Finn and Jake find virtual reality (or rather, Better Reality/BR) headsets and put them on. They are immediately accosted by players who’ve been in this strange MMO for what seems like forever.The episode features some decent gaming jokes and fantastically surreal art direction, but it’s also a well-handled commentary on technology dependence. The players are humans who have chosen the Better Reality over the real one outside. Friendly mechanical butterflies tend to their basic needs and give their muscles a workout from time to time. They spend all their time in the game. It’s easy to escape into our technology when real life gets too hard to deal with. Be careful, though, because that can lead to a pretty depressing existence. This from a cartoon featuring a talking dog and sentient desserts.(Photo: Screenshot via Cartoon Network)The back half of the miniseries doesn’t let up on the social commentary. It deals with class, authoritarianism and the question of whether giving up freedom is worth a perceived sense of safety. It tackles all these issues without feeling hamfisted or coming across like “a very special episode.” Islands never loses the Adventure Time‘s sense of humor or wonder as it deals with these larger issues. We also learn more about familiar characters like Dr. Gross and Finn’s father, Martin. As you’d expect, there’s a very real, understandable reason for how they became the people we met in past seasons.While Finn’s storyline takes center stage throughout the miniseries, it’s as much Susan’s show as it is his. In fact, the episodes focusing on her are the most interesting. We learn exactly where she came from, how she became so strong and why she ended up in the Land of Ooo. The way her story ends also has some interesting implications for the future of her character in the series. With a new friend and new, different adventures ahead of her, I’m looking forward to seeing what the writers do with the character in the coming seasons.Adventure Time: Islands is pretty much everything you want from an Adventure Time miniseries. It’s cheerful, hilarious opening episodes make way for deeper lore and relevant commentary. The show started out great and has consistently gotten better season after season, and Islands evolves it even further. Adventure Time sets new standards for what kinds of stories can be told in 12 minutes. You definitely want to see what they can do with 88. Stay on targetlast_img

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *