Spoiler-Free Show Review:
Gravity Falls Season 1
Rating: 9.5 out of 10 stars
When my sister wanted me to watch Gravity Falls, I was skeptical about whether I would like it. It looked like an uninteresting kids show or like it would have a style of humor I wouldn’t be a fan of. However, it has become one of my favorite shows.
Gravity Falls Season 1 was released in 2012-2013. It stars the voice talent of Jason Ritter, Alex Hirsch, Kristen Schaal, and Linda Cardellini.
It can currently be watched on Disney Plus.
Twins Dipper and Mabel Pines travel to Gravity Falls, Oregon to stay with their great uncle Stan for the summer. While there, they are involved in all sorts of paranormal adventures.
- Loveable characters
- Unique villains
- Interesting supernatural beings
- Touching character dynamics between the twins
- Entertaining setting
- Clever and amusing dialogue
- Fun animation
- References to other shows and pop culture
- Continuity between episodes unlike in some cartoons
- Enjoyable for adults and children alike
- Original catchy music
- Doesn’t start out as good as it eventually gets later in the season
- The whispers at the end of the intro song of each episode are hints to solve the cryptogram at the end of each episode
- Alex Hirsch is the voice actor for Gruncle Stan, Soos, Old Man McGucket, and Bill Cipher.
- Dipper’s hat was originally supposed to be red, but the creators feared that he would look too much like Ash Ketchum
Mabel Pines, the girl in the pink sweater and braces, is a quirky and boy-crazy girl. She wears a different sweater almost every episode and is very spontaneous.
Dipper Pines, the boy in the blue hat, is adventurous, practical, and cautious. He is eager to find out what supernatural forces are at work in Gravity Falls.
Wendy Corduroy is the redheaded teenager. She is tomboyish, strong, assertive, clever, and funny. Wendy is my favorite character.
Gruncle Stan, the old man, is the main characters’ Great Uncle. Get it? Gruncle? He is miserly, bossy, and occasionally engages in criminal activities. Nonetheless, he is one of the most loveable characters.
Soos is the handyman in the green shirt. He is laidback, has a big heart, and is very close to the Pines family. He acts kind of like a big brother to Dipper and Mabel.
I can’t imagine the show without any one of these characters. They are all essential and add so much to the story.
Lil Gideon is perhaps the most annoying character in the show, but that is what makes him so effective. He claims to be psychic and is a rich kid.
Bill Cipher is the iconic villain of Gravity Falls. He’s just so weird….some of his scenes involve deer teeth and possession. It’s all quite odd, and that’s what makes him so unique. He is kind of sadistic and thoughtless and enjoys making deals.
The relationship between the twins is so sweet and authentic. It is clear that they genuinely do care for each other and enjoy each other’s company. Gravity Falls avoids common tropes used in shows for twins–such as twins that are identical or very similar in personality, or the twin that is always right vs. the one that is always wrong, single-minded twins, etc.
The show is set in Gravity Falls, Oregon. A lot of time is spent at the Mystery Shack in particular, which is a tourist trap filled with gimmicks and odd artifacts.
There is so much fun dialogue in this show. Mabel probably has the best jokes and lines, but all of the characters are hilarious.
For instance, when Dipper freaks out because one of Mabel’s latest crushes does not seem to blink, she suggests:
Maybe he’s blinking when you’re blinking.”
And there is a line by Dipper that has become an often used GIF. Dipper is listening and writing down in a notebook these words:
I am pretending to write something down.”
Mabel has another great line shown below:
Boys, why can’t you learn to hate each other in secret. Like girls do.”
The goofy and sometimes postcard-worthy animation of Gravity Falls is attractive and fits the theme of the show.
There are so many references in this show to older shows, movies, and pop culture. I’ll name a few below, but be on the lookout for more if you watch Gravity Falls.
- Stan wears a Gill-man mask once, which is a reference to the creature from Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)
- Mabel takes an object out of the box and spins like Link from Legend of Zelda
- When Soos is pretending to be Bigfoot, he uses a pose from the famous alleged film of Bigfoot
- Monsters Inc reference, but “It’s a 2316” instead of 2319
- Smile Dip alludes to the brand Fun Dip
- Mabel sings “Don’t Start Un-believing,” a reference to the song “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey
- Dipper’s statement “Yes, yes I am” is a reference to Phineas and Ferb
Continuity is established through references events in early episodes, such as the gifts the twins choose from the shop, and the damage to the sign on the Mystery Shack.
The audience for this show is varied. When I was looking at who had left ratings on IMDb, there was a large age range from teens to people in their mid-20s or mid-30s–even people older than that such as in their 50s. In addition, it was made for children, so it fits all of these audiences well. There are a lot of jokes that adults will appreciate that kids may barely notice. The darker themes at times in the show makes it appealing to adults as well.
The theme song is so catchy my sister and dad both made it their ringtone. I love it. It’s one of those iconic songs that will always bring back good memories for me.
I recommend this show for all ages except for very young children due to dark elements.