Continuing the fabled tradition begun all the way back in 2009, Scratchbomb presents Holiday Horrors and Holiday Triumphs: an advent calendar of some of the more hideous aspects of this most stressful time of year–with a few bits of awesomeness sprinkled in.
I bitch often on this site (and in other forums) about the crappiness of kids’ TV these days. Not that it was any better when I was young’un, but I’m exposed to a lot of junk thanks to The Baby. So when I come across something meant for children that isn’t total garbage, I must speak up and praise it. Phineas and Ferb is just such a show.
It’s about the titular brothers, super geniuses constantly devising impossibly fantastic new inventions. Their attempts to do so inevitably drive their older sister, Candace, up the wall, as she is typically embroiled in some sort of teenage girl drama.
Meanwhile, unbeknownst to anyone, Phineas and Ferb’s pet platypus, Perry, is actually a secret agent. He is charged with thwarting the evil schemes of Prof. Doofenschmirtz, the strangely accented super villain whose nefarious devices invariably end with “-ator”, whether they need to or not. Nearly every episode ends with Perry’s heroic deeds not only defeating the evil professor, but also incidentally tidying up Phineas and Ferb’s exploits, just in time for the boys to not get caught by their parents, thus driving Candace even crazier.
Nearly every show follows this basic outline, but Phineas and Ferb is a breath of fresh air in kids’s shows. It’s way more clever than it needs to be, has plenty of gags for the adults in the room, and makes me laugh out loud more than any other current cartoon not named Flapjack.
Example: In one episode, Doofenschmirtz invents a sea vehicle he calls the Buoyant Operated Aquatic Transport. “I call it the BO-AT!” he exclaims proudly, seemingly oblivious to what the acronym spells–or the fact that his invention looks and operates exactly like a boat. And later in the same episode, while driving his BO-AT, he comes across the local town’s Metropolitan Oval Aquatic Trench and says “Oh, a moat, I get it!”
So when I found out that there was a Phineas and Ferb Christmas special, I actually asked The Baby to watch it with me, rather than the other way around. I was not disappointed.
When the special opens, Phineas and Ferb are plotting, as usual. They want to turn their entire town into a giant Thank You Card for Santa Claus, using lights. Meanwhile, Perry invades Doofenschmirtz’s headquarters and finds out that he has received a Naughty-inator from a distant relative. It can release a mist into the air that can render an entire town ‘naughty’ and therefore undeserving of presents. The only problem: Doofenschmirtz hates every single holiday but Christmas, for which he possesses “a deep, burning apathy.”
The Professor changes his mind when a choir of annoying carolers shows up at his door and won’t leave until they get some figgy pudding. Driven insane by their incessant singing of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” he fires up the Naughty-inator, cackling, “So long, Christmas! You’re Feliz Navi-dead to me!” Suddenly, Phineas and Ferb’s entire town is branded naughty and all their letters to Santa returned.
Is Christmas saved after all? Of course, thanks to a CD by mysterious crooner named Sal Tuscany, a pair of Santa’s elves, the bully Buford’s attempt to make up for a year of bad behavior with “one big selfless act of kindness,” and a series of events far too intricate and strange for a kids’ show. Or rather, for most kids’ show. My favorite thing about Phineas and Ferb is that it doesn’t talk down to its audience. It assumes most kids will be smart enough to follow it along, which most kids are.
Even if you don’t have kids, catch this special the next time it’s on. I promise you won’t disappointed. And if you are, I will refund your price of admission.