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Thread: Twelve Forever

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Twelve Forever

    I got around to watching Twelve Forever on Netflix, mostly because it was recommended to me. I'd seen the pilot that was released by Cartoon Network a couple years ago and it seemed... OK. It was about a girl that could hop into an alternate reality with her friend where they both have super powers. It came off as a cartoon about the wonder of youth with some dimension-hopping shenanigans. Sort of like early episodes of Star Vs The Forces of Evil with most of the darker humor stripped out. Not bad, but not really a standout either. It didn't help that it was released around the same time as the Infinity Train pilot which was amazing. I probably would have skipped the series if it wasn't called to my attention in specific, so... spoiler time.

    Spoiler: Twelve Forever
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    I'm glad to report that I ended up liking the series proper way more than I liked the pilot. While it still has that same energetic feel that something like Star Vs. has, it's also got a surreal sense of humor like Adventure Time and a chill indie pop soundtrack like Hilda. So it's already starting out stronger than I expected.

    In it a girl named Reggie, her friend Todd, and later a new friend called Esther use a magic key to travel to a mystical island called Endless. Endless is a pretty bizarre place where burying old toys in the ground can cause them to come to life and there are already odd characters living there. Also, travelling to Endless Island ends up granting super powers for the time you're there.

    As far as reveling in the joy of youth... There's an element of that, though it's mostly just what Reggie herself wants to do rather than any sort of core premise of the show. Surprisingly the show is more matter of fact about what growing up is like. Including what resisting growing up ends up doing, and what gaining a sense of maturity actually looks like.

    Admittedly, the show didn't start getting really good until some of the darker implications of what Endless Island actually is are explored. And what is it? ...Yeah, I don't know. There is an episode that actually shows how the island resists being understood, that's not everything but I feel like I can get into that later.


    So I guess if you liked Star Vs. The Forces of Evil, Adventure Time or possibly even Hilda, maybe give Twelve Forever a shot. I don't think you'll be disappointed.
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    Orc in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Twelve Forever

    Something about the first impression didn't grab me though overall I'd say it was good. I could really see this show striking a chord with people with how it tackles issues of growing up. A little escapism isn't likely to hurt anyone but the show hints at what happens when people lose themselves to it.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Twelve Forever

    Quote Originally Posted by DeadMech View Post
    Something about the first impression didn't grab me though overall I'd say it was good. I could really see this show striking a chord with people with how it tackles issues of growing up. A little escapism isn't likely to hurt anyone but the show hints at what happens when people lose themselves to it.
    I'll admit, my first impression was not great either. I'll also admit that it's saying "it gets better" later is not exactly a glowing endorsement. All the same, it's a show that I'm glad to have seen, and like you mentioned the healthy side of escapism is represented just as much as the unhealthy side. I mean, that's more nuance than what I was expecting going in.

    I also enjoyed the show's villain...

    The way cartoon antagonists are written today tends toward a more sympathetic portrayals. So making The Butt Witch almost completely unsympathetic is a bold choice. She's evil but she also seems to enjoy being evil. When not choosing to sleep in of course.
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    Default Re: Twelve Forever

    So, here's a question for you. Fairly loaded. How DID the Butt Witch come across? cause I've heard she feels anti-trans in some way or something? Which feels weird given how inclusive the show appears to be?


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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Twelve Forever

    Quote Originally Posted by LaZodiac View Post
    So, here's a question for you. Fairly loaded. How DID the Butt Witch come across? cause I've heard she feels anti-trans in some way or something? Which feels weird given how inclusive the show appears to be?
    I guess it might depend on how you feel about characters like Dr. Girlfriend/Mrs. The Monarch from Venture Brothers. Both characters are women who are voiced by men that sound very masculine. Beyond that, I don't think Butt Witch actually reads as a trans woman, at least I didn't see her as such.
    Iop brain.

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    Orc in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Twelve Forever

    I went back and finished the series before responding to this thread and...

    Spoiler
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    I had trouble getting into it mostly because I find the main character so irredeemably selfish. Twelve never really seems to "grow" over the course of the series, sure there are moments where she's not selfish but these seem largely transient.

    It was interesting to see the insanity effects of humans staying on Endless. I'd been largely annoyed by the obnoxious child-like insanity of all the creatures on Endless (with a few exceptions) and it did make me start to wonder if the insanity effect is not limited to human visitors. When we see the child who stayed (name escapes me) it made me wonder if some of the inhabitants may have been children themselves.

    I was really hoping for a darker angle later on as many Netflix series are willing to do, and with what like, 30 episodes to it's "season 1" I thought we might get that. Unfortunately the series to me felt in a large part to simply loop. "Oh we have a problem IRL, lets avoid it on Endless for a while." or "Oh we have a problem on Endless, lets solve it by punching things." And while whatever the problem was tends to get resolved by the end, I really felt like a lot of them were just pointless.

    I was also really hoping that the Reggie/Connelly thing would go somewhere....and then they just ignored it. Hey that's totally realistic I remember my first crush went almost exactly along those lines...but this is a TV show and while it's a TV show about real life, it doesn't need to be exactly like real life. I was extra upset that they avoided that, only to pair Todd up a couple episodes later, it was like "hey we're about to show a non-heteronormative relationship, oh wait nevermind! Here's a guy and a girl working out great!" Yes, I know Reggie is far more awkward than Todd, but Todd and Esther don't do much to pull Reggie out of her shell, but rather do a lot to support her lack of growth. I was kinda hoping Connelly might be introduced as a character who does the opposite...but most of that has been framed as negative. And then they just sort of...wrote...Connelly...out...WTF?

    The inconsistent character growth, the sudden avoidance of a non-hetero-normative relationship, the highly episodic nature, bringing up the darker elements of Endless only to ignore them again...It echoes many of my complaints about Steven Universe, and I don't really think I'm up for sitting through more seasons of a show that can't figure out where it's going.

    It was a fun romp, but also frustrating to watch the show spin its wheels and ultimately end the series at about the same point it was back in episode 7 or so. And I think ultimately, I found the show too frustrating to really say I enjoyed it.

    I will say though that a hero-adventure show is only as good as it's villains, and the Butt Witch was/is a great villain.
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