waynepygram.com: Shimmer & Shine Reviewed: Underground Bound (S3E1.../2)

waynepygram.com: Shimmer & Shine Reviewed: Underground Bound (S3E1.../2)


What is it? What used to be a 2D animated (well CGI still but that's a topic I've already covered variously) 30-minute format cartoon on Nick Jr., but starting the second season (so including this episode) 11-minute A-B format complete 3D CGI cartoon
Where did it air? Nickelodeon's morning Jr. block/Nick Jr.-proper.
Who stars in it? 

I mean, since we've been on a Lacey Chabert review kick all this month anyway instead of, you know, actual Halloween stuff.

Except the episode we're reviewing does not have Lacey Chabert in it at all, but we'll get into why we're reviewing this, uh, immediately right now.
Why are we reviewing this? ...


...remember Girl Meets The Tell-Tale Tot? 

(insert Pepperidge Farm remembers Family Guy joke)

Girl Meets The Tell-Tale Tot is the worst episode of what's still a gravely overrated series. FACT. If you can't handle this, then here's my advice:
If this blog had been around when Girl Meets The Tell-Tale Tot was new, we wouldn't be giving it an F minus minus. We'd be inventing a new lowest grade possible, just for Meets The Tell-Tale Tot.

Then again this was the same year that gave us Invisible Sister so maybe something was just in the water. I bet Disney Channel would love nothing but to eradicate the entirety of 2015 from its own memory, and the memory of its viewers.

Anyway, why so much vitriol against Tot? Where would I even begin? But aside from the crappy puppet and plot and acting and literally everything and being documented proof that Micheal Jacobs should've stayed retired, it committed the biggest cardinal sin a children's show of any demo or genre can possibly commit, the only one worse than bad storytelling and narrative:

It was teaching your tween kid the absolutely wrong kind of lesson.

And by that I mean in a very literal sense, in the "hey kids! It's perfectly OK to go out and play in the middle of traffic!" kind of very wrong lesson.

I know it's trying to teach some lesson about wrong influence and beware of older kids who might try to lead you astray, but it just ended up coming off as "perfectly normal young adults who give out sisterly advice should be treated like seductresses of Satan because this is a goddamn after school special where we need to teach children to be afraid of everything for their own damned good."



It was...exactly the type of thing that would force me to keep my own daughter (if I had one) away from Girl Meets World. I mean it.

What I'm saying is, this is literally an anti-lesson. It's teaching your kids things you don't want your kids to learn. And I don't mean stuff like learning about the birds and the bees at 6 years old (that's an entirely different thing/debate), I mean, again, stuff nearly on the level of teaching your 6 year old to go play in traffic.

Shimmer and Shine's Underground Bound is...exactly the same thing. It teaches wrong lessons to the point where I would simply not allow my own kids to watch this episode. I mean it.

If you're not familiar with the basic plot of Shimmer and Shine well...for starters the show underwent a very drastic retool between S1 and S2, both plot-wise and in its very format. Originally it was about Leah and her two genie pals (that she got for...reasons never disclosed) Shimmer and Shine and how they'd grant her three wishes a day...for some reason...and how these wishes would always get them in trouble because cartoon. It was a very charming series in its presentation and Lisa Frank-ripoff art style, and it generally taught very good if not repetitive lessons.

Then for S2 Leah joined Shimmer and Shine in the actual Genie world where they have more randomized adventures, and although the lessons are not necessarily as overt and explicit (not necessarily a good or bad thing), the show's managed to maintain a good healthy charm. The aforementioned Lacey Chabert joins the cast as the show's first and only recurring villain, Zeta (that's pronounced with a very hard and firm "e") but as I said she's not in this one.

Either way, even in the Genie world Leah is still limited to three wishes, and the magical bottle that she has that's the source of Shimmer and Shine's power (although granted it tends to be rather inconsistent with this) falls into the hands of a little rodent mole-thing. The little rodent-mole thing is of a race of other rodent-mole things who literally live to dig and, I'll quote, digging makes everything better! But he doesn't like digging so he's trying to build a machine to make digging faster. The other rodents don't like it because "it looks complicated," and well it doesn't work. But he wishes for it to work and since he has Leah's genie bottle, well, it does work. Fast forward and he got away from Leah and the Genies but he doesn't understand how it works, while the other...ok apparently these things are called Grunts which...is both unimaginative and a little on the nose but whatever...just try to convince him to dig instead. And then he wastes his final wish wishing he knew how it worked and then he just stands there like a moron making random wishes because the bottle already granted all its wishes for the day and Leah and the Genies just catch up with him and take it back. And then his digger machine goes haywire and causes a mess, but then Leah manages to make it work to rescue everyone. Then Shimmer (or is it Shine?) hands the little Grunt a shovel and then after being told to dig and digging a little bit he says, you know what, digging is kinda fun!

Yeah, this episode is a mess.

Episode Grade: F minus minus. Taken on strictly its own narrative merits it would still probably be a D+ as it's just not a very interesting episode with much of anything happening, but I feel morally obligated to give it our lowest score possible because of it's anti-lesson. I mean, I get it, teaching little kids to be pro-social is important, but there's that and then there's just being conformist. The ultimate lesson behind this episode is: a life of drudgery and manual labor is fun because it's fun to be conformist, and designing inventions that can make people's lives easier is bad, because it's not conformist.

No. No. No no no big no. Fuck that shit. F minus minus's all around.

Episode MVP: Fuckin' Me for being the gospel fighting these anti-lessons everywhere.

Extra Thoughts

  - As I'm writing this I'm watching Monster High Adventures of Ghoul Squad: Howliday Edition on Nick and...Sweet Baby Gebuz it's gone some wonky as hell animation including some extremely distracting framerate issues. What was the budget for this one, five dollars? I think I might end up having to give that movie an F just for animation quality issues alone, if I bothered to watch it all. Which I'm not.

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