waynepygram.com: Henry Danger Reviewed: Danger Games (crossover with Game Shakers)

waynepygram.com: Henry Danger Reviewed: Danger Games (crossover with Game Shakers)

So it's come to this........part three?




When I heard about the Henry Danger/Game Shakers crossover in September, I didn't know what to expect. You know, besides it being awful. What could you really do with these two shows that go beyond them being created by the same person? And after the last crossover Henry Danger was involved in, I wasn't really looking forward to it collaborating with another piece of crap show. I understand now why people were dreading "The Simpsons Guy" when it was announced. But at least with that one, it involved two shows that were past their prime and had become unwatchable years ago. If you used to be a fan of either The Simpsons or Family Guy, maybe it was something you were interested in. But who was this going to appeal to? Between both shows, the only good season was the first season of Henry Danger in 2014-2015. And that was the first show to exist.



It's especially unfortunate that I have to write this review right after I was entertained by The Jungle Movie, which was a sign that maybe Nickelodeon was trying to make a comeback. But then I watch this and think......the live-action side of the network still has a lot of work to do. Whatever the case, I told myself I was coming back on Thanksgiving weekend to cover Hey Arnold's return and this crossover. So without any further ado, let's get to it.



Now, the first thing I'll say is that this crossover, as expected, had many problems. But it wasn't a complete, unbelievably disgusting train wreck. In fact, if I'm being honest, this was a way better crossover than "Danger & Thunder" was. "Danger & Thunder" was a marketing strategy that Nickelodeon used to say, "Look! Two superhero shows are meeting up! What will happen?" It was a regular Henry Danger episode that not only had no business being extended, but featured Thundermans characters in a way that made me think they weren't needed at all. Here, both shows were incorporated equally. It was a Henry Danger episode, but you wouldn't even know that with how both that show and Game Shakers moved the plot along. The kids want to go to Swellview to avoid distractions and work on their games, and Dr. Minyak is going to New York City to sabotage Double G's charity concert. Everybody watches Double G's concert in Swellview. The Game Shakers know who Captain Man and Kid Danger are (for some reason), and Captain Man and Kid Danger are fans of Sky Whale. Everything at least builds on each other so it feels like the story has a reason to exist. The shows feel so intertwined with each other, the episode literally won't be the same without one of them. And this is also where the jokes shine through. I don't know if I've said this before, but Jace Norman is a really funny actor. I think if there's any reason why Henry Danger could actually be watchable, it's him and the chemistry that Henry has with Ray. It almost makes me feel bad for Jace and Cooper Barnes, because they have to work overtime and make the bad writing on their show mean something. You know, just like on Game Shakers, Kel Mitchell has to work overtime because he's just that funny but there's only so much he can do.



Anyway, there were a lot of good jokes in here. You know, once the crossover found its sweet spot and started taking advantage of the two shows interacting. The scene where the Game Shakers find out that Henry is Kid Danger was hilarious in a way that I didn't think either show could be. Jace Norman sells everything. His facial expressions, the way he delivers his lines with the constant stammering and pauses, how he treats zapping the Game Shakers and Piper like he killed them. It was almost unbelievable how these two shows, the two worst shows that Dan Schneider has ever created (had Sam & Cat not been based off characters from shows that were actually good, it would have been no different from these two), were able to put together a funny scene like this. They were even able to get a good line out of Hudson ("I'm Kid Danger?!") in a way that gave a legitimate reason for his stupidity. It was an absolute miracle. So to tell you the truth, this crossover felt way more like a crossover than "Danger & Thunder" ever did. I'm guessing the reason there was more effort put in here was because these were both Schneider's Bakery shows. That A.V. Club interview really never stopped being relevant, did it?





Now, with that in mind, this crossover was also a crossover between Henry Danger and Game Shakers. So you would expect it to piss you off in some way. And trust me, it did. It even gave me a headache. I'm not kidding. When I was watching this on Saturday, I got a legitimate headache, went to YouTube to watch something else, and then resumed watching this. And then the headache went away like magic. It was really weird, but I think this headache had something to do with the crossover. Anyway, one problem with this episode is that it is 90 minutes. Without commercials, that's 66 minutes of this crap. Why was it 90 minutes? Because the iCarly/Victorious crossover was 90 minutes too, so this one had to be. You could argue that they had to make it 90 minutes because of the story, but when the opening scene is about seven minutes, that lets you know that this is more of a case of bad pacing.




Henry Danger is notorious for moving as slow as a snail stuck in quicksand, so there are times in "Danger Games" where things stall and drag on for as long as possible. The subplot with Jasper "adopting" some kid he found in a bush was unfunny, nonsensical, and could have been removed from the episode entirely. The final scene at the concert was unholy in how much time it wasted. Any other show would have wrapped it up much sooner, but in order to justify the length, we need it to be as long as we possibly can. I didn't even know this episode was 90 minutes until Saturday. And even now, I still don't understand why. The episode doesn't really pick up until the Game Shakers come to Swellview. The one advantage here is since there are two shows, the episode has no choice but to move faster than it normally would. But that doesn't say much.



The one thing that annoyed me more than anything else is the fact that things were inconsistent. When Kenzie tells the rest of the Game Shakers about Swellview, they have no idea what it is. But they know who Captain Man and Kid Danger are. How does that even make sense? They've never heard of this small town before, but they know about the local superheroes of said town? And we see that Henry and Ray are big fans of Sky Whale, but they don't know anything about the company that made it or who the Game Shakers are until they're told. Henry literally does not recognize them until they tell him who they are. And everyone recognizes Double G, but they have no idea about his partnership with these kids he and his entourage constantly hang around with.



This might be a small thing, but the episode ends up drowning itself in its own inconsistent logic. With crossovers like these, it would make sense if the characters don't recognize each other when they meet. If they do, then it just implies this and that and the episode didn't really need that confusion. Imagine in "iParty with Victorious" if Tori didn't know about the iCarly web show at all, but recognized Carly, Sam, and Freddie. It wouldn't make any damn sense, but this is the same logic "Danger Games" uses. It would make sense if the Game Shakers had no idea who Captain Man and Kid Danger were, but Captain Man and Kid Danger knew who the Game Shakers were. It wouldn't hurt the story any.



At the end of the day, "Danger Games" could have been a lot worse. While we don't find out anything new about either show, Henry being revealed to be Kid Danger ends up not mattering at all, and this doesn't magically make me want to watch either show, this really felt like a crossover event. Both shows contribute to the story and have a reason to interact with each other (seriously, more effort is put into this one than the one involving two superhero shows). When it's funny, it's actually funnier than it has any right to be. And it even pulled off the impossible by making Hudson's stupidity funny. They treated the conflict seriously, like it was a true all or nothing situation. I can't believe all it took for both shows to come close to being entertaining was to come together. You know, it's simple mathematics: Multiplying two negatives make a positive.



I also wanted to find out from this crossover which show was worse. You know, because with "Haunted Thundermans," I ended up finding out that The Thundermans was the better show. So the question you probably want answered right now is....which show is a bigger disgrace to humanity?



I don't know if I found the answer last weekend. Or even during the review. Both shows are garbage, but for different reasons. Henry Danger went from tolerable to downright painful in less than two years. Awful pacing, stupid characters, asshole characters, uninteresting stories. Game Shakers was never good in the first place and it never will be. Kel and his entourage are the only real source of entertainment. It's actually sad how the main characters are constantly outshined on their own show, but they are pretty bland and unappealing besides the fact that they work on wildly successful video games. Plus, it also has the stupidest, most useless character I have ever seen on any television series. You might think that would make me say Game Shakers, but last night was the first time Henry Danger made me laugh that much. The first time Game Shakers did that to me was when Double G's hair caught on fire. So, yeah, I don't think either show is better or worse than the other. They're both bottom of the barrel trash, but at least, they were able to pull it together by joining forces.



On a serious note, how depressing is it that there is a show about a kid that has to hide his superhero identity, and a show about a bunch of kids that have the talent to make video games, and neither of them are that interesting?



Episode Grade: C
Episode MVP: Jace Norman. This guy is seriously underrated as a comedic actor, and I think he's only gotten better since Henry Danger started.



EXTRA THOUGHTS
-I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but if I have, it bears repeating: Captain Man is the worst name that I have ever heard for a superhero. It says absolutely nothing about the man's powers or his capabilities. It's just......what? Captain Man? What does that even mean? I'm not even a fan of comic books or superhero movies, but I could come up with a way better name than that. You would think Captain Man's indestructible nature would come up in the name, but it doesn't. It reminds me of the A.N.T. Farm episode where Cameron and Fletcher were trying to come up with a superhero, and one of Cameron's suggestions was "Man Man," a regular guy with no powers that pulled off his everyday clothes to reveal the same outfit underneath. A.N.T. Farm was a hilarious show in its first two seasons, guys.



-Snoop Dogg made a guest appearance in this episode, being the catalyst for Double G's charity concert. He doesn't do much besides that, but he did record a parody of "Gin and Juice" for the "Danger Games" commercials, which I thought was funny and unexpected. It makes me wonder why Game Shakers hasn't had more rappers as guest stars, just as a way to shine a light on the industry and show how Double G looks at his competition. But asking for hip hop to be represented in a tasteful, interesting way on a show like this is like asking to get pushed into traffic.



-Dr. Minyak is such a pathetic villain. Unbelievably pathetic. Captain Man and Kid Danger make short work of him in the beginning of the episode, he comes up with this diabolical plan to ruin Double G's charity concert, and he can't even follow through on his plan because he spends his time stalling and running around like an idiot. Has there ever been a villain on Henry Danger that we were supposed to be afraid of and take seriously?



-Babe and Kenzie's constant flirting with Henry was hilarious. What I like the most about it is that Henry doesn't even seem to acknowledge it. He just stammers a lot and has these creeped out looks on his face whenever they talk to him. Remember in "Danger & Thunder" how Henry was attracted to Phoebe, and it didn't seem like she even cared if he lived or died? This is the version that's actually funny.



-Since this is a Henry Danger episode, we have to have Henry's family join in on the crossover fun. The only problem is, this episode and the show would be a lot better if Henry's family wasn't around. Like, maybe there was a nuclear explosion in Swellview and they couldn't find his family anywhere. They're all awful characters for the same reason: They are both stupid and assholes. The lethal combination. There was this small plot where Piper wanted to send money to the Prince of Yerba (that war-torn country has a prince with millions of dollars?) because he'll send her back some of his fortune. Usually, this thing is a scam, but it ended up being true. I couldn't even laugh at it because of how little I cared.



-Oh yeah, I was supposed to talk about Henry's family. So in order to get money for the prince, Piper turns the house into an Airbnb (they had a different name for it but I don't care enough to remember it) and of course, her parents end up submitting to her wishes to leave the house and get a hotel. Can't there be an episode where Piper dies? That would be the best episode of the series, no question. Anyway, there's this scene where Piper drops an entire suitcase on Henry's head and he ends up pretty hurt, to the point where his head is bleeding. You know what his parents' response is to them finding out that Piper made Henry's head bleed and he has to clean it? His dad saying it's gross and his mom telling him not to use their good towels. These are his parents, by the way. There's also a scene where Jasper removes the Hart family's address numbers (pretty sure that's vandalism) so the police can't find the kid he stole. And then Henry's dad wonders how he's supposed to know if there is a 6 or a 9 in his address. Yes, Henry's dad is so stupid, he doesn't know where he lives. Honestly, if this show was just about Henry, Ray, Charlotte, and Schwoz, it would be a lot better.



-If you're wondering, the Game Shakers find out Henry's house is an Airbnb and that's how they get there.



-I love how worried Triple G is that Dr. Minyak is going to hurt his father. I mean, we know Dr. Minyak couldn't even hurt a piece of paper, and we know that 98% of the stuff that happens on both of these shows doesn't matter, but for one shining moment, it really feels like they're taking something seriously. Triple G doesn't know anything about this guy, and he knows that Captain Man and Kid Danger are the only ones that can help protect Double G. So kudos to them for actually having some genuine drama for once.



-To explain zapping Piper, Henry left a note stating that the Game Shakers went on a "pajama hike" and they're not coming back. He also says he hopes they paid her and to follow her dreams. Not even going to lie, I was on the floor when I read the note, because it had the pauses and stammering inside it. That, combined with the bizarre content and Jace's delivery, was enough to kill me. I'm still in shock.



-The one thing I don't get is that they treat Henry's identity being exposed as this really big thing. Like, World War III combined with New York City going up in flames and then they just drop it. Henry tells Ray not to erase the Game Shakers' memories and it's just never brought up again. You would think that this would affect the plot in some way because of how seriously they handled it and then it just turns into, "Well, they know. Let's move on." Whatever, at least the scene was funny.



-Okay, the final scene was just awful. Straight up terrible because of how much time they wasted. I know it's a Henry Danger episode, but come on, you have a 90-minute crossover with a story that's actually interesting and you still choose to slow down the pace? The worst part is that this is the last scene you should be wasting time in because it's the big climax and everything has to keep moving. It seriously felt like a 15-minute scene because of how much they dragged it on.



-So here we go. Before the final scene, Dr. Minyak is up in the rafters with his assistant while Double G is rehearsing and Henry and Ray are supposed to be keeping an eye on him. Dr. Minyak is right above everyone else and you're telling me that no one sees him? He even goes as far as to blast Hudson with his weapon in plain sight, and still, no one notices him. Henry and Ray suddenly become useless as hell between this scene and the next one. From them not noticing Dr. Minyak until they're told, to not getting the weapon that he drops for some reason, to getting involved with his henchmen, to not even blasting Minyak and foiling his plan, they are complete liabilities to the Game Shakers. They don't even try stopping Minyak from attacking Double G on stage. What the hell is going on here?!



-So Dr. Minyak has the weapon in his hands. All he has to do is get a clean shot of Double G, blast him, and the concert is ruined. And since he was bold enough to use the weapon against an innocent person in plain sight, this should be a snap. Unless he ends up becoming a complete idiot and screws himself over for no reason. There is an eternity that passes while he's trying to blast Double G. He has multiple opportunities, even going as far as to run on stage during the concert and try blasting him, but he never does. Did he get stage fright or something? Then he approaches Double G and starts.....wrestling him? While the weapon is on the floor, which he just abandons because.....because I don't know. Then Babe gets a hold of the weapon, and Henry tells her twice to blast Minyak but she doesn't do it. She waits about five minutes and then blasts him. This whole scene could have been done in half the time. Minyak is about to blast Double G, Henry and Ray stop him and try to get the weapon, the henchmen come after them, Minyak gets desperate and attacks Double G, Babe gets the weapon, Henry gives her the green light, she waits momentarily for her shot, and it's over. There was no point in extending this. I'm not sure which climax scene is worse, this one or the "Danger & Thunder" one. Maybe the "Danger & Thunder" one because this one at least gave me a stronger reaction.
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