Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Adventure Time - Season V

The fifth series of Adventure Time was long - 52 of its half-episodes, spread out over more than a year, sometimes with only one or two episodes in a month. 

Thus, it seems like a long while since the cliffhanger of season IV, in which we were introduced to the mysterious Farm World, created when Finn wishes that the Lich had never existed. This of course goes awry, but Jake isn't too bothered because he has met a very chilled-out omnipotent being and is able to put things right. 

The numerous episodes since tend to fall into three brackets - straightforward, simple little stories, which are where the show mostly feels a bit tired - though Finn does get a flashy new sword; episodes referring back to previous bits of continuity and bringing them forward, such as where the Ice King regains his sanity and brings someone from his past back; and the out-and-out weird and experimental, like when everything is done in glitchy CG or when an episode is dominated by James Baxter the Horse on his unicycle. 

Really, though a few of the episodes could have been dispensed with and I wasn't a personal fan of the Lemon Hope saga, it was the interplay between these three that keep me watching and make me feel like there's more for the show to say - at a time when plenty of shows have outstayed their welcome. 

I am still interested in Simon's backstory. I am still interested in Finn's inept stabs at relationships. 

I am still interested in Treetrunks and her shady past, Bubblegum and her far shadier one, and even the Earl of Lemongrab with his numerous clones. 

The show can still shock me, like when Lumpy Space Princess misunderstands a device for sending things back in time and blatantly kills someone - only to be made to forget all about it. And I am interested in this newest cliffhanger, and where Season VI will take it. 

From its humble beginnings with the web pilot, I really thought that Adventure Time would either burn very brightly and briefly before ending or that it would get very tired and end up a bad parody of itself. 

There's something in its formula - including occasionally churning out a brainless, uninteresting episode - that makes it stay interesting and relevant, though. I'm not sure what it is, but I'm glad it's there. 

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