Friendly Rating: All ages
Safety Rating: Gender stereotyping and some borderline abusive behavior and slapstick humor
Quality Rating: Ya-a-a-awner
New series premieres tonight at 9 p.m.
You get the feeling that Gravity Falls is trying to be edgy and mildly subversive. Unfortunately, it is so lacking in charm that it just comes off as stupid and icky.
The premise is that twins Dipper (Jason Morgan Ritter) and Mabel (Kristen Schaal) Pines are shipped off to spend the summer with their great-uncle Grunkle Stan (Alex Hirsch) at his tourist trap souvenir store The Mystery Shack in Gravity Fall, Oregon. Except there’s some mighty weird stuff going on in those woods, and it’s up to Dipper and Mabel to figure it out.
Safety-wise, Grunkle Stan is prone to some pretty iffy behavior, including whacking Dipper upside the head with some rolled-up paper. He’s also something of a con-man, but that’s less of an issue. There’s also some gender stereotyping – Mabel is boy-crazy and flirts shamelessly with anything male within reach. This from a presumed pre-teen? Isn’t that the kind of sexualized behavior we’re trying to get these kids away from? There are a lot of better ways to address the reality of that behavior without encouraging it.
The show might have worked except that it’s annoying and just off enough that it feels creepy in that “I need a shower way.” In the first episode a forest full of gnomes want to marry Mabel and kidnap her in the process, which is a little too icky to be really funny.
In short, it’s not that good.