Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Day Nine - Phineas and Ferb: Season 1, Episode 14, or "Dude, Music Makes Us Better!"

This could be, quite possibly, the best Phineas and Ferb episode in existence today.

The argument could be made, and I would be the one to make it, that "Dude, we're getting the band back together" is where P&F finally gelled into a perfect solution of music, whimsy, and heartstrings.

I would be wrong, of course, as there are several flaws to even this work of fun and genius, but hey... nobody's perfect.

The premise for the episode is that the kids' father, Lawrence, has forgotten his wedding anniversary. Linda (Mom), of course, is furious and goes off to get her hair done. While Lawrence dithers and goes about his own weak attempts to set things right that end up in disaster, the boys and Candace team up to track down their parents' favorite band of yesteryear, Love Händel, and get them to perform at a private concert to smooth things over.

As Candace goes off to keep Mom distracted, in a reversal of her traditional role on the show, Phineas and Ferb go searching for the band which leads to three completely fun musical segments (a separate one for each member) that are actually pretty kicking. It all comes back to the house where Isabella and the Fireside Girls have made a rocking stage and word has spread about the Love Händel reunion, leading to a huge block party where Linda and Lawrence make up to the tune of "You Snuck Your Way Back Into My Heart."   

While all this is happening, Perry and Doof's subplot revolves around Vanessa's sixteenth birthday party where Heinz asks Perry to help him decorate. This, of course, turns out mostly bad for Heinz as he not only betrays Perry (inevitable) and straps him to the worlds largest firecracker, but has also decorated the party in a way that would embarrass the heck out of his goth daughter. Eventually, thanks to Perry turning the tables, things actually turn out alright. The party is trashed in a chic way that makes Vanessa and her friends happy and Doof is thwarted and explodes over the Love Händel concert.

I love this episode to death. Not only does it have some of the best musical sequences (History of RockFabulous, Ain't Got Rhythm, and Music Makes Us Better), but is just all around sweet in how everyone... even Doof... is spending the episode just trying to make their loved ones happy.

Of course, now we get to the flaws. 
Well, for one thing, there's not enough cross pollination between the storylines. For a big episode like this, it would've been all that much stronger if they were connected more than just at the end with a firework... even if it IS the world's BIGGEST firework.

It would've been nice if Doof was also trying to hire (well, capture) Love Händel to play at Vanessa's party... or, at least have a horribly outdated cassette tape of them to play, despite the fact that Vanessa has probably never heard of them or dislikes their glam metal genre.

The episode also really could have used a moment to lay more groundwork for Ferb's crush on Vanessa. Additionally, there should've been a Jeremy moment for Candace, even if it was just a brief bit of them meeting and dancing a bit during the credits. Same thing with Isabella and Phineas (though Phin should've been oblivious, as per the norm). It's a love story episode, so all the various shippages of the series should've been on display.

But, oh well... it's still one of the strongest half-hours of the series. 

I want to say that folks should start here when they dive into the Phineas and Ferb'verse as it has almost everything anyone could want in the series, but I don't think it would be fair since it would set up such high expectations for the other episodes.

It's solid, though, and a good way to hook people into P&F if they have any musical inclinations. Definitely worth the watch.

Until tomorrow, Potatoes~

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