Tomorrow, a Titan of Modern Animation Ends

By: Dylan Hysen

 

Gravity Falls presents its final episode tomorrow at 7pm in what is sure to be one of the biggest TV events of the year. It may not be obvious to those who have not watched the show, but Gravity Falls  has been one of the most significant animated programs on television since it premiered four years ago. It has anchored Disney’s foray into their new DisneyXD channel and has been their most successful animated show for a while now. Its extremely intermittent airing schedule has made the show a constant presence the past several years, even if it was never consistently available.

A paragon of solid, realistic narrative, Gravity Falls bucked the trend of quirky, weird animated comedies when it premiered. The show has always been as funny as anything on Cartoon Network, and it’s refreshingly different from most you’d find in that its humor doesn’t rely on absurdity or oddness. A case could definitely be made for the show being the funniest animated program on television of the past five years, despite much of the show’s energy going towards its comprehensive mythology and its impeccable character work.

The show’s mythology is definitely what has stood out to many fans and probably what defines it to the outside observer, but make no mistake, this show had much more depth than slowly revealing the backstory to its supernatural environment (which has been excellent in its own right and has come to a head in its finale Weirdmageddon arc). What stands out to me looking back has been the show’s deep, excellent characterization of its main cast, especially its two leads. I’m not sure you’ll find two more well defined characters on TV today than Dipper and Mabel, and creator Alex Hirsch has done such a good job maneuvering fascinating character moments for the two amongst the show’s rapid mythological expansion towards the end of its run. I’m fascinated and excited to see how their arcs will come to a close in tomorrow’s finale.

 

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