A few years ago I spent a number of months suffering from insomnia, night terrors and, in one extra startling incident, my first (and so far only) episode of sleepwalking. It was an odd year. And although there were a number of early morning hours where I sat in the dark, wide awake, contemplating creating a hotter, sexier, more imaginary version of myself to go out into the world and reclaim my manhood through random acts of anarchy (that’s how that movie went, right?) I mostly just watched a lot of television, stared at a lot of blogs and listened to a lot of music by myself in the dark.
One of the TV shows I found myself watching one bleary-eyed Saturday morning ’round about the cartooning hour was Gravity Falls, a not-quite-Disney-ish Disney cartoon about twin siblings, Mabel and Dipper Pines, and the summer they spend in Gravity Falls, Oregon with their weirdo Uncle Stan. Stan runs an oddities shop/museum called the Mystery Shack, which is quite fitting, as Gravity Falls, site of many a supernatural happening, is most likely haunted, and the weird things need a central spot on which to congregate. Call it the Gravity Falls Hell Mouth.
I did an Adventure Time manicure last week in which I said I have a hard time getting on board with the show because it makes me feel kind of dumb, like I’m not cool enough to get the joke. Gravity Falls, perhaps being a Disney property, but most likely just because its humour doesn’t skew that way, does not suffer from that problem – it’s FUNNY, with just a touch of that manic, winking cartoon humour most reminiscent of Animaniacs or SpongeBob.
And a huge part of the show’s charm is Mabel, a super upbeat, cute animal-and-boy crazy 12-year-old with a fondness for printed turtleneck sweaters. I think Mabel’s awesome – she’s convinced her summer in Gravity Falls will bring her her first epic romance, and when she’s not thinking about boys or making plans for Summerween, which is exactly what you think it is, she’s reenacting Tarantino-esque tableaus with her pet pig, Waddles, and wearing an endless assortment of adorable, multi-coloured turtlenecks. Here I’ve shown four of her cutest sweaters, but there have got to be at least another 20 back in the Mystery Shack’s closet – girlfriend has a seriously enviable wardrobe for a 12-year-old.