5 Reason Why You Should Watch "Over The Garden Wall"

5 Reason Why You Should Watch "Over The Garden Wall"

How will you travel through the Unknown?

Here I am again being hit with the nostalgia as I get closer and closer to turning 20. Just like in my last article on the 5 reasons why you should watch "Steven Universe," I am back yet again for another cartoon recommendation! However, unlike "Steven Universe" and its showtime year-round, this time it's seasonal.

Regularly aired cartoons tend to have special episodes around holidays like Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas where they follow the specific theme for each holiday. However, just like the changing of the seasons, even cartoons can be seasonal where they're only released and aired at a certain point in the year. Thankfully Cartoon Network was able to produce a show of that kind. Released on November 3rd, 2014 until November 7th, 2014 as a 5-day marathon, Cartoon Network aired its first ever mini-series that was ten episodes long named "Over The Garden Wall" created by Patrick McHale. He is also known for his work in Cartoon Network shows "The Misadventures of Flapjack" and also "Adventure Time."

The plot of the show seems rather simple at first; it revolves around two half-brothers named Wirt and Greg who get lost in a forest referred to as the Unknown. It doesn't necessarily focus on how or why they've both found themselves in this forest, but they learn a handful of lessons about growing up in a world so unfamiliar to their own. In those ten episodes, they travel through the Unknown and try to find their way back home. However, the boys encounter many supernatural occurrences along the way and find themselves in a bigger situation than they would have ever imagined. It's up to them to do what they can to save each other from the Beast that's threatening their relationship. It's a big mix of the supernatural, uncanny, a coming-of-age narrative, and of course how to deal with and help other people during situations in which they need to offer their aid.

This show, being heavily influenced by European folklore and something out of the Grim Brother's stories, screams Halloween and autumn to me. However, its eerie and horror-like aesthetic isn't the only thing that makes this show worthwhile to watch. With Halloween among us and the season becoming colder and, for most, sadder to an extent, here are five reasons why you should watch "Over The Garden Wall" to help you, perhaps, feel like you're at home as you watch.

Warning: this piece contains slight spoilers, especially since it's such a short series, however I won't reveal everything. Regardless, you have been warned from this point on!

1. The music is beautiful.

Yes, just like in "Steven Universe," I am in love with the music from this show! This time, however, it's a little different. The music isn't so much songs relating to the characters conveying feelings or even specific lessons (except for maybe one), but it's just orchestrated so well I can't help but remember my own days in high school orchestra. All the music is composed by Patrick McHale himself along with vocals by Jack Jones and instrumentals by the gypsy-folk band The Petrojvic Blasting Company. Each episode has its own unique theme and plot that the music adds onto it and essentially brings it to life. The song above is one of my favorites from the series that resonates with the whole show in general. In fact, it feels like a completely different era of music and the first time I heard it, I felt like I was in another world. Doesn't it also feel like autumn to you?

2. Every character looks like they're from a different time period.

It might not seem like something really important or significant, but I've always found it interesting how different the characters in this show are compared to Wirt and Greg. While the brothers come from what we would consider modern times, everyone else seems to be stuck in their own little world, or as if they're a part of an earlier point in history. I find this interesting because it adds more mystery to what exactly the Unknown is. No one really knows, but these people provide stories and adventure. Here's a few more examples!

3. The relationship between the two brothers is incredibly important.

Considering the series revolves around them in the first places, it's no surprise that the relationship between Wirt and Greg is really emphasized. From the beginning we can tell and feel Wirt's discontent over his younger half-brother Greg. It's even revealed within the show how irritated Wirt is towards his step-father and Greg to begin with. Since Greg is just a kid, his actions and behavior towards Wirt is that of a younger sibling trying to get along with an older one. He's innocent, naive, and just wants to do the right thing. Wirt is incredibly serious and is focused on getting them home no matter what.

In the end, it's Wirt's discontent towards Greg that ultimately brings their downfall and gets them caught in the Beast's trap. However, working through their differences and realizing how much they need and love each other, they work together and find something that they can actually call home.

4. The artwork is beautiful.

While the character designs seem simple enough, the scenery in this show is absolutely beautiful. Unlike the bright aesthetics of "Steven Universe," the artwork in "Over The Garden Wall" seems to contrast it in a sense with its soft coloring and beautiful landscapes within the show. It gives off such an authentic feeling to it, making the show its own unique thing. Here's a few more examples of my personal favorite scenery images from the show:

5. The humor seems so out of place.

The only reason why I say it seems so out of place is because of how dark the show is within the context of the plot. The humor in this show is cleverly done with it's odd wit and charm, but there's something about it that seems a little off if you ask me. It's not that it's bad nor is the humor not funny, but it does give the show some life and brightness within the Unknown. It reminds me that, especially with Greg, these characters are still children who are lost. They've gotta keep their morale up somehow, right?

With all said and done, this show is definitely something to watch, even in one sitting with Halloween around the corner. It's beautifully produced and has the right amounts of spooky, creepy, but warm feelings in one. If you want to watch this miniseries, the episodes are readily available to watch practically anywhere online, but look out for next month on Cartoon Network when they air it again as they did last year!

And who knows, maybe you'll also find yourself traveling through the Unknown.

Cover Image Credit: wallpapersafari

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.


Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.

I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.

I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.

As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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