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I don't know when I'll have time to put up a complete Gargoyles page, but I simply must put something up about it in the meantime. Why? Because it's one of the best works of fiction I've ever encountered on television, with intriguing characters and a wonderfully constructed plot. It threads together history, myths and legends of various parts of the world, and the challenges of life in modern society to form the perfect blend of science fiction and fantasy.

The storyline is laced together masterfully, revealing new bits of information about past events as the series goes on to enhance interpretation. Like Babylon 5, it has a story arc, which is a huge plus for development on all levels. The characters are multi-dimensional, the voice actors are pretty good (important, because voice is essential to meaning, after all), and it draws from marvelously diverse cultures. I can't name another cartoon (or many TV shows in general, for that matter) where one of the main characters is biracial. I love the Gothic tone, and the themes are beautifully woven into the story, from love to destructive cycles of hatred to redemption. Hey, let's face it, themes are old, and the only way to make them unique is to throw new twists on them, which Gargoyles definitely does.

I'm shocked and astounded that this remarkable show is connected to Disney (although Buena Vista Television deserves most of the credit, and Eisner wanted to get rid of it--what a surprise). If all else fails, Gargoyles will be its one redeeming creation, a show that actually presents characters who are not stereotyped (strong women, multi-faceted villains, and cultural sensitivity! Woo hoo!) and a storyline that's not predictable. The way that Gargoyles plays with ancient myths and legends is clever and doesn't comepletely misuse artistic lisence as certain other works do...

(I'm talking about the first two seasons here, by the way; the third went downhill after the creator was pushed away and the stories became simplistic [talk about a contrived series ending!] with painfully unbelievable characterization [Fox whiny and weak? Nonononono!!! And don't even get me started on how the Quarrymen were handled...]. The first two may have had the occasional not-so-subtle "reading is good" or "guns are bad" episode, but for the most part it was extremely good. And after having finally seen The Goliath Chronicles, which were not aired where I live during their first run, I can also complain about their new style of animation--they make Elisa walk like a hooker! Which I could have looked past if the story had been good.)

In any case, I'll have something of a page together eventually. Until then...well, I'll ramble on about my involvement with the series.

I actually didn't start watching until the first two seasons were over. I knew that Trek actors were on it (at the time, I was still heavily into Trek...my, how things change...), but I just never really paid it much attention until one day, I decided to sit down and watch an ep. It was an Avalon episode, the one with the Banshee, and I had absolutely no clue what was going on, but I caught the gist of that particular episode and was hooked enough to keep watching. I got a kick out of listening for familiar voices. I watched the episodes during the summer before and during my senior year of high school on UPN, which was showing them completely and totally out of order. Order is NECESSARY when it comes to Gargoyles, and it's a miracle I managed to figure out the basics, but in time, I had it all together...

©1999 shilpa


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