|Posted by Mediaman on May 28, 2012 at 11:20 AM|
Greetings, Mediaman here with a new list. Ever since I saw the Nostalgia Critic's Top 11 Batman TAS episodes, I've thought about doing a best episode list myself. What I liked about his review was that the episodes weren't just fun to watch, they had a deeper meaning. So then I started thinking "What show deserves such a list?" And then it hit me: Dexter's Laboratory.
Created by Genndy Tartakovsky, the show was about a pint-sized super-intelligent boy named Dexter who maintained a secret lab hidden behind a bookcase in his bedroom. However, it was never safe from his ditsy big sister, Dee Dee, who always managed to sneak in only to be thrown out by Dexter. He also had to contend with his tall sinister rival Mandark. Dexter's inventions always had a way of backfiring on him, which was part of the show's fun.
Before we start, let's get the honorable mentions out of the way...
Sis-tem Error: Who would've guessed that Dee Dee was actually paying attention to how things worked all those times she broke into her brother's lab?
Unconventional: From the slew of faithful parodies made over the seasons, this one is my favorite. I'm not an official Trekkie myself, but I liked the premise, and this episode captured it beautifully.
Photo Finish: Dexter's really good at being a secret agent. At least he has another career option if "scientist" falls through.
Now that that's out of the way, let's start the countdown!
10. Dee Dee's Room: We start our list with one of the things this show did best: a parody. The plot is simple enough, Dee Dee steals Dexter's bread knife, and Dexter must brave the terrors of Dee Dee's room to get it back. But how is it a parody? Dexter narrates the whole thing a la Marlon Brando from Apocalypse Now. I just find it kinda funny that a girl's room is somehow similar to the dark jungles of Vietnam. Especially when Dexter encounters the (apparently all too real) cooties. They even work the line "The horror...the horror..." in. (After Dee Dee kisses him!) All in all, this episode is memorable because they took a simple plot and gave it very elaborate narration.
9. Lab of the Lost: This one gets overlooked often, but from a storytelling point of view, it has a good underlying theme. The episode starts with Dexter getting stranded in a forgotten part of his lab (yeah, it's THAT big). From there, he's confronted by a trio of robots who want revenge for being forgotten. Meanwhile, Dee Dee enters her brother's lab and stumbles across his first invention: a box with a light bulb that turns on when you press a button. When Dee Dee catches up with Dexter, she calls him on the fact that he doesn't regard anything with sentimental value, and Dexter seems to understand. Well, to make a long story short, they both escape the robots and Dexter goes back to his old beliefs. A decent episode that lets us know that progress shouldn't get in the way of sentimental value.
8. Valhallan's Room: During the first season, the middle vignettes were occupied by two different cartoons that featured different characters. First, it was Monkey (I'll get to him later), and then it was the Justice Friends. The premise for "Justice Friends" was three superheroes who shared an apartment in the city, and it was funny! But the best "Justice Friends" episode had to have been Valhallen's Room. Major Glory and Krunk must brave the depths of their teammate's bedroom to find his missing magical guitar. I especially like how much of a drama queen Major is at breakfast. ("We...do not eat...until everyone...is at the table!") It's a fun episode because it's superhero roommates being superhero roommates.
7. That Crazy Robot: Dee Dee usually gets off Scot free when she messes around in her brother's lab. But this time, karma caught up to her. After she removes a wrench from a derelict robot, it comes to life and offers to be her friend. Dee Dee accepts, but soon realizes that her new friend is causing problems. He's overzealous and overprotective. And he begins attacking her friends and family with lasers. When Dee Dee begs Dexter for help, he starts mocking her for messing with things she shouldn't have (jerk). When the robot sees this, he goes after Dexter. Dee Dee saves her brother by re-inserting the wrench into the robot. Though it's not explicitly mentioned, this episode could be viewed as a nice piece of laser guided karma.
6. Critical Gas: One day, Dexter gets hungry and orders Mexican food for lunch. Yeah, you can see where this is going. Anyway, when Dexter creates an experiment to see what will happen, he mistakenly believes he's dying. So, with only 30 minutes to live, Dexter creates a bucket list. Though this episode is a setup for an admittedly funny joke, there's real emotion in certain parts. He's trying to do good for his family and the world one last time before he kicks it. The scene where says goodbye to his computer is especially heartfelt. What made this episode good was that it told the story of what someone would do if they thought they only had one more day to live.
Well, that's part one of my list, so do you like it so far? Don't worry, part 2 will be up before too long.