Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Life and Times of Juniper Lee: a review

"The Life and Times of Juniper Lee" is an alright show about a girl with super powers who fights monsters. It was somewhat short-lived - ran for 3 seasons with a total of 40 episodes.To me it felt dropped rather than finished.

Series name: "The Life and Times of Juniper Lee"
Foxy's rating: 
Expectations Exceeded? In a certain way, yes
Disappointed: No
Writing: It isn't bad. The stories are reasonably original. The show has its own feel to it, which makes it stand out from other CN cartoons. You'd have to watch it to see what I mean, but it's mostly the character mentality and cast choices that are quite different from what you'd usually expect from Cartoon Network. But... sometimes it comes across as "trying too hard".
Animation: Expressive, dynamic, fun and quite pretty to look at, too. The style works very well. 
Action: Plenty of it! 
Drama: It is a comedy without serious drama here. There's plenty going on and it's all in good fun. But some conflicts seem forced, some witty lines sound as if they've been read from a cue card (cause realistically, who can manage to deliver quick snappy comebacks 100% of the time?). 
Humour: Once again, on trying too hard... the word "butt" is a bit overused. Sometimes they're obviously looking for excuses to make the protagonist look cool. Sometimes they're shamelessly pandering to RPG fans, which isn't a bad thing at all when it's done right. The random monsters that appear all seem to have the same not caring, sarcastic attitude, which gets repetitive - think of the animals from Flintstones .

Worth watching: Give it a try. If you like any of the characters, the show will be more than bearable.

"In a world full of monsters and demons, June is the only one who sees them"  goes the opening theme. And it sounds like a recipe for disaster - you'd kind of expect some boring, repetitive garbage based on Power Rangers, which kind of implies the protagonist might be crazy. But the show is much more decent than that. I especially like its lack of a predictable structure (for example - hero has a normal day at school, monster appears, hero transforms, monster is beaten)

Juniper Lee is the protagonist here. She is the Te Xuan Ze - the keeper of balance between the world of magical creatures and the human world. The monsters exist all around, but they're invisible to humans. They're allowed to simply roam free and get on with their stuff, as long as they don't break any rules. And when they do, June swoops in to "kick butt", as we're constantly told.
June doesn't want to do it. She's inherited the power from her grandmother and so far it's been doing nothing but ruin her social life. And she has to put up with her loud and hyper little brother and a talking Scottish dog, who hates everything. 
Her power is super strength and agility. No transformations, no magic wands. She just fights well. Occasionally she gets to use one magical artifact or another, but that tends to be rare. 
As far as her personality goes, I find June rather likable. She isn't girly, but she isn't trying to prove herself as a tomboy either. She likes video games and plays guitar. 

The best episode:
I'd probably have to say "Magic Takes a Holiday". June's entire class goes to a performing arts camp and Ophelia Ramirez, the goth chick, gets to direct the play they're all in. 

Curious finds:
If you like Ophelia, you should like this plushie.

To sum up, it' is a pretty good show. I like the fact that it's clearly different from all other CN cartoons on many levels. Still, it's more of a "nice" cartoon than a spectacular one, but do feel free to give it a shot.

Juniper, her brother Ray Ray and Monroe the angry pug. I think this image sums up the show pretty well.

No comments:

Post a Comment