My mother falls hard for shows like I do. I think I can say that I obsess and cry over endings a lot more often then she does, but as the last moments of Gravity Falls aired in my time zone, it was comforting to see that she was crying too.
This week’s post isn’t going to be abot anime, since Gravity Falls is an American Cartoon, but even thought there is far less blood, guts, screaming, (Actually… that’s a lie) this little cartoon has moved me just as much an any anime.
Gravity Falls was at first a show my mom didn’t want my sisters and I watching. But then I showed her some episodes and she fell for it because of the relationship between Dipper and Mabel. The show became a family affair. I remember coming home from Aikido class and changing out of my Gi and Hakama as fast as I could so I could eat my dinner at the coffee table while we all watched Gravity Falls.
Gravity Falls was there when my family had to move houses five times. It was a show that kept my sisters and I together. Two of my sisters and I have already bonded over various anime, but our third sister is autistic and has a hard time following stories. She’s been very difficult to bond with, because she’s just not interested in the things that my sisters and I identify ourselves with. Gravity Falls was a show that she could get! She thought it was funny! The inside jokes my sisters and I made were ones she could entertain, and even join in!
Gravity Falls is a complex show fed to us in a simple way. I believe that that is an example of superior story telling. The symbolism, the relationships, and the delivery of morals through jokes that seam absurd, show to me, that the writers are masters in their craft.
What is important about Gravity Falls to me, is the characters, and I know that was something Alex Hirsh was proud of. As the characters learn more, I learn more – as a writer and a person. There was a picture I saw junior year of high school of Alex and his writing team with papers flying with much argument, and I decided that I wanted that exact job. I wanted that… because it looked so much fun. I want to be a screenwriter so I can do my favorite thing in the world around people who are just as crazy as me. On the blogsphere, I can find some of those sorts of people, but I wish they could be there face to face with me laughing instead of simply typing out the letters H and A.
The show at its core is about what it’s like to grow up. Dipper and Mabel are twelve-year old twins who share their lives together. They’re scared to grow up, reminding us that at whatever age we’re at, we’re still scared to grow up. But being scared is nothing to be ashamed of. Gravity Falls is full of weirdness (And people we have crushes on!) Our characters are often very scared of that weirdness. Fear builds character, and as our characters experience fear like they’ve never known, they learn what trust it. Through exercising trust, bonds are created. Naruto-like bonds people! Before you know it, the audience realized that they have been personally raked into these bonds too.
Then these bonds are put to the test, when a very real villain arrives, birthed from all the weirdness that caused so much fear in the first place. This is how the bonds forged create personal strength in each character. During the series finale, the ultimate bond, the sibling bond is put to the test. Dipper and Mable already trust each other with their lives. Stand and Ford, old men who haven’t seen each other for decades, are weary of each other. When they learn to trust each other, we see that old dogs can learn new tricks! But, it wasn’t really a new trick, the brothers did love each other when they were boys. They just needed their niece and nephew to remind them what sibling love is.
What Gravity Falls taught me was the power of sibling, and the power of story telling. Those two things (and Jesus) are probably my favorite things in the world. I feel blessed that I got to follow this show while I went t through a crucial time of growth in my life. There were many laughs, and tears, and someday, I’ll be out there too trying to bring back wholesome stories to television. But for now, I’m going to blog here and learn as much as I possibly can.