To state the obvious: this is a blog about Gargoyles. If the title doesn’t spark your memory, perhaps the heartstopping theme song will. Or even if you do remember it, listen to it anyway, because goodness gracious, that music is insane.
In any case, Gargoyles was a syndicated Disney show from the early-to-mid-90’s, and a first for Disney as a dark, serialized action melodrama. It never quite latched onto mainstream popularity enough to be a cultural phenomenon, probably in part for being outshined by the likes of Batman: The Animated Series. But it’s nevertheless kept a strong fanbase throughout the years, and while people talk about Batman being the epitome of action animation in the 90’s (not saying it wasn’t, but it wasn’t the only one) Gargoyles is definitely its own breed in terms of its scope, ensemble cast, and overall structure. Because of that, it’s worth being analyzed, because holy crap there’s a lot we can talk about in this show. And to this day, I’d argue there isn’t much of anything else like it.
There’s already a whole lot of great Gargoyles stuff on the internet that’s going to be a better resource than this (like this wiki, or this wiki, or the Station 8 site featuring “Ask Greg” among others.) So I’m not even going to try and supersede those. In fact, this isn’t a resource so much as it’s:
a) A way for casual fans or people who only barely remember the show to get back into it along with me
b) My own pet project to do my first purely retrospective review blog
c) A fun alternative to partyin’ and spendin’ money and…stuff
The basic gist is simple: I’ll watch an episode or two a week, and then write about it. I’ll figure out how to go about doing The Goliath Chronicles and the comics when I get to them, but for now, it should be straightforward like any other retro-blog. It’ll be fun and humorous, and I’ll try to throw in lots of pictures and all that, but I’ll also try to be insightful and find some deeper meaning (that may or may not exist.)
As a bit of background, I’m not a mondo-Gargoyles fan. Not in a “love” way—because I do really really love and admire the show. I mean that I’ve never acquired and thoroughly taken in the vast amounts of knowledge that’s in the Gargoyles fanbase. And considering its creator is one of the most open television showrunners in the history of everything (at least in terms of really discussing his work) there’s a couple of decades worth of very intense discussion and speculation out there that I’ve never tackled. Fans of this show are awesome, passionate, and still hardworking to this day. But as much as I wanted to go to the Gathering of the Gargoyles convention, I never made it. And though I’ve browsed Ask Greg plenty of times, and even sent in a couple of (admittedly stupid) questions with grammatical oversights, I’ve never been as involved with the show as with, well, most any others that I consider my favorites. So this time, I’d like to use that “appreciation but only psuedo-knowledge and insight” in my favor when writing about it.
Which brings me to the blog—this is me, a guy who writes TV reviews elsewhere but isn’t (or wasn’t) super-duper invested in Gargoyles, now writing about it. I’ll admit that I did write an undergrad paper about Gargoyles regarding its use of King Arthur mythology back in college, but to this day I don’t think I’ve ever just sat down and watched the entire show, start to finish (or at least, start to end of Weisman’s run to where the comics stopped. This show’s complicated.)
If you’re a longtime fan, hopefully you’ll find something new from a not-so-longtime fan’s perspective (I didn’t really fall in love until I was almost out of high school, so there’s only a minimal nostalgia filter.) If you only slightly remember this show, this is a good time to get back into it and follow along—because trust me, it’s really friggin great.
So, that’s what I’m doing now. Checking out the show again, trying to figure out why exactly it’s good (or in some cases, not as good in places as we’d like to assume.) And while my main goal is deciphering what makes it a strong show, the reviews will be as unbiased as possible in the review portion—after all, the best shows ever made have had crap episodes and things that just didn’t work. And above that, there’s a reason Gargoyles never quite hit the mainstream, and I’m interested in determining that too, for better or for worse.
So open up your DVDs (or YouTube or something for those later season 2 episodes…not that I’m condoning illegal streaming and piracy or anything) and enjoy the ride!