Saturday, July 28, 2012

Station Identification

Episode 15

The writer for this one, Mark Scott Zicree, does another decent episode.  I like how he incorporates his ideas from his other works into this one.  He gives an introduction on the DVD and I’m becoming fond of his style.  What happens is ghosts use televisions to bring the characters on them to life so you can imagine how the Ghostbusters must intervene.  Zicree uses general ideas from other shows he was writing at the time as entities to feature as ghosts.  What I enjoy most is the concept of this episode.  The humor is well placed and mostly funny as well.

It’s been awhile since the Ghostbusters have had a call and they’re becoming rather bored.  Peter and Winston decide to play some ping pong to pass the time when Slimer eats the ball.  Peter gets pissed off at him as usual for ruining what little fun they were mustering up.  Janine then brings in an old television set she won as a prize when she was a kid.  She is trying to ease the tension the guys must be feeling after this long layoff.  They plug it in but nothing happens at first and as they all look at each other as to question it the dial turns itself to channel one.  Something doesn’t seem right about that!  A show called ‘Leave it to Woodchuck’ comes on while Ray and Peter chatter about how many times they’ve seen that show.  It’s an obvious parody to the old classic ‘Leave it to Beaver’.  Winston comments, “That’s funny I thought those we’re all in black and white.”  Janine replies, “You think that’s funny it’s a black and white set.”  Something strange is definitely going on here!

How much wood could a wood...
A huge ghost woodchuck comes through the television set as everyone backs off.  The guys didn’t have their proton packs on up until this point and when the scene shifted away from them they must have hastily put them on because in the very next image they have them on.  It would have been neat to see them defenseless against this giant foe for a moment at least.  They capture the ghost in the trap easily enough but the animation of the beams is off.  The animation overall wasn’t as good in this one so you’ll have to adjust to it.  The television is still on and a serpent like tube of toothpaste comes out next.  They capture that as well as we get to see two Ray’s in the same shot!  As they unplug the television Winston asks, “What show did you win that on Janine, the outer limits?”  A fitting question if you ask me.  They also notice they were receiving channel one.

The calls start to come in now so their unscheduled vacation is over.  As they arrive on the neighborhood scene ghosts are going crazy all around them.  Winston says, “I’d say this calls for a six pack.”  He swings around six ghost traps and throws them all at once onto the ground.  Want to be careful with the equipment Winston?  They trap the ghosts but it’s not as exciting as usual with the lower grade animation.  Down the street from them a local restaurant broadcasts it has the biggest television set in town so the guys head for it.  As they arrive it’s too late as ‘Power Guy’ who is the parody of ‘He Man’ breaches into the real world.  Egon throws out, “He doesn’t look so tough to me.”  Peter answers, “When’s the last time you had your prescription checked Egon?”  I wonder why they don’t open fire.  They sort of stand back and assume they have a chance without using their throwers.  The huge ghost starts a vacuum and Peter nearly gets caught until Slimer hears his cries of help.  Slimer saves Peter from being sucked into the unknown by being caught instead.  Winston helps Peter off the wall while saying, “He slimed you good and proper Peter.”  Peter vows to rescue Slimer upon having a moment of heart for what the little green slimeball did for him.
WBOO Tower - Central Park!

"Star Patrol"
As they track down the ghosts which leads into the night Egon guesses that all the ghosts in town must have formed together to make this mayhem.  It makes sense enough since they haven’t had a call for so long before all of this.  The ghosts are using the televisions as a doorway to go almost anywhere which is a neat concept.  They track the source to central park and discover the tower.  The head ghost announces that WBOO is on the air, cute name.  As the Ghostbusters enter the tower they get separated and have encounters with ghosts.  Winston has the funniest turn as he meets ‘Star Patrol’ or ‘Star Trek’.  My favorite moment in the episode is the three ghosts portraying to be ‘Star Trek’ characters.  The one ghost asks what the diagnosis is while the short ghost answers, “We’re dead Jim.”  It’s delivered really well.  Mr. Spook then decides the next course of action!  What a name, sounds familiar.  Meanwhile Ray finds ‘Gumbo’ a hybrid of ‘Gumby and Rambo’.  It’s clever.

Machine-Busters!
They meet back up in this haunted tower to find Slimer watching the food network.  Peter saves him by blasting the ghost but no trapping scene occurs.  Did it flee or is the budget on this episode that low?  If the writing wasn’t so interesting this could have been bad.  Slimer goes into dog mode to help the Ghostbusters find the ultimate source in the tower.  I’m still not a fan of how Slimer always helps out but I deal with it.  The finale is rather lackluster as the clown boss ghost transforms into an evil ‘Grimace’ from McDonalds.  Also why doesn’t the head ghost boss block the beams?  The throwers had no effect against him!  The Ghostbusters blast the dynamo which powers the tower and destroy it.  The head ghost vanishes not even to be trapped so I suppose his power was connected directly to the dynamo.  It doesn’t end as well as the rest of the episode actually was.

I hate to rag on this series but although the writing was solid in this one the animation for it is too dismal to tolerate most of the time.  It’s unfortunate as better animation could have lifted this one higher.  This sort of things happens in the series and I believe this is only the second time so far.

Rating: 7 of 10 

I mentioned how I detested the animation in this episode so here are a couple supporting images to how I felt.  It's funny to see now that I'm looking back on this show but it's obvious this episode didn't get the animation type of love the others did.  The bottom image isn't a goof but I wonder if they intended it to look like Grimace?  Will we ever know the truth?  These aren't the first animation errors in the series but I'll try to keep an eye out for any I see. 
Egon! Peter! Ray! &... Ray?!
Pe-gon? Eg-er?  What's going on here?!
Nothing 'Happy' about this 'Meal'

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