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PostPosted: August 19th, 2023, 3:17 am 
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Extreme Ghostbuster
Extreme Ghostbuster

Joined: November 6th, 2022, 2:07 am
Posts: 25
So, I watched the entire Slimer subseries, for the sole reason that I didn’t want RGB’s Recap page on TVTropes to remain incomplete, and… it is just as bad as people say. But it also made me want to talk about why it’s bad, so here’s my review.

The Only Good Things

I could only think of two things that were good about the Slimer series, and even they weren’t all that good. They were that the comedy could be funny (but that still isn’t much, since if I wanted that kind of humour, I could easily watch a different cartoon) and that two episodes (namely “Don’t Tease the Sleaze” and “The Dirty Half-Dozen”) almost felt like they could pass as episodes of RGB. Almost. With that out of the way, let’s dig on why the subseries is bad as a whole:

The Art Style

I’m not a snob when it comes to art styles of cartoons; I tend to critique the plot if I’m gonna critique a cartoon, but in this case, the art style was terrible. It gave off the vibe of having been done by a child. Perhaps the worst example of the art style being bad is that whenever you see the “no” sign, nine times out of ten there’s no ghost in it.

The Villains are Rather Poorly Written

Each villain can basically be summarised thusly:

[list=]Manx - acts really mean to everyone, most often Slimer. Sometimes out of jealousy (for instance, because Slimer gets food and he doesn’t) but more often just to be a jerk. Come to think of it, how does everyone even know his name? He never talks, and he seems to be a stray so they can’t have learned it from an owner.
Dweeb - wants to catch Slimer because… reasons? His reason for wanting to catch Slimer isn’t exactly clear. He obsesses over being a scientist so is he basically like an evil Egon and wants to know what makes ghosts tick? Or is he essentially wanting to be a Ghostbuster? But either way, why Slimer specifically? Why not just try to catch any old ghost?
Elizabeth - just an animal sidekick.
Goolem and Zugg - mainly just generic cartoon villains.
Morris Grout - buzzkill.
Mrs. Stone - another buzzkill, but inexplicably works flippin’ everywhere.
Bruiser - essentially Mrs. Stone but a dog. Also, speaking of Mrs. Stone, he’s most often seen with her, even though he’s supposed to be Grout’s dog.
Rafael - just a generic mean boss.[/list]
While there are some villains in the main show with “shticks” (e.g. Samhain “is” Halloween and the Boogeyman’s basically a fear monster), A.) They don’t have that many appearances, whereas the Slimer villains appeared a lot, so their shticks had more time to go stale, B.) their goals did change a little (for instance, Samhain didn’t just try to cause eternal Halloween in every episode he appeared in), and C.) They create tension, because they’re actual threats, whereas these guys (with the occasional exception of Goolem and Zugg, who did kidnap the Ghostbusters in “The Dirty Half-Dozen”) are just nuisances; they don’t do much worse than inconvenience Slimer.

Inconsistent Tooniness

The most common critique about the Slimer series is the overuse of cartoon physics. Not because cartoon physics are an inherently bad thing, but just because it’s inconsistent with the main show. The main show, for instance, even had two episodes (“Who are You Calling Two-Dimensional?” and “Stay Tooned”) that lampooned cartoon physics.

Perhaps the worst offender is the existence of anthropomorphic animals. The main animal characters (Fred, Elizabeth, Bruiser, and Manx) could walk on two legs, use their paws like hands, and use tools. Other animals, like the rabbits from “The Not-So-Great Outdoors” were even worse in terms of inconsistency because they could talk. “The Not-So-Great Outdoors” acknowledged that talking rabbits were weird, but that didn’t make it better.

We know from “It’s a Jungle Out There” that animals doing people-type things isn’t normal in the Ghostbusters universe, but this series wants the viewer to think that it is.

It Didn’t Really Feel Like Ghostbusters

There are many reasons why I didn’t really think this series felt like Ghostbusters. The first is that (with a few exceptions, like “Scareface”) nothing supernatural usually happens except the existence of Slimer, and quite often him being a ghost isn’t even relevant to the plot.

Also, the majority of the characters were ones made up for this series (Bud, Luigi, Chilly, etc.) so it felt like I was watching a completely unrelated show.

And the characters who were from the main show didn’t really feel like themselves either. Venkman did show his sassy side in “Little Green Sliming Hood” and his lazy side in “Room at the Top”, but he also acted oddly close to Slimer. In both of the storybook episodes, Peter was the one reading to Slimer, which is odd because usually he’s the one who generally finds Slimer annoying whereas Ray is the nurturing one.

Speaking of Ray, he never does anything distinctive to his personality throughout the whole series, and the same can be said of Winston. As for Egon, I only recall him doing anything science-related once (in “Room at the Top”). It’s telling that his summary for the subseries’ page on Ghostbusters Wiki simply refers to him as “another Ghostbuster”.

The common criticism of Janine acting too much like a “mommy” in later episodes can certainly be seen here – in “Tea, but Not Sympathy”, she mollycoddles Slimer and Manx when she thinks they’re injured, and in “Doctor Dweeb, I Presume”, she talks to Slimer as though she were his mother or babysitter.

So, Is it Canon?

I still haven’t figured it out. I don’t want it to be canon, and I’m not the kind of person to declare something non-canon just because I don’t like it – the reason I don’t want it to be canon is because it simply doesn’t fit into the canon (see “Inconsistent Tooniness”).

However, characters from that series do show up in episodes of the main show, like “The Slob” and “Deja Boo”, so does that mean the Slimer series is canon? If so, how would it fit?! It just makes zero sense.

:puke:


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PostPosted: August 19th, 2023, 7:55 am 
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Joined: July 26th, 2007, 5:15 pm
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That is an awesome review. Very well done.

I've had the DVD set for years, but could never talk myself into watching the Slimer stuff. Every once in a while I'd wonder "maybe I should--maybe I was too rough on it" but reviews like yours make me think "No, I probably wasn't."

Quote:
Venkman did show his sassy side in “Little Green Sliming Hood” and his lazy side in “Room at the Top”, but he also acted oddly close to Slimer. In both of the storybook episodes, Peter was the one reading to Slimer, which is odd because usually he’s the one who generally finds Slimer annoying whereas Ray is the nurturing one.


This is a criticism that can be levelled at a lot of post-RGB/"Expert advisor" RGB too. I can just see some pinhead going "Also, we think Peter should be nice to Slimer to promote cooperation and pro-social values blah blah blah"

Quote:
However, characters from that series do show up in episodes of the main show, like “The Slob” and “Deja Boo”, so does that mean the Slimer series is canon? If so, how would it fit?! It just makes zero sense.


I mostly say "no" though for the most part it doesn't matter much. Other than the characters seen in the episodes you mention, it's just Slimer doing random wacky things with people outside the Ghostbusters themselves most of the time. I did my own "rescue job" of Professor Dweeb for the Ectozone universe, which some people responded positively to back in the day, but I only used him in one other story since. (Though I did use Grout's name for the Sedgewick manager in Ghost Stories.) But on the whole, very easy to ignore it.

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