Wednesday, March 23, 2011

10 Reasons You Should Watch Phineas and Ferb

I am completely in love with this show, but I don't seem to run into anyone else who loves it. I can see two obvious reasons as to why that's probably the case. For one, modern cartoons seemed to be of much lower quality than the classics and cater more to kids than to everyone. For another, this is a show on the Disney Channel. Hannah Montana and its ilk have pretty much made us all avoid Disney Channel original programming, so I can understand why you would pass it on by. Here's why I think you need to give it a chance.

10. It was created by two guys who worked on Rocko's Modern Life together. Since Rocko was one of the most "adult" cartoons marketed toward children that tells you there are plenty of adult laughs to be had here. If you somehow missed out on Rocko back in the day, you need to go watch that too.

9. They pitched the show as Family Guy meets Spongebob Squarepants. As much as I personally hate Family Guy, I have to admit the two shows do share their love of pop culture references, though they're not as random in Phineas and Ferb. In terms of Spongebob, I think it's got the same kind of appeal that makes it enjoyable by both kids and adults.

8. Guest stars that have appeared on the show include Evander Holyfield, Cloris Leachman, Tina Fey, Seth McFarlane, and Kevin Smith.

7. Richard O'Brien, who wrote The Rocky Horror Picture Show and appeared in the film as Riff Raff, plays the boys' father. Their mom is played by Caroline Rhea.

6. While formulaic, it's never stale. The basic premise of the show is that it's summer vacation and the boys are trying to maximize their off time by doing wild and crazy things. Their older sister Candace tries to "bust" them and tell on them to their mom, but the evidence always mysteriously disappears when Mom gets home. Usually the reason it disappears is because their pet platypus Perry is actually a secret agent who has to stop the evil Dr. Doofenshmirtz's various plots to take over the tri-state area. His plots generally involve him inventing some kind of crazy gadget, and Perry pretty much always stops him by making it backfire on him and the side effect is that whatever the boys were doing disappears with it. This formula results in the characters having catchphrases a la Looney Tunes that you're going to hear every show, but the various jokes and silly situations in between keep things fresh and funny regardless of you knowing how it's going to end.

5. The theme song for the show does a pretty good job of telling you the kind of stuff the boys like to do. It's sung by punk band Bowling for Soup. It's also an ear worm that you will be singing for the rest of the day once you hear it. It's been playing in my head the whole time I'm writing this and you know what? I don't mind. I find myself singing along with it pretty much every time I watch the show.

4. Ferb is essentially Silent Bob. While he doesn't wear a coat, he produces gadgets and tools from seemingly out of no where, he makes up all the plans for the boys crazy adventures, and he does so all without speaking. Generally toward the end of the episode, he doles out one sentence full of wisdom that can either wrap up the show nicely or just give us a great joke. Even better than Silent Bob, he does so in an English accent.

3. Pretty much every episode includes at least one song, and the musical styles are all over the place from classical to rock to country to rap to fit the mood of the episode. They are so popular and catchy that they've released a CD of some of the best. They even redid the first episode and turned it into a musical. Here's my personal favorite song, Nemesis:

2. It's a show about a step family that isn't overly preachy about it. While I think it would be nice if we got to see or hear what happened to Candace & Phineas's dad or Ferb's mom, there's something really refreshing about seeing something a lot closer to the modern family that doesn't try to teach us a lesson or make it into something bigger than it is. A lot of us have step-moms or step-dads, and a fair amount have step-siblings as well. It's not always a constant struggle for acceptance or a haven of drama - it's just like being any other family.

1. Dr. Doofenshmirtz - Ok, so I said he's evil, but in reality he's just a dork. A lot of us unpopular kids sat around wishing we could rule the world back when we were in high school - Dr. D actually decided to try to go through with it. He calls Perry his nemesis, but it's quite obvious that Perry is pretty much the closest thing to a friend he's got. Even his daughter thinks of him as a total goof. He's a big nerd and a giant geek and he's been picked on for most of his life. If you love underdogs half as much as I do, you will love this guy.

The show plays on both Disney Channels here in the states, and they've even given the boys a short series called Take Two with Phineas and Ferb, where they interview real celebrities like Space Ghost Coast to Coast. The first two seasons are available for streaming on Netflix, and there are currently two dvds out with a selection of episodes. Check them out and let me know what you think!


  1. +JMJ+

    I'm stunned that you can't find anyone else who loves this show. These days, it's probably the best cartoon around! My brothers got me hooked and now I love it even more than they do.

    (You should hear my Doofenschmirtz impersonation. LOL! Or hear me rock out Come Home, Perry. Serioulsy.)

  2. I was at the Disney store a while back and when I saw the Dr. D and Perry figures, I had to contain myself so that I didn't start freaking out in public. I bought them all giddy. I think I end up saying "Curse you, Perry the Platypuuuuuuuuus!" along with him without even realizing it now. =D

  3. I had a chance encounter with this show over the winter and caught a few episodes one day. One that stood out was the boys trying to reunite their parent's favourite band and each band member sings a song in the style of the part of musical history they're most into. It got my thumb pointed upward immediately.

    Not quite sure what the good doctor and platypus were up to that day ...

  4. "We're getting the band back together!"
    I particularly love the song where they convince the drummer he still has rhythm.

    If I'm not mistaken, Dr. D is trying to throw a party for Vanessa at the same time. It starts off lame but gets trashed so the teenagers end up loving it.

    I may watch this show too much. :)

  5. I think you need to get one of the Perry the Platypus shirts...all green with his face front and center. ;-)

    Appropriately enough--my word verification was Pherar.


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