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This is the third season of Adventure Time I've reviewed. It's also the first time I've been moved to review so many seasons of a single show. As I said in my review of season two, "Watching an episode of Adventure Time unfold is like poetry." As I also said in that same review "The thing I love most about this show (covering all seasons in fact) is its unique combination of extreme simplicity, gentle playfulness, and profound depth."
Well, all that still holds true. But do I have anything fresh to say? Anything more to add that justifies writing this third review?
As an audience, we're no longer automatically blown away by the sheer range and depth the creators of this series are so obviously capable of. We've just come to expect it. So we're not going to be stunned by this offering in quite the same way that we might have been by earlier seasons. But we are in no way left wanting: the quality has not dropped one jot. And although on one level this series is more of the same, the show most definitely continues to develop. It's never reduced to mere repetition or self referencing.
In keeping with the underlying trend of past seasons, the complexity of the characters continues to evolve. Perhaps the most marked and obvious examples of this are in two of my all time favorite episodes, "Holly Jolly Secrets, parts 1 and 2". But I'm not going to say any more than that. If you've seen those episodes, you know exactly what I'm talking about. And if you haven't, I don't want to deprive you of the experience of going on that journey for yourself.
This trend towards ever increasing character complexity is also apparent in such coming-of-age episodes as "Too Young" and "Incendium", although never in an obvious or heavy handed way. As always in this series, there's a wonderful lightness of touch. The deeper layers of meaning are readily apparent, but we're not hit over the head with them in the way we might be in more standard Hollywood fare. They're just there for those who feel ready and inclined to think about them. Indeed, perhaps this show's greatest virtue is that its creators know when to leave things unsaid.
Yes, they actually have enough respect for the intelligence of their audience to do that.
Which also brings me to the single episode that perhaps best embodies my earlier statement that watching an episode of Adventure Time unfold is like poetry: "Thank You". For those who know the episodes but not by name, this is the one that focuses on the Snow Golem. It's also episode number 17 in this season.
Finally, it's worth adding that this is the season that sees the first appearance of "Fiona and Cake", the gender swapped version of Adventure Time! Honestly, I think this season is worth buying just for that alone. I especially love the way the existence of stories about these alternative versions of the characters is justified within the show's own universe. Which could get me back to "Holly Jolly Secrets", but... No.
Like I said before: some things I want you to experience for yourself.
As all Adventure Time Season DVDs go this is nothing different than the usual great quality that's the par of them all.
The full package looks like BMO's outside, taking the case out of the paper protective cover reveals his inner workings, and the DVDs are designed to show BMO's heart and his disc drive :3 Very cute design as usual.
As for the contents? It's the season and that's it really.
If you liked seasons 1 and 2 then you will also like season 3. This series is great for kids and adults and is entertaining and funny on different levels. Its amazing how they come up with strange and original plots, yet still remain true to the general concept. They also allow the characters to develop, and in every season there are interesting revelations. This is one of my favourite shows, cartoon or otherwise.