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Arthur's Eyes

Season 1 Episode 1a

From the beginning to the end, this is a classic episode of Arthur. The opening scene immediatly draws in the viewer as the camera zooms into the Read's house. And who could forget the opening line to this amazing series spoken by none other D.W. Read. The entire episode follows the story about how Arthur got his glasses. Which is a perfect opening story, seeing how Arthur's glasses are so iconic. Once Arthur gets his glasses he wears them to school, and then we get to see his friend's reaction to his new look. The reactions to Arthur's glasses are not only hilarious, but are the exact way that an average elementary student would react to a kid who just got glasses. This is very relatable to my experiences at school. The joke lines in this episode also hit just perfect. There is not one line in this episode that I would rewrite for Buster, Francine, D.W. or Binky. At the end, we see Arthur resolve his problem of getting teased by comparing him to someone that all kids admire, Wilber Rabbit (Bionic Bunny). I think that this is the perfect way that the writers ended this episode, and it shows kids how to deal with getting teased for what they wear or do. Lastly, I love the background music throughout this entire episode. It is not the traditional Arthur score that plays throughout this episode, instead it is mysterious music, with lots of organs. This completely brings a new life an atmosphere throughout the episode.

There is not too much that I didn't like from this episode. It is a very solid opening to the series that introduces many characters from the series. I will say, one small detail that bothered me in this episode is the continuity of Sue Ellen. As you may know, later in the series it is revealed that she moved to Elwood City during the 4th grade school year, but this episode takes place when Arthur is still in 3rd. I would also have liked them to come up with a more creative way for Arthur to get an eye test, because I don't really think yearly eye tests are given to the whole school. But overall very great episode!

By Nicholas DeMarco (AKA Bigpickleman)

Francine's Bad Hair Day

Season 1 Episode 1b

The Second half of episode one is yet another classic. And it is all about my favorite character, Francine! I personally think that the writers are pure genious in this episode, because we get lots of character developement that will last throughout the entire series. Starting with the cold open, we learn that Muffy likes to be very fashionable. The episode proper begins with a kickball game, in which we learn that the Arthur and Francine's 3rd grade class is battle the 4th graders in kickball. This is something that I relate to very much, as my 3rd grade class was always competing against the 4th graders in everything (and lost most of the time). We then learn that Francine is the MVP of the 3rd grade team, and players like Arthur and Buster aren't too athletic at all. It's crazy how this one minute opening scene tells us so much about the characters. The episode then goes on to show how Muffy gives Francine a makeover for the school pictures that are coming up. After her makeover, Buster has one of the best lines of the entire series when Francine asks him if he likes her new hairdo. I'm not going to tell you it, you just have to watch for yourself! Yet again, the writers come through this episode with several amazing jokes. In the end this episode has an amazing moral, to be yourself. The moral isn't at all too obvious for kids, but that is what makes Arthur so amazing.

Not too many critiscisms for this episode either. One thing that I really hated about this episode was that Prunella (one of my least favorite characters), kept trying to act all prim and perfect like muffy. Even though she pretty sabotaged her picture on purposed the year before when she rubbed her feet on the carpet (as seen in cold open). Another incredible episode, as is possibly the best episode pairing within the entire series.

By Nicholas DeMarco (AKA Bigpickleman)

Arthur and the Real Mr. Ratburn

Season 1 Episode 2a

Yet another classic episode that is based on one of the bestselling Arthur books, "Arthur's Teacher Trouble." Overall the episode pretty much resembles the book. One of the things to this episodes that stands out to me in particular in this episode is the reactions of the characters. We also get a lot of background information about the students and teachers at Lakewood Elementary. And overall, great message within this episode for time management. Even though this message is made a little more direct than most episodes of Arthur, I do not mind it. Lastly, this episode has great animation, which is something I haven't metioned in the other two reviews. The animation is normally spot on within the first seasons of Arthur. But this episode just spot on with their reactions and everything. There is not too many jokes and gags within this episode, but this is the first appearance of the "Sorry Sir" running joke that everyone says to Mr. Haney, which I really enjoyed.

As I was rewatching this episode, I noticed that I didn't enjoy it as much as I expected. It ran through the story much slower than I remember, but I imagine that this episode would be a lot more entertaining for younger kids.

By Nicholas DeMarco (AKA Bigpickleman)

Arthur's Spelling Trubble

Season 1 Episode 2b

Who could forget one of the most memorable songs from the entire series. Anyone who watches this episode will have a-a-r-d-v-a-r-k stuck in their head for hours! I remember watching this episode with my family during my preparation for a school geography bee. I thought I was so cool, standing up there just like Arthur did. Maybe I have a personal connection, but this episode is definetly Arthur at it's finest. I don't know what it is, but whenever I watch this episode, I always feel so good! Throughout the episode, the main message is to persevere and try your hardest at what you do. And in the end for Arthur it paid off! The writers are so good at establishing Arthur as a likable character that the audience can instantly relate to. They then utilize Prunella (who I usually don't like) as the antagonist in this episode, and it totally works. Besides the main message in the story, there are several other sub-morals here. The biggest one being to not be over confident with yourself (In Brain and Prunella's cases). You also may notice several little easter eggs in this episode, like the cheezy doodle chips that Kate is eating, and Abbey Road being featured in Arthur's dictionary. Lastly, an Arthur episode cannot be perfect without the gags, and there are several in this episode. Most coming from D.W., but others are subtly added in. Such as the glooba joke coming from Baby Kate.

This episode is pure genious and I wouldn't want to change a thing about it! No flaws or anthing. The only thing that I didn't understand is that The Brain could give a crack at spelling antidisestablishmentarianism, but couldn't spell fear. Well I guess that's what happens when we crack under pressure!

By Nicholas DeMarco (AKA Bigpickleman)

D.W. All Wet

Season 1 Episode 3a

This is one of the few episodes of the season that I did not recognize by the title. Nevertheless, it is a great episode that I enjoy watching everytime. Out of the episodes I've reviewed so far, this one has possibly the best cold open. How D.W. acts here is what everyone first thinks of her, as a whiny 4 year old. However, the writers don't make this cold open annoying to the viewer, but entertaining, as they provide an important backstory as to why D.W. is upset. The episode opens with D.W. and her classmates at the aquarium. Honestly, episodes that feature D.W. with her friends are a hit or miss with me. This one falls right in between. The bathroom scene with all the preschoolers is pretty hilarious, but what I don't get is how D.W. is scared of an octopus but not sharks or electric eels. One thing that this episode does really great is make Arthur look like a real trouble-maker, which he generally isn't. When they get to the beach D.W. doesn't want to play in the water, and Mom and Dad actually force Arthur to play with D.W. since she won't go in the water. This kind of annoyed me, because everyone was telling her that their wasn't any octopuses in the water. So basically she was ruining the beach trip by not going in the water and moping. One gag that we get in this episode is that Buster is forced to wear a pink bathing cap with flowers on it. This also is the first time we get to see hints of Mrs. Baxter being overprotective of Buster. As the lifegaurd said she send the swimcap by a messanger. In the end it's a pretty good moral and story, but the least favorite of the one's I have reviewed so far.

By Nicholas DeMarco (AKA Bigpickleman)

Buster's Dino Dilemma

Season 1 Episode 3b

Here is another classic Arthur episode that is always getting referenced throughout the series. The episode starts out with a very interesting cold open, as it compares Francine's interest to basketball to Buster's interest in dinosaurs. I found this comparison strange but it kind of works. Throughout this whole episode, Arthur's class goes on a field trip. I normally enjoy when Arthur's class goes on field trips such as episodes like "The Cave." One thing that I did not like was how immature Arthur's class acted when they got off the bus and at the dinosaur presentation. I get that they are only eight, but one of the parts of the series that I enjoy so much is how the characters act older then they really are. The writers also did a great job making Buster look like the smart in this episode, which I really applauded and thought was funny. This just goes to show you that Buster can do many things if he's interested and puts his mind to it. Overall the story has a pretty good plot that holds through until the end. I would have liked to hear the reaction of Ranger Ruth when Arthur and Buster returned the fossil, but it worked out in the end. Still a pretty great episode, not as strong as the others, but pretty good.

By Nicholas DeMarco (AKA Bigpickleman)

D.W.'s Imaginary Friend

Season 1 Episode 4a

A very sweet episide, that is full of jokes and gags throughout the entire episode. This episode truly makes me like the older D.W. episodes more than the newer ones. We also see more of Buster's mom being overprotective of him, when D.W. warns him that he should be home for dinner. One thing that this episode does a great job of doing is showing how Arthur gets easily embarrassed by D.W., and this continues throughout the entire series. I also like how Arthur tries to outsmart D.W to not bring Nadine to WonderWorld. This is overall a good classic introduction to Nadine. I also thought it was so sweet at the end when D.W. gave Arthur the orange tickets to go on the Hurl-a-Wurl. Also a pretty funny ending where they go on the bumper cars (or know as bumpy boots in the future), and Arthur get;s sandwiched by D.W. and Buster. I thought that was a pretty great touch for the end of the episode Overall a pretty good episode but not a fantastic one.

By Nicholas DeMarco (AKA Bigpickleman)

Arthur's Lost Library Book

Season 1 Episode 4b

The early Joe Fallon is usually spectacular, but I found in "Arthur's Lost Library Book" it was just meh. That is to say, starting with the cold open, I could have never guessed the dark and mysterious atmosphere that would be casted upon the viewer throughout the episode. I love how bright the open is, and it really brings out all of the amazing qualities that a local public library has. Watching this made me want to visit the library right then, and I know that this open got more kids going to their library. Now getting into the actual episode, we start out with a mysterious hand reaching in that acts as the narrator throughout the episode. This is a great added touch, and I think that it is great that the narration is clearly done by D.W.! Arthur starts out the episode by taking out as many library books as he could. Which I thought was great, because I always took out my limit of library books. Then Arthur picks the new Scare Your Pants Off book as his final book, which has a long waitlist for. The biggest part that I did not like about this episode was the fact that you could clearly see that it was Binky who picked up Arthur's book that he dropped. This kind of ruined the whole story and didn't bring the suspenseful atmosphere that was created by D.W. and the hand narrating. Despite this there was some pretty good parts throughout this episode. Binky was the best written and voiced part, as usual, in this episode. Just the way that he tries to get people to confess is great! Then when it looks like the book is lost, we get some very strange dream sequences that really freak me out. I always like the dream sequences in Arthur and how absurd some of them are. The episode ends in kind of a dull way, as Binky had the book the whole time and just didn't tell Arthur. Despite it being a rather boring ending, we do get to see some more character establishment from Binky. As he is seen as the kind of bully who doesn't like to read or do activities that others do. The ending was also a great as it revealed D.W. was the narrator all along. Overall not a super episode, but just ok. It does have some really good parts and add ons which makes it above average. Not to mention that it is a classic episode.

By Nicholas DeMarco (AKA Bigpickleman)

Arthur's Pet Buisness

Season 1 Episode 5a

Another fantastic, classic episode. For this review, I actually watched this episode twice, and I have to say it became a lot more enjoyable with the second watch. The episode pretty much chronicals Arthur trying to prove him self worthy and resposible enough so he can get a puppy. He does so by opening up a pet care/ watching buisness. Personally I love this being put in the episode, because it shows kids that you have to take matters into your own hands in order to get what you want. This is something that young kids today don't do enough of. Arthur does everything right in caring for Mrs. Woods' dog, Perky. Until the last day when Arthur loses Perky! Also I have to add, I love the little side story or subplot in this, where D.W. is trying to swindle money away from Arthur. It pretty much carries on throughout the entire story, but I found it so funny. Then when Arthur starts to get so many pet's to take care of, the Read residence starts to devolve into chaos. Which I thorougly enjoy chaotic and crazy parts in episodes. My only problem with this episode was that the ending felt a little rushed. It was all so sudden, and felt like such a short period of time from when Mrs. Woods' said she was coming to when they found Perky. But other than that the episode was great! Some great lines were included in this ending as well. Such as when D.W. runs up to Mrs. Woods and says "Hi Mrs. Woods! Arthur lost your dog." I always laugh at this line as D.W. says it so perfect. Then there is also Dad Read's "I feel sorry for the world" line. Also, we can't forget how this is the story of how Arthur gets Pal! I thought this one such a great introduction to one of the series most lovable characters. Overall, a great classic Arthur episode that is a must watch.

By Nicholas DeMarco (AKA Bigpickleman)

Arthur's Baby / D.W.'s Baby

Season 1 Episode 11a & 11b

Another one of the classic books made into an episode, actually two episodes if you see it that way, so I’m combining two episode reviews into one. The main thing I gather from watching this episode a few times is the theme of D.W. being over-eager about a big event while Arthur (or another main character) being kind of mum about it all, seemingly indifferent. I wouldn’t blame Arthur either, especially with his friends trying to make him dread the baby even more (some real good friends there) and D.W. constantly doing things like putting a diaper on his toys as Mrs. Read’s pregnancy progresses. And also, big changes can be difficult to navigate, although Arthur kind of learns that the hard way at first (but again, D.W. turning everything into a rivalry between the two of them doesn’t help one bit).

In D.W.’s Baby, I like how it incorporates some parts of Arthur’s Baby at first to set the scene but shows that scene of Arthur burping Kate to get her to stop crying from D.W.’s perspective, which is kind of the beginning of things coming back down to earth for her. I would say that the moral of this story is “a good deed never goes unpunished” about this episode, but she never seems to be actually helping anything here. That said, I think that her parents could’ve given her a role to play, like Mrs. Barnes gives Binky in “Big Brother Binky” so she can feel like she’s a part of this life-changing event for her family and not have to resort to nearly running away. That scene still makes me emotional today, and I want to take a moment to say that Grandma Thora is the GOAT for talking D.W. out of that and putting things in perspective for her, as she does so many times throughout the series.

For the first episode in the series about a major life event in the immediate family, I think it fits the bill more than adequately, and does a good job of capturing the wide range of emotions that change can bring.

By Guthrie Edson

Arthur the Wrecker

Season 1 Episode 14a

“Arthur the Wrecker” is definitely a step up from Arthur’s Computer Adventure, as the book was titled. I like where Arthur was going in the open, but I’m sorry, a computer or window, two replaceable objects, being broken is not on the same level as the Sphinx, Greek statues, or the Liberty Bell, all historical landmarks, being broken. I know that feeling of getting the new Madden/FIFA/NBA 2K game but having to wait for the whole school day to play it, and especially after you get it, you want to play it with every free second you have. The writing in this episode is brilliant in that it portrays that feeling very accurately, especially the concept of time just completely going out the window as Arthur tries to find the “thing.”

Despite Arthur’s excitement for Deep, Dark Sea, which I totally understand, I find it hard to fully back him in this one. I’m surprised his parents didn’t give him any pushback for totally wolfing down his dinner before going to play or been more aggressive in getting Arthur to do something else on the weekends while Mrs. Read was working. With that said, I give Arthur credit for accepting his punishment, but if I had heard my mom playing the game late at night that she punished me for playing, I would’ve been pissed. Moral of the story: moderation from the screen goes for everyone, even for Mrs. Read (if I were her, I would want to do something off the screen after looking at spreadsheets all day).

Also, I’d be willing to bet that “the thing” was probably a prize package of Deep Dark Sea merch or something else relatively underwhelming, making it not worth the hassle to try and find it.

By Guthrie Edson

Arthur and the True Francine

Season 1 Episode 14b
This is one of a couple episodes in Season 1, the other notable one being “Arthur’s Eyes” where we go back to second grade and Mr. Marco’s class. Before the flashback to second grade though, we see the true Muffy, who tells the lie that she’s never told a lie right off the bat (and knows it too when Francine calls her out on it), in some good foreshadowing of what will ultimately happen. There’s a saying that you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression, and by showing a lengthy video of her family history (which Mr. Marco thankfully puts a stop to), she shows us that she has lots of pride for herself and the family name, but not much else.

How the kids initially didn’t see through Muffy’s elaborate lies is kind of mind-boggling, especially how Muffy describes her previous exploits in softball (and then promptly holds the bat the wrong way when it’s time to actually play in the game). But that’s secondary to her getting Francine in trouble for cheating, when actually it was Muffy who had the very cavalier attitude towards studying for the math quiz. As the rapper Nas says in his 1999 hit “Hate Me Now,” “It’s a thin line between paper and hate, friends and snakes…” and before Muffy gets Francine in

trouble, the two of them are becoming good friends. Even after, Muffy still tries stuff like buying presents for Francine. Even though Muffy does the right thing in the end, it’s not before she does things that would be considered red flags in a relationship.

To me, this episode serves as a cautionary tale for more reasons than one. First, one shouldn’t cheat on tests (in one’s first month at a new school, to boot), and second, exactly what Nas said.


By Guthrie Edson

Arthur's Family Vacation

Season 1 Episode 15a

To me, this is one of the top 5 episodes of all time, if not the best, because everyone’s had an experience like this on vacation. Starting with one or both parents having an explicit vision of what they want the trip to be like, in this case Mr. Read having his heart set on a lobster dinner right from the get-go, which everyone is going to like. One or all of the kids are not completely on board with the trip, in this case Arthur, who finally learned to like summer camp only to have to go on the family vacation. And D.W. is looking forward to spending some quality time with her new inflatable shark named Sharky on the trip, making for a classic Read family getaway and keeping with the theme of Arthur being mum and indifferent about something where one or more other family members are excited.

What unfolds goes to show that sometimes when things don’t go to plan, it’s just as well and it can be a memorable vacation anyhow. Let’s be honest, I would’ve hated to be in that car on the way to the beach, with the many delays along the way and awful rest stop food, but imagine being able to tell your friends back home that you went to something as unique as a cow festival or jungle cruise (the former you just happened to see an ad for in the newspaper you were using to swat flies in your ratty motel room, no less). Ultimately, they got their nice weather and beach day, and as it turns out, Arthur didn’t miss a ton at camp. For the relatability and iconic moments of the episode, this gets a perfect score in my book.

By Guthrie Edson

D.W. Flips!

Season 1 Episode 16b

First of all, I may be in the minority here, but I think Mrs. Read is a bit too harsh at the beginning when D.W. expresses her desire to learn gymnastics, presumably to be like the Magnificent Seven, who led the USA to glory at the 1996 Olympics gymnastics all-around, in the year that this episode aired. In my book, you can’t fault anyone for wanting to try something new, especially someone that age. Maybe with violin, tee ball or ballet, the instruction wasn’t up to par with what it should be so that she could be set up for success in those things (like with tee ball–did nobody work on her swing with her before a game?). You can tell that Mrs. Read is heavily stewing over her mind about whether to sign D.W. up for gymnastics or not before she ultimately says yes. To be fair, D.W. did practice this time, unlike those other activities, but not without causing a ruckus in the grocery store and at home.

Needless to say, there are a lot of issues with the class and the way it was run. If that was indeed Mrs. Morgan serving as the instructor (it sure looks like her, but we never see her addressed as such), she should’ve known the kids and how they got along from the classroom, thus being able to anticipate any problems. A lot of what went on could have been avoided if Mrs. Morgan had put a lid on Emily trying to show off and the Tibbles egging her on. If she had taken steps to prevent that, D.W. probably wouldn’t have tried to get up on the balance beam, to try and one-up Emily! Also, why weren’t they being supervised at the time when D.W. tried to go on the balance beam? I’m sure Mrs. Morgan would’ve been found negligent had D.W. been hurt.

This episode has its moments for sure, but I think it serves as a precautionary tale more than anything else. Especially that instructors in a class should know how their kids act to avoid any problems and shouldn’t leave them unsupervised when there is dangerous equipment in the gym.

By Guthrie Edson

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