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Unnatural History


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#1

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Posted Jul 4, 2010 @ 11:15 PM

From Wikipedia:

This live-action urban adventure series is centered around Henry Griffin, a teenager with exceptional skills acquired through years of globe-trotting with his anthropologist parents. But Henry faces his biggest challenge of all when he moves back to America to attend a high school stranger than any place he's ever lived before. Together with his cousin Jasper and his friend Maggie, he will use the ancient skills he learned around the globe in order to solve the modern mysteries of high school.


Has anyone checked this out yet? I was skeptical when I saw the promos, but I watched the first three episodes today and I have to say that I really enjoyed it. The second and third episodes were a bit of a step down from the pilot, but I think this is shaping up to be a solid series.

Henry's quirks have the potential to become very annoying very quickly, but Jasper and Maggie seem to balance him out pretty well.

#2

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Posted Jul 5, 2010 @ 10:24 AM

I've seen one episode so far and it's pretty good. I think I'll check into this show when I can, even though it's a little weird that a live action show is on Cartoon Network.

Sidebar fact: the star of this show is the brother of Kendall from Nickelodeon's Big Time Rush.

#3

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Posted Jul 11, 2010 @ 5:03 PM

Cartoon Network is moving the show to Tuesday at 8pm. Instead of a new episode tonight, they're having a mini marathon of the first three episodes. I hate that they move their shows with little to no advance notice.

Edited by LinTV, Jul 11, 2010 @ 5:44 PM.


#4

Last Time Lord

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Posted Jul 11, 2010 @ 5:18 PM

I saw the first episode OnDemand. I really liked. Been meaning to check out the others.

#5

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Posted Jul 11, 2010 @ 5:33 PM

So, is it just me, or are the flashback scenes to him learning some skill just awful by comparison to the rest of the show?

When they're at the school and doing a low rent National Treasure thing it's a pretty fun little show, but as soon as they flash to the kid in robes learning kung fu or whatever it's so cheesy that I just want to grab the remote.

#6

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Posted Jul 11, 2010 @ 5:48 PM

I think the flashes are supposed to be a little bit cheesy.

#7

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Posted Jul 13, 2010 @ 9:19 PM

This episode was solid, but nothing special. I was, however, amazed that they snuck the deflowering line AND the tattoo/leather shop stuff in under the radar. They really like to push the limits of their kid show status.

Is every episode going to have a female guest star that Henry flirts with? Because this is the second episode in a row where that has happened and I find it annoying.

I thought they were going to go somewhere deeper with people constantly pointing out that no one asked Maggie to the dance, but it never happened. And of course we got the requisite she-cleans-up-nicely reaction shot from the guys, which confirmed my suspicions that Jasper and Maggie are being set up to be the sidekick pairing.

#8

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Posted Jul 13, 2010 @ 11:21 PM

I was, however, amazed that they snuck the deflowering line AND the tattoo/leather shop stuff in under the radar.


Yeah, I thought that was weird too. But if they can find anyway to sneak in a comment like that on the show (in an innocent way of course), they'll go for it.

which confirmed my suspicions that Jasper and Maggie are being set up to be the sidekick pairing


or a Henry/Maggie pairing.

#9

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Posted Jul 14, 2010 @ 12:35 AM

I watched the other two episodes OnDemand had on the list, and either there are some episodes that I missed, or I need to pay better attention, because it goes from the pilot, with Maggie in a bit player role, to the Sputnik and plague causing silver episodes with Maggie a part of the team and helping Henry and Jasper.

#10

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Posted Jul 14, 2010 @ 7:51 AM

Cartoon Network probably hasn't been airing the show in the right order of production codes.

#11

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Posted Jul 14, 2010 @ 12:52 PM

Cartoon Network probably hasn't been airing the show in the right order of production codes.


That is probably the case. I'm not expecting the most emotionally nuanced writing from this show, but the group does seem to have differing levels of closeness from episode to episode.

or a Henry/Maggie pairing.


Well they zoomed in on Jasper's face, making his reaction the primary focus. And he and Maggie bicker a lot, which in Television Land usually means they're crazy about each other.

ETA: I think I have solved the mystery of the inconsistent episodes. There's an episode on iTunes that hasn't been aired called "Curse of the Rolling Stone" that according to people who have downloaded it fills in a lot of the things that happened between the pilot and current episodes that brought the group closer together and fleshed out their characterizations. Apparently Cartoon Network plans on airing the episode later as a "lost episode".

Edited by LinTV, Jul 14, 2010 @ 12:53 PM.


#12

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Posted Jul 14, 2010 @ 3:59 PM

I am quite liking this show and I'm glad I gave it a chance. I will nitpick one thing about the latest ep "Heart of a Warrior"--all of the Japanese people had absolutely no accent at all. Maybe they thought kids wouldn't understand non-accented American.

The fancy vegetable carving showdown was amusing, and the finished storks were very cool.

I am not sure what kind of "dancing" the sister was studying, but she probably has a better chance of being a successful martial artist if that was an example of it.

#13

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Posted Jul 14, 2010 @ 5:03 PM

Apparently Cartoon Network plans on airing the episode later as a "lost episode".


Why? Why would you intentionally save something like that for later, when it explains the group really getting together?

#14

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Posted Jul 14, 2010 @ 5:49 PM

Why? Why would you intentionally save something like that for later, when it explains the group really getting together?


As it sounds like a character driven episode, they probably thought it was too boring and wanted to show more exciting/action packed episodes early to hook the tween boys in.

#15

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Posted Jul 15, 2010 @ 8:41 AM

all of the Japanese people had absolutely no accent at all.

That really bugged me too. It would have been better if they had just said the group of students were Japanese American. I guess having them actually come from Japan makes it more "authentic".

#16

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Posted Jul 20, 2010 @ 7:59 PM

Honestly, I thought this was the best episode of the show by far. The mystery was engaging, fast paced, and just plain fun, even the Jasper 'roid rage storyline was connected, as slowly built up over the course of the episode.

Loved Maggie telling Shelly off for her ass backwards logic.

I had a mini geekout moment when I realized that the lawyer reading Dante's will was Mr. Hall on Disney's Aaron Stone

#17

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Posted Jul 20, 2010 @ 9:24 PM

I agree. This is definitely the best episode since the pilot. I'm really impressed that Dante's death has had effects beyond the pilot; I thought that they were just going to drop it and never speak of it again. This confirmed to me that this show has long-term potential.

Julian is like the Severus Snape of this show. He's going to be the constant red herring - the kids are always going to accuse him of whatever first and it is never going to be him. I am interested to find out more about his relationship with Dante and what went wrong there.

Speaking of Dante, how many secret compartments did that man have installed in his office? How did no one else notice?

#18

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Posted Jul 21, 2010 @ 5:06 PM

Why is Henry so stupid? He's always leaving things laying around. Like Sputnik in the dishwasher. He's so super-serious about all these mysteries and yet he just leaves all the most important things just sitting around unprotected.

Maybe don't take things to your job or leave them unprotected in your kitchen or let the stranger in the group go up the ladder first.

These lapses in judgment, which are so obviously meant to move the story along, are kind of getting to me with this show. Sometimes Henry has this awesome, Zen-like intelligence that draws on all of his experiences all over the planet and other times he's completely thoughtless. The show should pick one and go with it.

eta...the two boys are really cute.

Edited by SeeeTeee, Jul 21, 2010 @ 5:08 PM.


#19

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Posted Jul 21, 2010 @ 7:45 PM

Last night's episode was good and I do agree that the three group of friends do sort of remind me of a "Harry-Hermione-Ron" thing.

I think if we keep watching this show, it'll stick around and we'll get to see what more they could do in the show.

#20

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Posted Jul 27, 2010 @ 10:26 PM

I wonder how this ended up on Cartoon Network. It seems like it'd be a good fit on Nickelodeon/TeenNick.

#21

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Posted Jul 28, 2010 @ 8:37 AM

It does seem like it'd be a better fit on Nickelodeon. Cartoon Network picked it up because they want to develop a live-action programming block, which so far hasn't worked because their other live-action shows were terrible.

Last's night's episode was.....meh. I was entertained, but I wasn't really impressed.

#22

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Posted Aug 2, 2010 @ 4:52 PM

I came across this show on accident and I love it. I actually think its better than most of the crap on both Nickelodeon and Disney. It's a smart show and I'm constantly surprised by the stuff they get passed the censors.

Edited by firelova, Aug 2, 2010 @ 4:53 PM.


#23

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Posted Aug 10, 2010 @ 10:17 PM

I am stumped as to why Cartoon Network decided to hold on to this episode until now, because it is clearly meant to be the second episode of the series. So many things magically appearing/dropped in the episodes after the pilot were filled in tonight. (Maggie became close with the boys, Henry and Maggie settled their bickering tension from the pilot, Henry put up that hammock...)

Henry deserves some slack for not being able to read Maggie's text - even I couldn't read it! I thought Maggie would be the type of person to use full words and proper punctuation when texting. Not all teenagers text in code, show.

So....that bad guy....he was definitely dead after falling from that height onto a concrete floor. And the kids were just standing over him, wrapping up this week's mystery like nothing was wrong. Did that bother anyone else? I'm sure they didn't mention it to spare the children, but I find our heroes calmly conversing while standing over a lifeless body to have even more horrific implications.

#24

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Posted Aug 11, 2010 @ 2:37 PM

I, too, found this series by accident and I think it'll make a very good addition to my TV schedule.

It feels like a blend of Indiana Jones, Harry Potter and Veronica Mars - which is just fine with me.

The whole show - plot, humour, characters - seems very grown up for a "children's show". In fact, had I not known that it airs on the cartoon network, I'd not have put it in that category to begin with.
Come to think of it, I vote for moving this thread from Cartoon and Kid Shows to the Action Adventure and Sci-Fi Forum. It really seems to belong there. (Is it allowed to ask a mod to do that?)

The Harry-Ron-Hermione thing was one of the first thoughts that popped into my head halfway through the pilot - just with a "Harry" (Henry) that actually knows some things and is proactive instead of lazing around. (Sorry, still bitter about the later HP books)

I also agree that Henry's antics or Maggies brilliance could become tiresome, but so far they've avoided flanderization or one-dimensional characterisation.

Eight episodes in and I'm really looking forward to more. Hope this show stays on for a while.

ETA: I almost forgot to say, that while one shouldn't really expect realism from a show like this, the writers actually did their homework. I checked a few facts from the pilot and the thing with the poisonous bird? Completely true, except for the centipede treatment. (The bird is called a hooded pitohui, if anyone is interested). Same thing goes for the featured submarine named Alligator.

Edited by Kontrast, Aug 11, 2010 @ 7:05 PM.


#25

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Posted Aug 11, 2010 @ 6:47 PM

ETA: I almost forgot to say, that while one shouldn't really expect realism from a show like this, the writers actually did their homework. I checked a few facts from the pilot and the thing with the poisonous bird? Completely true, except for the centipede treatment.


What is the antidote, then? Is there even an antidote?

#26

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Posted Aug 11, 2010 @ 9:12 PM

I finally got to watch the cursed ruby episode. Henry's little car bed cracked me up--I might want to sleep in a string hammock instead of that little thing too.

#27

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Posted Aug 11, 2010 @ 10:18 PM

So....that bad guy....he was definitely dead after falling from that height onto a concrete floor. And the kids were just standing over him, wrapping up this week's mystery like nothing was wrong. Did that bother anyone else? I'm sure they didn't mention it to spare the children, but I find our heroes calmly conversing while standing over a lifeless body to have even more horrific implications.

I'm probably desensitized from every single crime procedural with people talking over corpses, but you're absolutely right.

Edited by Trini Girl, Aug 11, 2010 @ 10:20 PM.


#28

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Posted Aug 11, 2010 @ 10:47 PM

Could that possibly be why the episode was pushed back?

The pilot had Henry catch a poison dart that was fired at him, then throw it back and it the woman who fired it at him, and this one had the kids talking over a dead body.

They were probably afraid of scaring the parents, so they pushed it back a few weeks so some of the more lighter episodes separated them.

#29

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Posted Aug 12, 2010 @ 12:59 AM

It feels like a blend of Indiana Jones, Harry Potter and Veronica Mars - which is just fine with me.


*Smiles* @ Veronica Mars mention.

I also agree that Henry's antics or Maggies brilliance could become tiresome, but so far they've avoided flanderization or one-dimensional characterisation.


That's one of the things I like about this show. All of the kids are smart but it's not treated like a plot device like most kids shows. I also like Henry's flashbacks, IMO it adds a lot to the his overall characterization. I just hope they don't go down the path of a love triangle. That would SERIOUSLY annoy me.

#30

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Posted Aug 13, 2010 @ 7:20 PM

I used my Comcast OnDemand to catch up on some of the episodes I missed. Saw the ones with Henry's old friend that was briefly enrolled at the school while his dad was visiting and speaking at the school, and the one where Henry learns to drive.

I liked the driving one better, but I have a hard time believing that after being ditched at a donuts shop by Henry on Saturday, the discussion about why was not until that Monday.

The one with Henry's friend was good, but a little easy to predict what was going to happen. Also, why is it suddenly Football season when it was Basketball season like, three episodes prior?