Danny Phantom is often compared to Spiderman and Buffy, each at their best... and it's mostly deserved. Third season aside, DP is a shaky masterpiece that's smart and funny at most times. Few episodes drag in terms of pacing or storytelling and in the arena where Negative Continuity is to be expected, this is a breath of fresh air. In many ways, Nick/Viacom did this series a disservice. Danny Phantom is not as great or as edgy as some of the shows its been compared to (Gargoyles among them for more than one reason) nor, sadly, will it be remembered for its greatness, but for the great things that could have been. Given more time, could the mood continuity problems been fixed? If Marmel had been chosen as the new series head, would it have grown even more mature? What is there is still worth seeing as-not a kid's show ala cousin series Fairly Odd Parents, or an adult's show ala Drawn Together, but as one of the growing number of teen-friendly animations. To be sure, there were issues. Danny mysteriously knowing Plasmius's name in Bitter Reunions. The deus ex machina ending to a small number of episodes. Small continuity hiccups in The Ultimate Enemy. Constant broadcasting Out Of Order episodes. The Shipping wars (Though as a Tenchi Muyo fan, I have seen far, far worst). The thing is, that's part of the charm of this show. The points where you are reminded that hey, Danny is fourteen. The sad things I wish I'd seen was Sam's family situation dealt with more, the return of future Danny among other things. Although season 3 was... average... compared to the rest of the series, with few exceptions, it was total crap compared to the other two seasons. Part of that I blame on character derailment and the treatment of Vlad, the Big Bad. There are standout episodes: Forever Phantom, Frightmare, D-Stabilized and Urban Jungle come to mind. The most tragic is Phantom Planet. It could have been one of those good ones, but poor execution plagues it as it does the rest of the season. The other tragedy is Vlad's end, which is heartbreaking... until he gets smacked by an asteroid. Complaints aside, Danny Phantom is an excellent example of action-comedy done right and consistantly executed. It just couldn't compare to the bright popularity of Spongebob or Fairly Odd Parents, especially when it wasn't given half a chance.
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