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Series / Unnatural History

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From the left: Maggie Winnock, Henry Griffin, and Jasper Bartlett.

Part of Cartoon Network's attempt to combat Nickelodeon's live-action shows along with Tower Prep. A 2010 live action show on Cartoon Network about a globe-trotting teen named Henry Griffin who must now adjust to living in Washington, D.C.. and attend Smithson High School, which is connected to a museum. Along with his cousin Jasper and their schoolfriend Maggie, they solve history's mysteries. Unlike many of Cartoon Network's live-action series, it was reasonably well-received, but this unfortunately did not translate into high ratings—it only lasted one season and was cancelled due to low ratings.


This show contains examples of:

  • Academy of Adventure
  • Action Girl: Maggie, if the Fight Scene in "Thor's Slammer" was any indication of where her character is going.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: Used by Henry, Jasper, and Uncle Brian in Past, Presidents and Future
  • Beneath Suspicion: Ambassador Tolo's PR representative.
  • Bookends: Shown in "The Liberian Candidate".
  • Bound and Gagged: The Villains Of The Week in this show employ this relatively often, one example being in "Maximum Insecurity" when Jasper is tied to a chair and gagged with his own sock while being held hostage.
  • Brainy Brunette: Maggie.
  • Cannot Tell a Joke: Henry in spades.
  • Ceiling Cling: Henry does this in "The Fountain of Truth".
  • The Cheerleader: Subverted when the 'dumb cheerleader' turned out to be incredibly smart, and was dosing the team with the 'fountain of youth' in secret. The reason she pretended to be dumb was so boys would like her.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Chekhov's Muffins.
    • And Chekhov's Houdini's Key in "Now You See Me".
  • Continuity Nod: There was a lot of this in "Past, Presidents, and Future".
  • Counterfeit Cash: The money found at the end of "Public School Enemies".
  • The Cracker: Part of the Five-Man Band in "Maximum Insecurity".
  • Cut Short: The Season Finale had set up What Could Have Been the start of season two.
  • Deadly Gas: A bordeline case used in Professor Morneau's greenhouse.
  • Designated Girl Fight: Maggie and the female professor/scientist in "Thor's Slammer".
  • Edutainment Show: Sometimes, such as in "Griffin Gang" and "Sleeper in the Box," which were based on the Pony express and Sputnik, respectively. Other episodes... not so much.
  • Elaborate University High: Surprisingly averted. Smithson High is reasonably sized, considering the fact that it's connected to a museum.
  • Faking the Dead: Henry does this in "Now You See Me" to get E.W. to show himself to them.
  • Family-Friendly Firearms: Completely and utterly averted!
  • Fanservice: Seeing Maggie wearing an old west showgirl dress in "The Griffin Gang". Until Jasper makes her show those ugly teeth dentures...
    • The show seems to find any excuse it can to get Henry shirtless. Even when he's not shirtless, we still get plenty of glimpses of tummy due to the fact that pretty much every acrobatic move Henry does culminates in his shirt riding up - usually quite a bit higher than the move would normally result in, but hey, I don't hear anyone complaining.
    • Henry and Jasper in suits.
  • Female Gaze: After it's mentioned in a roundabout way that Henry goes commando ("It's a formal dance Henry, so wear underwear!"), the camera follows his bum as it walks upstairs for a little longer than necessary.
  • Fish out of Water: Henry lived in pretty much everywhere on Earth except in urban society.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Henry (choleric), Jasper (phlegmatic/sanguine), and Maggie (melancholic).
  • Freudian Trio: Henry (id), Jasper (superego), and Maggie (ego).
  • Fun with Acronyms: Inverted with the DOUM Room.