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My issues with American Dragon

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Jan 27th 2012 at 10:04:12 AM

I'll try to be clear and perfectly frank, i have a few problems regarding the show "American Dragon: Jake Long". Don't get me wrong, i loved the show, i may not have given it much of a chance when it first came out, but after watching it once, i slowly started to love it. But now that i'm older, i've begun to find issues that i have with the show. I still think Jake got the raw deal in his own show, never getting half the breaks that other characters get in their shows. I don't remember this being a problem for me at first, but now, it just seems unsettling, especially now, when i tried to watch the Chinese New Year special during, you guessed it: The Year of the Dragon. I can't even enjoy it because i feel this way.

What about you, what are your issues with the show?

Jan 27th 2012 at 10:16:55 AM

What do you mean by "raw deal" and not getting breaks? Do you think the show is too hard on him?

As for me, there are a few Plot Holes.

Jan 27th 2012 at 11:42:31 AM

Exactly what i meant, i really feel the show was a little harsh on him, along with some of the other characters

Lao Shi, Fu Dog, Rotwood, Haley, Johnathan and Susan, The Huntsman, and Chang

They all gave Jake a hard time and/or looked down on upon him and that must really hurt

edited 27th Jan '12 11:43:08 AM by srebak

Jan 27th 2012 at 1:36:24 PM

Well, of course Rotwood, Chang and The Huntsman are going to be hard on him. The Huntsman, Chang and Rotwood are villains. Rotwood a little less so, perhaps.

Yeah, you are right, though. Pretty much everyone gives Jake a hard time. The Council taking away Jake's powers for wanting to have some fun on Halloween, Susan allowing Jonathan to ground Jake because she's too much of a coward to tell her husband the truth about her side of family, Jonathan all but saying that Jake is a bad child because he tries to sneak out in "Haley Gone Wild", Lao-Shi telling Rose to break up with Jake behind Jake's back, and Haley being a brat and borderline Karma Houdini in "Family Business" are all ways that Jake really gets screwed over. In a way, I'm even disappointed in Sun for being so mad at Jake in "Family Business". Yes, what Jake did was wrong (although quite understandable), but Haley instigated it. Why don't you punish her, too?

You know what, though? It doesn't effect my overall opinion of the show. Does it effect my opinion of the characters? Yes, it gets me quite angry with them at times. The truth is that Jake is a very flawed character. A lot of the times he gets screwed over, it is self-inflicted in some way. He's still sympathetic and likable, though.

You used "Year of the Jake" as an example. I'm assuming your problem is that Lao-Shi knew all along what Jake was going through but did nothing to help. Would I be right? Well, once again, he got screwed over because of something he did. He didn't pay attention when his grandfather told him the Chinese New Year traditions, so he cleaned up the shop when he shouldn't have. If he had paid attention, he would have known better than to clean up the shop. So, he's a flawed character. Honestly, Fu, Trixie and Spud got the raw deal in that episode. That was mostly played for comedy, though.

FallenLegend Craziest of all from Navel Of The Moon.
Craziest of all
Jan 27th 2012 at 2:56:35 PM

the problems the protagonist had were nessesary for the plot. I you gave him everything from episode 1 in a silver plate would th show be as interesting?

edited 27th Jan '12 3:02:37 PM by FallenLegend

Make your hearth shine through the darkest night; let it transform hate into kindness, evil into justice, and loneliness into love.
Jan 27th 2012 at 5:47:58 PM

[up] While I haven't watched this show in particular, I feel the need to point out a balance is needed. You can't give everything on a silver platter and create a Boring Invincible Hero, but never cutting the lead a break only makes a Boring Failure Hero, which is even worse.

Jan 28th 2012 at 8:22:02 AM

I have seen only a few episodes, but they didn't seem that bad. Of course it could be like with Arthur, where it is after a prolonged watch that you get the "Man, this kid never gets a break!" impression.

Also I'm amazed how much this show and The Life And Times Of Juniper Lee are alike. It's virtually the same idea with a gender change and no dragon-shifting. You'd think somebody would protest.

edited 28th Jan '12 8:23:51 AM by Sijo

qtjinla15 Qtjinla 15 from Los Angeles Relationship Status: On the prowl
Jan 28th 2012 at 3:10:58 PM

I think they were depending on Viewers Are Morons and that young boys wouldn't watch a show with a female protagonist.

Feb 5th 2012 at 5:55:07 AM

At the same time, Jake can be an irresponsible protagonist at times. He's used shapeshifting powers for personal gain, and often gets too cocky. He's an antihero, so he causes some problems, and some of his punishments are often disproportionate. But it's all part of his growth. I think it makes him a well rounded character; good at heart, sometimes irresponsible, but also tasked with heavy responsibilities.

I treat all living things equally. That is to say, I eat all living things
Feb 5th 2012 at 10:29:14 AM

[up][up][up]Plenty of fans complained, but the timing of them meant that there was virtually no chance of anything untowards going on.

"Aren't you cold, Finn?"
SlowTeddy Baby! from Here
Baby!
Feb 5th 2012 at 11:24:02 AM

I think Juniper Lee was better and mythical creatures being invisible made more sense. Too bad it was bushed under the rug so quickly.sad

Never tell your problems to anyone...20% don't care and the other 80% are glad you have them.
Feb 5th 2012 at 12:00:14 PM

[up]The creatures being literally invisible was, I thought, one of the biggest mistakes Juniper Lee made. It robbed the drama of potential exposure and and just led to a lot of places where the action lacked the necessary drama.

"Aren't you cold, Finn?"
MousaThe14 Writer, Artist, Ignored from Northern Virginia Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
Writer, Artist, Ignored
Feb 5th 2012 at 12:46:51 PM

Juniper Lee primarily bored me and I liked Jake long ten times more and I could never shake the feeling Juniper Lee was a cheap knockoff, even though i know they were made at around the same, despite their... extreme similarities.

Same initials, annoying younger sibling of the opposite sex (Only Ray Ray wasn't annoying), a small gray dog as an animal assistant, their grandparent of the same sex is their mentor with the same powers, the powers skipped a generation, maintain a balance of the mystical and the normal, I know I've been obsessed with this before, but it just feels weird to me. I mean one of them just had more friends, who were ironically enough, really bland.

Right anyhow, the topic, I do agree that Jake got a really really raw deal and while he deserved it some of the time, He did deserve better a lot of the time.

The Blog The Art
TheGunheart Some nights I rule the world... from on the street.
Some nights I rule the world...
Feb 5th 2012 at 9:42:14 PM

@Blueflame: Now, I've never seen Jake Long, but my problem with that type of protagonist is that they never do "grow". Their anti-hero traits are strictly to justify them being the show's Butt-Monkey, and since Status Quo Is God, they'll never learn from their mistakes because that would mean the jokes would stop.

"If you're out here why do I miss you so much?"
0dd1 Just awesome like that from Nowhere Land
Just awesome like that
Feb 6th 2012 at 12:04:43 AM

I'll be totally honest and say I barely remember anything about the first season of AD:JL—the second season left a much better impression on me, since it seemed like they really got their act more together there.

Although those two Huntsclan members (forgot their names, but one of them was voiced by Kyle Massey from Thats So Raven) were a bit annoying at times.

Admittedly, this all has nothing to do with the complaints in the OP, but...yeah.

Insert witty and clever quip here. My page, as the database hates my handle. My music.
gingerninja666 SCH-NEIGH-ZEL from Aboard The Damocles
SCH-NEIGH-ZEL
Feb 6th 2012 at 4:33:24 AM

@Mousa

You thought Haley was annoying? I actually thought she was one of the more tolerable "hyper-competent younger sibling" type characters out there. In fact, I think most of my fav eps were the ones that heavily featured her [lol]

"Contests fought between two masters are decided instantly. An invisible battle is now raging between the two of them." Lulu vs Schneizel
MousaThe14 Writer, Artist, Ignored from Northern Virginia Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
Writer, Artist, Ignored
Feb 6th 2012 at 1:59:31 PM

@ginger, it seems the more you talk the more dead you are to me. You like that sick smug good for nothing little entitled pint-sized b****? I know you like jerks, I like some jerks but I figured you would at least have standards.

The Blog The Art
gingerninja666 SCH-NEIGH-ZEL from Aboard The Damocles
SCH-NEIGH-ZEL
Feb 6th 2012 at 5:18:47 PM

[up] I don't even like Haley because she's a jerk. I like her because I honestly think she's a good character.

Yeah, she would give Jake a hard time. Yes, she was a know it all some of the time. BUT, whenever it was clear that Jake knew more about the situation than she did, she would shut the hell up and follow his orders. In fact, they have great Synergy when they fight together, and I wish it'd happened more often.

Also, Haley was not as competent as she likes to think she is, and suffered for it more than any other "Annoying Younger Sibling" character that I can remember. EVERY episode that focuses on her goes to lengths to show that Jake is superior to her. He even says it: "I'm bigger, stronger, and I've been doing this longer!" When she swapss bodies with Jake, she knocks HERSELF out in seconds due to Fire breath recoil!

Haley is clearly afraid of her own worth. She doesn't have Jake's social skills, so she overcompensates by being an overachiever in everything academic, and rubs it in Jake's face so that she doesn't feel useless compared to him. She simultaneously envies, and greatly ADMIRES her older brother. waii

Lastly: How could you not cheer when Haley dished out one of the most epic Calling the Old Man Out speeches EVER?! [lol]

edited 6th Feb '12 5:20:23 PM by gingerninja666

"Contests fought between two masters are decided instantly. An invisible battle is now raging between the two of them." Lulu vs Schneizel
TheGunheart Some nights I rule the world... from on the street.
Some nights I rule the world...
Feb 6th 2012 at 6:33:43 PM

Also, having never watched the show, I gotta admit...that image of his season 2 dragon mode is much better than what I remembered of the commercials for season 1. I remember season 1 having this silly, buff thing that I just couldn't take seriously. I like the second season's more dynamic and less human form much better.

"If you're out here why do I miss you so much?"
0dd1 Just awesome like that from Nowhere Land
Just awesome like that
Feb 7th 2012 at 1:17:54 AM

[up]Agreed. I did watch both seasons, but I definitely found the second season more engaging—and its art style played no small role in that.

Also, they took out the line from the theme song "I'm the mack daddy dragon from the NYC, YAHURD!?" And God bless them for seeing how awful that line was.

Insert witty and clever quip here. My page, as the database hates my handle. My music.
Feb 7th 2012 at 6:05:01 AM

Just because two series air at the same time doesn't mean one didn't copy the other. The pre-production process can last *years* and ideas can leak around, especially in a place as starved for originality as Hollywood. See Dueling Shows for examples.

edited 7th Feb '12 6:06:45 AM by Sijo

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