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Like about everyone my age on TV Tropes, I really enjoyed Phineas and Ferb whenever I had the opportunity to watch it, and Milo Murphy's Law is a perfect successor. It's one of the most consistently funny and pure-hearted animated shows out there right now, with the writers knowing when to play stupid and when to play smart (smarter, I imagine, than most of the target audience) to get the maximum laughs. It's been running for almost two seasons now and I've yet to get tired of it. What aids this, I suspect, is that about halfway into the first season a story arc following two side characters is introduced. Asides from being funny and interesting on its own, it also gives the main characters fresh new things to react to, so despite the 'everything goes wrong' gimmick the show is sold on it never gets stale. Due to its less story-driven nature than other popular shows, I think that the first couple of episodes are actually pretty good indicators as to the rest of the series's substance (minus the aforementioned story arc) so I really recommend giving it a chance!
Despite not being a fan of 2010s cartoons and their art styles and sense of humor (and the lack of good story-driven ones like Avatar: The Last Airbender), for whatever reason, I gave this one a try. Disney put up the first two episodes on YouTube.
The first episode made me laugh many times. It did a fantastic job with the simple premise of "bad luck follows Milo everywhere he goes, making his life dangerous and affecting anyone who's with him". The plot was basically nothing more than Milo meets a new kid, and the two need to head to school while dealing with everything from wolves to bees to falling into the sewers to all the other stuff trying to kill them. Milo takes it all in stride, and the sheer absurdity of the bad luck and the things that happen cracked me up. Milo has worse luck than Wile E. Coyote! In fact, that's kind of the vibe I got from the first episode. Just slapstick and humor as the characters survive literal Murphy's Law, the idea that "what can go wrong, will go wrong." (Fan fact: The astronaut Edward Murphy actually said, "If there's a right way to do things and a wrong way to do them, this guy will do things the wrong way.")
While the episode was very enjoyable, it had me wondering how the hell this base premise could possibly sustain an entire cartoon series. The second episode answered that question.
The second episode had Milo and his two friends (why is it always íThree Amigos!?) going to a museum with the rest of the class, via train. Of course their train derails and they end up in an underground cave where they meet a civilization that had been living there for about a month. After a series of mishaps, they manage to get back to school and free the people trapped underground.
In other words, that episode felt like just a standard "kids go on wacky random adventure" sort of thing. No different than what you'd find in something like Hey Arnold!. It had a lot of the things that annoy me in kid cartoons also, like the usual Little Professor Dialog that real kids/middle school students would never say, and a lot of the same style of humor that just rubs me the wrong way, which I can't quite describe. It felt generic. Instead of the parade of Wile E. Coyote antics, I just get a standard silly adventure with random bad luck.
Is that what the show is going to become? I hope not. While I do think the main premise has limited potential used in its purest form, I don't like the idea of it simply being an excuse to set up our heroes on a bunch of random adventures, when lots of other kid cartoons simply put their heroes on random adventures without having to use "oh yeah, the main character's jinxed" as an excuse. But from what I've seen so far, the future of this cartoon doesn't look too promising.
Phineas and Ferb was about the last cartoon show I watched on Disney with a huge amount of enjoyment, as in, "look forward to every episode for a huge amount of laughter" enjoyment. Hearing that that show was ending was like saying goodbye to a companion who'd been with me since my mid-teenage years. It broke my heart a little bit.
I continued to watch Phineas and Ferb on Netflix, with the eventual intention of finishing the series (I fell of the bandwagon of watching TV after getting rid of cable, Netflix is a great substitute.) I eventually read on this very site that the creators were working on a new show entitled "Milo Murphy's Law". After enjoying Phineas and Ferb to a degree that beat nearly every other show that aired in the same era, I decided I'd probably give the show a try.
Then I read on the Wikipedia article that the show had released the first episode on Itunes for free (or rather, the first 22 minute time slot with 2 episode in it). I decided to have a look.
In a nutshell, while I didn't enjoy it as much as Phineas and Ferb, I still enjoyed it a great deal.
The premise of the show is that the main character, named Milo Murphy (voiced by Weird Al Yankovic) is a walking disaster area. To go along with this, he is prepared for anything, from llamas to giant sewage pipes, nothing shocks this kid beyond a raised eyebrow. He's refreshing, funny, and similar to Phineas in a good way.
Two other characters share the spotlight. The "new kid" named Zack Underwood. His role is well needed as he is the audience surrogate, the one who is not used to disaster striking whenever Milo so much as blinks. The other one's name is Melissa Chase, who serves as the girl who's a good friend of Milo, but is quite aware and accepting of what being around him entails. Both of these characters have served well thus far at reacting in funny ways to the weirdness that goes on, Zack by his panic and Melissa by her nonchalance. Also, there's a side character named Diogee who's a dog that continuously turns up to follow/help Milo. Also Vincent Martella voices a classmate who's the complete opposite of Phineas Flynn. That is a joke unto itself!
One aspect that the show has carried over from Phineas and Ferb that I am very happy about is a sense of cheerful optimism. In the first episode, Milo and Zack are chased away from the busstop by an out of control sewage pipe. While their adventure is going on, Melissa starts a betting pool on the bus, not about whether or not Milo and Zack will survive, but whether they'll get to school on time (she's betting for them in case you were wondering.)
In the end, I'm very much looking forward to see where this show goes. I also hope that someday in the future there could be a crossover between this, and Phineas and Ferb.
Go watch Milo Murphy's Law. If you liked Phineas and Ferb, I think you'll enjoy this one.
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