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I was once contemplating adding Cartoon Network shows to my lineup of Nicktoon DVD titles (I have a small Adventure Time collection started up already), and I was interested to find out if this show was worth my while to add. After all, this show was quite a few fans, what could possibly go wrong?
As it turns out, everything. Without going into too much detail, this show is one of the WORST I have seen.
The pacing of each episode is bad, either abruptly jumping all over the place without rhyme or reason, focusing on unimportant details that could have easily been cut out of the episode, or employing an unfunny running gag that grates on your nerves. The characters are either annoying as hell or bland as cardboard, the jokes are unfunny and badly executed, and all our main hero seems to do is punch and kick bad guys while sounding like a mildly annoyed cop chasing after some jaywalkers, to varying degrees of success. There is nothing remarkable about her despite what the show tells you, and that is a shame, her character design is one of the best things in the show.
What is especially insulting if the nerve of Cartoon Network charging $40+ for a single season of this garbage on Amazon. 40 dollars. I bought the ENTIRE COLLECTION of "My Life as a Teenage Robot" (a much better show, BTW), all three volumes for 3 dollars LESS than that.
As for this? If you like the show, go buy it when it hits the bargain bin somewhere, if you want it that much. $40 for unfunny drek like this is a ripoff, no matter how many ways you slice it. I honestly can't recommend this show to anybody, it's very painful to watch.
There's no question that The Life And Times Of Juniper Lee never particularly stood out compared to other stone-cold classics that also came around the same time as Codename: Kids Next Door, Camp Lazlo and Megas XLR, but it definitely had more of a quirky charm and more quality and effort put into it than the likes of further evidence that Cartoon Network was close to hitting the wall that would mar its reputation later on (i.e. My Gym Partner's A Monkey, Squirrel Boy and the Samurai Jack-worship abomination that was the original Star Wars: Clone Wars) before finally slamming face-first into that wall with garbage like Regular Show and Uncle Grandpa.
Fortunately, this show manages to avoid being lumped in with the dregs for the sheer fact that it's charming. The concept is simple and American Dragon Jake Long/Kim Possible in style, and coming from someone who's never enjoyed either of those shows (though Kim Possible has been getting a much warmer reception lately), it's a surprise that this show manages to be at the very least entertaining. Obviously, it's not perfect, with semi-flawed voice acting and a dry sense of humor (though there are exceptions).
The imagination is definitely put into full effect even if the show's concept is a cliche in itself. The monsters are for the most part entertaining, and the titular character that is Juniper Lee is surprisingly entertaining, which manages to make it easy to over look her very scrappy-like younger brother Ray-Ray. Really, for every other questionable character, there exists a much better one.
Is the show perfect? No. The best way to describe it may be "the worst of the best", but if you want to commit time to something when it would otherwise be wasted, this show could be your answer.
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