I got into Adventure Time about a year ago. It was billed as a spiritual predecessor to Steven Universe, so I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. The quality is pretty haphazard – individual episodes can be very good, but for most of its run it seems to throw consistent storytelling to the wind. There’s basically no telling what will happen in a given episode, or how much we’re supposed to care; maybe a given plot point be revisited and turn out to be vitally important a few episodes later, maybe a few seasons later, maybe never. It currently has a number of interesting ongoing mysteries and plotlines, but it jumps between them seemingly at random, which can be frustrating. It overall feels like a show that’s constantly trying and failing to figure out what it wants to be.
There’s one plot point that I found particularly baffling, however, and I think it ties into a recurring problem in shows like these that toe the line between episodic and plotty: they can’t decide whether they want to play a potentially serious topic for drama or comedy.
(Spoilers for episode 6×22, for those of you who care.)