Friday, December 25, 2015

TV Talk - Darkwing Duck: "It's a Wonderful Leaf"

Next on the list is one that I sort of have vague memories of: Darkwing Duck. Yes, you read that right. Darkwing Duck was essentially a spoof on the hero genre. It found his inspirations in Batman as well as other heroes like the Shadow, Crimson Avenger, and other older heroes. I used to watch the show back in the day on ABC. I don’t exactly remember when it went off the air though. I do remember the slammin’ theme song. It’s still good to this day.

The show was a spinoff to DuckTales, another show with a catchy theme song. Still, I don’t know if I want to grab onto some duck tails especially if danger lurks behind me and strangers are out to find me. The creators found inspiration from a couple of episodes of DuckTales for this show. It was originally going to feature Launchpad (a supporting character from DuckTales) as a James Bond knock-off called Double-O-Duck. That didn’t happen since someone actually owned the “double-o” phrase. By the way, that’s really weird. Darkwing Duck was the next name they decided to use for the show and it was decided to create a main character.

The show ran for 91 episodes and stayed on for two years. After its run, it stayed in syndication. On the show, Darkwing Duck, aka Drake Mallard, protects St. Canard from a bunch of baddies. He gets help from Launchpad, his daughter Gosalyn, and others.  For today, I’m only looking at one episode instead of the whole show. I found them all on YouTube. “It’s a Wonderful Leaf” was the show’s 54th episode. As you can tell by the title, it’s a Christmas one. After all, it is the season!

It’s Christmas Eve and all throughout the city, people are looking for presents and some of it isn’t so pretty. Dr. Bushroot would know since he’s feeling a bit down. Still, you’d feel the same if you looked like a weird, plant-like clown. As he tries to look for presents, everyone else acts like annoying peasants. After he’s been pushed so hard, Bushroot decides to make Christmas crap for everyone in St. Canard. Yes, I’m rhyming this sucker because I’m one bad… trucker? Yeah, I’ll lay off the rhymes.
Ma, I wanna Darkwing Duck toy for Christmas!

At Mallard House, Drake and Launchpad prepare for the next day. Unfortunately, Gosalyn is being one of those annoying children who wants to start Christmas early. Meanwhile, Bushroot uses some sort of device to control all Christmas trees and make them steal presents. Before he does that, he causes a little commotion at the mall with his pretty creepy trees. Drake and Launchpad are also at the mall, so when trouble goes down, Drake answers the call and gets into costume. Bushroot reveals himself to them and attacks them with trees.
Yeah, Bushroot! Fight the power of commercialism or something!

While they’re distracted, Bushroot leaves and puts his plan into action. He uses the controlled trees to steal everyone’s gifts. DW and Launchpad eventually get after him while Gosalyn, and Honker (Gosalyn’s friend) also get pulled into the action. It’s a chase to get caught up with Bushroot’s truck. Eventually, the day is saved through some pretty weird usage of freezing water. I didn’t know villains could get frozen on impact from cold water. “The Iceman Cometh” indeed.

Darkwing Duck decides to do his best in getting all of the presents back to everyone’s house. He even gets into a Santa costume. He’s able to deliver all the presents back except for Honker’s family. I guess a couple of trees stowed them away? Luckily, Gosalyn decides to give her presents to his family since it is better to give than receive. Somehow, she ends up getting a sled as a gift from someone. As Drake wonders who did it, Santa flies off into the night.

I thought this was an alright episode. It’s been years since I’ve seen an episode of the show. I will say that it’s an okay Christmas episode. The only message it really has is that Christmas isn’t just about presents. I guess another message would be to not be a butthead to villains that control plants. Maybe that’s what Batman’s issue with Poison Ivy is. That being said, it was enjoyable. There were a lot of funny moments in the episode. I also thought Bushroot himself was funny.
I guess Drake also noticed Launchpad's different voice. It's apparently the same guy from the other show though.

In the end, this was an okay episode. I do want to one day revisit this show. I know there are episodes that I never got to watch since most didn’t air on ABC. I do remember that Boom! Comics had a series on the character, so I might check that out. Well, I’ll be over here opening presents and spending time with the family. Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas or any other holiday during this time, find someone to spend it with. Peace, God Bless, and Merry Christmas!


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