TV SERIES Review: Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? S1E5 – Decoy For A Dognapper ⭐️⭐️⭐️½

Season 1
CBS (HBO Max)
October 11, 1969

Episode 5 – “Decoy For A Dognapper”

Scooby is walking around and encounters a woman walking her female dog. Shortly, thereafter someone attacks the woman and swipes her dog. Scooby returns to the gang who are partying on the beach and turns on a radio news report that has them all realize they have new mystery to solve.

They meet with Buck Masters, a dog owner who is offering a reward for the capture of the dognapper.

Buck Masters is offering a reward for the capture of the dognapper

They setup a trap to lure the dognapper by Shaggy taking Scoob on a walk. They put a transmitter on Scooby’s collar. Shag and Scoob run into a van that creates a huge cloud of smoke and during the commotion Scoob is dognapped.

The mystery gang follows the transmitter to solve the mystery and unmask the connection between the ghost of Geromino and the dognapper.

Summary

Good to see Scooby attracted to a female dog to start off this episode.

Had to rewatch this one to get the connection with the ghostly Indian. Dognapping and Indian ghosts, a bizarre connection, but yet it somehow works.

This is the strangest storyline so far, but it works because Scooby is seeking revenge for attacks against other dogs. The mystery, once resolved, is fairly well put together but, again, wish they would have released a few more potential suspects. More suspects could have been done with the 22 minutes of run time.

At the same time we get to see Velma losing her glasses — a staple of several episodes, since Velma is blind without them. We also get to see Shag and Scoob being spooked out by Gerimino’s ghost.

Overall episode rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️½ 

I came across this interesting fact about how Scooby-Doo was created:

Silverman’s idea for the show changed somewhat while he was listening to music during a flight. He heard Frank Sinatra’s hit “Strangers in the Night.” Near the end of the song, Sinatra sings the nonsense phrase “dooby dooby doo.” Silverman misheard the phrase as “scooby dooby doo.” After that, he decided to name the show Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? and centered the show around its canine character.

How Frank Sinatra’s Comeback Hit Inspired ‘Scooby-Doo’

TV SERIES Review: Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? S1E4 – Mine Your Own Business ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Season 1
CBS (HBO Max)
October 4, 1969

Episode 4 – “Mine Your Own Business”

Shaggy reads a map upside down, forcing the gang down the wrong road. The end up at Gold City, a ghost town where they decide to stay.

They run into the mystery of the Miner 49er, who is scaring those away from the mines where his gold is hidden.

Shaggy and Scooby enter a bar and ask for Sasparillas, but instead are served cups of cobwebs.

Shaggy has a funny moment where he tries to light sticks of dynamite as torches.

The secret to the Miner 49er is found deep in the mines and it will take Scooby and the gang to travel down the mine shaft and learn the answers.

Summary

The Miner 49er is a great villain name.

Scooby runs into the Miner 49er. This is but one of several haunting meetings.

Scoob gets a chance to make us laugh with his trademark scares, when he needs Scooby snacks to travel down in the mineshaft elevator.

It’s always great to hear his doggy voice say, “Scooby-Scooby-Doo!” once he’s devoured those tasty Scooby Snacks.

This episode offers up a scary, if cliched these days, backdrop: the deserted ghost town. The Miner 49er has a clever back story but as is the case with many of these mysteries, there isn’t enough time to show us multiple characters that could be the true villain, making it easy for adults to figure out who the villain is before she or he is unmasked.

As a young child, though, I don’t ever remember that being a big deal. I tuned in for Scooby and Shaggy’s antics and the mystery was less important. A very strong episode. Recommended.

Overall episode rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

TV SERIES Review: Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? S1E3 – Hassle In The Castle ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Season 1
CBS (HBO Max)
September 27, 1969

Episode 3 – “Hassle In The Castle”

The gang runs aground during a boating expedition and ends up, unfortunately on the abandoned Vasquez Island. They venture into the castle looking for help and encounter a mystery to be solved.

A ghost is floating around scaring all who enter the castle.

Scooby is tasked to go undercover as John Wayne, a funny little disguise that leads him into a run and catch routine with the ghost.

Summary

One of my favorite gag parts of this episode is Scooby going into magician mode. It’s little parts of these episodes in the writing that made Scoob so much fun to watch as a child.

This brought back fond memories.

The other humorous moment is when Scooby is asked to enter a room where the ghost might be waiting and, scared, he feigns illness.

The gang knows that Scooby will do almost anything … if enough Scooby Snacks are offered …

Ghosts were clearly the top choice at the start of this series. The mystery part of this episode is a little thin, but we get to see Scooby as John Wayne — the outfit that looks nothing like the famous Westerner, but hey.

The unmasking is ripe with exposition, which explains why the ghost is there, but not much chance to solve this kind of mystery. The episode is saved by Scooby’s antics, but the weakest of the three so far. Barely recommend this one.

Overall episode rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

TV SERIES Review: Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? S1E2 – A Clue For Scooby-Doo ⭐️⭐️⭐️½

Season 1
CBS (HBO Max)
September 20, 1969

Episode 2 – “A Clue For Scooby-Doo”

The gang is headed to Rocky Point Beach for some rest and relaxation when Scooby goes surfing and encounters the ghost of Captain Cutler. Cutler went down in the graveyard of ships.

Now boats are missing and the mystery gang are called into action to find out who is behind it. The gang visit a beach hermit that tells them he saw a ghostly glow moving through the fog and it was Cutler’s ghost. He explains how Cutler went down. Cutler’s boat collided with a “fancy yacht” and as he went down he vowed to get his revenge. The beach hermit tells the gang to check out with Cutler’s wife at the old lighthouse.

Scooby, Shaggy and Velma visit widow Cutler’s lighthouse. Velma realizes the creepy interior shows that widow Cutler practices witchcraft. Mrs. Cutler appears. She says she used witchcraft to summon her husband’s ghost from her watery grave, but would have left him under the sea had she known he’d enact revenge.

The find a clue with some glowing seaweed. Scooby goes into a drainpipe to swipe it from a mouse. He is against the idea, but does it for a Scooby snack.

They deduce the seaweed comes from the graveyard of ships, so that prompts the gang’s next destination. They travel in a boat and above water encounter a yacht running without anybody on board. They follow into a cove and the yacht disappears.

Now, they must go underwater with their own diving suits to find out what’s happening. Will they solve the mystery and unmask the diver? What’s happening with all those vanishing boats?

Summary

Didn’t fully remember this episode, but sure I saw it on Saturday morning cartoon day as a child. The ghostly glowing diving suit was familiar. It’s funny how all these years later, I’m rewatching these classic episodes and remembering all the things that made this series fun to watch.

The witchcraft backstory seems a bit weak, but that isn’t the important part of the story, it’s meant to be a supernatural angle to explain the appearance of the ghost — and to frighten away the teen sleuths from solving the mystery.

An entertaining episode, but I can see why it wasn’t that memorable, other than the ghostly diving suit. Still, it’s recommended. They don’t make many cartoons like this any more. That late 60s, early 70s groovy music, the creepy sounds, the mystery to solve all combine for a good time.

Overall episode rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️½

TV SERIES Review: Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? S1E1 – What A Night For A Knight ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Season 1
CBS (HBO Max)
September 13, 1969

Episode 1 – “What A Night For A Knight”

Shaggy and Scooby-Doo are walking home from the movies. The first ever line of dialogue in this classic cartoon series is from Shaggy (voiced by American Bandstand’s Casey Kasem), “What a nervous night to be walking home from the movies, Scooby-Doo”

Scooby hears a sound rustling from the bushes and it turns out to be a frog. He runs after the frog and the two friends discover a deserted pick-up truck with knight. The head falls off it. They scram, scared, returning with the rest of the Mystery Incorporated team: Fred, Velma and Daphne.

Professor Hyde White has disappeared from the museum, leading the team to their first ever mystery.

The museum caretaker, Mr. Wickles, tells the team the legend of the Black Knight: whenever there is a full moon, the black knight comes out.

Now, it’s up to the gang to solve the mystery and unmask the villain.

Summary

Season 1 from 1969-1970 presented 17 total episodes, all written by the same team of Joe Ruby, Ken Spears and Bill Lutz. Ruby and Spears created the series and was produced and directed by the legendary Hanna-Barbera. Interestingly, the episodes first debuted on CBS, but the IP is owned by WarnerMedia and the series is available for streaming in 2020 on HBO Max.

The first episode presents many staples of the series like:

  1. Scooby and Shaggy’s insatiable appetite
  2. Scooby and Shaggy afraid of just about everything
  3. The flower painted Mystery Machine van that transports the team
  4. Velma as the bespectacled smart investigator and Fred as the leader
  5. Scooby snacks being offered to Scoob to do things he was scared to do (“would you do it for a Scooby snack?”)
  6. Unmasking the villain and solving a mystery

Overall episode rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

FIRST LOOK: Close Enough (TV Series 2020–) – HBO Max

It’s not often I read about major companies using gummy bears infused with cannabis to promote a new animated TV series.

Yes, really, serious.

According to various articles I’m reading, there’s some history behind this show having difficulty being published, that WarnerMedia — known has having a penchant for TV-MA content — picked up for HBO Max.

HBO Max is taking an unconventional approach to promoting its upcoming new series Close Enough. The streaming service is partnering with Sunderstorm’s Kanha to release limited edition cannabis infused edible gummies to celebrate the new animated series set to premiere on June 9th. The gummies feature strains inspired by each of the show’s four main adult characters and will be available at select California dispensaries as well as for delivery in California via Eaze while supplies last through the month of July. The unconventional campaign is one that SVP of Program Marketing at HBO Peter Sherman said feels “authentic” to the series.

HBO Max Releasing Cannabis-Infused Edible Gummies to Celebrate Close Enough Series

Ok, we’ve got plenty of background in that article about cannabis, but what is Close Enough the animated TV series about? IMDB:

A comedic look on a couple trying to face various challenges in their daily lives while trying to cope with their changes from 20s to 30s

Close Enough (TV Series 2020– ) – IMDb

Boring description. Trailer?

Can this fill the hole left in my adult animated heart by the finale of Season 2 of Harley Quinn? Um, not sure, but will definitely check out at least the first episode. Are you interested in watching this show? Tell us about it in the comments below.

Close Enough is available for streaming on HBO Thursday, July 9, 2020.

All 26 Harley Quinn Episodes Ranked and Reviewed from first two seasons

It’s been a fun, entertaining journey following, watching and reviewing weekly releases of episodes for every new Harley Quinn adult animated TV show on DC Universe.

Those reading have already seen the reviews and during season 1 I ranked the episodes each week. In season 2 I decided to wait until the season was over and rank them all at one time along with season 1, sharing the episodes I enjoyed best. There were no terrible episodes, but a few that I thought missed the mark and could be safely skipped and not miss much. Only 3 out of the 26 episodes are not recommended.

With 9 of 26 episodes (34.6%!) having 4.5 or 5 stars just shows the overall strength and entertainment value in this series. If you haven’t seen this show yet and have any interest in watching adult animated shows, make plans to do so. It packs a real punch in 22 minutes and was my favorite TV show of 2019 (just slightly ahead of The Mandalorian, which I also loved) and so far my #2 favorite of 2020 for season 2.

Harley Quinn All 26 Episodes Ranked & Reviewed

  1. S1:E12 – Devil’s Snare ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  2. S1:E1 – Til Death Do Us Part ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  3. S2:E8 – Inner (Para)Demons ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  4. S1:E7 – The Line ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  5. S2:E4 – Thawing Hearts ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  6. S1:E11 – Harley Quinn Highway ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  7. S2:E12 – Lovers’ Quarrel ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  8. S2:E9 – Bacherlorette ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  9. S1:E2 – A High Bar ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  10. S1:E4 – Being Harley Quinn ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  11. S1:E13 – The Final Joke ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (season 1 final episode)
  12. S2:E2 – Riddle U ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  13. S2:E6 – All The Best Inmates Have Daddy Issues ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  14. S2:E13 – The Runaway Bridesmaid ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (season 2 final episode)
  15. S2:E1 – New Gotham ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  16. S1:E8 – L.O.D.R.S.V.P ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  17. S2:E3 – Trapped ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  18. S1:E5 – Finding Mr. Right ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  19. S1:E3 – So You Need a Crew ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  20. S2:E7 – There’s No Place TO Go But Down ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  21. S1:E9 – A Seat At The Table ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  22. S2:E11 – A Fight Worth Fighting For ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  23. S2:E10 – Dye Hard ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  24. S1:E6 – You’re a Damn Good Cop, Jim Gordon ⭐️⭐️½
  25. S1:E10 – Bensonhurst ⭐️⭐️
  26. S2:E5 – Batman’s Back Man ⭐️⭐️

I suspect this show will be renewed for at least one more season (probably two) and rightly so.

Where it goes from the end of season 2 is already under discussion by the showrunners.

… you’ve been warned, SPOILERS ahead …

And if we’re lucky enough to get a Season 3, and we truly don’t know yet, but if we are we’re not going to walk it back. They’re a couple. Any stakes that we want to build into the season moving forward are not going to involve [the question of] “Will they be able to stay in a relationship?” They’re going to be a couple.

Would be interesting to see the dynamic of their relationship together as a couple explored. Also, what happens to Gotham now that the Justice League are back? Will Harley & Ivy continue to be villains or become heroes, helping the Justice League as they did a few times in the first two seasons.

TV SERIES Review: Harley Quinn S2E13 – The Runaway Bridesmaid ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Season 2
DC Universe exclusive
June 26, 2020
Season 2 finale!

Episode 13 – “The Runaway Bridesmaid”

Here we arrive at wedding day and Harley, Riddler and Dr. Psycho are locked up in Arkham while the Justice League are being awarded medals for saving the city. Just as Commissioner Gordon believes he’s about to receive the key to the city, it’s awarded to someone else. Gordon is now committed to avenging this decision and proving he can take down Ivy’s wedding with some undercover cops.

Clayface and King Shark break Harley out so she can join the wedding where she’s still maid of honor. The Cobb Squad resists, but Harley is determined to save Ivy and Kite Man’s special day from Commissioner Gordon ruining the event.

Does Ivy marry Kite Man? Is Commissioner Gordon’s plan to lock up everybody successful? Will Clayface sing for his idol director Tim Burton?

These questions and more are answered on the season two finale of Harley Quinn.

Summary

Time and again this show has proved what can be done in 22 minutes. We’ve been consistently impressed with how much story, deep cut characters, side stories, adventures and action are jammed into this relatively short run time.

Unfortunately, — and this is the one episode not to have this happen — I think this finale episode comes off as a bit too rushed. It’s one of very few that this applies in the entire 26 episode run (13 episodes each season). There are just too many emotions, characters, subcharacters and plot arcs and story ideas that must be wrapped up and the comedy — the humor which is so well written — somewhat suffers.

That criticism aside, it was still a good episode.

It was fun and entertaining how they chose to close this show. If this is to be the last episode ever, and I hope it’s not, viewers are not left with some lame cliffhanger. For that reason alone I’m leaving this one as 4 stars, when I felt it was more a three-star episode comparing to so many others. Greedy perhaps, but I wanted to have a 5-star episode to close this amazing adult animated series, but that was probably asking for too much considering how much build-up. I’m OK with what we were left with, but if only they could have finished with a 2-part final episode.

Overall episode rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

TV SERIES Review: Harley Quinn S2E12 – Lovers’ Quarrel ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½

Season 2
DC Universe exclusive
June 19, 2020

Episode 12 – “Lovers’ Quarrel”

Harley escapes from the mind-controlled Poison Ivy thanks to Kite Man flying over. He explains what happened to Ivy and that Ivy and his wedding is tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Dr. Psycho is focusing on killing the Justice League and Harley & team. Sy Borgman’s eye gives helpful info to Harley and Kite Man about an anti-mind control technology.

Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman face off against mind-controlled Ivy (pictured top). Soon, Darkseid joins Dr. Psycho to watch his evil plan being hatched and to recover Harley.

Will Ivy be turned back by the anti-mind control device courtesy of “Soldering Man” (loved that line, hell yeah!)? Will the Justice League take down mind-control Ivy? Will Harley confront Ivy with feelings of love?

All these questions and more answered in episode #12.

Summary

Similar to the first season, the episode before the season finale is almost 100% pure action. We get to see the Justice League squaring off against a mind-controlled Ivy, Harley and Kite Man working together on a solution with the deceased Sy Borgman to save Ivy and Darkseid watching over the carnage. Yeah, this episode has it all.

I can’t believe we only get one more episode of this series. My guess as to where it leads? The final episode will revolve around Kite Man and Ivy’s wedding. Will they get married or will Harley and Ivy get together? It’s kind of a soap opera in very adult animated form. If you haven’t watched an episode of this show yet, give ones like this a try and see what you think.

Overall episode rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½ 

TV SERIES Review: Harley Quinn S2E11 – A Fight Worth Fighting For ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Season 2
DC Universe exclusive
June 12, 2020

Episode 11 – “A Fight Worth Fighting For”

Frank The Plant does a brief, but unnecessary, recap narration of past events to bring current viewers to where we’re at in the story with Dr. Psycho commanding an army of parademons, Harley throwing Joker-bartender into the vat of green acid to bring him back from his amnesia.

Frank the Plant and his stoner roommate hashing out the past

Once returned, Joker finds out Harley has planted a bomb inside his head — going all Escape from New York Plisskin mode — and if he doesn’t cooperate with Harley she’ll blow him up. What she wants is Joker to tell him where the Queen of Fables book is so that she can release the trapped Justice League from an episode way back in season one.

Joker explains the book is with Bethany, the nurse who brought him back from the building collapse at the end of season one. He became all domesticated and Bethany is keeping the book.

Meanwhile, Poison Ivy and Kite Man are continuing the quest to prepare their wedding with parademons flying overhead wreaking havoc. Ivy is staying out of the fight, trying to not think about Harley and proceed with her wedding to Kite Man.

Harley and Joker visit Bethany to get the book and she throws it angrily into the clutches of a parademon. The book is swept away to the parademon nest. Joker and Harley must team up to storm the nest and fight for the book back.

A fight ensues and it seems like Harley and Joker might be overwhelmed …

Dr. Psycho cuts a deal with Darkseid that if he brings the head of Harley Quinn to Darkseid, the earth will be his.

Ivy has enough when a parademon wrecks her wedding dress and decides to take down Dr. Psycho and the parademons.

Will Harley and Joker escape the parademons nest? What is Ivy going to do? What does Batman — unmentioned to this point — have to do with any of this? Will the Justice League be freed from the Book of Fables?

These questions and more answered on episode #11.

Summary

This is one of those bridge the story episodes, with the high point being Joker-bartender losing his amnesia and teaming up with Harley, against his will, to retrieve the Book of Fables. Ivy is mostly sidelined again and the parademons are wrecking Gotham, again. Frank the Plant, great to see him return, but his appearance is mostly to tell viewers that have been following the story what we already know.

It seems like this would have been better split into multiple episodes rather than shoehorned into one frenzied 22 minute episode, but it’s all setup for the final two episodes, probably with a major cliffhanger at the end of episode 12, followed by the season conclusion.

Entertaining? Yes, but on the whole one of the weaker episodes of season two. The surprise at the end of this episode seemed more than a bit too convenient and easy, but we’ll see how that works out at the beginning of the episode 11. The show, even when it stumbles, is often still a lot of fun to watch. No exceptions here. Check this one out.

Overall episode rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️