TV SERIES Review: Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? S1E6 – What The Hex Going On? ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½

Season 1
CBS (HBO Max)
October 18, 1969

Episode 6 – “What The Hex Going On?”

The gang is invited to the Weatherby estate by friends and while driving they see a man with a beard heading into an old mansion. Their friend Sharon and Uncle Weatherby say Uncle Stuart has vanished. When they find him, he’s been turned into an old man. Stuart explains a ghostly voice drew him out of the house and went past the Kingston mausoleum and into the old mansion. There he saw the ghost of Elias Kingston. He was turned into an old man as a warning to all that he wants the Weatherby fortune returned to him.

They plan to call the sheriff, but the phones are dead. The mystery gang promise to watch over Uncle Stuart with Scooby as his guard dog. Scoob is scared and tries to act like he’s hard of hearing. Scoob falls asleep and Uncle Stuart is sent into a trance and goes to the Weatherby Mansion again. The gang goes to investigate.

Scoob finds a bone in cobwebs and, because he’s a super hungry dog, he must eat it. Unfortunately the bone belongs to a guard dog.

The gang will later question why a ghost would need a guard dog. They sense something is afoul.

Sharon has disappeared and the viewers are treated to the responsible party: the ghost of Elias Kingston.

Shaggy takes to inexplicably putting on some roller skates. To get around or just to comically crash into a bathtub.

Tune into learn how the gang solves the mystery behind the ghost of Elias Kingston, Scoob and Shaggy going into crystal ball mode and more!

Summary

My memory of the first time seeing this episode is vague at best. The outside haunting imagery and Uncle Stuart being lured trance-like to the Kingston Mansion is familiar. They really setup this episode with a classic horror vibe, so points for that.

This is the most classic horror of any Scooby Doo mystery in the series to date. It’s one of the best put together mysteries in 22 minutes of any in the series rewatched so far. Loved this episode. I’d say it’s pretty much a flawless episode for younger folks. The only part as an adult watching that I’m taking away a half star for is the lack of extra introduced characters that could be unmasked. A very minor complaint as this is my favorite episode of season one through these first six episodes.

Overall episode rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½ 

Behind the voice actors: Frank Welker as Fred Jones

Frank Welker has played Fred Jones, calm-spoken, responsible leader of the mystery gang, since 1969. He even played the voice of Scoob in some productions.

Fred was played by Zac Efron in this year’s animated Scooby-Doo film Scoob. However, Welker still had a role in the film. Instead of playing Fred, he played the franchise’s titular canine. In fact, Welker has been voicing Scooby-Doo in the character’s animated appearances since 2002. Rarely is one actor so thoroughly tied to a franchise for such a long time.


The Actor Who Played a Major ‘Scooby-Doo’ Character Since 1969

We’ll have to excuse the number of times Welker’s last name is screwed up in that article (erroneously referred to as “Weller”). He’s not Peter Weller from Robocop, he’s Frank Welker from Scooby Doo: Where Are You? (and plenty of other Scooby animated shows and movies).

Frank Welker’s Wikipedia page. He’s and Emmy-award winner and still voicing characters in the Scooby Doo world and other roles like Megatron from the Transformers, Curious George and more.

Scooby and Shaggy are the fan favorite comic relief, because they are always getting into crazy trouble — usually because they are hungry or scared — but without Fred pulling together and focusing the team, they mysteries would not have gotten solved as easily.

Thank you for voicing Fred all these years, Mr. Welker!

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