Hamster and Gretel Series Premiere Review
In 2008, I fell in love with the latest cartoon to debut on Disney Channel, Phineas and Ferb. Everything about it was simply amazing. I loved the characters, I loved the songs, and I loved how the titular duo was living every kid’s dream of having the summer vacation of our dreams. That show made me a lifelong fan of its creators, Dan Povenmire and Jeff “Swampy” Marsh. I couldn’t get fully into their follow-up series, Milo Murphy’s Law, but I respected it. Then, we got Dan’s first solo show, Hamster and Gretel. It’s…okay.
No, really, that’s it. It’s just okay; average for right now. Therein, though, lies the main problem. Phineas and Ferb were one of Disney’s most successful shows in the late 2000s era, so people would expect that same level of success from anything its creators make. However, try as I might, I struggled to find interest in Hamster and Gretel.
There are several reasons why this could be happening. Firstly, there’s the pacing. The first episode starts with the titular Gretel and her pet hamster, Hamster, getting superpowers from some random aliens that show up out of nowhere. A few minutes later, they’re already famous superheroes beloved by their town. How does that even work? The pacing was way too fast to be even remotely believable, in my opinion.
Now, the series did have some light waiting for viewers at the end of the tunnel. I liked the dynamic between Gretel and her older brother, Kevin, as they must adapt to the new norm in their sibling relationship. Kevin has to accept that Gretel can take care of herself more now, while Gretel has to…well, honestly, she needs to learn to listen to her brother. Because every time she doesn’t listen, she messes up. In her defense, she’s still five or six. Not that many kids listen to their elders at that age. And the fact that she’s confirmed to have ADHD might also factor in a little.
In addition, the first episode’s ending seemed to set the show for this bigger, overarching plot. The aliens come back and randomly give two other people powers and tell them to use them for evil. Specifically evil. So, there’s clearly more going on than meets the eye.
I assume the show plans on getting more interesting as things continue. For now, though, I’m going to wait on it. I loved Phineas and Ferb, but Hamster and Gretel might not be for me.
I give “Empower Failure” and “Oakey Dokey” a 2/5, each.
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