Hello, everyone! It’s One Of Us’ weekly article series, “The Weekly Wrap-Up.” Covering everything from film announcements to comic books, “The Weekly Wrap-Up” ensures that the biggest stories of the week are analyzed and discussed by our team of writers. This week we talk about the trailer for Zoolander 2 and mourn the end of the beloved animated series, Gravity Falls.
Zoolander 2 Trailer
Directed and written by Ben Stiller, Zoolander 2 follows the continued misadventures of retired male model and professional idiot Derek Zoolander (Stiller). With the world’s “most beautiful” people being systematically assassinated by a sinister organization, Zoolander and his friend, Hansel McDonald (Owen Wilson), are tasked by Interpol with founding out why. While they investigate the assassinations, their arch-enemy, Jacobim Mugatu (Will Ferell) is set free from prison to seek his revenge against Zoolander.
As promised, Zoolander 2 looks to be as nonsensical and irreverent as the first, and even appears to feature most of the original film’s cast. While some of the jokes fall flat in the trailer, there are a number of funny sight gags provided by Ferell’s Mugatu and Kristen Wigg.
While most people are either laughing or groaning at the first trailer for the film, Zoolander 2 has already sparked a fair amount of controversy; with an online petition urging moviegoers to boycott the film because of a character played by Benedict Cumberbatch. Originally created by LGBT activist Sarah Rose, the petition claims that Benedict’s character “All” is an offensive representation of transgendered individuals and is “a modern equivalent of using blackface to represent a minority.”
Despite the controversy, I’m somewhat curious to see if Zoolander’s brand of comedy can hold up 15 years later. Audiences can find out for themselves when the film is finally released on February 12, 2016.
Goodbye Gravity Falls
As sad as it is to hear, Gravity Falls, the wildly popular Disney animated series will be ending after its second season. Announced via his Tumblr, Gravity Falls creator and voice actor Alex Hirsch has stated that Season 2 episodes “Weirdmageddon II: Escape from Reality” and “Weirdmageddon III” will act as an hour-long series finale for the show.
For those unfamiliar with the Disney series, Gravity Falls follows twins Dipper (Jason Ritter) and Mabel (Kristen Schaal) and their summertime adventures with their great-uncle or “Grunkle” Stan (Hirsch) in Gravity Falls, Oregon. While Stan manages The Mystery Shack, a tourist trap designed to scam unsuspecting visitors, Dipper and Mabel attempt to adapt to their new surroundings. After Dipper discovers a mysterious journal, the twins learn that the seemingly unassuming-Northwestern town of Gravity Falls is far stranger than they could have ever expected, and plays host to various supernatural and paranormal creatures. Since it’s 2012 release on Disney XD, the series has gone on to be a critical and ratings success for Disney, earning praise for its mature writing, animation and humor.
Hirsch emphasized in his post that Gravity Falls is not being cancelled, but just finishing the story it set out to tell, explaining that the show is ending on his and his writers’ terms.
“I always designed Gravity Falls to be a finite series about one epic summer- a series with a beginning, middle, and end. There are so many shows that go on endlessly until they lose their original spark, or mysteries that are cancelled before they ever get a chance to payoff.”
Hirsch went on to say that he was appreciative of Disney’s support throughout the making of Gravity Falls and his choice to end the show after just two seasons.
“This is very unusual in television and a pretty big experiment, and Disney for their part has been enormously supportive. I know that hits are rare in this business, and it’s hard to let one of them go, so I’m so grateful that this company has had the vision to let me start and end the show the way I always wanted to.”
Lastly, Hirsch went out of his way to express his gratitude for the fans of the series, thanking them not only for their passion and support, but for being a source of inspiration for the entire Gravity Falls creative team.
“No words can describe how grateful I am for the millions of fans who have cherished Gravity Falls for the time that it’s been on air. Running a TV show, especially one where you write, direct, supervise, and co-star, can be an incredibly grueling experience. But every hand-written letter, tweet, tattoo, piece of art, costume and creation from the fans made this enormous undertaking worthwhile. To the Gravity Falls fandom- I love you guys. You’re weird and clever and smart and curious and have been a constant inspiration to me and the crew. You’ve picked us up when we felt down and pushed and inspired us to do the best work we possibly could. I hope you enjoy watching our finale as much as we enjoyed dreaming it up.”
As one of the many passionate fans that Hirsch has described, I’m sad to see that Gravity Falls is ending after only two seasons, especially being only a recent convert to show this past year. At the same time, I respect Hirsch’s decision and applaud him for wanting to end the series on his own terms. While we are all eagerly waiting in anticipation for those last two episodes, it’s best to remember these very important words: “Remember! Reality is an illusion the universe is a hologram BUY GOLD BYEEE!”
Well said, Bill. Well said.