Almost everything on The Disney Channel is a river of liquid sewage and it really sucks that Phineas and Ferb had to be associated with the channel for so long (them and Star Wars: Rebels) because Phineas and Ferb is one of the brightest, most colorful, and most imaginative animated series on television today… which, by the time you read this will be yesterday because Phineas and Ferb are done. The hundred and four days of Summer vacation is done as school has come along to end it.
Amazingly, not only are Phineas and Ferb going out at the height of their quality and popularity, but they are also getting a series finale which is unheard of in kid’s cartoons. To wrap things up properly, “The Last Day of Summer” chronicles just that as Candice accidentally Groundhog Days herself into repeating the last day of Summer over and over again. At first, she’s cool with it because now she’s got a chance to finally bust her brothers the right way, but on the other hand it’s also threatening to destroy reality so there’s that too.
As expected, there were songs, weird ideas, and a lot of laughs. I actually laughed out loud several times at the jokes in the episode which, despite my Facebook abbreviations, I actually rarely do. That’s one thing that I always admired about Phineas and Ferb was its almost effortless ability to be funny and meta about itself without becoming too self-aware.
“The Last Day of Summer” serves as an appropriate if somewhat dissapointing farewell to the series, functioning as a decent science fiction story and a fond look back as well as giving some otherwise static characters a chance to change and grow. In hindsight, the episode’s length did seem to make everything drag and, not to be too spoilery, I would have liked Doctor Doofenshmirtz change to be more organic and less sudden. I suppose that was my major hangup about this episode was that, for a finale, it was awfully unfocused. The Groundhog Day plot was funny, but uninspired and the episode honestly just felt like an average episode with a bit of finale goodbye tacked onto it. I guess… I wanted more.
Not to say that the episode was bad because it wasn’t. It was just an odd and ineffectual choice as a final episode.
I always liked the show. I never tuned in originally, but when the kids wanted to watch it, I would watch it with them and always enjoyed it. I’ll miss Phineas and Ferb and the message that it repeated every week to seize the day and to be inventive. Phineas and Ferb never simplified, it stayed inventive, and it never got stale. There’s a lot to admire about a series that tried hard when most that are aimed at kids don’t try at all. This was a series that respected its audience and, yes… even challenged them.
Not that I was eager for the boys to go, but going out on a high note is respectable and I wish more series had the good sense to do the same before they devolved into a hollow representation of what they once were.
Phineas and Ferb is a classic even if the finale wasn’t so much.