CSBS | Fillmore! Episode 8 – Ingrid Third Public Enemy #1

CSBS - FILLMORE EPISODE 8

Plot: This episode explores the backstory of how Ingrid and Fillmore became partners in the Safety Patrol. Fillmore, having just lost his best friend and previous partner, Wayne, after he moved to Tennessee, tries to go solo on a case to clear the new kid, Ingrid, of a crime she didn’t commit.

Breakdown: As much as I hate to say this, this was a massively disappointing episode.

I’ve been really looking forward to rewatching the backstory episode because I didn’t remember it, and now I know why I didn’t remember it.

I feel like this episode needed to be a two-parter because it required more time to do the following.

– Flesh out Wayne.

We know he was very important to Fillmore and, maybe, the Safety Patroller who saved Fillmore from his troublemaking ways, but that’s about it. In order to really feel for their connection or care that he’s gone, we needed more time to learn about him and connect with him. He seems like a really nice guy, so it’s a shame he barely misses getting glossed over.

– A little more development on Ingrid and Fillmore’s meeting and relationship.

For someone who supposedly is super pissed that his BFF left and is gunning for the ‘lone wolf’ cop lifestyle, he sure takes a shine to Ingrid quickly and vice versa.

Ingrid was set on writing off this whole school from day one, even admitting to a crime she didn’t commit for the sake of getting expelled, but just knowing that Fillmore had a piece of irrefutable evidence that convinced him that she didn’t do it is enough to make them friends.

Both of them had very bull-headed attitudes that were extinguished way too easily. I liked how they started working together to clear Ingrid’s name, especially utilizing her skills in ‘forensics,’ but they needed more time to work on their relationship from the starting point. Maybe have Fillmore be skeptical purely because he’s upset about Wayne leaving, and then have him be kinda cold to her in interrogation or something, but then slowly realize she’s innocent and make amends.

– Make the case more complex.

The case was WAY too easy. I knew from the second I saw Parnassus that he was the culprit, and the instant someone said he was the smartest kid in school, I knew the motive. It was way too easy, even for a kid’s show. Fillmore!’s usually more clever than this. I was looking for them to subvert my expectations because it’s usually not the first suspect, but they didn’t include any other suspect, and he was constantly coming up with new evidence and pointing at Ingrid as a criminal.

We know it’s not Ingrid, because this is a flashback so of course she’s not, and we’ve never seen Parnassus in the previous episodes, so all signs point to him. The insanely bright neon signs…..set on fire….with sirens blaring ‘PARNASSUS DID IT.’

Another odd thing about this episode was the incredibly bad light they put X Middle School in. I have stated in the past that X is such a batshit crazy yet awesome school that I would’ve loved to have gone there when I was a kid, but this episode makes it look terrible.

It especially makes Fulsom look like a total bitch. New kid in school? Have a big assembly to not only introduce her, but also embarrass her by proclaiming she’s the smartest kid in school.

Think she’s blissfully unaware of the position this puts Ingrid in? No. This assembly is called for another reason. She knows that new kids are always the targets of abuse because they’re new and different, so, just to get all the abuse out of the way, she allows the students to pelt the new kid with foam balls for two minutes.

What the fuck? So, instead of stopping the abuse, the school just has it’s own kid version of The Purge by letting them abuse the new kid by throwing balls at them? And the faculty AND Safety Patrol just sit there? They’re ‘harmless foam rubber balls’ but who cares? That’s still terrible.

Who’s to say this even works? The kid is still new and strange to them. They’ll still either ignore or pick on them either way.

I didn’t much like that Ingrid also has a sordid past. Come on, that’s Fillmore’s thing. They can’t both be the reformed criminal. That’s just lazy. And why is this just coming up now? Why has Fillmore been called out for his ‘criminal’ past a few times before but everyone ignores Ingrid’s troublemaking days? Just because she didn’t go to the same school when that stuff happened?

Minor thing, but I also didn’t like that Lemmy, Parnassus’ ‘friend,’ took the heat for Parnassus’ crimes. He seems like a nice guy overall. After Ingrid helped save him in the tire fort, he grabbed her and saved her from the stink bomb in return. Fillmore and Ingrid have plenty of evidence to clear his name, but Fulsom won’t hear of it because Parnassus is a massive suck-up.

They actually failed for a change, and that’s just depressing. I know Lemmy helped Parnassus in the crimes, but he just seems like he does everything Parnassus tells him to, seeing him as his only friend.

He didn’t just throw Lemmy under the bus, either. Parnassus convinces him to make a full, taped confession right in the principal’s office with Parnassus standing right beside him. What a prick.

There were a couple of decent jokes like the cardboard boxes Fillmore runs into when he’s chasing ‘Ingrid’ have the words ‘Cliche Box co.’ on them, and the Safety Patrol in Tennessee not only uses horses, but their stable is in the Safety Patrol room. That does not, in any way, help this episode, though.

Such a shame. The potential of a backstory episode is so vast yet this is what we get. I hope we see more of Wayne and even Parnassus in the future, but as it stands, this episode was incredibly disappointing and just flatout not good.

Next episode…..

….Previous Episode


If you enjoy my work and would like to help support my blog, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

CSBS – Fillmore! Episode 7: Nappers Never Sleep

CSBS - Fillmore Ep 7 Screen 1

Plot: Principal Folsom tasks Ingrid and Fillmore with finding Duappy, a Tamagochi that has lived for over four years – longer than any other virtual pet in the country. The TV show More is planning on doing a segment on X Middle School with Duappy being the headliner, but someone has stolen it from its owner, Everett’s, house. They take the case and soon find that this virtual friend might teach everyone something about real friendship.

Breakdown: Best episode so far. From start to finish, this episode is filled with awesome jokes, good and believable characters, two great parallel storylines and even a mystery that tripped me up.

Everett’s plight can still be applied today, even if Tamagochi has long since passed as a fad. For those keeping track, Ingrid states in this episode that virtual pets were a fad long since passed even when this episode aired. Just apply the virtual pet motif to a phone or a video game, and you’d have a similar situation in a bunch of kids.

I remember having three Tamagochis or Gigapets when I was a kid. A yellow one (much like Duappy) that had either a cat or dog as an option. I had a blue one, which was, oddly enough, a Rugrats themed Gigapet (I had to have everything Rugrats when I was a kid.) And yes, I mean you could take care of the babies. And I had a red one which was a t-rex.

Just like Ingrid claims, I couldn’t keep any of them alive for more than a few weeks. I take care of my real pets just fine, but it gets to be really monotonous with digital ones. They make really cute keychains, though.

Everett’s a likable kid, but he spends so much of his time and energy keeping up a virtual friendship that he never makes real ones. Seriously, this kid is way into this pet. He has a little bed for it and makes clothes for it.

While I can say I knew from the start that Loraine had something to do with it, they still managed to trip me up by throwing a curveball and revealing that two thefts occurred. Once that was established, I basically knew who the culprit was, but between points A and B they threw another twist our way. It was written extremely well, and I hadn’t been so invested in a case since the pilot.

Might I also praise this episode for using the ridiculousness of its universe to its advantage so much? Let me give you a taste – a crowbar was used to steal Duappy, and it was a Happy Cathead (Basically Hello Kitty) crowbar. A real crowbar….a pink crowbar….a pink toy crowbar….with a Happy Cathead head on it.

CSBS - Fillmore Ep 7 Screen 2

But that’s not all!

There’s a Happy Cathead store in the mall, in which someone is reading a ‘Virtual Pet Fancy,’ and the clerk tells them that they sell cases of those crowbars every week….Cases! Of Pink Happy Cathead crowbars…a week!

They seem like they’re at a dead end until the clerk tells them to check the address book. There is an address book hidden in the crowbar that pops out when you pull back Happy Cathead’s head…..What is the purpose of this thing?! Why would you need an address book when you’re using a crowbar?!….Actually, that has many burglary implications. But the fact that this is all combined in a toy marketed towards young girls is just hilarious.

CSBS - Fillmore Ep 7 Screen 3

Then, later, Loraine’s mom tells us that she was at the mall buying lobster polish…Before you can even absorb why that might be a thing, they show her holding a bag and it’s from a store called The Lobster Polishery….So this is not only a thing, but there’s a whole store dedicated to it. My head is hurting from laughter.

The case takes some pretty real and interesting curves in the character department as well. I mentioned that Loraine is one of the culprits, but she’s not made out to be a bad guy. She liked Everett, but couldn’t get his attention since he was so focused on Duappy. She also realized that he was damaging his quality of life by focusing on a virtual pet so much and, like she had realized recently, he seemed like he wanted to change who he was.

Everett doesn’t forgive her without a thought. In fact, it seems like he was going to dump her as a friend once he found out, but in the end he realizes that his real friendship with her is better than a fake friendship with Duappy.

It’s also a great contrast to the real culprit – Biana. She and Loraine used to be best friends on the cheerleading squad, but Loraine recently had an identity crisis and quit, meaning she didn’t spend as much time with her cheer squad mates or Biana anymore. She spent even less time with her when she befriended Everett.

Knowing Loraine liked Everett, Biana knew she stole Duappy, so she stole Duappy from Loraine and framed her (well, ensured that she’d get caught anyway) with the crowbar. She knew Everett would hate Loraine and never want to be her friend again if he knew she took it but was unable to give it back. Loraine would come back to her old friends for support, so she’d have her best friend again.

CSBS - Fillmore Ep 7 Screen 4

Her intentions are more sinister than Loraine’s, especially considering that Loraine was caring for Duappy (She mentioned she was feeding and cleaning up after him) and intended on giving Duappy back soon, while Biana wasn’t caring for it (it’s doing that ‘I need food/cleaning’ beeping noise when they find it) and had no intentions of giving it back. Though, I have to wonder why she didn’t just destroy it or throw it away if she didn’t want to get caught.

Loraine wanted to be Everett’s friend and bring him into a more real world, while Biana wanted to destroy Loraine’s friendship, hurt her and force her to recoil back to a life she didn’t want anymore.

In the B plot, this case makes Fillmore and Ingrid realize that, despite being partners and friends, they don’t really spend any time together outside of school just hanging out. Much of their time is eaten up by the safety patrol. They don’t even know some simple facts about the other that friends would otherwise know.

It’s true, though. Since most of the show itself focuses almost entirely on the safety patrol, we as an audience don’t really see the two of them hang out off-duty and just be friends. They definitely seem like friends, but is it just because they spend so much time together at work/school?

This episode also has some interesting one-off voice acting choices. I could tell Caroline Rhea was playing Everett’s mom, which is weird because she doesn’t have that much of a part. The More host is Mary Hart, a journalist and TV personality most known for hosting Entertainment Tonight. It took me a couple listens to catch on, but I knew I heard that voice somewhere. Why they got an actual journalist and reporter to play a role with about four lines is baffling. It’s cool and adds to the experience, but baffling.

They also got Steven Weber to play Loraine’s dad. Truth be told, his role was the one low point because his character had really annoying mannerisms. Plus, you can’t even tell it’s him. I only checked who voiced him because I was wondering if there were any more big names just thrown into the potluck, and lo and behold there was.

Overall, this is a fantastic episode with great obviously and hidden jokes, good characters, a great case and even great action.

Next episode, flashback time! How did Ingrid and Fillmore wind up being partners?

….Previous Episode


If you enjoy my work and would like to show your support, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Every donation goes to helping me pay my bills and keep this blog afloat. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

CSBS – Fillmore! Episode 6: Next Stop, Armageddon

csbs - fillmore episode 6

Plot: After messing up Principal Folsom’s birthday party, Fillmore and Ingrid are assigned to model train convention duty. While everything is calm for a while, a horrible accident causes the entire convention to be destroyed. Seeing the remote control for a model car in the rubble peaks Fillmore’s interest since model train enthusiasts and RC car racers are notorious enemies. What and who has caused this derailment?

Breakdown: One of my favorite aspects of Fillmore is how it takes some mundane thing and makes it something extremely important or popular. I know model train enthusiasts are still a thing, and many of them can be very intense, but to have this huge train convention at school and have this many students obsessed with model trains? With all of the various and off-color extracurricular activities at this school, I always wanted to be a student at X.

Exaggerating the topics typically gives the episodes some good moments for comedy, and this one is no exception. From O’farrell getting sick over the ‘carnage’ of the train crash to the reporter speaking in a 1920’s journalist voice and flying an RC helicopter over the wreck, this episode is one of the best Fillmore episodes for exaggerated comedy.

Plot B involves Fillmore losing his pet fish, Felonious. He had him for over three years, and was particularly attached to him because he was his only friend through his juvenile delinquent days. Everyone tries to cheer Fillmore up by buying him a pet fish, but he doesn’t want them. While this plot is kinda jammed alongside the episode for the most part, it does come full circle into the case.

Moreover, they don’t solve this problem by buying Fillmore a new fish….kinda. Ingrid understands that the reason he can’t just move on and buy a new fish is because he’s not really allowing himself to say goodbye and grieve. She buys him a therapy book on grief in children, and Fillmore accepts it without a fight or judgment. Reading the book not only helps him get over his grief and get a new fish, but it also helps him figure out who the perp is.

It was a very healthy and believable way this situation would’ve been handled in the real world, and I applaud the writers for that.

However, I do have some gripes. First, it’s completely obvious who the perp is this time. I knew it from the instant he came on screen.

Second, his reasons for committing the crime were weak. The perp today is a celebrity in the model train world, Oscar. He is moving away because his parents own a model train business and they’re not getting as much work in the area as they used to so they’re moving to a place where model trains are more popular.

Oscar didn’t want to move, so he sabotaged the entire convention to have everyone’s best stuff be destroyed, forcing them to buy more supplies from his parent’s store and preventing them from moving. I get the plan, but one or two days of good business doesn’t change the fact that the hobby is dying in that area. They’d have to move either way. He is just a kid, so maybe he’s just not getting the big picture, though.

Also, this isn’t really a gripe, but I am just now realizing that whenever Fillmore and Ingrid confront a suspect, most of the time they throw something in their faces and run away. The running part I’m fine with, even though I have mentioned how pointless that is, given school grounds and such, but why do they always feel the need to throw something at them? Distractions I get, but every single person does this. It’s hard to ignore at this point.

All in all, I loved this episode. The mystery was weak this time around, but that’s about it. Everything else is very solid, well-written and very funny.

Next Episode, a beloved digital pet gets kidnapped!

…Previous Episode


If you enjoy my work and would like to help support my blog, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

CSBS – Fillmore! Episode 5: Red Robins Don’t Fly

CSBS - Fillmore Episode 5

Plot: Ingrid goes undercover as a Red Robin to uncover illegal operations. While Ingrid goes in with the mission in mind, she finds herself slowly getting too comfortable with them.

Breakdown: This episode was a bit of a mixed bag. On one hand, it’s very predictable. There’s no mystery as to who the perp is this time because they make it clear from the start, given the plot setup. The only thing we have to go on is wondering if Ingrid will choose to leave the Safety Patrol and become a Red Robin, which is kinda silly because we all know she wouldn’t.

The only reason to have any faltering faith in Ingrid is due to her still being excluded in some areas because she’s the new kid. Despite that, though, it’s not like she hasn’t found a place where she belongs, with the Safety Patrol, so whatever concern might exist is very shaky.

They try to make the play that Valejo is also treating her differently because she’s new, but it’s not a strong enough argument. He doubts her when she’s already undercover, but he doesn’t make his worries known to Ingrid. The only thing he says to her before she leaves is that she might be a bit too green to take on a well-known and long-standing criminal organization such as the Red Robins, which is understandable.

The aspect of Valejo worrying about Ingrid’s loyalties stemming from a similar situation happening with the current Red Robin leader was good, but the payoff was unsatisfactory. Valejo and Malika don’t even speak to each other in this episode, and Malika never turns over a new leaf or anything.

It would’ve been better if she and Fillmore got into it somehow before the case was brought up. They have butted heads on cases before, and Ingrid has been nudging the gray area on morality out in the field in the past already, so it would be very easy to integrate a bit of a fight at this point.

Not much happens to make Fillmore’s faith in Ingrid waver either. She knew they had a lot of cool stuff and missed one meeting with Fillmore. Then he’s suddenly confronting her about not falling in with a bad crowd, even if they offer acceptance, because that type of connection isn’t real. An improvement in that area would have been if they worked in at least one line of Ingrid mentioning how nice they are and how much they like her to solidify her own questionable loyalties.

You could also maybe have Valejo talk to her instead of Fillmore. He’s the one with the concerns and the past with the Red Robins.

There’s a major problem with this episode that was bugging the hell out of me. How can Ingrid even successfully go undercover? She may still be seen as the new kid, but she’s been around X Middle School for a decent amount of time now, and she’s been a Safety Patroller for quite a while. How can one of the biggest criminal organizations in the school not know who she is? Even by name?

It’s especially unbelievable given the current situation. The reason the Safety Patrol is going after the Red Robins is because they accidentally found a huge crate of ribbon candy in the lake and knew it must have been an old haul from the Red Robins – likely taking it from a competitor. Ingrid is the one who handled that discovery. The Red Robins are fully aware of this and even described it as a huge debacle, yet Ingrid’s name never came up? They never uncovered the identities of the Safety Patrollers handling that case?

Next episode, it’s a horrible (model) train wreck! When Fillmore and Ingrid find out that the (model) train was sabotaged, they have to hunt down the culprit to this (mini) disaster!

….Previous Episode


If you enjoy my work and would like to help support my blog, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

CSBS – Fillmore! Episode 4

CSBS Fillmore Episode 4
‘Nasium’s Gym’

Plot: The school mascot, a lobster named Lobstee, has been stolen before a big boccie ball game. Without him, the morale for the team will tank and send X Middle School to their first loss against Gilby Middle School in over a decade. Who stole Lobstee and why?

Breakdown: I was a little meh about this episode. It’s another one of those episodes where the major plot point is very silly but not in a particularly funny way. Like, seriously, the team is so down due to the loss of their lobster mascot that they start doing so poorly they have no other choice but to lose horribly?

Wanna know something else? This isn’t the first time I’ve heard this plot. I’ve seen this on about five other sitcoms and cartoons. Why is it such a major morale blow for a mascot or whatever important school spirit icon to be lost before a big game? If anything, wouldn’t it make you want to beat the other team even worse considering that mascot thieves are almost always the rival school?

I liked that we got a bit of a glimpse into Fillmore’s home life, though. They even lend another LEO trope to him – having to skimp out on family time because the job comes first. It’s nice to see him have loving parents and not the bad home life you’d expect this ex-troublemaker to have, though that begs the question of what really made Fillmore so ill-mannered before.

I will fully admit that I didn’t catch onto the culprit this time until about two minutes before Fillmore and Ingrid did. Though, being fair, his reasons make no sense.

I first thought it was going to be the obviously fake psychic, Alistair. They put clear focus on him before the crime was ever committed, he comes in on the second act seeming like he’s going to take over the case, but he’s scrapped by the end of Act II because, well, they ‘caught’ him.

It turns out that Harrison, a journalist whose sole job is to report on Alistair’s predictions and the stories that follow, was the culprit all along. He had been feeding Alistair emails ‘predicting’ events that he was causing so he could literally make headlines. Alistair gets the fame and Harrison gets a quick beeline to the editor-in-chief job. However, Harrison clearly expressed disdain at his job earlier in the episode. He stated that he wanted to write articles that would change lives and impact people, but he’s stuck writing column after column of stories about a psychic making predictions, which, when you think about it, is really the same article over and over.

“Alistair predicted (event) and it happened. By Harrison.”

If his job was so menial and his columns were so, if you’ll forgive the pun, predictable, why would doing all this be a straight shot to the editor-in-chief job?

The climax was….good. Even if the chase kinda fizzles out and the revelation of Alistair getting his ‘powers’ back was silly even for this show. Neither Ingrid nor Fillmore believe in his abilities, but they make it a point to show Alistair continuously having ‘visions’ and following a path outside of school to Lobstee’s exact location.

The main lesson of the episode was in both Harrison and Alistair, in that they were both so obsessed with attaining their goals that they were more than willing to scam people and cause harm to others and the school. Alistair even quits pursuing his dream of being a great psychic because of it.

Taking the silliness of his ‘powers’ out of the equation, and while they don’t outright say it, he started losing his ‘powers’ when he started using them for personal gain, IE making a career out of it. He gained them back when he used them for good again, IE Finding Lobstee. That is a rather adult lesson to learn, and it’s easily applicable to kids. Some people get very caught up in pursuing their career goals or just goals in general that they don’t care who they hurt as long as they achieve them.

All in all, it’s an okay episode built around a tired as hell plot, but with a clever twist, nice background on Fillmore and a good life lesson.

As a final note, Harrison, you stupid son of a bitch, why the hell were you speaking your next ‘predictive’ email to Alistair out loud in the announcement booth during the game? I know there’s that dumb TV logic of ‘someone obviously talking to themselves and no one else can hear them because I said so’ but come on.

Next episode, Ingrid goes undercover as a Red Robin to find out if they’re behind a big theft case. But is Ingrid starting to sympathize with these known criminals?

…Previous Episode


If you enjoy my work and would like to help support my blog, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

CSBS – Fillmore! Episode 3

CSBS Fillmore episode 3

Plot: While Fillmore deals with a troublemaker named Tony Clementina, all of the books in the library get mysteriously stolen. One bit of evidence points to Clementina, and Fillmore is compelled to believe he’s the culprit. But is he really a lost cause?

Breakdown: The crime this week is pretty outlandish, even for Fillmore. Are you seriously telling me a librarian was so obliviously lost in a book that they didn’t realize every book in the library was being checked out? If they did it book by book, that must’ve taken hours.

Also, the culprit is incredibly obvious from the get-go once you meet him because he’s a bit overly dramatic in his reaction to the crime – much like the first episode where the culprit is obviously the person who seemingly cares most about what was damaged or stolen.

His plan didn’t even make full sense. He complains about never being able to read the best books in the library because they’re always checked out. He wanted to keep all of the books, especially the best ones, for himself. But how did he plan it to take out the good books too as this mass and sudden book heist was happening if those particular books are always checked out?

There’s also the school-yard forensics going on. Fillmore has had a touch of forensics in their episodes so far, but this one was the first to really get down into it. And I gotta say, this is where any intelligent viewer would constantly call BS. I can handle the inconsistencies, oddities and outlandish goings on in regards to the crimes because that’s what they intend on doing, but a lot of this stuff is hard to swallow.

For instance, I get that Ingrid is a genius, but she can identify custard under a microscope, especially when it’s a year old? She can also microscopically tell the difference between two different salt samples from various brands of pretzels?

Also, they have fingerprinting. This isn’t really entirely out there because, for the most part, a good chunk of actual fingerprinting is done by hand in a visual inspection, so a kid might have the know-how to pull it off, which Tehama seems to be.

Despite realistically having Ingrid struggle for a while to lift the fingerprint properly (even though, after all of those attempts on that mug, all of the prints must’ve been destroyed by the time she was actually able to get one) they have her instantly, and from a distance, match the fingerprint of Fillmore’s with the fingerprint on a soda rocket she found in the gym’s ceiling.

I’m not expecting forensic precision and accuracy with a cartoon, especially one that is obviously embellishing on numerous aspects of school life for the sake of making a police setting possible, but it still catches my eye.

This brings us to the subplot. While the Safety Patrollers are chasing Clementina for an unrelated crime, Ingrid notices a soda can rocket lodged in the ceiling of the gym. Without telling Fillmore, she requests that it be taken down so she can examine it. She discovers that there is custard residue on it and asks around if there have been any incidents involving custard recently.

Tehama tells her that last year, before Ingrid transferred, one of the faculty members was trying to break the world record for largest bowl of custard. As he was trying to empty the last small bowl into the big bowl, the platform the big bowl was sitting on gave way, causing a huge custard flood in the gym.

Tehama points Ingrid in the direction of Fillmore since the brand of soda used in the rocket was only sold in Cleveland, where Fillmore used to live before they moved to wherever this takes place.

She matches Fillmore’s print to one lifted from the rocket, but keeps her findings to herself. However, she finds herself annoyed when he treats Clementina as a ‘lost cause’ when that’s exactly what many people thought, and some still think, of Fillmore back in his troublemaking days.

Fillmore realizes what Ingrid found out and explains what happened. He didn’t cause the custard spill. That truly was an accident caused by a buckling platform.

However, the rocket was his attempt to try to make the spill happen. The platform was already falling when he shot it off, and the angle of the wood sent the rocket into the ceiling, where it stayed for a year. He was caught sometime later on an unrelated but serious charge, and the Safety Patroller who nabbed him gave him an ultimatum – either help him with a case or spend the rest of the school year in detention. He decided to help and turned over a new leaf as a Safety Patroller.

We don’t yet learn the name of the Safety Patroller who helped him out, but it’s a decent backstory for Fillmore either way.

I will say that Fillmore is being kinda out of character in this episode. He’s usually not so dismissive of the criminals he deals with. Hell, he had faith in a kid who was so bad that he was isolated from the other kids and had to take his classes in a special prison cell with no one else in the room. Yet he’s now completely ignoring a plethora of hard evidence that full-out proves Clementina didn’t do it just because of one piece of easily planted circumstantial evidence and Fillmore’s seeming vendetta against him. It’s just not like Fillmore is all.

It’s also a bit weird how quickly Clementina turned around. Fillmore changed his ways because someone showed him a better path. Clementina went from a complete asshole criminal who only cared about money and prestige to someone who willingly wants to help the Safety Patrol without even being asked. Fillmore didn’t show him any better way before this point. They were butting heads the whole time up until the climax.

————————–

This episode is a big mixed bag. I liked the glimpse into Fillmore’s backstory, and the case was alright, but I don’t think they did enough with Clementina to really draw the parallels enough for this to be that impacting on Fillmore or the audience. The culprit was pretty obvious, especially since there were far fewer red herrings than normal (let’s see, it’s either the obvious guy everyone’s pointing the finger at immediately or the only other child character who has been prevalent so far. Hm.)

The crime itself was just a bit too far out there to be plausible unless X Middle School has the dumbest librarian ever.

In addition, the forensics stuff is mostly a bit too tough to swallow if you know anything about forensics, though it really is one of those things you just have to let slide for entertainment value. I know I just thought it was cool when I was a kid (and, hell, it sparked an interest in forensics so much that my focus for my degree was forensic psychology) And Fillmore’s on the OOC side in this episode.

Next Episode, who stole the school mascot, Lobstee?

…Previous Episode


If you enjoy my work and would like to help support my blog, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

CSBS – Fillmore! Episode 2

CSBS Fillmore Episode 2

Plot: X-Middle School is undergoing the arduous test of the Satty-9, and it’s been tearing the students apart. Some protest the test’s existence, other freak out over their performance, and Ingrid, despite her certain high score, undergoes an internal struggle of the true importance of the Satty-9.

So many students have skills, knowledge and creativity that simply cannot be measured in the multiple choice nightmare. When the completed tests are suddenly stolen by someone in the school mascot’s costume, Ingrid finds herself contemplating whether it’s for the best.

Breakdown: I remember this being one of my favorite episodes when I was a kid, and I have a deeper respect for this episode now that I’ve gone through several CATs and the SATs. I never stressed much over the CATs but the SATs were a nightmare for me. Everyone crams and stresses over their score, and a surprising amount feel like that one number score will be a defining characteristic stuck to their lives. It’s hard to have that moment of reflection where you say ‘Whatever happens, this doesn’t reflect my actual intelligence or worth as a person.’

I also appreciate that Ingrid was the one struggling with this, because typically genius characters don’t find tests to be such a big deal, no matter their significance. They seem relatively blind to the hardships and stresses of the non-geniused students around them. Ingrid sees and appreciates the various kinds of skills and talents that everyone has around her and feels bad that the test doesn’t care about intelligence or achievements in these realms, no matter how much these same students prepare for it.

Her moment of faltering was truly just one moment, but it was a pretty powerful one.

Fillmore: “The Satty-9 may be beat, but there’s a right way to fight it. Protests. Giant banners. Editorials. Hard jams with even harder rhymes. Going the other way’s a sucker move. We have a job. We don’t make the rules.”

Ingrid: “I only forgot that for a second.”

Fillmore: “But Ingrid….you forgot that.”

I’ll also give this episode props because I honestly didn’t catch on to who the perp was. Like so many instances, I figured it was a person who only ended up being the second-to-last suspect. And I will admit, it was pretty clever the way they set it up. We even get some pretty funny jokes and references. I honestly don’t remember Fillmore ever including a Pokemon reference, but there it was.

This episode was also a nice build on Fillmore and Ingrid’s friendship. Fillmore doesn’t chew Ingrid out for what she did. He understands her feelings and leads her to a place where she’ll learn the lesson on her own. Plus, that scooter and helmet are awesome. Damn, I wish I had a Razor scooter when I was a kid. Stupid kids getting hurt making my paranoid parents say no.

Next Episode, Fillmore deals with a troublemaker who reminds him a little too much of himself back in his delinquent days. Can he be redeemed like Fillmore, or is he a lost cause?

…..Previous Episode


If you enjoy my work and would like to help support my blog, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Cartoons Step-By-Step: Fillmore! Episode 1

fillmore-ep-1-screen

Plot: When the brand new high-tech bathroom stalls are riddled with graffiti by someone calling themselves ‘Stainless’, Fillmore and Ingrid have to enter the world of artists and taggers to find out who the culprit is.

Breakdown: I absolutely love procedural dramas. NCIS, CSI, Castle, Criminal Minds, Bones etc etc etc., and I can thank Fillmore! for spawning that love.

Fillmore first aired on ABC’s One Saturday Morning as a school-themed parody of old 1970’s cop shows with the safety patrol replacing the cops. Think Recess if it was at a slightly higher age range and was a procedural drama. It was sadly canceled after a mere two seasons due to low ratings, even though the 26 episode run is essentially one season. Rumor also has it that the tone was a bit too serious and ‘dark’ for the ABC cartoon lineup. Pfft. What could possibly be dark about a show created by Scott Gimple?…….the executive producer of The Walking Dead……

Jokes aside, this show serious? Have they never heard of parodies? Yes, the subject matter they’re parodying is kinda mature, but they’re adapting it towards a tween audience. The stuff they cover in the series is ridiculous kid and school stuff presented in a serious manner – one of the main reasons why it’s funny.

I loved the hell out of Fillmore and couldn’t have been sadder when it was canceled. It’s even worse considering that the show isn’t even available on VHS or DVD. Everything about it was just so cool and funny. I loved how over-exaggerated and film-noir-ish it was. The characters were great, the setting was great, the theme song was one of the best cartoon theme songs ever, and the writing was spot-on with only some minor cheese here and there.

Well, now that I’m older and analyzing the show thoroughly, how does it really stand up?

Here’s the thing; before Fillmore I had never really watched many police shows or movies. I was a tweenage girl at the time this came out. I was more preoccupied with anime, drawing, cartoons and boy bands. Even then, I still loved this show. Now that I have plenty of police and forensic shows and movies under my belt, I actually find this even more entertaining because I can tell what they’re spoofing at pretty much every corner. I can’t tell all the references, but I can definitely play ‘spot the trope spoof.’

For instance, the crime itself is kinda played off like finding a murder scene where the murderer, who coins his own name through his signature, writes on the walls in blood….err, red marker.

In order to solve this crime, Fillmore and Ingrid recruit a master tagger and artist who is basically one big serial killer spoof. He’s kept under total detention lockdown every day after he went on a tagging spree. He’s held in solitary confinement with all writing instruments taken away from him, which must make his schoolwork a nightmare. He’s incredibly knowledgeable on his craft and loves teasing Fillmore and Ingrid with answers that he knows but refuses to share since that would just be no fun.

Fillmore and Ingrid are even police drama tropes. Fillmore is a former juvenile delinquent who became the safety patrol’s top investigator. He sips hot chocolate, makes witty one-liners, has incredible insight and is sometimes a ‘loose cannon’ who struggles with his past.

Ingrid is a new kid in school, new as Fillmore’s partner too, who is also a genius with a photographic memory, making her a fantastic researcher and sleuth. She has a goth look about her, but they don’t do anything with it. Unlike a lot of veteran cop/rookie pairings, Ingrid and Fillmore actually get along very well, which is more of a play on how procedural dramas are now with ‘tension’ between the leads a la Bones, CSI, NCIS, Law and Order SVU.

Of course, you also have to have the boss of the whole operation, in this case the Jr. Safety Commissioner Vellejo, who is usually there to scold Fillmore and Ingrid for any damage they cause while trying to catch perps and to put a fire under their asses to get the case solved quicker.

You even have the ‘politician’ or ‘District Attorney’ trope in Ms. Folsom, who is usually constantly stressing about the cases in order to keep up appearances and maintain the safety and integrity of the school. She’s also on the safety patrol’s asses to get the cases wrapped up quickly and cleanly.

We’ve got red herrings, evidence analysis, slight hints here and there throughout the episode as to who the perp really is. It is a bit easy to figure out who the culprit is if you pay attention, but it is a tween show.

This episode has always been one of my favorites because of how they portray Randall Julian, the ‘serial killer tagger’ who helps Fillmore and Ingrid, the fact that art is the main theme here, how well it sets up the series as a whole, all the while immersing you quite well in the fun world they have set up, distracting you from how silly it actually is and making it seem very cool.

Seriously, take yourself out of the show for a minute and soak in the story – they’re hunting down someone who is drawing on bathroom stalls with a marker while getting help from a sociopathic macaroni artist turned tagger with the ‘street name’ of Flava Sava with their prime suspects being a guy who likes to draw toilets and pour paint on himself, a guy whose newest masterpiece is coloring in a black dot with 1000 layers of ink and a hippie girl who poops outside because she hates unnatural things.

Also, I won’t spoil who the culprit is, but let’s just say that the actual perp is even weirder that these three.

The action is also usually creative and fun, but there’s one thing you have to keep in mind when the culprit is revealed. It doesn’t matter how far or fast they run – they’re at school. They can’t leave school grounds, and even if they don’t catch them, you can just as easily contact their parents. Really the only reason Fillmore and Ingrid need to catch the perps themselves is because Folsom is too fed up with the lack of progress in the case and threatens to shut down the safety patrol nearly every episode if they don’t have the perp by the final bell or within a day or so.

The final standoff between Fillmore and Randall Julian was also great. Hell, it was better than his confrontation with the actual perp. To be honest, the entire exchange with Randall was better than the actual plot. As a bonus, Randall is voiced by Josh Peck. And yes, it is trippy.

While we’re on the topic of the voice work, which is great, Fillmore is voiced by Orlando Brown, who does a great job bringing that classic attitude and coolness to the character. Ingrid is voiced by Tara Strong, who I don’t believe needs an introduction. And Anza, one of the background safety patrollers, is voiced by Danny Tamberelli, and if you recognize that name, you get an internet hug.

All in all, this episode was really great and I loved every minute of it. It’s just subtle enough to be a slight challenge for viewers to figure out what’s really going on while not being so complicated or even unfair in its storytelling that the viewer would have difficulty following along. The characters are all very likable, even most of the suspects and perps, and this series really did just get even better to me after I watched those procedural dramas.

Next episode, the horrors of the Satty-9.


If you enjoy my work and would like to help support my blog, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com