Few shows or movies are able to truly capture the magic of childhood wonder, adventure, and the pains of growing up as Gravity Falls. Creator, writer, and director Alex Hirsch based the protagonists, Dipper and Mabel Pines, on himself and his twin sister as he sought to capture a single whirlwind summer in the mysterious town of Gravity Falls, Oregon. Filled with backwards messages, riddles, and codes, the show mixes mundane challenges like summer crushes, bullies, and familial relationships with more mature themes like loss, denial, and sacrifice to bring the colorful cast of characters to life. Originally aired on Disney XD for two glorious seasons, it’s now available for streaming on Hulu and Disney+ for endless rewatching potential. And it’s the perfect show to watch in the summer, and not only because it’s set in the summer.
It’s a show that I’ve found myself repeatedly coming back to when I’m in need of an emotional rollercoaster. I find myself reminiscing about my own childhood adventures, nostalgic for the sense of imagination and wonder that captured my youth – and the kinds of things that I always wished I could get up to in real life are dancing across the screen in full animated glory. The show itself is fully binge-able, and not once throughout my many rewatches have I found myself feeling bored or annoyed. Hirsch took full advantage of each minute of each episode, and even the few filler episodes are still entertaining and help to forward the plot. Gravity Falls is surprisingly mature, full of meta-jokes and fourth wall breaks, cleverly weaving an intricate mystery that only the most astute of viewers may pick up on. Although it finished its run in 2016, the show has yet to fade from fans’ memories. No matter your age, it’s the perfect show to watch over the summer if you’re feeling nostalgic for adventure. The cast and crew put all their love and effort into creating something unique and wonderful, and it couldn’t be more obvious. Gravity Falls will always hold a special place in my heart and is a staple in my summertime relaxation.