"The Contest" - teenage Arthur = boring.

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"The Contest" - teenage Arthur = boring.

Post by Nope on Thu Jul 03, 2014 8:00 am

I went through the episode "The Contest" a while ago - this infamously shows Arthur and some of the gang as aged-up teenagers. It had been my ongoing idea of what they may be like at such an age, though looking back at the episode's portrayals leaves me wondering if it would be such a good idea.

For starters, it seems their personalities went down the crapper - Francine drops her tomboy demeanor for a much more fashion-oriented gimmick, complete with eyelashes. Sorry to say, the constant wet-dream fantasy of a tomboy Francine making out with Muffy would seem to have been shot down in their tracks. In contrast, Muffy now sports a track coat and unobtrusive short skirt - perhaps she and Francine did one final personality-swap that didn't go back to normal. Her hair is notably unkempt at the bangs, perhaps showing a declining interest in her old fashion styles. Francine's face has also changed - her mouth is bigger than her forehead. The inverse can be said for Muffy.

Binky and the Brain have gone Greaser style, a bit like Rattles. While this is not too surprising for Binky, it is not what one would expect from the Brain. His formal wear is a thing of the past - one can only debate if his "brainy" attitude was dropped as well in favor of a more laid back persona. Does he even excel at his studies, or did he drop his education in favor of an easier life? No real way to tell. Not much in the way of physical change for the both of them.

Buster and Arthur are the least surprising of the bunch, both going casual/beta. Arthur only sticks out as he resembles ChrisChan of Sonichu fame, a topic one should only look up with the intention of losing all faith in humanity - and one's appetite. Buster's head also appears to have been stretched out at some point - perhaps it was the aliens again.

Most surprising is the utter lack of personality they show - they all seem sedate and bored, reminiscing of their olden days at Lakewood Elementary rather than any new adventures they've have since then. Perhaps the hormones sucked out all of their youthful antics and cemented them as just more boring chicken flippers for the industry. Or their wacky adventures ceased upon entrance to the 4th grade. I know the teenagers scene is brief in the episode, but what is shown portrays a rather dull outlook for Arthur and his posse. Not what one would expect from all the adventures they've had in their halcyon glory age of the past. It is with little doubt that if Arthur and the others were cast as teenagers for a more developed look into their future they'd have to bear more activity than just walking around and watching TV - but it is "The Contest" we have to go by, and what is presents as-is seems rather morbid for the Elwood gang.

The only reason "The Contest" sticks out is because it explicitly shows the scene as being continuity with Arthur as of Season 4 - other clips such as the Reads' futuristic descendants or being jailed by a president Muffy were never implied to be canon, and were simply used for the cold openings or gags.

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Re: "The Contest" - teenage Arthur = boring.

Post by GrebeGoddess on Thu Jul 03, 2014 4:08 pm

I always thought Francine and Muffy's wardrobe should have been switched. Since the segment was supposed to be a parody of That 70's Show, teen Francine should've been based off of Donna and teen Muffy off of Jackie - not the other way around. And yes, Muffy's forehead should've been covered more.

Another thing I noticed, but cute? The identical pins Arthur and Buster are wearing on their shirts. Since they eventually outgrew their bunny/aardvark slippers and couldn't "wear each other on their feet," of course they were going to wear the same pins to symbolize their friendship.

I still love Buster's jacket with the large "B" in the back though. That outfit needs to make a comeback.
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Re: "The Contest" - teenage Arthur = boring.

Post by Kerry9Story on Thu Jul 03, 2014 6:22 pm

they got tired mabbe?
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Re: "The Contest" - teenage Arthur = boring.

Post by A Lotta Moms on Thu Jul 03, 2014 11:59 pm

If you ask me, Francine's style here is perfectly respectable for any budding young dyke.  Portia agrees:
http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2014/05/11/article-2625774-1DBDDA0800000578-378_634x906.jpg
And those faux-combat boots?  Cosmopolesbian if I've ever seen it!  I love you

But in all seriousness, these are good observations about the atmosphere of the teenage end sequence.  As I think about it more, it's very realistic how their aged-up reality is more flat and uneventful.  Indeed, it's as if much of the magic and enthusiasm of their childhood is no longer present.  Likewise, as we get older the world around us loses the awe and wonder of childhood.  We're more content with simpler things like sitting around in each other's company.  It made me feel their nostalgia even more strongly, and serves as a reminder that no matter what, even in the world of Arthur and its seemingly eternal childhood, there's going to come a time when it all ends...and is nothing more than a fading memory.  

I'm reminded of a painting we studied in Art History class so many years ago depicting a group of shepherds examining a tombstone they discover in their otherwise perfect paradise, baffled over its foreboding inscription: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Et_in_Arcadia_ego

Et in Arthur ego
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