So I originally had no plans to do this review, and I don't want to commit to doing reviews on anything else since I'm not entirely sure I'll have the time. In fact, this review is so random that even I didn't know I was doing it until like 20 minutes ago lol. I've never really liked this episode, tbh. Even though my favorite series is The New Scooby-Doo Movies, I just could never quite get into this one. The lack of presence of the villain and obvious culprit always bothered me, and Jerry's involvement in the episode didn't feel as strong as most of the other guest stars in the series. A few people in the comments have been suggesting I rewatch this episode for quite a while to see if my thoughts have changed, so I wanted to give it a fair chance not having seen it in years. I thought about just responding to those people in the comments, but since my review was so long, I thought I'd just share them with all of you, since others might enjoy reading my thoughts as well.
As much as I wanted to gain an appreciation for this episode after all these years, I really couldn't get into it. Don't get me wrong, there are definitely elements here that are enjoyable, but several things brought this episode down for me. I like the spooky atmosphere of the country music hall, and the gang searching for Jerry was a fun plot. The gang having to follow the sound of Jerry's voice to figure out what room he's in made for a very unique storyline.
However, I think revealing the culprits were Bertha and Ben Bing right away took away from the spookiness of it (I don't even feel bad about putting this spoiler right here, because they literally make it so obvious within the first few minutes with Bertha and Ben talking about "getting rid of the snoopers"). I've read other reviews that mention they like how "The Phantom" isn't really a physical threat that you can see, and I think this would have been a much cooler concept if they hadn't told you who the culprits were so early on. I think the "non-physical threat" idea would have been more enjoyable if the audience would have had no idea who or what could possibly be doing this. There are some cases where I don't really mind when the culprit is made kinda obvious before the actual unmasking, like it works in "The Loch Ness Mess" since they'd already built up such a good mystery. However, here, with without a strong villain, revealing the culprit so early on made it kind of a weaker episode in my opinion.
Going further into the villains, I felt like the whole "The Phantom could be anywhere" trope also would have been better if that was the only villain. Instead, we also get the Viking and Davy Crockett, which were not very good villains in my opinion. They popped up a couple times watching from the background, but it wasn't in a particularly creepy way. The scenes were always them just walking from room to room, rather than lurking around or trying to sneak up on the gang. Neither of them didn't feel spooky or memorable at all, given they were barely there. The gang doesn't ever see them until the trap at the end. There's definitely a way to do the "you never know where the villain is lurking" plot well, but this didn't feel like the way to do it. The villains felt barely present, making the stakes feel not as high as a typical Scooby episode.
I have to comment on Fred, because his reactions to things were interesting in this episode lol. The chemistry between him and Jerry in particular was really strange. Multiple times in the episode, Jerry would make a normal comment and Fred would respond as if he wasn't even listening to what Jerry said lol. For example, Jerry says "Boy am I glad to see you!" when he's rescued, and Fred just says "you're welcome!" haha. In another part, Jerry says "If we don't find my guitar, there ain't gonna be no opening!" Fred simply replies "True." I hadn't noticed it in any previous rewatches, but I was amusing myself throughout this whole episode with how Fred just seems like he's vaguely listening, and he's hoping whatever he says kinda half fits whatever Jerry's saying lol. Later on, after Fred says he's fit as a fiddle now that Jerry rescues him, Jerry jokes "but what I need is a guitar!" In the most serious voice imaginable, Fred replies "Yeah, I know." Besides Jerry, Fred also has quite an extreme reaction to Shaggy at one point. When Shaggy gets frightened by a statue's head tumbling down the stairs and jumps in Scooby's arms, Fred shouts "You oughta be ashamed of yourself!" It seems like the situation did not require such an intense reaction to that lol. What in the world was Fred going through in this episode? hahahaha
While it wasn't a significant issue, I have to say I'm not here for the weird sexist comments in this series. Towards the end, when they're trying to figure out who's the bait, Shaggy suggests Daphne be bait instead of him, and Velma simply replies "a girl can't do it!" I guess it's not as inappropriate as Fred's horrific "how is a woman like a desert?" joke from "Ghastly Ghost Town," but I'd say it's right up there with Fred saying it's too dangerous for the girls to go with the guys to trap Bigfoot in "The Ghost of Bigfoot." Although I would honestly say it's a bit more sad here, since it's Velma herself that says it.
Besides Fred and Velma, Shaggy also had a bit of a rough time in this episode with some of his animation. It's pretty well known about how that frame where Scooby looks evil was accidentally animated into "Mine Your Own Business." I'd never noticed it before, but we also get evil Shaggy when he's playing the xylophone. I think the animators were just trying to make him seem focused or whatever, but with the weird grin, he genuinely looks kinda evil here to me. Like he's about ready to beat that xylophone up lol.
I don't even know how to describe these other ones, other than WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED? hahahahaha
There were quite a few other animation errors in this episode, including the villains for some reason exiting the room twice towards the end. Another notable error was that Shaggy comments that "10 pairs of eyes are better than four," when it should have been "5 pairs of eyes" or "10 eyes." (Thanks Jayden for pointing these out!)
Even if the episode didn't grow on me like I wanted it to, I actually had a lot of fun writing this and noticing those little things I hadn't before. This remains my second-least favorite episode of the series, only behind "Mystery in Persia." I don't really know if I'll do something like this again, but it was a fun spontaneous thing to do and I hope you enjoyed reading this review as much as I did writing it.
7/6/2022 08:27:36 am
I have watched this episode just recently and I thought it was pretty decent, nothing to special but still a fun episode none the less.
7/6/2022 09:45:49 am
I'm glad you enjoy the episode! I agree Jerry Reed's voice and rendition of "Pretty Mary Sunlight" was great!
7/6/2022 09:34:05 am
My God those last 2 images are awesome lmao. Those were clearly intentional.
7/6/2022 09:41:56 am
Oh and I gotta comment on the paragraph about Fred! Holy sht, I'm dying of laughter just reading it lmao. Fred can be so fricking hilarious without even attempting to be! I now realize he is a highlight of the episode in a very strange way with his thoughts/lines and delivery.
7/6/2022 10:01:33 am
In that second image, Shaggy looks like he's suddenly turned into some sort of gremlin lol. It's particularly funny when it pops up, because he looks completely normal in the previous frame, the scene switches to Scooby briefly, and then when the camera switches back to him, the animation quality suddenly drops off a cliff.
7/6/2022 10:30:53 am
Shaggy looked suddenly wrecked there lol.
7/6/2022 11:02:11 am
7/6/2022 11:38:06 am
Lol what in the heck happened in that five seconds he was off screen? My headcanon is going be to that Shaggy had to use 1% of his power to freeze time and fight Thanos, and once Thanos was finally defeated, he returned to finish his conversation with Scooby with his battle wounds lmao.
7/6/2022 12:17:49 pm
Now that's a headcanon everyone can get behind!
7/6/2022 12:25:29 pm
Oh, and to add to the Fred lore, there's also this very random and funny as heck moment in Weird Winds of Winona (I think) that's quite reminiscent of the strange way he acts in Country Music Hall:
7/6/2022 05:18:51 pm
Aww, poor Fred lol. #NobodyAsksFred Fred's comments towards Shaggy must have just been redirected aggression lol. I think we need a prequel showing what Fred went through before the events of this series. Perhaps him and Jerry got into something so traumatic that Fred now feels awkward whenever he talks to Jerry lol.
7/6/2022 06:17:04 pm
Oh ok then, it's not Weird Winds of Winona! So that really leaves season 1 of NSDMo as the rough period of time Fred was going through, poor guy. I mean, you've got Ghastly Ghost Town, Wednesday Is Missing, Hagglethorn Hall, Country Music Hall, Caped Crusader Caper, and maybe more, that are all from the same season.
7/6/2022 09:51:00 pm
Yeah, I don't think there were any season 2 episodes where he was off. He must have just been going through something during that season lol. Poor Shaggy doesn't deserve that kind of abuse lol.
7/7/2022 05:09:23 am
Yeah, at least Shaggy was taking those burns from Fred like a champ lol
7/7/2022 11:53:27 am
I’m glad that Fred got through whatever he was going through by season 2 for his own sake, but I can’t help but wish we saw more of “Sassy Fred” TM
7/7/2022 12:12:21 pm
Same, this weird Fred is really funny, but better he got through it. Plus, Fred is awesome in general. He's fairly entertaining in the old HB days, never thought he was boring like some people do. If anything I've appreciated him more with time.
7/7/2022 01:19:12 pm
"Sassy Fred" definitely needs to be trademarked lol. I never found Fred boring as a character in the early days either, he's often super entertaining haha.
7/7/2022 07:25:58 pm
I honestly want to re binge watch the first season of the NSDMo to see what else I can find of sassy Fred
7/7/2022 09:39:38 pm
Me too! haha
7/6/2022 12:08:44 pm
7/6/2022 12:46:34 pm
Oh man I forgot about Fred's lines in Caped Crusader Caper and Hagglethorn Hall! Savage. They're hilarious, just like in Country Music Hall and other ones in the comments above lol. Fred was definitely going through something rough around this time to act like this, he only has this strange behavior/attitude in this show, mostly the first season (at least as far as the HB era goes).
7/7/2022 11:55:55 am
Say what you want about Sassy Fred, but no one can say he didn’t have a personality in this season LOL
7/7/2022 12:13:39 pm
True. I'd argue he always had enough personality actually, but this season it was a bit different and it jumped out the most.
7/7/2022 12:54:32 pm
I completely agree with you there. But this season has to be my biggest counterargument when people say otherwise LOL
7/6/2022 05:07:32 pm
Hahahaha Fred's so sassy! The "what spine?" line particularly stands out to me lol.
7/7/2022 12:00:31 pm
I get that and agree with you that they can be uncomfortable. The Ghastly Ghost Town one REALLY makes me uncomfortable, but those other ones are more of a quick wince and move on kind of deal, if you get what I mean
7/7/2022 01:25:14 pm
Yeah, I definitely get what you mean. "Ghastly Ghost Town" comment always stood out as genuinely mean-spirited/derogatory against Daphne (and women in general), whereas sadly the "Ghost of Bigfoot" and "Phantom of the Country Music Hall" ones were more a product of the time.
7/7/2022 07:24:32 pm
I guess I could be alone in it, but I just see Ghost of the Red Baron as a mess with a villain that had wasted potential and a plot that also had wasted potential. Really, the whole thing was improved upon in Scary Sky Skeleton years later
7/7/2022 09:36:42 pm
I've definitely seen others share your opinion, and although I agree it is a weaker episode, I would consider it more of a lovable mess. I'm not even really that bothered by any aspect of it other than the plane scene. I would say Red Baron is better than "The Scary Sky Skeleton," although that is one of my favorite episodes of the The Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Show.
7/7/2022 10:22:01 pm
I get how you feel about the "Lovable mess", that is pretty much the perfect descriptor on how I would describe A Good Medium Is Rare: It has a weird plot, a ton of loose ends, and just an incoherent plot, yet I found myself loving it quite a bit regardless and didn't really feel it wasted anything with the fact that it was a mess. Not enough for me to say that it isn't a weaker episode in the series, but I still like it a good bit
7/9/2022 10:14:45 am
Yes! That's exactly how I feel about "Ghost of the Red Baron." I'd say I feel similarly about that episode to "A Good Medium Is Rare," because there was a lot of weird loose ends (and just weird things in general) in that episode haha.
7/6/2022 02:20:30 pm
As I previously said. This episode was okay, JUST okay. I don't understand people who actually like this episode. Also, I thought you said SDWAY was your favourite. Well, opinions do change overtime. Also, tbh the sexist jokes don't bother me. Hear me out, I'm not sexist but it doesn't feel like the writers are doing something wrong when they think the guys should do the more dangerous acts. Anyways, I thought you'd mention the various animation errors I pointed out about a month ago or two. It's okay, I can understand why you didn't mention them because there's soooooooooo many!
7/6/2022 05:10:23 pm
Yeah, SDWAY used to be my favorite, but The New Scooby-Doo Movies has become my new favorite. Those two shows were always very close to each other but at least currently, The New Scooby-Doo Movies edges out Where Are You just slightly. Sorry about not mentioning the animation errors, I had planned to use it for a fun fact, but I can add them to this post! I'll do that sometime tonight.
7/6/2022 10:10:39 pm
I just added it to the post
7/7/2022 05:59:09 am
Oh cool, I didn't know you could edit your post. Anyways thanks. I really miss your reviews and I hope you'll do them someday on an old scooby series of a new one
7/7/2022 11:19:20 am
Yep, I can always edit posts :) Thanks, I'm glad to hear you enjoy the reviews so much! I hope to get back to the reviews someday soon when I'm less busy. If any new content comes out, I'll definitely be doing a review no matter what.
7/8/2022 09:56:52 am
I like reviews on old episodes and new ones. Because although modern Scooby hasn't bothered me that much, the classics will always be classics. But, the good thing about the reviews on a show releasing in the present is that I can remember the episodes more.
7/9/2022 10:17:29 am
Completely agreed about the classics always being classics :)
7/6/2022 09:41:02 pm
Near the bottom for me. While Jerry Reed had personality and vocal charisma ("myyy-yy-yyy GIT-tar"), the episode always bores me. It's glacially slow and too grounded -- the only episode of the series where the guest isn't put into a quirky role or situation -- with weak villain designs. I think it'd work better in half the runtime.
7/6/2022 09:49:27 pm
I have a very similar problem with it. The plot does feel a bit slow and meandering, and the villain designs don't save it. A shorter runtime probably would have benefitted this one.
7/6/2022 10:02:44 pm
I like this really random review 💙💜🧡💚🤎
7/8/2022 04:01:21 pm
It was all going so well until:
7/8/2022 04:02:02 pm
See video here,https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFxj7wN6N5Q
7/9/2022 10:16:55 am
Hahaha I remember you disliking that episode for that reason. For me, the episode was so amazing already that it didn't bother me they revealed the culprit. I can definitely see why it would be frustrating to you, though.
7/11/2022 05:09:57 pm
Glad I wasn't only one! Loch Ness Mess had a great build up ruined by obvious villains and terrible reasoning.
7/11/2022 05:22:40 am
The Phantom of The Country Music Hall:
7/11/2022 09:23:50 am
I didn't think about how similar that was to the museum scene, that's interesting! I thought it was cool they called back to "Pretty Mary Sunlight" from Where Are You." I thought it was interesting too that Shaggy and Scooby were singing Jerry's song, although I think you meant "When You're Hot, You're Hot."
7/13/2022 06:13:50 am
Well, that's mighty nice of you ma'am for reviewing my episode. I loved acting with that dog.
7/13/2022 08:31:20 am
Lol It's very (or should I say Jerry) nice to hear your opinion on this episode, Jerry!
7/13/2022 06:15:49 am
Aside from this episode, I only watched Jerry Reed in Smokey in the Bandit. He's the main character in Smokey in the Bandit 3, but I can't imagine him being a leading man, as he wasn't very impressive in the first.
7/13/2022 08:32:14 am
I haven't seen Jerry in any other films/shows besides this episode.
Leave a Reply.
~ WildwindVampire ~