TV Lists

The 6 Best Episodes of DuckTales

With the 2017 reboot prematurely canceled, let's look back at the show's best moments

Walt Disney Television Animation

The 2017 reboot of DuckTales has come to an end.

Despite a complex story, loveable and inclusive characters, and hilarious one-liners, the critically lauded DuckTales has seemingly been canceled. The Collider's Associate Editor, Drew Taylor, broke the news on Twitter, and fans of the show have since emerged in droves to protest the cancelation. Many blamed the show's cancelation on Disney due to the fact that the company moved the show to their tepid and rarely-viewed cable channel, Disney XD. Many called for a streaming service to pick up the series, which is wrapping up its third season.

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Culture Feature

The 8 Strangest Anime Ever Made

Want to get into some weird anime? Here is your guide.

jotaro vs dio (part 1)

While anime has maintained a very important place in popular culture, it can remain challenging to convince the uninitiated to give the art form a chance.

It goes without saying that to truly enjoy some of the best anime requires a certain suspension of disbelief, but the experience is so rewarding for those who can let go of real-world details.

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In a recent New Yorker article, Jia Tolentino addresses the phenomenon of the "Instagram face."

This social media-optimized visage, she writes, is a "single, cyborgian face. It's a young face, of course, with poreless skin and plump, high cheekbones. It has catlike eyes and long, cartoonish lashes; it has a small, neat nose and full, lush lips. It looks at you coyly but blankly, as if its owner has taken half a Klonopin and is considering asking you for a private-jet ride to Coachella."

If you've spent any time online, you probably know what Tolentino is talking about. "Instagram Face" is a term that refers to any of the artificially beautiful faces we see that could only exist online and thanks to a great deal of surgical enhancement. It's deeply linked to money, to plastic surgery, and to the utilization of light, texture, and power through image manipulation. It's inspired by Kylie Jenner and her brood. It's white but tanned, often freckled and always pouty-lipped. It is "as if the algorithmic tendency to flatten everything into a composite of greatest hits had resulted in a beauty ideal that favored white women capable of manufacturing a look of rootless exoticism," writes Tolentino. It is everything and nothing at the same time.

Handsome Squidward and Bella Hadid: Beauty as Pain

While thinking about these faces—shaped by highlighter and lip kits and edits and plastic surgery, blown-out and contoured and often captioned with Lizzo lyrics or quotes about either sadness or female empowerment or some combination of both—I began to realize that they reminded me of something.

Admittedly, they reminded me of a lot of things. Humans have always idealized unattainable beauty, and, in a way, the Instagram Face is like a modern iteration of ancient Greek sculpture. They symbolize humanity's aspiration to physical perfection, refracted through capitalism and technology—but they also resemble the iconic Handsome Squidward from the SpongeBob episode "The Two Faces of Squidward."

In the episode, Squidward gets hit with a door and after two weeks in the hospital, he finds himself converted to a Chad-type, complete with a very strong jawline. He is immediately photographed and thronged by groups of fans who attack and injure each other in an attempt to steal his clarinet and clothing. Unable to escape the rabid crowds, Squidward runs to the Krusty Krab and begs SpongeBob to change him back, so SpongeBob smashes him in the face with a door until he becomes...something surreal and bloated, something doomed and too beautiful for this Earth. He becomes Handsome Squidward.

As a crowd of onlookers gazes on in awe, Handsome Squidward dances across the screen. He moves like a drugged ballerina, bogged down by the weight of his beauty.

Handsome Squidward ~ The Short

He bears a striking resemblance to Michael Phelps in stature and Bella Hadid in features. Perhaps it's no coincidence that Hadid is the first result that comes up on Google when you search "Instagram Face." Hadid, like Handsome Squidward, didn't always look like she does.

Instagram Face is a product of money—of plastic surgery, injection, or incision. Like Handsome Squidward, its beauty is artificial and painful and precarious.

Perhaps Handsome Squidward's defining characteristic is that he is always falling. He carries an air of doomed glory around him. His beauty is apocalyptic and self-annihilating. In the modern world of the Instagram Face, beauty is pain, collapse, falling, breakage. It's breaking one's face open and filling it with collagen and chemicals and projecting it through software in hopes that what blooms from the wreckage might garner attention, acceptance, adoration, and eventually, compensation.

The Instagram Face and Capitalism: Beauty as Collapse

When I see Instagram faces, digitally manipulated and paid for in order to sell, I experience a feeling of falling. Instagram faces are inherently doomed, as we all are, to age out of their beauty, to fall prey to the passage of time, to slip down and hit the earth. The bearers of Instagram faces, I assume, are forced to deal with the ugliness of the ordinary: the way faces peel and breathe and sweat and bleed, the way bodies contort and sag and excrete. For a brief moment, in the free-falling sphere of the online vortex, they are beautiful. For a moment, they are infinite, immortal, not-alive.

In that, they bear a resemblance to the most elusive and tantalizing aspects of capitalism, which—for all I criticize it—can look truly beautiful. That's part of its charm. Though, of course, we know that capitalism is killing people and killing the planet, brainwashing us into idealizing completely arbitrary traits, and always has been. Capitalism has motivated everything from colonization to trauma on the Internet, because it works. It is so difficult not to aspire to its promises and not to hoard the wealth and objects that one has. It is so difficult to extricate ourselves from it, even though we know it's killing the planet and so many people.

Still, the idea that we might be able to streamline and photoshop and buy ourselves into a life that feels like a Goop catalogue looks will never stop being tantalizing. No matter how much we preach self-love, our culture is still confused by a desire to transcend our human limitations even at the cost of our humanity. No matter how much we preach radicalism and liberation, we still live in a society built on competition. This sick mindset may be guiding us towards total climate collapse; but then again, have we ever not been falling?

Empowerment and Shifting Possibility: Beauty as Power

Of course, not everything about the Instagram Face is bad, or, at least, it's not implicitly worse than the beauty standards we've always glorified. The Face is becoming increasingly attainable to all genders. In a way, it does level the playing field, offering people the opportunity to change themselves on many levels. And it can offer confidence boosts. "On one hand, some people may find that conforming to a beauty standard can help with confidence and self-esteem," writes Julia Brucculieri for The Huffington Post. Still, even that self-esteem and confidence (like most of what gives us thrills within beauty-obsessed capitalism) teeters on thin ice. "That confidence boost, though, will likely be short-lived, especially if you become increasingly obsessed with presenting an altered version of yourself on social media."

There is, of course, the argument that we shouldn't criticize girls and women for posting selfies or for editing themselves, which makes a valid point. There is a tremendous amount of sexism inherent in a lot of criticism of women owning and celebrating their beauty, sexuality, and flesh prisons.

Still, when I see these faces I can't help but feel like capitalism has devoured female empowerment, regurgitating it just like it's capitalizing on social justice without really changing anything while whiteness has remained in power; it's just morphed. The modern era was supposed to be post-feminist, a time of body positivity and liberation. When did it become about mutilating ourselves, about endlessly deifying "glow-ups"? Has the human algorithm always leaned towards competition, and will we ever successfully hack it?

Are the Kardashians' billions a sufficient balm for knowing that their fans are harming themselves and ingesting toxic diet products in order to achieve a look similar to theirs? Most likely.

But when I scroll through Instagram, I still can't help but feel like those fish watching Squidward fall through the glass. I can't look away from this dazzling, collapsing world.


How to Watch and What to Expect for the "Steven Universe: Future" Premiere

With four brand new episodes premiering Saturday at 8:00, you'd better make sure you're ready

Screenshot via Cartoon Network Asia /

It's finally here!

After the announcement, the trailer, and all the teaser art, the anticipation was killing us. But now December 7th is upon us, and the premier of the first four full episodes of Steven Universe: Future is about to deliver some sweet escape from dull dark reality with a glimpse into Beach City and a new era of peace and liberation, thanks to Steven and the Crystal Gems. What new enemies will arise to threaten this hard-won stability, and what lessons will Steven have to learn to take them on? Also, did they ever bring back Cookie Cat? Because Lion Lickers just aren't cutting it.

Steven Universe - Toon Tunes: Cookie Cat

All these questions and more are finally about to be answered…for those of us who have cable. Unfortunately for the millennial cable cutters who make up a big portion of the Steven Universe fanbase, until next spring rolls around, there isn't really a great way to stream Cartoon Network content. You could always find a source to pirate the episodes, but apart from the legal issues, you'll have to find a way to sleep at night while knowing that you stole the hard creative work of Rebecca Sugar and all their collaborators.

If you have it in your budget, and know you're going to watch these episodes over and over, Amazon already has a "season pass" available. If you don't, then you might want to find a friend with cable, and just watch it with them. And if you're reading this with 8:00 PM approaching, and you're scrambling for an option, there are a number of Live TV services with Cartoon Network access that offer free trial periods. Just don't blame me if you forget to cancel…

If you aren't convinced, and think you might still wait for who knows how long to watch these episodes when they finally come to Hulu or Netflix, here are the episode descriptions for Saturday's premiere, along with a first look clip of Steven being a sort of social worker for a restored Jasper, just to whet your appetite:

"Little Homeschool"

Welcome to Little Homeschool, a place on earth where Gems from all over the universe can come learn how to live together peacefully! But there's one Gem who refuses to attend.


Amethyst has been helping Little Homeschool Gems find jobs on the boardwalk, but Steven isn't sure about her approach.

"Rose Buds"

Steven gets a surprise visit from some old friends, and an even more surprising introduction to some new ones.


Steven is determined to help Pink Diamond's original Pearl heal the scar on her face.


Twitter has been abuzz today about which cartoon theme song is best.

This is no doubt a ploy by Disney to get everyone nostalgic enough to sign up for Disney+, and everyone has been predictably biased to focus on the shows that they loved when they were kids. But as someone who grew up in the 1990s—the true golden age of Saturday Morning TV—I felt the need to step in and provide the objective analysis the topic required. Without further ado, here is the definitive list of the greatest cartoon theme songs of all time. Don't even try to argue.

11.Batman: The Animated Series

This one has the distinct advantage of being composed by legendary film composer Danny Elfman, and borrows heavily from his work on Tim Burton's Batman, for which he won a Grammy. The dark, orchestral intensity sets the tone for one of the most serious and intense children's cartoons of all time.


Life is like a hurricane. If you don't already have the words "here in, Duckburg" playing in your head, you are a broken soul. Hughie Dewey and Louie, along with their uncle Scrooge, were the definition of cartoon adventure in the early 1990s, but the simple, catchy lyrics of the theme song are truly what keeps this show alive in our hearts. It's the reason I can't hear the word racecars without immediately thinking of lasers and "aeroplanes."

9.Darkwing Duck

Synthesizing the previous two entries with a duck-themed slapstick parody of the Batman universe, we have Darkwing Duck. While the content of the show was less memorable than Ducktales, the driving bassline and the high-energy vocals of the extremely 90s theme song are somehow timeless. The refrain of "When there's trouble, you call DW," and Darkwing's interlude, "Let's get dangerous," will live forever in my memory.


Arthur was always kind of boring compared to other cartoons, yet I watched it a lot as a kid, because it was boring in the same way a big comfy sweater is boring on a cold day. It's a show full of sweetness and optimism, and never has a theme song so perfectly captured the hopeful and positive message of a show better than Ziggy Marley's "Believe in Yourself." You know you want to sing along to this one.

7.Gravity Falls

Gravity Falls taps into the weirdness and mystery of childhood to deliver one of the best cartoons of the past decade. And the instrumental theme song somehow manages to be eerie, mysterious, and madcap all at once, in a way that only the supernatural adventures of Dipper, Mabel, and Gruncle Stan could live up to. The snappy, fast-paced percussion combine with the playful penny whistle to instantly put me in a good mood.

6.Teen Titans

Teen Titan's Go! has gotten a lot of love and a lot of hate in recent years, the latter coming mostly from fans of the show's 2003 predecessor. Whatever you think of the two shows, there's no denying that the original show's high-energy Japanese surf rock theme song by Puffy Ami Yumi absolutely slaps. It's worthy of a listen even if you don't care about the show.

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Your Favorite Childhood Shows Most In Need of a Gritty Reboot

Imagine everything you ever loved but edgier.


No series is safe from Hollywood's all-encompassing quest to reboot everything. No book is too beloved, no movie too iconic, no comic too perfect – everything will be rebooted, and most of it will be gritty.

With that in mind, there are some series we grew up with that could benefit from a gritty reboot because all these gritty reboots are pandering to someone and that someone is me. Also to any Hollywood fat cats reading: all of these ideas are mine. If you like them, please contact me, and I will write them. If you steal them, I have a lot of lawyers at my disposal.*

*I don't. Please don't steal them.

The Magic School Bus

the magic school bus ms frizzle hotScholastic

We open in New York City. It's a wasteland. A lone red flag flaps in the wind – it reads MAGA 2028. Donald Trump has just finished his third term as president. He's been unanimously re-elected for a fourth. Education is illegal. Science is illegal. We pan across the lifeless destruction, descending into the sewer system, weaving through tunnels until we reach…

A rubble-laden enclave. Something lies dormant beneath a pile of concrete. Dim headlights turn on, shooting across the dark sewer from beneath the rubble. BEEP BEEP. Seatbelts everyone! Yes, this is The Magic School Bus, and former teacher Ms. Frizzle resides in these sewers as the last defender of knowledge, rescuing war orphans and training them in the lost arts of math, science, and literature. Now equipped with a classroom-sized cabal of child soldiers, a massive weapons arsenal, and of course The Magic School Bus, Ms. Frizzle must lead the charge against America's dictatorial regime.

Jimmy Neutron

jimmy neutronNickelodeon

11-year-old boy genius Jimmy Neutron is used to his inventions going awry. He's blown up more robot dogs than most kids could even count. But risk-taking is a necessary evil if you want to be a Nobel Laureate by the time you start high school, and Jimmy Neutron won't let something as innocuous as "danger" get in his way. So when the annual school science fair rolls around, Jimmy unveils his greatest invention yet: an interdimensional particle accelerator with the power to create dark matter.

Except this time things don't just go wrong. They go really wrong. Jimmy's new invention malfunctions, opening up a portal to the Netherworld that swallows his whole school and everyone in it, save for himself and his intellectually challenged classmate Carl. Now if they want to save their school, Jimmy and Carl must journey into the bowels of a dark hellscape unlike anything known to man. Unfathomable monsters lie in wait inside the Netherworld, and the wacky gadgets invented by an 11-year-old brain might not be enough to save Jimmy and Carl's lives from the clutches of death.

Rocket Power

rocket power reggie hotCartoon Network

The Southern Californian beach town of Ocean Shores might seem like paradise to outsiders, but to the young teenagers who live there, it's just like everywhere else – boring. This is the story of four such teenagers – Otto, Reggie, Squid, and Twister – who spend their time skating on the pier, experimenting with drugs, and just straight chillin'.

Otto's dad Raymundo thinks Otto has the skills to go pro if he'd just get serious, but Otto just wants to hang out and have fun. That is until his friend Twister ODs on ludes, giving Otto the kick in the butt he needs to start taking life seriously. So when one of the major skate brands announces a sponsored competition, Otto sets his sights on winning in hopes of getting noticed. But old habits die hard, and Twister's death causes rifts among their remaining crew. Can Otto get it together enough to win sponsorship and jump-start his career, or will he fall back into a life of drugs?


caillou cancerPBS

In this heart-wrenching drama about love, death, innocence, and imagination, a family struggles with the realization that their four-year-old son Caillou has cancer.

As his parents brace themselves for the loss of their child, Caillou descends into a world of his own imagination. Willing his toys to life, Caillou and his stuffed pals embark on a mystical journey with the goal of defeating the evil Grim Reaper...all from his very own backyard! But to Caillou's surprise, the Grim Reaper turns out to be not so evil after all. And as Caillou comes to befriend him, so too does he come to accept his inevitable death.

The Wild Thornberrys

the wild thornberrys debbie hotNickelodeon

Eliza Thornberry has the awesome power to talk to animals. This is especially cool because she lives in the middle of the jungle with her lunatic "wildlife documentarian" father Nigel. Other young girls have the friendship of children their own age; Eliza's best friend is a chimp named Darwin.

But Eliza's whole world turns upside down when a group of wealthy hunters on safari kill Darwin in cold blood. Fueled by an insatiable lust for vengeance, Eliza will do anything in her power to get back at the hunters who killed her friend. Considering she can talk to animals, that's a whole lot. But the hunters won't become the hunted so easily, and soon Eliza finds herself as the de facto leader of an animal army rising up against the wealthy human elite. Who will win? Man or beast?

Dan Kahan is a writer & screenwriter from Brooklyn, usually rocking a man bun. Find more at

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