I suppose this was inevitable. Adventure Time’s lustre was always going to fade for me at some point. After having some reservations regarding its fourth season, I’ve since praised seasons five and six; I thought the latter was “one of its strongest seasons” whose “best episodes tend to be irreverent and absurdist”.
The seventh season of Adventure Time isn’t bad. But for much of the season – outside of the excellent Stakes! interlude – it loses some of that irreverence in favour of life lessons and loss. I appreciate, for instance, that the show’s creators thought that BMO’s birthday was a perfect opportunity to stage the destruction of all of BMO’s robot friends at the hands of an unhinged MO, but I would’ve much preferred a light-hearted birthday adventure.
The fun-loving spirit of Adventure Time is still present in its seventh season, but its often overshadowed by an oppressive tone at odds with what makes the show – at its peak – so great. The show’s always had one eye on younger audiences and another eye on adults, but the darkness here threatens to unbalance the show. With three seasons left, I hope the show remembers what it made fun in the first place.