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Fall Favorites: Over the Garden Wall

You can always tell when autumn’s approaching. The bite of a chilly wind. The first crunch of an amber leaf on the ground. Everywhere gets just a little chilly while inside and the hearth of the home is blazing. For my brother and I, this acts as a signal to do one thing: a yearly rewatch of Over the Garden Wall. It’s nearly a tradition in our household, and for good reason.

Equally full of a goofy, childish character as well as a gothic, Grimm-esque aesthetic, Cartoon Network’s Over the Garden Wall is the perfect watch for the coming fall season. The show centers on brothers Greg and Wirt, who’ve gotten themselves lost in a forest. However, this forest is more than meets the eye. The forest, appropriately dubbed “The Unknown,” seems to go on forever. Thus, leaving the two boys trapped and wandering around with their new companion, Beatrice. Although she knows her way around, she can’t save them from the forest’s great terror – The Beast. Every step the group takes the Beast is only a few steps behind, lurking and waiting for the moment to strike and take the brothers’ souls for himself.

The Beast’s character is a great part of what makes the show good for the season – he provides the horror element any good fall show needs (if you’re a normal person and realize that fall and Halloween are near synonymous by now). On his own he’s unnerving and stalks children while also consuming their lifeforce. The monstrosity found in The Beast mirrors the worst in the media and many will be pleased to know that it is intentional. With The Beast following two lost souls around in Limbo, there’s an easy comparison to be made to Dante’s Inferno. The Beast is to Wirt and Greg as Satan is to Dante and Virgil, and there’s nothing scarier and therefore nothing more fall-appropriate than one of literature’s greatest demons.

Scares aside, there’s a lot that makes Over the Garden Wall the perfect show for fall, one of them being the show’s atmosphere. The background cels are hand-sketched and consistently use warm tones. Every vibrant red, yellow, and orange hue used in a scene reiterates the warmth of the comfort that fall brings. When all the right strings are pulled, this show makes me feel as though I’m in that forest. As if I’m walking on broken branches and fallen leaves after a Halloween gone wrong, just the same as our main characters. The visuals of Over the Garden Wall are accompanied by the unique combination of a jazz-folk score straight out of any ancient phonograph. When music and art join this unusual combination the overture to a heartwarming and haunting series plays in perfect harmony. All things considered, it’s easy to see how Over the Garden Wall is perfect for the fall season and I encourage all who can to watch it.

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About the Contributor
Julian Payne, Entertainment Editor
Julian Payne is a senior at Richwoods. He’s been in Newspaper and Interact the last two years. He enjoys literature, film, and music. He hopes to write professionally for film and TV in the future.

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