Lumpy Space Princess is My Millennial Hero: An Adventure Time Review
Hold onto your butts. It's Adventure Time on One Critical Bitch, and this #chickflickfebruary edition is all about L.S.P. in an episode entitled, Be Sweet.
Adventure Time: Be Sweet
I deserve this.
If you do not consume shows for children at the normal rate (my normal rate is two-three shows a week), then you will not know that L.S.P. stands for Lumpy Space Princess, and that she deserves this inclusion in a month of romance and women's pictures because she is the ultimate millennial woman. And yes - she #wokeuplikethis.
Adventure Time is a Cartoon Network show, possibly for children, but like the best children's shows, also conspicuously appealing to adults. I said it in my January favorites, and I'll say it again - it would not surprise me if next week David Lynch made an announcement suggesting he was behind Adventure Time and all its existential musings.
If you have never seen an episode, here's all you need to know:
- It is set in the Land of Ooo, a (post-apocalyptic?) fantasy world.
- Lumpy Space Princess is the Princess of another world called Lumpy Space, but she is currently residing (homeless) in Ooo.
- Sweet Pea is a giant man-child (possible immortal being) living with his adoptive parents, Mr. Pig and Tree Trunks.
Everything else is basically irrelevant for this eleven minute episode. You need know nothing more to get something out of it, and you truly don't even need that much. Brilliant.
L.S.P. is a selfish, entitled, needy, mostly empty purple cloud with a valley girl accent.
She is often on her cell phone, texting or calling her other princess friends, and rarely is she doing anything of great importance. In Be Sweet she is at her self-involved best, but with one major difference: on Ooo, she is relegated to a camp site in the woods. Lumpy Space Princess has suddenly found herself homeless.
So when Tree Trunks and Mr. Pig call with a babysitting job, L.S.P. doesn't hesitate to take it. Of course, she is too busy preening herself in the sink, washing off the dirt from the outdoors when Tree Trunks explains the job to her, and she ushers them out the door, anxious to get to relaxing and luxuriating.
Because she deserves it.
When baby-boomers talk about millennials, it is generally with disdain. That we are an entitled group wishing not to work hard, yet still retain the luxuries of a middle class teenager, well into adulthood. L.S.P. with her soft figure and wishy-washy attitude is illustrative of this type. "Now I can kick back," she says once the parents have departed, and she fills up the bathtub to finally chill.
Of course, things don't go to plan: Sweet Pea, left "untucked" at bedtime breaks through the back wall and heads into town, seeking anyone to just "be sweet" to him. In the bathroom, the raccoon that's been stalking L.S.P.'s campsite emerges from the toilet, spewing hatred at the Princess - self-hatred, in fact, as he says all the worst things she thinks about herself.
You're a terrible person.
You can't do anything.
You belong outside.
Like the archetypal Millennial woman, L.S.P. feels she deserves this time to relax. When she's confronted by the demonic raccoon from inside the toilet, you sort of understand. For all her surface-qualities, L.S.P. is still a person (well, a cloud person) - and one suffering the hardships of the times. Lest we forget, this is a Princess, raised a certain way, now left to fend for herself outside. She may not deserve in the way she thinks, but she does not deserve homelessness. She is also ill-equipped for the life thrust at her, not taught how to brave the wild, at home in a cozy place like Sweet Pea's house.
If this isn't the plight of the Millennial woman, I don't know what is.
Most of us have been raised middle class, received a top-notch education, and then been loaded down with enough student loans to keep us depressed for several decades (some of us, the rest of our lives). Raised spoiled, yes, many of us are happy to kick back in the comfort of our homes, start blogs (what do you think I'm doing?), and seemingly take our self-care so seriously that we appear ridiculously surface obsessed.
But this is our exterior. Inside, we are a generation of women bogged down by debt, self-loathing, photoshopped ideals, sexism, and a workplace that is rarely hiring. That L.S.P. is suddenly living in the woods, desperate for a babysitting job is telling. L.S.P. is all of us after a month or two of unemployment. L.S.P. is all of us doing the best we can to make ourselves look and feel our best, while our lives crumble out from underneath us.
Of course, the night continues to goes badly for our princess.
Finally realizing she's lost the world's biggest baby - "How did I lose something so big?" - she goes on a rampage trying to track down her responsibility, only to find him in police custody. Lucky for her, the police are bananas (literally) and have Sweet Pea sitting comfortably amidst their silly faces. And despite her anguish, L.S.P. is able to do what the others cannot - soothe the big baby. Under the spell of "tucked in," Sweet Pea is safely coaxed back to bed. L.S.P. cleans up and declares herself the baby's favorite person - and pitches herself as nanny to Tree Trunks and Mr. Pig.
Not what you or I might do after this big a screw-up, but definitely what L.S.P. does in the face of adversity - push on.
May we all learn to push on.
You can watch Adventure Time on Hulu and Cartoon Network.
Watching Sweet Pea melt into L.S.P.'s arms when she finally tucks him in. She tears up, and we feel relieved with her. She may not have deserved selfish tub-time, but she definitely deserves this. Satisfaction at a job only she could do.
Other Things to Notice:
If you think this sounds nuts, know that this is a particularly narrative, easy-to-understand episode. Adventure Time isn't for babies (except when it is).
Existentialism has been a very serious theme throughout season six (and most of the show, but it's particularly heavy at the moment).
You should give it a go. Every episode is approximately eleven minutes long, and it's perfect to watch during your coffee break.
If You Like it, Watch:
If you'd like a little more Adventure Time in your life, look no further. The animation style is different than usual, but it's the Daddy-Sad-Heads that steal the show. They're basically the most adorable metaphors for depression ever conceived.
So this one is really and truly for kids, dealing in basic math and problem solving. But its female protagonist represents for women in STEM, and just plain old logic. Her "problem-solved" song will be the theme song you sing along with every small success.
Want in on the February Challenge?
Start with the first post – All That Jazz is a Chick Flick.
Check out previous picks, like yesterday's Magic Mike Double Feature.