Inspector Gadget: Season 3

(Netflix)

 

Dr. Claw tries to clone a T. Rex; Talon attempts to take over HQ by kidnapping Chief Quimby.

 

Starring: Ivan Sherry, Tara Strong, Martin Roach

Genre: Cartoon, Action Fiction

Series Summary: Inspector Gadget is once again on a mission to stop his enemy, Dr. Claw

Show Title: Jurassic Jerk/ Assistant Chief McFibber

 

Viewer Appeal: 4-8; 8-12

 

I love Inspector Gadget. My childhood was filled with that “Go Go Gadget” lifestyle, mostly due to my obsession with the 1999 live-action movie. But get this: I didn’t know Inspector Gadget was a television show in the 1980s, and I definitely didn’t know that it’s now a Netflix original series. I was blown away when my 8 year old step-daughter gave me the scoop on how all her friends were huge Inspector Gadget fans.

 

But despite my positive childhood memories of Gadget, I could tell within the first five minutes that I wasn’t going to like this show. Now, let’s be clear: I, as an adult, found it to be painfully cheesy. It literally made me cringe! But I, as an adult, also don’t have a problem with my daughters watching this show.

 

Season 3 kicks off with Dr. Claw sending his nephew, Talon, to clone a dinosaur egg to use for some evil purpose or another. Unfortunately for Dr. Claw, his plans are defeated by Inspector Gadget, who’s on a safety inspecting spree, and his niece Penny, who has a love-hate relationship with Talon. In the second half of this episode, Dr. Claw has gotten his hands on a 10-gallon hat that can trap people inside, and orders Talon to capture HQ chief, Dr. Quimby. Talon then disguises himself as the new chief in town. While Talon is in power, he sends Inspector Gadget into many grave situations which, of course, Gadget escapes.

 

Despite my aforementioned dislike of the show, the more I watched Inspector Gadget, the more I was able to tolerate it. What I liked about Inspector Gadget’s character, though, was how much it reminded me of Amelia Bedelia, the title character in an elementary chapter book series I grew up on. Another positive of this show is Inspector Gadget’s solid moral compass. Despite being one super goofy man, he is a very kind guy and that sets a great example of compassion for kids.

 

Unending groan-worthy puns aside, the thing I disliked the most about this show was the CGI animation. It’s great that Netflix wanted to differentiate itself from other cartoons in the market, but I think traditional animation would have been a better choice. In a world of Pixar animation, the CGI bar has been set high and this show didn’t even come close. I’ve seen YouTube series that have had better animation.

 

Parents: I know I’ve made it clear that I don’t enjoy this show, but I still think it’s a good option for your elementary kids. They’ll find Inspector Gadget’s clumsiness hilarious, and Gadget’s kindness is a parenting plus. If you’re like me and find the show to be annoying, I recommend you use it to keep the kids busy when you need to get stuff done around the house.

 

Let's Talk About It

Use these questions to spark discussion among family members who are interested in this TV show:

 

• What “Go-Go-Gadget” ability do you wish you had in everyday life?

• Can you tell Talon is a bad guy by looking at him? Why or why not?

• How do you think you’d defeat Dr. Claw? Which “Go-Go-Gadget” ability would be most helpful?

 

--LV

 

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