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'Adventure Time' recap: Princess time

Season 6 | Episode 14 | “Princess Day” | Aired July 31, 2014

In an episode entitled “Princess Day,” it might be natural to expect a few questions about the responsibilities that come along with leadership. In a show like Adventure Time, which features so many different kingdoms and heads of state, it is a seemingly natural question. But when all those kingdoms come together for one meeting, true leadership is the ability to rise above the noise and motivate actual change.

This week’s episode takes place on the annual Ooo-wide holiday Princess Day. The specifics of the holiday are fuzzy, except that this year it takes place in the Breakfast Kingdom, and only the realest of real princesses are invited. Breakfast Princess is running the show this year, and she is all business. The regal collective quickly begins talking trade negotiations between kingdoms—specifically, who isn’t ponying up what they’re supposed to be. The chaos of an unproductive negotiation is quickly brought to a screeching halt by Lumpy Space Princess, who is bored and wants to talk about something anything else.

Here’s the weird thing, though: Apparently, Lumpy Space Princess wasn’t even invited to this year’s Princess Day, since she is no longer technically a monarch in Lumpy Space. Despite not being invited, LSP just decided to gate crash the trade negotiations anyway, and then complain that they are too boring. Instead of changing the subject, when the other princesses find out she’s crashing, they oust her from the meeting.

Marceline, meanwhile, finds inspiration in LSP’s gate-crash-then-ditch style. She heads towards the door and, on her way out, asks Princess Bubblegum if she wants to join the cool kids and roll out too. PB says she’d love to, but she has a crossword puzzle she’s really invested in, so she figures she’ll probably just finish that up instead. Marceline doesn’t really care one way or another, so she just jets to find LSP.

In the hallway, Lumpy Space Princess is carving the pancake hallway with a plastic knife. Marceline sees her tag and decides she digs LSP’s style. Marceline suggests that the pair cause some serious havoc in the breakfast kingdom instead of going to the meeting. LSP is in, because she wants to be bad.

The new friends bond over their badness in the hallways of the Breakfast Kingdom by freestyle rapping about all the bad things they’re going to do, and how much they dislike Breakfast Princess. Meanwhile, Marceline decides to text Princess Bubblegum about all the awesome mischief she’s missing out on. Princess Bubblegum, who knows LSP better than Marceline, is worried about the new friends—particularly about how LSP will behave with a bad influence like Marceline.

The bad princesses want to break into Breakfast Princess’ bedroom to make some trouble, but there is a Maple Man guarding the door who seems to be the wrench in that plan. LSP tries, unsuccessfully, to distract the Maple Man by making loud noises and shaking an orange tree. Seeing her friend fail, Marceline, the Vampire Queen, turns invisible and sucks the syrup out from inside the Maple Man. Having been thusly attacked, the guard goes down fast. While he’s on the ground, LSP gives him a few kicks for good measure. Marceline discourages LSP’s senseless violence against the already incapacitated guard and LSP reacts negatively, saying that bad people can do whatever they want.

In Breakfast Princess’ bedroom, it’s time for some p-p-p-payback. LSP eats all her clothes. Marceline steals all her terrible music. The two are on a destructive path that cannot be stopped. When a new guard comes to try to apprehend them, LSP squirts grapefruit juice in his eyes before kicking the first guard some more and pushing this new guard out a window to the ground. Marceline’s and LSP’s transformation into totally bad girls is complete.

When the Maple Man guards report to Breakfast Princess, she leaves the meeting to try to stop LSP and Marceline. She puts her sister, Strudel Princess, in charge. Breakfast Princess thinks she has the upper hand as she runs after the girls, who are now driving a stolen breakfast car, but she has underestimated how bad the two are. LSP hits Breakfast Princess with the car, and Marceline throws her in the trunk.

In the middle of the desert, LSP and Marceline put on masks and abandon Breakfast Princess with a shovel to dig a sandcastle. Unsurprisingly, once the girls leave, Breakfast Princess decides to walk home instead of building a sandcastle. The two bad princesses, celebrating their badness, high-five. Then things get deep. LSP wonders if doing all these bad things, and having fun doing them, makes the princesses bad people. Marceline suggests that there are no bad people, just good people who sometimes do bad things, which might be bad. They decide to mail Breakfast Princess’ CD back.

Just as it seems the two princesses have found peace with who they are and the decisions they have made, they look up to see that they are driving off a cliff. They yell, and the car flies through the air in a perfect homage to Thelma and Louise. Fortunately, unlike those two bad girls, these two can fly, so nobody is injured in the fiery explosion when the car hits the ground.

Back at the Princess Day meeting, without Breakfast Princess, all the heads of state have worked out a trade agreement that works for all kingdoms. To the cheers of a pleased crowd, Strudel Princess wishes her audience a happy Princess Day.

Overall, the episode had an obvious interest in the dynamics of power. In a collective of kingdom rulers, what does leadership mean, and where does authority come from? We are shown Marceline, who effectively leads LSP down a bad path; Breakfast Princess, who is well-intentioned but cannot broker a trade agreement between the kingdoms; and Strudel Princess, who seems silly but does her job well. These three different images of authority come together to paint us one overarching portrait of what real leadership is.

Adventure Time, rated TV-PG, airs Thursday nights at 7/6C on Cartoon Network.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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