Episode Reviews (3)
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A "very special episode" that does not sugar coat the social problem, drug addiction, and offers a good storyline so that the episode does not simply fall back on the message.
It is difficult for American animated shows -- directed at kids or youth -- to seriously deal with contemporary social problems or injustices, due to a desire to avoid alienating or offending parents or possible sponsors.
Yet, Bravestar was one of the few 1980s American action packed animated shows that attempted to deal with important and relevent issues such as prerjudice and, in this case, drug abuse and addiction. The Price, being death, has a good-natured young boy becoming addicted to a illict drug, from a shady dealer, and eventually, after becoming a thief, overdoses. The episode does not sugercoat the issue, actually has a significant secondary character -- a child no less -- and ends with a direct message to kids to just say, "No'.moreless
My hat is off.
Don't hit me Derek, but up until I watched this episode, Bravestarr had seemed like a pretty standard action cartoon to me. Like He Man but cowboys. But in this anti-drug story, Filmation did something I had never thought they were capable of: they taught a lesson by killing someone. Lots of cartoons had a character get hooked on drugs and see firsthand how they destroy lives and futures, but it was always in time for their friends to intercede and show them what a huge mistake they were making. Bravestarr refused to play by those rules and left its message far more deeply ingrained in my impressionable psyche than any commercial about fried eggs (and if you weren't a kid in the 80's trust me, if you weren't watching a show that had an episode like this, you were watching a commercial break that had a warning about drugs). Let me restate this in case you missed it: A kid OD'd and died on a kid show. In that day and age, that was unbelievably gutsy and showed somebody was through playing nice with the material. Nice work, Filmation, I'll never forget you guys.moreless
This episode of BraveStarr refuses to do what "Cartoon All-Stars To The Rescue" did--sugarcoat drug abuse.
I was absolutely floored by the conclusion of this episode.
Yes, it would have been a pretty standard episode of the series, and under Filmation's budgets, it could have been. And like "Cartoon All-Stars To The Rescue", it could have sugarcoated its storyline of drug abuse (the drug in question called "Spin"--it's a topical applied to the hands) with a pat denoument and the same cheesy message. It didn't. When BraveStarr and Thirty-Thirty discover Jay in his treehouse, dead of a "Spin" overdose and Jay's mother wails loudly, followed by the fade out to commercial, I was left speechless, dumbfounded and incredibly impressed. It comes back to BraveStarr laying a wreath on Jay's grave as he delivers the final message to viewers, and one can only hope the children watching got the message.
Shattering the rules of the television kids' cartoon with tremendous effectiveness, "The Price" episode of BraveStarr deserves to be seen today.moreless