An Alleged female subtext blown way out of proportion?
"I'm Just Your Problem" from the episode "What Was Missing"
If you have been following my blogs, you are already aware that I am of the opinion that Adventure Time, like an onion, consists of many layers. As you continue to peel off the outer layers, you become closer to the core or essence of the show. Today I have decided to write about an alleged subtext during an episode during the third season. The title of the episode is “What Was Missing”. This episode became controversial due to an allegedly implied past relationship between Marceline and Princess Bubblegum.
Did this controversy spark due to public outcry from viewers who watched the episode? No, this does not seem to be the case. It largely began after a behind the scenes video produced by Federator Studio implied that there were lesbian relations between Princess Bubblegum and Marceline and that the writing staff was actively seeking input from fans.
It didn’t take long before online reaction prompted Fred Seibert, the show’s executive producer to pull both the episode and the recap off of YouTube. Seibert explained that the reason for pulling the show was that the writing team became too wrapped up by both fan conjecture and spicy fan art and they realized that they had gone too far.
Naturally, the removal of the content caused its own wave of backlash. The actions of removing both the episode and the recap were criticized as being detrimental to the acceptance of gay and lesbian romance by young people. It’s also pointed out that the subtly and complexity with how they “allegedly” incorporated subtext would only be explored by mature viewers of the show.
Pendleton Ward (the creator of the show) later addressed the issue stating that it was removed because of the extreme positions taken by people all over the internet and didn’t want to comment as he considered it to be a huge "hullaballoo".
I think this whole subtext ordeal was blown way out of proportion. I don’t think it should be a problem in the first place either; there's tons of outrageous stuff in Adventure Time already. It appeals to a wide audience and is clever enough to incorporate jokes for every age group.
But what do you think? Did the writers go a little too far in provoking emotional responses from their audience?
The episode “What Was Missing” still airs during reruns of the show…seems kind of ironic