I was excited to finally get a new episode Adventure Time with my favorite genderbent fanfiction females, Ice King’s Fionna and Cake. I was ecstatic when I heard Marshall Lee the Vampire King would finally speak (voiced by Donald Glover). As the episode went on I became less and less happy until I was just agitated, especially with Slime Princess’s suggestion of “What if there was a little more romance in the story?”Damn it Adventure Time, didn’t we already go over this?
At first the Ice King was telling a convoluted plotless story where Fionna and Cake were fighting Dr. Prince and eating spaghetti. Super cool fun guy Ice King defeats Dr. Prince and becomes Fionna’s bestest and most closest friend. They then jump on Cake’s back and have a space adventure. Silly as it was, I would have liked to see what happened in Ice Kings fanfiction. It was almost if the trio were going to be best buddies that have adventures. Can’t show people of different genders (if the protagonist is female) being just friends, now can we?
Marceline floats in and takes over, spinning her own tale featuring her fanfiction genderbent counterpart Marshall Lee. I found it odd that this would be the story Marceline would tell. Marshall Lee messes with Fionna and pulls pranks and jokes with her, much like Marceline does with Finn. My question is, why did it have to have romantic? In the episode where Marceline is first messing with Finn the misunderstandings involved possible slaughtering and other horrible acts such as strangling pixies, all of which turned out to be not actually evil. Why is Fionna’s story always about crushes? Fionna’s main objective is the same as Finn’s, to be a hero/ine and save the day. Yet both episodes featuring her so far have revolved around romance. Why is it that any cartoon with a female protagonist has to involve some sort of love-based situation?
Remember when Fionna said “I think the reason I got all these guy friends and no boyfriend is because I don’t really wanna date any of ’em. I don’t need to feel like I’m waiting to be noticed. I know who I am and I’ll know what I want if and when it ever comes along.” Not every girl wants to have a boyfriend (or girlfriend) and even if they do that doesn’t mean that their entire existence has to be based around this “who will she end up with?” mentality. It’s as if the writers don’t think Fionna can carry an entire episode with only Cake by her side.
Now perhaps I am being too hard on Adventure Time. The writers might have even understood this well-known trope. Perhaps in their own way they were trying to say that Fionna is also sick and tired of everyone wondering who she will end up with. However this was thoroughly covered in “Fionna and Cake” and did not need to be said again.
The only difference between “Bad Little Boy” and “Fionna and Cake” that I could see was that instead of Prince Gumball, Marshall Lee was the possible love interest, and boy was that creepy. Marshall Lee’s song “Good Little Girl” was also kind of disturbing. In the song he admits to being over 1,000 years old, much like his female counterpart Marceline. If Fionna is the same age as Finn that means she is fourteen. Marshall Lee is way too old to be even bringing up the subject of romance, especially with such a young girl.
Now to be fair Finn does have some romance-based episodes. Although Finn has never ever had a crush on Marceline, his crush on Princess Bubblegum and his budding relationship with Flame Princess is well documented. A few episodes have been primarily about these relationships. But while the whole “who deserves Finn’s love more?” Princess Bubblegum versus Flame Princess debate rages on, the majority of his episodes are left without even a hint of romance. The best part of Fionna’s episode was at the very end where she yells at Marshall Lee while he is fake dying.
I wish that for at least one episode featuring Fionna she and Cake would be fighting, or going on a quest, or throwing a dance party; really anything than it being about a boy whom she may or may not like. I want the focus to be on her, her fighting skills, her friendships, and her awesomeness. I want to see Fionna be the heroine she is. Stop making her share the spotlight with these boys. Fionna deserves better.
At least it ended with Fionna punching out Marshall Lee. That was pretty mathematical.