Over the Garden Wall: The Perfect Fall Series

By Diego Caceres, Staff Writer

I know Halloween is over, but fall is still here (Christmas music should be illegal until after Thanksgiving). And, the perfect way to get in the fall spirit is to watch Over the Garden Wall.


Over the Garden Wall is a short adventure series about two brothers wandering through the Unknown, a mysterious place filled with unique characters and untold evils. The color palette, old-timey music, and lovable characters make this a timeless fall classic, a bold move from Cartoon Network.


The show takes place in the Unknown, where the two main characters, Wirt and Greg, find themselves. As they explore, they peek into little keyholes of life. Each episode is its own contained story that can be binge-watched in only 100 minutes. They have their own collected stories reminiscent of old folktales and fairytales, something I would never have expected to fit with the “fall aesthetic.” The rich color palette perfectly adds to the cozy old-timey feel of it all.


The soundtrack is wistfully gloomy, something surprising from a kid’s show. Usually, cartoon soundtracks can be bold and loud, trying their hardest to keep the viewer’s attention, but Over the Garden Wall fully commits to the antique aesthetic. The soundtrack remains unique and memorable while complementing the series’s constantly shifting tones (“Potatoes and Molasses” being my favorite track). “The Old Mill,” in my opinion, perfectly sums up the tone of the show.


The show also has the perfect amount of humor without being overbearing. Greggory is a joy to watch and contrasts with Wirt’s pessimism, a crucial dynamic in the show.  The humor balances out the dark tones underlining each episode. As the characters gradually progress deeper into the woods, the lighthearted moments are only seen in flickers, allowing more leeway for the spookiness to flourish.


Pat McHale, the show’s creator, drew inspiration from 1800s children’s books, colonial architecture, early 20th-century music, and Breaking Bad. With all of these influences, the show morphs into an experience unlike any other. All of these elements tie up perfectly into a fun mini-series perfect for fall.


Hardly anything made for children these days is this potent, this bold, and this unique. Hardly anything is original these days. I long to go back to a time where good movies and shows for kids were at the forefront of the creator’s mind. The only thing driving creators is how well they can please the company they work for (I sound like a cranky older adult, but it’s true!). These feelings come from a sense of longing. I want more! But too much of anything is never good. I need to come to terms with the idea that there will never be anything as good as Over the Garden Wall. I am just glad something like it exists, and I could experience it in time for fall.