Is Kim Too Perfect?
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  1. #1

    Is Kim Too Perfect?

    The folks over at Toonzone have published their list of the top 5 Disney animated series of the decade.

    http://blog.toonzone.net/blogs/116/t...vision-series/

    Naturally, KP makes the list. While I'm in agreement with the praise the author lavishes on the show, I'm intrigued by the issue raised in the article. This begs two questions.

    First, is Kim too perfect?

    Second, would the series be improved if Kim was more normal?

    Opinions, comments, sanguine theses, diatribes and mindless rants welcome.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Honored Elder campy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Dave View Post
    The folks over at Toonzone have published their list of the top 5 Disney animated series of the decade.

    http://blog.toonzone.net/blogs/116/t...vision-series/

    Naturally, KP makes the list. While I'm in agreement with the praise the author lavishes on the show, I'm intrigued by the issue raised in the article. This begs two questions.

    First, is Kim too perfect?

    Second, would the series be improved if Kim was more normal?

    Opinions, comments, sanguine theses, diatribes and mindless rants welcome.
    I don't think Kim is "perfect" on the show—she's got her faults, which form premises for many of the episodes ("Blush"). And I'd have to hear a definition of "normal" before I addressed the second part of the question.

  3. #3
    Administrator Honored Elder jeriddian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by campy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Dave View Post
    The folks over at Toonzone have published their list of the top 5 Disney animated series of the decade.

    http://blog.toonzone.net/blogs/116/t...vision-series/

    Naturally, KP makes the list. While I'm in agreement with the praise the author lavishes on the show, I'm intrigued by the issue raised in the article. This begs two questions.

    First, is Kim too perfect?

    Second, would the series be improved if Kim was more normal?

    Opinions, comments, sanguine theses, diatribes and mindless rants welcome.
    I don't think Kim is "perfect" on the show—she's got her faults, which form premises for many of the episodes ("Blush"). And I'd have to hear a definition of "normal" before I addressed the second part of the question.
    I would have to agree with campy. The toonzone assessment of her "perfection" is premature and they really haven't fully explored all of Kim's fallibilities. There are many instances of this from her more or less childish infatuation with Josh Mankey ("Crush"), her shallow obsession with fashion clothes ("Bueno Nacho"), her initial [but still slightly present]intolerance of Ron's ability to excel ("Job Unfair"), her discomfort around people who are different ("Motor Ed"), her snobbish approach to social cliques ("Bueno Nacho"), her somewhat infantile attachment to Cuddlebuddies and the fact she picks her nose when people aren't looking ("The truth hurts"), the fact that she lied to people ("October 31"), her war of immature pranks with Bonnie ("Return to Wannaweep"), and several others. True, many of those episodes had her resolve and somewhat correct those frailties, as that was the purpose of the show in Aesopian terms, but not entirely to the point you could put her on a pedestal. So Kim is not perfect by any means. She can be just as cranky, hard-headed, childish, disrespectful, and immature as any normal teenager can sometimes be in certain situations. It makes her that much more human and that much more relevant. So basically the The Toonzone people have it wrong. She isn't perfect. And we love her all the more for it.
    "Say the Word"

  4. #4
    Registered User Exalted Member Fireand'chutes77's Avatar
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    Too perfect for our world, perhaps. In hers, her rescuees probably start complaining, "Why didn't you get here sooner?!"

    She has her flaws, certainly, but her extraordinary abilities (basic average, my foot!) become part of the suspension of belief.

    "would the series be improved if Kim was more normal?"

    What is normal?

    And anyway, part of the fun is the crazy made mundane.

    "Yes, I know you jetted halfway around the world to save a Tokyo toy magnate from certain Small World-induced doom, but your homework is still due by the end of class."
    Carpe Navi: Because you never know when you'll get to go boating at government expense again.

  5. #5
    Moderator Venerated Elder TransWarpDrive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeriddian View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by campy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Dave View Post
    The folks over at Toonzone have published their list of the top 5 Disney animated series of the decade.

    http://blog.toonzone.net/blogs/116/t...vision-series/

    Naturally, KP makes the list. While I'm in agreement with the praise the author lavishes on the show, I'm intrigued by the issue raised in the article. This begs two questions.

    First, is Kim too perfect?

    Second, would the series be improved if Kim was more normal?

    Opinions, comments, sanguine theses, diatribes and mindless rants welcome.
    I don't think Kim is "perfect" on the show—she's got her faults, which form premises for many of the episodes ("Blush"). And I'd have to hear a definition of "normal" before I addressed the second part of the question.
    I would have to agree with campy. The toonzone assessment of her "perfection" is premature and they really haven't fully explored all of Kim's fallibilities. There are many instances of this from her more or less childish infatuation with Josh Mankey ("Crush"), her shallow obsession with fashion clothes ("Bueno Nacho"), her initial [but still slightly present]intolerance of Ron's ability to excel ("Job Unfair"), her discomfort around people who are different ("Motor Ed"), her snobbish approach to social cliques ("Bueno Nacho"), her somewhat infantile attachment to Cuddlebuddies and the fact she picks her nose when people aren't looking ("The truth hurts"), the fact that she lied to people ("October 31"), her war of immature pranks with Bonnie ("Return to Wannaweep"), and several others. True, many of those episodes had her resolve and somewhat correct those frailties, as that was the purpose of the show in Aesopian terms, but not entirely to the point you could put her on a pedestal. So Kim is not perfect by any means. She can be just as cranky, hard-headed, childish, disrespectful, and immature as any normal teenager can sometimes be in certain situations. It makes her that much more human and that much more relevant. So basically the The Toonzone people have it wrong. She isn't perfect. And we love her all the more for it.
    I agree with you, jeriddian; but I'd like to point out one thing. In "Motor Ed," Kim wasn't uncomfortable around people who are different; she was uncomfortable around Felix simply because he was confined to a wheelchair. As a result of this discomfort (the result of her guilt at being able to walk while Felix cannot), Kim became overprotective toward Felix, trying to be helpful, but only making a fool of herself instead. Fortunately, Felix was mature (or self-confident) enough to understand what Kim tried to do, and was only amused by her clumsiness.
    This episode, IMHO, is one of the best in the series in that it played up Kim's humanity in this manner.
    So no, I don't think Kim's "too perfect" - in fact, I don't think she's perfect at all.
    In addition to the examples jeriddian and I gave, there's another way Kim's imperfect humanity is depicted in the series: she occasionally needs help in fighting the bad guys. On several occasions, Ron, Rufus and even Wade have had to "step up" and save the day when Kim couldn't. Not only did this emphasize Kim's weaknesses; it also allowed her three teammates a chance to be the hero. This also allowed the series to avoid falling into a thematic rut in which Kim was always strong and heroic while Ron and Rufus were always the comic relief. Thanks to some excellent and creative writing, there are no cliched formulas in "Kim Possible," that's for sure.

  6. #6
    Administrator Honored Elder jeriddian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TransWarpDrive View Post
    I agree with you, jeriddian; but I'd like to point out one thing. In "Motor Ed," Kim wasn't uncomfortable around people who are different; she was uncomfortable around Felix simply because he was confined to a wheelchair. As a result of this discomfort (the result of her guilt at being able to walk while Felix cannot), Kim became overprotective toward Felix, trying to be helpful, but only making a fool of herself instead. Fortunately, Felix was mature (or self-confident) enough to understand what Kim tried to do, and was only amused by her clumsiness.
    This episode, IMHO, is one of the best in the series in that it played up Kim's humanity in this manner.
    True, TWD. That was exactly to what I was referring. I was just being general in my description of her frailty by broadening the notion she was indeed uncomfortable around people who are "different". She did exhibit some of those tendencies early on in the series such as in "Tick-Tick-Tick" where she has a distinct bias against "detention" type people and playing up the fact that she's a cheerleader and cheerleaders "don't" get detention. Bonnie is the ultimate discriminator and even Kim will not go as far as she does, but there is that tendency in her. So she does have some group biases aginst "different" people of sorts, although as can be seen, she does eventually learn that's not the way to go.
    "Say the Word"

  7. #7
    Some interesting comments here.

    Back in my high school days (aka the Dark Ages), I certainly would have called Kim perfect, noting that:
    • Mom's a brain surgeon; Dad's a rocket scientist
    • Brother's are geniuses
    • Flawless complexion
    • Perfect hair
    • Popular
    • Head cheerleader
    • Dating star of the football team
    • Top of the class academically
    • Chosen to give speech at graduation
    • Active in all too many after school activities
    • Skilled in multiple martial arts
    • Saves world regularly


    But, for the reasons already mentioned in this string, she clearly isn't too perfect. After all, she:
    • Lied to parents
    • Got detention at school
    • Has anger issues with fellow cheerleader
    • Failed to return library book (!)
    • Crushed on the wrong boy (oy!)
    • Boyfriend not exactly BMOC


    Would making Kim more realistic have made the series better? I'm not so sure. I have said in the past that if we followed Ron and Kim into college that a more serious/adult tone would be a good idea. I'm not sure that works in a high school series.

    In any case, it's nice to see Kim Possible getting some props from other sources.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator Honored Elder campy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Dave View Post
    • Flawless complexion
    Have to quibble with you on this one. In "Truth Hurts," she had a "mountain-sized zit" on her cheek that Dr. Cook touched.



    And I'm not sure what her parents' jobs and brothers' IQs have to do with Kim's Index of Perfection.

  9. #9
    Administrator Honored Elder jeriddian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Dave View Post
    Would making Kim more realistic have made the series better? I'm not so sure. I have said in the past that if we followed Ron and Kim into college that a more serious/adult tone would be a good idea. I'm not sure that works in a high school series.

    In any case, it's nice to see Kim Possible getting some props from other sources.
    There's no question that following Kim and Ron ito the college years would have to assume a more serious tone and a change in the comedy focus. Ron can no longer be a buffoonish punchbag, although he can and should remain somewhat idiosyncratic from which humor can be derived. Due to the seriousness with which the series would have to better exhibit, a slapstick/punching bag type of focus would probably no longer be appropriate. The humor would have to be done more subtly. Obviously, Drakken is out of the picture as a villain. Considering that Shego is apparently hooked up with him, at least in the beginning, what role she takes is cmpletely up in the air, but in any case, Kim's new major arch-foe would have to be a more serious threat than Drakken ever was. All of this will further enhanced the humanity and frailties of our leading lady.
    "Say the Word"

  10. #10
    Moderator Venerated Elder TransWarpDrive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeriddian View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by TransWarpDrive View Post
    I agree with you, jeriddian; but I'd like to point out one thing. In "Motor Ed," Kim wasn't uncomfortable around people who are different; she was uncomfortable around Felix simply because he was confined to a wheelchair. As a result of this discomfort (the result of her guilt at being able to walk while Felix cannot), Kim became overprotective toward Felix, trying to be helpful, but only making a fool of herself instead. Fortunately, Felix was mature (or self-confident) enough to understand what Kim tried to do, and was only amused by her clumsiness.
    This episode, IMHO, is one of the best in the series in that it played up Kim's humanity in this manner.
    True, TWD. That was exactly to what I was referring. I was just being general in my description of her frailty by broadening the notion she was indeed uncomfortable around people who are "different". She did exhibit some of those tendencies early on in the series such as in "Tick-Tick-Tick" where she has a distinct bias against "detention" type people and playing up the fact that she's a cheerleader and cheerleaders "don't" get detention. Bonnie is the ultimate discriminator and even Kim will not go as far as she does, but there is that tendency in her. So she does have some group biases aginst "different" people of sorts, although as can be seen, she does eventually learn that's not the way to go.
    True enough; she did learn (rather quickly) to abandon that line of thinking. But I personally don't consider her attitude one of discomfort around folks who are truly different; I think instead that it's more of a snobbishness in that Kim, who occupies the exalted level of cheerleaders and jocks, looks down on those students occupying a lower rung of the high-school social ladder than she does. But, as you pointed out, once she got to know them and found common ground with them, Kim became friends with those other kids in detention.

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