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Flop Starz

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"Flop Starz"
Phineas and Ferb episode
Three cartoon characters on a purple stage. Two of them are young boys playing instruments, while another is a teenage girl with red hair pointing at the two boys with a surprised look.
Promotional artwork for the episode featuring Candace discovering that Phineas and Ferb have become one-hit wonders.
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 4b
Directed by Dan Povenmire[1]
Written by Dan Povenmire (story)
Jeff "Swampy" Marsh (story)[2]
Sherm Cohen (storyboards)
Antoine Guilbaud (storyboards)[1]
Featured music "Gitchee Gitchee Goo"
Original air date February 1, 2008[3]
Episode chronology
← Previous
"Lawn Gnome Beach Party of Terror"
"Are You My Mummy?"
Next →
"The Fast and the Phineas"
"Raging Bully"
List of Phineas and Ferb episodes

"Flop Starz" is the first segment for the first official aired episode of the animated television series Phineas and Ferb. The episode was originally broadcast on Disney Channel on February 1, 2008. In the episode, Phineas and Ferb become one-hit wonders in the matter of a morning. This is much to the disappointment of Candace, who is trying out for super stardom on a competition show titled The Next American Pop Teen Idol Star! Meanwhile, Doofenshmirtz converts his building into a giant robot to aid him in his attempt to conquer the tri-state area.

The episode's storyboard was written by Sherm Cohen and Antoine Guilbaud, though the story itself was made by the co-creators of the series. The song in the episode, "Gitchee Gitchee Goo," was the first song the series had and caused for Disney to want one in every episode. Despite the actual pilot being "Rollercoaster," the episode was broadcast to premiere the series, so a majority of the series' standard humor and plot devices had yet to be established (e.g. Perry and Doofenshmirtz have no involvement in the removal of the boys' evidence [mainly instigated by the boys themselves] and Candace's busting attempts in the A-plot are limited to two).

"Flop Starz" carried several references to the music industry and several genres (the title itself is as well a spoof of the phrase "pop stars"), as well as to the talent competition American Idol. The episode was well received by critics and fans alike, gaining 23.5 million viewers in its premiere. The song featured, "Gitchee Gitchee Goo," was as well reviewed favorably by critics. "Flop Starz" has been featured in several pieces of merchandise, including a junior novelization by Lara Bergen in 2009.

Plot summary[edit]

At breakfast, the family watches a promo for The Next Super American Pop Teen Idol Star!, a talent competition show, which pushes Candace to go and audition at the mall. The boys are as well curious about the world of stardom and want to know about the kind of artist who only releases one song, then its all over. They are explained the concept of "one-hit wonders" by their mother, who reminisces about her days as one named "Lindana". While the boys work on becoming one by writing a "meaningless" song in their room, Candace prepares to audition, trying on various outfits to wear to the audition -including her mother's Lindana outfit- all rejected by her friend Stacy.

When she does audition she becomes the "hundredth contestant" and is set to perform with the new band "PFT" – she finds out, however, the band is "Phineas and the Ferb-Tones" (PFT being an acronym thereof), consisting of Phineas (as main vocals and guitarist), Ferb (as drummer and keyboardist), and their friends, Isabella Garcia-Shapiro and Fireside Girls, Adyson Sweetwater, Gretchen and Milly (as back-up singers, referred by Phineas as "the Ferbettes"), who have effectively topped the charts with their song "Gitchee Gitchee Goo", becoming one-hit wonders. Being who she is, instead of joining them, Candace goes off to try and expose them to their mother, initially failing by mistaking the shadow on-stage of an anthropomorphic rabbit playing a blender as his instrument for her brothers, known as Marty the Rabbit Boy and his musical blender.

Meanwhile, Perry enters Dr. Doofenshmirtz's lair (the 'lair' building here is different from Doofenshmirtz's usual lair) wearing groucho glasses; confusing him as a temp, Doofenshmirtz explains to him his entire plan to rain terror over the "entire Tri-State Area", which he later explains, after Perry removes his "disguise," through the use of the entire building, which transforms into a giant robot (the construction of which was achieved from Doofenshmirtz buying up construction toys at an alarming rate).

The boys, oblivious to Candace's threat, continue their stardom, heading over to "Huge-O-Records" where they have been offered a record deal. Candace tries to show their mom the band's poster as they are on their way (taking with her a jacket their mother had not paid for yet. The security guard comes and takes their mother back in to pay for the jacket, regardless of him recognising her as Lindana), though it is on a building scheduled for demolition and is destroyed (ironically, it would have been destroyed by Doofenshmirtz's robot, if Perry had not changed its direction). When the band is at the record company, Phineas, following the steps his mother gave him, throws a diva tantrum and leaves, unaware that the CEO plans to use a videotape of the band's performance to carry on the band's legacy.

Meanwhile, Doofenshmirtz, inside his robot, traps Perry, offering him a deli platter thinking he has won; Perry, however, has him pour a large amount of pepper onto it, blowing it and causing the robot to sneeze. The two are sent flying and crashing through the record building, Perry using the PFT tape to latch himself safely on a flag pole in the resulting free fall, while Doofenshmirtz plummets to the ground, landing on top of a mattress placed on top of a parked truck. Unfortunately, the truck belongs to a folding mattress company and Doofenshmirtz is crushed by the mattress and then crushed by his own robot immediately afterwards.

Candace, back at the mall (having not further attempted to bust her brothers since the building implosion from earlier), is downtrodden until her crush, Jeremy, assures her to not let the boys' fun ruin her good time and that if she got the chance to sing, she ought to, so she joins with the band singing their hit song in a reunion concert. When she thinks she has finally made it, the band announces they have finished their career and the mall closes, leaving her in the dark.

Production[edit]

Series co-creators Dan Povenmire and Jeff "Swampy" Marsh wrote "Flop Starz."

Series co-creators, Dan Povenmire and Swampy Marsh, wrote the story for "Flop Starz;"[2] Sherm Cohen and Antoine Guilbaud, meanwhile, constructed the storyboards.[1] Povenmire directed the episode, which he did for the majority of the season.[4] Povenmire and Marsh wrote the featured song, "Gitchee Gitchee Goo," like they do with all of the music in the show.[5] That song and Perry's "secret agent theme" were the first pitched to Disney, who enjoyed it so much they wanted the pair to write a song for every episode.[6]

The Disney company wanted to start off the series in a "big way." Instead of premiering it with the pilot episode, "Rollercoaster," they chose "Flop Starz" and aired it on the same day in every country in which the Disney Channel was broadcast;[7] over one hundred and fifty territories.[8] This caused for the episode to air almost six months later than originally planned as different countries adapted the script and hired voice actors to rerecord lines in the selected languages.[7] Despite the delay, the episode officially aired on 1 February 2008, starting off the month-long marathon Disney titled "Phineas and Ferb-uary."[3]

Cultural references[edit]

The episode contains several references to the talent show American Idol, as the competition Candace enters and "Phineas and the Ferb-tones" perform at, The Next American Pop Teen Idol Star, is a complete parody of it.[9][10] The episode as well references the craze of boy bands and the pop genre, more specifically the "bubblegum" style,[10] including its title, a play on "pop stars."[11]

Candace, trying on outfits, goes through a sailor suit, a construction worker uniform, Native American clothing, a biker wear, and a policemen uniform; these are referent to the clothing worn by five members of the 1970s disco group Village People.[11]

Linda's pseudonym as a one-hit wonder, "Lindana," is a spoof of the famous singer Madonna; as well, the title of her hit single "I'm Lindana and I Wanna Have Fun" is referent to the 1983 hit song "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" by Cyndi Lauper. Furthermore, during the end credits, the Greatest hits CD for the song is titled "The Essential Lindana: Still Fun..." which is a general play on "The Essentials" CDs.[11]

Reception[edit]

Ratings[edit]

"Flop Starz" was, as recorded by Disney, cable's number one watched animated series premiere for the "tween" demographic.[12] Four million viewers have been reported as viewing it in no specific demographic.[13] This spark continued, leading to the series to be television's top-rated animated series for kids (6–11) and tweens (9–14) for the first quarter of the year.[12]

Worldwide, the episode garnered over 23.5 million viewers from the over one hundred and fifty territories in which it was broadcast, including the United Kingdom, Australia, and the United States. Disney Channel's vice president of programming for the UK, Scandinavia and emerging markets, has responded to the high ratings, explaining that it was an achievement due to the effort spent with marketing and voice overs.[8]

"Gitchee Gitchee Goo" and merchandise[edit]

Several critics have positively reviewed the song "Gitchee Gitchee Goo" from the episode, stating that it "could probably have gotten radio play 20 years ago."[5][10] Disney as well enjoyed it enough to ask the creators to write songs every episode.[6] The song has since then made brief appearances in later episodes, either in "elevator music" form or as the song itself. The song was featured as an extended version on the album Disney Channel Playlist, which featured multiple songs from different Disney Channel artists.[14][15] The song also was one of the twenty-six songs appearing on the series official soundtrack, released on September 29, 2009.[16][17][18][19] The episode was one of several that was featured on the first volume DVD of season one titled "The Fast and the Phineas." In the DVD, it is paired with its production partner "Are You My Mummy?"[20][21] Lara Bergen adapted the episode, along with the fellow season one episode "Lights, Candace, Action!" into a novella for young readers titled Runaway Hit.[22] It was the second of a series of novelizations made from the series.[23]

The extended version of "Gitchee Gitchee Goo" also appears in the Musical Cliptastic Countdown episode, having been voted as the most requested song of the show's first season; after the hypnotic single My Name Is Doof is performed, and the audience members had been enslaved by Heinz Doofenshmirtz, Perry the Platypus, having been told by Major Monogram that they needed something even more catchy to neutralize the song's effects, pulls down a curtain, therefore revealing the extended version and breaking the spell.

Footnotes[edit]

1.^ Two episodes ("Rollercoaster" and "Lawn Gnome Beach Party of Terror") aired before the episode as previews, making it the third to be broadcast

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Opening credits for "Flop Starz"". Phineas and Ferb. Season 1. Episode 3. 2008-02-01. Disney Channel. 
  2. ^ a b ""Phineas and Ferb" Flop Starz (2008) – Writers". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2009-08-14. 
  3. ^ a b Yoo, Jean; Diamond, Hope. "Disney Channel's animated comedy series "Phineas and Ferb," from creators Dan Povenmire and Swampy Marsh, to be seen every night of "Ferb-Bruary" at 8:00 P.M, ET/PT". Disney Channel. Archived from the original on November 13, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-14. 
  4. ^ "Dan Povenmire – Filmography". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2009-08-14. 
  5. ^ a b Dan Povenmire, Jeff "Swampy" Marsh. "The Geek Dads" Podcast interview with Povenmire & Marsh (Podcast). Wired. Retrieved 2009-08-14. 
  6. ^ a b Strike, Joe. "From Swampy & Dan Emerges Phineas and Ferb", Page 2.". Animation World Magazine. Retrieved 2009-08-14. 
  7. ^ a b Piper Reese, Dan Povenmire, Jeff "Swampy" Marsh. Piper's Picks TV #032: Piper Goes Hollywood – Dr. Doofenshmirtz & Major Monogram! (Video). Piper's Pick TV. Retrieved 2009-08-14. 
  8. ^ a b c Clarke, Steve (2008-02-22). "'Ferb' reinvents animation launch". Variety. 
  9. ^ Lowry, Brian (2009-01-31). "Analysis of Phineas and Ferb the TV Series". Variety. Retrieved 2009-08-14. 
  10. ^ a b c Stewart, Susan (2008-02-01). "Bored Stepbrothers, Intrepid Platypus". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-08-14. 
  11. ^ a b c "Phineas and Ferb: Flop Starz Allusions". TV.com. Retrieved 2009-08-14. 
  12. ^ a b Ball, Ryan (2008-04-10). "Disney Renews Phineas and Ferb". Animation Magazine. Retrieved 2009-08-14. 
  13. ^ Levin, Gary (2009-01-05). "Nielsen ratings: 'House' gets a boost after a super Super Bowl". USA Today. 
  14. ^ "Disney Channel Playlist". Disney.com. Archived from the original on 2009-07-06. Retrieved 2009-07-04. 
  15. ^ Bonner, Julie (2009-05-09). "Disney Channel Playlist Drops on June 9th". Disney Society. Retrieved 2009-08-14. 
  16. ^ Bynum, Aaron H. (2009-06-19). "'Phineas and Ferb' Animation Springs for Three". Animation Insider. Retrieved 2009-08-14. 
  17. ^ "Rock Your Summer With Music from Your Favorite Stars!". Disney Channel Playlist (Media notes). various artists. The Walt Disney Company. 2009. p. 1. 
  18. ^ "Phineas and Ferb (IMPORT)". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2009-08-17. [dead link]
  19. ^ "Phineas and Ferb Soundtrack". Disney Music. Archived from the original on 2009-11-03. Retrieved 2009-08-23. 
  20. ^ Cedeno, Kevin. "Phineas and Ferb: The Fast and the Phineas DVD Review". Ultimate Disney. Retrieved 2009-08-14. 
  21. ^ Cornelius, David (2008-08-21). "Phineas and Ferb: The Fast and the Phineas: DVD Talk Review of the DVD Video". DVD Talk. Retrieved 2009-08-14. 
  22. ^ Bergen, Lara. Runaway Hit (back cover). ISBN 1-4231-1797-2. 
  23. ^ "Runaway Hit (Volume 2)". Disney Books. Retrieved 2009-08-14. 

External links[edit]