tek's rating: ½

Codename: Kids Next Door, on Cartoon Network
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Well, I must say, some episodes (or "operations," the titles of which are always acronyms, and often rather complicated ones) are better than others. Of course, I don't watch this very often, so I'm sure I miss alot of really cool stuff, but then I'm sure I also miss so-so stuff that wouldn't interest me much. In any event, I think the show's premise is incredibly cool, and has all kinds of potential, even if it's only occasionally realized. The idea is, there's this worldwide organization called the Kids Next Door, which is made up of lots and lots of kids, who are each known by a number (or "numbuh"), and they battle adult tyranny. Mostly; but there are also some kids who are enemies of KND, most notably the Delightful Children From Down the Lane. They serve KND's greatest enemy, "Father," who appears only as a dark silhouette, and who can shoot fire. However, there are lots of other villains, young and old (though most of the show's villains are kind of ridiculous).

The world in which the KND live is rather interesting; while they don't want to grow up, and many adults intentionally work to oppress children, the kids also seem to love their own parents and realize that some adults are fairly innocuous. Still, KND operatives have to be decommissioned when they turn 13, which means their memories of KND stuff are erased, their names taken out of the database, access to KND facilities and such rescinded, and stuff. Because otherwise they could pose a great threat to the entire organization, as growing up somehow tends to alter their loyalties, in most cases. (Which is actually a concept I've always wondered about, in real life... that somehow growing up could in some mysterious way alter everyone's personalities, or whatever. Luckily that's never happened to me....)

There are also several seeming impossibilities that are quite commonplace. Like, KND use "2x4 technology," countless vehicles and gadgets and weapons (most of which, like the episode titles, have names that are acronyms) which mostly couldn't possibly work in real life, but which are rather ingenious nevertheless. They even have a base on the moon, which serves as the command center for the entire KND organization. Various KND members work there, including the Supreme Commander, Numbuh 362 (real name Rachel; she assumed the position after Numbuh 274, and there's a rather interesting story behind that), and the Head of Decommissioning, Numbuh 86 (Fanny Fulbright, a girl with like a Scottish or Irish accent, and a bad temper, who doesn't really get along well with others, especially boys; her father is Mr. Boss, one of KND's greatest enemies, who sometimes organizes adult villains to work together against KND, and who also runs the company for which several KND operatives' parents- who aren't villains- work). Of course, not all KND operatives' numbers are quite so straightforward. Some can have decimals, or words, or whatever. But mostly the numbers are simple.

Anyway, there are KND sectors all over the world, most of them in the form of treehouse fortresses, which are very well defended and armed, full of 2x4 technology of all sorts. The series focuses primarily on Sector V (that's the letter, btw, not the Roman numeral). Five operatives are stationed there: the leader of Sector V is Numbuh One (Nigel Uno, a boy of British descent, apparently, who is intensely devoted to the KND cause); the others are Numbuh Two (Hoagie Gilligan, Jr., who creates most of their 2x4 tech, and also loves telling really lame jokes), Numbuh Three (Kuki Sanban, a girl of Japanese descent, who's rather silly, very into fun and cute stuff, such as Rainbow Monkeys; she's my favorite character), Numbuh Four (Wallabee Beetles, a boy of Australian descent, apparently, who's mostly interested in kicking butt), and Numbuh Five (Abby Lincoln, an African-American girl who's always talking in the third person, and is second in command of Sector V).

Numbuhs 3 and 4 clearly have something of a crush on each other, though nothing much comes of that, largely because of Numbuh 4's reluctance to share his feelings. Numbuh 1 eventually gets a girlfriend named Lizzie, who can be rather possessive. Numbuh 2 has a little brother named Tommy, who wanted to become a KND operative, but ended up becoming a sort of lone hero called "The Tommy," who kinda reminds me of Darkwing Duck. Numbuh 3 has a little sister named Mushi. Numbuh 4 has a baby brother named Joey. Numbuh 5 has an older sister named Cree, who used to be KND operative Numbuh 11, until she became a teenager and turned evil, joining a group of KND enemies called Teen Ninjas (which also includes Chad Dickson, a very important former KND operative). Numbuh 5 and Cree's father, it bears noting, is a parody of Bill Cosby. Oh yeah, and Numbuh 2 has a crush on Cree.

Welp, not sure what else to say right now. I kind of think I should've watched this more often, but I suppose it's not that important. Anyway, there have been a couple of specials, as well as an excellent TV movie called Operation: Z.E.R.O.

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