OPINION: Ain’t that just the way?


Hailey Stessman

There’s much to love in the heartwarming show “Over the Garden Wall.” Graphic by Hailey Stessman/The Gateway.

When I noticed the first leaves on the trees in my neighborhood start to change to a crimson red, and stores stocked up on gallons of apple cider and pumpkin scented candles, I knew my favorite season of the year had arrived. Autumn means pulling out your knit sweaters, baking chai flavored delicacies and enjoying the warmth of an evening bonfire. But there’s something else, something special that I have started to incorporate in my own personal fall affairs that never fails to put me in the autumn mood. It was time for me to grab my warmest blanket, brew myself a cup of cinnamon tea and return to the world beyond the garden wall.

“Over the Garden Wall” is a miniseries of ten episodes created by Patrick McHale that premiered on Cartoon Network in the fall of 2014, now streaming on Hulu. The approximately ten-minute-long episodes follow the journey of brothers Greg and Wirt, and Greg’s beloved pet frog of various names. Together they wander through forests and strange villages to find their way back home.

It was my dear friend who introduced me to the show as a way to soothe my nerves after a panic attack. Might I add, it was exactly what I needed. She had repeatedly shared with me the sweet memories she cherishes from the many times she has watched the show with loved ones. And let me tell you, watching “Over the Garden Wall” is like being enveloped in the softest of hugs.

Wrapped up in blankets with warm cups of tea in our hands, together we entered the world of edelwood forests and skeletons living in pumpkins. Immediately, I was entranced in the strange yet comforting world of Greg and Wirt. From singing frogs and a sarcastic talking bird named Beatrice, I knew I would be visiting Greg and Wirt for every season of fall in the years to come.

So why is “Over the Garden Wall” an essential addition to the autumnal experience? It has everything you would ever want from a wholesome fall program. Delightful visuals of changing leaves and heartwarming musical numbers? The perfect dose of strange plotlines and characters that make you question why it was premiered on a children’s television station? Narratives that lightly touch on sacrifice, depression, and the awkward moments of being a teenager? A slight fear of the ominous Beast mentioned by the woodsmen? An overwhelming sense of joy and comfort and love by the end of the final episode?

Yes, yes, and yes.

Not only does it provide the perfect atmospheric autumn spirit that everyone should experience during October, but the quick ten-minute-long episodes ensure that you will never lose focus on the memorable and lovely narratives.

For this fall season, I encourage you to embark on the charming journey alongside Greg, Wirt and Jason Funderburker (the frog) with a loved one, a friend or by yourself as you enjoy a slice of freshly baked pumpkin bread. I promise you your fall will be much sweeter-

It’s a rock fact.