I wasn’t alive when Inspector Gadget was on air but for some reason Nickelodeon got desperate and played the reruns during the 90’s. I watched a fair share of Inspector Gadget but I was never fully impressed with it. And I still can’t spell gadget for the life of me. Some things never change.
For me, Inspector Gadget wasn’t one of those shows that I looked forward to watching. If it came on while I was watching TV then I would watch it. It may have seemed like the show had a unique plot, but I was able to punch holes in it faster than you could say “Leggo my Eggo.”
First of all, the theme song was pretty lazy. The only phrases in the entire song were “Inspector Gadget” and “Go Gadget, Go!” I feel like the creators could’ve done more than that.
Inspector Gadget was supposed to be this detective/robot guy who had special gadgets in his body to help him solve crimes usually committed by the evil Dr. Claw. One thing that frustrated me to no end is that the audience never saw what Dr. Claw actually looked like. They would only show his arms resting on the arms of his chair and his cat who was apparently named Cat. So clever.
Gadget depended a lot on his niece Penny and her dog Brain to help him solve mysteries and save the day. Penny was super smart and annoyed me to no end. I didn’t understand why she was living with her uncle. That seems pretty creepy and weird to me. Penny and Brain often got entangled in traps and caught trying to aid their uncle Gadget because he was so so dumb. Like, how was he even allowed on the force? Penny and Brain would end up escaping and Gadget would always save the day. Every episode would end with Dr. Claw saying, “I’ll get you next time, Gadget! Next time!!” Even as a child I knew that he wouldn’t. If he couldn’t capture the most idiotic crime fighter, then he was equally as dumb. Mostly, I just wanted Penny to die.
One sad character was Gadget’s boss, Chief Quimby who was always dressed undercover as he gave Gadget his missions. Of course for some comedic relief, the messages would always self destruct and Quimby would get blown up every time. Wouldn’t he learn after a while to avoid making the messages self destruct? How hard is it to print a note on a piece of paper and then shred it? Or like, just scribble something down on a post-it. Or just commit it to memory. There are so many better ideas.
Inspector Gadget’s actual gadgets also really bothered me. Everything just seemed so difficult. The guy has to say “Go go gadget chopper” if he wants a propeller to come out of his head. He’s part robot! Can’t there just be a button or something? He has to embarrassingly say “Go go gadget” whenever he wants to do something cool? That subtracts all coolness from what he’s doing. And why does he have to hold onto his “chopper”? Why can’t it just do all the work itself? Why does he have a magnifying glass? Why can’t his eyes just automatically correct his vision? Burning questions. I feel like Dr. Claw, or any person with eyes, could pull him out of a crowd easily because of all his dumb gadgets. He’s not very stealth.
Real disaster struck in 1999 when they decided to make Inspector Gadget into a motion picture. Not an animated motion picture though, one with actual people. One with Matthew Broderick. That moment was probably the lowest point of his career. Or maybe it was the time when he accidentally killed two people in Ireland. It’s a toss up, really.