“Hey Arnold!” – Mr. Green Runs (EPISODE REVIEW)
Written by Jambareeqi
Posted 6th November, 2018
Seeing as it’s the midterm elections in the US right now, I thought I’d talk about something related to this major political event, and I went with a classic episode of “Hey Arnold”. In this episode’s second story (following “Helga’s Masquerade”), Mr. Green the butcher is getting fed up of all the pot holes in the neighborhood, but the local councilman Gladhand couldn’t care less about filling them. So, with encouragement from his fellow residents, Mr. Green decides to enter the upcoming councilman elections, with Arnold serving as his campaign manager.
This episode tackles the importance of the relationship between the public and politicians, showing that fancy showmanship doesn’t compensate for insincerity or lazy incompetence. Gladhand relies on buzzwords and overconfident bravado, which people seem to eat up, so Mr. Green feels pressured to do likewise, but when it comes down to it, being himself is what will help the public resonate with him.
Too many politicians hide behind an act, so that they can win an election out of self serving ego, it’s an all too common problem that makes voting difficult, which is why it’s vital for political candidates to show how human they are. Gladhand symbolises everything wrong with bad politicians, from arrogant selfishness to careless ignorance, so we end up seeing our least favourite politicians in him, and that’s one major reason to hope that he’ll lose.
Mr. Green may not have a background in politics, but he is a passionate working class man who loves his neighborhood, qualities that make him down to earth and relatable compared to Gladhand. We want him to win the elections, because he seems to enthusiastic and sincere about filling the potholes, but it’s not just about the potholes, he truly cares about his town so much, and it’s a love that never seems forced or faked.
Arnold is just a kid, yet as Mr. Green’s campaign manager, he can use his strong moral compass to steer his candidate’s passion in the right direction, convincing Mr. Green that being himself is the key to making the town put confidence in him, and this once again proves that Arnold is remarkably mature for a child his age. Not to mention, kids watching this show, can feel empowered, motivating them to take an interest in politics, just like their hero Arnold. While Mr. Green’s meat analogies maybe silly, they relate to something he’s keen about, helping him to better explain why he’s the man for the job, and better formulate how much he cares about this neighborhood.
To Conclude, “Mr. Green Runs” is a great story, that promotes the righteous value of being yourself in politics, rather than putting on a stage show to distract the masses from your lack of humanity or compassion, and this sentiment remains relevant even 18 years later. The episode also leaves a motivational message, that even the everyday ordinary person can make a change, as long as their heart is in their campaign, and that’s something that can apply to anyone at all. If you’re an American citizen with the right to vote, please make sure to participate in the elections today!
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