Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Personal Thoughts: Classics vs. Reboots/Spin-offs

While watching old episodes of Teen Titans and some old G1 episodes of Transformers, I started thinking about how the new generation doesn't know that these oldies exist. All they know of is the version of Teen Titans where they have an episode in which the word "waffles" is said throughout the entire 11 minutes of it, and a Transformers in which the designs are based off the Michael Bay versions. This is where my heart aches for this lost generation. So then I have thoughts on these reboots and spin-offs that make me wonder if it's really a loss on these new versions, or am I just a hater of change? Well, I think it's time I explained some of those feelings, and maybe give some brief points on a few of these little battles. I think you already know my feelings towards the Sailor Moon reboot, so let's skip that.

Teen Titans vs. Teen Titans Go!

This is one that I can say the reboot fails when compared to the original series. The Teen Titans series of 2003-2006 was quirky, but it knew when to be serious. Every character on the team had many layers to them, and continued to see growth as the series progressed. The quirks came from either the anime influences or Starfire's personality. These plus well written and well timed lines of dialog were what made the humor for the series.

How can we forget this gem?
As for the spin-off "comedy" series, Teen Titans Go!, we're really wanting this one off the air. In 2013, Cartoon Network decided to reboot the Teen Titans in a series that had little to no focus on action/adventure and more focus on "comedy." There's a reason I say comedy in quotes like that, and it's a simple reason. It's not funny, it's annoying. This series was basically made with the idea that the original series should have no influence on it, and it shows. The personalities of the originals didn't transfer, turning multi-layer characters into idiots or jerks. The show does have its moments in where it can be forgiven (See image below), but for the most part it is a sin against the original. Its humor is also based on the changes and pointing out how annoying it can be, but that doesn't make it funny. It's all anti-humor, except there is no ironic redemption. I have watched episodes of Go!, and found myself ready to change the channel within the first 3 minutes. There are other critics who have found this show obnoxious, and for reasons unknown it is still on the air.

Yes, Raven is playing with ponies. Tara Strong, everyone!
Teen Titans Go! is by far the worst series to be made, and it got awarded with a second season while a better series in Young Justice got the ax. The level of stupidity over at Cartoon Network and Warner Bros. is too damn high (And I feel bad for that joke)! Normally, I can find changes acceptable in a show, but if it guts the characters of the source material to a level in which they gain the title of Toddler Titans you know it's destined to fail. The original Teen Titans was an 8/10 in my book, while Teen Titans Go! receives my lowest score ever: 3/10. I would definitely rank this lower than the original English dub of Sailor Moon (Which I personally score at 5/10).

Transformers G1 vs. Future TF Generations

I'll admit, G1 Transformers is one of my favorites, despite the now cheesy levels it contains. Sadly, I grew up with the second airing under the name Transformers: Generation 2, which was only a select number of episodes from the first three seasons with annoying and unnecessary transition effects. Either way, I watched the original growing up before the quick transition to the Beast Era. G1 had some good stories for episodes, some of which apparently became inspirations for the plotlines of at least one of the Michael Bay films (See the plots for The Ultimate Doom and Megatron's Master Plan, and compare them to the synopsis to Bay's Dark of the Moon).

A revised edition of the classic TF logo by Hasbro. Part of their Generations toy line.

As the years went on, about thirty years, Transformers would overgo many changes. Some were good, others meh, some others were just not good. The Beast Era saw two series, Beast Wars and Beast Machines. Beast Wars was one of those shows that had many good episodes, some with character development, some would expand on the G1 lore, others were just straight up action episodes. The series has so far been declared the best Transformers series made by its fanbase. The sequel series, Beast Machines, was underwhelming. It suffered from an overcomplicated story, and a subliminal environmentalist message. That, and the radicalist religious undertones for Optimus Primal's teachings didn't exactly help. Later generations were for the most part Japanese imports. Each having their own varying degrees of success. Transformers has been a mixed bag long before Michael Bay released the first of his four films, but that doesn't exactly hurt the longevity. Because of the amount of diversity between generations, the franchise will continue to thrive even under the worst conditions.

I think this is all I have time for today, but I do promise to do more of these kinds of posts throughout the months. My basic mindset is that if it's done right, a reboot or spin-off series can be good. But if the creators/writers deviate too much from the original, it could spell disaster.

Until the next review, have a great day!

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