Welcome to the Mos Eisley Cantina: “Turtles In Space, Part Two: The Trouble With Triceratons”

” The Federation shall FALL!  We shall hatch our broods in the ruins of their cities!— Commander Mozar

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Written by: Erik Luke
Original Air Date: November 15, 2003
Recap Narrator: Michelangelo
Characters and Concepts Introduced: N/A
Gargoyles episode I could make a forced comparison to: N/A

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If you’re looking for my thoughts on “The Pulverizer”…

You can find them here–check the tags.  I don’t feel like writing anything more substantial at the moment when I’m already super-behind on everything else and really didn’t care for it at all.  If you don’t want to click the link, this pic pretty much captures my thoughts on it.

TMNTA Vol. 2 Screenshot A

If you want to talk about the episode in the comments, though, please be my guest.

Plug: My review for “TMNT Adventures” Volume 2

If it sometimes seems like new posts are slow in coming, it’s because I currently have a bunch of stuff on my plate.  Not only am I working and might get a second job, I am also now writing reviews of comic book trade paperbacks  for the Trade Paperback Reading Order, which, given me, is a rather time consuming endeavor.

Sometimes, though, that bit of business happens to be relevant to the interests of this blog.  For example, my latest review, of the second volume of IDW’s Archie comics collections.

With the Ninja Turtles currently undergoing yet another renaissance, it’s nice to revisit its past to see what one can learn from it.  Recently, I’ve realized that a huge part of what makes the TMNT work for me is the weirdness, a love for Concepts That Make You Go “!” and makes the works interesting even when the stories aren’t  terribly good.  On those terms, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures: Volume 2 succeeds admirably: not only does it feature solid stories, it stands as a testament of the wide variety of stories that can be told with these characters.

Go give it a look-see!

(ETA: I forgot to actually include the link, didn’t I?  Here you go.)

Tumblr Get!

It’s called Chasing Smaller Sheep and can be found here.  While it’ll be more general than this blog is, the plan is to include TMNT and Gargoyles stuff in it, so give it a look see if you’d like.

Chasing Smaller Sheep

I Thought This Was Supposed to Be About School?: TMNT (2012): The Alien Agenda (Spoilers)

(Gosh, these things are just taking over the blog, aren’t they?)

You know, as creatively bankrupt as the concept “the turtles in high school” can sound, I was kinda hyped for this episode as described. I was especially curious about how it was going to be done, since featuring a school would have almost certainly required far more character models than the show has proved capable of creating, and the show has generally been reluctant to show sides of April that don’t involve the turtles. Which makes the actual episode funny—of course the high school bit would be tangential, and of course the school would be completely empty save the main players. Still, it gave us a couple of funny moments, and the first episode that passes the Bechdel test—and considerably earlier than the 4Kids cartoon did, too–so that part of the episode wasn’t a total loss.

(The scenario makes no sense at all, though.)

In a way, the limitations the show operates under have become the most interesting thing about it. Granted, there was never any chance that the show’s version of New York would be as lush as something like Brave, but I never would have expected it to feel like an actual play, with everything having to take place in the same space. I mean, just what in-universe justification could there be for the Shredder’s personal throne room to also be the place where Bradford goes to relax, and where Baxter Stockman does his engineering work on Xever? Or for no one to notice that hey, there’s a robot fighting giant turtles inside a high school in what I assume is meant to be daytime?

I liked Karai last episode, and I like her still. Granted, she still doesn’t feel a whole lot like Karai, but she’s fun and by far the most competent antagonist we’ve seen so far (at least, if you ignore the whole “pushing a button despite having no idea what it does” bit). I even like that she calls out Leo for being stupid when it comes to her, even as I’d prefer that Leo not be stupid about her at all.

(I do like that the whole “Raph is the only other turtle actually aware of her” thing was followed up upon this episode.)

(In fact, I found Raph quite likeable this episode.)

On the other hand, I’m far less sanguine about the Shredder, whose setup, like much of the series, also seems wholly artificial. Still unexplained is why this ruthless, allegedly-accept-no-failure ninja cares about the mutated Xever at all, and the combination of his lack of curiosity about the world he inhabits and his weird reluctance to take care of the turtles himself, even after the turtles have proven a) ridiculously easy to find and b) unable to take him on make him feel…well, kind of stupid. The show is stalling, and it shows. It makes a certain sort of sense, I suppose—antagonists whose sole motivation is narratively impossible to accomplish are particularly prone to villain decay, so it’s logical for the writers to want to delay that for the show’s Big Bad—but still, I really wish that Saki’s badass moments weren’t limited to occasions in which he is actually fighting the turtles.

As for The Kraang, I’m just not sure what to think about them anymore. They feel a lot like Snakeweed did last episode, as catalysts for plots that aren’t strictly about them rather than as agents in and of themselves. As much potential as they showed in the pilot, they now seem kinda blah—not threatening or smart enough to be effective, not comedic enough to be funny, not weird enough to be memorable—not a particularly good place to be, if one is meant to be the show’s second Big Bad.

Now, if there was one particular loser in this episode, it was April. For all the hullabaloo about high school, she felt mostly extraneous. Plus, I was saddened by the part where she expresses disappointment in high school—while it’s a throwaway line that, without context, could indicate a whole host of different things, I feel that it takes away one of my very favorite things about the character (or at least her 4Kids incarnation) which his her expressed and explicit love of learning.

One final note: I know that these mini-reviews have come to be known a bit for their mostly caustic nature, and that it sometimes seems like there’s nothing I like about the show. I just want to say that while I do focus almost solely on the negative, it’s not because of a lack of affection for the turtles, or because I don’t get anything from the episodes, but more because I feel the Internet generally does a more than good job of covering the fun parts and doesn’t need me to also play along. Also, just because I may not like the episodes doesn’t mean that y’all aren’t free to gush about the things you liked in the comments. I might push back against some of the stuff if I don’t agree with, but that doesn’t mean you’re not free to like ’em.

Oh, my! ^_^!

So I was looking at the visitor breakdown yesterday, as I do, and I noticed something unusual–people being referred to the blog from places unknown.  So after checking things out, I noticed the following:

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SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE…

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EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE…!!!

Okay, so it’s not exactly setting anything on fire*.  Still! Exposure!  From total strangers!  Calling me fascinating!

So thanks a whole lot, people behind TMNT Forever and Olivia (ETA: and Darth Empress) and all the other Tumblrverse inhabitants who’ve followed them here and liked what they saw and those who followed them here and didn’t!  Come chat!  Comment**!  Let’s make this the awesome space I know it can be!  Exclamation points!

* Fire good!

** After reading the Comment Policy!, please!

Just to be clear…

…the fact that I talk a lot about how the Nick TMNT‘ series is consistently embarrassing when it comes to women doesn’t mean that other TMNT incarnations could not also, on occasion, be just as embarrassing.

BttS Cast

This right here is an image of all the characters in season 7 of the 4Kids TMNT cartoon to have an impact on the plot of a given episode.  Of the fourteen fifteen sixteen (I forgot Splinter and the Ultimate Gamer–hat tip to Loudo for that one), only two three–roughly 13% 19%– are coded female, and only one appears in more than one episode.  Of the ten eleven characters to have an impact on more than one episode, only one (9%) is a woman.  So riddle me this, Batman: why is that number so low?  And why do creators seem to consider that ratio acceptable?