Tuesday, June 30, 2015

TMNT (1987) Season 6, Part 3: Review

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987) Season 6, Part 3: Review at AIPT.

And so, I finally finish season 6 of the Fred Wolf-produced TMNT cartoon.  What an overall lackluster, cruddy season.  It doesn't even end on a proper finale.  It just ends.

In this batch of episodes, we say goodbye to Pinky McFingers and also Agatha Marbles, who goes out with a random lightsaber duel for some reason.  We also a get an appearance from a villain who by all rights should have been Scale Tail but wasn't for some reason.

Next up is the European Vacation episodes of season 7.  I've never actually seen these, so I'm sort of looking forward to them, but I'm also sort of NOT looking forward to them, considering their reputation.


Killer Moth said...

I think it's an absolute crime that Scale Tail never got any actual fiction (unless you can count one Konami video game as fiction). Such an awesome design. At least, Chrome Dome got some decent appearances, and Scumbug did, too, albeit more so in Archie.

Despite the dopey ness, I did enjoy "Leonardo is Missing" for the Shredder/Krang banter, the dinosaurs' "oh, the Foot Soldiers are really robots, so we can crush them now" moral loophole moment, Bebop actually doing something and Shredder remembering the Turtles' individual names. He was the only one who did on any semi-regular basis, as the punks very rarely did. And while Krang obviously would know their individual names (he went through the trouble of creating a project about Mike in "Cowabunga, Shredhead"), he never said them in dialogue throughout the entire series (or not that I could recall). Weird. I also enjoyed "Mr. Nice Guy," as "Raph can be such a jerk at times" didn't hurt in being addressed. I wish more superhero series would say, 'go to a therapist' for their more disgruntled teammates/characters..., if only those therapists weren't evil (Von Shrink, Spider-Man's Bart Hamilton), oh, well.

As for the Technodrome location issue, I'll go with Mark's "this was meant to be for Season 5, but didn't get done until later," though, possibly, with David Wise misremembering or using that weird "villains wanted that Channel 6 equipment" retcon in "Plan 6 From Outer Space," when "Big Blow Out" didn't reference that AT ALL, he might have had a weird case of brain fog. But then, as Mark noted, he kinda remembered the "dinosaurs being at the Earth's core" in Season 3, so who knows what was in his head when he wrote all that during 1991-1992, remembering this and weirdly forgetting that. Weird senility, maybe?

As for the European Vacation arc, my semi-recent re-viewing showed that it did have a pretty strong start, story-wise. It's only halfway and toward the final third that you just wanted to scream "END," but then, I got over that when I wanted to see how bad the animators drew April, so.

On the plus side, the overall seasonal rot would end in Season 7 or the CBS half of Season 7, anyway. Good review, as always.

Mark Pellegrini said...

@Killer Moth

You're right about the villains never saying the names of the TMNT. I actually thought about that when Shredder asked for the name of the Turtle that was missing and "the blue one is Leonardo" right off that bat. It hadn't occurred to me that the bad guys always referred to the Turtles collectively and never by individual name.

It IS weird when you think about it.

Killer Moth said...

Right. Shredder did it the most, at least once or twice a season in the early years. (And I don't think he ever mentioned Raph's name in the entire series, while he ultimately did with everyone else. I always liked his formality with "Ms. O'Neil" -- I don't think he ever called her "April" or very rarely.) What brought this up for me was Rocksteady: in Lotus' first episode, he does say Leo's name specifically, whereas, he totally blanks out in "Leonardo is Missing." Sure, in fairness, Wise didn't write Lotus' intro episode and you could kinda excuse Bebop/Rocksteady for being idiots, but still the subject is bound to come up, even in Wise's fare. And I always thought it was bizarre that Krang never said the names. Then again, he usually doesn't personalize his conflict against the TMNT like Shredder does or normally has an air of detachment over them, so I guess that's why he doesn't call them by name?

And now, as I'm thinking about this, didn't pre-mutation Baxter did say their names as part of the pizza contest in "Case of the Killer Pizzas"? (Post-mutation Baxter, it's perfectly understandable why he wouldn't, given his later lack of an attention span.) Great, now I'm wondering if the side villains had this side quirk, too, like one-shots vs. recurring villains, like the Rat King, Leatherhead, etc. Huh. Off to re-watch my DVDs and find out.

Anonymous said...

I find it odd that your overall summary of Season 6 is "lousy" yet when I read your individual reviews of most of the episodes you seemed to like them or think they were decent. So I find that...strange? Either that or your individual ep reviews seemed positive with only a few you seemed to dislike.

Anonymous said...

Do you think at the end of this you'll put together a required/recommended watching for other TMNT fans or people interested in the show?

Anonymous said...

Good episodes in the original cartoon will vary from person to person. Since the show had little to no major story arcs and most episodes were episodic, there's no real "filler list" that you could make since the episodes can be watched in almost any order with small discrepencies like the location of the Technodrome.

I would say that even as an adult I still enjoy about 70% of the shows episodes. There are about 30% of them that are really boring or just bad episodes, but the other 70% are fun, silly or just plain entertaining.

The show had nearly 200 episodes after all, so its a lot to go through.

Chris Arndt said...

I remember being incredibly disappointed on a daily basis that these mad scientists and gangsters kept showing up but the numerous AWESOME CHARACTERS that appeared in the toy aisle were not making it to episodes.

As an adult that disappointment with the Fred Wolf show is compounded.

The same with that lame grappling hook. Rather than switching to a unique weapon the censors would allow they just reduce him to something the other turtles have that doesn't even look cool in any pose whatsofreakingever

Anonymous said...

To be fair, a lot of the Playmates mutants were awful. I don't think its a loss that characters like Monty Moose, Hot Spot or Half Court didn't get episodes. Even Murphy didn't use these characters in the Archie series cause they were so dumb looking.

Also a lot of the gangster episodes have them working for other characters. Big Louie worked for Shredder in at least 3 episodes from what I can remember.