Monday, December 14, 2015

TMNT (1987) Season 7, Part 4 review at AIPT

My journey through season 7 of the original TMNT cartoon comes to an end!

Here's my review of TMNT (1987) Season 7, Part 4 at AIPT.

A really good season overall (ignoring the European Vacation stuff) and probably the best season in general behind the first.  As the final "classic" season before the red sky revamp, it gives a pretty good sendoff to a number of classic recurring characters.

Looking forward to the red sky episodes as I don't think I've watched all of them, and certainly not in chronological order (the rest of the series will have a strict serialized episode-to-episode continuity).  So much of that will be fresh territory for me.


Killer Moth said...

Excellent reviews, as always, Mark, and I'll just add my usual observations. As much as I've ended up liking the upcoming Red Sky episodes, Season 7 makes me miss, among other things, the soon-to-be absent toy character shilling (Red Sky would barely feature that aspect, save for Season 8's use of the Cyber Turtles) and what Mark has noted in past reviews: the series being an action playground for all the fun toy characters that deserved to be animated (well, most of them). Compared to the majority of the series, Season 7 was rather effective on that aspect or at least tried as much as Season 2 did, which should be commended. Talk about fanservice..., without the cheesecake or female nudity, of course.

However boring Atlantis Awakens was, it was worth it for the Technodrome being more operational than generally speaking, like Mark said. Besides the Atlantis continuity issue, there was still an issue on whatever the Technodrome's eye is supposed to be. In Super Irma, it was supposed to be an amplifying antenna or that was the overall implication vs. Atlantis Awakens referring to it as the Technodrome's main cannon. I could forgive Wise about the overall Atlantis issue, as he wasn't involved with any of the European Vacation episodes, or any of the syndicated Season 4 episodes save for one (beyond setting up the Vacation arc at most), yet considering he wrote Super Irma only a season earlier.... Then again, given he can flub back-to-back episode continuity (Blow Out vs. Plan 6), I'm better off reciting the MST3K Mantra ("It's only a TV show, so I should just relax"), aren't I? And while the Merdude subplot might have been better, Bebop certainly needed the spotlight, so that's good enough.

Re-watching the series as an adult continues to be an interesting experience, catching references than I wasn't supposed to get when I was 10 to 11 (or the intended audience demographic), especially with the Dirk Savage episode. Needless to say, how many kids at the time figured Savage was likely based on Snake Plissken or the slight Ross Perot caricature Wise and the animators did for A.J. Howard's human disguise (even had a scene featuring Howard showcasing a graph, not unlike what Perot did)? I particularly enjoyed the episode's conflict with Savage teaming-up with the two Turtles having the most problematic views of humanity (Don and Raph) and the occasional laugh (Irma wishing the guards guarding Howard's Tower would just go away... and then that actually happens).

And, yes, I, too, was quite impressed with Coleman's smarmy and weirdly sexy voice he used for Rahzar. If only he came back, alas.

I rarely comment on an episode's art, yet Invasion of the Krangazoids really stood out in that repsect, especially with how Krang himself was drawn. He looked rather, um, scrotum-like in some scenes to me. And that's not getting into his clones and the series finally answering what Krang's "true" body looked like. While the true nature of Krang's body being ambiguous is better storytelling, it's rather understandable why Wise decided to resolve that mystery if you buy the theory about Season 7 being an intended series finale (and being the penultimate Shredder/Krang scheme before the season finale). Contrast to what would be done much later with Mirage Rat King and his "true" origin answering questions no one was asking. (Curiously, this series and the Archie spinoff never had a Rat King origin episode vs. all future Turtle media.)

Not much to add to Mark's Triumphant review, beyond saying I'd ended up missing Krang's Android Body far more than I thought, as it would be totally omitted in all future episodes, save for the series finale. It's a good asset, though, I'd imagine its weird appearance explains the omission, in light of the upcoming darker/serious backdrop. What a pity.

Can't wait for the Season 8 reviews.

Mark Pellegrini said...

@Killer Moth

Ah, the Ross Perot parody! I wrote a note to mention that in my review and everything, yet I forgot about it.

Yeah, one more of those contemporary political references that's already lost to the sands of time (like Mikey's Ralph Nader joke in the first movie).

soap93160 said...

Hey Mark, what are your thoughts on the upcoming crossover in between the 87 and 2k12 turtles in season 4 of the nick tmnt show?

Anonymous said...

One thing Season 7 also did was finally bring back the Foot Soldiers themselves for more fights. The Foot Soldiers were seldom seen in a lot of the middle seasons of the show, almost as if Shredder forgot he had an army of robots and just always took Bebop/Rocksteady with him.

I like that they remembered the Foot Soldiers exist and brought them back for all these episodes, even if they were nothing more than canon fodder for the Turtles to take down easily.