I had a chance recently to marathon all the current episodes of the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on Nick, and I have to say overall I’m really enjoying the show…
Things that are doing it for me:
- Splinter -
Probably my favorite incarnation of Splinter to date. Great voice actor… I like how he feels powerful with his badass moments and yet still is fatherly and has some great funny lines. He has a larger role in the turtles’ lives, but it fits and feels right.
- the Turtles -
This is the first time I’ve seen a TMNT where all of the turtles feel very distinct and individual. It’s also the first time they’ved looked so different from each other. It’s fantastic how their designs are all unique, from their heights/builds to the way they wear their bandanas to their personalities. Their personalities seem more exaggerated and work very well to give each turtle a different vibe.
- Humor -
The writing for the show (minus the issue I’ll mention below) is very entertaining… I’ve caught myself chuckling several times an episode, with some genuinely funny moments. The Star Trek-type show Leo watches is also a hilarious idea and I love when he gets inspired by it.
I even love how it’s made to look like the old (horrific) Star Trek cartoon.
Things that aren’t doing it for me:
- potential Creeper Donnie -
I can’t figure out where the writers are going with the Donatello and April thing. I’m assuming Casey Jones is going to appear at some point, so is she going to hook up with him? Is there going to be some awkward love triangle? What’s bothering me most though is the weird creeper/stalker vibe they’ve been giving Donnie. It’s one thing to have a crush on someone from afar, and these are all teens so it’s the natural thing for a teenager to do… but the way Donnie goes about it is borderline creepy sometimes. Calling her beautiful and wanting to help her out, ok, that’s fine, but when he has a secret voyeuristic photo of her on his desktop? When there’s a 50/50 chance his next line is going to be April-related? When he has an extensive chart that maps out how she HAS to say yes to going out with him?
That’s fucking creepy. And obsessive.
The desktop photo reminds me of a similar thing they used in The Amazing Spider-Man movie, where Peter had that pic of Gwen as his desktop background.
Sorry Uncle Ben, but it’s just creepy.
In both show’s cases I guess it’s supposed to be endearing or funny, but it just comes off as creepy. The thing is, we know Donnie is actually a good guy (not to be confused with a “Nice Guy,” who in reality isn’t nice at all and just cares about landing the girl) so it does turn the creep factor down a notch for me, but it’s still there.
The other unknown variable right now is if April reciprocates his feelings. What’s interesting to note is that there are several instances where her actions MIGHT be construed as receptive, but it’s not clear. And she has a very strong, blunt personality, so I’d assume she would’ve said something if she was really turned off by Donnie. She clearly heard him call her beautiful via the Metal Head robot and heard him say embarrassing things about liking her as well.
If April actually feels the same way (or eventually does), then it will hopefully lessen the Donnie Creep vibe. I mean, I don’t have a problem with Donnie x April.. if anything, I was surprised they would try an angle like that in a new adaptation of the show, and am genuinely curious if they have the balls to follow through with it. I have to admit, I like Donnie in this series and think he has a sweet, geeky persona that I want to see grow and adapt because of a relationship. But until we get an episode where there’s a definitive answer about her feelings, or one where Donnie realizes what he’s doing is downright stalkery, then it’s going to be the one nagging point that taints an otherwise awesome show to me.