Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles doesn’t officially start airing until September, but I guess you can already watch a few episodes on the Nickelodeon app or something? Anyway, those episodes are all available online, and so of course I immediately watched them all.
While I was as wary as anyone when the Rise character designs were initially revealed, I came around on them pretty quick, appreciating the unique look that Nick is bringing to their second TMNT series. I’ve been following the little previews on social media, and I loved the new theme song since my first listen. Now that I’ve actually watched the show? It’s really great!
As per usual, there are many loud detractors online, being complete dicks about this new iteration of the TMNT. While some of the more mature folks raise perfectly valid points (the animation style is not my favourite), the bellyaching mostly boils down to “this is different than previous TMNT” which, in my opinion, is ridiculous and stupid. And I can’t stress that enough.
Of course it’s different. Rise is a new show with a new target demo in mind. This is one of the things I hate most about when a franchise lives long enough to see a remake or a reboot: so many fans think it should just be the same thing over again, but new. But what would be the point of that? If you’re just going to rehash the exact same thing, why even bother? And to the angry fan: why be so pissed off about a change to an established property? The old series that you love and cherish (clearly a little too much) is still there for you to enjoy. Nobody’s taking that away.
Change is constant and inevitable. Especially in the world of consumer media, it’s absolutely necessary to stay relevant. And while not every change ends up being a winner, at least it means that there are creative people out there who are willing to try new things. And you know what? A lot of the time, changes can work out just fine, as long as you’re open-minded enough to give them a fair shot. It seems so dumb to me, to be so pointlessly butthurt over something so trivial, when you could instead just go with the flow and have a great time.
But enough of that tangent! I do really like Rise of the TMNT! I would have liked the animation to be a little smoother, but it’s a really fun show that does a great job of reinventing the Turtles. They’re all different species this time! That’s awesome! NEW APRIL KICKS BUTT! The villains are all new instead of leaning on the Shredder yet again! One of the early baddies is an animatronic bear, which is absolutely something that will resonate with a modern audience. I’ll admit that the show’s style is maybe a little more in-your-face than I would like, but I still think it’s doing a great job of walking the line between action and comedy. Specifically, Donatello is deadpan gold this time around and I love it. The “Repo Mantis” episode gives us a rare focus on Donnie and Mikey and it is absolute beauty from start to finish.
With all that said, for a show that I was very unsure about at first, I am now 100% on board with Rise, and I cannot –cannot– wait for more episodes.