I’m really going try hard more for views right now with the title. Did I do that right? Asking another open ended and polarizing question to bring people in? It feels cheap. I feel cheap…
But seriously, this show is really fucking good. If you haven’t seen it, no matter how old you are, you’re really missing out. Just go watch it. Right now. Stop reading and go watch it. Go. I’ll wait and then we can talk about it.
Presuming you actually did go and watch an episode are two, we can talk about the finer details for the show now. When I first took a look at the show, I think the art for the show displayed when you select the show was a little misleading. Honestly, it’s not the best shot for what the show actually looks like with a kind of crappy shot of Lance firing his weapon. They could really use a better opening image, it just doesn’t look that good. Maybe it’s different on mobile devices, since the UI is a little different so they can cycle images, but that was my first thought.
Once you get into the show, however, the experience entirely changes.
For one thing, the show has the same animators and creators as Avatar, specifically The Legend of Korra, which has amazing animation. The faces and expressions are very reminiscent of both shows, which means that the characters have a lot of personality and heart. Things are really stylized and fun, and when they actually get around to using the lions, the CGI really blend well with the animation. Usually, I don’t really dig that style, but things really flow together well, and everything looks smoothed and polished with lots of detail.
So great, the show looks good. But as we’ve seen before, good art does not make a good cartoon (Fuck you Irregular High School! What the fuck, seriously?). So what else does this show have going for it to claim that it’s the best show on Netflix?
Most importantly, the cast is incredible. Not gonna lie, there is not a single character that I dislike, and that’s saying something, since there’s a pretty large cast from the get go. In a show like this, essentially Power Rangers meets Zoids, you have a team of characters, you identify with only a few of them, and the rest are for other people. But every single character is endearing and likable. The show is genuinely funny with a lot of heart, none of the characters come off as annoying or unreasonable. Everyone more or less jumps on board for piloting giant robo-lions (who wouldn’t, be real now), so there’s fussing around with “Aw man, I don’t know, I don’t think I’m ready for this I’m scared”. That would have really brought the show to a crawl, but it blasts right past that to the goods stuff.
What’s more, there is a very diverse cast of characters, many of them looking like they came from different backgrounds. Genders and races all mingle together in a nice mix of POCs and different kinds of people. Everyone can find someone that they love, but I honestly can’t pick a favorite character. Even the annoying characters come off as fun.
Only 80s Kids Will Remember
I watched the old cartoon was I was very little, but I can’t say I remember very much of it. I knew they had awesome lions and made Voltron and all that. I remember that they had a cool castle base looking thing, but other than that, most of it is kind of a blur. Thus, I can’t really speak for how they’ve brought the show back to life. There’s a distinct possibility that there are even more things that I’m missing that are throwbacks to the old show, which would be another interesting layer.
Yet, I am here to say that the show functions perfectly well without any prior knowledge of the original. Perhaps there are references and intertextual things that I’m missing out on, but the show has definitely proven itself in its own right as fun and interesting. Plots extend past a single episode, making things feel coherent. It allows the stakes to get higher and really pushes against a kind of “monster of the week” kind of feeling that the show could have easily relied on. Even the villains are interesting and seem pretty cool. Maybe not very multifaceted yet, but at least you know who’s good and who’s bad.
Watch this show. For God’s sake watch this show. Watch it with your kids, watch it with your hubby. Anyone, it’s just a really fun show and has a lot of spirit. I give it five super awesome fighting cat robots out of five!