I’m bored of boredom eating so I’m gonna try some boredom writing.
Girlfriend and I got to spend actual face to face time with each other last night. It was great. Living with someone’s all well and good. If you’re just coming and going like ships in the night though, you start forgetting about all the fun you have together. Beacuse instead of hanging out you’re just making sleep more disruptive. She’s been working TIFF for the past week or so. She’s working evenings for the next couple of nights and on Thursday JFL42 starts. Last night was kind of it as far as spending time went. It was swell. We got to chat and eat and watch TV. All the good sorta etc, y’know?
We tried watching Final Space on Netflix. Tried. It was trying. A bunch of people had said pretty positive things. They said it was unexpectedly emotional and really hit home. I figured it’d slot right into the sadegory embodied by Rick & Morty or BoJack Horseman. Unfortunately it lacked the pedigree of either. I’ve never had an issue with violence. I grew up watching all sorts of gruesome stuff. In this case, it felt like the show pushed too far without good punch lines or payoff to justify it. Like, meanness for meanness sake. Unnecessary roughness.
None of the emotional beats feel earned. They just started playing plodding emotional strings while we sat there thinking but they haven’t given us any reason to like or care about these characters yet. The lead character is just plain annoying and manic without redeeming qualities. The humour feels dated, like mid 90s Comedy Central. We kept waiting for a solid tag or punch line, but nothing was forthcoming. There was no extra layer or sophistication. Just the kind of blunt stuff they used to make before audiences let cartoons be poignant. It felt like an exec was all “hey, do one of them crazy space shows that make people sad”, but without understanding the underlying writing that breathes life into them. It made me sad, but for unintentional reasons.
We deserve better.
The Dragon Prince, the Netflix show created by Avatar showrunners Aaron Ehasz and Justin Richmond, was similarly disappointing. I’m willing to give this one a bit more leeway because it’s entirely for kids. The Last Airbender and Legend of Korra were so artfully done. Lighthearted, but with an abundance of heart where it counted. Beautifully animated with smooth fight scenes and gorgeous choreography. Characters were well sculpted without resorting to easy tropes and stereotypes. It’s no wonder the series’ appealed beyond their demographic. The Dragon Prince clearly has a much younger target audience. It’s fantasy trope layered on top of fantasy trope. I’m fine with that, but you’ve gotta at least do something clever with it. From the first episode, nope. No they didn’t.
There’s a weird juxtaposition of themes, with some silly gags revolving around a glowing chameleon and stealing tarts, while another character has to grapple with whether or not she’s gonna murder humans. Feels a little unbalanced. The animation is some kind of CGI cell shaded business, but it’s choppy as shit. I thought there was something wrong with our connection, but we weren’t stalling in our stream. It was seemingly a stylistic choice. One that didn’t jive with us. None of the characters seem to have their own agency outside of broadly drawn outlines. Every line is heavily laden exposition in the place of subtle world building. It’s the total inversion of show, don’t tell. Once again though, it’s a kid’s show. Maybe I’ll leave this one for the kids to enjoy.
Welp, guess it’s time to start BoJack season 5 and stay in my lane.