Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Rescue Heroes: Thunderbirds are... wait... you're saying there's a difference?

You know the saying "with age comes experience", with it also comes confusion. Have you ever re-watched a show that you used to love when you were a child and go "I used to watch this?" It's a weird feeling isn't it?

When I was working on the schedule for content uploads, I had a spot free to which I offered the choice to my mother as today is her birthday. After several weeks of changing her mind, she "chose" this (by that I mean she suggested it and I said "I have to start working on it, no more changing your mind"... Of course there's another one which I turned down for now so... one review at a time...), forceful padding aside, lets see how this not Thunderbirds holds up, Rescue Heroes Season 1+2 (I'm having trouble finding season 3 somewhere I can obtain it to review).

So what's the story, the show focuses on a selection of heroes, each with their own skills,  gear and puny names that, sadly, were tradition for kids shows then and even now, rescuing people (encase the title wasn't a giveaway) from natural disasters including fires, floods, storms and more. The concept itself is fine, however it means that there isn't any kind of flowing narrative, which is made worse when there's character development. The other big problem with this is that the second season feels more like a full reboot rather then a continuation (and the back story episode highlighting how the organization was formed doesn't help prove otherwise). The plots for individual episodes also have a Deus-Ex Machina to them at points because the world this is set (which is supposed to be modern day earth) looks like the most unstable planet in the galaxy. Except for in episode time changes, its impossible to get a sense of flowing time so you could believe that seven episodes could be seven months, days or even hours in some cases. It's not helped when some of their ideas are Deus Ex's as well. Last I checked, a few rocks and small explosives couldn't form a Tidal Wave, let alone one that can stop one that's been traveling for hours.
Another problem with the story, and this is more for people who view it at older ages, the lesson at the end of episodes. Even as a kid I don't recall watching these seeing as all the messages are told in the episodes themselves. While I don't think they're as mind numbing as the "Sonic Sez" portion in the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog (for another time), they do come close at points. While its tolerable in the first season, most of the episodes in the second season are ten minutes long (two stories per twenty minute episode) and they do one of those messages at the end of each mini story. At this point though I'm only avoiding the obvious, they're cheesy in a bad way as they all end with "Think like a Rescue Hero, think safe", adding to the forceful nature of it and with dialogue in the main stories coming off as forced at times, it only adds to the lazy development feel I have for this.
During the MLP reviews, I mentioned that Granny Smith was one of the worst pun names I'd seen, I take that back, these are. Lets just list a few of them to prove the case in point: Billy Blazes and Wendy Waters, I can live with. Rocky Canyon, Aerial Flyer, pushing it. Jack Hammer (and sister Jill Hammer), Rodger Huston and Hall E. Copter... really? Other notable pun names included Al Pine, Bill Barker, Bob Sled, Cliff Hanger, Matt Medic (who you could swear The Medic from Team Fortress 2's design dame from (face wise)), Perry Chute, Rock Miner and Sandy Beach.
Oh come on, I can't be the only one to see it... can I?

Animation wise, the first season suffers from animation errors by way or wrongly coloured characters. I thought the days of three Starscreams on screen were gone at this point by sadly I'm wrong. Its not as obvious in the second season (at least I didn't notice any) but that doesn't mean that the second season is perfect. When I said that the second season could be passed off as a full reboot, I wasn't kidding as the animation style is completely different. While some characters benefit from the changes and the equipment looks much better in this design, it doesn't make up for how jarring difference is, normally shows ease into changes this drastic, that's not easing into anything. The two styles are down to opinions as to which one is the better but for me, the first season's animation is slightly better as the characters stand out more, it's down to personal choice though. Music wise, I genuinely couldn't bring attention to any track if I tried, they all feel bland which, for a action themed show, only fades into the background.
Like a lot of 90's shows, Rescue Heroes hasn't aged well, while it's animation still looks nice (errors aside), the rest of the show feels lazy. While I acknowledge that its for kids and its meant to sell toys, there are other shows before this and after that do that job while still showing a lot of effort in making a quality show. Sadly its a case of two steps forward, one step back. I just hope that the stigma of "its just for kids, it doesn't need effort" changes soon. Tis the festive season and tomorrow is Christmas Eve here, so for tomorrow, lets take a look at a season... classic... Come back tomorrow night for this festive story.

1 comment:

  1. Say you what you will about the RH Crew but for a long time there they were your role models - a far better option to keep up with the RH than the Kardashians!!!