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Official Transformers: Prime Discussion Thread

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Re: Official Transformers: Prime Discussion Thread

Postby Sabrblade » Thu Oct 04, 2012 11:45 pm

Searchlight wrote:My problem with this show is the autobots. I understand that they're meant to have compassion, and that's good, but when it makes them appear so incompetant it makes the show hard to watch. These autobots lack the vigor and intensity of the previous series, like G1, Beast Wars, Animated, and even some of the japanese shows like Armada or RID. This show has many things that work in its favor, but there's a lack of heart to it that I think really detracts from it.
While I agree about the lack of heart thing, the rest feels kinda off. Can you give other examples of this? Perhaps also in comparison to simialr case from other series?

Searchlight wrote:Maybe it does make sense that arcee would lose heart and surrender to megatron if she thinks her comrade is dead, but wouldn't you rather see her fight through that and attempt to get the key for the sake of cybertron?
Thing is, after all the turmoil and dread she's gone through in her life, I can't see her doing anything other than what she ended up doing. Supposedly killing Smokescreen completely broke her as that was her Achilles Heel - failing to save another comrade from death. Maybe it would have worked for another character to still try for the key, but Arcee freezing up like she did is exactly how she'd react, after all the trauma she's gone through.

Then again, any other Autobot would have also likely called out to Smokescreen, took a second to lower his head in mourning, and then any attempts for the key would have been ruined since Megatron was already that close to where Arcee was by the time she registered Smokescreen having "turned to dust", so there wouldn't have been any real time to tyr once more for the key without meeting the sharp end of Megatron's blade.
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Re: Official Transformers: Prime Discussion Thread

Postby Searchlight » Thu Oct 04, 2012 11:58 pm

Sabrblade wrote:
Searchlight wrote:My problem with this show is the autobots. I understand that they're meant to have compassion, and that's good, but when it makes them appear so incompetant it makes the show hard to watch. These autobots lack the vigor and intensity of the previous series, like G1, Beast Wars, Animated, and even some of the japanese shows like Armada or RID. This show has many things that work in its favor, but there's a lack of heart to it that I think really detracts from it.
While I agree about the lack of heart thing, the rest feels kinda off. Can you give other examples of this? Perhaps also in comparison to simialr case from other series?

Could you clarify what you mean in particular that you want me to describe?

Searchlight wrote:Maybe it does make sense that arcee would lose heart and surrender to megatron if she thinks her comrade is dead, but wouldn't you rather see her fight through that and attempt to get the key for the sake of cybertron?
Thing is, after all the turmoil and dread she's gone through in her life, I can't see her doing anything other than what she ended up doing. Supposedly killing Smokescreen completely broke her as that was her Achilles Heel - failing to save another comrade from death. Maybe it would have worked for another character to still try for the key, but Arcee freezing up like she did is exactly how she'd react, after all the trauma she's gone through.

Then again, any other Autobot would have also likely called out to Smokescreen, took a second to lower his head in mourning, and then any attempts for the key would have been ruined since Megatron was already that close to where Arcee was by the time she registered Smokescreen having "turned to dust", so there wouldn't have been any real time to tyr once more for the key without meeting the sharp end of Megatron's blade.



The scene felt forced to me. Megatron never picks up the key, and he's in a huge rush to face optimus all of a sudden even though he should be trying to take the key back to the nemesis. Maybe it's poor writing, maybe it's just poor decisions on the part of the characters, or maybe I'm just plain wrong and everything about this scene was absolutely perfect. All I know is that it felt contrived to me.
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Re: Official Transformers: Prime Discussion Thread

Postby Sabrblade » Fri Oct 05, 2012 12:09 am

Searchlight wrote:The scene felt forced to me. Megatron never picks up the key, and he's in a huge rush to face optimus all of a sudden even though he should be trying to take the key back to the nemesis. Maybe it's poor writing, maybe it's just poor decisions on the part of the characters, or maybe I'm just plain wrong and everything about this scene was absolutely perfect. All I know is that it felt contrived to me.
It's simple, really. Megs just wants to show off his new toy to the guy who one-upped him last time. "Mine's better than yours." :P

But something that's different with Megatron in regards to the relic this time is that, unlike previous relics, he's unfamiliar with htis one and doesn't seem to recognize just how significant its importance is. Had he known that it was an Omega Key (and what the Omega Keys are for), he'd probably make the key a higher priority that he did, but since he didn't know of it, he felt more compelled to humble and humiliate Optimus with his new sword than he felt to go get the next relic. It was single-minded of him to be like that, but such is the mind of a egotistical megalomanic. ;)
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Re: Official Transformers: Prime Discussion Thread

Postby Searchlight » Fri Oct 05, 2012 12:18 am

Sabrblade wrote:
Searchlight wrote:The scene felt forced to me. Megatron never picks up the key, and he's in a huge rush to face optimus all of a sudden even though he should be trying to take the key back to the nemesis. Maybe it's poor writing, maybe it's just poor decisions on the part of the characters, or maybe I'm just plain wrong and everything about this scene was absolutely perfect. All I know is that it felt contrived to me.
It's simple, really. Megs just wants to show off his new toy to the guy who one-upped him last time. "Mine's better than yours." :P

I have to admit, that does make a lot of sense. The problem with that is it's just bad strategy. I guess you could argue that megatron is so drunk with the power of his new toy that he doesn't even care that he's taking really stupid risks, which is staple of all Megatrons everywhere. I just wish that the autobots had taken advantage of it a bit. Smokescreen finally does, and then he gets reprimanded for it. Now granted, I know that the ends don't justify the means and that they don't want to reward him for disobeying orders. The problem is that they haven't actually shown how following orders can lead to good things in this show yet. All the good things that have happened have been from somebody disobeying orders, or at least showing initiative from a very broad mission statement (like the four part relic hunt series, where everybody acted on their own initiative). This is where the problem comes from: If you want to inforce military protocol, you need to also have military tactics and competant warriors who know how to think objectively in harsh situations. If not, then you need to just accept whatever victories you can, regardless of where they come from. The autobots are being portrayed as something like a very under-armed guerilla unit, and so it would make sense if they were to eschew military protocol in favor of strategies that give their warriors freedom. However, they instead act like they're trying to run an army of five on the tacts and strategy protocols of a small militia, and that just doesn't work. It might work if they talked about it and portrayed Optimus Prime as more of a military type, but they don't really.
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Re: Official Transformers: Prime Discussion Thread

Postby Sabrblade » Fri Oct 05, 2012 12:31 am

I think the show's biggest problem that all of this boils down to is that the cartoon can't decide if it wants to tell a realistic war story or an escapist fantasy story, with both views coming into conflict with one another. Whenever the show tries to be one, elements from the other slip in and intrude on how things are supposed to work in whichever version it's trying to be.

When it feels in the mood for realism, fantasy creeps in. When it feels in the mood for fantasy, realism creeps in. And in both cases, instead of utilizing the elements of the other to enhance the one it's currently being, the end result instead comes across as being really jarring and off-putting.

Take your Autobot protocol example. They try to act like a real military unit, yet go against the very nature of that at times that make them feel more like a unorthodox superhero squadron instead, which messes up what they were trying to do. And when they try to act like said group of free-thinking heroes, by-the-book military procedure charges in to make the wondrous nature of their being larger than life heroes feel stale and flat.

I know I've probably hammered this imto the ground, but THANK GOODNESS for Rescue Bots for not having these flaws. ;)
"When there's gold feathers, punch behind you!!"

“Critics who treat 'adult' as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves. To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence. And in childhood and adolescence they are, in moderation, healthy symptoms. Young things ought to want to grow. But to carry on into middle life or even into early manhood this concern about being adult is a mark of really arrested development. When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.” -- C.S. Lewis
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Re: Official Transformers: Prime Discussion Thread

Postby Searchlight » Fri Oct 05, 2012 12:34 am

Sabrblade wrote:I think the show's biggest problem that all of this boils down to is that the cartoon can't decide if it wants to tell a realistic war story or an escapist fantasy story, with both views coming into conflict with one another. Whenever the show tries to be one, elements from the other slip in and intrude on how things are supposed to work in whichever version it's trying to be.

When it feels in the mood for realism, fantasy creeps in. When it feels in the mood for fantasy, realism creeps in. And in both cases, instead of utilizing the elements of the other to enhance the one it's currently being, the end result instead comes across as being really jarring and off-putting.

Take your Autobot protocol example. They try to act like a real military unit, yet go against the very nature of that at times that make them feel more like a unorthodox superhero squadron instead, which messes up what they were trying to do. And when they try to act like said group of free-thinking heroes, by-the-book military procedure charges in to make the wondrous nature of their being larger than life heroes feel stale and flat.

I know I've probably hammered this imto the ground, but THANK GOODNESS for Rescue Bots for not having these flaws. ;)
A most excellent summation! I don't think I could have said it better myself!

Yes, rescue bots is surprisingly good, and I think you're right. It's because the show definitely knows what it wants to be.
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Re: Official Transformers: Prime Discussion Thread

Postby Sabrblade » Fri Oct 05, 2012 12:53 am

Searchlight wrote:A most excellent summation! I don't think I could have said it better myself!

Yes, rescue bots is surprisingly good, and I think you're right. It's because the show definitely knows what it wants to be.
I cannot begin to describe how disappointed I am in how much Prime tries yet fails to be an escapist fantasy. At all those times, it's trying to hard to be so super realistic that it's hard as a viewer to get away from reality when the show keeps shoving reality in my face.

That's one of the biggest reasons why I still hated Cliffjumper's sudden death. He's the character I was most looking forward to getting to know back before the series began... and the show completely robbed me of that chance within the first five minutes of episode 1 with its unwelcoming ultra-realistic rule of "anyone can die," and took 43 episodes to finally give me some love for Cliffjumper, but by then, it was too late. At that point in the story, there was little reason for me to have any further interest in the guy since they had done away with him so soon and so cruelly like they did.

Doesn't also help how the show never started from any kind of "humble beginnings", but man, I could go on and on about just how awful "Darkness Rising" was that I'll just say that that was by far the worst the show has ever been, being its lowest point and possibly one of the worst series openers of any TF cartoon.

IMHO, the best episodes of season 1 were (in no particular order) "Predatory", "Sick Mind", "Out of His Head", "Crisscross", "Rock Bottom", "Partners", and "Stronger, Faster".
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“Critics who treat 'adult' as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves. To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence. And in childhood and adolescence they are, in moderation, healthy symptoms. Young things ought to want to grow. But to carry on into middle life or even into early manhood this concern about being adult is a mark of really arrested development. When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.” -- C.S. Lewis
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Re: Official Transformers: Prime Discussion Thread

Postby Searchlight » Fri Oct 05, 2012 12:59 am

Wow, never thought I'd see you speak so harshly. I do admit that darkness rising was far less than perfect. Especially the way that they opened it saying that it was tied directly to the games and books, but then had it completely contradict both. I wouldn't call it the worst, but it wasn't the best.

Season one had a few good episodes, I agree. Out of his head was particularly great, and I liked the scraplets episode. I think the early episodes had a higher budget too, but I could be wrong. Thanks for talking about the show with me. Even though I'm still not a fan of it, you've helped me realize parts of it that I found grating or irritating but didn't know why, and now I feel comfortable watching it again.
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Re: Official Transformers: Prime Discussion Thread

Postby Sabrblade » Fri Oct 05, 2012 1:13 am

I tell ya, "Darkness Rising" was dreadful, with only a few good moments surrounded by a wall of blah. And season 1 as a whole was no picnic either, but season 2... my word, season by comparison is like a breath of fresh air.

Almost every episode has had something happen that legitimately mattered to the whole season. And it gave us fantastic new characters in Dreadwing and (the long-overdue) Smokescreen. If season 1 had been made as anywhere near the level of competence as season 2 has proven to be, I'd probably be a lot more forgiving towards that season's misgivings. But what we got was subpar, while season 2 has so far been a big improvement (minus just a few small bumps in the road).

Searchlight wrote:Wow, never thought I'd see you speak so harshly. I do admit that darkness rising was far less than perfect. Especially the way that they opened it saying that it was tied directly to the games and books, but then had it completely contradict both.
Well, to be fair, that was Hasbro's fault for giving so much creative leeway to three different parties without thinking of all the headaches such diversity might produce. Thankfully, they have since held a tigher grip on what the contuinty is menat to be like across all three mediums with Exiles incorporating more Prime elements, Prime referencing specific aspects from the books and games, and FOC also acquiring Prime elements. While the initial materials seemed to independently-minded, the three have gradually taken a turn towards fitting in better with each other.

Now, if we could only figure out where Rescue Bots fits in in relation to Prime. ;)
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“Critics who treat 'adult' as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves. To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence. And in childhood and adolescence they are, in moderation, healthy symptoms. Young things ought to want to grow. But to carry on into middle life or even into early manhood this concern about being adult is a mark of really arrested development. When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.” -- C.S. Lewis
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Re: Official Transformers: Prime Discussion Thread

Postby Searchlight » Fri Oct 05, 2012 1:35 am

True, the show as a whole is beginning to develop its own continuity, and is drawing a bit more from the books as it goes. I like to think that the books and game are a kind of seed story which can branch out into other shows, including rescue bots, prime, and whatever other shows hasbro may decide to produce.
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