So the new Turtles series has debuted, and optimists are few in the sea of rabid fans denouncing change. But this reviewer is no elitist, and he's going to share his experience on the episode alone. As it should, the pilot serves as intro to the ninja turtles, and meet mainstay characters like April O Niel and Master Splinter, the android-piloting Krangs and The Shredder. The plot involves our heroes, fresh from training, preparing for their up-and-coming adventures whilst showing snippets of backstory, one of which stumbles into the present courtesy of the infamous can of mutagen. Whilst these elements are essential to turtles lore, the show unfortunately decides to borrow from other cliches. IE April (now a teenager) witnesses her father being kidnapped by a mysterious organization, and the turtles vow to save him. This a common writing tool that gives her cause but eliminates the need to write for an authority figure. Slapstick and manga sight-gags are heavily presented, and needless to say are of the YMMV variety. So lets talk about our heroes. There's budding leader Leonardo, geek Donatello, hot-head Raphael, and Michaelangelo. Dear FREAKIN GOD, Michaelangelo. This annoying incarnation goes beyond having an irritating voice. There is hardly a moment where this ungodly combo of Flanderization Turned Up To Eleven WON'T crack some unfunny joke or slapstick gag that goes on for too long and ends up with his brothers groaning at the stupidity they just endured. Every single joke halts the episode so that the viewer can take in every wacky second, utterly demolishing the episode's pacing and flow. Small comfort comes in the form of Rob Paulsen, voice of classic Raphael. His deadpan snarkiness is present, recalling old memories from this classic turtles fan, and though there is a massive disconnect hearing it come from DONATELLO, he does do a fine job. Leonardo and Raphael have your standard no-nonsense leader/tough guy voices respectively, and don't stand out too much from the rest of the cast (though that may be a good thing). The show can go anywhere from here; it might even become one of the best TMNT shows in existence, but cliched writing, over-reliance on stupid humor and horrendous pacing has turned me off from caring in a way few Tv shows have ever done.
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