As someone that has never seen the original Powerpuff Girls
, I went in to this show just expecting some fluffy time filler. While not entirely dissatisfied, there are moments that make me realize just how much more the show could have been.
The show starts with an origin story for the title protagonists and the primary villain, Mojo (who is overused to the point of banality). The show suggests some level of self-awareness with both Blossom's genre savviness and the mayor commenting on the girls' lack of consideration for collateral damage, but outside of one episode and a few throwaway gags, neither come up again.
Instead, most episodes follow the formula of either a recurring villain (usually Mojo) applying twisted logic to an everyday problem and invariably trying to conquer the world when it falls apart or a new monster that proves more annoying than threatening. The Powerpuff Girls then get deployed to save the day, usually with some wacky hijinks rather than the stereotypical cut-and-dry Stock Footage
battles (which is not to say they don't happen, but at least it's not the focal point of the show). Later episodes attempt a serious Myth Arc
, but it's too jarring a tonal shift from the wackiness surrounding them to work.
What's kind of disappointing is just seeing What Could Have Been
. Much of the humor is actually pretty dark under the surface (such as food monsters that demand to be eaten and the near-sociopathy of the girls themselves) and the funniest moments are when they blatantly violate the status quo. There's also a lot of unintentional hilarity in moments where the girls seem to forget their secret identities and transform in the middle of crowds, but the writers never tap into it.
Sadly, the show seems more intent on topping its own "what the hell?" quotient with each new episode. This is a show where vegetable monsters willing their non-animated companions to fly up into space and being defeated by a rocket full of salad dressing is actually pretty tame. Unfortunately, these premises are rarely taken to their extremes and it becomes more humiliating to think that you're watching this than anything.
I guess the question is: would I recommend it? Not really. It's a well-crafted show with good production values, but the good moments are buried under a ton of mediocrity. Something for the less discriminating viewers.