Reviews: Tron Uprising
I originally considered titling my review "a lot like the movies." By this I mean that the visuals were a lot more compelling than the story (sorry, movie!Tron fans). The last couple of episodes won me over. Anyway, here's my two cents: The good:
- Some amazing technology that went into animating this show. When they get the opportunity to show it off (example: the pilot's train-top battle), the results are nothing short of stunning.
- Some of the early episodes were bland, but things they set up really pay off in the later episodes.
- Paige— While the show has its fair share of blatantly evil villains, she's a very deep and well-written character. I think they do a great job showing how, despite some misgivings with the Occupation, she still thinks she's doing what's best.
- Tron— He still fights for the users, but he's been worn down by all he's had to endure since Clu's coup. He's a lot more developed than the knight in shining armor we see in the movies, and his dynamic with the far more idealistic Beck keeps the two-man uprising interesting.
- Some characters have plain out weird designs. Mostly characters that appear once or twice, but it's still kind of jarring to look at.
- More than a few programs are derezzed just to remind you that the villains are evil. This works for the one-off characters, but I feel kind of cheated when they abruptly off seriously developed characters just as an "FYI: the Occupation's evil."
- Some concepts just didn't have enough time to be executed properly and come off as unrealistic. For example, in the last episode Mara goes from hating the Renegade to standing up for him in only 5 minutes of screen time.
- Dyson— he doesn't really do much in the present day, and he makes the backstory more complicated than it needs to be. Really, it seems like the only reason he exists is so Tron has a beatable Clu stand-in for one story.
(This review is labelled as "season" out of hopes that the show will get a second one. PLEASE DISNEY.) It was decided that Tron should have a midquel. BOY, did it work. Tron uprising not only serves to fill the gaps, it expands the universe in unique ways, showing tech the franchise hasn't dreamed about (Tesler's arms, upgrade disc, disguise serum), it answers questions people haven't thought of ("What if a program loses his disk?" is the theme of one episode) and explores the less-known parts of The Grid (How common programs go on their lives and what problems they face, such as Clu's dictatorship, crime, The Games). Just for that, it's a great piece of EU. But that takes a backseat on the story and characters. Beck starts as a fairly bland protagonist, but the show develops his personality and we see him as a interesting brand of "idealistic-not-stupid-determinator.", he is clever but not a chessmaster, determined but not unstoppable. Well-crafted hero. Tron himself gets some amazing character development in a single season, more than in both movies combined. Here he is a grim Knight In Sour Armor who has been broken by what he had to endure, but still has a glimpse of faith. He struggles with the "grim" aspect and the "faith" aspect, which is interesting. A fallen hero fighting against his demons, Beck's opposite. The villains: Tesler is tyrant with a flair for sarcasm, he is unstoppable and clever. He gets the least character development (we still don't know why he's such an asshole: Greed? Arrogance? Loyalty? Freudian Excuse ?), which is one of the few complaints I have. That said, he is a great villain because he's so Badass and sometimes hilarious. A worthy foe. Pavel, whose main attractive is being Butt Monkey Large Ham. Paige mixes Noble Demon and Well Intentioned Extremist. The show teases Heel Face Turn often, but it also leaves her fate ambiguos. I look forward to her ending. The plot's complex. It treats mature themes (like death, redemption, hope, faith, revenge, uprisings, racism, dystopias, among others) with more maturity than some live-action series. They explore those themes masterfully with the time at hand. It's a brillant show that DEFINETELY deserves more viewings. As says the review's title: A masterpiece.