Monday, June 17, 2013

Loonatics Unleashed – A Creep in the Deep (Snark)

Well let’s see, there’s a cruise ship, and there’s the Loonatics test-driving Wile E.’s new superboat so they’ll conveniently be on hand when something bad happens…what?

And I have to ask, does he build every single weapon, vehicle, device and computer they use? All of them? All by himself? With his two hands alone? Everything? Really? Really. Must be, nobody ever knows about his inventions before they’re unveiled. I know the most common joke out there’s for the resident science geek to have no life, but if I’m going to believe Wile E. builds all that I might as well believe he built their entire building.

When Wile E. says how many knots an hour this thing can pull, Roadrunner launches into a tirade wondering why the measure of speed for boats is knots and what it has to do with knots you tie. And I’m so ashamed for not noticing this before, but evidently Rob Paulsen decided to play this character as just an even more hyper version of his character from Channel Umptee-3.

What else? Daffy’s digging being out on the water but Lexi’s comedically about to toss her cookies. Don’t know if that’s more of her one-dimensional female stereotype-ness, or a comical reversal of expectations showing how a tough chick like her can still be delicate. This little innovation called “fleshing out your characters” would’ve helped to figure out which. And boy if any of these supposedly familiar but new characters could’ve used it, it was Miss One Major Previous Appearance, Generic Empowered Female here.

Some dolphins ram the boat and knock Daffy overboard. He sees one of them swimming toward him and tries to zap it with one of his energy eggs, but he actually produces a big energy beam instead he’s never had before and doesn’t know how to control.

Above, the other Loonatics see they’re about to crash into the cruise ship and Wile E. calls for “Engines full reverse!” Even though they actually just stop before hitting it. Which is good, because then a whirlpool suddenly forms underneath the cruise ship and starts pulling it underwater. Daffy comes back up and tries to tell the others about his new power, but Bugs and  Lexi yell at him (with Taz glaring at him too) for not focusing on the fact that an ocean liner’s being sucked underwater.

And while you morons are giving him the stinkeye, a ship's sinking behind you.

Allow me to return the favor. Why are you idiots just standing there?! It’s completely perpendicular to how it’s supposed to be! Who knows how many people are being injured or crushed from being tossed around like that?!! You guys are supposed to be superheroes, DO SOMETHING YOU IDIOTS!!!!

But no! Look at those pictures! The Loonatics actually retreated to safety! They sit there and watch as the ship goes down the toilet!

Reimagined theme song sequence, go! As you can see, they’re trying to play up the links to the original shorts*. Both with the rippling background and showing the Loonatics fighting versions of the rest of the classic cast. More on those guys as they appear, but for now, with the bouncier music and weird “jive” announcer (I don’t think what he’s doing quite qualifies as “singing”), it’s safe to say the show officially gave up on its original ambition of playing to the anime crowd.

By the power of hopeless show premises!

Yes, that's who you think it is.
* (This is why I can't agree with the logic of some of the show's defenders who say I should consider Loonatics and the original shorts two completely distinct things. Not when the makers of this show evidently decided Loonatics Unleashed didn't remind its viewers enough of the classic stuff, and went all-out to do so in the second season)

Where were we? Oh yeah, cruise ship being drawn into mysterious whirlpool, Loonatics no help. But it’s okay because the show manages to have even less balls than last season, because all the passengers float to the surface in handy escape pods.

Recsue pods?

Aren't we looking inordinately proud of our contribution here.

“Good thing we were here!” Bugs points out. Yes, how convenient, and how glad those people must be the Loonatics sprang into action to save them.

The captain comes up screaming that the ship sank because of “them!” and clutching his ears in a vain attempt to drown out “The squeals! THE SQUEALS!!!” Bugs writes this off as the guy having swallowed too much sea water. Because that makes you have ‘Nam flashbacks even if ‘Nam was hundreds of years ago. And being seasick makes you hear voices, because Lexi can hear the dolphins badmouthing those filthy anthropoids but ignores it to go throw up.

After everybody else is gone, one of the dolphins monsters out in front of Daffy before diving underwater again, but nobody believes him about it being “a sea monster with huge fangs and shoulder pads or something!” Nice trust in your teammates there, Loonatics. Nice open minds there, Loonatics.

Holy crap.

Seemingly determined to make me like Daffy more and the rest of these clowns less, they take a sub (or maybe it’s the boat they were already in in a submarine mode, I don’t know) to Zadavia’s little underwater base to find out if she knows anything about what’s going on. Indeed she does: “There have been several reports of mysterious attacks at sea.” And you haven’t brought this to their attention…why? And they haven’t heard about these…how?? Don’t superheroes usually pay attention to current events so they can react as soon as they’re needed???

Oh it gets better, because we find out what those incidents were! “Disappearing oil rigs, lighthouses ships, oceanography stations, and even small land masses. The size or weight of the structure doesn’t seem to matter.” !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Were you planning on telling them soon, Big Z, or did you assume they already knew? ‘Cause you sure ain’t acting like it!

But wait, there’s more! In the videos they’re watching, Bugs notices what’s causing these larcenous whirlpools: lots of whales are swimming in formation really fast to cause them. Ah whales, the speed demons of the deep. He even notices a bunch of dolphins looking on in most instances, but fails to notice the dolphins are evil mutant ones like the kind Daffy said attacked him.

Here's regular dolphins! You can see the differences!

Seriously. They bring up the secondary indicators of aquatic mammals and their abilities, like Lexi thinking she overheard them insulting landlubbers, and dolphins’ intelligence and communication abilities. And the hyper-advanced weaponry they use to protect their dearest friends, electricians. Nothing about how they looked in the video.

It would be a little less bad if this season didn’t seem to be trying to make Bugs cooler by giving him Batman-esque powers of deduction in later episodes.

Bugs asks Wile E. to invent something to let them talk to dolphins, and Wile E. asks Zadavia’s permission to go ahead and create this invention to facilitate them putting an end to these horrific disasters. Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! Somewhat mitigating the pain, Daffy tries out his new power again and manages to blast Bugs in the face with a glass of water.

The Loonatics leave to try to talk to the dolphins from the sinkings, or evidently any dolphins they can find. After finding some dolphins near the wreck of an old (but still futuristic) battleship, Wile E. and Roadrunner stay in the boat while the others go out in little color-coded minisubs. Daffy asks what they’re doing again and gets an annoyed groan from Bugs, but again, Our Great Leader’s the one who failed to notice a bunch of freaking monsters.

Screw you, show.

As we already know, the dolphins are evil and monster out as soon as they get behind Taz and Lexi’s subs. And Taz opens the canopy on his so that…the dolphin attacking him can knock him out of it. He grabs two of them by the tail and spins really fast before throwing them away, actually making something akin to that buzzsaw noise he did in the old shorts.

Realizing Daffy was right all along, Lexi opens up her canopy as well to let the dolphins have it with her ear lasers. But being down there somehow amps up her powers too, causing the shot to rebound off some rocks and knock her out.

Bugs and Daffy aren’t doing much better, but after Daffy crashes he uses his new super blast (Aqua Dense, as he dubs it. Okay, that sounds like an anime attack) to take out the two dolphins hassling him. Bugs doesn’t fare as well, being carried off by a single dolphin. Daffy makes it back to the boat and starts telling the others how he beat off the dolphins with his Aqua Dense, only for Lexi to snap “Dense is right! You let [Bugs] get captured!”

…ex-squeeze me? What does she mean “let”? They got separated during an attack. Is that something she’s not familiar with? A member of a group that gets into battles with evildoers all the time? How was that Daffy’s fault? Besides, Daffy did call out to Bugs after fending off the dolphins and got no answer. I find it hard to believe even he didn’t look even a little. Especially with the way he’s extra-confident this episode with his super-duper new power and everything.

On top of that, all evidence to the contrary, Daffy’s supposed to be the bumbling egomaniac/chew toy of the show. She expected that character to do something right? And if Bugs is the greatest hero of all time (as a later episode asserts), surely his powers and skills would be enough for him not to need anybody, let alone a character like that, watching his back against Flipper.

The, ahem, greatest hero of all time.

Wonder if Bugs even tried to fight back. Did he not laser vision the dolphin? He can use his laser vision through the spacesuit he had in “The Comet Cometh,” but not his dive helmet in this one?

Back in that ship from before, Bugs is trapped inside some kind of big jellyfish. The leader of the dolphins, Adolpho (ooooh, clever) soon shows up and demands respect from Bugs. Landlubbers, after all, polluted their oceans, but even worse, forced them to perform “in your creepy water park shows.”

By the way, thanks for leaving the pollution explanation at that and not deciding emulating Captain Planet’s a good thing, show. Even if it does make the Loonatics look even more like negligent a-holes for doing only the bare minimum to end this threat and doing nothing at all to look into or prevent further malevolent mutations like Adolpho. After all, it's clearly produced other giant marine life too.

“And they make you wear that ugly makeup. Oh, I’m sorry, that would be your face.” New season, if anything Bugs’s witty quip powers have eroded. Check-a-roonie!

As a sidenote, for some reason (okay, I enjoyed The Tick a little too much back in the day), an evil talking dolphin not voiced by Maurice LaMarche sounds wrong. They probably could’ve had him do the role if they’d wanted to, too. Maurice did work on this season.

Just saying.
Instead, we’re stuck with Mark Hamill. But, on with the show!

Bugs tries and fails to quip with “I didn’t realize this room came with entertainment,” only to prove to be the entertainment himself when the evil dolphins smack him back and forth. He tries yet again with “You realize this means war” and does fire off his laser vision, only for it bounce off Adolpho’s back and knock him around some more. I repeat, what happened after we cut away from that dolphin inching up on Bugs? It’s getting hard to believe our Great Leader put up a fight before they got him, since he didn't know that would happen. And because of that it’s getting hard to believe he’s our Great Leader.

The other Loonatics are cruising around trying without success to find Bugs only to see the whales pulling down another island. With that gone, “Now they’re after Acmetropolis City!” Which as you maybe remember IS THE WHOLE PLANET!! Maybe the writers didn’t realize it, but they just said the bad guys are trying to pull the entire planet into a whirlpool.

Clearly something that can destroy the world.

You see maybe why I complain about this show?

Further endearing themselves, Wile E. “We’ve gotta get out of here before that whirlpool gets any bigger!” And leave the boats already trapped in it to fend for themselves, evidently. They’re learning Zadavia’s lessons well.

Oh yes, they showed it. And no escape pods this time! Robot pleasure boat drones, I guess!

They get pulled in as well, but Daffy’s able to push them out with his Aqua Dense. With their own safety assured for the moment, he takes command, with him and Lexi going to find Bugs (what for?) while the others do something about the whirlpool that can totally pull in an entire planet.

The anti-whirlpool team try to stop the whirlpool by having Taz and Roadrunner move really fast in the opposite direction. Adolpho sees what they’re doing and knocks the both of them into the stomach of one of the whales.

Meanwhile, Daffy and Lexi notice the lights are on in one of the old battleship’s rooms. Lexi reminds Daffy her powers backfired big time before, but Daffy pep talks her. “My powers are different down here, so maybe your powers are different too.” Uh…yeah? And what? No, that’s it, that’s the end of his rousing speech to his insecure teammate he’s counting on to cover him.

Daffy goes in and gets grabbed by the jellyfish too, only for Lexi to predictably save the day with one of her bottom-of-the-ocean enhanced ear lasers, allowing Daffy to finish it off with yet another blast of Aqua Dense. Sure it’s cool he’s got a new power, but you’re overusing it, show. And I bet I don’t even have to tell you they never explain why none of this ever came up before, whether it’s being underwater or near water that lets him (and Lexi) do this, and why they hardly ever take advantage of the conditions that boost their powers in the future. “Lexi short-circuited their mind control,” Bugs notes. Uh, she did?

You know what happens after hearing that, but let’s see if there’s any other dumb stuff to talk about. Bugs reminds us how “Adolpho’s gonna take down the city.” Ha ha, in your dreams, show. This season isn’t that cartoony.

Terrifyingly, we get a bit telling us the writers do know they’re saying this whirlpool’s supposed to doom the entire city planet. Adolpho tells his buddies to speed it up, “We’ve got a world to sink!” Daffy even affirms it with “We’ve got a world to save!” This episode just got five times dumber.

Daffy and Lexi use their souped up powers to blow the whales out of the water and the others net Adolpho. Wile E.’s dolphin translator just so happens to be a whale translator too, letting Bugs ask them to spit Taz and Roadrunner back out. Even though you’d hardly think the strong guy and the fast guy on a superhero team would have trouble pounding their way out of a whale’s mouth, but then again I hardly expect them to be anywhere near as capable as the hero of King’s Quest game.

Ground! That's it! Wonder if it'll be friends with me.

Roadrunner has another of his super-fast tirades about nothing, and everybody else looks to have left to not have to listen. Except they don’t leave, as it cuts to a long shot they’re just gone. As if we were dealing with bad animators or something.

They’ve put the captured Adolpho in a giant fishbowl complete with a fake underwater castle. He continues screaming his hatred of them even though he’s got a power suppression helmet on (well, they don’t say what it is, but what else would it be?).

Oh yeah, and a bunch of villains from the first season are in tiny little niches in this same hallway, but none of them are saying how much they hate the Loonatics because that would mean rounding up all those voice actors again and thinking of things actually worth spending their runtime on.

And wait just one miserable minute here. This is clearly the prison where they were keeping Mastermind with a new paint job.

Yet the season finale said those villains, including her, were being moved to somewhere more high security. Somewhere that required a train to take them there. Yet there's Massive and Weather Vane up there, and this is clearly the same prison with a new sign out front, and less secure because the zappy bars around the perimeter are gone.

I know, I know, they just thought we wouldn't notice. But that's the problem. They're banking on their audience being inattentive morons. Or maybe they didn't notice, and the show was made by inattentive morons.

Adolpho keeps screaming threats of revenge at them, and they respond by mockingly taking off their translator earpieces, reducing him to incoherent squawking again. And I sort of get the sense they came there specifically to do that in front of him. With all the times they screwed up this episode, and they think they’re allowed to waste time taunting the villain after it’s all over.

D-, Loonatics.


  1. You gotta review The Looney Tunes Show. It's really good, to me anyway. Have you seen it? If not I recommend watching episodes from the 2nd season. The 1st season was good to but a lot of the jokes fell flat (the 1st episode was soooo bad. And I hate that because people built opions from it).

    1. That's kind of how I feel about Zyuranger. Lots of people curious about Sentai watch that because it was the first one adapted into Power Rangers, but they really shouldn't because Power Rangers was at least three times as good that first season.

      As for me taking a crack at the Looney Tunes Show, I'm flattered you're interested in my take on it, but I'm not sure how well that'd work. From my Loonatics reviews I'm sure you can see I primarily rant about the show undermining its characters and plot holes. I do comment on the occasional joke that falls flat, but there's only so many ways you can say "this joke sucks."

      And that'd be a problem if I were to review bad episodes of a primarily comedic show, which the Looney Tunes Show is. I'm worried there just wouldn't be enough meat to warrant a full article.

      HOWEVER, as it so happens I am planning a review series after Loonatics (or when I need a break from it) where I'd do a review of a couple episodes of a show at a time, briefly describe the plot and point out what I thought the highlights were. Something like that might work for the Looney Tunes Show if I could get my hands on all the episodes.

    2. Here's the link for all The Looney Tunes Show episodes.

      And I see what you mean. Also for Loonatics I hope you review "Apocolyspo”, “The Family Business” and "In the Pinkster". Still even though they had plot holes and some needless parts I still enjoyed those episodes of the show. One of the reasons I even watch this is because I see the potential this show could've had if it had done something different.

      And the characters...while they can still be descendants of the Looney Tunes and have their quirks or some trademark catchphrases they should have given them their own personality and outlooks on how they see things rather than copy and pasting Looney Tunes on the Loonatics and tweaking a few things. Towards the end of the show it seemed like they were trying to mix the first season with Looney Tunes (I say that because they dropped the show's original ambition) but they couldn’t do it right because they didn’t know if they wanted to be dramatic, light hearted or both. When Tech get’s crushed in one scene for laughs but then warns everyone that falling rocks are dangerous is hypocritical. And takes away from the sense of action that the show is supposed to provide. Season two did try to dig more into the character’s life and personality but didn’t do it well enough.

      I did like that the animation improved in season 2. But while it did improve and became more fluid it remained inconsistent. I also liked that the art style shifted a bit. The world became brighter and they lost those blue highlights in their clothes. Also would you like to see this show come back if they got better writers and changed the shows direction?

    3. I was planning to do "Family Business," and I definitely have to do "In the Pinkster." I wasn't sure about "Apocalypso," though, because sometimes I've skipped episodes in the past if I thought they were just boring and didn't have anything especially noteworthy happen in them. I might reconsider it, but I'm also thinking about taking a break. I've written three more Loonatics recaps since this one already.

      As for the evolution of the show, as I talk about in the Tweety and Sylvester episode I think LU's biggest problem was being desperate to be something people would like, but at the same time being afraid to swing too hard one way or the other and just coming off wishy-washy instead. Maybe if it got some balls it might be interesting to watch, but I'll probably always think this was a show with a premise that was just never going to generate enough interest to sustain it.

    4. Yeah, if agree with you. Had the show not cared about what people thought and tried to be its own thing it might’ve worked. I still believe the Looney Tunes descendents in the future thing could’ve worked if they had tried more. Every time I watch a season 1 episode I feel they aren’t trying at all. Not just to be a Looney Tunes show that’s different but a show at all. I’m not saying that season 2 is gold either; I just like it better than season 1.

    5. Well, you do need to think about your audience and try to give them something they'll like or you won't stay afloat for long either. The problem with LU, it seems to me, was how desperate the creators were to produce something people would like with all the different changes and additions it went through before they threw in the towel.

      It was like, "Whoa, you guys didn't like the teaser for the new show? Okay, well what if it's like this instead? Still didn't like the first season, what if we did this in the second season?" At the same time, the show seemed afraid of being either too serious OR too silly, despite supposedly being a blend of both.

      That's what I mean by the show getting some balls. The people behind it being able to stand by what they've made, and being will to work in the elements the show's supposed to have.

      Realizing your premise is doomed before it ever begins is the best thing the creators could've had, though. If you enjoy LU, fine, but they weren't trying to create a cult hit with a small yet devoted fanbase. They wanted to create something that could compete with those darker cartoons that were catching on in the states.