Re: Ultimate Spider-Man animated series discussion thread - Part 1
I watched up until ep 21 on Netflix and I had to take a break after that school play episode. It sort of epitomized every problem I had with the show.
In the beginning, it was a little difficult to deal with the tongue-in-cheek nature of the show especially coming off of Spectacular Spider-Man, but I got over it by the time I was into the 5th episode because even though some of the jokes were pretty hammy the show was funny and a bit interesting over all. But at that 21st episode for some reason, I just couldn't take how the show handled itself anymore. I just couldn't take how nothing at all is taken seriously and it almost feels like the writers want to avoid any type of serious plotline or even romantic subplot even if it doesn't make sense not to address it. I don't buy that they're doing it because it's a show for "kids". This clearly isn't for kids. It's more for teenagers if anything. They throw around the words death and kill too much for this to be primarily for kids not to mention some of the references, jokes, innuendo, and even words they use would never be caught or understood by kids. I remember there was one episode that was completely a Bond parody based around Fury, with the title being "For Your Eye Only" and ending with "Spider-Man will return in Octopussy". A kid would never get that reference. And that's just the main problem. I'm not even going to into the idea of Spidey being on a ****ing SHIELD team with a bunch of other teenagers. Honestly, if they wanted to do that they should have just made a Nova show for Sam Alexander and left Spidey to actually be Spidey. But I digress.
It feels like the writers think the audience is too dumb or have too short-attention spans to deal with smart writing or plot. Given, like I said, I like some of the stuff they do, such as the chibi Spideys which give the show a distinct Japanese feel and reminds me of Puffy Ami Yumi and Teen Titans, and some episodes are legitimately funny, but they go way too far to make this show completely nonsensical. On top of all that, that play episode just reminded me of Spectacular Spider-Man's own play episode, which was one of the best animated TV episodes I've ever seen. Honestly, if someone asks why you don't like Ultimate Spider-Man or have a problem with it, just tell them to watch that Spectacular Spider-Man play episode and then Ultimate Spider-Man's play episode, and I'm sure they'll understand. The two episodes perfectly exemplify the difference between the two. One is smart and witty, putting forth a compelling story and plot with drama, comedy, and meaningful character study and development while still operating within the parameters of a "kids" show and the other is just pure hijinks with minimal plot and even characterization, let alone development or study of them.
Urgh, the more I post about it and think about the two next to each other the sadder it makes me. I just can't for the life of me understand why Marvel feels like they have to put out these shows that have no substance to them, with Hulk and the Agents of SMASH clearly being in the same vain as Ultimate Spider-Man and Avengers Assemble possibly following suit as well. They started out pretty great with Wolverine and the X-Men and Avenger EMH, and since then it's like there has been a seismic shift in production mindset. I just don't get why they're doing this and what they're getting out of it. If they're hoping to bring in young guys who don't read comics, I don't understand how making products that are little more than parodies of your characters is going to want to make them read comics that are actually serious. And I really hope they don't think what they're doing is good TV either. I really hope that what we're seeing isn't Disney playing big brother with the animation branch of Marvel.
Maybe I'm just a mad fanboy, since apparently Ultimate Spider-Man is a "hit" (even though I've seen no actual ratings of the show). But I honestly can't for the life of me understand how this...parody came out of Marvel. You would think that, with the chance to finally adapt their flaghsip character themselves they would try to do a faithful adaptation and produce something better than what Sony has to offer, but they went in the completely opposite direction. I can understand wanting to put Spidey in the overall Marvel world but they don't need to put him on a ****ing SHIELD team to do that. iI just prey that after Ultimate ends in the next year or two they put out a Spidey cartoon that's actually deserving of praise and attention like SSM.
Really, my heart is heavy just thinking about SSM...
I'm still going to order the DVDs to support Spider-Man and Marvel, but I really hope Marvel rethinks what they're doing in animation.
Last edited by Mr. Dent; 01-01-2013 at 06:52 PM.