I am going to run a quick checklist of this show so I can try to figure out why it has been so lackluster as of late. Let’s see, we have Peter Cullen and Frank Welker, the original voices of Optimus Prime and Megatron (respectively). We have a Megatron design that while being based off the Michael Bay movies, it does not look like something Grimlock chewed up – in fact it looks better than the original. We have a treacherous Starscream and an interesting story in him because he currently is neither Decepticon nor Autobot. We even have a base storyline where the robots are actually in disguise; the fights are kept away from the human populace. So what is going on here, why is this show so damned boring lately? There is so much potential in this show and I can only hope the writers tap into it soon. If season two continues at its current pace, I fear there will be no season three.
PAX AIN’T NO PUNK BITCH I am not even going to touch the debacle of Unicron actually being Planet Earth, but that was an example of truly horrible writing. The aftermath of that story left Optimus Prime with zero knowledge of his battles with Megatron and three episodes were wasted getting said knowledge back. Granted, the power of the Matrix of Leadership was used to stop Unicron; that is what happened in the original story. They also got right the part about the Matrix containing knowledge; it is the collective knowledge of all past Autobot leaders. It helps the current leader do so effectively. The problem is that last I checked, Optimus, and every other Transformer, even the stupid ones, have a brain in their head. Even if the Matrix is emptied, there is no reason for him to lose his memories. Orion Pax was not a fighter, but he stood up to Megatron before he became Optimus. In fact, that is why he became Optimus. In the original story, Pax was so damaged by Megatron that he was going to die. Alpha Trion rebuilt him completely with a new body and at that point he was renamed Optimus Prime. Take away the Matrix and you still should have a guy ready, willing and capable of beating the snot out of Megatron. Instead, we get a robo-nerd that sits around decrypting files for two episodes, even though every ounce of his being says that it is wrong. And now that “Optimus” is back, he has no memory of what he did aboard Megatron’s flagship; isn’t that convenient? The answer is no, it’s stupid, just like his initial memory loss..Counting the information that Pax unearthed aside, and again this is based upon how the writers develop that story, everything else about these three episodes was garbage or handled in such a poor manner that it became garbage.
INDIVIDUAL ELEVEN? OK, so you killed Cliffjumper at the beginning of the series, I accept that the show was not going to be able to afford The Rock as a continued voice actor. I accept that you made Wheeljack a freakin’ samurai and for some reason did not keep him on the show. Also there was Makeshift, the Decepticon that can copy other Transformers. Awesome idea, too bad you killed him off. That POS thing on Soundwave’s chest that you dare to call Laserbeak does not count. A full season has now passed; are we to believe that aside from Decepticon drones that there are only eleven Transformers left in the universe? You send Jack and Arcee to Cybertron and the only thing they encounter is a nameless insecticon. Thanks for that, I did not know that Heracross jumped ship from Pokémon and became a Transformer. Just as quickly as you introduce the insecticon, you have it torn apart by scraplets, parasites that date back to Gen 1 comics. Not mad at that per se because the big bug would have squashed Jack and Optimus would never be Optimus again. Still, Can we get some more Transformers please? I know I am not the only one tired of Bumblebee’s squeaks and squawks.
BLACK & YELLOW I used to complain that there is way too much focus on Bumblebee in these new shows. The original Bumblebee was a little bitch. He got his ass kicked by Rumble, which would not be bad if Rumble had not lost a fight to Spike, a human. This new Bumblebee is cooler, tougher and not a punk like the original so I like him. I just hate the noises he makes versus a real voice. I get that Megatron tore his voice box out and this last episode emphasized that. You still have to give a lot of props to him; even after what Megatron did to him he is still not afraid to face him. That makes the concept of Bumblebee being useless just because he cannot transform into a car even more ridiculous. He definitely needs it to effectively perform his scouting and spying duties, but he can still fight. Transformation cogs go back to the Gen 1 movie and Metroplex, the Autobot City. The stupid part about this episode is that historically, a Transformer without its cog is stuck in vehicular mode. The original Megatron even had a “transfixation ray” once where he locked all Autobots in vehicle mode. Bumblebee would actually be somewhat helpless if he could not assume robot form. What form he is stuck in is not such a big deal, but I do not see why he is unable to use his guns; accessing weapons systems should not be considered a transformation.. Whatever, I am glad this one is only a two part story that will be over next week.
SOME GOOD NEWS I maintain that the last four episodes have been painful to watch. The only shining star has been (no pun) Starscream. The “traitor’s traitor” has been really awesome lately. Begging Autobots for first aid in return for space bridge info and joining up with MECH shows us a Cybertronian with no loyalties. It also opens the door for possibilities. In the original cartoon, during one of his bids to overthrow Megatron, Starscream created the Combaticons. They were a group of five Decepticons and were one of the combiner groups that merged to form Bruticus. I doubt these writers have the imagination to bring combiners into the picture, but hopefully this new alliance will bring us some new Transformers.
People are going to think that I hate this show. Let me be clear and say that if I hated this show, I would not bother writing about it. I love The Transformers and I really like Prime. I want this show to be as good as TF: Animated and Beast Wars. Nothing thus far has ever topped the original show and the way this one is going it will not be the show that accomplishes that. I really think the writers should go watch some of these old shows. They make these new stories for us and I can tell they have a plan, but it really feels like they don’t actually know what to do with giant robots that change into vehicles. It is a damn shame when you consider the amount of talent that is behind this project.