DC Animation

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Thad
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Re: DC Animation

Postby Thad » Thu Apr 25, 2019 10:48 am

You might want to look into the cropping on the HD version of Justice League before you take those DVDs to Bookmans.

IIRC Timm wanted to do season 2 in widescreen but CN insisted on 4:3; the DVD version is 4:3 but the Blu-Ray is cropped to 16:9. Timm considers the widescreen version to be the definitive version and how it was always meant to look, but it *is* cropped and missing some stuff that you can see at the edges of the picture on the DVD version.

At least, that's how I remember it; I don't have links onhand and may be misremembering some of the details (I *think* it was just season 2 but maybe it was season 1 too? Or just season 1?). Anyway, if that's the sort of thing that would impact your decision to upgrade, it's worth doing a little research first.

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Re: DC Animation

Postby Thad » Fri Apr 26, 2019 12:35 am

I'm six episodes into Young Justice season 3 and I'm kinda starting to wonder if all the continuity references are so heavy as to lose viewers who aren't well-versed in DC lore. Like, the episode in question introduces Jason Todd and Damian Wayne without bothering to explain who they are, and, like...are these plot points that are going to pay off later, or is it just another Easter egg like having Snapper Carr show up in the previous episode? Because it sure seems like anybody who doesn't know the significance of an unnamed Talia showing up holding a baby and then a masked assassin recognizing Dick and Ra's commenting that his memories are returning is going to have questions about what the fuck just happened.

Also: damn, guess this means we won't get to see Damian as Robin unless there's another time jump. (Maybe season 4? It hasn't actually been confirmed that there's going to be one, but given season 3's ratings I'm cautiously optimistic.)

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Re: DC Animation

Postby Mothra » Wed Jul 31, 2019 9:44 pm

I'm also pretty floored by how fucking many plot threads are running in Young Justice right now. And they keep adding them on. There's like three traitors in the team right now, everyone's got their own subplot going on, three different teams being built, whatever's going on with Superman and the JLU, etc.

That said, I love it. I love watching this show. The latest ep with Aquaman returning home and Halo visiting her parents was great.

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Re: DC Animation

Postby Mothra » Wed Jul 31, 2019 9:46 pm

Beyond that, been watching a good amount of DC Super Hero Girls, which is like a reboot of that bizarre Bratz series they had running on youtube for a while. It's a Lauren Faust show, so, the animation is fun and cartoony, with a lot of good visual gags. Would definitely recommend it, it's been very fun so far. Here's a channel where they just loops episodes over and over.

Helps that it has some great voice acting.

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Re: DC Animation

Postby Thad » Thu Aug 01, 2019 9:38 pm

Thad wrote:(Maybe season 4? It hasn't actually been confirmed that there's going to be one, but given season 3's ratings I'm cautiously optimistic.)

Young Justice season 4 confirmed.

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Re: DC Animation

Postby Thad » Sat Nov 30, 2019 1:51 am

Harley Quinn has potential, partially because the first episode is basically Harley and Ivy with more cursing and violence and less homoeroticism.

The show's driving hard for a Deadpool vibe, but misses the mark pretty hard. It's got the blood and guts and four-letter words, but for the most part, it's not funny, just gratuitous. There are some exceptions; there's a good sight gag involving JB Smoove as off-brand Audrey II, and I love how they're playing Commissioner Gordon. And it's got heart; at its core, it's a story about a woman leaving an abusive relationship. And it's got a great damn cast (Diedrich Bader returns to the role of Batman, Alan Tudyk plays the Joker, Jim Rash is the Riddler; I'm still getting used to Kaley Cuoco's version of Harley but she's good, she just plays it differently than Sorkin, or Strong, who was pretty much doing an impression of Sorkin).

There are moments in the first episode where the show gets out of its own way and does something funny or surprising or heartfelt. I want to like it. First episodes are hard; I'm hoping over time they knock off the edgy-for-edgy's-sake stuff and find out how to make the violence and profanity serve the comedy instead of just doing it because they can. The review over at The Beat seems to indicate that's the case, so, fingers crossed.

Also, one more notable thing: there's a line where the Joker says something like "Gordon's mad at me just because I crippled his partner." Partner, not daughter. Because a show that goes out of its way to be gross and tasteless looked at The Killing Joke and said "Nah, that's too gross and tasteless."

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Re: DC Animation

Postby Blossom » Sun Dec 01, 2019 9:53 pm

This is the adaptation that decided to make Harley and Ivy both avowedly straight, right?
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Re: DC Animation

Postby Thad » Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:03 am

Blossom wrote:This is the adaptation that decided to make Harley and Ivy both avowedly straight, right?

Hard to tell from the first episode, but they don't seem to have any of the romantic chemistry they've had in previous adaptations. Ivy makes a passing reference to an old boyfriend, and Harley only shows interest in Mr. J. There are some homoerotic overtones, but they're all "Joker is in love with Batman."

All I know beyond the first episode is that Comics Beat article I linked indicates that the show continues to treat Harley and Ivy as Just Friends. Which is damned disappointing, but doesn't necessarily translate to "avowedly straight".

If I were to give the show the benefit of the doubt -- and I'd like to, in case my rather apologetic rundown of the first episode didn't make that clear -- I'd say that the best justification for not going straight into a Harley/Ivy relationship is that Harley's just gotten out of an abusive relationship, and maybe the writers think that having the protagonist jump straight into another relationship undermines the message of empowerment and personal growth. Maybe the Harley/Ivy relationship is still to come. I'd sure like for that to be the case, but it's also entirely possible that the show really is as misguided as the first episode suggests and I'm just wasting my time here.

I plan on keeping up with the show for the next couple episodes, anyway; I'll pass on anything I think is notable.

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Re: DC Animation

Postby Blossom » Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:21 am

The review over at The Mary Sue is a hell of a lot less sanguine about the screeners. In 2019, it's not really a message of empowerment and personal growth, it's erasure.
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Re: DC Animation

Postby Thad » Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:59 pm

Welp, that's disappointing but entirely consistent with what I thought of the first episode.

Maybe if I get around to the other twelve I'll wind up feeling more like Maveal about them than Weekes, but...yeah, Weekes sure sounds more like she's describing the show I watched than Maveal does, and that makes me a lot less inclined to sit through another dozen. (Although it does kind of make me look forward to the inevitable interview with whatever disgruntled staffer eventually explains what the fuck happened here and who made all these terrible decisions.)

I can see a defense for not having Harley and Ivy get together right away, but not even acknowledging either character's queerness at any point during the first season is indefensible.

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Re: DC Animation

Postby Thad » Tue Dec 03, 2019 1:08 am

Meanwhile, I haven't quite finished season 3 of Young Justice, but in addition to everything else that's great about it it's extremely LGBT-friendly. It's frustrating that they couldn't acknowledge one of their leads as gay until the show moved off basic cable, but better late than never.

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Re: DC Animation

Postby Blossom » Mon Dec 16, 2019 4:54 pm

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Re: DC Animation

Postby Brentai » Mon Dec 16, 2019 9:58 pm

Given that it's The Penguin I'd almost say this is progress.

But yeah in seriousness that's a lot of "Why go there?". Which is weird to say in a cartoon that's being obnoxious by NOT swerving its female lead characters suddenly into homosexuality.
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Re: DC Animation

Postby Thad » Tue Dec 17, 2019 12:12 am

I've kept watching it because...possibly I hate myself? And it's incredibly frustrating because it continues to be bad, and yet there are so many very talented people involved and occasionally there is an inspired gag.

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In a way, the quality of the cast and the occasional bright spot in the writing make it worse, because it keeps showing potential and then squandering it.

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Re: DC Animation

Postby mharr » Fri Jan 10, 2020 8:30 am

And it got worse. https://mrgreedyguts.tumblr.com/post/19 ... depressing

All the way worse.

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Re: DC Animation

Postby Mongrel » Fri Jan 10, 2020 1:31 pm

Whaaaat the fuuuuuck
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Re: DC Animation

Postby Thad » Fri Jan 10, 2020 7:33 pm

And if anything, the Mary Sue article Blossom linked undersold just how baffling the episode where Harley recruits her posse is. The first act is all about how she can't succeed as a supervillain because of sexism, so then...she recruits two henchmen, and not only are they both male, one of them is a character whose whole deal is that he's a misogynist.

A better show would at least have someone acknowledge the irony somewhere (and a *good* show wouldn't do it at all), but this one doesn't even seem to notice. It goes straight from "supervillain glass ceiling" to "this horrifying misogynist would make a good teammate" without a shred of cognitive dissonance.

And, as the Mary Sue noted, Ivy and Giganta are *right there*. Why can't they be Harley's teammates? Who knows? (Ivy gives some BS line about "no way, I'm a solo act," but that's not an answer.)

And I haven't even gotten into the "hilarious" running gag where Dr. Psycho keeps calling women the C-word (and in case you're wondering where this show draws the line, that's the only word it bleeps).

The question I keep asking is, "How did this get made?" At its absolute best, it's a competent mediocrity with a couple good jokes in the half-hour. At its worst, well, it's "edgy" in the way that lazy racism and sexism are edgy, mistaking tired, offensive tropes for envelope-pushing.

After "how did this get made?" the next question is "why did all these talented actors sign up for this?" Tony Hale and Jason Alexander do better than anyone could reasonably expect as Dr. Psycho and Sy Borgman, but they're badly wasted on this dreadful material.

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Re: DC Animation

Postby Thad » Sat Apr 04, 2020 2:42 am

Season 2 of Harley Quinn has started.

You may be thinking, "Jeez, that's a quick turnaround time. There's no way they had time to listen to the feedback on season 1 and course-correct before season 2 went into production." And you would be right! To give a representative sample of the level season 2 is working on so far, there is an "actually, I identify as" joke in the first five minutes.

This episode in casual antisemitism: we see Barbara Gordon (senior, Jim's wife, not his daughter) for the first time, she has one line of dialogue -- "I want a divorce" -- and yes, she talks like a Jewish woman from Brooklyn.

(Notably, there is a season 1 episode that acknowledges outright that Harley herself is Jewish; it's the episode where she goes home to see her parents. Both of them are pretty obviously coded as Jewish, while Harley herself isn't; also they turn out to be plotting to kill her. In isolation, I'd just chalk this up to Cuoco not being able to pull off the accent -- she's the weakest actor in an extremely talented cast -- but in the context of all the show's other casual and not-so-casual antisemitism, de-emphasizing the Jewishness of the character we're supposed to root for seems pretty consistent with emphasizing the Jewishness of characters who are antagonists, war criminals, or shrewish women.)

And speaking of a grossly overqualified cast, the season 2 premier introduces Alfred Molina, playing Mr. Freeze with an accent that I'm pretty sure is an homage to Otto Preminger (one of the three actors who played him on the '66 TV series).

I've never really understood why people rubberneck at traffic accidents, and yet I keep watching this show. There's something about it that I find utterly fascinating. I think it's because it has some really good ingredients (did I mention the cast?) but they combine into a stew that's utterly toxic and...yeah actually now that I've gone with that metaphor it's not actually surprising that quality ingredients mixed in with poison don't make a very good stew.

A few episodes have risen to a level I'd describe as "inoffensive", "mediocre", "competent", or maybe even "pretty okay." This wasn't one of them. It could have been -- it actually got a laugh out of me at one bloody bit of cartoon violence, but then that bit was followed up by an extended, gratuitous sequence where Harley bites off the Penguin's nose and then stabs him through the throat. Fuckin' seriously; that happened. And I think that's something of a perfect encapsulation of the show -- a good, short bit of over-the-top violence that elicits a chuckle, followed by an extended, completely gratuitous sequence that sours the whole thing. It's not knowing when to stop. Edgy, shocking humor can be funny, but it's a tough balance to maintain. And this is a pretty good example of a gag that struck that balance expertly -- and then kept fucking going into nasty, gross, just-because-we-can territory.

So yeah I'd say any hopes that it's going to get better in season 2 are pretty much dashed. But it continues to be wrong and misbegotten in a way that I find mesmerizing.

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