Welcome to your Hump Day cartoon rewatch! Coming off one of the most not-great episodes so far this season, I’m hoping for a bit of a bounceback today. With only seven episodes to go in this season (counting today’s) I’d like to see the writers finish strong and give us a little something to mull over before Season 2.
I already have a bad feeling about today’s episode just based on the title: “Buzz-Off’s Pride”. This reeks of Buzz just getting butthurt about something stupid and then brooding around until he learns the valuable lesson that Rocky Balboa so eloquently taught us years ago.
Now sure, this show was out a few years before that Rocky movie, but Rocky wasn’t the first person to say these things. Buzz-Off’s bumblebee dad should have imparted some wisdom on him at some point over the years.
But that sounds like a fully-formed review. And we haven’t even hit play yet. So I should probably watch the episode before shitting all over it. OK, game time, let’s do this.
S01E20: Buzz-Off’s Pride
Original Air Date: March 22, 2003
Something that grabbed my attention is the title screen. Apparently, this episode was written by Randall Littlejohn and…Christy Marx. Why is this a big deal? Because Christy Marx also was the creator of another show I love from the 80s: Jem & The Holograms!
So I recognize the name Christy Marx because of Jem, but after a quick peek, she’s had a very full career having written episodes for a ton of shows I like. Now I really want to hug this woman and say thank you. Outrageous! (Kimber Benton voice)
We begin with Buzz-Off flying off to a nearby town to pick up some special fruit that his Queen likes for an upcoming celebration on Andreenos. But when he arrives, there are three mutant giants causing a ruckus. Buzz tries standing up to the bully, but he gets smacked and is forced to run off.
Upon returning to the palace, Buzz refuses to tell anyone of what happened in the small town because he doesn’t want them knowing he got beat up. A messenger arrives soon after, however, telling of trouble and a damaged bridge in that small village which is a big problem since many of the neighboring communities rely on that town for food. The Masters are going to have to help fix the bridge immediately. Buzz, hearing the news and wanting another shot at the giants, signs on, but doesn’t tell anyone else about the giants so now they won’t be prepared for a fight.
As the Masters arrive, they see the destruction the giants are causing. Buzz runs off to start another fight, but Duncan wants to make a plan to ensure villagers aren’t hurt. Buzz doesn’t care about villagers though and ends up just making more of a mess and looking like a fool.
Prince Adam is finally able to find a place to transform in He-Man which is a game changer, but the giants aren’t easily defeated. He-Man gets distracted by having to save innocent civilians and the giants are able to escape with their prize: a crystal that powers the town and allows them to farm at an exceptional rate which provides food for many of the neighboring villages.
Buzz returns to the scene after having been drawn away by the giant who slapped him around earlier and Man-At-Arms reads him the riot act for having been so undisciplined. Even He-Man gets on his case as now this village and the ones around it will starve without that crystal powering their farming. Buzz gets angry and flies off again…saying he’ll return with the crystal.
Buzz tracks the giants back to their homely looking cottage in the middle of nowhere where he uses his wits and guile to outsmart the giants to recapture the crystal and return it to the village. The locals are so thankful that they offer him a reward, but Buzz is like, “I’m a good guy, so I can’t accept it, but I would like to purchase some of those honeyberries so I can make the Queen of bee kingdom all splash waterfalls.”
PSA: Do good. Be a hero.
This episode was…odd. There’s hard-headed and prideful, but then there’s also dumb and stupid. Buzz-Off acted dumb and stupid in the first places, but then added to it when it became apparent that the Masters were going to have to head that way and he made no mention of a bunch of angry giants. He put everyone in danger because he couldn’t handle getting his wig split.
Once again, we see another powerful crystal, only this time it can’t help you take over Grayskull, it just powers the earth to make fruit grow bigger and sweeter. Yeah. Fine. Whatever.
This is two straight episodes now without Skeletor or any of his henchmen. I would imagine that has to be some kind of record. I’m usually in favor of breaks like that as it keeps the villains fresh, but yesterday’s episode was just blah. Today’s wasn’t terrible, but Buzz’s whole attitude just rubbed me the wrong way and wasn’t befitting a Master of the Universe which I guess was the point. Then he gets his stern talking-to from Duncan and He-Man and learned a lesson. I guess that’s fine.
I’d probably rank this one in the bottom half of the list of favorites so far this season, but – in the grand scheme – it still wasn’t terrible. That’s what keeps me coming back with this series: even the bad episodes aren’t piles of steaming shit. I’m not kidding. Go back and watch some of the old cartoons you love and see what percentage of episodes are borderline unwatchable today. I’m willing to bet it’s significant. Once you get past the nostalgia, a lot of those 80s shows especially are really bad. Original He-Man? Oof. Teenange Mutant Ninja Turtles? A whole lot of hot garbage in there. M.A.S.K.? Majority trash. GI Joe? If those phasers aren’t set to “stun” then the whole world should cease to exist.
I will say that I find Thundercats to still be enjoyable. There’s a lot of depth that you probably weren’t aware of as a child watching it.
OK, so we made it through today. We’ll clock back in tomorrow and do it all over again.