Daily Cartoon! Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles S.2,E.4: “Mean Machines”

Greetings and welcome back to another episode of TMNT. My Thanksgiving break lasted a bit longer than I expected since work was hella busy when I got back, but I’m here now. Ready to fulfill all your needs and wants.

I hope everybody had a great holiday. I certainly did which is why you haven’t heard a word out of me. Quickly, before we start, I just want to say thanks to all who are listening to the podcast as we’ve been hitting some good numbers all month. We’ve blown away all the numbers before so thanks for tuning in and remember to subscribe on iTunes, Soundcloud, Stitcher and Google Play. Leave a review too. That shit matters.

OK, so when we left off, the Turtles and Shredder were in a race to find the missing pieces of an alien crystal that combines to make the Eye of Sarnath and grants the holder all sorts of alien powers. So far Shredder has been a step ahead of the Turtles during all of this and keeps escaping barely with the crystals still in his possession.

Which brings us too…

S.2,E.4: “Mean Machines”. Original Air Date: 10/22/1988

Plot:

We begin with Donatello building a new tracking device for the crystals of the Eye of Sarnath since the one the Turtles were given by the alien apparently broke or needs new batteries or something. So much for the advancement of alien technology.

So they have this new gizmo and it leads them to a bank where there just happens to be a robbery taking place. The Turtles can barely go out at all without stumbling into some kind of crime wherever they go. A tough life they lead.

The Turtles take care of the bank robbers in short order, but were followed to the bank by Shredder and Baxter who apparently know where the Turtles are every second of the day and, at no point, just fucking murder them in their sleep to get rid of them for good. I mean, if the Shredder’s end-game is to rid himself of the Turtles, why not just do that? Stick a hose leaking carbon monoxide into the sewers or put cyanide in their pizza. Or hide under their beds and slit their Turtle throats as they meet with Mr. Sandman. There’s legitimately tons of options here.

Shredder and Baxter locate the next piece of the Eye of Sarnath while the Turtles are occupied and head back to the hideout so they can FaceTime with Krang and tell him Shredder’s new plan to utilize the power of the crystal by soldering it to a computer which I guess will make it a super computer or something. Krang and I agree that this plan seems a little ridiculous, but whatevs.

For some reason, despite having a device that leads you to the crystal, the Turtles are up shit creek without a paddle once Shredder has it. It’s like he’s still living in the one area of town that doesn’t get service from Verizon.

Shredder puts his plan to work when he breaks into a computer lab and attaches the Eye of Sarnath to a big computer mainframe that has some sort of artificial intelligence. He uses it to track the Turtles to a construction site where they were meeting April. The computer sends some sort of energy signal through the power lines of NYC to activate the previously unused construction vehicles nearby to attack the TMNT. The Turtles, obviously find a way out of this sticky situation, but the computer is not satisfied and begins draining all the energy from all the power plants across the city and activates all sorts of machines which begin causing absolute chaos in NYC.

The Turtles are finally able to track Shredder, but the computer realizes what’s going on and takes control of the Turtle Van causing it to crash. The computer continues to draw more power so Shredder can open the portal to Dimension X and summon his Foot Soldiers without needing Krang.

The Turtles bust up the party, though, and put an end to the computer’s reign of terror by turning it off, but not before Shredder and Baxter once again escape.

Final Thoughts:

This Eye of Sarnath arc is getting a little difficult for me to understand. I could have sworn Shredder already had two pieces of it, but apparently, today’s discovery at the bank was the second. I may have to go back and re-watch an episode or two as the notes I take during the episodes say one thing that doesn’t necessarily jive with what’s happening on-screen.

Either way, this plot by Shredder today was fucking dogshit. Attach a crystal to a computer? Hasn’t he seen The Terminator? Just a matter of time before that computer would have eventually turned on him too. Basically, the Turtles did him a favor by cutting that computer off.

One thing of interest at this point is that there aren’t really a lot of supporting characters yet. April has her news team, Shredder has Baxter, the Turtles have Splinter, but Krang, Bebop and Rocksteady have been used very sparingly and there hasn’t been much in terms of new characters or alliances or anything which leaves for a very exclusive world. It could just be me, but I could have sworn the universe expands if, for nothing else, just to expand the toy line which was massive at the time.

Maybe that’s coming and I’m just jumping ahead of myself.

Either way, that’s where I am. This story-arc is a bit convoluted and I’m waiting for more characters so I can buy toys.

That being said, the episodes are still fun and go rather quickly which is great because it makes you want to see the next one. And I still want to see the next one. So even with the issues, the show hasn’t lost my interest.

Sorry again for taking so long to get back to this, but like I said, I enjoyed my little vacation and am now back to the grind. I’ll keep pumping these out as best as possible.

Thanks for coming by and I’ll see you tomorrow.

❤ Joe

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Daily Cartoon! Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles S.2, E.1: “Return of the Shredder”

Welcome back to the premiere of Season 2 of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! When we left off yesterday, our heroes had banished Shredder, Krang and the Technodrome to the fiery hell of Dimension X to the delight of Krang and sorrow of Shredder.

Things have been kind of peaceful in New York since then as the only crimes left are the ones we’re used to like muggings and shit. Those are OK.

But where does that leave our beloved heroes in a half-shell? Only one way to find out…

S.2, E.1: “Return of the Shredder”. Original Air Date: 10/01/1988

Plot:

Leonardo and Michelangelo are at the supermarket picking up the necessities when a couple of bad hombres storm the joint in a robbery attempt. The Turtles snuff out the threat fairly easily and the cashier comps their groceries as a thank you for saving her. Leo and Mikey slip outta there quickly before the cops show up. April O’Neil and her news team show up to the scene and get an interview with the cashier where she explains how the Turtles saved the day.

Meanwhile, in Dimension X (here to referred to as “DX”…I won’t do the Suck Its today) Shredder is whining about how losing to the Turtles was an accident and that Krang needs to send him back to Earth because he wants to rule Earth, not DX. If I was Krang, I’d send this dude back with the quickness just so I didn’t have to listen to his incessant moaning. Finally, Krang gives in and allows Shredder to return, but keeps Bebop and Rocksteady in DX.

April’s back in the newsroom where she’s trying to convince her boss, Burne Thompson that the Turtles are the good guys, but he ain’t having it. We find out that this is because Burne’s new girlfriend, Tiffany, hates turtles and those who sympathize with turtles. To be fair, I don’t blame him. Burne is a tubby, middle-aged man and – based on his wardrobe – ain’t making a lot of money, so to have Tiffany who’s probably around 20 years his junior and is definitely a piece has to be considered a score and quite frankly, I’d hate the Turtles for her too.

Shredder is walking around NYC and has a mugging attempted against him, but he stops it quickly and the realizes he’ll need to assemble a crew since Krang isn’t allowing him any of his minions. I assume he checks the yellow pages for “Corrupt Karate Schools” as he ends up at the “Slash For Cash Dojo” and immediately shows off his ninja skills and the trainees along with their sensei, Smash, fall in line immediately.

Shredder uses his new henchman to carry out crimes while disguised as turtles. They even cut promos to any cameras in the vicinity calling themselves “The Crooked Ninja Turtle Gang”. The public is quick to buy into their shitty costumes and sentiment is starting to get negative towards the real Turtles. He then frees Baxter Stockman from an insane asylum because…well, what criminal mastermind DOESN’T need a mad scientist on his team?

Baxter builds a new rat catching machine because it seems to be his specialty and, once again, Splinter is captured by the bad guys. The Turtles follow the trail and are led to the Crooked Ninja Turtle Gang whom they beat in a rather one-sided affair before going to track down Shredder’s new hideout at the Slash For Cash Dojo.

Sidebar: what aspiring karate student signs up for lessons at a place called the Slash For Cash Dojo? Seriously. What in the fuck do you think you’ll possibly learn there? I’d really like to sit down and talk to the parents who signed permission slips for their kids to attend the Slash For Cash Dojo and train under master Smash.

OK, back from my tangent. So the Turtles arrive at the Dojo and find Splinter tied up, but there’s a battering ram booby trap that is going to flatten our favorite rat. Baxter drives into the suddenly spacious dojo in his rat-catcher mobile, but the Turtles fend him off and the machine takes the brunt of the battering ram just as Leonardo is able to free Splinter. Whew. That was a close one.

Shredder and Baxter escape and Krang chews out Shredder for losing again. He says he won’t be sending any help for Shredder until he proves himself. April arrives on scene and does a report detailing the events and saying that the Crooked Ninja Turtle Gang was a hoax and that the real Turtles are heroes.

Final Thoughts:

This is probably the weakest of the six episodes thus far, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. There’s a lot of nonsense to get through to get us set up for the ensuing season, but they seem to be able to do that within the first couple of minutes.

The show, despite still being in its infancy, continues to play to its strengths which are not taking itself too seriously and just having fun characters, fights and verbal interactions. The stuff between Shredder and Krang is great. Baxter plays the inferior henchman role incredibly well and the Turtles are distinct and unique from each other which keeps you from getting sick of them. It’s a pretty good formula.

So we’ve scratched the surface on Season 2! We will have to keep coming back to see what – if any – help Shredder can get from Krang who seems happy as a pig in shit in DX and how that will improve his chances of finally being able to dine on Turtle Soup.

See you tomorrow.

❤ Joe

Daily Cartoon! Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles S.1, E. 1 “Turtle Tracks”

Folks, after what turned out to be an abomination of trying to watch the complete series of M.A.S.K., I’ve turned my attention to a new cartoon: TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES.

Gomez was a big proponent of this and I did recently pick up the complete series in the Turtle Van collector box on Amazon Prime Day, so why the hell not? Well, I’ll tell you why not: the series is listed at 193 episodes which is hella daunting, especially once you consider how I just struggled to get through half of a 65 episode series.

TMNT was never my favorite show as a kid. I mean, it was definitely the hot shit and I certainly watched it and had toys, but maybe I was a bit too old to be genuinely swept up in the Turtle Mania of the time. To say my remembrance of TMNT is vague is probably an understatement. My best memories probably come from constantly playing the arcade game that was in every pizzeria in the early 90s. That shit was bananas.

At no point have I ever gone back and done any kind of re-watch with this series so I’m expecting to encounter a flood of memories as well as feeling like I’m seeing a lot of this for the first time. I’d assume more the latter than former. Really, I’m just hoping to enjoy and have fun with this after how much I hated watching M.A.S.K. And so, we begin…

Season 1, Episode 1: “Turtle Tracks” Original Air Date: Dec. 28, 1987

Plot:

We’re introduced to a TV news report on how crime has overrun the city. High tech labs are apparently being knocked over by ninjas and reporter, April O’Neil, is trying to get the scoop when her and her news crew are approached by a gang of toughs. April’s crew immediately heads for the hills, but she tries to save her footage and slips into the sewers while being chased by the gang.

Four giant, talking turtles come to the rescue and send the bad guys packing before April passes out at the sight of her new heroes. The Turtles take her back to their lair so she can rest and when she awakens, she’s greeted by a grown, talking rat named Splinter.

Splinter then bestows upon April (and us) their origin story. He was once a well-respected ninja in Japan named Hamato Yoshi who was sabotaged by his arch nemesis, Oroku Saki causing him to be ostracized by the noble Foot Clan. Yoshi ended up in New York, living in the sewers while Saki took control of the Foot, turning them into a group of evil and crime who – apparently – love soda as they’re shown stealing full soda machines.

Yoshi takes in a group of four turtles who are literally dropped in his lap from a sewer above and treats them as his pets and friends. One day, Yoshi returns to his lair to find his turtles covered in a powerful mutagen that transforms whomever comes in contact with it into whatever they last touched. The turtles, obviously, into half people turtles and Yoshi into a rat because of his recent contact with them in the sewers.

Yoshi names his four “sons” after his favorite renaissance artists and trains them in the ninjitsu that he spent his life learning before being cast out. April is still uncertain what to make of this whole situation, but the Turtles bargain to help her get a story if she would report on their innocence.

They go out for pizza and April leaves to call her network to send a film crew, but she never returns. The Turtles get nervous and go looking for her and notice her satchel hanging from a rooftop of a building across the street which, realistically, would have been impossible during nighttime in New York.

But they notice it and go up there to be attacked by a gang of Foot Soldier robots. The Turtles make quick work of them and  Shredder, the former Oroku Saki who has been monitoring the ordeal on a surveillance system recognizes their fighting style as being Foot influenced and wonders aloud if Hamato Yoshi is still alive.

The Turtles end up flooding the building by using its fire sprinkler system and escape safely with April just in the nick of time. Splinter watches some news coverage of the fight and recognizes the Foot uniform and immediately accepts that his old nemesis, Saki, is still alive and close by.

Thoughts:

This was a really fun pilot episode. Obviously, I’m familiar with the origin after almost 30 years, but forgot how fun the animation, characters and writing were. Also, it’s impossible to hear any line from Shredder now without thinking of Uncle Phil. (If you didn’t know, Shredder is voiced by James Avery who played Uncle Phil on “Fresh Prince of Bel Air.) I’m actually completely into this because, although I remembered the origin, I felt completely unfamiliar to the storyline and how things advance. I’m genuinely excited to get to the next episode.

Final Grade:

***1/2*

Solid, fun and entertaining. Made me want to see the next one.

And with that, we blow the doors open on me watching another cartoon series. I’m not committing to an every day schedule, but I’ll do my best. At least it seems – right now, anyway – that I’ll be motivated to continue watching.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for Ep. 2!

❤ Joe

Joe Gets His Amazon Prime Day Deliveries!

Well, I’ve waited long enough! Finally all those life-changing purchases showed up in my mailbox. Let’s peruse:


Degree Deodorant – 6 Pack

Take a guess at who will have the driest pits in Florida for the next few months!


Space Ghost Funko Pop Figure

Funkos kill me because it’s hard not to go nuts and buy everything, but I’m pretty good about just keeping it to the characters I’m really into. This was a must have for my collection. 

M.A.S.K. – The Complete Series

This is something I’ve been meaning to buy for a while as I was never into this show as a kid, but got interested in because of Twitter and a possible crossover movie with GI Joe. I would bet that you hear a lot more about M.A.S.K. and I very soon. 


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – The Complete Classic Series Collection 

As mentioned in Episode 2, I wasn’t the biggest TMNT fan, but I was definitely a fan and this collection comes in this sweet Turtle Van case that will look great displayed on my…I dunno…some piece of furniture once I figure out a spot for it. Will be fun to get back into this and listen to the velvety voice of Uncle Phil as Shredder talking about dining on turtle soup. 

So this was my Amazon Prime Day haul. Hopefully, your’s was as bountiful.