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April 02, 2015
that without G1, there is no Beast Wars. Beast Wars is about manikg G1 happen. (And I’ll just add that Beast Wars basically IS G1.) Consider for one moment all of the criticisms that you have of G1 having a waffling continuity and then put into perspective the fact that Beast Wars is plugging itself INTO that waffling continuity.It’s kind of why I have a hard time taking Beast Wars seriously. It tries to be this sophisticated television show, and yet it grafts itself onto an 80s cartoon. If you’re going to write a serious show, why on EARTH would you do that?Now are you going to continue this semantic argument over the definition of fan wank, or are you going to acknowledge this point?To my point about Beast Wars and it’s story arc, you said Uh, yes it does. G1 constantly contradicted itself with its “story” First of all, we’ve acknowledged on this show that Transformers G1 is a product of its time. I have made this point myself many times. Don’t bring this up like I don’t know.Second, this digression into attacking G1 is entirely irrelevent. My point about Beast Wars was a response to your claim about whether or not Beast Wars had throw-away episode, and it absolutely DID. It had tons of them in season 1, with only the most peripheral attempt to make each episode fit into some kind of story. This does not necessarily make it a story arc. That was my point. Please do not take this out of context again. Throw-away episodes are still throw-away episodes, regardless of whether or not they have a chronological order.And so what if G1 constantly contradicted itself? I’ve always been the first to admit that. There are certain sets of episodes that cannot be reconsiled with one another. Sometimes the best continuity connections happened on accident. If it wasn’t for two writers bumping into each other one day, Ariel and Elita-1 would have been separate characters. I fully acknowledge that that’s the way it was. I know damn well about the Constructicon mess. I know why it exists. There are actually different reasons that I’ll go into when we do the Transformers episode. I’m not going explain them away.You can’t argue in favor of Beast Wars by simply attacking G1, though. There are lots of shows that have better continuity than either of these shows, but that doesn’t make them better. Family Guy has better continuity than Transformers. Smurfs had better continuity than Transformers. Later incarnations of Transformers, including the aforementioned Animated series (which I dislike for a completely different reason) have better continuity than the G1 Transformers.Besides, you said that Beast Wars had better WRITING. Writing is more than just continuity. Writing means actual show scripts. Writing means dialogue. For a more individualized storytelling type show and character building, G1 wins hands down. You’re talking about a show which built the entire foundation for the franchise itself, establishing the vast majority of key characters that are still around today. Characters that are quoted and impersonated by fans regularly. You can’t just dismiss this out of hand.You claimed that they brought Optimus Prime back and only THEN treated him like a character. BULL! Kids demanded that they bring back Primebecause they made him a loveable character from the start. These are the characters that people adored, and it shows, because they keep coming back to them.I did not argue that G1 had a fantastic story arc. We all know that G1 didn’t have good continuity. I’m simply saying that the writing (especially the characters) was MUCH better. And please don’t bring up minor characters like Seaspray.And yes, I know that the whole middle of season 2 is a lot of garbage filled with spotlight shows. But they weren’t THAT bad. There were a few really terrible David Wise episodes, such as spotlights on Powerglide and his stupid girlfriend or the episode that had Omega Surpreme, in which they contradicted the first season origin of the Constructicons. There are about fifteen episodes in the middle that could be taken out and I wouldn’t miss them.I said, Be careful that your argument doesn’t reduce itself to, It’s bad because it’s different.’ You said, That’s not my argument at all. The argument I was responding to was indeed treading into the territory of It’s better because it’s different. But never the less My argument is, either do a continuity driven show or do a show with standalone episodes, don’t do a mixture of the two. And then you compared it to a different show that you just like better. In fact, if we go down a little ways into your comment, you said I think you guys talked about on your Animation 101 show, but I’d have to double check that. Anyways, there are people out there over the age of 20 that can stand to look at it now, but that comes down to personal preference. And then in the very last paragraph, you said that we’re not going to convince each other. Then why did you even start arguing? I can’t stand it when people do that.Now, to be fair, in the paragraph I just quote, you were talking about CG animation, but if we can apply this appeal to personal preference to animation, then one would think that we’d also be applying it to writing styles. So, why then would you be arguing that G1 writing is bad if it’s all just personal preference. I don’t think you can make a case for the animation without manikg the same case for the writing. And more importantly, if you’re going to say that personal preference counts, then you’re saying that it’s acceptable to say, It’s better because it’s different. Now, I will acknowledge that you brought up Batman’s ability to have great continuity while still doing stand-alone episodes that didn’t hurt said continuity. I understand that Batman is the rosetta stone for good continuity. In fact, Timm’s continuity across the entire Timmverse is legendary. It’s what continuity should be for a serious show.But the thing is, the reason that Transformers didn’t have the sort of continuity that Batman had was not because they didn’t want to but because they couldn’t. So why not go the other way and have NO continuity? Well, that would have been a disaster, because you need SOME continuity in a show like this. You couldn’t market it that way. But when you also have 40 episodes in a season, of course you’re going to screw it up. Especially in the 80s, before Warner Animation.My view on Transformers G1 is that the good far outweighs the bad. If continuity was such that it could trump every other positive trait in a story, then I would have to raise the bar on a lot of classic stories as well. Besides, you need to ask people like Optimus Solo of Geekcast radio what I think of continuity apologetics. I’m not one to hold bad continuity against a story. In fact, I will defend a broken continuity against someone who tries to explain it away with his own fan explanation. The fact that some episodes don’t fit just doesn’t matter.I look at G1 like a folk tale. Sunbow just took the ball and ran with it. They did the best possible show that they could make. They couldn’t make Batman. They just didn’t have it in the budget. The only way they could get the show on the air was to do a syndication deal and have gillions of episodes with a lot of filler. You make it sound like they had bad continuity on purpose.I think that it’s just a terrible disservice to G1 to just handwave the brilliant writing as though it doesn’t exist, and then hold over it this other show, Beast Wars, which had a much higher priority on continuity but didn’t do anything nearly as interesting as what the original show was.We all know that the continuity is garbage in G1 Transformers. The show is enjoyable regardless, and it’s because of the writing. The writing itself had character built into it. I think they did develop over the course of the show.I think what YOU want is a show that has the character development mapped out from the very start and doesn’t allow for the characters to be molded as the show develops, which is what G1 did. I find that sort of show dull. It was a combination of the Sunbow writing staff and the voice talent themselves that made the G1 characters shine over everything else that has come in its wake.I see that the rest of your email is just retredding on things you already said, so I’ll just end here.
March 29, 2015
I came to a decision with the help of the forum mrbeems over at TalkBass.com. The bass is named Rodimus Prime. For those of you who don’t know the link, the Jag’s official color name is Hot Rod Red. Hot Rod was the Transformer who became Rodimus Prime in the classic 80 s Transformers movie. I thought that was a pretty clever suggestion.
March 27, 2015
Ah, “Nights in White Satin”. When I worked at my dad’s radio stitaon in the early Seventies, that song was in heavy rotation, so I heard it all the time. I liked it, though, and really liked the whole DAYS OF FUTURE PAST album it was on, so I played it a lot. Sometimes I miss vinyl. (I know you can still get it, but I’m not that big of a musicophile, if that’s a word, anymore.)
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