Monday, February 6, 2012

Blast from the Past #469: June 12, 2005: Re: "Punching Bag" mini adventure, and Re: FW: Turtles Season Six

Subj: Re: Checking In
Date: Sunday, June 12, 2005 6:01:07 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


I don't have much to say about the "Punching Bag" mini -- except that I think we should probably be careful about depending on physical abuse as a (no pun intended!) punchline.

Here are my comments on the “Sidekick” MINI ADVENTURE.

1.) Re: the following:

<DISGUST REACT> Mikey, comic books are for LOSERS!  I wish you’d give them up! 
*Mikey stands and starts flipping a COIN he pulls from his belt.    
Well…you a “bettin man” Raphie?
What’s on your oh-so-small mind?
Heads, I give up comics!  Tails, you…well…I’ll think of somethin’.  Whaddya say? Not CHICKEN ARE YA?"

This would work a lot better if the bet has something to do with comic books -- I'm not sure what, maybe some interesting factoid that Mikey has learned from reading comics -- instead of just a random coin toss, which is kind of meaningless.

2.) Re: the following:

Know what else you ain’t gonna believe, what you’ve got to do for me <WHISPER>"

This is really awkward wording, and I'm especially not loving the "you ain't gonna" bit -- makes Mike sound like a moron.

3.) The ending of this one is kind of weak -- Raph beating on Mike is not very funny... especially right after reading the one about the punching bag. If the gag is Raph in a silly costume, maybe we should just end on that.

-- Pete


Subj: Re: FW: Turtles Season Six
Date: Sunday, June 12, 2005 5:57:59 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine

<<Howdy all –
 Attached please find the jumping off point for Turtles Season Six.  It’s got all the new stuff we’ve all been discussing, some of the old information that new writers will still need to know, and few new things to think about.
 Give a read through and then let’s discuss.


Here are my comments on your mini-bible. Thanks for putting it together, by the way!

1.) Re: the following:

"The stories this season will be fun, self-contained, and unencumbered by the complex continuity that we have built up over the past seasons.  "

This is fine as long as we don't start doing stories that ignore and/or contradict previously established continuity.

2.) Re: the following:

"Or picture a turtle roll-call sequence.  As their names are called out, each turtle leaps forward and spectacularly executes his “signature” ninja move with their “signature” ninja weapon!  But as Michelangelo flips forward, he over rotates and winds up landing in a heap next to his battle-ready brothers!  At which point, the other three, heroically posed and trying not to lose their composure, begin to chuckle and rag on their fallen brother!  “Aw man!”  “Dude, yer makin’ us look weak!”  “Ya gotta stick those landings Mikey!”"

This kind of thing will get old VERY quickly, especially once you consider that we've had five seasons during which the Turtles have demonstrated over and over again that they are highly proficient martial artists. For them -- even just Mikey -- to suddenly turn into bumbling, inept goofballs is just silly. 

3.) Re: the following:

"Lastly, if it’s a really great moment and a really great line, the Turtles are not above addressing the audience directly.  For example, in the stunned-silent aftermath of one of Raphael’s hotheaded, overblown temper-tantrums, Mike might look out at us an say, “I hate when he does that…” "

NO!!! To my mind, this takes us right down to the level of the old Fred Wolf show. 

4.) Re: the following:

"Casey Jones is a son-of-a-bitch"

Huh??? Maybe there is another meaning to that phrase that escapes me, but for me it has always meant "asshole". And I don't think of Casey that way.

5.) Re: the following:

"Turtle Boy
The Turtle encounter a kid who seems to know a lot about them. He’s got clippings from the Weekly Weird News, evidence from past battles, and he’s wearing a homemade shell!  He calls himself Turtle Boy, and he’s their number one fan!"

This one makes me feel a bit queasy, given its similarity to the whole "Fifth Turtle" nonsense from the old Fred Wolf show. I would only approve something like this if it was done in a REALLY clever way, maybe focusing on the ridiculous aspects of extreme fandom. And it doesn't have to be a boy -- it could be a girl.

6.) Re: the following:

"Tiger Shark
There’s a new ninja in town.  A highly skilled fighter with strange powers and criminal intentions.  He calls himself the Tiger Shark.  And the Tiger Shark is the only known natural predator of the turtle..!"

There's something a bit cliche about the name of this character (I'm  almost certain that there have been other characters with the same name). And I'm pretty sure that turtles have other predators. And why is he a ninja? Is he involved with the Foot? Where are the Foot, anyway? What's happened to Karai?

7.) I am really trying to keep an open mind about this new approach to the show, but I am also really hoping that it doesn't turn out as goofy as it appears it might from some of the stuff in this mini-bible.
I understand the desire (although not the perceived necessity) to go for standalone episodes and a lighter overall tone, but I think it would behoove us to not just throw out five years of effort, during which we have created a complex and compelling universe for the characters that many fans would be very unhappy to see disappear or be demeaned. I think the attitude we should have is that this is the same show and the same characters and the same universe -- we're just focussing more closely on certain aspects of it.

-- Pete


  1. I'm STILL disgusted that there was an act break in Fast Forward where mikey was trapped ultimately by...Bubble Wrap. Lower than anything on the fred wolf show ;o)...

    That's ANOTHER thing that this season had me wondering. What DID happen to Karai, and Chaplin? In the wedding episode, it is made to believe that Karai has given up the path of the foot and has started dating Chaplin. Yet in Turtles Forever, there she is leading the human foot again... Karai is the most frustrating character ever... sometimes you think she's on the path to goodness, then she does a total 180..

  2. Is Turtles Forever the continuation of the last episode of the 2003 series? I hope not. The 1987 TMNT look like morons in that movie. The worst part: When they started crying like defenseless kids in the arms of the 2003 Raph. They were nothing like that.

    1. "margui118Feb 27, 2012 10:49 PM
      Is Turtles Forever the continuation of the last episode of the 2003 series? I hope not. The 1987 TMNT look like morons in that movie. The worst part: When they started crying like defenseless kids in the arms of the 2003 Raph. They were nothing like that."

      The way the 1987 Turtles were portrayed in "Turtles Forever" is just about how I remember them. Granted, I did not go back and watch every episode of the old series before working with Lloyd and the 4Kids crew on the "Turtles Forever" project, but I think the basic feel of the old show was adequately captured in that special.

      And something to keep in mind when criticizing what you see as the "worst part: When they started crying like defenseless kids" is that the 1987 Turtles had never faced the kind of evil represented by the 2003 Shredder. They were scared shelless! -- PL