Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation (Ep23) The Good Dragon Phelous | May 21, 2021 Venus meets a good dragon but Raphael tries to ruin everything while the other turtles don’t want to do anything at all. TMNT,TV
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Venus: Do you expect me to talk, Purple Hood?
Purple Hood: No, Miss Venus, I expect you to DIE!
Seriously, what was that? Why did they reenact the Goldfinger laser scene? Why did Venus just stand there waiting to be sliced in half crotch first when she’s not restrained?
This episode probably highlights this ironic truth more than any so far:
Phelous said at the start of reviewing this series that some people had an issue with adding a fifth female turtle, but honestly she’s the only one who is even remotely likable most of the time. On top of that, far from making her a Mary Sue…she gets treated like crap for her empathy and minimal competence.
Raph’s abusive boyfriend lines probably get most unlikable turtle moment, Don’s and Leo’s indifference is sad, and Mike’s complete disconnect from reality reminds me of annoying stoners who can’t handle all the shit they smoke.
Adding a fifth female turtle wasn’t a bad idea in and of itself, but making her a magic Mary Sue at the top of the series and a dull den mother throughout the rest of it and especially retconning the Turtles’ brotherly relationship, which is core to their being, attempting to wash all that away with “We’re not really brothers” just so the boy turtles can potentially mack on Venus without it being incest were terrible ideas that doomed the character. I know Rise of the TMNT isn’t everybody’s thing, but that show did 2 things very right: one, they gave the Turtles a ‘sister’ (in this case a teenage April) who was just their sister, fun, crazy and young like they were, the 5 of them acted like crazy fun-loving siblings and the boys didn’t spend half the show trying to get into the girl’s pants and the other half treating her like the scum you scrape off tomato soup, and two, the principle characters were actually family: they sometimes got on each other’s nerves and they each had their share of annoying quirks, but they still loved and each other and had each others’ backs, even Splinter who was super-lazy and kind of a jerk on that show still loved and cared for his kids. Next Mutation is just 6 a-holes and 1 semi-competent not-Shinobi who just happen to share living quarters ’cause it’s convenient and rent-free.
*That should be 5 a-holes, dangit!
Oh, I’m not praising the writing of Venus here, I’m simply stating that despite being the expected “Scrappy Doo” of the bunch, the others are handled so poorly that she is the only one that comes off being even remotely likable.
I haven’t seen rise of TMNT, but the teenage April thing just seems lazy in concept having grown up in the 80s amid a glut of shows like “Muppet Babies”, “A Pup named Scooby Doo”, and “Tom and Jerry Kids” so I’m immediately skeptical of the ret-conned “now they’re kids!” approach. I’m glad they seem to have pulled it off with April at least, and the other turtles are teenagers already by way of the T in TMNT so it’s less of a stretch de-aging one character 8-12 years.
One final point, I’m glad you brought up the Venus as “den mother” thing…because that wasn’t really apparent in this episode, it is a major, major problem in many other episodes.
Rise was actually the second TMNT show where we got a teenage April; the first being the 2012 Nickelodeon series. And yeah, on paper it sounds like a cheap attempt at a kiddification in order to appeal to the youths, but the execution on each series wasn’t that bad, honestly. Like you said, part of why it works because the Turtles are already teens to start with, so sticking another one in there isn’t all that jarring. In the case of both, April wasn’t portrayed as Queen No Fun like Venus was so often typecast as on Next Mutation, but another good point you made is that the others were so moronic and repellent that Venus comes off the most likeable by default for not being a loud-and-proud dufus.
Raphael was full abusive boyfriend mode here. Seriously, what were the show’s writers thinking when they wrote Raph to be such a jerk ass? I don’t see how the line “Never walk away from me when I’m talking to you!” could be interpreted any other way.
And come on, guys. I get that this is show is mainly played for laughs, but the Turtles could occasionally let it slip that they care for one another. The show’s producers might as well have kept the Turtles as brothers, since they never display enough comradery to be considered friends. Here, they’re just four guys who happen to live together with a old rat.
It’s something when this series makes you miss the characters in Mortal Kombat Conquest. Yeah, the plots could be dumb and the characters could have questionable motivations, but they weren’t outright aggravating. And the series had its own cheesy charm.
These characters you just wish would die a slow and painful death due to just how horrible they are. I find it funny that the one character that seems to be the most hated by fans is the most likeable in this series.