Looking Back On.. Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters
I was pretty excited with the idea of a Stretch Armstrong cartoon but based on that first image I was not hopeful. It looked like just another little kid Netflix show trying to sell new Stretch Armstrong toys. Now that may be silly to complain about but what I mean is they seem to be going for a standard “superhero” show. Like I mentioned they either had to go full silly or it’d be a bust and I guessed it’d be similar to that NetflixKong cartoon, but let’s take a look back at Stertch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters.
After watching the trailer it looked so awful, like an mid 90s cheapo cartoon devoid of any creativity and yes that didn’t deter me at all to watch all the episodes. The main character designs are absolutely awful, there’s nothing interesting about them. The look of most characters is really bland as well. I don’t understand what they were thinking when they made this. The two part pilot was so hard to get through, it really was just bad. The show seems like those generic mid budget cartoons we used to get in the 90s, which is actually my cup of tea but without an actual interesting character design or nostalgia or anything it’s hard to get excited about anything that happens.
If the show had something that made it have an extra umph then I could totally dig the show, the other episodes are nothing special but they aren’t awful and have enough in there to keep you interested. It just needs something to set it apart and give it its own identity. I liked the interactions in school, the arching plot was very easy to predict but still cool to see it through. The villains for the most part were as unmemorable as you can get except for the ninja Blindstrike who had a nice reveal.
The last few episodes are better but like I said, it’s not enough. They took this old property without much backstory, my take would’ve been to just use what little they have and make a super wacky show, it can’t be taken too seriously or just make something entirely new and different and just use the name, I guess that’s fine as well. They took the second option but made it as vanilla as they could possibly think, these are not only boring looking generic super heroes but they have no real gimmick. Their powers are as dull as you can get, even Stretch Armstrong doesn’t use his stretching abilities like Mr. Fantastic or Plastic Man would so what’s the point?
A “movie” came out awhile ago that is Netflix’s incentive to make their kids shows interactive and you choose the outcome in a choose your own adventure book kind of way, It’s really nothing special and just like 2 episodes frankensteined together depending on the choices. I think it’s cool though. They did something similar with King Kong and I can see kids loving that, if I wasn’t a jaded adult I’d be into it but the show is still bland and boring. The “second season” which is just part of the same episode order as the first and the movie is not much better. The show feels like a generic 90s superhero cartoon, even the theme song, except with none of the nostalgia or style of the 90s. Sure the animation is fine but so much more could’ve been done with the concept. The show isn’t horrible either but it just lacks any style, even the cool ninja Blindstrike became boring this second season. So much more could’ve been done with the Stretch Armstrong idea but they turned it into this.
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