Does anyone remember ReBoot? Well in the event you don't or never knew. Allow me to (re)inform. According to IMDB ReBoot was about the "In the inner computer world of Mainframe, a guardian program sprite and his friends defend the system from threats from viruses and the User." For me and many people my age ReBoot was unlike anything that was on television. I personally think it paved the way for the the animation of Beast Wars and Shadow Riders.
However, enough nostalgia. When ReBoot ended it left on such a great note...it never really needed to return. However, fans definitely wanted it back. Well after 16 long years, we finally got our NEW season of ReBoot via Netflix, in the form of Guardian Code. So, just how does Guardian Code differ from the original? So again, here is the summary of The Guardian Code according to IMDB:
"ReBoot: TGC follows the journey of four teenagers, Austin, Parker, Tamra, and Trey. On their first day at Alan Turning High, these unsuspecting teens discover they've been preselected to become the Next-Generation Guardians of Cyberspace with a mission to save the world - by defending it in cyberspace. With the help of VERA, an artificial intelligence bio-constructed as a teenage girl, ReBoot: TGC's heroes digitize into cyberspace where they use their code-based powers to combat viruses unleashed by a merciless hacker. Known only as the 'Sourcerer', this devious hacker seeks to rule the world by controlling cyberspace, and it's up to the Guardians to stop him."
So now that we see what's different. Let's talk about how it stacks up. Because it really doesn't! First of all
there are TOO many human actors. WHY!? There was absolutely nothing wrong with the original being an all-computer-generated animated series. It made great use of the CG tech to bring to life the inhabitants of Mainframe. And the voice acting wasn't bad by a long shot. With that being said, for what it's worth the parts of Guardian Code that does take place in "cyber-space" is done really well. And I think the four actors and actress that comprise the main characters have a great future in Voice Over work. Regardless, these characters (Austin, Parker, Tamra, and Trey) may be some-what likable, but they're too cliche. Nothing sets them apart or makes them different. The show also fails to flech out their back stories. EVEN A LITTLE! So we learn quite a bit about Austin and his story. Very little about Trey and his overbearing dad. Then the other two. . .we get squat! It's poor character development that does little to draw us in.
All of that out the way, let's talk about the fifth member of the team. V.E.R.A, a “Virtual Evolutionary Recombinant Avatar.” VERA (played by Hannah Vandenbygaart) starts off as a computer-generated sprite, but soon takes on human form. She might be the only human actress in this thing that's decent. I say maybe because it's hard to tell...REALLY hard to tell. Fact is Vandenbygaart does a lot of stupid looking things as she's trying to play this "robotic humanoid" so it was always hard to tell if she's just really good at acting or really monotone and emotionless. Either way, the whole thing might be worth watching just if you want to have a good laugh at her expense.
Now let's talk about the other Sourcerer...I don't know if you can feel my glaring side-eye right now, but believe you me. IT'S GLARING! Played by actor Bob Frazer it's legitimately the WORST thing I've ever seen. When The Guardian Code get's canceled, it'll be because of this guy. They could have easily left villainy to Megabyte. However, they instead use this over acting gimmick to really make this series a flop. It's like we get it dude. You're a bad guy. Stop smashing the keys. Also it wasn't enough to put him in some dark trashy area, have him wear a black hoodie, give it meth mouth, and a bad attitude. No, they had to show him drinking spoiled milk in the second to last episode. WHAT!? WHY WAS THAT NECESSARY!? And I know that's not on him...unless in that scene he was like: "I don't think I'm bad enough. You know what would really sell it. ME! Drinking spoiled milk." Just awful!
All of that leads me to this. The writing is so poor. Like they do enough to to tie up some loose ends, but
then they leave even more hanging. Why? It's almost like every episode is separate from itself and from the others. Like the last episode (which I'll be talking about next) is titled: "Mainframe Mayhem". And it's none of those things. They're hardly in Mainframe for a second and there was ZERO mayhem. Then you have Episode 7: "Game Day". Trey has to choose between playing sports or "saving the world" First of all, what kind of choice is that. Secondly, there were absolutely NO repercussions for the choices made in this episode. Not during or after. No one in this show is sacrificing anything and that takes away from whatever drama the writers are trying to build.
Now let's talk about the last episode. The reunion episode. The one titled Mainframe Mayhem! The moment they could have given us what we wanted. To really tug at the nostalgic heart. Well they did none of that! They DID NOT resolve “The Hunt” cliffhanger left at the ending season four of ReBoot. When Bob found out that the "New" Guardians were also users, there was no reference to the whole "Users are Gods" mindset. This cameo was nothing more than a play to show that The Guardian Code is somehow in the continuity of the original ReBoot. And it's extra LAME!
The entire show was an opportunity to reignite ReBoot! However, what we get with The Guardian Code is a complete and utter wash. I could excuse the crappy dialogue, poor continuity, and massive plot holes if this was merely just a show for kids or teens. However, that's NOT the case. You took a beloved 90's show and brought it back. Knowing damn well that we'd watch it and yes probably with our kids. And the truth is that Guardian Code is only worth a watch for the diehard ReBoot fans. Because not one of this present generation would watch such a terribly written and poorly executed show. And I implore that if the studio is lucky enough to get a season 2. They do some serious research on what made the original ReBoot great. Get rid of these human actors, and keed ReBoot CG!