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Monday, July 1, 2013

Summer of Joe: G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (1983 Mini-Series)

The first five episodes of the G.I. Joe cartoon make up a mini-series appropriately titled G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero.  It introduces the characters, both good and bad, and sets the tone early for how weird this show can be.  
Title: "The Cobra Strikes"

Three sentence synopsis: Using a nonsensical transporter device, international terrorist organization Cobra pilfers a government satellite from a secure facility, that they plan to use to conquer the world.  Duke, the leader of an elite counter-terrorism force known as G.I. Joe, gets transported with the satellite and becomes a prisoner of Cobra Commander and his partner-in-world-domination/surly life-mate, Destro.  The rest of the Joes scramble to build their own transporter device for some reason, even though it would probably be a whole lot easier to simply storm the Cobra Temple, guns blazing, and rescue Duke that way.

G.I Joe-ments:  I was under the impression that both G.I. Joe and Cobra used laser guns exclusively when fighting each other since, historically, fiery-hot laser beams are a lot less traumatic for children than bullets and grenades.  However, this is not the case in the opening scene of "The Cobra Strikes," a scene that literally has nothing to do with the story that follows.  In it, Cobra attacks a G.I Joe-owned airfield at which a big delivery of Sky Strikers (jets, pretty much) have just come in, hot off the presses.  Rockets are launched, bullets are fired, things blow up real good.  There are no lasers in sight, and, surprisingly, everybody involved in this fire fight is a pretty good shot.  A truly exciting, albeit ultimately pointless, beginning.

*Oops!  Here come the laser guns.  And why is everybody shooting into the air?  Every faceless member of Cobra is continuously firing his laser cannon over the heads of the Joes.  Don't they have a shooting range up at the Cobra Temple?  They can't always be hanging out in the battle arena watching remote-controlled slaves fight each other to the (not) death.  They're supposed to be a highly-trained private army, but they can't shoot for shit.  Maybe it's hard to aim a laser gun properly.  There's probably a lot of kick.

*And, hey, the Joes aren't much better at shooting.  They usually opt to fire their own laser guns at Cobra-licensed vehicles (all-terrain tanks, motorcycles, etc), which apparently are all made out of cardboard and fireworks.

*Cobra's first sinister act of terrorism: stealing the Eiffel Tower.  Oh no?

*I haven't decided yet who I'm more sexually attracted to, Scarlett or The Baroness.  They've both got attributes that appeal to me (Scarlett is a brassy redhead; The Baroness wears glasses and is mean), but I think it's just too early to pick.  We'll see how this plays out as the series progresses.

Quotes without context:

"I'm gonna kick the mustard out of that hot dog!"

"Hey, bacteria brain, come down and let's discuss your future as a mental patient!"

"Take him to the slave pit and prepare him for sport."

"Monumental microchips!"

"Welcome to New Englad." *removes face* "And your fight!"

"I've agreed to nothing, reptile breath, and the only game that interests me is kicking in your fangs!"

Title: "Slaves of the Cobra Master"

Three sentence synopsis: Scarlett, Snake Eyes, Stalker and Snow Job (yes, really), travel to either the North Pole or Antarctica to collect the radioactive crystals needed to power their own transporter device.  Meanwhile, Duke is forced to play gladiator in Cobra Commander's arena of sport.  Duke successfully escapes from the Cobra Temple, and Snake Eyes gets engulfed in a cloud of radioactive dust that should probably kill him instantly, but totally doesn't.

G.I. Joe-ments: Wow, the Joes are having a real fun time at the North Pole driving their offical Hasbro snowmobiles around.  Lest you forget, Snow Job, your fearless leader is fighting for his life against a roided-out Samson-clone in Cobra Commander's slave pit.  But you have a good time, guys.  Keep whooping it up.

*His name is Snow Job?  Really?  Snow job isn't exactly a phrase with a lot of positive connotations attached to it, you know.  But he loves snowmobiles and furry hats, so, Snow Job it is.

*Is "G.I. Joe-ments" working for you guys?  I'm still not sold.  Maybe it'll grow on me.

*There are a lot of sexy variations on the G.I. Joe theme song in this episode, especially in the scenes that take place in the radiated ice cave.  Are we stealing radioactive crystals from Cobra's not-so-secret radioactive crystal mine or our we gettin' down?  Let's take this seriously, Joes!

*The Joes confuse the robot guards in Cobra's radioactive crystal mine by SPINNING THEM AROUND IN CIRCLES.

*Cobra Commander, Destro, and, well, half of the Cobra organization spend a whole lot of time in the slave arena when they should probably be, I don't know, getting in a few extra hours of terrorist training or, maybe, TERRORIZING THE GLOBE A LITTLE.  Let's take this seriously, Cobra!  

*Major Bludd seems to be the only member of Cobra actually doing anything.  He has literally been at the head of every major battle with the Joes so far.  Good on ya, Bludd.

Quotes without context:

"Robot defenders!  I knew this wasn't one of my better days."

"The sport can wait.  We must have a strategy meeting."

"He won't be thirsty for anything, let alone pulverized."  (What?  I listened to this twice.  This is the line.  I repeat: what?)

"Wait, this cannot be permitted!  The world has refused to surrender to Cobra!"

"Reptilian popinjay."

ON THE NEXT G.I. JOE: Giant.  Killer.  Worms.  

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