The Life & Times of an Auteur.

Commentary on Pop Culture, and maybe creating some of my own.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Retro Review - "In Zarm's Way"

I hate this show, but it's like a train wreck. You just can't look away, and it's so stupid you just have fun tearing into it.

Now, this whole review and tear into Captain Planet is Robby's shtick, but I have his permission. Hopefully he'll do some more.

Okay, so here we go. Today I am reviewing an episode titled "In Zarm's Way." Wow, there's a pun in the title... we've got to be in for a treat.

Okay, lets start. This must be a later season, because the introduction has changed. They replaced the soundtrack with something that sounds even gayer. Oh, the show's been re-titled "The New Adventures of Captain Planet." Because the old ones were just so compelling. But hey, if there's anything that George Lucas taught us. New means bigger and better. So, by that title, I guess Captain Planet will actually go on adventures as opposed to being the deus ex machina summoned at the end of every episode by his eco-terrorist groupies.

"In Zarm's Way" Written by Ron Myrick, Nick Boxer, Sean Catherine Derek and Laren Bright. It apparently takes four people to write one of these.

For those not in the know, Myrick went on to win an Oscar and Boxer is now a Congressman. No wait, that was Sonny and Cher. What did happen to these two? I never see them credited elsewhere. Come on Ted, your deep pockets couldn't deliver real talent. Let's see the green.

"In Zarm's Way" Written by Stephen King, William Faulkner, Noam Chomsky and Christopher Marlowe. Atta boy, Ted. That's showing the green, enough to bring Kit out of retirement.

Anyway, we open on Hippie Island (I don't know it's name, don't bother to correct me if you do know, I don't care.) We open to the Russian girl being an anal retentive bitch. "The problem with the world is people do not give a hoot." Yes, that's her line. I'm expecting the Owl to show up any minute. No, not the give a hoot owl, the Marvel villain. He'd make this thing much cooler. Anyway, Russian Girl and Asian Girl are arguing about whether or not people just give a damn, and we are then subjected to badly animated sequence of Russian pollution and poverty. Asian Girl (Gi) argues that no one is born greedy and uncaring. So, Linka and Gi have just given us the theme to this episode. Nature vs Nurture. Our best psychiatrists have been debating this for centuries, but fret not, the Planeteers are here to answer this for us.


Gi seems to think that the world would be a different better place if it were in the hands of children... stupid bitch. I think I read that book before, it was called "The Lord of the Flies" and Gi seems to think children can get along without stealing the conch and killing Piggy. So Gi and Linka are arguing Nature vs Nurture and use their Magic Screen that can see anything to watch a black guy and Asian woman in an American suburb act like, well, Hank Hill and his Asian neighbor. So, that screen can see anything? I bet that Wheeler The Dumb White American Who Says And Does Everything Wrong uses it to watch Paris Hilton in the shower.

Anyway, while Black Dad and Asian Mom argue, her son... an Asian kid with the worst haircut I have ever seen drawn and... ugh, I can't describe it, I need a screen shot.

It's like a mullet and a fro combined into a terror not even the dumbest toothless hick would wear.

Okay, with that out of the way, Asian Kid and Black Kid (I don't know their names yet) run into the middle of the street while their parents argue and are about to be turned into Fried Chicken Curry when the screen freezes and Gi says she'd do anything to stop it. As if on cue, a purple tornado appears right in the middle of the Hall of Vegans and one of the Planeteers' mortal enemies appears, offering to help them. Wheeler The Dumb White American Who Says And Does Everything Wrong demands to know what Zarm wants.

Hmm, Zarm, I don't really remember him. ::Googles him:: Hmm, Zarm is apparently a war god who wants to instigate hate and war on a global scale. Hmm, his faggy outfit aside, this sounds like the description of a credible villain. He's been voiced by Sting, David Warner and Malcolm McDowell. Well, I'm pretty sure that's not David Warner. Probably not Sting either, yeah that sounds like the guy who killed Kirk.

Okay, Zarm offers Gi a chance to save these kids instead of letting Darwinism take its course by playing a game. I hope it involves guns and cruise missiles. Oh, the game is to "see if people are born bad or just become that way." Once again, let me remind you that Kit Marlowe helped pen this script. If Gi wins, the kids win. If Zarm wins, Gi has to work for him. I guess Zarm has a thing for teenage Asian chicks. Oh, Gaia wonders in, and is not surprised to see the War God in the room. I guess Gaia has been dropping acid with hippies in Amsterdam and assumes she's still tripping... oh and she's not Whoopie Goldberg anymore. Gi agrees and Zarm teleports them all away in his magic purple tornado. Gaia delivers the most insincere "No!" ever delivered, and Zarm laughs in her face, probably as amused by the bad acting as we are.

Now, we are suddenly in some metal lair that looks like the inside of the Technodrome and Black Dad and Asian Mom are there where they are welcomed by Zarm, and none at all bother to point out the stupid outfit he wears. Zarm tells them their exceptional children (Lee and Michelle) are being used in an experiment using CGI (on loan from George Lucas) they will create a world of their dreams. They will see which child is the most talented. Black Dad and Asian Mom start arguing over which one of their kids does not take the short special bus to the special school. Zarm just stands back and grins. This is Zarm's masterplan. Once again, I remind you that he is a War God. Bah fire this War God and replace him with Donald Rumsfeld.


The Planeteers find themselves in a fog and naturally, Wheeler The Dumb White American Who Says And Does Everything Wrong does not know where they are. Lee and Michelle appear and are King Kong sized in comparison to the Tree Huggers. Zarm does his best Ronald McDonald impression and tells the kids to play a game. Zarm tells them all they need to do is wave their hands and they can create anything... and I suddenly wish the two kids were Eric Cartman and Kyle Broflowski.

The Planeteers try to warn them, but the kids think they're dolls. Tiny, talking, really annoying dolls. Okay, these kids have to be at least eight, you'd think they'd wonder about why the dolls are talking and at least hear what they have to say, at least for the novelty but again I remind you that Kit Marlowe wrote this script. Zarm tells them not to listen to the talking dolls, but to make the world of their dreams.

So, the kids create something that looks something like the Smurf village and a stream separating their sides. Wheeler The Dumb White American Who Says And Does Everything Wrong ends up stuck on a giant flower and says he now knows how ants feel. Um, no you don't. Ants climb plants larger than them all the time and don't cry about it. But then, that's why you're Wheeler The Dumb White American Who Says And Does Everything Wrong. Gi creates a geyser to get her and Ma-Ti off their giant flower, never mind that geysers can't be used as elevators.

The kids make a bridge so they can crossover and play with each other and Lee creates a pet cat for himself named Boots and Michelle creates a pet bulldog pup named Buster. Stupid Bitch Gi comments that on their own, the children would create a world of peace and beauty. Linka admits that she was being an anal retentive bitch before and Gi was right. Wheeler The Dumb White American Who Says And Does Everything Wrong shouts that Zarm is wrong, now you know it will blow up. "Not yet, Planeteenies," Zarm the War God retorts. Again, I reiterate, Kit Marlowe helped write this.

Black Dad and Asian Mom are astounded by what their kids have accomplished and Zarm nudges them into an argument, because he is just so subtle. So Black Dad and Asian Mom start shouting at each other again, and Zarm stands back grinning like John McCain must have been doing as Hillary and Obama destroyed each other. The kids are trying to play, but can somehow hear Black Dad yelling at how bad Asian Mom's cooking smells. Black Dad shouts "I can't stand you people!" ...


Ma-Ti is able to hear Black Dad and Asian Mom shouting each other through his stupid Heart Ring, and apparently Gi is so stupid, she's shocked that Zarm would ever possibly cheat. Joke's on you Gi, Zarm will be eating sushi off your tits before the night is over.

The kids start arguing and as they argue, they begin to age... I'm guessing Marlowe is trying to send a message. Lee turns Boots into a ferocious alley cat Michelle turns Buster into an angry Doberman Pinscher. The pissing contest has begun. Naturally, the two animals try to eat the Planeteers, but as we all know, as long as Ted Turner draws breath, we shan't be so lucky. The kids now won't play with each other and are staying on their side of the river.

Black Dad and Asian Mom express concern, but Zarm tells them to relax and says both kids are doing very well. Oh, Mal... how low you've sunk. You were Caligula, then you killed Picard, and now you're stuck doing this crap. Even "Jezebel's Kiss" was a better career move than this.


So the kids turn the Smurf village into an industrial wasteland, and are shouting and screaming at each other, and I still wish it was Kyle and Cartman. Both of them barricade the bridge. The Planeteers decide to talk sense into these kids. Wheeler The Dumb White American Who Says And Does Everything Wrong is afraid of their pets. But the kids seem to be getting over it and ready to just play but up in Zarm's control room, the parents are still arguing, and Zarm is still grinning and encouraging them to keep it up. Hey, War God... you are aware there's a war in Iraq, right?

So, the kids fight about who's side to play in as both deem theirs better. The kids then grow into surly teenagers, Buster goes from Doberman to wolf and Boots turns into a couger (he will later find work on 24 chasing Kim Bauer). Lee creates a weapon and destroys the bridge... ooh, metaphors. Michelle creates her own weapon and the two kids start blasting each other's sides of the stream.

Gi does not understand as the thought that unsupervised children are monsters just doesn't occur to her. Kwami theorizes that the more the parents argue, the worse the kids get... so, we're pinning this on the parents, I see. Since Ma-Ti can hear the parents with his Heart Ring, the kids can hear their parents with their hearts... again Kit Marlowe and William Faulkner wrote this!

"The only way to stop the children from hating is to change the parents." says Gi. Wheeler The Dumb White American Who Says And Does Everything Wrong says they need to find Zarm, but he has no clue where to find him. Duh. Wheeler The Dumb White American Who Says And Does Everything Wrong knows nothing about nothing. The parents demand to know who's winning, but Zarm just stands there like a prick and the parents keep arguing.

The world has now turned into an industrial wasteland. The kids look like Radical Punk Rock adults, and Boots is now a winged Sabertooth Tiger and Buster a winged wolf. The two pets fight while the Planeteers approach Zarm's control room, hidden in the moon in the tree... Zarm urges the kids to sic the pets on the Planeteers. Cue the action sequence.

Gi: "We're really in harm's way!"
Wheeler The Dumb White American Who Says And Does Everything Wrong: "Worse, we're in Zarm's way!"

I totally did not get that title. Wow great work Stephen King.

Kwami says "Let our powers combine." It's the only thing he's allowed to say, so, here comes Captain Planet. Gah, that title is so misleading, these are not his adventures. So here he is, the green haired, blue skinned, halter top wearing captain of puns himself. So, while Captain Planet keeps the brats and their pets busy, the Planeteers scale the tree, climb into the moon to face Zarm himself.

Zarm greets Gi as his newest helper and asks if she's ready for work. Okay, turns out I was wrong. The way he says that line, he doesn't want his own Asian concubine, he's after a janitor. I guess he thinks that Water Ring will help clean his lair.

So, the Planeteers tell the parents to get along, because their kids are imitating them, Zarm calls them "whining wimps," obviously a Chomsky line. Black Dad and Asian Mom apologize to each other and Zarm starts throwing a hissy fit, I guess his golden panties are in a twist. It's funny to see a War God bite his lower lip. So, Captain Planet projects the parents' apology out of the glowing globe on his chest at the kids, to get them to stop fighting.

I'm just going to pretend generic Asian Mom there is in a wheelchair, and that the whole lot of them are putting on a performance of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Zarm is clearly Rocky given the golden panties, and Wheeler The Dumb White American Who Says And Does Everything Wrong, being the only red head, must be Columbia. I guess that makes Linka Meatloaf.

Zarm shouts "No fair," which Wheeler The Dumb White American Who Says And Does Everything Wrong calls him on. The parents preach from some after school special about creating a better world, the kids come around and everything fades. The Smurf Village has returned!

The Planeteers tell Zarm that he loses, but since he is not only a War God, he is also a five year old boy, he shouts "Not gracefully!" and proceeds to teleport Captain Planet and his hippie groupies back to Vegan Island, while the kids are teleported back in front of the on coming truck. COULD THIS BE THE END OF LEE AND MICHELLE!!!!

Have no fear, Black Dad pulled the children both out of the way! Yay! Vote Obama!


Black Dad tells the kids never to play in the street and Asian Mom brings out a box with something they can play with. Inside are none other than Buster and Boots, who up until now existed only as polygon graphics in Zarm's Windows 2000 run porn machine. Both kids giggle like idiots and we fade to black.

... and that's the end of "In Zarm's Way." I doubt I did anywhere near as good a job of lampooning this as Robby would have. But I had fun.

So, what did we learn? Not a damn thing. Captain Planet weighed in on Nature versus Nurture and Nurture won. So remember, the next time you feel like cracking a dirty joke, or driving five miles over the speed limit or cheating on your taxes, your kids are watching and will imitate you.

Thank you, and good night.

1 comment:

  1. "Oh, Mal... how low you've sunk. You were Caligula, then you killed Picard, and now you're stuck doing this crap. Even "Jezebel's Kiss" was a better career move than this."
    I wonder why anybody thought this show was a good career move, I mean look at all the big name voice actors it somehow managed to get, and whose talents it wasted by having all the villains exactly the same.
    If people feel like getting nostalgic about certain decades, they need to be reminded that the 90s had this, THREE seasons of it, even though the only people who liked were either to young to tell what was going on, felt it was something so bad it's good, or were Ted Turner.