Monday, April 1, 2013
Why "City of Stone" Sucks
Truth be told, I never liked "City of Stone." I know some people place it on a pedestal as the best there is for a very mediocre series (and that is being kind), but I'm here again, to tell you why you are wrong.
First and foremost, this is where Weisman really begins displaying his pretentious attitude towards childrens' entertainment by shoving the works of some dead playwright at them before their under qualified English teachers get a chance to do it when they reach High School. What kid is going to care about what some Shakespeare characters are doing in their afternoon cartoons? That's not what any kid wants. They want to see bright colors, and hear cool sound effects with a rocking soundtrack as bad guys are beaten up and humiliated. But Weisman thinks he is above all that, so he drops in names like Macbeth, Duncan, and the three witches.
Speaking of the three witches, at one point, they say the lines "double, double, toil in trouble. Fire burn and cauldron bubble". Why is it that when witches appear in anything animated, they say this thing. It's both a cliche and makes no sense as a line. I thought that when the witch character on "Looney Tunes" said it, and I still think it now.
On top of that, "City of Stone" does a very poor job of adapting the play. Why is Macbeth some kind of sympathetic victim of Duncan, and Lady Macbeth... Shakespeare didn't name her, why did Weisman? They plotted to murder a good king in his sleep and take the throne. They were worse than scum. Macbeth's story is one of unbridled ambition.
Now, I know Weisman will tell you that he did research on the historical Macbeth, but if so he didn't even get that right. There were no gargoyles involved in Macbeth's life, and those witches were an invention of Shakespeare's. Either do one, or do the other. None of this mix and match crap. And even then, why Macbeth. Can't you just make up your own character? Just because you have Canmore and Kenneth II on your show doesn't mean a thing, because no one cares about your Ivy League edjumacation!
Besides, this sort of thing has no place in a kids show anyway. There's nothing wrong with a character quoting Shakespeare, Beast did it all the time in the X-Men cartoon, even with little reason except to show how smart he was, but it never affected an entire plot, let alone four straight episodes.
Moving on, why should we care about Demona's angst? She's a villain. The whole reason she exists is to plot evil, and to get her ass kicked by the heroes. Look at Megatron and Cobra Commander. They stand the test of time because there was no effort to make the audience sympathize with them. If anything, they were allegory for the evil foreigners we're supposed to hate at any period of time, and that's how I like my bad guys. Ooh, the access code is "alone." Cry me a river, Demona.
Worst of all, the heroes don't even solve this thing. Xanatos does. Xanatos is the fucking bad guy. Now, it's not a bad thing to see good guys team up with bad guys against a greater threat, I remember when GI Joe and Cobra allied to fight the Headman and his drug dealers. But it wasn't CC's idea to do that, and he planned to screw them all over anyway. But it's Xanatos and not the hero who suggests the alliance and Xanatos who figures out how to save the city, and there is no backstabbing at all. He could have easily blown up Goliath and the gargoyles while breaking Demona's spell and gotten these heroes out of his hair, and he doesn't do that. What kind of villain is this? At least when Optimus and Megatron team up, Megatron pulls a double cross, and it's Optimus who ends up saving the day. Weisman made his heroes look weak to make his villains look good, and that sends a terrible message to kids.
Maybe if "Gargoyles" spent less time on pretentious Shakespeare and Scottish history lessons and more time on things kids like, like giant robot dinosaurs, it would have a movie or a reboot now, or something.