Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Street Sharks- Sharkbait

There are some shows that just immediately open themselves up to mockery, immediately date themselves, and remain as testaments of bad ideas, of creative depravity, and just an overall willingness to piggyback off the success of others.

As you can probably guess from the fact that I'm opening this blog post with that kind of description, this show is one of them. Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce one of the many TMNT knockoffs of the 90's, Street Sharks.

Produced by DIC Entertainment (who I noticed is appearing A LOT in this blog), it basically answered the question no person asked; "Hey, what if the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles weren't ninjas and they were sharks?". It even had a toyline in an attempt to compete with the TMNT toyline. Problem is, the fact that it was trying to compete with TMNT, a show that, at the peak of its popularity, had more merchandise and more fans than Pokemon (I'm dead serious, the TMNT craze was HUGE), Street Sharks was the equivalent of bringing a knife to an atomic bomb and planet-sized space station fight. It had 40 episodes but you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who cared about this show.

Needless to say, it's now a show the TMNT fans point and laugh at, because frankly it deserves the laughter. To call it stupid would be an insult to other stupid shows like Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog. See, that Sonic show was fun stupid. This is just stupid stupid.

I went with this show because, in some bizarre twist of fate, I actually watched this show and somehow didn't watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the show it was ripping off from. It wasn't until I was in college that I watched the 1987 version of TMNT and realized that wow, I was missing out on one of the most cracktastic awesome shows of all time and a part of my childhood was wasted watching pale knockoffs.

Yeah, they didn't even hide the fact that they're were stealing ideas from TMNT.
Okay, it'd be unfair to write this show completely as a knock-off. It did some things differently. For example, instead of the main villain having two dim-witted half-animal minions trying to capture or kill the main heroes, the main villain has three dim-witted half-animal minions. And instead of having an Archie series that lasted for a pretty long time, the Archie comic tie-in lasted like 6 issues. And the covers made this show look waaaaaay more badass than it really was.

In the actual show, the guy with the exosuit is a joke.
I figure the best way to cover this show would be to look at the first episode, which is, as always, the origin episode of the show. So grab a pizza burger, shout "Cowabunga!" "Jawsome!", and cheer for your favorite turtle shark, because this is...


More like SNARKbait, amiright?
Airdate: September 1, 1994

Availability: Online Only

This descent into madness starts with someone sneaking into a lab in the middle of the night. Although "sneaking" is a really bad term to use for whatever this guy's doing, because he's grunting and yelling his lungs out as he climbs this fence. He should be thankful there are no armed guards to fill his beer gut with lead, because Solid Snake this guy is not.

Pasty out-of-shape white guys don't make very good secret agents.
We cut to inside this government building and find ourselves in the middle of a villain rant. Whoa, slow down, cartoon. We're not even 30 seconds in! While the camera pans to different marine animals in evil science containment tubes, we hear some guy ranting about how someone dared to say no to him and that he always gets what he wants. Wow. Subtle.

"And as I was burning down that orphanage full of adorable sick children, I figured,
why have just a shark tank or just a piranha tank when I can have both?"
We see the guy for the first time and...oh geez. It's like this guy isn't even trying to hide the fact that he's evil. Look, I'm sure you're an intelligent scientist, Mr. Metal Eyepatch, but could you try looking a little less like a rejected Bond villain? For starters, try wearing a different color besides black and red. You're raising too much suspicion.

He's just inches away from bursting into song about how much he loves being nasty.
We find out that Baldy Eatspuppies McEvilpants is messing around with DNA. Apparently he wants to make a race of supermutants by combining the DNA from different marine creatures into a human being...or he wants to do it backwards and combine human DNA with marine creatures. Look, I don't know. It just involves mutations, nonsensical genetics, and everything else that 90's mad scientist villains loved to use.

But hey, maybe his motives are generous and he just wants to make the most delicious seafood ever.
He walks to a lobster and a swordfish/marlin/whatever trapped in his evil science glass tubes and gives them some cliched villain lines. I will give the show props for coloring the lobster green, since cartoons always make the lobsters red and delicious-looking, but then the show instantly loses the props I just gave it when it turns out that Dr. Sinister Viciousface has the genetic essences of ruthless real-life bad guys like Genghis Khan and Captain Blood just sitting around in his lab. What, was Hitler's and Stalin's essences too hard to find?

And HOW was he able to extract "essences" from people who are long dead?
But then the old, middle-aged man sneaking around earlier enters the building and we learn from Obviously Evil Villain Guy that his name is Dr. Bolton. I guess his name is a pun on how much he likes to bolt stuff on things. He says "This should be interesting" (no doubt stroking an invisible Persian while he delivers this line) and then just kind of ignores the intruder and goes on using his villainous science equipment of pure evil and saying scientific gobbledygook that tries and fails to make him look smart.
Behold, the laziness machines!
But then Dr. Bolton bursts in and aggros the midboss by saying that Paradigm (which is a villain name so obvious that got used in at least three other cartoons) is not going to use his research to commit such evil. Dr. Bolton, I'm sure you're a smart man, but if you were planning on stopping Paradigm, shouldn't you have at least brought backup? Or even some sort of weapon? Trying to fight him with your bare hands is just stupid.

"Why must we always meet like this, Dr. Bolton?"
"Shut up and kiss me, you fool!"
Dr. Bolton, after leaving his brain back at home, figures that he can stop Dr. Paradigm by waving his fist in the air and saying things like "You can't mess with nature!" and "Stop!". Dr. Bolton, this is where some sort of weapon would've come in handy, or at least an extra person to hold Paradigm down while you kick him in the nads for messing with nature. Also the music becomes really loud and really dramatic in this one part, unintentionally making this scene even goofier than it already is.

Dude, that's one huge lobster. Think of the people that thing could feed.
By the way, it's in this scene that we learn just how lazy the animators are, because every time Dr. Bolton turns his head, they use the exact same clip. Occasionally they'll flip it to match the direction he's supposed to look, but it's just all-around sloppy. Are head turns just impossible to animate or something?

For once, I'm thankful that I found a copy with an annoying watermark because holy crap this is lazy.
But yeah, when the two seafood main courses are injected with Paradigm's evil juice, they enlarge and burst out of their containers. Paradigm is upset by this, probably because those glass tubes cost a lot of money. Personally I'm impressed that they were standing so close to shattering glass but neither of them was hurt by falling shards of glass.

"Bolton, grab the butter. We're going to eat like kings tonight!"
After seeing this mockery of biology, Bolton tells Paradigm that he's blowing this popsicle stand, no doubt assuming that Paradigm will just let him walk out of the building and call the cops. Of course, since Paradigm is a walking cliche, he tells Bolton that he can't let him do that (dun dun dunnnnn!), while the music nearly blasts my eardrums out with its dramatic violins. How does Paradigm eliminate Bolton? In the most cliched and stupid manner of the book of course!

"Oh wait, I mixed up the mutagen needle with the meth needle. It happens, sometimes."
Yes, my friends, Dr. Paradigm decides to inject Dr. Bolton (Paradigm refers to him as Robert a couple times, implying some deep skeletons in his closet if he's on first name basis) with evil science catalyst mutagen juice mark 3 so that he can have a mutant bigger and stronger than him want to kill him and ruin his schemes. In case you haven't noticed, Paradigm's not that bright.

Bolton transforms off-screen and then decides that he's going to just leave instead of, you know, doing somehing about Paradigm's schemes before they hurt anyone. The reason Dr. Bolton transformed off-screen is because the show decided it wanted a big tease and never show this guy's mutated form, instead just having him appear in shadows working behind the scenes. I like to picture that he turned into a downright grotesque sin against nature (you can't mess with nature!), since when he transforms, Paradigm gives this priceless expression.

When Bolton smashes through Dr. Paradigm's door, the baldy decides he's going to pocket Bolton's watch, which is mysteriously intact even though the person wearing it turned into a monster twice his original size. I guess even though he's an evil scientist villain, he still feels compelled to do more petty crimes like watch theft.

"I wonder how much I can get for this on eBay?"
But wait, what about that lobster and swordfish Dr. Paradigm shot up with science? They mutated into this show's Bebop and Rocksteady of course!

Readers, meet Slobster and Slash. I don't even have to tell you which one is which just because one of those names is a very terrible lobster pun. Slobster magically turned from green to red during the mutation process and somehow Slash was able to magically grow his own spandex out of his body. Man, being injected with the essence of Captain Blood and Genghis Khan is awesome! Also, what the hell did I just type.

But then we find out the name of this humble city that will definitely be the source of weekly villainous takeovers for the next twenty or so episodes. The name? Fission City. Out of this entire episode, this is the part that I actually remember seeing as a kid, because when a helicopter knocks out the second I, I remember turning to my mom and saying "Ooooooh, the TV sweared!". See, back when I first saw this, I thought the city's name was Pission City.

And it turns out Piss On City could really be called Los Angeles and no one would be able to tell the difference, because apparently this place is an overpopulated, over-polluted industrial hellhole. I guess now would be a bad time to point out to the DIC writers, who seem to really hate nuclear power to the point where there's an entire Captain Planet villain made out of it, that nuclear power (hence FISSION City) is actually a lot cleaner than coal. It has its problems (ask anyone in Russia or Japan) but it sure doesn't pollute THAT much.

This is either a really bad day in L.A. or a really good day in Mexico City.
But then, we find out that Dr. Paradigm and Dr. Bolton are both university professors in Bio-engineering. Okay, seriously, I can name like five cartoons where at least one villain works at a university and can cause body-altering mutations and, as a college student who's never seen this happen on my campus, I feel ripped off.

We meet Lena, who comments on how Bolton didn't show up and how he's never late and this frightens her. Holy crap, it's not like he got sick or is stuck in traffic like normal college professors sometimes have happen to them! Her fear worsens when Dr. Paradigm suspiciously tells her that Bolton wants his sons to meet him at the old abandoned power plant and to cancel all of his appointments, all while sporting Bolton's stolen watch. Yeah, Dr. Paradigm is really bad at hiding his real intentions and anyone with eyes could see this guy eats, breathes, and craps pure evil.

However, since Lena is a total moron, she follows his instructions anyways and unwittingly sends Dr. Bolton's sons to their doom, where they will be turned into hideous mutants and be forever shunned by society. But not to give away the plot or anything.

"Oh, look at the time, it's almost noon! I haven't eaten my daily kitten yet!"
Another character is introduced in this scene too; a character named Bends (because he studies diarrhea), who sounds like the only reason he's in that lab is because he figured that with all the chemical fumes floating around in the air, no one will smell the hemp still lingering on his clothes. And even he thinks its a bad idea. Lena, if the stoner is questioning your logic, I think that's a good sign you should bail.

"Yeah, sure, Bends. I believe you when you say it's medicinal. Riiiight."
The cartoon cuts to the Bolton house and holy dude, man. Dr. Bolton must've been getting a really nice salary to afford a house that nice. In contrast, the head of my department stays in a faulty dorm because living where I live is really freaking expensive. I wonder if Fission City property values are still this low because I might just risk the pollution and fish monsters and go live there.

They even grow their own Christmas trees!
We see the first son, and I'm not invested enough in this stupid cartoon to remember his name. He's the smart but impractical brother, because he created a highly advanced machine to hand him eggs and toast on a plate when he can just not be lazy and reach over to the skillet next to him to serve himself. There's inventing stuff and then there's just showing off. Guess what he's doing.

"Look at how smart I am! This isn't annoying at all!"
He later turns to the rat powering his Automatic Dork Machine and says "Awesome eggs, Hillary! Even better than your chocolate chip cookies!" Uh, dude? Considering pet rats, I really don't think the toppings in that batch were chocolate chips...

"Hey, cool, Hillary! You added chocolate chips to my eggs and toast too!"
We meet two other brothers, and unlike the Rat Poop-Eating Brother (whose name is John. I had to watch that last scene like three times to catch his name), the cartoon just sort of passes by them incredibly quickly before we can get a chance to know anything about them. All I learned is that one brother is obviously the cool, hip one the kids will find awesome on account he rollerblades and chicks look at him, and the other brother is thankful that his school doesn't do urine tests because he can't stay off the Roids.

"Hey, bro, why does it hurt whenever I go to the bathroom now?"
But it's the last brother (who's named Clint; I had to look it up) that catches my attention. After we pass by the brother hitting the Juice, we find a derelict house with chipped paint and weeds growing out of it. Inside we find a nearly naked Clint all comatose on a bed with junk scattered around him and posters of naked men on his wall. Are we looking at his house, or did he pass out in someone else's house after a party? Is the family even aware of this man's hobo-like living conditions? Either way this scene is really creeping me out.

No, I'm sorry, cartoon. But I'm going to need a story behind this before I can accept it.
After we pass by Clint's house of horror, we get a really pointless X-TREEEEME SPOOOORTS! sequence. The four brothers all decide to race each other to the nuclear power plant and the animators really go out of their way to hammer in the fact that these men are totally rock solid, happening, and far out. This is the sequence that immediately places this show in the 90's, on account only the 90's would have so little shame that it would resort to something like this.

This sequence would make Michaelangelo (the turtle, not the sculptor) shake his head. It's that bad.
Want to know how bad it gets? Well, for starters, the race starts out with a motorcycle and a guy on roller blades, which sounds decently X-TREME until the rollerblading brother jumps off a building and pulls out a parachute. It's really sad when Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles looks more subtle than your show.

"Cowbun-I mean JAWSOME!"
I know what you're thinking, since that does sound really stupid, but believe me, it gets worse. Steroids Brother skateboards until he shoots himself out of a pipe, Impractical Rat Turd Brother jumps off a highway on ramp with his motorcycle, and Cool Brother continues flying around in his X-TREME parachute and rollerblades combo. This sounds really ridiculous, right? There's no way you can top this, right? If you're thinking this, than I admire your naivety.

And then he died a horrible, bone-shattering death.
And, right when you think the show can't get any stupider, Creepy Half-Naked brother shows up in a jetpack. Wow. WOW. I think I just contacted some sort of disease from the overdose of X-TREME I just received from this show. Also, Clint establishes himself as some sort of stoner, on account he asks where "the chow" is. Not a good sign when half of the cast is on something.

"Hey guys, Bends hit me up with some free samples. Want any?"
So after that really pointless sequence that made me miss the Ninja Turtles, Paradigm delights the four sons with his obviously villainous presence. Somehow, they're not suspicious of the fact that they were all called to an abandoned power plant by a bald man in a black cloak and metal eye patch, but they're suspicious of the fact that Paradigm's wearing their dad's watch. Somehow, when Paradigm says "Such a generous...creature!" all suspiciously and with an evil grin of pure kitten-eating evil, none of the brothers pay attention to him. Come on, guys. There's no fun in being evil if you're not going to respond to it.

I bet he was halfway through a villainous taunt before they ganged up on him and
stole his wallet.
Paradigm of course is outnumbered, so he quickly summons Slobsterbop and Slashsteady with his patented Cliche Villain Finger Snap. The two ugly fish demons show up and...why are you wearing that, Slash!? Why are you wearing something so skintight? It's not leaving anything to the imagination.

Fish should not bulge there.
Slobster walks up to the Cool Rollerblading Brother (I'm not going to look up his name since he's just going to get a shark-themed one anyways) and says a pretty cool threat. "Let him go or I'll break you in two and make a wish!" It's a line that is so lame that it transcends dimensions and ends up right into the awesome category, and now I'm adding it to my vocabulary next to Bushroot's "Son of a broccoli!" curse and "Let's Creepy Crawl!".

Considering Slobster is all boiled, he must smell mighty scrumptious.
So the sea monsters grab the four brothers and the four brothers of course don't put up much of a fight. Personally, I don't blame them. Slobster alone looks like he can rip out my sternum faster than I can say "char-grilled lobster tails".

So we cut to Dr. Paradigm's Malicious Vile Wicked and Evil Lab of Evilness and all four of the brothers are strapped to operating tables. As you can probably guess from the fact that there are four Street Sharks, there are four of these guys, and that their pants are incredibly distinct compared to the rest of their clothes, Dr. Paradigm's going to do the Street Shark equivalent of dumping baby turtles into the sewer on these four morons. Only it's going to be a lot more extreme!

We also learn from Smart Brother that this process is called Gene Slamming. Pretty vague name for this mutation process. Also, Paradigm's screen shows what he's intending to turn them into. Of course he decides to turn the kids into something that will be marketable for pre-teen boys instead of something like a tuna or a barnacle. Although he's really making a mistake by using a whale shark on one of them, unless if he wants to scare the WoW players that have made it to Vashj'ir.

"Yes, after revealing that I may have something to do with their father's disappearance,
I'll turn these four teens into something that can rip me to shreds! Brilliant!"
And this is when this show pulls out all of the stops and tries to make this scene as dramatic as they can. Normally this show isn't all creative with the camera shots, but then suddenly they throw in as many tricks as they can to make this one scene be the scene we pay attention to. Shadows on the walls, a camera in the point of view of the machine injecting them, music gradually getting louder and more dramatic (they use the exact same piece of music as Bolton's "You can't mess with nature!" scene too)...they really do it all.

Wow, this scene is really overblown and exaggerated!
I wonder if it ends up in the intro later on?
Unfortunately, instead of making me feel for their teenaged agony and sitting on the edge of my seat in red hot anticipation, this unintentionally makes me want to laugh until my sides explode. Ever eaten a grilled cheese sandwich with like three different types of cheese cooked into it? Imagine that grilled cheese is this scene. To say it's cheesy isn't going far enough.

This show should've won an Emmy.
After violins blast the speakers, the four men scream theatrically, and I nearly cough up a lung by laughing too hard, we find out that after all of that ham and cheese, the four teenaged sons of Bolton die from the injection. That's a little disappointing. With that kind of build up, I was hoping they'd mutate into something extreeeeeme, magically generate motorcycles with bat wings, and then soar right through the wall while the music turns into "Leather Rebel" from Juda Priest's Painkiller album.

Here's a fun game. Spot the coloring error!
Dr. Paradigm tells his monstrosities to go take the bodies and dump them in the most conspicuous place possible while allowing random pedestrians to see their hideous, deformed bodies and no doubt alert the police. Well, okay, he doesn't actually say that, but that's exactly what Slobster and Slash did. Paradigm should've really told them to just go dig a hole right outside the abandoned power plant and bury them instead of going out of their way to be total idiots.

Considering how utterly ridiculous and over-the-top this show is, when the jogger sees this happen, she screams for five whole seconds. Believe me, I timed her. We even get a pointless scene where the jogger comes back with some police and gets labelled as a crazy person, but come on, what I really want to know is how those four men were able to float down a river unconscious and manage to not flip over and drown.

Yeah, this makes total sense, cartoon. I totally buy this plot development.
Back at Piss On City University, Dumbass Lena notices that not only has Dr. Bolton still not come back, but neither have his four sons! What the hell were you expecting there, idiot? She then asks Bends to go look for them, because she has to wait at the University and do nothing in case any of them decide to call her. The look on Bends's face says it all when she asks for this small favor. He knows lately Lena's become like a siren, leading poor innocent men to disaster and mutation. He goes anyways, though, because he's still feeling a little buzzed from those special brownies he snuck into work.

He also knows that if he doesn't do what Lena says, she'll tell the faculty about
what he's been selling the students after university hours.
Meanwhile, we find ourselves in a storm pipe and we have one of the stupidest scenes ever put on animation paper. The four products of merchandising wake up after temporarily dying (you see Dr. Paradigm check for a pulse and everything), they're completely fine, and they all just go and decide to get a burger.

...let me run you through this again since this bears repeating. After a mad scientist who horrifyingly mutated their father stuck the genes of various sharks into their systems, causing them intense amounts of pain, they pass out and they mysteriously wake up miles away from the lab in a storm drain. And the only emotion all of them feel is hungry. My god. Not a single one of them questions their situation or feels the least bit remorseful. They just eat.

"Emotions are for pussies!"
But wait, it gets even better, because then we get a transformation sequence. Yes, the Bolton Boneheads didn't mutate immediately like their dad did, but instead transform when they're conveniently miles away from Paradigm's influence. Shoot me. This show barely gives you any room to breathe because it just bombards you with idiocy.
To be fair, this happens to me when I buy burgers from street vendors too.
This transformation sequence is...I'm not sure what to call it. It's unsettling, I'll give it that much of a compliment, but it also goes on for way too long and, like this entire episode, is full of over-the-top hysterical screaming and grunting. This scene is just indescribable in its silliness. Also, it's a good thing that, even though their shirts are ripped to shreds, their pants remain pristine and intact. Otherwise we'd have to deal with some rather unsettling questions as to what reproductive parts they now possess.

But yeah, now we get our real heroes of this show! Aaaaand, I'll be honest with you. They look hilarious. They at least look more varied than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (who are basically the same character with different headbands), but the way they're drawn just makes me picture action figures, as if they thought about the toys first and the characters second. They're also ugly, and not an appealing ugly either.

Also, the whale shark looks nothing like a whale shark since whale sharks are filter feeders and therefore don't possess sharp teeth. Way to fail biology, DIC.

Huh, I guess food additives do have side effects.
What are these four sharks' first emotion to losing their humanity and turning into an amalgamation of fish and mammal, unable to freely walk the streets and talk to their friends anymore? Hunger. Geez, does nothing upset these four? They look at their misshapen bodies for like five seconds and then decide to grab some more burgers and hot dogs. I guess screaming in sheer terror at the fact they now have gills and sharp teeth wouldn't be manly enough for this cartoon.

Also, apparently mutating into sharks have damaged their brain cells, because they decide to be savages and devour an entire hot dog cart instead of, I don't know, reaching inside and grabbing the food instead of digesting wood and steel. Thanks for ruining that poor hot dog seller's livelihood, assholes.

So, does all of that metal and wood just collect in their stomachs or can they just crap it out later?
Tell me, DIC!
But then the police arrive. That was quick. The Street Sharks just dive into some oddly purple, steaming water (eww, how polluted is this city?) and get away, making this inclusion entirely pointless.

What makes this scene notable though is that right after this scene ends, we get one of the most disturbing scene transitions ever. While the police are wondering just what the hell they just saw, one of the shark's faces bursts out of nowhere, snarls at the viewers, and then eats the screen. Normally the only time this happens to something I'm watching is when I drink too much Mountain Dew and stay up past 5 am.

"Hello, kids! I'll be seeing you in your nightmares!"
But wait, you might be asking me, so far these four haven't acted heroic at all! We need some sort of contrived plot point for them to show us that they're the real heroes and not Baldy McEatskittens. Luckily, April O'Neil (seriously, look at her!) crashed her car into a tanker filled with gasoline and has just minutes left to live before she dies in a fiery explosion. I love cartoons.

April took the wrong off-ramp and ended up in another show about teenaged mutants by mistake.
But then, it turns out these sharks can burrow through concrete! Hooray, now we know why this show is called Street Sharks! Because they are sharks and they can swim through a street like it's water! I think this is the one thing everyone remembers from this show because, like Scrooge from DuckTales swimming in gold coins in his money bin, it's a great idea if you don't actually think about the physics behind it. And in this idea's case, you also have to not think about the thousands of dollars of damages they're doing to those streets.

And then Fission City had to siphon all their money from the schools and museums to pay for street damages.
The sharks save April O'Neil by eating her car (I don't know if you realize this, DIC Entertainment, but sharks eat food just like other animals) and carrying her out. Luckily, she's one of those special people that only faint for like two seconds, because the moment she's safely out of her car, she wakes up, screams about sharks, and then runs away.

The sharks are debating whether to say "Screw it" and eat the stupid broad.
It turns out Lena is watching the news. Look, cartoon, can you stop cutting to her? Every time she's in a scene, she's ruining someone's life! Anyways, despite her previous judgement showing that she's not someone to listen to, she tells Bends to find the mutant sharkmonsters. I'm not sure how she figured out that the Street Sharks were really the Bolton kids when she can't figure out that Paradigm isn't the best person to trust, but okay.

Sure enough, Bends immediately catches up to the sharks on his Drugmobile and he's surprisingly chill about seeing four giant monsters with razor-sharp teeth advancing on his vehicle. He even wonders out loud if he might be hallucinating. Yeeeah, I'm sure you're quite familiar with hallucinations, Bends.

Shark rape face.
They tell him that they're really Bolton's sons, all while magically teleporting into Bends's car without opening any doors. Bends is immediately accepting of the fact that the Bolton kids are now giant sharks and could now swallow him whole without much of an afterthought. I guess this has something to do with that hallucinating comment he said earlier. Oh, that Bends. What won't he smoke?

Sadly, this reunion isn't exactly happy, because that exact same woman they saved from the fire magically teleports in front of Bends's vehicle, screams, and magically summons several police vehicles. Even though Bends is on a completely different street and the sharks traveled several miles through the roads, there she is, that exact place, popping right out in front of the car even though she wasn't anywhere near the area in previous shots. Does she seek out mutants just so she can scream at them?

You know you're ugly when women phase in-between dimensional planes just to scream at you.
According to Bends, "we're in for a JAWSOME ride!" (oh, shut up, Bends), because now we have ourselves a really pointless chase sequence. I can sum up this scene in one sentence: Bends, despite being currently on like five different narcotics, can drive so amazingly well that he escapes the cops. I have to wonder if he has practice dodging the men in blue. Come on, the man is by himself and yet he's driving a car that manages to comfortably fit himself, four gargantuan fish freaks, and still have room to spare. He's definitely doing some dealing on the side.

"Hey boys, you're welcome to the stash in the back."
They finally escape this somewhat monotonous chase sequence by having the sharks stick their heads out of the car (and somehow not get decapitated considering the speed they're going), eat a car shaped hole into an amusement park sign, and have the car pose there while the policemen drive right past them. Looney Tunes gags; they apparently work in goofy science fiction cartoon shows full of muscley sharkdemons.

I was going to say "What a creative name" but then again, I live near The San Diego Zoo so
I have no room to talk...
But wait! What about Paradigm and his two mutants? (if you're asking that, you care way more than I do) Don't worry. It turns out Metaleyepatch VonVilewicked has his own evil helicopter that shoots out lasers and everything. Yeah, seriously. The man has his own helicopter with laser weapons and yet no one in the university bothers to question his motives. Not sure how he was able to afford that on a university professor's salary but I guess we all have our hobbies.

So the police noticed four shark men in a park and yet they don't notice the black helicopter shooting lasers?
Paradigm fires a million lasers at Bends' Hempmobile, but since he's evil, not a single laser hits the car. The Street Sharks decide to hide in the amusement park, probably because of all the small children there for them to eat. There's a really pointless scene where some random little kid thinks they look cool, and Bends, in an attempt to make the hideous monsters look only like costumed hideous monsters, says they're opening a new ride called "Street Sharks". And now we know how they got their name!

Uh, DIC Writers, I hate to do your job for you, but wouldn't it have made more sense for the deformed shark monsters to realize they do kind of swim in streets and coin their name that way? Just common sense. Also, only two of the sharks say they like the name. What if the hammerhead didn't like that name? Does his opinion somehow not count, Bends?

Boy, would I like to be a fly on the wall when Bends finally comes out of his drug-induced haze
and realizes the terrifying talking shark demons he was hallucinating are real.
But then, the Skummocopter Paradigmocopter touches down, conveniently scaring all of the innocent bystanders away so that the mutants have some cleared out land for them to cause property damage. And thus, the episode somewhat meanders into the climax of this episode. With the four mutant sharks against only two mutants, this should be easy right?

A shark would totally beat the hell out of a lobster or swordfish.
Well, not really, because these two mutants have the powers of lazy animation on their side. Even though Slobster is clearly outside of the helicopter, the animators actually recycle footage of him inside the helicopter but then slow down the frames so that the scene is the length of a weird-sounding roar he does. Yes, this actually happens, and yes, it's as extremely lazy as it sounds. And then, immediately after he roars, an earthquake happens.

Watching this for the first time, I was busy wondering if Slobster had mysteriously teleported into the helicopter and somehow the helicopter amplified his roar to the point where it shook the ground. It made for a very surreal experience. Now I know how Bends feels.

This is exactly how it happens. I don't know what's going on anymore.
Before I burst into tears and cry over the fact that I can't even figure out what's going on in a cartoon about obnoxiously radical mutant sharks, it turns out that Slash can burrow underground. So, he's a Street Swordfish then? And then, the sharks all fall into a hole. Luckily, this inconveniences the giant cartilage filled freaks for about ten seconds, because then they jump right back out of the hole. Don't worry, readers, this twenty minute test of my patience is going to be over soon.

Personally, I don't see how trapping the Street Sharks underground would do Paradigm any good when it's been pretty established that the Street Sharks can swim through solid concrete.

Their completely human legs just look so silly attached their buff meaty bodies.
But then, it turns out Paradigm has a Cliche Mad Scientist Laser attached to his Helicopter of Doom! At this point, I'm too tired to care about what he does anymore. Anyways, Deathbald the Destroyer, Fishmutater, the Aspect of Baldness then offers a proposition, as platitude-filled mad scientists are wont to do when they're pointing giant inexplicable lasers of science. If they come with him, they can find out what happened to their father.

Uh, no offense, Paradigm, but I'm pretty sure they can figure it out on their own just by putting the pieces together. You were gung-ho on gene slamming them, their father is missing, you have his watch, you called him creature... Yeah, not exactly rocket science.

Pictured: SCIENCE!
Not pictured: Subtlety.
The Street Sharks' response to this? They destroy a ferris wheel just so they can use it as a weapon. So what, they couldn't just dive underground where the laser can't hit them and attack Paradigm that way? They have to be savages and destroy someone else's property? I checked online; a really good ferris wheel will run you at least 500,000 dollars. Why do you hate your city, Street Sharks? Why do you hate the livelihood of other business owners?

I guess they made that ferris wheel out of peanut brittle considering
how little it takes for them to demolish it.
Since property damage is awesome now, Slobster and Slash respond to this by attacking a roller coaster and pushing it towards the Street Sharks. Oh, come on, gentlemen! What did Fission City Amusement Park do to deserve this? Sure, that roller coaster seems to be made of light plastic and lacks ground supports, but that's no excuse. What are those overgrown mutants going to tell the disappointed schoolchildren when they learn that all of their favorite rides have been destroyed because these mutants can't punch each other like normal people?

"Hey, if my pinchers and your nose can crush solid steel, why aren't we attacking the sharks?"
"Shut up and push."
But then, it turns out the Street Sharks stopped the roller coaster from falling over! They push it back into its original place, making me wonder if the sharks are apologizing for destroying that ferris wheel earlier...and then push it over in the other direction so that it will land on the bad guys. What asses.

Yeah, not buying this. Just because they're half-shark doesn't mean they're this strong.
Yeah, okay. A lot of destruction of expensive amusement park rides and the villains getting away. Surely this episode is going to end with the sharks high-fiving each other in unison and saying "Jawsome", right?

Actually, no. Strangely, the episode actually ends in a pretty epic fashion instead of going for yet another cliche. After property damage and one of the sharks saying a really bad pun, tanks and military helicopters come into the scene. What, huh?

"We're not arresting you, giant mutant sharks. We're arresting the one with the underground
drug cartel and the ties to the Japanese mafia."
And then, I'm dead serious, the episode ends with the four Street Sharks and Bends holding their hands in the air in surrender and getting arrested by the military.

...really? The episode ended in that fashion? Huh. It doesn't excuse the other twenty minutes I just sat through, but that's actually pretty awesome. And when the credits roll, I can smile and say that I have something that I like about this episode.

...besides Bends. It's really hard to hate someone that stoned out of their mind.

The Moral of this Cartoon
If you get injected with some mad scientist's mutagen, the best thing to do is to either ignore the mad scientist and just let him continue playing with his evil instruments of mutating death, or go grab a burger.

Final Verdict
As you can imagine, this is a stupid, stupid, STUPID show.

I think what bugs me the most about this show, besides the fact it's obviously ripping off TMNT but making it have a marine animal sort of a theme, is the fact that none of these characters have a personality. I'm not saying that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were the paragon of characterization, but at least you had a feel of which one was which. This show, you don't get that feeling. They established character traits for these sharks when they were human but then immediately drop it as soon as they mutate. A big example is Clint, who is the lazy, laid-back brother, and how he immediately becomes a rash, Raphael sort of a character when he transforms. Even if it's an action-packed show, your characters should still feel like characters. I didn't get that here.

On top of that, the villains just feel lazy. Paradigm in this episode gave me no sense of urgency that he might win. He's just sort of there. I get that the show is supposed to make us hate these guys because of how nasty they are, but he feels more like a cardboard cutout of a villain instead of a villain, and you know it's sad when I'm saying that about Paradigm instead of the villain in the Captain Planet episode I did. Shredder feels more fleshed out than Paradigm and half of Shredder's dialogue in TMNT was "Those blasted turtles!"

Honestly, the only things I liked about this show is the idea behind it (although it was executed very poorly), the kind of cool episode ending, and Bends. Seriously, Bends cracks me up. But honestly, it kind of hurts that a show I used to adore in my childhood is like this.

That being said, I'm basing my verdict on just this episode. Maybe Paradigm and the sharks will flesh out when I see part 2. Yes, this pilot ended on a cliffhanger and continues on into another episode because the pilot extends into three episodes.

And yes, I will probably have to watch this show again. Lucky me.

And sure enough, I did. Click here for Episode 2!