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Episode-A-Day! MASK, Ep. 24: “The Plant Show”

Welcome back to another edition of MASK! Wait until you see this shit. No wasted time, let’s get on with Ep. 24: “The Plant Show”!

Plot:

We open in Los Angeles where Brad’s band is playing a sold-out concert! Whoooooooaaaaaaaaaaa!

This fucking exists…and it is glorious! No wonder Brad hasn’t been seen in a handful of episodes. He finally got to play his big show uninterrupted.

The end.

In all honesty, if the episode ended there, I would have gone home happy, but it didn’t. After the show, Matt and Scott head backstage to visit with Brad and compliment his life-altering performance. T-Bob says how much he loved the plant effect they had where giant vines grew over the amphitheater. Turns out that the vines weren’t an effect, but VENOM’s new plot to take over civilization!

VENOM is dropping seeds of their genetically engineered seeds all over LA coating the entire town in what appear to be indestructible vines. MASK is so busy trying to save people from getting trapped in the weeds that they’re not able to come up with a solution for how to defeat the vines and send VENOM packing for the day.

Scott and T-Bob, who had been banished to their hotel room earlier by Matt have room service bring them a huge sundae. Of course, calamity ensues and they spill the sundae and fall out the window, but realize that the cold from the ice cream is able to kill the vines. Scott calls Matt on T-Bob’s radio to tell him this and Bruce creates a cold bomb to shoot over the city that clears the vines once and for all.

Thoughts:

Brad actually had a concert. It was awesome. Dude is a fucking star. Fuck the rest of the episode. I explained what happened. Figure it out for yourself.

PSA:

Don’t take electric stuff into water. Solid advice.

Final Grade:

**1/2*. I’m bumping this one up big time for finally giving my double main man, Brad, the big shine. I wonder if they ever released a record of Brad’s band’s music. What the hell is the name of his band anyway?

What a phenomenal time. I had fun. Did you have fun? This was good. Let’s do it again tomorrow.

❤ Joe

 

Episode-A-Day! MASK, Ep. 23: “Vanishing Point”

Welcome back to another exciting episode of MASK! Today, we still learn nothing about just who Matt Trakker is or where he gets his money, but that won’t stop me from trying in the future.

Here’s episode 23, “Vanishing Point”!

Plot:

It looks like we’re back in mountainous unnamed hometown where a cargo plane is getting set to land at an out-of-the-way airfield. Upon landing, people at the base go to meet the plane only to discover that it is gone! Vanished! Into thin air!

The head guy at the airfield FaceTimes Matt Trakker because he’s the chief investor of the cargo being carried in that plane: a top-secret Hermes Jet that is light and collapsible into small pieces that can also travel at Mach 5 with incredible handling.

Matt decides to do a little investigating and finds that VENOM is behind this. Obviously.

MASK starts casing the VENOM hideout, but Scott and T-Bob act like a couple of assholes and blow the cover even though they’re not even supposed to be there. Instead of being mad and slapping the shit out of his son for jeopardizing the mission and their safety, Matt laughs it off because all’s good in the hood.

But now they gotta get back in the vehicles and chase down VENOM. Matt sees the Hermes Jet and starts tracking it, but Bruce sees on radar that there’s no jet there. VENOM is using fake chemtrails to disguise where they have the jet actually going.

Matt is beside himself, but does come across a secret VENOM airfield and orders the MASK crew to follow him to his location. Gloria infiltrates the facility and frees the Jet crew and finds the secret plane while MASK chases off VENOM.

Unfortunately, the airfield is equipped with a self-destruction bomb that Miles Mayhem sets off before he flies away. Bruce is barely able to stop the countdown with a bobby pin from Gloria’s hair and the day is saved.

Thoughts:

How the fuck do you create fake trails for a fucking plane? I work in aviation! You can’t just fake a trail on radar. I fucking hate this show.

PSA:

Never carry more than you’re able to safely handle. Solid advice.

Final Grade:

* 1/2*. Some of colors seem to pop a bit more in the animation of this episode for some reason. Visually, it looked OK, but once again, the story is just fucking stupid. It’s just getting frustrating because you consistently see the potential of how this could be an interesting and fun series and it’s just not pulling it off.

We’ll be back tomorrow to be disappointed by this show again.

❤ Joe

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Episode-A-Day! MASK, Ep. 22: “The Secret of Life”

Welcome back to the beginning of Week 4! Still a long way to go in the series, but we inch closer to being able to start on a better show soon enough. Hopefully.

For now, we’re about a third of the way through this series, however, and I’ll be doing my best to get us to the finish line.

Also, a thank you to those of you actually reading these reviews. There’s been a nice uptick in the website traffic and that is much appreciated.

And with that said, welcome to Ep. 22: “The Secret of Life”!

Plot:

Welcome to Egypt. At this point, Matt and Scott Trakker have had to get a massive amount of page refills for their passports. It’s absurd. Unless they’re breaking international law which I wouldn’t put past them because of how effortless they make it seem when calling in other MASK agents and their vehicles at the drop of a hat.

But, yeah, today we’re in Egypt where local english-speaking scientists are trying to decipher ancient hierogylphics on a tablet that will lead to the tomb of King Tuttibon where the secret of life can be found.

After the scientists feel they’ve reached an impasse for the evening, they decide to call it a night and continue later as they have a busy day ahead of them. Upon closing up for the night, a mummy emerges from a carcophogus (a word I always love using because it reminds me of Thundercats playset that was Mumm-Ra’s tomb), steals the tablet and leaves through the window like my favorite Something Corporate album.

I don’t know how many of you had that, but this was seriously one of my favorite playsets as a kid.

Back at the ranch, the Trakkers are on an archeology excavation with the scientitsts from the night before when word comes down that the tablet has been stolen. Matt runs off to help and leaves Scott and T-Bob to dig as he calls in the MASK agents best suited for this mission.

Once again, we’re left without Brad who may have finally told Matt Trakker to go fuck himself and that his music comes first and Matt can’t tell him what to do because he’s not his dad.

Turns out that VENOM are behind the theft of the ancient tablet and bring it to a local bad guy who will translate the markings and then split the fee 50/50 for whatever it is that the secret of life turns out becoming.

MASK is able to track them down and we get a battle through the tourist section of Egypt which includes VENOM blowing up a pyramid. I’m sure that went over well with the locals. No matter, VENOM has the translation and has left the local Egyptian bad guy to be collared by MASK.

They arrive at the tomb of King Tuttibon where they recover what looks to be some kind of green fucking broach. Apparently, that’s what this entire episode has been built around. A goddamn broach. MASK comes by and is like, “Oy! Give us that fucking broach!” VENOM is all like, “Eyy! This is our fucking broach! Bugger off!” So MASK knocks them over and takes the fucking broach. The bring it to local Egyptian english-speaking scientist who is able to find the secret of life from this fucking thing.

The secret of life…is Love.

Honestly, VENOM wouldn’t have been able to sell that for fucking beans.

Thoughts:

Look, I’m shitting all over the goddamn broach, but, for the most part, this episode was OK. Nothing too great, but I did enjoy the mummy and blowing up the pyramid. Not an awful lot here to get invested in, but that’s par for the course in MASK to this point.

PSA:

Be careful dumpster diving. You never know what kind of hazardous things can be in there. Solid advice. And yes, this is actually a real thing.

Final Grade:

**. There’s been better, there’s been worse. This wasn’t one of the worse ones. At least you were able to have some fun with this one.

So that’s today’s episode. We come back tomorrow with more MASK fun.

❤ Joe

 

Episode-A-Day! MASK, Ep. 21: “Mardi Gras Mystery”

Welcome to New Orleans, where today’s episode, “Mardi Gras Mystery” takes place! It’s another traveling day for the Trakkers as the world’s most important person is again getting in the middle of trouble on vacation.

Plot:

It’s the night before the big Mardi Gras parade and Matt Trakker is enjoying the evening with Scott and T-Bob. Matt takes them for a walk to show them the floats for tomorrow’s parade before they set off, but as they walk into the lot, an old man whizzes by them on a golf cart and then is quickly followed by VENOM agents.

The man’s granddaughter, Becky, is left behind and Matt protects her from the VENOM agents that come back for her. The old man is eventually caught up to by Miles Mayhem who kidnaps him.

Becky’s grandfather has been working with a local professor on creating an experimental fuel additive that adds a significant amount of speed to any vehicle, but only in small doses as it can’t yet be controlled.

We eventually get the daily MASK vs. VENOM faceoff where MASK frees the Grandfather and the professor and eventually recovers the experimental fuel additive.

Thoughts:

Not a lot of depth in this episode. There’s some flirtation between Scott and Becky that takes the plot nowhere and is really just filler for an episode with not a lot going on. Another example of lazy storytelling.

PSA: 

Always know who to call in the case of an emergency. Solid advice.

Final Grade:

* 3/4*. Look, this episode isn’t out and out bad, but there’s just nothing here to get invested in. Once again, we’re in a situation where our heroes never feel threatened and the laziness or lack of creativity of the writing staff shows through. This show isn’t the first to be a vehicle to sell a toy line, but there doesn’t appear to be an interest in doing anything more. Which is sad because, as I’ve said previously, there are elements here to create a compelling universe and this is arguably a property that more could have been done with, but the lack of anything to make the show memorable has left it as just another 80s cartoon that came and went.

And, with that, we have completed three weeks of MASK. I’ve given it a real shot and came in wanting to really get into this series, but it doesn’t look like that will be happening. We’re about a third of the way through and – with every episode that passes – it becomes less likely and I have less faith that I will be rewarded for my dedication to Matt Trakker.

Until tomorrow.

❤ Joe

 

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Episode-A-Day! MASK, Ep. 20: “Cold Fever”

Welcome to another exciting (we hope) episode of MASK. Miles Mayhem and his cronies are still on the loose trying to take over the world with hackneyed plans so we get more episodes of him being foiled since MASK doesn’t appear to be in any hurry to arrest him or bring him to justice.

MASK is back on location in today’s episode which seems to be the thing now. Everyday we are in some exotic location. I would love to see all the stamps in Scott Trakker’s passport.

So that’s where we begin today with “Cold Fever”!

Plot:

Picture it. Alaska. 1985. Bruce is driving a snowmobile across the wilderness when he comes across a crazy man running around with no shirt on in the 65 below zero weather. But the man doesn’t even have frostbite – oh no – he’s hot! Burning up, even! Bruce takes the man to the hospital where it turns out that the man is a scientist who discovered some microbes in Alaskan ice that can cause a rare disease. He’s also discovered the cure, but VENOM has stolen both the way to create the disease and the way to cure it as a way to monetize people’s misery. It’s actually a lot like real life.

We get a lot of back and forth battles through snow and ice which remind me of one of the most important movies in cinematic history:

I fucking love that video so goddamn much.

So…um…yeah, VENOM traps MASK on small glaciers and runs to their secret Alaskan base thinking they shall no longer be interfered with, but of course, MASK comes back with a vengeance, storms the hideout and destroys the microbes and recovers the cure.

Thoughts:

At least this episode explains that Matt Trakker is in Alaska because there have been reports of VENOM activity. This is possibly the most annoying Scott and T-Bob have ever been as they utterly refuse to just stay away and they keep bothering me.

Not a bad episode and I like the angle of VENOM trying to monetize a disease since our government has been doing that for decades. The fighting scenes were a little meh today, but all in all, a step up from the past couple of days. Also, anything that allows me an excuse to show a Mr. Freeze highlight video is A-OK.

PSA:

We get a new PSA about playing with matches. Don’t do it. Solid advice.

Final Grade:

**. A much needed improvement over the past few days, but the writing on this show has a genuine problem with building drama or making you believe there are actual stakes. While you know that MASK is going to triumph in the end, even with a suspension of disbelief, the writing is lazy and uninspired in most episodes.

The draw on this show is that you get part-GI Joe and part-Transformers with cool vehicles – some of which can turn into different types of vehicles. This was clearly based to sell a toy line, which is fine, but there isn’t a lot of solid substance on the TV side. Kind of disappointing since there are enough elements here that could make for a very appealing show, but unfortunately, that just doesn’t come through in this series.

Well, that’s it for today. We keep marching on and will be back with the conclusion of Week 3 tomorrow!

❤ Joe

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Episode-A-Day! MASK, Ep. 19: “Ghost Bomb”

There are a lot of great things involving ghosts in entertainment. There’s Ghostbusters, there’s the ghost I saw at Lombard’s while working security at Universal Studios Orlando, there was the analyst on CNN hypothesizing that missing Malaysia plane MH370 may have been a “ghost plane” (not even kidding about that) and, of course, the classic cornerstone of American cinema, Ghost Dad.

So naturally, I was super excited when I saw today’s MASK episode was titled “Ghost Bomb” because I couldn’t wait to see if we were getting bombs placed and set off by ghosts or maybe it was a bomb to trap ghosts! The options are endless! Either way, we’re getting some fucking ghosts!

Plot:

We open in motherfucking Panama. Once again, who the fuck is Matt Trakker?

OK, so Panama and Scott and T-Bob are parasailing when a nearby yacht is destroyed by a runaway submarine. Matt recognizes the logo on the sub’s periscope as a company he’s donated tons of money to for research.

Matt contacts the research group because he’s the only guy in Panama with available telecommunications and finds out that not only was the submarine stolen a few days ago, but so was “Brian the Brain” a super-computer with an incredible realistic AI that is powerful enough to ghost-run the sub.

Turns out, VENOM (who else) stole this equipment and plans on using it to take over the Panama Canal. If the world doesn’t comply, the submarine is rigged with plastic explosives and Brian the Brain will detonate it if someone tries interfering with their plans which will…I dunno…I guess it’ll blow up all of Panama or something.

Matt calls in the MASK agents best suited for this mission and, upon arrival, places a direct call to Brian the Brain himself which Hondo is able to trace to get Brian’s location. It’s found at a cabin in the woods being watched by Vanessa Warfield of VENOM, but she’s no match for Dusty’s freeze spray that allows them to put Brian the Brain on ice and chase off Vanessa so they’re able to disable the explosives and take back control of the submarine to return it to the lab.

Miles Mayhem is incredibly unhappy and swears revenge.

Thoughts:

Was kinda feeling this in the beginning, but then it takes forever to develop. We’re more than halfway through the episode when Trakker calls in for the rest of MASK and the end is rushed to shit after that. There’s a quasi-interesting bit with T-Bob and Gloria where both save each other’s life within minutes of each other, but you could remove that scene completely and not miss anything from the episode.

Another case where MASK sets me up to be let down.

PSA:

No PSA in this one. We get a sloppy, non-sensical scene at the end with Mayhem following MASK from his helicopter as they guide the submarine away. He grumbles about always having his plans foiled and fires a missile at the submarine so that nobody can have it. MASK simply catches it in a net and send it away harmlessly as Mayhem swears to fight another day.

Final Grade:

* 1/2*. I am honestly worried that all the cartoons I liked as a child are fucking terrible and MASK is just letting me down not so easy. There is no possible way everything I love was this shitty, was it? Oh jesus god no. We are going to be watching a lot of cartoons, people.

I’m going to finish this series. I’m letting you know that. If I don’t, I’ll never come back to it and maybe it gets better. Who knows? But I will finish this. After this, however, we’re going to have to find something I loved as a kid and see if I still love it. Genuinely worried here, people. I don’t want to hate my childhood.

❤ Joe