Episode One-Derland (Cartoons): NASCAR Racers

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Plot: In the near future (?) NASCAR racing has evolved substantially. Instead of oval tracks, there are huge complex and winding tracks that even go on walls and include loops. Likewise, the cars have been improved by including gadgets, a much higher rate of speed and even flying capabilities. Team Fastex is testing out their new recruits; Mark “Charger” McCutchen, a skilled racer hailing from several generations of NASCAR drivers, Steve “Flyer” Sharp, a fighter pilot, Carlos “Stunts” Rey, a ladies man and constant show-off, and Lyle “The Collector” Owens, a shady driver who is known for purposely crashing out opponents and taking pieces of their cars as trophies.

After purposely causing a crash in the simulation, Owens finds himself fired from Team Fastex and it’s revealed that he was secretly working for a rival team, Rexcor, the whole time to steal secrets from Fastex.

Breakdown: My relationship with NASCAR is alright. My dad is fan and I used to follow it with him, one of my first memories of the fandom being, sadly, the crash that ended Dale Earnhardt’s life. It’s okay, but I just find it a little dull. Plus I’m not one for sports much anyway (oy the girl stereotype; I am shamed). I’ll watch hockey on occasion, maybe football and I used to play soccer, but I don’t really follow any sport.

I honestly think this series is aimed at hooking in younger viewers to NASCAR by futurizing it up as much as possible. I mean, the twisty-turny, loop-de-loopy track is fun, but I can’t imagine some of these car mods aren’t cheating. Like, a flying car? Jumping off the top of the bundle of loops and using a parachute to fall way ahead on the track? A hook that shoots to puncture other drivers’ tires? NASCAR just gets more and more restrictive with their rules; I can’t imagine a world where they’d be cool with this.

But, hey, it’s just a cartoon and it’s obviously sci-fi, so I can’t be too harsh. If the aim was to hook in younger fans with this stuff, though, I can imagine many kids were disappointed to see cars with no gadgets racing in an oval.

I will say that the cars and tracks being CGI does not work in its favor because it makes it look like the cars are going slow, and that’s definitely not something you’d want in a racing show.

The characters are completely forgettable with all of them mostly amounting to cocky fun-loving gear heads so far. Stunts is a ladies man, and Flyer seems to have some form of PTSD from some accident, straining his relationship with his girlfriend.

Another character, Megan, who is totally not this mystery driver who had great lap times that her father wants to hire, nosiree, is a smart and tough girl who is obviously going to be the love interest for main character guy, Charger.

Lyle’s a boring antagonist who, realistically, should’ve been banned from racing if he’s notorious for causing crashes.

Rexton, owner of Team Rexcor (get it? Fastex is for fast and Rexcor=wrecks? It’s about as clever as any other name in this series like ‘Miles’ ‘Stunts’ and ‘Flyer’.) is also a typical boss antagonist. All he’s missing is an evil laugh.

The story of the episode is really nothing. They race in the simulator, Lyle causes a simulated crash, he gets fired (and I have to wonder why he hired him in the first place if he knows his reputation), the team races motorcycles, Flyer crashes and makes his girlfriend mad, but he’s fine, they race for real (with cars that have numbers in the hundreds instead of 0-99 because whoo it’s the future.) against the mystery driver who is totally not Megan and we end on a cliffhanger after Marks’ little cousin or whatever causes a crash because he stupidly walked onto the track mere seconds after getting out of audio range of the cars, believing them to be gone because not like there are miles and miles of track in this version.

The cliffhanger is Flyer zooming towards a wrecked Charger and Miles. Ooh I wonder if he’ll hit them and they’ll die. Or maybe he’ll activate the flying mode and go over them instead. I haven’t watched the second episode, but I’ll put money on that.

All in all, it’s kinda neat-ish, a little, but it’s far from anything new and outside of mentioning NASCAR, this series has nothing NASCAR-ish in it.

The animation is passable at best, sad at worst. It’s definitely dated, and the traditional 2D animation does not mesh well with the CGI.

The music is also bland and uninspired, which is a bigger problem than usual because you’d think they’d use the music to help pump you up for the racing and stuff. You can barely even hear it half the time, too. Even the actual theme song at the start.

The voice acting is just okay. There’s not much to emote about except with Flyer and he does okay.

Final verdict:

750spsl

It just doesn’t give me any reason to keep watching. It’s borderline boring it’s so cliché and uncreative, and they don’t do a good job making the racing exciting at all.

Recommended Audience: E for everyone!

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