CSBS – Rocket Power Episode 4: Happy Luau to You-Au/Rescue Rocket

Plot: Happy Luau to You-Au – Reggie’s planning to have an awesome birthday party at Madtown Skate Park, but her plans are ruined when Otto gets all of them temporarily suspended from the park.

Rescue Rocket – Sam and Twister are forced into joining a junior lifeguard program. Despite a rocky start, they eventually find themselves enjoying the experience, much to Otto’s dismay.

Breakdown: Happy Luau to You-Au – Sometimes, Otto can be really full of himself. And other times, he can actually be pretty sweet.

Trying out a new game he came up with for Reggie’s birthday party in which everyone holds hands and skates in a chain, the group gets suspended from Madtown for one week. Despite being clearly a bad idea (maybe a fine idea in a skating rink, but not in a skate pool) Otto had innocent intentions here, and it would’ve been fine, technically, but their people-chain ended up knocking down basically every other person at the park.

They really should have stopped the instant one person went down because of them, since that’s just what most normal people would do, but they didn’t for whatever reason. As a result, they got suspended from the park for one week, which is honestly pretty lenient if you ask me, but it’s made all the worse because Reggie was planning on having her first big birthday party at Madtown. Usually she has ‘lame’ parties at the Shore Shack, but she’s finally breaking free and having her party somewhere more exciting. Since she’s suspended, she can’t have her party there.

Reggie is devastated and very angry, especially at Otto, and for once Otto is genuinely sorry. He doesn’t argue, he doesn’t try to make excuses – he just accepts that he screwed up and feels very remorseful about it.

Reggie, on the other hand, is being a bit of a brat throughout the entire episode. Yeah, it’s understandable that she’s being a brat, but it’s also just slightly annoying.

In his guilt, Otto tells Mrs. Stimpleton about what happened. She takes it upon herself to throw Reggie a huge birthday bash – and if you know Mrs. Stimpleton, you already see why this is a big problem. She has a very kiddie and lame idea of what a teenager’s birthday party should be. She ends up hiring a really awful clown (who is even named Lame-O) and a terrible band that uses accordions.

When Reggie learns about this, she becomes even angrier and vows vengeance on the person who told Mrs. Stimpleton about her party – making Otto feel even worse. As if that weren’t bad enough, Mrs. Stimpleton is going to ridiculous lengths to get the word out on Reggie’s party. She’s put out a full-page ad in the paper and is driving around town with a huge loudspeaker announcing the party.

Otto, Twister, Sam, Raymundo and Tito set out to make things right.

Mrs. Stimpleton goads Reggie into coming to the party, and Reggie is shocked to find that the party is actually really cool. It’s being held at the Stimpleton’s pool, the band is using ‘cooler’ instruments, there’s good cake, the clown is basically being taken as a doofy street performer and everyone’s having a blast.

Reggie gets her awesome birthday party, Otto makes up for his mistake, he and Reggie make up and everything’s great……….This isn’t really a luau, so I dunno what the heck the title’s on about, but everything’s great otherwise.

This was just a really wholesome episode (Well, wholesome barring one scene where they’re clearly making that joke about a character ‘drinking’ their problems away at the bar, but in this case it’s Reggie eating fries and Tito cutting her off. He even asks if she’s driving home. Kinda surprising how many kids’ cartoons make this joke.) that, for once, didn’t center mostly on extreme sports. Otto’s being a sweetheart, and even his big mistake was just that – a mistake. It’s something a kid would totally do without realizing it’s a bad idea. Reggie’s being a little bit of a brat, but, again, it’s understandable, and she never goes too far with it.

I also really like that Otto didn’t slam Mrs. Stimpleton for what she was trying to do. He worked with her to turn her ideas into something Reggie would like instead of hurting her feelings and taking everything over himself. It was also really sweet how everyone came together in the end to help make things right for Reggie.

Overall, this is a really good and sweet story. I fully enjoyed it.

Breakdown: Rescue Rocket – Sometimes, Otto can be really sweet. And other times, he can be a dumbass.

Story B of today’s episode involves Sam and Twister being signed up for a junior lifeguard course by their parents. They’re both bummed about it at first, but Sam quickly takes to it, and even Twister eventually starts making a really solid effort to succeed in the course.

Otto and Reggie, however, are bummed because this course is eating up all of Twister and Sam’s time and energy, so they’re left to skate and play hockey by themselves.

Both Reggie and Otto express disdain towards the class, but Reggie soon starts showing interest and is even impressed by the feats they’re pulling off.

Otto, on the other hand, stays firm in his stance that lifeguards, and especially kids partaking in the junior lifeguard course, are all weenies and losers. He’s being totally in character here, both as a kid and just as Otto, plus I get his purpose in trying to show the audience, who may share his views, how cool and important lifeguards are, but he is being flatout annoying.

You’d think a guy who was practically born on a surfboard and was raised by an avid surfer right next to the ocean would have more respect for lifeguards, but he could not respect them less. Even after hearing Tito’s dramatic explanation (according to him anyway) about how, many years ago, lifeguards started out as wise people who respected the power of the ocean so much that they spread the word to people who worked and played in the waters and kept them safe from harm, Otto’s still not impressed. Reggie, however, is so impressed that she asks if she can join the junior lifeguards near the end.

Left on his own as the class winds down, Otto laments that everyone he knows is giving into the idea that the ‘lame’ lifeguards are interesting and cool.

As he mopes, Tito, who claims he’s collecting some seawater with a bucket on a rope for a secret recipe, suddenly falls from the pier and into the water. He’s tangled in the rope and can’t swim to safety.

Twister and Sam instantly grab their gear and establish a plan to save Tito. They work together to untangle Tito from the rope and tow him to safety.

…..And yeah, he was faking the whole time. It was Twister and Sam’s final test in the course, which is fine and cool and all, but….like….what about everyone else in the class?

Tito was actually a lifeguard back in Hawaii, a fact that makes Otto eat some crow when he realizes how he was accidentally insulting Tito when was slamming lifeguards. Otto has now gained a better appreciation for lifeguards and even compliments Twister and Sam for their skills in saving Tito.

I really liked this episode, too. While Otto was annoying, he was realistically annoying. Most kids think lifeguards are lame, and it’s understandable that Otto, hater of all rule enforcers, would be one of those kids. I just feel like, given how much of his life revolves around the ocean and extreme sports in the water, that he’d have a decent appreciation for lifeguards by now. Has he not ever witnessed anyone being rescued before?

I would say maybe he doesn’t have a grasp or mortality either, but….uh….his mom’s dead…..

Like many other times, this episode also shows the significant difference between Otto and Reggie, and that’s simply in the fact that Reggie is more mature and open-minded than he is (Uuuuuuusuallyyyyyyyy.) They both started out ragging on the junior lifeguards, but Otto did it more, worse, and Reggie warmed up to them much sooner.

This was a great episode for both Sam and Twister. It gave Sam some confidence, which I always love. Once he actually got invested in it, Twister also had some nice moments. It showed that he really can learn and do great things if you manage to keep his attention. Plus, I really like Twister and Sam’s friendship. They make a great team when Twister’s not being a jerk to Sam.

There were several funny moments in this episode, particularly when Sam and Twister were trying to save Lars and Sputz. Twister refuses to save his brother, and Sam actually stands up to Lars when he, predictably, starts mocking him. I loved when Sam said “Please grab the rescue can, MADAM, and I’ll tow you to safety.” Then Twister returned without Sputz because he couldn’t understand what Sputz was saying (He’s basically the Boomhauer of the show – speaking in mostly gibberish only a few select characters can understand.)

I love the overall message of this episode as well. As I mentioned, while connecting with Otto, it helps kids who think lifeguards are lame to gain a greater respect for them. It also encourages kids and teens to take safety courses and become lifeguards. That’s really great, especially for a show that puts so much focus on extreme sports in water. Any kid who wants to partake in these sports due to the influence of this show should take safety courses to ensure they stay as safe as possible and help other people. Admirable job, Rocket Power. You did good.


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CSBS – Rocket Power Episode 3: Otto 3000/Night Prowler

CSBS - Rocket Power Ep 3 1

Plot: Otto 3000 – After breaking his snowboard while qualifying in a big competition, Otto sells out to a massive conglomerate, Sno-Mart.

Night Prowlers – Lars challenges Otto and the others to a hockey game. The only hitch is, it’s set to be at midnight. Otto accepts on behalf of everyone, but there will be big trouble if they’re caught.

Breakdown: Otto 3000 – This episode is really dumb. I try to avoid starting reviews with watered down statements like that, but it’s true.

First and foremost, this episode is framed as a documentary Twister made on the events of the episode – which is just Otto partaking in a snowboarding competition. Twister films literally everything they do all the time, and they compete in a lot of things so why Twister decided to make a documentary about this one, I have no idea. It makes even less sense because Otto is eliminated. Did he really turn this into a documentary because of Otto’s brief family drama? Can you even call what happened drama?

The reason I bring this up is because I found the documentary aspect to be a lazy way of getting information out since they all do that reality-show-esque testimonial thing where they talk to the camera about things that happened along the way.

Not only that, but Twister’s cheap and, quite frankly, poor manner of filming and editing makes this whole episode really annoying to watch. I can see how it’d be charming, but for someone so obsessed with film, Twister’s sure not good at making videos. He doesn’t even seem to have a video editor capable of making title cards, which is something even free video editors provide. Instead, he opts to hold up literal title cards with his friends doing the same when their testimonials come up.

Second, the conflict, if you can even call it that, is stupid.

Otto’s partaking in a snowboarding competition, but his board somehow manages to snap in half when he very lightly crashes into Twister after his qualifier. They take it to a repair shop, but the price to fix the board is outrageous – $175. Just for fun, I looked up how much snowboards cost, and you can easily get one for $150-175 at cheapest with some of the more expensive ones being between $300-600.

And that’s in modern money. Adjusting for inflation from 1999, roughly, that same $175 would be more like around $275 now, so Otto could’ve gotten a fairly decent board for the same price of fixing his cheap one.

Raymundo isn’t having any of that, so he decides to fix the board himself. But he sucks at making repairs and thinks a board slapped together with instant epoxy and duct tape will still work. Not surprisingly, it doesn’t. Otto can’t even get the board to move, which means he’s basically screwed for the competition.

In comes, I’m not making this name up, Dick Shakely – CEO of Sno-Mart, a popular franchise snow sporting goods store. He wants to sponsor Otto and give him a fancy new snowboard – The Phantom 3000, which they even renamed immediately to the Otto 3000 once he accepts the offer.

Otto immediately sells out, decking himself out in Sno-Mart gear. He’s jazzed about the competition now, but Reggie’s livid because he’s usually sponsored by Rocket Boards, the business Raymundo owns.

This made me double-take because I had to question if Raymundo sells snowboards. As far as I know, he only sells surfboards and surfing equipment in the same building as the Shore Shack. And if Rocket Boards really did sell snowboards, why did Raymundo not have the ability to immediately get Otto a new board or pack a backup? Why does he suck so much at repairing snowboards when he supposedly sells them?

The short answer is, because he doesn’t sell snowboards or the like. As far as I’ve researched, he only sells surfboards, which makes sense because he lives in Ocean Shores where they rarely, if ever, get snow.

It seems Reggie’s just angry, and Raymundo’s just disappointed, because Otto dropped Rocket Boards as a sponsor in lieu of a big corporation like Sno-Mart. He chose money over family. But, truth be told, Rocket Boards is a really shitty sponsor if they won’t provide Otto with enough money to repair or replace his board so he can, ya know, actually compete in the event he needs sponsorship in.

Otto’s right – he did need a board. He couldn’t compete with the one Raymundo ‘fixed’ – it literally would not move. It was either drop out or join Sno-Mart.

Besides, if Otto’s goal in life is to become a professional in any extreme sports circuit, he’ll need other sponsors besides Rocket Boards eventually.

The way that Otto ‘learns his lesson’ is also very lame. Sno-Mart loads him up with so much gear that he can’t move well enough to snowboard without wiping out, which makes Dick angry, because bad performers sponsored by Sno-Mart make the company look bad, which is understandable. Otto gets fed up with it, so he sheds all of his Sno-Mart gear and rejoins Rocket Boards, with one very important difference I’ll address in a second.

The only reason Otto gives up Sno-Mart is because they made him wear too much stuff. I don’t understand why he didn’t just shed his underlayers and keep boarding. There’s absolutely no point in wearing the other stuff unless it’s visible. That’s kinda the point of sponsorships. They pay you to wear their logo and endorse their stuff so their logo and stuff can get more exposure on the back of someone prolific. The other crap he’s wearing underneath can easily be removed since no one can see that stuff.

In addition, he had absolutely no issues moving before Dick gave him that one jacket. He even performed a very complex trick off a huge ramp with ease with all of that gear on. They threw this flimsy development together just to get to the resolution.

It’s like they had the bare bones of a plot here: Otto gives up his family business’ sponsorship and sells out -> learns it’s not what it’s cracked up to be or he gets mistreated or something because he’s just another faceless billboard to them -> Compete with the Rocket Board sponsorship proudly again. But when it came to the details they got ridiculously lazy.

Speaking of the third part of that plot – Otto does indeed go back to wearing the Rocket Boards logo again when he takes his first run of the event.

Oh dear, though. He has no snowboard because his old one is unusable and his new one is courtesy of Sno-Mart, meaning he’s still technically shilling for them if he uses it.

Well, the solution to that problem is simple. Ignore it, and just have him use the Otto 3000, not realizing that it completely defeats the purpose of his sponsorship change.

Yay.

Dick takes the board back, but only after Otto’s run, which he fails because he wiped out.

And Otto learned a very important lesson – His father’s a cheap-ass sponsor who was basically complacent with his son losing this competition by default because he didn’t want to pay for either a cheap replacement board or to get repairs on his snapped one, and he’s happy when his son basically cheats a free snowboard out of a company, even to just use it once, just because grrr big company bad.

Also, Otto learned that he does not possess the ability to remove excess layers of clothing unless he learns the very lazy barely-there non-moral of the episode.

CSBS - Rocket Power Ep 3 2

Night Prowlers – Luckily, this episode is much better with funnier jokes and a better moral, but it’s, overall, quite boring.

The kids, barring Otto, approach the idea of going out at midnight very realistically. They do want to go, but they know their parents will freak if they find out, so they’re hesitant. Even Twister needs to sit on the idea before he agrees.

The episode is more about actually going out at midnight than it is about the game, which makes sense because the game never happens. Lars shows up, and is somehow the only one who thought to bring a flashlight. His teammates, however, bailed because they didn’t want to get in trouble. Since Lars has no team, Otto and the others win by default.

The cops show up right then, however, and Lars gets away, which I thought was BS. The worst one of the group and the one who started this mess gets off scot-free? Give me a break.

When they get home, Otto willingly takes all of the punishment because he was the one responsible for agreeing to this in the first place. I guess, despite not living there, Twister and Sam are also allowed to walk away with Otto taking the blame. I don’t know why Officer Shirley dropped all of the kids off at Raymundo’s, especially when they specifically have a scene where the officers are asking where the kids live. That was probably for the sake of wrapping up the ending, but it’s still rushed and makes no sense, especially considering the kids live very close to each other.

The punishment, by the way, is garbage duty for three weeks, which is a far cry from the ‘grounded until you’re my age’ punishment he said they’d get if he ever caught them out late at night.

The best part of this whole episode was, oddly, in the equally as boring B-plot. Stimpleton is performing a stakeout to catch a night prowler, hence the title. The night prowler is literally moving his lawn furniture by like an inch. I don’t get why Stimpleton wouldn’t do the intelligent thing and just buy a security camera. His house is so ridiculously automated, I’m surprised he doesn’t already have such a security system.

Anyway, it was Mrs. Stimpleton skinny dipping. Yup. I probably got more amusement out of that than I should have, but it was a pretty funny twist.

Oh and just to highlight how boring this episode is, you know that thing I mentioned before where Rocket Power will take a word or line, usually slang, and make an animated X-TREEM title card to exaggerate the word or phrase? (Which will henceforth be referred to as X-TREEM title cards.) They did it a few times in Otto 3000, but only once here. Guess what they used it for.

….Stimpleton slurping his coffee…….in an X-TREEM WAY!…I guess.

Ratings:

Otto 3000 – 1/10

Night Prowler – 5/10

Next episode….

…Previous Episode

CSBS – Rocket Power Episode 2: Secret Spot/Ice Queens

CSBS - Rocket Power Ep 2a

Plot: Secret Spot – Ocean Shores is overrun by tourists, so Otto and Reggie decide to take Twister and Sam to their father’s legendary secret spot – an incredibly secret beach where the waves are always perfect and they have the whole area to themselves.

Ice Queens – Otto, Reggie, Sam and Twister are heading to Winter Fest to participate in a hockey championship. However, their practice keeps getting sidetracked by Reggie and Clio, Twister’s cousin, constantly fighting. Clio looks down on Reggie for liking hockey and not being feminine while Reggie continuously bites back with little respect towards Clio’s girly views and sport of choice – ice dancing.

Breakdown: Secret Spot – Goddamn this episode is boring…and it’s another episode I remember like the script was burned into my brain.

Seriously, this episode….is so boring. Nothing of interest happens. The one running joke throughout the whole run time is one of the characters telling the other where the secret spot is and the information is blocked out by some loud noise so the audience, whom this information would be useless to, can’t hear it, because it’s just that secret.

They act like them going to the secret spot won’t divulge the information either. Like, why does Twister absolutely need to know where the spot is before they go? Why does Lars need to threaten the location out of him if he basically just follows him there?

The only other running gag is a really, really, really drawn out dialogue where a character will ask if they’re talking about THE secret spot and then go on to ask questions that are variants of ‘You mean the secret spot that’s really secret?’

If there’s one thing I can say for this episode it’s that I liked the little moment at the end where Otto and, especially Twister, apologize to Sam for yelling at him for accidentally spilling the beans to Lars about the secret spot (Twister gave him the information the night before, so he already knew anyway) and Sam responds by calling Twister a Squid. The look Twister gives after that and the scene as a whole shows that they’ve really grown as friends, which is saying something because Twister tends to rag on Sam the most.

I guess I also liked the twist where they explain that they never actually told them where the secret spot is – they left out one big detail, so Lars and the others end up thinking a rocky nightmare beach is the spot.

That does not make up for the boring tedium of this episode, though.

Can I ask a question that’s been bugging me for over a decade though? Is ‘shoobie’ a real word in beach-side towns? It feels like it could be, but it also feels like something they made up.

CSBS - Rocket Power Ep 2b

Ice Queens – Hey, if you want a nice taste of ‘dated’ Sam refers to a 12GB hard drive as ‘huge’ in this episode. Fun fun.

If there was one episode I was simultaneously looking forward to and dreading, it was this one. Looking forward to because I really related with this episode when I was a kid and dreading because I was really worried it would be one of those episodes that is actually horrible in hindsight.

I was, and still am I guess, a tomboy, if such a phrase is still used today (Goddamn, this whole episode is making me feel old) I was never really into extreme sports or anything like Reggie is, but being into geeky things, having mostly male friends, dressing more boy-ish, watching shows more directed towards guys and being a little rough earned me the moniker.

I never minded. I was quite content with who I was. It wasn’t like I was inherently averse to girly things, either. I had plenty of Barbies and stuffed animals and such. I even had my own fake kitchen, which I feel awkward admitting because I feel like I’m being sexist…to myself………I also had a toy vacuum, what the shit? Uh, anyway, I liked ‘girly’ things, I just wasn’t as interested in them.

Still, I was mocked for being a ‘tomboy’ by some of the more popular girly girls, and sometimes it was irritating to hear that I couldn’t do this or that or have this or that because they were ‘meant for boys.’

Something I always give my parents credit for, however, is, despite their conservative and religious natures, they never had a problem giving me ‘boy’ things like wrestler toys, Power Ranger merchandise or encouraging me to do ‘boy-ish’ things like watch and play basketball. My mom got a little irritated that I never ‘grew out of it’ when I got a lot older, but she never really made me feel bad about it.

That’s why I related so much to Reggie. She’s an awesome, intelligent, kick-ass girl who can do anything the boys can do, and many times do it better.

Here, her femininity is called into question by a clashing girly-girl, Clio, Twister’s cousin, whose name spelling annoys me. Clio is here for an ice dancing competition, because of course she is. She’s even got the pink tutu and everything. Let it be known that I am not ragging on Clio for being a typical girly-girl – that would make a hypocrite – I am ragging on her a little because she’s acting like being a girly-girl makes her better than Reggie.

I’m 100% certain Reggie would have no issue with this girl if she wasn’t acting like enjoying pink and being preoccupied with fashion made her better than Reggie. Even if they don’t like the same things, Reggie is a very level-headed and kind girl. She’d likely make friends with her anyway if she were actually nice.

This clash of the estrogen culminates in Reggie and Clio making a bet that the other can do their sport just as easily as the other can, which I’m cool with – walk a mile in the other’s shoes and all. I also appreciate that the others don’t make fun of Reggie when she’s ice dancing. They cheer her on and are impressed with her skills. Otto even says that he thinks ice dancing is cool. I liked that.

All that said, the climax of this episode is ridiculously dumb.

1 – Clio has absolutely no experience whatsoever in hockey. How was she skilled enough to make all of those great moves and even score the winning goal? Just because she’s a skilled ice dancer does not make her a skilled hockey player.

I thought I could justify this by saying she’s been hearing the others go over plays the entire ride over and she’s seen them practice, but that’s nowhere near enough to warrant that kind of jump in skill.

2 – Reggie has absolutely no experience whatsoever in ice dancing. How was she skilled enough to (nearly) win an ice dancing competition? (I say ‘nearly’ because she was DQ’d for standing in for Clio.)

Where did she learn how to do all those moves? How did she know Clio’s routine so quickly? Yes, she’s a skilled ice skater, being a hockey player, but, like with Clio, that does not make you an ice dancer.

3 – How were Otto and the others not also disqualified? Clio took Reggie’s place in the match without telling anyone. Isn’t that also cheating?

While we’re on the subject, while Clio may have agreed to risking her championship for a dumb rivalry, why would Reggie do the same? She could’ve nearly gotten her team DQ’d and wasted all of their hard work for, again, a petty rivalry.

4 – How does this fix their problem at all if both of them were insanely good at the other’s sport with barely an ounce of trying? The argument was –

Clio – “Hockey’s easy! Anyone could do it!”

Reggie – “Ice dancing’s insanely easy!”

If they both won championship level competitions with, maybe, a few hours of practice, that kinda just proves to themselves that they were right about their positions. It would’ve been better to have them in situations where there was nothing official on the line and had them try their hands at the other’s sport there. Then have them both fail miserably and gain a better respect for the other’s sport.

Maybe have them be super determined to learn more about the sport so they can show the other up then develop a real interest in it through the research and practice.

5 – I don’t quite understand how Otto and the others are even in some hockey championship. First of all, they don’t even have enough players for a true hockey match. They have four players, counting their goalie, and the usual minimum is six on each side.

Do they even have an official team in the first place that somehow lead to them being here? They only play against one team during the entirety of Winter Fest and win trophies because of it.

Finally, why does it seem like the opposing team is made up of 16 year olds? Otto and the others are about 10-12. Are there not age brackets? This hardly seems fair.

All in all, I like this episode, but it kinda feels like the ending screws everything up. It’s nice that Clio and Reggie have found some mutual respect for the other, including their chosen sports, but I just think they did it in a way that both didn’t make sense and was extremely contrived.

This episode did spawn one of my favorite, seldom used, insults, though.

Otto: “Hey! Why don’t you pick on somebody with your own steroid dosage!?”

Ratings:

Secret Spot – 1/10

Ice Queens – 6.5/10

Next Episode….

…Previous Episode

CSBS – Rocket Power Episode 1

CSBS - RP EP1A

Plot: New Squid on the Block – In the beautiful California town of Ocean Shores lives Reggie, her brother Otto and their friend Twister. They all enjoy a wide array of extreme sports, but are unable to play street hockey since they don’t have a goalie. A meek and intelligent boy named Sam Dullard moves in across the street, and while Otto and Twister are quick to mock him for his nerdiness, Reggie welcomes him, and he even helps her with her long awaited magazine, The Zine. They try to include Sam in their hockey game, but he flails all over the place, scared to death of the puck and getting hit by the other boys. However, they realize Sam has a talent for blocking pucks and makes him their new goalie.

Down the Drain – Reggie is a housesitter for Mr. Stimpleton as he goes on vacation with Violet. She’s especially tasked with the very specific care of his high-tech pool. However, Otto and Twister have better ideas for the pool.

Breakdown: It’s always nice to go back to a show where you practically have a running teleprompter in your head scrolling down the script as you watch an episode. That was how I felt while returning to Rocket Power. I never realized how much I memorized this show. It’s not that hard to believe since I did love Rocket Power and it was on Nickelodeon all the time, especially in summer, but it’s just not one of those shows I think about too often.

Sadly, I kinda understand why.

Addressing the first half of the first episode, we’re introduced to Sam, known more ‘affectionately’ as the Squid of the group. Sam is a perfectly nice young man, and that’s exactly his problem according to Otto and Twister. They rag on him throughout the whole episode, especially Twister, though he warms up to him when Sam inherits the Squid moniker that he initially had.

Squid is not really given a full definition, but from what you can gather from the show, it’s either a new kid or, according to the Wiki, “Squid comes from the term “squirrelly” and was given to new riders who exhibited an unpredictable and unsteady riding style on account of them being new to the sport.” Given that Twister was the last Squid and he seems perfectly fine in his athletic skills, I’d say this is a mixture of that along with just being someone that the whole group rags on.

Outside of one fairly funny scene with the kids’ crotchety neighbor, Mr. Stimpleton, the episode is….not all that entertaining. They don’t make many jokes, what they do have for comedy isn’t funny, and there isn’t that much in regards to extreme sports either. They focus more on the street hockey match, which is short and not much happens in it anyway. Sam shines for a bit in practice, whacking away any and all pucks that come his way, and then he gets the puck out of Merv’s mailbox through his engineering skills.

On second look, this episode might be setting the foundation for the audience. Most kids, even in the 90s and early 00s, weren’t nearly as much into extreme sports and stuff like Otto, Reggie and Twister. Whether it was due to safety issues, overbearing parents, lack of access to places to practice these things or lack of funds to get the equipment, most kids would be into skateboarding a bit, maybe street hockey, rollerblading, but some of the later stuff they do is beyond the reach of most kids.

Plus, there’s the same issue Sam has in that a lot of kids just don’t think they belong in that world. That doesn’t change the fact that it looks awesome and seems incredibly fun, however. Introducing Sam off the bat allows the audience to connect better with one of the characters and helps them believe that they could have talent in some of these sports – they just haven’t found it. I know this show inspired me to buy a skateboard….that I was never able to ride without wiping out and hurting myself. I did get okay at rollerblading, though, and it spurred me into being a fan of hockey so I have that.

It’s a decent starter episode, but the entertainment value both in comedy and sports is fairly low. I also have a few nitpicks. 1) Sam was scared to death of the puck earlier, yet a rogue flying puck he knocks away with his bare hand without even flinching or thinking about it? Then he’s perfectly fine facing a full-on barrage of pucks flying at him at practice? Uh huh. 2) They didn’t bring any extra pucks? 3) Merv wasn’t angry that Sam was screwing with so much stuff in his house to get the puck out of his mailbox?

CSBS - RP EP1B

The second half of the episode, Down the Drain, has Reggie being left in charge of Mr. Stimpleton’s house while he and Violet (Mrs. Stimpleton) are away on vacation. Why he trusted a kid, even Reggie, to housesit when he seems to vehemently hate children is beyond me, but we need a plot. Otto, Reggie, Twister and Sam are allowed to use his super cool high-tech pool while he’s away, but he has a strict list of rules for the place that they obviously don’t obey.

They enjoy the pool for a while, but keep making fun of Sam for being reluctant to enter the ‘cold’ pool, even though Stimpleton said right before he left that he keeps the water at a nice warm 68 degrees. Sam threatens to drain the pool if they keep it up, and Otto and Twister love the idea. Reggie, not so much. They want to drain the pool so they can make a skateboard pool out of it. I don’t know why they’d bother seeing as how they live a sneeze away from a full skate park, complete with a huge skateboard pool, but whatever.

Sam: “What could possibly go wrong?”

Oh, bless your heart.

Obviously, things go wrong. Twister leaves the drain hose next to a drain, but the water pressure from the draining process forces itself into the Rocket’s basement, flooding the place and ruining all of their stuff. Which, when you think about it in hindsight, must be especially horrible because Otto and Reggie’s mom has long since passed away and I can only imagine how much of her memorabilia is down there.

This episode also introduces us to Raymundo, Otto and Reggie’s father. He comes home early to use Stimpleton’s pool because he kinda has to per sitcom plot rules. It also briefly debuts Tito – Raymundo’s best friend and somewhat mentor to the kids.

They manage to keep the basement trouble and the pool drain a secret from their dad, but Stimpleton suddenly returns. He yells at Raymundo and they both yell for Reggie, but the kids all manage to escape.

This episode was more entertaining than the first part, even though, again, Stimpleton’s house is somehow all controlled remotely – even his electric toothbrushes…?? In the first part, this made a little sense because Mr. Stimpleton had troubles with wiring and seemingly does automate his house. However, Sam was using a big remote in that part. Here, he’s somehow controlling everything from the pool CPU. Why the hell would you want it that way?

Also, this huge hunk of metal he has to control such minor things as his pool was either super ridiculous even back then or technology has advanced a hell of a lot more than I remember.

This episode also debuts one thing I always hated about Rocket Power, and still do – the weird word emphasis cards. Every now and then, when someone says a word that may or may not be particularly emphasized, a colorful title card with various animations and fonts will pop up to put even more emphasis on it. I always thought that was an incredibly lame aspect of the show, yet they kept it the entire series run.

Down the Drain was more entertaining and funnier than New Squid on the Block, but it’s still not incredibly entertaining. It’s predictable, lots of things don’t have to happen but are forced to happen because plot, but Raymundo and Tito are my favorite characters, and it’s a strong enough story I guess.

Ratings:

Part 1 – 5/10

Part 2 – 6.5/10

Next episode, Secret Spot and Ice Queens!

AVAHS – Rocket Power: A Rocket X-mas

AVAHS Rocket Power

Plot: Raymundo wants to celebrate all of the Rocket family Christmas traditions, but Otto and Reggie find most of them to be lame and try to avoid them. They take up jobs as dog walkers to earn enough money to buy a long board for their dad, but their jobs and attitudes get in the way of the holidays.

Breakdown: Despite me watching Rocket Power fairly regularly as a kid, I will admit, I’m hard-pressed to remember damn near any episode. There was that episode where Otto broke his leg snowboarding…that episode with the neon skateboards…..that’s pretty much it, off hand. Rocket Power just wasn’t known for having deep and meaningful storylines. It was usually just extreme sports, slang, smacktalk and maybe an obvious moral.

Which is probably why I can’t, for the life of me, remember this special. Any of it. At all.

I know I must’ve watched it, but I have no recollection whatsoever of even a second of footage.

Alright, that’s a small lie. I remember nothing about it, BUT I did get a spur of ‘OH YEAH’ when Otto and Reggie got their gifts. Just a spur though because, while I remembered they got gifts that were mementos of their mother, I completely forgot what they were and what their significance was.

Outside of that one kinda touching moment that is really only touching because it’s a rare occasion where they reminisce on their late mother, this is a completely forgettable and boring episode.

It’s predictable, it’s not funny, it’s not very full of Christmas-y feels, and unlike other episodes that can offset this by having at least some cool tricks and sports, this one has nothing because the focus is either on groaning over Raymundo’s Christmas traditions or walking dogs. The most they do is allow themselves to be pulled on skateboards and rollerblades by the dogs, which is dangerous.

I think a good chunk of people can relate to outgrowing Christmas traditions….but I obviously can’t. I’m all about Christmas. Hell, I’m usually the one who has to prod my parents to do our traditions.

And I think the moment where Raymundo admits that he was trying so hard to uphold the traditions because their mother loved them so much should’ve been a more impacting moment. It’s more like a fleeting line.

All in all, this really isn’t that good of a Christmas special – or a regular episode for that matter, which doubly sucks because this is a special full half-hour long episode as opposed to the eleven minute half episodes they usually got. Oh well, at least they didn’t do one of those lame shots where they say a slang word and an exaggerated title card with the word pops up on screen.