What's the big deal?

Discussion in 'Transformers Animated Discussion' started by AutobotAvalanche, Apr 9, 2020.

  1. AutobotAvalanche

    AutobotAvalanche Number One in Boogieland

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    Animated seems to have a pretty polarizing status in the community, it's either the WORST THING EVER because people can't get past the art style and the changes to common elements of the franchise, or, what I see more prevalently these days, it's the best thing ever or close to it. Now I've heard the former about a lot of things, like Beast Wars and Beast Machines, which I ended up liking, so I was more inclined to believe the latter. And with what's going on right now, I decided to kill some time and watch Animated all the way through. I knew about the general strokes of the story and the major spoilers, and I'd seen a few episodes out of order back when it was airing on the Hub. That was it.

    I don't get it.

    Don't get me wrong, I didn't hate it. It was enjoyable to watch and there are a LOT of good things going for the show. But I watched with a very critical eye to see if it lived up to all the praise it gets and it definitely did not. The writing throughout most of the show is competent, as in it isn't riddled with massive plot holes and continuity errors, but weak or just downright stupid most of the time to the point where it's distracting. Truly stellar episodes are few and far between.

    Let's get the obvious ones out of the way first:
    • I had no problems with the art style. Compared to how stiff a lot of Transformers shows are animation-wise, this was a breath of fresh air. The stylized designs are fun.
    • I had no problems with what the show changes up as compared to the older versions. Motorcycle ninja Prowl, not-the-supreme-leader Optimus, three-faced Blitzwing, etc. None of it gave me pause, none of it bothered me. I think those changes are some of the show's greatest strengths.
    With that out of the way, as I said above, the show's biggest problem is that the writing is so weak. Again, it was a very entertaining show, and that's a fine thing for a show to be, but I do not understand the claims that it is the greatest TF show ever. It's hard to explain regarding the show as a whole and more comes down to how each episode is done. Some big ones though:
    • The Allspark key. This is an atrocious plot device. Probably the worst in the entire franchise, even worse than the Matrix. Now in general I have a pretty low bar for plot devices. You tell me what something can do, I'm willing to accept it for the most part. The Allspark can restore life and animate machines into new life? No problem, that's fine. The Matrix kills Unicron? Okay, sure. Anything past that for a single device is pushing it. And the key can do ANYTHING. It's absolutely ridiculous and incredibly lazy writing. It's the solution to every single problem for most of the first two seasons. Optimus Prime dies? Well it'll just bring him back to life. It can also work as a literal key, repeatedly upgrade Soundwave without actually giving him sentience, track Allspark fragments, repair any injury, KILL ALL ORGANIC LIFE IN DETROIT because I guess the one thing it CAN'T do is purge Blackarachnia's organic half. That's only a small sampling of the miracles this thing does. It sucks.
    • The human villains. I know, I know, this one is done to death. But unlike most I didn't mind the villains, just the way they were written. Their motivations range from paper-thin to nonexistent. I'm not asking for tragic backstory flashbacks or highly detailed schemes. Just give me SOMETHING. One line will do it. What is Nanosec's motivation? Does he like fast sports cars, and that's why he steals money? Does he want to provide funding for independent playwrights in Detroit? I don't know, and the show doesn't care enough to tell me. The only remotely interesting one is Meltdown because he actually provides a physical threat to the Autobots and his motivations are somewhat explored.
    • Bumblebee. My god, I hate this character. I've never been one to complain about Bumblebee's overexposure after 2007. I get it. There have to be faces to the franchise. But at least make them likable. Bumblebee goes beyond being the impulsive, overeager young character. He is arrogant, rude, frankly a total narcissist. Everything is about him and he shows no compassion or real concern for all the trouble he causes. Once in a while there's an episode where he "learns a lesson" but he never really does. If anything he gets worse from the beginning to the end of the show. At least at the start he knew the Autobots weren't cut out to fight the Decepticons. By the end of it he's so far up his own ass. I can't even call this a character flaw, because as I said he never changes. He never becomes a better person. Every second he is on screen is irritating as he nags and bitches about everything until the second he gets to show off, which works for an additional second before he fucks everything up. Over, and over, and over. Wash rinse and repeat. It's a shame, because the other four main Autobots are all great characters.
    • Sari. The less said about her, the better. Irritating. Grating voice. So useless they had to staple the solution to every problem to her to justify her existence. Inconsistent. She's supposedly this wacky, loner shut-in because of how protective Sumdac is. But she's also an uber-worldly fountain of wisdom who guides the Autobots through every situation they face. Scared when it suits the plot, equally fierce and ready to fight when it suits the plot. She gets a little better after her upgrade but mostly because she stays out of the season, and then she comes back towards the end and makes things worse again. Why even bother playing up that Ratchet is an expert medic and Bulkhead is an space bridge whiz if you're just going to show them up right at the end of the show because Sari "just knows" things now and can do their jobs better than them? Like Bumblebee she makes so many stupid decisions that aren't even entertaining to watch, let alone dramatic. Her stabbing Bumblebee accidentally during "TransWarped" is supposed to be a massive dramatic moment an an emotional gut punch. For me it was just satisfying to see two characters who can't think any one thought for more than a second finally get some comeuppance for being such assholes all the time.
    It's a shame because on paper this show has so many great things going for it. The Elite Guard is awesome. The Autobots controlling Cybertron is a pretty fresh take on things. I'm personally not a fan of the Starscream clones but it's a cool, new idea. Nearly any given thing this show has to offer is great. The writing just wastes all of it.

    I think I can best explain by bringing up a few episodes in particular, starting with the worst in the series by far, "Sari, No One's Home". "Left alone in the Autobots' home base, Sari must defend it against an intrusion by the Constructicons," says TFWiki. Sounds good to me. And then you watch the episode, and really think about it in comparison to the rest.

    -This episode only happens because the Autobots, who have been getting better and better at tackling all sorts of threats, from Decepticon, to human, to space barnacles, cannot take down Blitzwing FIVE ON ONE.
    -Okay, we'll ignore that one. That doesn't change the fact that the episode revolves around Sari's fending off of the Constructicons, which is played for laughs. Funny until you realize the Constructicons had their memories wiped in their last appearance and get violently abused by Sari for walking into the Autobot's base, with no idea what they're doing. Sari, who has shown no fear at the idea of facing actual Decepticons and other threats before, suddenly freaks out at the robots who don't immediately show her any harm. This makes her look like a gigantic asshole of course, so the writers tried to compensate by making the memory-wiped Constructicons, particularly Mixmaster, much more malicious than they were when they first came online. That doesn't fix things. There are a million other more entertaining and satisfying ways to move the Constructicons into Megatron's hands, which is pretty much what this episode does. It's not even a Sari development episode because she already handled things on her own in the space barnacle one.

    "Predacons Rising" is another good example. There's a brief moment where this episode shines, when Blackarachnia tells Wasp the two of them have a lot in common. Even if she is playing him, it's still a scene that gives you pause and lets you think about what the Autobots have done, in both situations, and where Wasp is headed. Then that's all thrown out the window. Are things deescalated by Bumblebee having to actually take some fucking responsibility, and saying sorry beyond "hey what happened to you sucks but really it was Longarm's fault"? Nope, it's just "hey guys remember Beast Wars???? We have Waspinator now isn't that cool??? Look, the Dinobots and Blackarachnia are still in this show even though they've never done anything really!!! Continuity!!!" So many episodes are like this, just meaninglessly shuffling parts around while never actually progressing characters or the story in a meaningful way. The Meltdown/Blackarachnia one is another great example of that.

    "Where Is Thy Sting?" is a colossally stupid episode. The fact that NO ONE present immediately realizes how shifty "Bumblebee" is after the switch, along with the mask being down and the purple eyes, is ridiculous. As is the jet twins assuming Bulkhead is a traitor for holding "Wasp" and not just him... holding a prisoner he's caught. The "misunderstanding" that causes eats up a not insignificant portion of the episode. Then again, this is the same Elite Guard that never caught Longarm, the guy who gets panicky and shifty and asks oddly specific questions the moment anything about a traitor or spy is mentioned to him.

    Again, those are just examples of the many episodes where the writing isn't directly contradictory or anything, but just full of good storylines ruined with stupid, tone-deaf writing and little things that don't make sense. I could make a whole thread just about "TransWarped" but I'll hold off for now. This thread is already getting pretty long I'm guessing, but know this is only a fraction of what I have to say about the weaknesses in this show's writing.

    And again, I enjoyed this show. There are some really great episodes and a lot of entertaining episodes I would watch again. But it is NOT what everyone makes it out to be, at least to me. I think what perfectly encapsulates for me what's wrong with this show is in "Decepticon Air". We've been hit over the head up to this point with the fact that the Starscream clones come in all colors of the rainbow and have a single personality trait each. Swindle comes face to face with two of the most distinct of the bunch, and decides he can't tell them apart just so we can get a cheap, lame G1 reference.

    So I ask again, what's the big deal? Are my standards just too high, did I get burned by the fan hype, or did I just miss out on something that prevented me from enjoying it more? I liked the show, so I don't want to say it's me not enjoying it enough. I just can't overlook the writing.
     
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  2. ABrown

    ABrown Well-Known Member

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    @AutobotAvalanche, I'm right there with you. Last year, I gave the show a complete watch for the first time. I found the show to be ok, it definitely wasn't bad. But at no point while watching it, or looking back at it, have I seen what all of the hype is about. If there are people that find Animated to be their favorite Transformers series of the last 20 years, that's fine. Me personally, I'm more of a Prime fan. That's what's great about the Transformers franchise. There's so much variety, we've all got a version out there that we love.
     
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  3. Rodimal Rodimus

    Rodimal Rodimus Agent of Unit:E

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    It did something different while understanding its origins, and did it right.
    Simple as that
     
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  4. Novaburnhilde

    Novaburnhilde Sheepy sheepy sheepy

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    Honestly, I don't really have much to offer at the moment other than it was seriously refreshing to hear someone's thoughts who didn't just adore Animated and had nothing but good things to say about it. If I think of anything profound or insightful to offer ( :tongue:  ) then I'll just make a separate post or something.

    Either way, this was very well written.
     
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  5. Autobot Burnout

    Autobot Burnout ...and I'll whisper "No."

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    The thing with the key is that more often than not, it's a double edged sword metaphorically. It can do a lot of stuff...but it easily gets out of control. The whole thing about Soundwave getting upgraded repeatedly through Sari's absolute abuse of the key was in fact Megatron's entire plan...right up until Soundwave achieved sentience, which is kind of ironic given it's kind of the same thing that happened with the Dinobots since Megatron wanted to make them into minions...except exposure to key energy gave them limited sentience (why they ended up dumber than Soundwave isn't explained, I personally figure it was less exposure to the key power). This does stay in line with what happens with the AllSpark shards later, which straight up bring vehicles (or in one case, literal piles of junk) to life immediately, or in the case of Starscream completely replaces his Spark (which he lost because of the Key getting jammed into his chest by Megatron).

    If anything, it's a more modern take on the G1 Key to Vector Sigma, which really was a conduit for achieving the same thing through Vector Sigma. Which in a roundabout way, the AllSpark container does resemble slightly.

    You do raise a good point about Blackarachnia, though, there really isn't a reason why the key couldn't fix her.

    Nanosec at his core is nothing more than your standard cartoon petty villain - no real motivation and kind of a dick. If anything, the show's bigger fault with him is failing to explain how A) he stopped being physically old enough to qualify for an AARP membership after his intro episode (since that was the ultimate side effect of abusing his super speed), and B) why his later appearances did NOT invoke the same effect happening again.

    The other villains largely are pretty thin (though Angry Archer is kind of a reverse Robin Hood and he's a greedy loser, not to mention being an in-joke about former brand manager Aaron Archer as confirmed by DJW), I will agree, but it fit with the show's early, more lighthearted narrative in the beginning. As the plot starts getting more serious, the humans are gradually moved out of the way until the SUV episode completely takes them out, as their true purpose was merely to prevent power creep - the Autobots are shown gradually becoming more powerful without making the Decepticons look weaker as time progressed, which is easily demonstrated in TF Prime where you have Autobots simply cut through hordes of cannon fodder like butter and it really isn't exciting.

    Well, mileage may vary with Bumblebee, the token kid appeal character. I personally found him alright, but I grew up with freakin' Armada Hot Shot so I'm a bit biased admittedly :lol 

    Well, she was ultimately the "guide" for the Autobots into understanding Earth culture so she had to be more knolwedgable than she should have for the sake of the plot. She did get a little overbearing at times but compared to other human sidekicks through the franchise she is hardly among the worst, and that's not even getting into the fact she upgrades into a more powerful form because she isn't even fully human anyway.

    I forgot that episode but...yeeeaaaahhhh, I agree with you, that episode just seemed built for the purpose of making the Constructicons come off as assholes pointlessly simply because of where they needed to end up (and it's not consistent with their later characterization even after they go full on Decepticon).

    Well, that episode was the one that wrote out Blackarachnia entirely, so the fact they went full Beast Wars was to be expected. That, and Bumblebee realized how he'd led to Wasp getting all fucked over back at the end of S2 when the Longarm/Shockwave duplicity was revealed, but when the time comes for him to appologize, Wasp(inator) was having none of it.

    I think the idea of that episode was purely to develop Wasp's arc, in that he sought revenge on Bumblebee by swapping their lot in life, but yeah, it was kind of weak simply because I think they HAD to make it obvious for children to understand Not-Bumblebee was Wasp, even with the wrong eye color. It was kind of like the infamous G1 episode where there's a fake Optimus Prime and the solution to figure out the real one? A RACE. Not that I'm saying they should have gone that route, of course.

    I think a lot of the appeal has to do with how expectations for this series were rock bottom because of the heavy "Teen Titans" style and it was known early on it would be more like a superhero angle where they fought humans more often than the Decepticons, to the point the original title was Transformers: Heroes. I know I certainly thought it looked like ass.

    But then it came out and between a higher-than-usual level of writing quality, it not being afraid to completely shatter franchise status quo by making Optimus basically the inexperienced dunce of the Autobots instead of the supreme commander beloved by everyone, and then it quickly proved it wasn't afraid to go dark when the fifth episode - Thrill of the Hunt - went into incorporating full blown PTSD and the closest thing to a kid friendly serial killer who grafted the body parts of his victims into his own body that the show could get away with. On top of that, the most recent entries in the franchise had been the AEC/Cybertron (which was only okay, especially considering how goddamn awful Energon was) and the first Bayverse film (which as you know is not winning any writing awards), so for Animated to actually handle a shockingly deep early plot with strong characterization and a human sidekick who, if nothing else, was NOT simply another version of Energon Kicker screaming at everything, Animated had a prime position to be a surprise hit and it succeeded.

    It helped that the toyline was almost perfect in every way.
     
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  6. AutobotAvalanche

    AutobotAvalanche Number One in Boogieland

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    Yeah, for the most part the key is consistent, it just has a way too broad and ever-expanding set of powers. For how often it's on the show they do almost nothing to explain it. Why do all the Transformers have a perfect slot to insert the key? Was that already there, or does the key literally create that for each Transformer it comes in contact with? Why doesn't using the key on random appliances and shit turn them into Allspark mutations like in the movies? Why CAN the key turn on random machinery anyways when the regular controls are just right there? Tangentially related, why don't all the Allspark shards activate at once? All that's necessary is showing that they're crashing down randomly into vehicles like how the protoforms in Beast Wars didn't all show up at once for an instant army. Instead, we always see the shards already in things and they just activate when the plot demands it.

    Yeah, I think in SUV Slo-Mo says her Allspark clock reversed his aging, which doesn't really make sense... If the shard can do that, there are better uses than slowing down cops so you can steal some cash. I think I also would have tolerated them more if, even if their motivations aren't fleshed out, there was at least an explanation of WHY Detroit is full of supervillains and why they keep escaping when it seems Fanzone is doing a pretty good job of running the police.

    I think they were going in the right direction because he is very strongly characterized compared to some of the other kid appeal characters, but they just went off the rails with it. Bulkhead is such a nice guy, and endlessly patient, and Bumblebee is almost always an asshole to him. He openly insults his intelligence over and over even after Bulkhead proves definitively he is a space bridge expert. Before that he was shitting on Bullhead's dreams of becoming a space bridge tech. "Where Is Thy Sting?" makes it hard to believe he feels any genuine guilt over what happened with Wasp, because while the episode smartly reestablishes that Bumblebee is a pro gamer, for the end of the episode, it does so by having him slack off on looking for Wasp, which makes him look both irresponsible and uncaring. If he felt guilty about RUINING WASP'S LIFE he might be like "oh shit, here's my chance to apologize and talk things down before things get hairy with the Elite Guard showing up". And it's such a simple fix, too, have the episode start with him playing games and then reluctantly stopping when Prime tells him to start guard duty, which he could then do and show some concern. There's irresponsible kid and then full on sociopath.

    I'll admit this one is pretty subjective but I just can't stand her. There are a lot of humans in the franchise who are helpful without being annoying (Spike, Buster, Sparkplug, Carly, etc) even not counting the "cool" ones who aren't mainly there to be friends with the Autobots (Fanzone, Blackrock, Fowler, etc). Tara Strong does a lot of great voices but hearing her scream all the time in this show was very grating.

    Even worse because this could be a fantastic episode with some simple changes. Same premise, have Sari be gung-ho about proving herself without realizing what's up with the Constructicons, but then towards the end have her knock loose some old memories and then keep attacking them. Then they can go "Hang on, Megatron was right about these people after all" and walk out. Then Sari could have some guilt going forward which adds a new dimension to her character and she learns fighting isn't just about... fighting. As it is it's a tone-deaf episode that makes her look bad and isn't even satisfying because they just randomly run into Blitzwing at the end. Why even do the memory wipe and this episode if they just end right back with Megatron while being just as naive as they were the first time?

    It's true Bumblebee does seem to show some genuine remorse right at the end when Waspinator is after him, but even then any chance for Wasp himself to be an interesting character, whether he forgives or not, is thrown out the window by making him a generic brute monster guy.

    Agreed for the sake of kids it's perfectly understandable, it's just one of those things that I had to bring up when the hardcore Animated fans claim this show has superior writing to even Beast Wars. I can't think of a time BW dumbed things down like this unless you want to count the whole concept of "The Low Road".

    I tend to agree it's better than the average for Transformers, and those great episodes I mentioned are mostly the Lockdown ones. Thrill of the Hunt/Fistful of Energon/Five Servos of Doom are probably the best in the series. I didn't like TransWarped at all save for the development of Ratchet's backstory which was top notch. All the characters are written strongly and in broad strokes the storylines are fresh and surprisingly competent. I just think it's a far cry from what the staunchest fans make it out to be.
     
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  7. whassup

    whassup Banned

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    Never got the hype either. It wasn’t bad, but not all that good. It was good, but not great.

    I believe the TFA Bumble Bee is the blame for mute Bumble Bee. I will forever blame him.
     
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  8. Rodimal Rodimus

    Rodimal Rodimus Agent of Unit:E

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  9. Scrapmaker

    Scrapmaker Hadar Sen Olmen

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    But Mute Bumblebee was introduced via the 2007 movie, where he remained mute throughout the Bay Saga. There's literally no reason to blame Animated Bumblebee for the trend of other Bumblebee's being turned into mutes - especially since Animated Bumblebee was originally written to be Hotshot.
     
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  10. Blam320

    Blam320 Assembly Inventor

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    @Autobot Burnout With regards to Nanosec, at least, it was explained in SUV that Slo Mo used her AllSpark-powered timepiece to reverse the effects of Nanosec's hyper-aging.

    @whassup What are you even on about? Bumblebee wasn't mute in Animated; quite the opposite, he was a total chatterbox.

    @AutobotAvalanche I believe it's been explained somewhere that, with regards to the Key not being able to fix Blackarachnia, is that the key can give, but it can't take. So it couldn't take away Blackarachnia's organic half without catastrophic results. If I'm mistaken, then that's my headcanon.
     
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  11. AutobotAvalanche

    AutobotAvalanche Number One in Boogieland

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    Correct me if I'm wrong but did Megatron not use the key to kill Starscream at the end of S1? Maybe he just stabbed him with his sword. Or I guess you could say he died from being given too much life.
     
  12. Blam320

    Blam320 Assembly Inventor

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    No, he did indeed use the key. I choose to believe he overloaded Starscream by, yes, giving him too much life. Frying his circuits. Which then almost happened to Sari, when she absorbed the key's energy into herself.
     
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  13. Magnus Leader

    Magnus Leader Young Optimus Prime is the Best Optimus Prime.

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    Optimus was only dead for a minute tops, and the Allspark was on hand to give an immense power boost, so it's easy to think of it as the ultimate successful case of CPR. Performed on a robot, no less.

    Soundwave was given sentience after enough exposure to the Allspark key.

    And since the key got its power derived from the Allspark why wouldn't it be able to track Allspark fragments and repair any injury.

    And in regards to killing all organic life, exposing organics to the Allspark energy in the Key would clearly not be healthy since Cybertronians are sentient beings in a different way.

    Sari didn't show up Bulkhead at all, if I recall correctly.

    And the most she did with Ratchet was just find out a possible way to fix Arcee. Ratchet still did the hard part of processor surgery.
    There's a difference between studying the brain and being actually qualified to do brain surgery.

    They definitely knew what they were doing. They were breaking and entering someone's property purely to steal oil.

    Sari is entirely justified in fighting back in self-defense.

    That is subjective.

    Maybe for you it doesn't.

    But for me, it definitely does.

    The implication is that the Key, being powered by the Allspark, does indeed create a slot in all Cybertronians for the sake of application if required.

    Using the key on random appliances is shown to not bring those machinery to life, unless, as clearly shown with Soundwave and the Dinobots, they are exposed to enough Allspark energy over a prolonged period of time.

    Wasp also made Bumblebee's life in boot camp a complete hell.

    Bumblebee obviously feels some guilt for turning in a bot that didn't commit a crime, but as Bulkhead said, Wasp was hardly innocent in the first place.
    So I don't blame Bumblebee for not beating himself up about Wasp.

    Speaking as someone who was a victim of bullying in the past, I wouldn't feel any pity for any of my bullies at all if they were framed for a crime they didn't commit.

    If you want to be seen as a good person, then be one.

    Wasp's attitude, and by extension Sentinel Prime's too, is more in line with that of the Decepticons.
    Logically, Wasp would be suspected for treachery even if he wasn't guilty, and we all know what would've happened to Sentinel if Season 4 had been produced.

    If you're gonna scrutinize everything about Animated, then Beast Wars should be given the same treatment.

    So yes, we are counting the whole concept of The Low Road.

    Sure, the show has a few flaws when one subjects it to intense scrutiny, but no work of fiction is ever perfect.

    The reason why many of us hail Transformers Animated as the Best Transformers Show is because arguably it IS objectively the Best Transformers Show.
    (That we've gotten so far, at least.)

    And that is a valid reason for people to claim the show to be the best work of Transformers fiction ever, as of now.

    Yes, naysayers have the right to disagree.
    Yes, maybe there are comic runs out there that have maybe told better stories.

    But keep in mind, comics are a different medium when compared to family television.
    Comics can run for longer, and they aren't beholden to as much censorship rules as television shows are.
    Also, comics are generally just more obscure than TV shows are, and harder to get ahold of — especially if you don't have that much money to spare.

    And regardless of what story individuals choose to regard as the best Transformers fiction ever, out of all the Transformers shows we have so far, Transformers Animated is arguably the best one of them all.

    Beast Wars is an equally great candidate, and certainly many of us Animated fans don't mind those who pick that show instead.

    But for many of us, Transformers Animated gave us an Optimus Prime — not a Primal — that we could relate to, who we could grow along with, and who we could truly adore.

    A story is only as good as its main character, and the story of Optimus Prime definitely made Transformers Animated a great show, all things considered.
     
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  14. AutobotAvalanche

    AutobotAvalanche Number One in Boogieland

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    Again, my problem isn't necessarily that it can do a lot of things, but that all the things it can do account for like 90% of the Autobots' problem solving skills. It's lazy. If the conflict doesn't immediately involve punching something, all bets say Sari will just shove the key into something.

    She did show up Bulkhead, I can't remember which episode but it's after she gets the upgrade. He's completely stumped with a space bridge problem and she just knows the answer for no reason. It undermines his character just to make her look better. Cheap writing.

    As I said in the OP that's completely ignoring the context of the episode. They were suffering from amnesia and had essentially wandered into the base on the fragment of an instinct - Sari overreacts and essentially tortures them, and they only start fighting back in response. Either way it's still a useless episode considering they could have just stayed with Megatron in their first appearance instead of getting amnesia because plot.

    All of which might have been explained with a line or two of dialogue, given how much damn time they key is given. Instead it's left to inference on the viewer's part.

    I do. He's a hero in what is ultimately a kids' show, I would expect him to take the high ground. Maybe he struggles with it at first but still comes out on top. But no, he never really overcomes his "oh well, sucks to suck" attitude about Wasp.

    No comment.

    The lesson Bumblebee refuses to learn over three entire seasons.

    I have given it the same treatment, and in my evaluation BW comes out on top. Undoubtedly it has some issues with the time travel logic but the series has much stronger writing overall.

    I've yet to see anyone ever actually explain why Animated is the best. As I said in the OP, everything I offered were just examples. Nearly every single episode of Animated left me asking questions about the plot, dialogue, character actions, etc. Not because it was confusing but because the writing was just weak. Across the board. The characters are mostly entertaining, the premise is creative, the broad-strokes plotlines are intriguing, but in practice Animated is not a "good" show, just a fun one, at least in my evaluation. A lot of fans say it's the best, so I went in looking for the best and didn't find it. I think that says more than if I had gone in wanting to hate it and then made that same OP.
     
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  15. Magnus Leader

    Magnus Leader Young Optimus Prime is the Best Optimus Prime.

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    Fair enough about some of your points.

    But here are the ones that I will address.

    Then that is probably another subjective point then.
    You are indeed the first person I've seen who pities Wasp more than Bumblebee in that situation.

    Bumblebee's entire backstory was that he did the right thing even when it cost him his life's dream and made him even more of a social outcast than he already was.

    In the present day he's willing to lay his life down for the humans.

    Yes, his development isn't as shining as those of his teammates, but at least he actually gets some, especially when compared to other kid-type characters from other shows.

    And you're completely within your rights to hold that opinion.

    Several of us on this thread already have.

    I'll just restate what I've said.

    Optimus' journey throughout the show was the arguably the most compelling protagonist story that we've ever gotten from a series so far.

    And yes, depending on the individual, Beast Wars can either come second to Animated, match it, or exceed it.

    But one of the things that people may consider when choosing their choice of Best TF show is that Beast Wars was a distant sequel focusing on an ultimately different set of characters.
    Yes, they are written well, but they aren't incarnations of the same characters who are usually the mainstays of the franchise.

    Animated was arguably the best incarnation of the franchise (on television, at least) that we've got with the classic characters.

    And lastly, that is probably subjective to each individual.
    Again.
     
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  16. Torque

    Torque The WORDSMITH

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    One thing I will say about the human villains is they were there to give the Autobots a threat to fight other than the Decepticons. People already complain about their existence at all. If they spent even more time fleshing them out, they'd take up even more time that was instead used to focus on the Autobots. It may have been possible to give them more fleshed out motives and histories, but it wouldnt have added much given their reason for being on the show.
     
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  17. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP Be strong enough to be gentle

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    Kind of all of the above.

    TFA, to me, was the last time Transformers felt truly free. Free to do anything, be anything, and go anywhere. It wasn't stuffed into some synergized corporate box, playing catch up on a previous cartoon, or trying to reinvent the wheel. It was just trying to be the best, most adventurous, and fun TF cartoon it could be. Considering the last cartoon we had before TFA was Cybertron, just getting a Transformers show with real heart was something many fans had felt we'd gone almost a decade without. (and the fact that the 07 movie was polarizing at best did not help) Not to mention it was a good show that appealed to both children and adult fans, it felt like no one was being left behind. It was clever and fun, it's kinda hard to describe it in more detail than that.

    I think the problem is many fans, myself included, feel it was the last great TF show, and so it often gets misconstrued as being the greatest TF show. It was not flawless, the aforementioned Bumblebee/Wasp arc to me is the biggest mis-step of the show as it feels uncharacteristically tactless and hand-waved away. But it was so much fun and devoid of cynicism that Transformers feels strangled by today.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2020
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  18. Galvatron1998

    Galvatron1998 Maximal

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    While not perfect, Animated had a lot of heart and a lot of passion behind the scenes. The cast was great and the writing was pretty strong. While the plotting could have been handled a little better I feel that overall it's one of the best pieces of TF media ever produced.
     
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  19. AutobotAvalanche

    AutobotAvalanche Number One in Boogieland

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    There's no doubt about that. I obviously started this thread before Siege came out and how mind-shatteringly abysmal that was has really given me a moment of sobriety that re-contextualized so much of the franchise. It's sad that we're at the point where anything being just mediocre is well above any reasonable expectations.

    Animated is a show that embraces creativity and originality which is a major plus in terms of the franchise as a whole but I'll be damned if its fans don't seriously exaggerate. There are people on here who will answer "Animated" for any question. I remember a while back someone posted a favorite Cliffjumper thread and someone said Animated... what did he do besides just exist? There are many reasons to like and enjoy Animated but I really have to squint at the people who worship at its altar and say it's the greatest media to ever come out of the franchise.
     
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  20. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP Be strong enough to be gentle

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    Yeah, people tend to bandwagon easily whenever the next good thing comes around. Before Animated it was Beast Wars, and even after Animated Prime similarly filled that role of end-all-be-all for a time. TFA also won a lot of people over when it started, unlike Prime which started almost universally liked and grew divisive. I remember the fan hate for TFA's first promo poster was legendary, maybe even more unified than the initial reactions to Bay's character designs. And yet easily 90% of those who hated those initial promos (myself included, I might add) were singing praises once the potato-quality video camera capture of that one promo reel from Botcon made the rounds online, followed swiftly by proto and stock photos of the toys. That was pretty momentous, and I personally haven't seen that kind of turnaround since, with the possible exception of the Bumblebee movie. (only because it reached a larger crowd)

    Animated was a diamond in the rough, but that doesn't mean it was priceless. It was just exactly what a great many Transformers fans needed at the time, like a cool glass of water in the middle of the desert. Plus when you have things like the Almanacs and the toys which felt like each one was a passion project between Eric S. and DJW, "Animated" was a lot more than just a show. (it was also the first series to really be reference-heavy, so whereas seeing obscure characters show up in cameos is commonplace now, Animated practically made a game out of "spot that homage")

    It really should not have been the last great TF show. It's not that high of a bar based solely on the writing and story, yet somehow Hasbro took the lessons learned from TFA and only regressed from that, losing all the spirit and fun that keeps fans remembering it fondly, and shoveling out soulless dreck like the Netflix show which feels utterly out-of-touch with the fanbase it's supposedly catering to.
     
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