From LYT: “MAD has teamed up with Netflix to release an updated, CGI-based Inspector Gadget series. Your mission is to binge watch the series, meticulously documenting your thoughts about the series in order to prevent millions of Topless Robot readers from having their brains melted from what is likely a corporate cash grab banking on the childhood memories of Gen-Xers. After all, there’s a reason this show is on Netflix and not a cable network getting millions in advertising dollars. Good luck, Helton. This message will self-destruct in five seconds.”
[Editor’s note: I was actually way less articulate than that]
My first experience with the bumbling, French-Canadian produced detective Inspector Gadget was at a sleepover. The kid’s mom rented us a volume of the original series, and it was the funniest bit of television I had experienced up to that point. I was immediately addicted. It was, in a way groundbreaking. While Gadget stole the show with his comedy and tools, it also featured a very strong, intelligent, heroic female character in Penny, something that really wasn’t seen often in the early ’80s. I would have killed as a child to have a computer book and Dick Tracy-style video phone, and the Inspector Gadget action figure I got for my 6th birthday was prized.
It was the comedy that kept us glued, however. That night, a certain joke had us in such stitches that we rewound and played it again 35 times before the kid’s mom warned us to stop so we wouldn’t wear out the tape. Inspector Gadget was one of those programs that, if you were flipping channels (all 5 of them in my case) and found it, would capture your attention instantly. So naturally, when I saw Netflix was launching a new reboot of the series, I was cautiously optimistic. As much as I wanted to share my love of the Inspector with my kids, I also know how reboots go. I’ve decided to throw caution to the wind and sit down with my nerdlings to experience the new series, hoping it would capture some of the magic the original series did. To make matters worse, I’m switching cable providers to Comcast, who have just informed me that they will be here tomorrow between 7 and 9 a.m. That gives me roughly eleven hours to complete my mission and get some level of rest before the potential service call. But that’s OK Chief LYT, you can count on me!
8:00 PM Snacks are ready, kids are sitting down, let’s do this.
8:02: Started episode 1, “Gadget 2.0 parts 1 and 2”. Didn’t we get away from referring things by version number early last decade? The new theme, which only vaguely resembles the original, is enough to make me want to heave my Xbox controller into the TV.
8:04 So that’s where Dr. Claw has been. It seems that Dr. Claw has be doing his best Captain America impression, cryogenically frozen in a submerged MADmobile.
It is painfully obvious that Frank Welker is no longer Doctor Claw, and he is sorely missed.
8:07 Apparently Penny tried out for Olivia Wilde’s part in Tron Legacy.
8:08 Penny has just met “Talon,” the new member of HQ. Isn’t Talon another word for Claw??
Penny clearly wants him to get his claws in her, so he is clearly a bad guy.
8:09 For some reason, Brain has just packed a tire, a radio and a sheep into a TARDIS-like, dimension shattering briefcase upon hearing that Gadget is coming out of retirement.
8:11 The new guy is no Don Adams. He sounds like Peter Griffin doing a Don Adams impression.
8:12 HQ’s control center sounds exactly like the original Enterprise bridge. 100% exact. Like, “I hope they purchased the rights to use that clip from the sound effects CD” exact. In other news, I’ve now seen Gadget in a thong. So have my kids.
8:14 Apparently this episode will revolve around finding Dr. Claw’s claw. Couldn’t he just make a new one?
The weapon of choice for MAD is a gun that shoots sticky Klingon Blood Goo balls.
8:15 Claw’s big plan was to fire a Stink Missile at HQ. Kinda Dr. Evil-ish, isn’t it? No, wait, Dr. Evil could do better.
8:17 Gadget has been deactivated by an EMP. I guess he’s more machine now than man, twisted and imbecile. End of part 1?
8:18 Nice to see his armament has been upgraded. Gun control advocates will be pissed.
8:19 It’s official, Talon is Dr. Claw’s nephew…can’t say there’s a family resemblance. Claw has announced that he’s going to try and fire the Stink Missile again. This show is more like a Stink Pickle.
Chief Quimby is holding a steak to his eye…does that work?
8:20 Cameo by the original Gadgetmobile in sports car mode. Wait, they’re getting rid of the Gadgetmobile?!?! The new one looks like a Fiat with an optional hover system straight out of Zion. (“Straight Out of Zion” sounds like Morpheus’ attempt at a rap album)
8:22 Brain has been upgraded. Apparently his collar now has a holographic disguise generator. Now Brain is in drag, getting chased by Gadget, who thinks he’s a MAD agent. This seems familiar.
It’s official…I hate Talon. He’s an angsty teenage douche.
Penny apparently has deflector shields. No cell phone watch, no computer book yet, but she can display holograms and has shields.
8:23 I miss the computer book.
Penny’s new tech seems based on Earth: Final Conflict’s Global Link.
8:25 Penny is now modeled after Black Widow, at least in the skills department.
8:26 Dr. Claw now sounds like Randy Macho Man Savage with laryngitis.
8:28 End of Episode 1
I can’t say I’m impressed. The animation is your typical CGI fare, the voice cast is weak, aside from the aptly named Tara Strong playing Penny. This seems to be a lot of the slapstick humor I remember, it’s just not as funny, or rather, funny at all. I didn’t even crack a smile.
8:32 Start of Episode 2
Episode 2 actually has a real plan from Claw: take over a tower that can give him control of all satellites and communication around the world. I love this plan. I’m excited to be a part of it!
8:34 Joke regarding Disney’s sequel-itis.
This just in: at this time my kids have quit the experiment en mass, after only 30 or so minutes. I’m now in this alone.
8:35 The emblem on all HQ’s devices looks like BSG pilot wings inverted.
Looks like Gadget is sponsored by Aperture science…he just fired a portal.
8:36 First slightly amusing slapstick gag involving a bull.
8:38 MAD apparently stole the idea for the deconstruction droid from Maximillian in The Black Hole. He’s purple, but looks almost identical, including whirling eviscerating hand blades. Where’s Anthony Perkins when you need him?
8:39 Talon just shot his goo all over Penny. He shot his goo on Brain last episode.
8:41 Stolen sound effect alert, 6 Million Dollar Man this time…but not for Gadget, but Penny. In other news, Talon’s goo is all over the both of them, sticking them together.
8:42 Self-destruct sequence gamma. Doesn’t that imply more than one self-destruct sequence? How many does one droid need?
8:44 Good to see they still keep blowing up Chief Quimby.
8:45 Nice visual effect on the space station. Oh look, a guy with a Moe Howard-style haircut. I bet he’s a MAD agent. I think they all have the same barber.
8:47 Gadget’s about to get spaced…and Brain has been inadvertently turned into an alien. Ok, that earned at least a chuckle.
8:49 MADcat is doing a 2001: A Space Odyssey impression. The Grand Clawnyon?! That’s why he wants to put a magnifying glass on the space station? Everyone knows you’re supposed to use space lasers to hold governments hostage.
8:51 Sharks in space, and a reference to that astronaut Space Oddity music video.
8:52 Yep, bowl haircut guy is bad, er, MAD.
8:53 In space, everyone can hear sharks scream.
8:54 End of episode 2. Only 14 to go. It was better…not by much, but better.
9:04 Talon is impersonating Justin Bieber…I mean Nigel Somethingorother.
9:05 Dear God, Penny’s a Belieber and is squeeing. I’ve lost all respect for her.
9:07 Gadget in ’70s garb is terrifying.
9:08 Penny’s riding in Bieber’s limo…unsupervised…with only him. Why do I get the feeling this ends in herpes?
9:09 IG’s consistent forgetfulness regarding Nigel’s name was funny the first time…not the 14th.
Talon tried to goo Gadget.
9:10 MAD’s plan has been lifted directly from the Buck Rogers episode “Space Rockers”, only without Teletubbies and spaceships. He’s going to brainwash teens through the music of this pop star in order to form an army.
9:13 So Nigel is a professional dubstep whistler? Is this a knock on Lindsey Stirling?
9:14 There was a distinct lack of “I’ll get you Gadget…next time!”
9:15 A briefcase with glowing contents…does it belong to Marcellus Wallace? Does Chief Quimby look like a bitch?
9:19 Did every episode of the classic series involve Brain being mistaken for a MAD agent?
So the evil female MAD agent has a purse that throws hadoukens.
9:22 Once again Gadget’s voice activated tools failed. Haven’t we almost perfected voice recognition? How does “grabbers” get confused with “jet pack”? In fact, every command seems to be mistaken for “jet pack”. Have we seen the Gadget helicopter yet?
9:23 The Professor is now wearing deflector shield underwear. That’s two times we’ve seen underwear in 3 episodes.
9:24 In response to my question about the Gadget Helicopter, we get to see it in the end credits, though I don’t think we’ve seen it used in the field yet. End of Episode 3.
I’m now taking a brief respite to put the disinterested kids to bed.
10:38 My assault on Inspector Gadget renews. Now it’s time to introduce our snacks for this evening’s marathon: The ever necessary Salt and Vinegar chips, a Reese’s peanut butter cup sundae, and since Dew Kickstart was on sale, one of each flavor available at my local store.
10:40 Okay, the MAD recruiting video is pretty frakking funny. Dr. Claw actually said “jive turkey.”
10:41 Opening a Black Cherry Kickstart as I’m already starting to yawn seconds into episode 4.
10:46 Penny just got a spa treatment while Gadget hunts for the island’s answer for bigfoot, the Slobsquatch. How much do you want to bet Brain gets a mud bath and gets mistaken for the Slobsquatch?
10:47 And I’m right.
10:50 Talon is like a love-stricken Scott Evil.
10:51 A sick Inspector Gadget sounds absolutely nothing like our classic IG.
10:52 So after 30 years of experience in the field, Penny is still considered an agent in training? Oh wait, in a strange twist of the time vortex, she’s apparently now 14 years old.
The uniform for female agents is a Tron costume. If you’re sneaking around, would you really wear a suit that has day-glo blue lines all over it? It really does look like an updated version of Yori’s outfit.
10:55 Again Penny breaks out the deflector shield…which apparently can resize.
10:57 Talon is so smitten with Penny that he is trying to murder her.
10:58 Remote control “stop hitting yourself” would be irresistible.
So Brain is driving because Penny doesn’t have a license. But Brain does?!
11:01 And so ends Episode 4
11:02 I’ve decided the opening credits, aside from the awful theme, is more of an homage to the original series than every other aspect of the rest of the show.
11:03 New canon alert: MADcat is female!
11:06 So the new series isn’t above fart jokes.
11:07 MADcat just hypnotized a dog to goose step. #NaziDogs
11:08 Penny runs into Talon…how long before he tries to Goo her?
11:09 In a stunning surprise, no gooing, though they have purloined Han Solo’s blaster noise. I’m wondering how many copyrights they’ve violated. Or maybe the entire budget for the series went to sound licensing.
11:13 Now Dr. Claw is ripping off Attack of the Killer Tomatoes…but with apples.
11:16 Multiple Doc Ock-like Gadget arms would be quite the advantage in competitive eating contests.
The amount of cider Gadget is consuming should cause explosive diarrhea.
11:20 And now a pee joke…that has run for 30 seconds.
11:22 Shouldn’t he have a Gadget bladder, or dare I say it, a Gadget dick? I mean, everything else on him extends.
I’ve just realized they now transition scenes Transformers-style, with either a G or the MAD logo standing in for the Autobot/Decepticon logo
11:23 And so ends Number 5
11:25 Dr Claw is going to attend the World Vacuum Convention, or SuckFest. There were a half a dozen sucks jokes in the span of 30 seconds. The irony was not lost on me.
11:26 Now a Tron sound effect is heard. That’s four counts of potential copyright infringement.
11:28 Claw wants to steal the Golden Suck-a-Tron. It looks like between this and Richie Rich, Netflix already has possession of it.
11:30 So Brain is dressing up as a sexy female vacuum? I didn’t think cleaning products were gender specific.
His nozzle brings all of the boy vacuums to the yard?
Penny just imitated Dr. Claw, and sounds better than the voice actor they hired. Tara Strong should just play every character on this show.
11:32 OK, the Golden Suck-a-Tron is terrifying.
11:35 Next story: Talon searches for the Power Glove.
“You can’t handle the Claw”
There are apparently Training Claws.
11:38 Why do they call them Claws? They are more gauntlets than anything.
11:39 In a stunning turn of events, a dust covered Brain is now inadvertently chasing Gadget.
11:42 Gadget wants to play the role of Tangina from Poltergeist.
11:43 Behold, the training claw…it’s so rad…and tiny.
11:45 3rd underwear shot of the show. This time, our model is Chief Quimby, sporting heart covered boxers.
11:46 Episode 7 time.
11:47 My Xbox just asked if I was still watching Inspector Gadget. Yes…yes I am.
11:50 Canon alert: Just caught the slightest glimpse of Dr. Claw’s face. He’s a white boy.
11:51 This time, Claw’s plan plagiarizes the 1996 Christopher Lambert movie Fortress. He’s managed to plant a bomb in Gadget’s stomach.
Would that give him explosive diarrhea?
11:55 Gadget is apparently armed with Gadget nunchucks…though activating them brought out rocket skates instead. I would have expected the jet pack again, like every other time.
11:58 Canon alert: Gadget is allergic to bee stings.
12:02 AM Now we have a laser cannon that uses the Tripod blaster sound from War of the Worlds (The good one, not the Tom Cruise one).
12:03 I’ve decided the MAD logo, from a distance, looks like Strongbad.
12:04 Penny with a villainous pornstache is just wrong.
12:06 An ostrich has appeared, and shot Brain a look of doom. Could this be the one from the original series that cracked me up so much?!?!
12:08 MADcat is leading a group of evil animal henchmen. Despite the first energy drink, my eyelids are getting heavy.
12:10 Farewell Episode 7, hello Kickstart 2 of the evening. This time, orange is the new Kickstart.
12:11 I’m fighting the urge to search IMDB to find who composed the new theme…the man deserves my rage…no man was supposed to listen to this 8 times in a row.
12:12 Penny is playing Gauntlet with a dozen of the Maximilian robots.
12:13 Now Claw wants to carve his name into the moon. Why not hire Hancock?
12:26 First recorded loss of consciousness. Duration: about 10 minutes. I dont think I missed much.
12:28 Talon just referred to his “mad skills”…like, his skills useful to MAD. God, I fucking hate him.
12:30 Penny narrowly avoided his goo. Now he whipped out his very limp lightsaber replica…oh wait, it’s some kind of energy whip.
12:32 Elsewhere on my Xbox hard drive is Borderlands: The Handsome Collection…it’s calling for me.
12:33 Episode 9. Happy that I am halfway through, but depressed I have to listen to this goddamn theme another seven times…whatever happened to that feature on Netflix that skipped the title sequence?
12:35 So….cold. Decision time: Get a comforter for warmth or suffer the cold? The comforter will, when combined with this crappy series, likely encourage sleep. Instead, I turned up the thermostat and closed the curtains to hopefully warm things up.
A second appearance of Chief Quimby’s underwear…still in the same pair.
12:36 Canon Alert: Inspector Gadget is Canadian.
12:43 Talon has stolen Mace Windu’s lightsaber.
12:44 So the grand MAD Super Drill is defeated by knocking over a laptop.
12:45 HQ’s doors make the Star Trek door sound in addition to the bridge sound effect loop.
12:47 Snack update: I was hoping the orange Kickstart would taste like a caffinated Orangina, but I was wrong…so very wrong.
12:48 Today I learned that sliders are just hamburgers that have been shot with a shrink ray.
Oh shit…MAD’s mole has the same sillouhette as Penny’s idol, HQ agent Detective Data. Wonder why?
12:52 Penny is fooled by Talon’s fake pornstache.
12:53 Talon isn’t evil, he’s “Good Challenged”.
12:56 Episode 9 is complete. Standing up to walk around the house for a second, change out the laundry and hopefully prevent deep vein thrombosis…in my brain.
1:06 Seven episodes to go. I’ve given in and gotten a blanket. While it might increase my chances of falling asleep, I’ll at least be comfortable.
1:07 Talon just chased a chicken…I wonder if he will choke it.
Okay. We’ve just been introduced to Momma Claw…though we didn’t see her face.
1:11 Major Canon Alert: Dr. Claw is a Junior. In fact, we’ve just discovered his name: Irving Thelonious Claw Jr.
1:15 Apparently Talon also does a better Dr. Claw voice than Dr. Claw.
1:18 Talon has just gooed a bunch of chickens…and Penny. She spends a lot of time in the series wiping his goo off her.
1:22 And now we’ve seen the MADgician’s underwear in a flashback. Is that 4 or 5…I’ve lost count of the underwear jokes.
1:25 Penny and Talon have entered an Escher painting…or that scene in Labyrinth. This would be much cooler with a song from David Bowie.
1:30 And Talon escapes again…why doesn’t Penny pop a cap in him?
The bunnified MADgician sounds exactly like the post-steamroller Judge Doom from Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
Episode 11 time…How do I know that Comcast will arrive at the beginning of their 7-9am windows, for the first time in history?
1:33 More fart jokes…hooray.
1:34 A blimp with “Tectonic Stabilizers”. Did they just pull fancy words out of a dictionary? And a Michael Jackson joke.
1:35 Gadget encounters the ostrich…I really think it’s the one from the original series.
1:38 So the Ultrablimp is pitching downward…I didn’t think blimps could vary their pitch.
1:39 In one episode Talon is trying to shoot Penny with lasers…this one he tries to save her when she nearly falls from the blimp. Figure it out, dude.
1:40 Luke…my mind is going…
1:48 Holy shit, a funny moment. Brain is dressed as Bill Lumbergh.
1:53 Second loss of consciousness. It looks like I’m going to have to resort to Kickstart #3 soon.
1:57 This just isn’t funny…aside from a chuckle, this just isn’t funny. It could be written by a group of manatees. Oh look, Gadget can’t pronounce a name right…fucking clown shoes.
1:59 Oh look, they’re messing with the space-time continuum. Why can’t they paradox this show out of existence?
2:00 Jesus…now they’ve taken the script for Star Trek: The Next Generation’s “Cause and Effect”, and replaced the Enterprise and her crew with Gadget. It’s essentially the same goddamn story.
2:02 And Talon’s goo is on a T-rex’s face.
Oh god…the puns. Make them stop.
2:03 Finally, the Gadgetcopter in use.
2:04 I don’t have any money, but I do have a certain set of skills. To the person who wrote this episode….I will find you, and I will make fun of you…or at least send you a flaming bag of poo.
2:06 Penny has to update her MySpyPlace page? Is that like a MySpace joke? And wasn’t that last seen around when the original series came out?
2:07 I’m starting to get some streaming errors…I think my Xbox is starting to fight back.
2:09 Words Dr. Claw should never say: “Cool.”
Why do they keep saying vacay…would that 3rd syllable have cost that much?
2:10 More puns…shit.
2:11 Nerd needs humor badly…
2:12 Madison Von Trap just went Ewok on Gadget.
2:15 Gadget just slapped Chief Quimby in the face with his robo-snake. Context is everything.
2:16 Time for Episode 13.
Netflix once again asks me if I cam still watching…why the fuck am I going to press continue?!?!
The only saving grace: at least I didn’t get the Richie Rich binge assignment.
2:19 Kickstart #3: Limeade. Oh, and FUCK you theme music.
2:20 So MADcat just crashed a sub into an iceberg..I guess that’s the reason for the incredibly lame Titanic reference in the episode title.
2:22 So Gadget went to the Naval Academy? Canadian or American?
2:27 The return of the MAD Robo Snake.
2:29 More words Dr. Claw shouldnt say: “It’s the Bomb.”
More streaming errors. I thinking my Xbox and Comcast are joining forces to save me.
2:32 I have roughly one and a half hours of this to go…and likely Comcast will be arriving in roughly five and a half hours.
2:33 Now I hear the classic Tron derezz sound…and to think they made it a good half dozen episodes without borrowing sound effects.
2:35 This is the worst science I’ve ever seen. MAD is trying to keep the moon lit so no one could sleep again? That’s right science…MAD just said FUCK YOU!
Seriously, that is the stupidest fucking plot I’ve ever heard. Shining light on the moon to keep it lit would do nothing to prevent the sun from shining, nor would it prevent nighttime. Maybe it would cause night time to be a little less dark, but how would that stop people from sleeping? Even if it worked, I have three words that would foil MADs plan…Room Darkening Curtains.
2:40 And now I’ve received the mark of shame, a Xbox achievement for watching so much of this fucking show. God, I hope it doesn’t display what show I was watching to earn it. The achievement is called “Can’t Get Enough Of This Show”…and it’s a lie!!! Since when does Xbox give achievements for sitting on my ass and doing nothing?
2:44 Even the remotely funny parts are no longer working on me, either due to exhaustion or disgust.
Nerd needs rest badly…
2:45 Dr. Claw is building a Zen Garden of Destruction.
2:46 Claw is taking Evil Meditation 101 online?
2:47 And now the Moai of Easter Island have become mecha…in other words, plot stolen from Gradius.
2:49 Jesus…the GadgetMobile just formed Voltron.
2:51 Current rank of Kickstarts: 1. Black Cherry, 2. Limeade, 3. Orange Citrus.
2:52 Dr. Claw is the worst evil genius…Dr. Doofenshmirtz is far superior to this asshat.
2:53Jetsons sound effects now…So far we’ve had Star Trek, Star Wars, 6 Million Dollar Man, Tron, and now the Jetsons. Get your lawyers ready DMX.
2:58 I’ve decided that every time Brain is in disguise, he looks like Edward James Olmos, except when he’s dressed as Lumbergh. Maybe it’s the ever present mustache.
Talon has just gooed his Uncle. I think thus far, the only person not to receive Talon’s goo is Chief Quimby.
3:14 Third recorded loss of consciousness, though I’ve been saved by Netflix’s third attempt at sparing my sanity, once again asking if I was really, really sure I wanted to watch more of this shit. Hitting continue. Opening Kickstart #4.
3:16 More words Dr. Claw should never say: “Goody goody goody”.
3:17 Brain apparently likes lucha libre.
3:18 Gadget just said he wants to punch a bird in the bush.
3:19 Why the frak did that Sherpa just call Brain ugly?
Gadget is has a device for “friendly petting”. He’s about to pet a yak…Kickstart #4 is making me want to yak.
Does he have a gadget for “heavy petting?”
3:20 Oh, so the Sherpa was really Talon…shocker.
3:21 Apparently yaks can jump Superman distances…Gadget not so much.
3:24 Tibetan monks can outrun the Flash, and they have the Glow.
3:25 You have chosen…poorly.
3:28 Dr. Claw needs a new “chu-chu”. Seriously, who writes this shit?
3:31 So a coyote forces a hovering train to stop? I thought one of the points of a hovering train is that it would, you know, hover, presumably higher than the height of your average coyote. Maybe not Peter Coyote, but he’s taller than your average coyote.
3:32 Talon has just gooed the professor and some other douchebag…together.
3:33 “As if.” Go Go Gadget ’90s Slang Dictionary.
3:36 Penny is dodging lasers, shot at point blank range. And Talon has just shot his goo into the professor’s mouth
3:39 Pausing playback for a very important bathroom break. Standing up, I am immediately dizzy and off-balance, likely due to the extended period of sitting, combined with exhaustion both mental and physical, and 64 fluid ounces of energy drink in my stomach. As an unintended side effect from the 368 mg of caffine I’ve consumed, I can now see approximately five minutes into the future and could likely dodge bullets. I also predict that due to the large amounts of phosphorus in Kickstart, I might have glow-in-the-dark urine.
3:41 Finally, the battle of the century, Brain vs MADcat. Blink and you’ll miss it.
3:42 The scientists have the right idea (banging their heads against the console). What can I bang my head against to end my misery that won’t cause property damange or wake the kids?
3:43 Why do golfers have to wiggle their ass before they swing?
3:45 Finally, for the love of God, I’ve reached the final episode, and the last time I have to hear this freaking abomination of the a theme song. The composers have taken a pair of pliers and a blowtorch to one of the most memorable themes of my childhood.
3:46 Oh shit…Talon got fired, or at least demoted.
3:48 Didn’t we find out about not using metal in microwaves in the 1970s?
Raising sea levels: finally a plot of merit for MAD.
3:50 Why is a Yeti automatically a MAD agent? Isn’t that profiling? And Gadget’s chasing him down. Where the hell is due process?
3:51 “Can you really have enough death rays?” Very true, Dr. Claw…very true.
3:53 So Penny is equipped with a Tron Legacy-style automatically rezzing helmet? Did I miss this in earlier episodes?
3:54 Oh, Talon has the same thing.
3:56 How about explaining haggis for the 98% of kids who have no fucking clue what haggis is? Here, Connor Macleod can do that for you.
3:59 Fate of the world left to the hands of a 40 (err…14) year old girl who doesn’t have a driver’s license. Brain’s lack of opposable thumbs shouldn’t hinder his ability to drive too much, and where was all of this safety debate when he was driving earlier?
Nearing the end of my Inspector Gadget experience and my sanity…five minutes remaining.
4:02 Nerd is about to die…
4:04 Think of how many dolphins those MAD water balloons would kill.
4:05 And it ends with Talon getting hit by a giant water balloon. No “I’ll get you Gadget.” Nothing. What a fucking horrible way to send the series into retirement again. Now to carry myself to bed for between three and five hours of sleep.
8:20 AM My kids have woken me to tell me the Comcast guy is here. While I wait for my coffee to finish and my kid’s waffles to cook, I am going to gather my thoughts on the latest iteration of the bumbling cyborg (No, not Leonard Part 6).
So many series today seem like cash grabs, preying on our childhood memories to make fat wads of cash. While on rare occasion we see an old concept spun into something unique, new and creative like My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, Ron Moore’s Battlestar Galactica or new Doctor Who, most of the time we get steaming piles of recycled crap, like Knight Rider and now Inspector Gadget. This makes the fourth time they’ve tried to reinvent the comedy magic that was the original Inspector Gadget, with none of them coming close to the success the original had. Aside from the education reboot, Inspector Gadget’s Field Trips, I hadn’t heard about a single one. Gadget Boy?! Gadget and the Gadgetinis?!?! That sounds like a steampunk cocktail rather than a cartoon series.
The best way to make the new series a success would have been to go back to the original formula that worked so well. Interrupt Gadget family time with a call to the Gadget Phone, rendezvous at a location of Chief Quimby’s request, read briefing/blow up Quimby, Penny and Brain stow away and get into a Bond villain death trap, Brain gets mistaken for a MAD agent and keeps Gadget out of trouble, Penny saves the day, Gadget gets the credit, “I’ll get you Gadget…next time!!!” It was simple, and it worked for a whopping total of 86 episodes.
Sure, the new series references this tried and tested formula, but it never completely follows it, instead over-complicating it with utter crap like the star-crossed lovers subplot for Penny and Talon, and capers that Dr. Evil would have rejected. Come on, a Stink Missile? The best part of the series was Tara Strong’s performance as Penny. As prolific a voice actor as she is, she seems to consistently perform well, and this project is no different.
Thankfully, my mission is complete, it didn’t involve me having to watch the abysmal French Stewart film Inspector Gadget 2, and I never have to watch this show again.
9:05 They are currently installing my new cable TV service, so my kids tradition of watching cartoons on Saturday has been interrupted. My son has asked me if they can watch Netflix, which I say yes to as I assist the cable guy.
9:07 WHAT…THE…FRAK…I think I might have just heard that God-awful new Inspector Gadget theme. Maybe I’m hallucinating due to lack of sleep.
9:08 It’s official, my kids are watching Inspector Gadget. You did it Netflix…you suckered my kids into this horrible remake…God damn you…God damn you all to Hell…I’ll get you Gadget…next time!!!!
A fan of video games and science fiction from the moment he discovered his father's Atari 2600 and Star Wars, Jason Helton has been contributing to The Robot's Voice since 2011. Prior, he wrote for the UK's Den of Geek and was the producer and host of Iron Otaku Radio on XM's UPOP 29 channel. A die-hard fan of Battlestar Galactica (both old and new), Doctor Who, and pinball, you can follow him on Twitter @Razgriz1138.