… Somehow, I’m doubting that will happen.
Recently I decided to re-watch the series seasons 1-4. While my overall assessment of the series remains unchanged, I’m suddenly feeling a little bit inclined to be charitable towards the series, in spite of the nonsense that came naturally to the series. If nothing else, I guess I’d rather have a series that aims high and fails spectacularly, than a series that aims low and succeeds.
If there’s one comparison to be made that ought to stick, it’s my comparison of the material to Tron and it’s remake, and not just because both series center around protagonists fighting in a virtual world that threatens not only their existence, but the safety of the real world too. Tron is one of those franchises that has pretty much been built on a mentality of these high-concept genre fiction stories that, while possessing the potential to be grand and spectacular, tend to fall flat because of poor execution on the part of one or more aspects of the production, and Code Lyoko is no different.
Including the critical flaw. In Code Lyoko’s case, the big problem holding the series back is the writing team, who lack both the willingness to really “carry to the hilt” the psychological implications of a story where five (pre)teenagers have to fight for their lives on a daily basis, or the narrative stitching necessary to ensure any sort of episode-to-episode coherence.
Part of my newly allocated charity towards the series comes in the form of considering that the frequently-groaner dialogue might be a product of the localization. It’s not just the fact that the french writers had to make sure the dialogue matched the frequently reused video footage—Seriously, go back and reexamine the CG scenes, and identify the total number of unique scenes they used in season 1, or look at the number of times a specific 2d scene gets reused verbatim with only a change of music or dialogue— but that the English VA’s would then have to match to that already-poorly-matched scene.
But then there’s the plot contrivances used to drive events. Where characters will refuse to explain really important issues just because they’re pissed off at them for something they brought on themselves. Or where the story refuses to execute any genuine sense of subtlety. Honestly, there’s dozens of scenes that I can recall where a simple remix of the order of dialogue, or omission of a certain scene would have improved the episode vastly.
And the characters never learn from their mistakes. The only character who ever seems to work out his psychosis is Jeremy, and the others always ignore his advice, even though 95% of the time, he’s the only one who really knows what’s happening. And there’s never an explanation given, except for the one we infer as an audience, that the story wouldn’t have any drama at all if they weren’t making one stupid mistake after another.
If Moonscoop have learned anything from the four years the series has been on hiatus, I really hope it will have been to fix those issues. My personal hope is that, whatever style they use for the new series (there’s been contradictory information as to whether the series will be Live Action/CG or Traditional Cel Shaded/CG), they they decide to make this a remake, rather than a sequel. I imagine this might disappoint a lot of fans, but making it a remake would be to acknowledge a desire to fix what went wrong the first time around, and maybe perhaps create something that stands up on its own better than the original series did. It would also allow them to cut out the useless padding in the middle of seasons and focus on the important, overarching plot information, the episodes concerning which having consistently been higher quality than the rest of the series.
I don’t consider this likely, but rather, my interpretation of what they *should* do.