New episodes of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are almost here! The show has been a massive success for the channel, earning critical acclaim and a whole lot of love from fans. It's no secret we here at Comic Vine dig the show, and if you've missed it, we're here to tell you why you need to fix that mistake and tune in this weekend.
Fun for the whole family
When Nick first began to promote the show, many were understandably concerned it would focus solely on attracting a younger audience. The animation and character designs give off a much "friendlier" vibe and the promotions pretty much relied on quick gags. Longtime fans of the franchise thought they'd be left in the dust and this latest incarnation of the Heroes of in a Half Shell would just be a blatant attempt at selling more toys to the younglings. Thankfully, that's not the case. Okay, it's technically a titan when it comes to selling figures, but the exceptional quality of the show motivates older fans to buy 'em, too!
Since the premiere episode, this program has done a surreal job creating a whole new generation of fans while also giving some serious fan service to longtime supporters of the franchise. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has paid plenty of respect to the former versions of TMNT. They've brought back numerous characters from different generations, but instead of feeling like a blatant rehash, there's refreshing changes and they're often very well written. Sure, it's a bummer Bebop and Rocksteady aren't in it, but Dogpound and Fishface are sure to grow on you. Even if they don't, the latest development with one of them is certain to pique your interest. The doses of nostalgia are by no means in short supply, either. The team behind this show clearly loves tapping into the past and they've sprinkled hints of the '80s and '90s in a creative and smile-inducing manner. Fans of older horror films will find a lot to love, too. There's two whole episodes that are blatantly inspired by Alien and John Carpenter's The Thing. And after watching the show, it's safe to say you'll want a Space Invaders spinoff. Young or old, this show's a blast.
So much ninja action
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles continues to deliver a massive amount of joyous action scenes. From the team facing off against each other in sparring to duking it out with all different kinds of mutants, the action scenes have been majorly satisfying. Once their eyes go all-white, it's go time. Sometimes there's a strong emphasis on comedy and other times it's impressively dark (like their first encounter with Shredder or Slash), but no matter what the tone may be, the battles are always really energetic and just tons of fun to watch. Also, the Foot are now robots, so yes, this means the team can totally unleash with their weapons. Heck, even observing them flip across rooftops and take a moment to strike a seriously cool pose is something we see often and is greatly appreciated.
Mikey and Donny aren't left in the dust
A lot of TMNT stories have revolved around Raphael and/or Leonardo while Michelangelo and Donatello were pretty much just supporting characters. With this show, everyone gets proper credit and each character has had several episodes revolve around them.
Leonardo struggles to direct the team and evolves as a leader. Donatello's emotions and mastery of technology are put to the test. Mikey may be providing most the laughs, but we get some opportunities to cut to the core of who he is and why. And Raph... well, poor ol' Raph still deals with rage issues every now and then. They're familiar topics with each character but they're presented in a hugely entertaining manner and no one's left behind. Each Turtle -- and even Splinter and Shredder -- receive plenty of love.
Brings the funny
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles keeps us laughing. Whether it's a super lowbrow gag, a crazy emphasis on exaggerated expressions or a really sharp remark, each episode always has at least a handful of very strong laughs. Each voice actor does a terrific job with their lines as well. Greg Cipes is beyond lovable as Mikey; Jason Biggs nails it as Leonardo; Sean Astin delivers a humanized approach to Raph; and Rob Paulsen (yes, the voice of classic Raph!) does a wonderful job with Donatello's personality. You can always tell they're never just reading through the lines to get it over with -- there's passion in the performances and it's definitely noticed. Plus, where else will you see Michelangelo briefly have a tattoo of 1987 Michelangelo on his face or experience some of the best Kraang dialogue ever?
Change is okay, people
They may not be quite as mature as the 2003 team and they may not have the same catch phrase as the 1987 team, but everything that truly matters about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles characters and mythos is still intact. They're funny, lovable, badass, and most important of all, they're a family that will do anything and everything to stand by one another. You're missing out if you consider yourself a TMNT fan and haven't given this show an honest chance. Seriously, it's fantastic.
A new episode of 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' will air this Sunday, Feb. 2, at 11am (ET/PT) on Nick. We'll have a review posted later that day, but in the meantime, you can check out a clip from the upcoming episode here.