Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Just Add Water: My Mako Adventure: H2O Just Add Water Season 1

(Scene begins with Rikki, Emma and Cleo heading to Mako Island and Cleo saying that Mako Island is cursed and off limits before cutting to clips of the girls on the island before cutting to clips of the pilot as James does a voiceover)

James Faraci (Voiceover): Oh Cleo, stop being a worrywart, It's just an Island. It's not like you'll find a pool that connects to the Ocean and is powered by the moon and gain fish tails and powers and.... CRAP! I've got to learn when to shut my pie hole. Oh well, Welcome my friends to H2O: Just Add Water Season 1!

(Cut to Scenes from season one of "H2O: Just Add Water" as "No Ordinary Girl" is played in the background before cutting Mako Island before it cuts to a scene of James in a lounge chair and the words "Just Add Water: My Mako Adventure" above James before cutting to clips of the show and the season as James does a voiceover)

James Faraci (Voiceover): 2006 was a hard year for fans of Mermaids in Cinema.  "Aquamarine" eventually gained a cult status & "Lady In The Water" was such a hilarious little bomb, that would eventually leave The Nostalgia Critic in Stitches but none the less it stunk like rotten fish even worse there was a proposed Spin-Off of the series "Charmed" which would've featured Mermaid characters but due to "The WB" & "UPN" becoming what is now "The CW" AKA The home of the DCCW Universe that series never even made it past pre-production and a made for TV movie that acted as a backdoor pilot for a series that aired on what is now ION Television never made it past said TV Movie. But that was here in the States. In Australia a Kids TV Producer named Jonathan M. Shiff came up with a concept for a Kids show featuring Mermaids and on paper sounded interesting and surprisingly it worked. Partly due to sites like YouTube sending the series to people all over the planet, While eventually Nickelodeon would pick the series up it's popularity found footing, so to speak online through (Pun intended) Streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime! I'll get into SOME of the behind the scenes facts that I do know about this series and "Mako Mermaids" as I get to them but for now having spent an entire paragraph on the series info I do know, let's get into the series properly.

The first season and by extension the Shiff-verse of Mermaids begins with the episode properly entitled "Metamorphosis". We're introduced quickly to Emma Gilbert played by Claire Holt and her friend Cleo Sertori played by Phoebe Tonkin & the new girl in town Rikki Chadwick played by Cariba Heine. Emma likes to swim and dreams of being an Olympic Swimming Champion, Cleo likes working with Sea Creatures in a Marine Park and Rikki...Well, she's a hard clam to crack but since she's the new girl in town, we'll get to know more about her as the entire series progresses but to get back at the episode at hand we find our three stuck on a small Dinghy because of an arrogant teenaged jack-ass by the name of Zane that is heading to Mako Island and according to legend it's been deemed off limits because it apparently is cursed! But Emma & Rikki decide to go there because they have very few options either float in the middle of the water until they die or go to the island and wait for help living off what they can until they're rescued. While exploring the island the three find cave in the center of an dead volcano and a tide pool connecting to the ocean. As the three dive into the pool the water somehow activates by the light of a full moon. The three are rescued and the next morning they go on their everyday lives until.... (Cut to the transformation and reaction of the three in their own way)

YEAH, If you see a crab playing Calypso SWIM AWAY! All kidding aside the three discover ten seconds after the initial saturation of water they become mermaids and the source for the transformation is what everyone calls from now on in this series and the next one the "Moon Pool" at Mako Island. Emma & Cleo quickly discover they have certain abilities when it comes to water. Cleo can move water with telekinesis and Emma can freeze water solid. Hmm, I guess she can now hang out with Killer Frost, Captain Cool and Mr. Freeze. In the follow up episode "Pool Party" Rikki discovers her power to heat water to WELL beyond the boiling point and a friend of theirs named Lewis discovers their secret thanks to Zane.  Lewis promises to help the three keep their secret, work on whatever they need done for them per episode and eventually becomes Cleo's love interest, it's a funny old world that the dorky guy can get the hot looking girl who can spontaneously grow gills, fins, scales and a tail with bare contact of water. A few episodes later the series gets strange. Apparently the reflection of the moon depending on the liquid makes one of the three act out of their normal characters. M'Kay! But halfway through the first season we're introduced to Miss Chatham who befriends the mermaids and tells them that she and her friends Julia and Gracie were mermaids back in the 1950's and though she tries to be a mentor her character lasts shorter than Ritchie in Season 2 of Power Rangers the legacy of her character and that of her friends will be a plot point in the second season and while we won't see a proper Mentor character to teen Mermaids helping hone their abilities until Mako Mermaids, it was a nice attempt in doing so. In the meanwhile Zane tries to find out who saved him in the mid season which just so happens to be Rikki, Emma & Cleo also a mistake made Lewis finds the three with an antagonist that doesn't reveal itself until the final episodes Dr. Denman

After some filler the season comes to a close in the final two episodes of the season "Dr. Danger" & "A Twist In The Tail", Dr. Denham has found her way to Mako Island after capitalizing on Lewis' mistake , A team of Divers including Dr. Denham discover the pool leading to find out Rikki, Emma and Cleo are in fact mermaids, While Zane is conflicted towards the events, his father agrees to help fund Dr. Denham's expedition due to a failure of a plan to turn Mako Island into a family resort which was a plot from an earlier episode in this season. Not sure how that was going to work especially when you need a TON of clearances and permits. And drive another point home,didn't people say the Island is cursed? But seeing as how Zane's father is loaded I'm sure there was suitcases of bribery cash and politicians on the take involved in that transaction. But I digress the follow up in the season finale is glorious, Zane after discovering Rikki, Emma and Cleo were the Mermaids who saved him decide to return the favor by helping them and Lewis escape much to the chagrin of his father and Dr. Denham. Dr. Denham confronts the three with a proposal step in the pool tonight under the lunar eclipse or be continually hounded for scientific examination. The three acquiesce to Dr. Denham's demands and it appears that they've become human again. That is until..... (Cut to the three as they're surprised to see their tails have returned and Lewis tells the three what he thought would've happened and the three of them and Cleo in turn suspends Lewis over a fountain of water before fading to black then cutting to clips of Season One and James doing a voiceover)

James Faraci (Voiceover): Over all Season one was a fun little romp of adventure, teenage hijinks, learning to adapt your life to the changes you don't see coming and even though there is environmentalism episode or three and it's understandable especially since everyone knows where both series are set. I also want to talk about the music. The incidental music used in the series is on track for a show like this, The opening theme song however I personally don't find it to be good but that's just my taste in music, if have a better ability to accept certain genre styles like the Opening theme then all the power to you! (Cut to Opening theme song for a few seconds before cutting back to clips of the season as James does a voiceover)

James Faraci (Voiceover): I also want to talk about the production design for both shows and boy howdy is it amazing specifically when it comes to the Mermaid tails, they had two different styled tails one for stationary shots and the other one was made for underwater stunts and I'm sure they were heavy with them being close to 35 lbs. and they had to add two feet onto the tail just to properly move the tails and when they needed to use special effects for the transformation and use of powers it was really impressive. (Cut to a black screen)

But as good as this season was, I feel me personally it could've had a better storyline. So it is here that I introduce the section I call... (The words "HOW I WOULD HAVE WRITTEN IT!" as James' voice echoes those words before hearing stock Game Show Music as clips of the season play in the background and James does a voiceover)

James Faraci (Voiceover): While the first few episodes I would've kept the way they are I would've added another element of mystery, of someone watching them from a distance. By the first episode when the girls are in school they're assigned to marine biology, their teacher Mr. Jean-Dian tries to include himself sometimes rather unsubtly in order to offer advice and try to be helpful to Rikki, Emma and Cleo eventually earning their trust even asking the three of them to use hyperbole if the situation is something involving something mermaid related to help him understand the situation. By the middle of the season Rikki, Emma & Cleo receive hand written letters with incredible penmanship and wordsmithing.

After the events of the mid-season episode happen Rikki, Emma and Cleo acquiesce to the request of the letter and in the cave the person who wrote the letters to the three reveals who the person happens to be and says he's been watching them and while they've progressed slowly for his desires he's decided to drop the subterfuge and come out of the shadows, revealing himself to be Mr. Jean-Dian which happens to be a nom de plume and the name of the man who has been watching in the shadows is The Guardian. He may look young but he's a couple of centuries old and with the wisdom of ages he would teach them how to master not only the powers they've got when they first obtained their powers but also the powers they had not even thought they had yet to tap into and through those abilities being able to effectively stop Dr. Denham and Zane's Father or if it's a matter of the heart or something personal.

While Cleo and Lewis' relationship grows quickly as does Rikki and Zane's, The Guardian suggests the couples take it slow. While not getting into too much detail he does admit when he fell in love, it was possibly at the worst time eluding to a moment when darkness had covered the island and  the relationship ended with her demise and it destroyed him inside but looking at the two couples gave him some feeling of hope and the season ends with the three fully accepting that they are mermaids and their world has been changed forever, ready to face whatever adversity comes their way together and accept changes for better or worse and The Guardian decides to stick around for the remainder of the series to assist the three as much as he can. And that ends this portion of... (The words "HOW I WOULD HAVE WRITTEN IT!" as James' voice echoes those words before cutting back to clips of the first season as James does a voiceover)

James Faraci (Voiceover): If you liked the first season the way it was or my version of things, let me know in the comment section but let me say the following as to why I am doing the "How I would Have Written It" segment. I have a reason for this and when we get to the last season of Mako Mermaids, it will help clear up the mess in continuity this series will make when Mako Mermaids happen. But we'll get to them when they come. To me this season set up a good foundation for a new universe it opened and expansion into said universe will occur as will changes up the wazoo. But we'll get to that when we reach season 2!  (Fade to Black before cutting to Cleo in the second episode having to hear she'll be late from her little sister before cutting to her recently transformed saying " It's OK, Kim. I'll walk." before cutting to Black)