I'm James Faraci The Last Of The Americans and Yeah still at home, still waiting for this damned Coronavirus to go away. But this did give me time to reconnect to something I forgot but still cared about. The series that made me see the power of the internet and how any idea can succeed! (Cut to the title card of "Life As A Mermaid" Cut to clips of the show as James does a voiceover.)
Well let's find out. Now please note, I'm going through mini-sodes that work in the plot of the main seasons, specials and I am going to look at the series through the fact they have been worked into movies because all the episodes from each season, even if it was filler were made into movies. But if I missed say a short in which Cam and Valerie make Bathtub soap bombs, then it's not essential to the series. My mind set is "What is the essential to the series itself is what matters to the review.". This is... "Life As A Mermaid" (Cut to James' tablet screen as James does a voiceover)
Before I begin, I'd be remised if I didn't mention that Amazon Prime has gotten the rights to air the show however someone dropped the ball somewhere because the Season they call Season one is actually Season two and only most of the season is there and as of this post not there they have yet to be posted there, Season three is called Season two on Amazon and all of that season's episodes are available. What the hell? Oh well maybe they'll straighten things out, eventually. Until then there's YouTube and if you have Roku there is an app that has all of the first, second and third seasons and most of season four. (Cut to clips of the series as James does a voiceover.)
The series properly begins with a series of short episodes that while it might not seen as a season with an arc, believe me, the arc is there. A young mermaid named Madison played by Taylor Huff was with a magical mirror that somehow connects to her inner desires and winds up at a pool party filled with Humans and over the span of the Season Madison finds herself at odds with Nat played by Maria Feist, Jed played by Garrett Schechter and someone outside of Matt Smith from Doctor Who to really rock a Bowtie and make it look cool Stanley played by Cambell Dodson. Over the course of the season Madison tries to understand humans and vice versa. However there is one short that well is unusual even by the series' standards "Merman Dreams". In this short, Madison comes up with a Petition to save the ocean as two guys come up and weirdly it talks about a guy named Lew and his legs. While Madison eventually gets tired of their antics and disappears, the episode has possibly one of the messed up post credit scenes in the history of cinema as Madison dreams of Lew and a giant fish eats the dude whole! (Cut to "Avengers: Age Of Ultron" clip of War Machine saying "Okay...What?" Cut back to "Life As A Mermaid" as James does a voiceover) Despite that I will say that this is not a bad short nor was it a bad season. It sets up great character arcs for Madison, Stanley, Nat and Jed in the seasons to come. (Cut to James physically)
Speaking of those seasons, I'm breaking character to talk about this! (James pulls out his morpher and de-morphs turning into James Faraci)
So yeah for the Second season the people who were making the series, Validus Productions decided to do a Kickstarter and I donated. This is where my involvement in the series began. Because I did donate my money, I felt the responsibility as an accredited Associate Producer due to my involvement through the Kickstarter to make sure the season succeeded. So I did everything in my power to basically ensure it by promoting it like two rabbits on a bored Friday night! I posted the links to everyone I could on Social Media and Facebook groups and I continued that until the finale of the series. Now with that out of me... (James pulls out his morpher and morphs back to James Faraci The Last Of The Americans.)
Let's get to season 2 of "Life As A Mermaid" (Cut to clips of Season 2 of "Life As A Mermaid" as James does a voiceover)
Now let me say for the sake of this review, just like I did with my "WitchHaven" review I'm using the fact they turned each season into it's own movie for the review. So Season 2 begins with Madison trying to keep a low profile as she soon meets a new guy Liam played by Diego Torres Kuri and as she is hesitant to go swimming she just flat out spills on why. (Show clip of Madison telling Liam why she's hesitant.) Much to her surprise Liam turns out not to go running to the hills and instead embraces her as the two go to the restaurant where Jed is waiting for Madison's return and Stanley is doing his job serving people Tuna Melts. While there Stanley and Jed meet up with Astrid played by Brie Kristiansen. Astrid has a plan to capture a mermaid, sell it on the black market and make millions. Uh Astrid, aren't you missing a part of the plan that involves say... Underwear? Anyway at the end of the first episode while it appears that sparks are flying between Liam and Madison we get a surprise after Liam invites Madison. (Show clip of Madison as she is surprised by a call from her sister. Cut to clips of Season 2 of "Life As A Mermaid" as James does a voiceover) That's right Madison has a younger sister named Valerie played by the talented Marcella DiPasqualle. As Madison brings Valerie to Liam's party, we're reintroduced to Nat as simmering bad feelings from the first season come to the surface. But to the surprise of Nat she finds a kindred soul in Valerie. In the meanwhile Astrid who recruited Jed and Stanley gets into Liam's party to capture Madison but winds up empty handed as Jed remembers he has a friend with a tracker. The next day, Madison and Valerie wake up seeing the remains of the party as Astrid and Stanley try to distract up and coming scientific explorer of the ocean Will played by Nick Slimmer and grab his tracker. Will starts off a bit of a stick in the mud, not caring for others and has no time for friends. But I digress they take his tracker and while Nat & Liam are cleaning up the beach, Valerie gets taken by Astrid, Jed and Stanley. Determined to rescue her sister Liam graciously decides to help and decides to seek out. Nat while going comes off a little too harsh for her own good but by the time Madison willingly helps Nat fix Liam's car a friendship starts to grow between the two. Initially in my Top Ten on the series, I compared the friendship of Madison and Nat to be somewhat similar to that of Mary and Rhoda or Lucy and Ethyl, but now looking back, theirs was a friendship on it's own level and merit. I'm glad to now see that. As Madison, Nat and Liam get back on the road, Valerie tries to make a break for it because Stanley is not really good at being a guard. Not long after getting back at it Madison, Nat and Liam meet up with Will. Will seeing that Madison is a mermaid is mentally cool and personally not involved as his tracker is missing but quickly puts together that Jed, Astrid and Stanley have the tracker and Valerie and as close as our heroes get, they lose her but gain a Stanley. After a brief moment in which they decide to torture Stanley especially when Nat threatens to and I quote "To Turn Stanley's head into a Chili Bowl!" if Stanley doesn't help. But it's not threats that causes Stanley to turn face, it's through just talking to him on the same level that makes Stanley see the errors of his way and that is a great subtle moral that I got. So much so that in Stanley's sack is Will's Oceanographic Tracker. Seeing that Will thinks his chapter in this tale is over, takes his tracker and heads back to the research center. Meanwhile Astrid and Jed get burned by the black marketers however if they get two mermaids then both parties will play ball which is easily advantageous as Madison, Stanley, Liam and Nat are at the warehouse where Valerie is. Madison is now captured and Stanley, Liam and Nat are trapped on an island. If they find bones and the remains of the hull of the SS Minnow, it wouldn't surprise me. Meanwhile in a less than spectacular switch as Will mulls over whether or not he did the right thing Jed after being duped by Astrid tells Will where he can rescue Madison and Valerie. Meanwhile life on the island for Nat, Stanley and Liam isn't easy as Nat has to deal with the antics of well Stanley and Liam. While that goes on Will goes on to take on Astrid and the black marketers, frees Madison and Valerie and while they offer limited help, they get the black marketers arrested and send Astrid away thanks to the magical mirror. Jed before getting the heck out of dodge tells Will, Valerie and Madison where their friends are and as season two ends Valerie tells Stanley, that he has a way to go before he's forgiven by her. The sparks between Madison and Will begin to grow and while Madison and Valerie return to the ocean we find out where Astrid landed. (Show clip of Astrid talking to a woman cameoed by Julia Alexa Miller who is speaking German as she tells Astrid she's on the North Coast of Germany, fades to black cut to James physically)
Greatest Cameo EVER! Now is there anything I am missing? (Cut to clips of "A Very Mermaid Christmas" and "Life As A Mermaid: Madison's Valentine's Day" as James does a voiceover)
Of course, I nearly missed Madison and Valerie learning about the Christmas spirit while we get a subtle moral about tolerance as Madison and Valerie believe Stanley's Girlfriend is a crab person. The fact that Madison and Valerie is reminded of how they were met with the same type of prejudices they were met with. Plus there's enough hilarious holiday hijinks that would warrant usage of this clip as Clark W Griswold getting stiffed out of his Christmas bonus. (Show clip of Clark W Griswold as he melts down and asks where the Tylenol is. Cut to "Life As A Mermaid: Madison's Valentine's Day as James does a voiceover)
Then there is the first Valentine's day special. While it may seem like filler, it surprisingly serves a purpose to kickstart Will's story arc in a subtle way and it helps progress Will and Madison's love story arc for the next season. While the first attempt for Madison to learn how to bake is comedy GOLD! And I recommend you watch this one to help get into the third season. (Cut to James physically)
Before I talk about Season three. Again, I am breaking character. This is unprecedented!
Let's get to season 3 of "Life As A Mermaid". (Cut to clips of Season 3 of "Life As A Mermaid" as James does a voiceover)
The season begins surprisingly with the special "Mermaid Origins" as Madison and Valerie have set up shop at Nat's place. A Superfan by the name of Eve played by Alison Livas finds Madison and Valerie asks questions and wants to become a mermaid herself to avoid her personal problems. However this causes the Mirror to transport the three of them to the ocean. The strain of the three of them causes Eve to lose her tail and Madison to disappear into the unknown. This somehow reaches someone important as we see (Show clip of The Barnacle King and his associate Blobert landing on the surface world.) A Smelthead and his associate. This is The Barnacle King played by John Berchtold and his associate Blobert played by Seye Ogunnaike and right off the bat we see that these guys are the main antagonists of the season. While that's going on Valerie is still upset with Eve as she was one third of the reasons the Mirror is shattered. Nat picks them up, tells Eve to find someone to help with her problems and that there are people who will listen. Meanwhile Madison after being in an alternate dimension winds up in a restaurant back here. Meanwhile Valerie and Nat discover a mermaid living in exile making a living using the magic of their people as a homeopathic healer. This is Beatrice played by Fleur Zanna and her solution to find Madison is to spit on the damaged Mirror which brings Madison back to Valerie, Nat and Beatrice. Then through the magic of timing The Barnacle King tells Madison and Valerie they have been banished from the ocean and just to add to the drama of the season (Show moment in which Madison loses her tail and is given legs and The Barnacle King tells them the plans to regain the other relics of the Aegean gleefully leaves knowing what he has to do. Cut to James in his room)
There's a reason that happened not only because of what happened in the story but also from the official behind the scenes story is that the tail Madison had was a rental from Save The Mermaids and what had happened was the tail went to Dubai and a pufferfish had snacked on it. Meaning until the tail was replaced or repaired the Character had to be a human for the third season and to me, that was a brilliant story idea if not a very good cost saving move.
And if you get the reference, I'll send you a copy of both the book and movies.
Trapped on the same boat comedic tensions come to a head as both parties start to come to blows save for Stanley who is just looking for the Chronofish and The Captain goes further off the sails on the crazy boat and tries to crash the boat which leads to one of the best brawls I've ever seen. (Cut to James physically)
And the best way to do it is to call upon one of the most known sports commentators ever! Excuse me (James pulls out the morpher and transforms into Howard Cosell)
Okay, that was weird and for those who are very, very, very young and do not know who I changed into then I suggest you look up who he is.
Yeah, I know this thanks to behind the scenes of "H2O: Just add Water" & "Mako Mermaids" GIVE ME A FREAKING BREAK!
Why am I having Vietnam Flashbacks to a Schmendrick who forcibly made the people who got him to success suffer by dressing them up in fantasy character clothing, splitting up into two teams and one where the Schmendrick meets up with a guy with a cat puppet saying "I am a creature of the ancient world, I demand respect"?
Well at least I made the obvious reference already but still What is going on?
So, Smelthead, let me get this straight! YOU are going to use the magic from the relics to build a wall that will ultimately cut off EVERY single living creature and plant on land who needs water to survive and will ultimately die because the water they need will be gone and that amount of death will earn you a merman tail and favor with the council. DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE BESIDES A SMELTHEAD?! YOU ARE GOING TO COMMIT AN EXTINCTION LEVEL EVENT! FORGET WHAT YOU BELIEVE IS RIGHTEOUS FOR YOUR SELFISH CAUSE.WITHOUT US STUPID 2+2=4 PEOPLE, OH I'M SORRY US 2+2=IFLYDACHOOCHOOTRAIN TRASHBREATHERS TO HELP MANAGE CERTAIN SEA CREATURES AND FIND WAYS TO FIX THE MESS WE MADE FROM ALL OUR IDIOCIES TO SHOW WE'RE RESPONSIBLE TO THE WATERS WE SCREWED UP. YOU'D BE IN A WORSE PLACE. OKAY, Yeah I'll admit we're not perfect. BUT! WITHOUT US THERE'D BE MORE PROBLEMS. YOU'D LOSE LIVING SPACE TO SO MANY FISHES AND THE PROBLEM OF THE TRASH WOULDN'T GO AWAY EITHER SMELTHEAD, IT WILL TAKE CENTURIES FOR THE MESS TO DISINTEGRATE. WHICH MEANS MORE SEACREATURES EATING THE GARBAGE AND DYING, EVEN WITHOUT US STUPID TRASHBREATHERS TO CLEAN UP THE MESS! YOU'RE NOT NAMOR OR AQUAMAN OR THOSE NIMRODS FROM PETA WHO BELIEVE YOU'LL HELP A COW IF YOU DON'T MILK BUT INSTEAD MATE WITH THEM. SCREW YOUR BARNICLED ASS BLUE YOU WORTHLESS IDIOTIC SMELTHEAD! (Sighs) Now that I got out of me, I can say that I truly hated The Barnacle King as much as I loathe Lex Luthor, Studio Execs with the I.Q. of strained peaches who pray to the alter of Charts, Graphs and test audience results, The people in charge of The DC Movie division, Disney buying everything up and sucking the life out of both Star Wars and Power Rangers leaving Power Rangers to twist in the air since 2009 after they essentially killed it so badly that not even when Saban bought it back they could revive it and as of right now Hasbro the current owners are struggling for a revival. The point of it, I so hoped that if things were the way they were and I was there The Barnacle King would be a stain on my fist. But thankfully, I wasn't, Someone better tried hid hardest to stop you.
Will's Tracker still has the signal of the Chronofish and everyone rally to get Madison and Valerie back into the fight which they do. However The Barnacle King has summoned something really, really, REALLY BAD! The Mantis God and as is he's able to wipe the beach with everyone nearly killing Blobert. Thankfully the Golden Kelp restores Blobert but after the chewing out I gave him decides to chew on the remains of what I chewed out already. Meanwhile Madison, Valerie and Beatrice take The Mantis God to the city when (Show clip of The Mantis God growing to giant Kaiju size, Cut to James as he says "Pants Officially Darkened to Midnight Black!" Cut to clips of Season 3 of "Life As A Mermaid" as James does a voiceover)
Madison tries to get The Mantis God to follow her into the Aquatic dimension but even then they realize it's a stopgap until they can find a way to stop the Mantis God for good! Will somehow finds a weak spot in the barrier to grab the Chronofish just as the Mantis God destroys the mirror. However Will finds a way to control the Chronofish to Pause the Mantis God's attack, restore the mirror and allows the time for Madison to remember the Clam's Pearl to supercharge The Mirror with enough power to vaporize the Mantis God and combined with the other relics to bring the barrier down. Apparently this earns not only Madison and Valerie's redemption to return to the ocean but also Beatrice's as well. As the season ends with Madison, Valerie and Beatrice returning but also knowing everyone had work to do to repair what The Barnacle King had done. (Cut to James physically)
Now we come to the essential specials. (Cut to "Aquanania", "Valerie's Boyfriend" and "Stanley's Story" as James does a voiceover)
"Aquanania" tells us about the Mermaid Holiday that gives Christmas, Chanukkah and Kwanza a run for it's money, Aquanania. And for that I show this clip from my Top Ten Life As A Mermaid episode (Cut to Madison and Valerie as they talk about Aquanania intercut with the others reacting and James nodding his head as if to say "Yeah, I'm following" all the way through to the end before cutting to James physically as a flag comes out of each of James' ears a Cuckoo Bird goes "Cuckoo" coming off of James' scalp and a noise maker from a party is seen as crazy music is playing in the foreground before cutting to "Aquanania" and James continues a voiceover) So if you followed that, well then Mazel Tov. However there is somewhat of a purpose besides showing Julia Alexa Miller's acting chops in another cameo at the end of this. A special paging rock for whenever and wherever they want to get together. "Valerie's Boyfriend" also shows what it would be like if Valerie were to have a beau. But both specials show the new tails for Madison and Valerie after fans had seen how much damage the tails had taken. "Stanley's story" while made after season 2 serves more of a purpose. Besides Cambell being able to be funny as he shatters the fourth wall. In the background there's a unicorn after Stanley is dragged away by Nat. Meaning things are starting to unravel for reality prepping for season four. (Cut to James Physically as he has his morpher in hand)
So might as well avoid the Christmas rush. (James de-morphs turning into James Faraci)
Then came the fact I became a Patreon and then I heard they were going to be a finale and I figured I'd add something but somehow it got lost in transition but I decided to put it on YouTube as it's own sketch. Link here
I also made a photo thanking the cast and crew for all their hard work on my Instagram.Link Here. However I didn't know it'd be the final season. But even with all I did I felt I wasn't any help and well..
Yeah, Definitely did not help production!
So How does this season start? (Show Clip of a seal being shattered, Liam looking around not seeing the flying Humpback Whale, Nat working her job as Starfish landing in front of her, Stanley working his job as Tentacle Hentai kills the customer played by Chad Narducci and a news report of strange things happening while Will decides to take a day off as he has to deal with his father. Cut to James physically)
With the first of the seven seals of the Armageddon shattered and the powers of the Oceans turning the world topsy turvy as Hell starts to break loose. (Cut to clips of Season 4 of "Life As A Mermaid" as James does a voiceover)
Yeah, I wish I was kidding. That is what is happening. A Humpback Whale is swimming in the sky, Nat finds herself being enjoying her job as much as Nat could while discovering her taking pay with Starfish, A Customer that Stanley serves which is a cameo from Chad Narducci getting beaten down and killed by Tentacle Hentai and Will while working/missing the woman he loves deciding after finishing his paper decides to take the rest of the day off as his Rock Pager turns on, calls Liam, Nat and Stanley to join him only to find Beatrice! Apparently she was able to hone in on the signal of both the mirror and the pager and tells Will the news that something isn't Kosher as Madison and Valerie's assignment for the council has forced them to disappear. However that rock can track the mirror and with wait a second "Mermiad gel"? (Cut to James physically)
You know what that's a minor flub. What isn't is the one thing that nearly took this season down?
There we go! While their appearances in this season is minor, every second of them being on screen drags the season down. Now don't get me wrong there is comedy in the series and it is well timed. But those three nimrods who'd probably look in the bottom of the Neversink Reservoir and think they found Atlantis!
Okay, as someone who had to deal with a Plot Hole that nearly destroyed the planet, let me say that unleashing that type of magic could be as dangerous as such as an event that I went through and it nearly cost me my life!
Okay, WHAT? I've seen severe cases of Extreme Stockholm Syndrome but even by Extreme Stockholm Syndrome standards This is insane! Why are they willingly helping the people who want to toss the planet into chaos? Why A Coconut, Supergirl The Movie? What was the plot to the movie "Head" starring The Monkees? Why DID it take Black Canary six months to reach Gotham if she was inspired by the Antics of Batman in All Star Batman & Robin? Why haven't we found the cure to the Coronavirus? WHY?! WHY!?!
And that was "Life As A Mermaid", it still remains as awesome as the first time I saw every episode the first time. (Cut to clips of "Life As A Mermaid)
Between moments of thought provoking story telling, perfunctory direction, amazing acting, great use of practical effects and production value, great writing that is subtle and sublime at the right times as much as it is big and bombastically powerful. If you want to find it, the best route is YouTube. I already mentioned the weaknesses of the Amazon Prime & Roku routes. Give it a watch and find yourself enjoying this "Life As A Mermaid". (Cut to James physically as a voice says "HEY JAMES!". Cut to Julia Alexa Miller)
What's up? (Cut to James)
Just finished a review... (Cut to Julia Alexa Miller)
I'm James Faraci The Last Of The Americans and that's my opinion and I'm in a lot of trouble!