Cartoon Network begins action packed Fridays on October 3
When I first heard about this, I thought it was the name of Cartoon Network's Saturday line up. Then I received a really cool press kit from the network. The envelope itself was more like a canvas bag with the Saturdays' logo. Inside was a disc with the first episode and some press images.
Bravo to whoever designed this. At my fingertips is information on the main characters and some of the creatures they will most likely be running into. Before even watching the show, this package told me a lot. The cost to make and distribute something like this can't be cheap. That must mean they also have confidence in the show in order to make this investment.
Here's the official blurb about the show:
Cartoon Network’s new night of fantasy-adventure programming begins at 8 p.m. (ET, PT) with the series premiere of a new comedy-action series, The Secret Saturdays, from Cartoon Network, Porchlight Entertainment and creator Jay Stephens, about a family of world-saving adventure scientists. Doc, Drew and Zak Saturday live in a hidden base and are part of a network of scientists who protect against all the underlying evil in the world. To the Saturdays, ordinary folktales aren’t just legends, but real-life mysteries and adventures. Traveling from the Gobi Desert to the Marianas Trench, they explore ancient temples and bottomless caves and tangle with twisted villains, including the masked madman V.V. Argost and his half-human/half-giant spider.
I watched the show. Twice actually. It was good. There were a couple minor things I had problems with but when you think about it, I'm sure the show is not necessarily geared to someone of my age. So I can overlook them.
I liked the character designs and the look of the animation. They are using the thick-lined look that gives it an almost retro feel. I first watched it on my computer then later on my HD TV. The colors are amazing. The whole animation process is well done. We will be seeing a wide variety of creatures and locations in upcoming episodes.
There is action and adventure involved. The Saturdays are essentially a family. A family of scientific adventurers. Comparing them to the likes of the Fantastic Four is understandable. The difference is there is a kid involved along with their strange family pets. I won't go that in depth about each character as I have already created pages for them with a bit of information you can check out (The Secret Saturdays are also appearing in the Cartoon Network Action Pack! comic). The voice acting is good. Doc's voice does seem like it should be a little...deeper. Drew sounds great as a strong female character that can instantly switch into overprotetive mom mode. Their arch nemesis, Argost's voice is perfect.
What didn't I like? The Saturdays have an eleven year old son, Zak. He's your typical pre-teenage boy that is craving adventure and believes he can take on the world. It's a minor gripe. He's not as annoying as you might expect he could be. Again I go back to who is this geared for. Younger viewers will want someone closer to their age that they can relate to. That's probably why Ben 10 does well and this, most likely, will too.
Knowing that I'm not the prime market audience for this (and because I wanted an excuse to watch it again), I decided to watch it with my five year old daughter. I thought it'd be interesting to get her opinion on this. She's not your typical little girl. Yes, she likes the Disney Princess stuff but her favorite cartoons are The Spectacular Spider-Man and Scooby-Doo. She's inherited some good taste from me. I showed her the characters from the press kit first to see what her first impressions would be. These are her words:
Doc Saturday: "He would be pretty strong."
Drew Saturday: "Good at fencing." (She has a sword).
Zak Saturday: "He'll learn a lot of stuff."
Argost: "He'll really be wanting the rock." (Argost is after an artifact called the Kur Stone and it can be seen next to his image).
Komodo: "Looks mean and scary because of the red eyes."
Zon: "A good flier."
Fiskerton: "Looks cozy to sleep with. Looks friendly, like Chewbacca."
I explained to her that she'd be watching this before anyone else. She thought that was really cool. I asked her what she thought when we finished. She said it was pretty good. I asked her if she'd want to watch the show again. She gave an enthusiastic "Mmm-hmm!" I asked her what her favorite part was. She said she liked watching them in the jungle. It looked like they were having a "fun adventure." I asked her if there was anything she didn't like. I don't want to spoil anything but it had to do with the villain, Argost and something he does.
So there you have it. The show was a hit with someone over and below the intended viewing market. Everything is set up nicely in the first episode. I am left wanting to see what happens next. If the quality keeps up, the Saturdays won't be a secret for long. Thumbs up.
The Secret Saturdays premieres Friday October 3 at 8 p.m. ET/PT before the premiere of The Clone Wars. Also of note, beginning the following Friday, October 10 a new episode of Ben 10 follows The Clone Wars. Fridays should be a good night of viewing on the Cartoon Network. Who needs Saturday morning cartoons when we'll have the Secret Saturdays on Friday nights?