Generator Rex - Generating Wasted Potential?
When Generator Rex premiered in the Fall of 2009 to strong ratings and plenty of hype, it transformed the action-animation team Man of Action into star creators. No longer could they be considered a one-hit wonder with the Ben 10 franchise that they had lost control of starting with the Alien Force season. Generator Rex offered plenty of its promise in its pilot episode from a a truly threatening villain in Van Kleiss, to death and violent destruction (for nameless redshirt types, at least), to Rex’s powers having limitations in ways Ben Tennyson’s powers did not.
discovering Noah’s identity, deciphering the layers of Providence, battling Van Kleiss all over the world, and trying to build his
relationship with enemy Circe. There was enough material for two seasons crammed into twenty episodes, including a highly entertaining comedic filler episode (“Operation: Wingman”). There were hints of trouble here such as Rex’s inability to develop beyond his basic archetype, but it wasn’t outright horrible, just a series that hadn’t lived up to its full potential yet.
Rex as he did in the season 3 premiere were one single line from Van
Kleiss himself, along with Caesar conveniently erasing ZAG-RS’ data to
possibly cover up some kind of tracks, all in a single episode.
Now, finally, the show has done a continuity reboot in an effort to save itself, jumping the show six months into the future with Rex displaced by a continuity warp. Providence is now the bad guy. Van Kleiss is nowhere to be found with the new leader of Providence, Black Knight, possibly set up to be a centerpiece of a new battle. But instead of spending time with the ramifications of such an event, the first thing Rex does is go run around on illegal motorcycle races, and we are going to have a crossover with the Ben 10 universe that will not advance anything for either universe unless this is a truly unique crossover. Do the writers have any respect for the show they’re working on? Did Man of
Action give them any sense of direction for them to take the show and
they’ve left it behind to basically turn Peter Parker into a clone of
Ben Tennyson and Rex in Ultimate Spider-Man. So what does that
mean for the show? Is it just going to run on a treadmill for the
next seventeen episodes before a finale tries
to resolve everything, just like what happened with Ben 10 every year
when Man of Action were the showrunners for that franchise?
plot treadmill with no character development. If Man of Action can defy
their action animation pattern, I will see it through, just as I will see Generator Rex through anyway despite my perpetual
frustration with the show. I have watched 42 episodes so far and I will
watch the Ben 10/Generator Rex crossover as well. With eighteen episodes
to go before the end of the third season (and possibly the series), it’s worth doing just to see if the great potential in the concepts and
stories of Generator Rex will finally be shown to us. It would be a nice
break from watching a treadmill of wasted potential instead.
Make us want to think what will happen next, instead of making us wish what had happened instead. There’s 18 episodes left to make us do that, roughly six hours when you take out all of
the commercial time. Six hours for Generator Rex to generate something
truly memorable to make it a cartoon known for years after it is gone,
instead of a forgettable experience like Street Sharks or Spider Riders or Voltron Force or Skysurfers. Now that is a mission. I hope it is a successful one.