Defrosted - The Ultimate To and Fro
And so the constant back and forth as to weather I loath or mildly dislike Ultimate Spider-Man continues.
"Why I Hate Gym"
I never want mock while reviewing USM, not because I don't want to, but because I feel that once I do all people will see from then on will be my bias and predisposed discontempt. I want you to listen to what I try to maintain a constructively objective opinion. I also do not desire to fall into the perceived "ranting fanboy" category and dismissed altogether.
I make it a point bring up aspects of an episode I actually thought worked in term of plot elements, character development, faithfulness to the source material and so on. So when I say that the premise of this episode had great potential and could have worked wonders for Peter's character and his home life, I genuinely mean it.
The prospect of a villain infiltrating Peter's school and posing as a substitute teacher (in this case a Gym Coach) to weed out potential candidates to deduce Spider-Man civilian identity is not only an idea worth exploring, but one that deserves good execution and payoff. The implications and possible ramifications
are enormous, and it completely justifies Peter's life long charade as a weakling to protect his family and friends.
And therein lies the rub.
We've barely gotten acquainted with this show's version of Mary Jane, Peter doesn't seem like friends with any of his teammates and his relationship with Aunt May is, bluntly put, non-existent. And I'm fairly sure that last point is hard to argue as well, she has appeared in a few throw away gags in the cutaway scenes and in the background on the odd occasion Peter is actually at home, which so far has been all of once. You can't establish a relationship, let alone play off it with this little development. Which leads me to my second assertion.
The cutaway gags seem to want a playful and lighthearted tone. Which is all well and good, I have nothing against that as long as they stick to it. But then episodes like this have Taskmaster with that booming and menacing voice, threatening to kill everyone Peter cares for unless he joins him. And yet five minutes prior we had him doing star jumps for a background gag. It doesn't work.
You can't have your cake and eat it too. It hinders the comedy and destroys all the tension for anything dramatic. Leaving this great concept criminally under utilised.