Monday, November 23, 2015

30 Day Reboot Challenge, Day 23: Adult Enzo vs. Preteen Enzo

Reboot is one of those rare series that I actually started watching in the first season. With Buffy, I didn't actually see the show until the second season premiere, after which I bought the VHS tapes for the first two episodes of the series, "Welcome to the Hellmouth" and "The Harvest." I didn't even watch the first season until I found it on sale at McKay's Bookstore about a year after the series concluded, so ... bad Buffy fan? Battlestar Galactica was very similar, and I didn't purchase the first game of Mass Effect until six months after I got the second. I'm pretty much a Johnny Come Lately, and I'm okay with that.

But with Enzo, I got to see him from the very beginning. Back on Day 3, I listed Enzo as my least favorite main character, and that is still very, very true. It's probably no surprise, then, that I'm going to say that I greatly prefer Matrix, the adult version of Enzo, over the younger version, but that still doesn't necessarily mean very much.

Via Reboot Wiki
Enzo is a stereotypical character, in his preteen and adult versions. The younger version is obnoxious, has the normal episodes that are pretty much typical for all child characters, idolizes the polar opposite of his parental figure (Bob and Dot, respectively), etc. He's also constantly trying to prove he's a grown up, which ... okay, yes. This is a kid's major compulsion in almost all media, particularly when the child is the only one of his or her age and kind. But it can get a bit tiring, especially if the character is a little one-note as it is. After Bob was expelled into the Net, I really liked the turn Enzo was taking: he had the responsibility he wanted but was still reliant on others to help him out. I actually started to like the little fucker, and then BAM, "Game Over" happened.

I'm not going to lie: I teared up when Dot realized her little brother was gone. She'd lost Bob, and now Enzo, too. By that point, like I said, I'd warmed up to him, and so I was looking forward to seeing where the writers would take him, AndrAIa, and Frisket. And I was honestly surprised where they went.
Via Reboot Wiki
Aging him up was actually a pretty gutsy choice on the part of Mainframe Entertainment. Not only did that remove any character with which younger viewers could identify, it also squarely put the show in that precarious position it was: nobody wanted to air it because it was just slightly edgier and more violent than a kid's show should be (in the networks' views). Unfortunately, they don't do much to make him any less stereotypical than his younger counterpart. He's gruff, uber masculine, gloomy, and a bit of a crybaby. I get that he wants to return to Mainframe, but damn, dude: you ride in games with your girlfriend and dog and you get to see a ridiculous number of systems that you never would. And you wanna bitch and moan because you're homesick?

Now, the episode "Number 7," which is one giant homage to The Prisoner, does its best to really kick Matrix out of his funk and puts him on his path to truly taking action, as opposed to whining. The rest of the season just keeps getting better and better, even if dumb Matrix shows his macho side a bit too much (when Ray Tracer flirts with AndrAIa, for example), but once I'd finally gotten used to the idea of this version of Enzo, the writers go ahead and bring back Young Enzo because the system crashed. How this actually happens I don't understand, but it does, so we're treated to both.

This is another issue that I have with Season Four: the two Enzos don't bounce off each other or even bring out positive attributes. They just sort of revert to the most annoying aspects of themselves. I know they were kind of trying to recapture the feel from the first two seasons, but once you go gritty, it's nearly impossible to go back. Just ask Miami Vice.

Alrighty, my brain is fried. Tune in tomorrow!! I'm actually excited about tomorrow's challenge.

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