Rob's Pile of Transformers: Manic Ramblings

Manic Ramblings and Delerious Ranting
 re: The Low Road
Posted 02/14/97

   Others have covered the plot points, etc, in detail already, so I'll
address instead what I see as the big reason this episode fell flat with a
lot of TransFans.  But first, for those whose VCRs malfunctioned on






:          I like lowbrow humor on occasion but there has to be moments of
:          seriousness otherwise the humor doesn't pay off.

   Actually, it was the moments of seriousness that made this episode a
let-down.  More specifically, it bothers me when a serious problem is
solved in a joking, non-realistic manner.  Low Road set up some tense,
serious delimas, then resolved them with farsically low humor which
conflicted with the original seriousness of the problems.  Beast Wars has
generally taken itself seriously, which makes it annoying when things like
Dinobot "going flat" after hitting a tree, or Tarantulus winding up his
legs to run away, occur.  Are we to accept these things as actual canon
events in the TF universe??  Can a Transformer really have his head fatten
and contract (Rhinox when he starts belching)?  Can a Transformer
flatulation create a hemispheric-sized disturbance?  After "The Low Road"
and other such episodes, it seems we are to accept such silliness along
side BW's otherwise internally-consistent science fiction. 

    Anyone remember the resolution of Naked Gun II?  Lesley Neilson
disarms the Really Big Bomb that was about to go off, by tripping over the
plug and yanking it out of its socket.  An appropriately silly ending for
a silly movie.  Now imagine that sort of ending grafted onto, say, Star
Wars - a movie that, though plenty of fun, generally takes itself
seriously.  It wouldn't work at all; it would leave the audience saying,
"What?!?  That was... stupid!"  "The Low Road" suffers from exactly this
type of poor juxtaposition, both within the episode itself, and in
relation to the other episodes.

    I read somewhere around here that this was the "joke episode", that
we were warned not to take it seriously.  Well, I try to avoid spoilers as
much as possible; I didn't see any such warnings.  There was nothing at
the outset which prepared me for a silly resolution.  And what of those
who watch the show, but don't read this newsgroup?  What indication was
there to warn them that this was not going to be the typically serious
episode?  None, as far as I could tell.  Overall, the show changed horses
in mid-stream, not a real good idea, IMO.

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