Saturday, November 10, 2012

My Review of Wizards Vs. Aliens 1x02: "Grazlax Attacks"

Written by Phil Ford
Directed by Daniel O'Hara

Tom (to Benny, re Grazlax): "It didn't explode. It had kids."

Okay, second story in (or episodes three and four if you like) and this show is definitely fun to watch but at the same time has a feeling of familiarity about it. The Nekross might not have decided to capture Tom or his grandmother again but Lexi's idea of trying to please her father (the Nekross King) and outwit her brother with the use of the Grazlax was doomed to failure from the beginning.

Clearly, Phil Ford has possibly watched Gremlins one too many times because the basis of this story seemed to be the Grazlax trying to kill both Tom and Benny when they weren't multiplying all over the place. As aliens, they're blue, furry with teeth that look anything but razor sharp but at the same time, the sheer camp factor in Benny and Tom trying to outwit them was actually the highlight of the episode.

I don't know if it's entirely intentional but Scott Haran as Tom really did seem to up the camp factor in this story with a performance that seemed very reminiscent of a lot of 80's Doctor Who. Tom's still a likeable enough character, though clearly not always the most reliable in a sticky situation as it was Benny who seemed to figure out a lot in relation to defeating the Grazlax and a lot of that seemed obvious too in retrospect.

I will say that four episodes/two stories in, the show has succeeded in building a nice rapport with Tom and Benny. Both of them are outsiders due to one being magical and the other being a geek but as a team, they seem to work well together. That in of itself might be the show's biggest selling point and it's most successful one too.

- We met Benny's parents, Tricia (Nina Sosanya) and Richard (Don Gilet) for a bit in the first part of this episode. Benny's violin playing turned out to be useful, if not nice on the ears.
- Katie is clearly being set up as a love interest for Tom.
- I did laugh at Ursula's attempts of changing Benny's house back, especially with the gingerbread house mistake.
- The rivalry between Varg and Lexi has a lot of potential. I sense that perhaps Lexi isn't too comfortable with the idea of destroying humanity.

While it's hard to deny that this show isn't a massive step forwards for children's TV, it's still a lot more entertaining than it should be. Grazlax Attacks was an amusing story but I am hoping the show does get a little serious as it progresses in the next four stories.

Rating: 7 out of 10

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