The deeper truth hiding behind the ugly CGI
After looking at that silly (and quite a bit mocking, I admit) manip made as a joke for @ashermajestywishes, I kind of saw beyond it and then i realized something important.
The awful interpretation of Hades A&E went with for 5B is a result of a much deeper and more troubling pattern. This thing right here:
You know what it is? Can you guess? Let me give you all a hint: why does Hades have to have flaming much of CGI on his head in the first place?
I mean, there’s no absolute reason for it. Ouat has ‘creative license’. They could have re-imagined a classic Greek mythological figure. They could have put their own spin on him. Made him a shriveled old man with skin pale as paper since he had been away from sunlight for so long. He could have been blind. He could have been actually Greek. He could have been black or Middle Eastern. (oh, noes) He could have dressed in jeans and a hoodie instead on finely tailored suit. He could have been one of those characters that have lived for sol long they don’t give a shit. He could have been – gasp! – a she.
But no. It’s another white dude with blue eyes and quick tongue, adorned with unnecessary and poor CGI. I wonder if this has anything to do with this smooth and charismatic fella over here:
Hmm, might is have something to do with another Disney property the showrunners are trying to pull into their show and plainly cash out on?
The answer is yes, but not the way you might have thought. A&E had devolved inot a pattern ever since 3B. And said pattern consists of grabbing in interesting property, an interesting character and copying said character/property as closely as they can. However, that copying only reaches the visual stage. They want them to look the part. To evoke the same association with a particular piece of media. That’s why Zelena’s Wicked Witch was green and had a pointy hat and used a broom to fly around. That is why she had monkeys as her helpers. That is why the whole Frozen half-season was a carbon copy of the movie.
But. There it all ends. The similarity is there to drive your interest the second you throw your gaze upon a promo image or trailer. The ‘new vision’ of the character follows their incomprehensible mess of shoddy writing. The characters might look similar, sound similar, do all the parlor tricks on demand (remember that Elsa making a bridge out of ice bit? Wasn’t it ‘just like in the movie’? *eyeroll*), but that’s all superficial. Underneath all this glitter is just… nothing. The characters that are written as a replacement for what influenced them are hit or miss, yet the result entirely depends on a random element of what foot the writers got up on and if they wanted to write something good or just move along like usual.
This whole pattern is a sign of a systematic problem plaguing the later seasons of Once upon a time. Which is extreme laziness camouflaged as innovation.
Remember the original reinventions of fairy-tale characters, the ones the show began with?
– The Evil Queen had a whole wardrobe of outfits. She wasn’t forced to wear the same exact replica of Disney’s Sleeping Beauty outfit. Her story had been changed, her whole identity had been reinvented going from ‘pretties of the all envy motivation’ to ‘deep, meaningful origin story unique to this character’.
– Red Riding Hood wasn’t a carbon copy from the story. She was the wolf.
– Frankenstein wasn’t copied off a recent movie starring a similar character or the classic one. He looked different, had his own story, and his own motivations.
– Mulan had her own look and her own story, which had nothing to do with the animated version.
– Strangely, back then Maleficent wasn’t wearing the outfit that she wore later constantly. An outfit eerily similar to one worn on a popular movie by Angelina Jolie.
The list goes on and on and on. Back then the characters had originality written all over them. From their looks to their essence. This. This has none of that originality. It’s a copy-paste lazy method of catering to the nostalgia and demographics that react to anything flashy like a squirrel to shiny things.
What you see there, on that promo is a lie. It’s the same lie we saw on 4A poster, only this time it’s more obviously worse looking with less effort put in.
I wish we could get something new and interesting, refreshing and daring, a subtly clever re-tooling of the familiar setting, but alas… That is not what this show is about anymore.