I’ve wanted to keep writing about each episode, but they have been coming out so fast! Here is some background on 6-10.
You’re Level 100 This one comes from a Dave Tennant pitch, suggesting we spend some time on showing how Pow Cards work in this world. As I’ve said, we internally consider episodes 1-6 as a mini-arc about KO’s first week. Knowing that You’re Level 100 would end of this arc, we tried to treat it as a culmination of everything so far. We didn’t know how many episodes we’d get to do at this point, so we wanted to make sure that these six would be satisfying on their own, and You’re Level 100 is their pseudo-finale. This is most clear in the third act, where we see all the characters we’ve met so far forming into a giant fist to help KO feel like a true hero for a moment. The image is a humorously direct metaphor for some important underlying themes of the show as a whole. Stevie and Danny did an amazing job, keeping things hilarious as KO’s ego takes over and incredibly warm and fun throughout. Also we meet DYNAMITE WATKINS!
Sibling Rivalry The relationship between Darrell and Shannon is something the original mobile game established really well, and we decided that the first episode to air after our initial “mini-arc” should focus on them. Ian had the great idea of introducing the sporty/romantic Raymond (also first shown in the game) as a shared enemy for all the characters.
This episode has some of the funniest sequences yet, in my opinion. I love the way Haewon depicts the familial relationship between Boxman and the bots, something she did previously in a 2 minute short that will hopefully release someday soon. Dave’s ending scene with the zen faces is already immortal. We obsessed over it at every stage, milking its unexplainable hilarity for all it was worth. An early favorite of mine for its wall-to-wall insane comedy.
I Am Dendy We faced a big challenge in I Am Dendy, giving a whole episode to a character who was completely new to us at the time. We spent a crazy amount of hours discussing her character and how she could fit into the show’s existing dynamics, going through three completely different story premises before finally landing on this one. As you can see, it started to work when we decided to make it as simple as possible.
When we saw the first pitch from Geneva & Mira, we knew we had something very unique. After the high-octane first set of episodes, we get a surprisingly down to earth story about two kids spending time together. Geneva & Mira did a great job crystalizing Dendy’s personality. In a lot of ways, Dendy and KO could not be more different. KO follows a strict heroic moral code, and Dendy does not. Their fascination and understanding of their differences brings them together for a friendship we will see much more throughout the series.
Special regards to Jake and Mint Potion for the jaw-dropping music in this episode! Dendy’s theme is probably in my top 3 songs so far.
Do You Have Any More in the Back? The title of Do You Have Any More in the Back? actually derives from an ancient (2013?) premise that Ian wrote in his original bible for the pilot-era version of the show. The two stories have nothing in common, but it is a fun detail. This new one came from right when full time development started in 2015, which was basically a summer of me and Ian hanging out on an empty office floor and deciding what the show was going to be. A couple times a week Dave Tennant would come by to break stories with us, and I think this and an early, scrapped version of “We’ve Got Pests” were the first. The network liked the story, but asked us to sit on it for a bit because it’s a somewhat deeper, more deconstructive look at Rad’s character.
In my opinion, this is a very successful early episode that provides a pretty complete package of action, comedy, adventure, and emotion. Ryann and Parker stuffed it with countless cute, funny and exciting moments that ended up setting some important character details (and running jokes) for the future. I was extremely impressed by how they handled the emotional subtlety of the ending, which is my favorite thing about the episode.
My Dad Can Beat Up Your Dad My Dad Can Beat Up Your Dad is another episode that has roots in Ian’s original Lakewood bible, but unlike DYHAMITB?, this one is almost entirely intact from what was originally written. This is a fairly straightforward Carol/KO story that gives us a great opportunity for extended badass action sequences!
Much like with Sibling Rivalry, Dave and Haewon took something simple and infused it with tons of personality. The first time we saw both versions of Chameleon Sr, the room lost it. The action scenes (with plenty of extra love from Jeremy, Max and Anna) are some of our most ambitious so far. The final scenes are sweet, heartfelt and weird in ways I absolutely love.
I have no idea if I’ll be able to keep up with these, but luckily the board artists are writing some of their own great thoughts on the other episodes!