Pacific Heat Review

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Pacific Heat is a new animated show made for Netflix about an Australian police squad who, despite their best efforts to do good, lack the brains and ability to do good. An interesting starting point and of course it immediately lends itself to comparison with the beloved show Archer. Unfortunately, Pacific Heat fails in a number of ways and rather than trying to simply emulate the success of the show Archer, it is quite clear that little imagination has been used to develop a new and unique idea that is separate from Archer.

One issue which I have with Pacific Heat is the quality of the show’s appearance. The animation is styled differently to Archer, slightly, with more angles and lines which is in itself quite attractive. The issue arises when effects are needed, such as explosions or fire, and here the lessened quality really shows and looks highly out of place with the overall appearance of the series’ style. The appearance of the show though is the least of its problems, and a constant falling point is the lack of main character. Following around the team of four main characters, there are times when a main character is implied, but one never steps forward. This leaves the story without focus and I found led to none of the characters really developing properly. The lack of character progression through the series left each episode lacking any reason for me to keep watching, and by the end of the series it was a struggle to keep going.

There were some funny points though, and some of the humour was good and provided me with some chuckles. Again, though, a few major issues arise with the show’s idea of fun. The thematic jokes that occurred in multiple episodes were lacking any real laugh value, and their recurrence was not appreciated. The biggest problem though was the seeming confusion between offensive and funny. This is a line which Archer runs very finely, but he seems to be forgiven for it, as either the ruder stuff can be dumped on the main character for being an abhorrent human being, or the jokes never really go too far in to out right offensive. Pacific Heat was much less concerned with subtlety, and there were points where i physically cringed as dubious sexism and racism was splurted out with little attempt to hide it. The women of the show are consistently used to sex up an episode by them removing their clothes to work “undercover”, and the criticism of certain foreign characters’ English speaking skills are just a couple of points where the mute button and duvet seemed to be the only solution to rid the festering scenes which were unfolding.

Ultimately the show is one which is trying to pick up on the success of another, but seems to misunderstand what made Archer successful, resulting in an unfunny and offensive turd of a portrayal of entertainment.

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Time Commanders New Series

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Time Commanders returned to TV with a new series after an 11 hiatus. The show, though containing some similar aspects to the original two series that aired in 2003 and 2005, was also refreshingly different, and overall the first episode was a success!

The new host was Greg Wallace and he brought a nice combination of presenting professionalism from years of experience, but was also energetic and seemed very enthusiastic and involved in the action.

The general setup was different from the old show, which saw a team of 4 work together, with two captains and two generals, to fight a historic battle, before the experts, who were ever watching, would return at the end of the carnage to deliver an analysis. The new series differed though, setting up two teams of three people against one another. They each controlled one army and were given the chance to practice their skills in a skirmish. The studio was divided in two, with a large screen in the centre acting as a partition. This setup made the battle more interesting as it provided multiple perspectives on the action, as well as an extra element of competitiveness for the teams. Additionally, the show involved some real life use of the weapons if the troops and these sections were a nice way to segment the show. The teams were each given a time out for the battle as well, so that they could, if necessary, regroup their thoughts and seek the advice and aid of the experts.

The battle featured for the first episode of the new series was Zama, between Hannibal and Scipio, and so featured the Total War Rome 2 engine to represent and display the action. This was another change from the original series which of course only used the Rome Total War engine, where as the new one wishes to take advantage of the more diverse range of games now out by the Total War franchise.

Overall, the new Time Commanders was a success; entertaining and informative and all round good fun! If you are yet to catch it, I would thoroughly recommend doing so!