Tuesday, 14 June 2016
Ben 10, Season 3 (2007)
One of the challenges of reviewing the later seasons of a TV show like Ben 10 is finding new things to talk about. I already noted in my season one review that it is a superhero show in science fiction clothing, and expanded on that in my season two review with some further examples of how it adapts classic comic book stories. Pointing out that in season three they make use of the old "team up with your future selves" storyline would be factual, but at this point not very informative.
So I thought that in this review I'd talk about the trio of characters at the heart of the show. Ben himself is pretty much your typical 10 year old boy with the volume turned up; since he really is (sometimes) indestructible. Brash, impulsive, and occasionally self-centred, he often leaps into action without stopping to think. Of course, since he's the hero of the show, he's generally well-intentioned and things tend to work out in the end.
Then there's "Grandpa" Max Tennyson, former agent of the elite anti-alien organisation known as the Plumbers, whose role is generally that of the voice of reason, with a dash of exposition delivery on the side. If the writers need to trot out some explanatory dialogue to get their plot on track, Max is the guy for the job.
I've left the best for last in the shape of Gwen Tennyson. Ben's cousin and frequent verbal sparring partner is a refreshing change from the common 'girl hostage' we often see in other shows oriented toward young males. While she lacks Ben's alien-based super-powers, she has abilities of her own, and perhaps more importantly, she's generally much better at lateral thinking than he is, so she finds ways to solve problems that Ben doesn't. She even gets her own nemesis (any episode featuring Charmcaster tends to focus on Gwen). It's good to see.
So yeah, it's more of the same basic template as the first two seasons, with a cool trio of characters at the heart. If animated superhero hijinks are your thing, check it out.