Summary: In this new take on the long running Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego edutainment franchise, the series focuses on the character of Carmen herself as the protagonist, as she fights the agents of V.I.L.E. who raised her.
Review: One thing that has held (mostly) true about Carmen Sandiego in all the games and TV adaptations since the 80's, is that's she's the antagonist. Sometimes stealing for money, sometimes just to pull off a ridiculously spectacular heist, and sometimes as a sort of karmic trickster, but she was always the one the players hunted, not rooted for.
This time around, Netflix's series turns the tables. Turns out orphan Carmen was actually raised by VILE after being discovered as a foundling in Argentina, and taught to be a master thief. Unfortunately for them, she figures out the happy group of quirky jewelry robbers aren't above hurting civilians, and she decides to GTF out of Dodge (the Canary Islands actually) with the help of Player, a "white hat" hacker she gets in contact with through a prohibited cell phone.
As much as the Carmen Sandiego series of games and shows has a canon, this pretty much turns things on its head, as the audience is now supposed to root for Carmen, instead of the folks hunting her. This actually gives the series a bit of moral ambiguity, with at least at couple of VILE agents sympathetic to Carmen, as she also goes slightly greyer (it is a kid's show after all), basically doing the Wrong Things for the Right Reasons.
1. Watch out for original Carmen voice Rita Romeno as the person who (unwillingly) provides Carmen with her signature outfit.
2. The first two episodes are Carmen's origin story, without much edutainment content.
3. Episode Three actually starts the geography lessons with a visit to Malaysia, with a bit of a clunky geography info dump at the beginning. Hopefully that will smooth out in later eps.
4. Weirdest change in the series is Zack and Ivy going from ACME agents to Carmen's hench-siblings. Which isn't helped by the choice of giving the characters really thick and annoying "Bawhston" accents.
5. Funniest line so far: "You do realize that means risking another surprise visit from Fedora the Explorer?"
I'm a 40 something amateur writer with a half dozen original stories and collections available at Amazon www.amazon.com/Royce-Day/e/B00… and Smashwords www.smashwords.com/profile/vie… and entirely too much fanfic based on Peta Hewitt's Terinu webcomic.
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