A while back I watched an episode of the new Netflix version of Voltron.

Voltron was one of my favorite cartoons as a kid. I remember that we used to play it on the playground. We were all boys, so we did this thing where we pretended that the original blue lion was actually a guy. At least, I thought we were making that up so that we could get someone to be the blue lion, but it actually appears to be true. Another thing I remember from back in the day was that I thought they switched from Lion Voltron to Car Voltron so that they could sell new toys (and not because, it turns out, they were using existing footage). In both of these cases I was in elementary school and had cynical ideas way ahead of my time. I didn’t have any taste, though, because it turns out that the show is just really bad.

The Netflix one is actually good! It is, in fact, as good a version of Voltron as I can possibly imagine existing.

And yet… I have no interest in watching anymore. It was gorgeous. They made the mythology make as much sense as possible. They gave the characters life. They did everything I could ask of them. Yet, instead of making the story more compelling, the relative realism elsewhere just drew attention to the fact that it’s the story of five robotic lions creating a giant mecha warrior. There’s just no getting around that.

I am not sure why it is that I can accept superheroes but have a problem with this. It’s not conditioning because I was exposed to Voltron as early as I was exposed to anything. It could be a technical plausibility thing. Superheroes are inherently mythical. Robots are machines are real, even if they are sentient like the lions. Not I find myself wishing that, instead of a story about robotic lions, all of that imagination had been dedicated to something else.

Of course, if it had, I probably wouldn’t have watched it.

Category: Theater

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7 Responses to Voltron and the Suspension of Disbelief

  1. Murali says:

    I enjoyed the most recent power rangers movie, which also cleaned up the story line etc. So either the power rangers movie is a better remake or we’re different in terms of what we find compelling

  2. Oscar Gordon says:

    I do wish the power rangers would dispense with the whole ‘morphin’ term, it seems silly, but it took me right out of the story.

    As for Voltron, the Netflix show is far superior to the show of our youth. I find I can suspend my disbelief much easier because the writing is better.

  3. Joe Sal says:

    There was it seemed, a novelty to shape shifting mechanical wonders at the time.

  4. Brandon Berg says:

    I have no recollection of Voltron. In fact, my first exposure to it was the thinly veiled reference in that Perry Bible Fellowship comic, when I assumed it was something that was made up just for the comic.


    What network did it air on? We only got like four channels then.

  5. trumwill says:

    It was syndicated, I’m pretty sure. Entirely possible it wasn’t on in your area.

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