Netflix Pick of the Week: The New Legends of Monkey

img_1023Finally, another show that I have been eagerly awaiting. Netflix certainly has not disappointed me over the past few months. Not only have I seen some great (and not so great) movies, but new seasons have been released for a number of shows that I love. This time, I got to watch more of The New Legends of MonkeyThis show is so easy to get through, and the episodes are a fairly reasonable length, so I was able to binge watch the whole thing in a day. And now I want more!

The New Legends of Monkey Season 2 – Action, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy: This Australian / New Zealand show is loosely inspired by the classic Chinese tale Journey to the West. In Season 2, Tripitaka, Monkey, Pigsy, and Sandy travel in search of sacred scrolls. Along the way, they fight demons and team up with a group of rebel humans who want to over throw those very same demons. This fun adventure series is jam packed with fights, friendship, and folly. Bonus: the main villain in this season is a creepy puppeteer named Hagfish (which is an absolutely disgusting looking sea creature).

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Pros: The costumes are phenomenal! That was one of my favourite parts of Season 1, and Season 2 did not disappoint. I also love how diverse the cast is. There are many different ethnicities featured on this show, including POC and indigenous actors. I also appreciate the fact that women were cast in lead roles. The main characters in Journey to the West are all men, so I’m really happy that not only are Tripitaka and Sandy played by women, but there are also other strong female characters throughout this series. And to top it all off, the locations where filming took place are gorgeous. There are lots of lovely shots of the natural landscape of New Zealand.

Cons: The plot is fairly simple and follows a “monster of the week” kind of template for the bulk of the season. The group fights a new demon in almost every episode as they hunt for the scrolls. Although the plot of the original text follows this structure, the way it is done in the show sometimes comes across as being a little too simplistic. Many of the characters are rather simplistic as well, as they can be stereotypical and two-dimensional simply for the purposes of the plot and for comedic effect. Even the main characters, who achieve a little bit of character development over the course of the season, can still be reduced to stereotypes in order to contribute to the comedy of the show.

Final Thoughts: Based on the way this season ended, I really need a Season 3. This show is just so much fun. And even though it’s pure fluff sometimes (well, most of the time), it’s entertaining. I had this show on while I was doing chores and working out, so it was great to have on in the background. But I also enjoyed just sitting at watching it. Sandy is still my favourite character in the series, and her costume is still my favourite as well. I really do need to cosplay her some day.

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