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Save this show (A Rise of the TMNT review)

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Kennesaw chapter.

So, I am a huge ninja turtle fan. I watched all of the movies, and the shows, and even collected some of the comics. So I was super hyped about the new show reboot “Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle” (Rottmnt) that aired Nickelodeon in 2018, but unlike me, many people were not happy about it. It received a lot of criticisms from fans and other viewers when the first couple of episodes aired such as the humor being too close to “Teen Titans Go,” the personalities of all the turtles being the same, the designs of the characters, etc. It didn’t take long for the hate wave to crash on the show. While the show was brutally being criticized, Nickelodeon was hardly advertising the show on their channel which hurts the show even more because it gave it less exposure to viewers. What makes it worse is that Rottmnt was scheduled to run on Nickelodeon early in the morning on the weekends making it even less likely anyone would watch it. In addition to the low exposure, the money Nickelodeon earned from toy sales was extremely low.

Lately, it seems like if a show isn’t as much money as SpongeBob, then it doesn’t deserve attention or a spot on the nick platform. I say this because Rottmnt was moved to Nicktoons which is famously known as the “graveyard” of cartoons. Rise was canceled. However, since the first season and the movie were put on Netflix, there has been a new rise of hype for the show. I love this show and like many people I want it to succeed and have the creators and the Rottmtn crew be given another chance to make more episodes for this show.

One of the biggest reasons for the uprising popularity of “Rise of the Teenage Mutant Turtles” is the characters. Like many people, I wasn’t exactly on board with the changes in the turtles or any of the main characters of the show. But as I watched more and more episodes the more, I fell in love with the show. It’s a breath of fresh air to see all the characters written in a new light. I enjoyed Raph being the leader in the show instead of Leonardo. He took on the role of being the responsible, protective big brother who tries his best to lead his brothers in the right direction and be a leader even though he’s not the best a coming up with plans. The take on Leo was creative because he doesn’t have this stereotypical serious teacher’s pet personality anymore.

Instead, he is more laidback, and witty, and doesn’t take things as seriously as he should however as shown in the show multiple times he shows leadership qualities by being good at analyzing situations and formulating a plan. Donnie is by far the best iteration so far. I absolutely adore the fact that he is a mad scientist with a sarcastic attitude. It’s interesting that he also has a hard time showing his emotions to other people, how he talks more intellectually than his brothers, and how he relies heavily on his technology rather than magic like his brothers do. Mikey is still the fun-loving guy everyone loves but thankfully he’s not dumbed down or considered a punching bag to his brothers. Mikey is more respected by his brothers and is still the one that keeps everyone together. He has this positive and optimistic energy that really brings out the best in everyone.

I love how they made him more creative and have a will to help people in need. Splinter, to me, was hard to grasp at first. His design what the most drastic out of the cast and the one everyone had the most problems with. He’s not training the turtles as much, he’s not spitting wisdom, and he doesn’t seem to do much besides eat and watch tv. But later in the series, bits and pieces of hints were sprinkled in to show that Splinter is more complex than we gave him credit for. April has come a long way. I find it really cool how they made her Black and made her more human and made her feel like a sister to the turtles than just a sidekick She’s independent, courageous, and a bit crazy in a good way.

I really like the changes the creators made to the turtles. They weren’t afraid of making changes and trying something new. The family aspect of this show was something I really enjoyed as I watch the show. How the turtles act like teenagers, the way they call Splinter “dad” and “pops”, the way they spend time with each other as well as respect each other and value the bond that is created between them. It’s very wholesome and reminds me of my own family. I feel like the creators really capture the family dynamic between the turtles, April, and Splinter which is something that was lacking a bit in the past versions of the turtles. Sometimes the brother would act like roommates or Splinter would be more serious with the turtles and act more like a sensei than a father.

The art style is also very good and honestly raises the bar of Rottmnt. You cannot look at this show and ignore the beautiful animation this show has to offer. The animation is very smooth and fluid and reminds me of a lot of anime. Especially the fight scenes. The fight scenes are the best parts of the entire show. It really shows off the animators’ skills and the passion, love dedication, and effort to make this show what it is. The color is also very vibrant and colorful. The expressions, visuals gags, and jokes in this show have been hilarious to watch, and with the movie, out on Netflix, you can see what this show is capable of.

In my opinion, this is one of my fav iterations of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles I’ve seen. It’s admirable that the creators created something that they probably knew was going to get a lot of hate and backlash but still went with their guts and made the show anyway. Now after its cancellation and the first season and movie now on Netflix, many people have started to speak up about how great this show is. There have been tons of fanart on Twitter and Instagram and positive reviews all over social media. With its growing fanbase and popularity, there’s a chance the show could be renewed for a season three by Netflix. So please if you are a TMNT fan who is still skeptical about this show or anyone in general who’s looking for a good show to watch I highly recommend this show. You won’t regret it.

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Gahnique Bell

Kennesaw '25

Hey guys! My name is Gahnique Bell and I am an English Major and a Film Studies Minor here at Kennesaw State University! I'm essentially a huge nerd who loves to read, write, draw, play video games, and watch tv shows/movies! I also love to explore different places, learn about new things, and enjoy the company of my friends and family!