Is Paramount's 'Halo' Worth Anybody's Time?
Hey, so I heard Microsoft’s sci-fi Space Spartans finally made it to television. About time.
That’s right. The first episode has been released, and there will be weekly releases to follow.
And? Is it good? Should I get in on the action and watch it?
Well, that seems to be a complicated answer. For one, it looks like the show is struggling to decide who it’s for. Critics mean that it’s straying too far from the lore that fans have come to know and love, but at the same time, it’s not really giving Halo newbies much helpful information either. Basically, there seems to be some adaptation issues.
So…that’s a no, then.
Not necessarily. It has mixed reviews with many complaints, and yet it has a fresh Rotten Tomatoes rating. The series’ premiere also broke Paramount+’s viewing record, and season two has already been ordered. So it’s not all bad, it seems.
Well, what’s everyone complaining about then?
Where to start? What’s interesting is that, unlike the game, the show seems willing to address our main character Master Chief Petty Officer John-117’s origins and terrible backstory (that’s been touched on a bit in the novels). It could be nice seeing him actually show a semblance of a personality underneath all that stoicism as he starts making his own choices instead of blindly following orders.
Only, it doesn’t look like fans want that at all.
Death to individualism!
Also, many weren’t impressed that our suited hero dared remove his helmet to reveal that he does, in fact, have an actual face under there.
And here are the top comments to that video, illustrating some fans’ reactions and reasoning:
Okay, but that’s at all not how dynamic storytelling works.
Some even seem to have issues with his voice — mainly because Paul Schreiber doesn’t sound like Steve Downes (who does Master Chief’s voice in the game). Which … yeah, we’re not entirely sure what they’re expecting of Schreiber here.
”Please play the character of Master Chief like you are voice actor Steve Downes playing the character of Master Chief.”
It gets even more bizarre when you consider that John-117 isn’t even the biggest talker. The supersoldier isn’t known for his profound one-liners or riveting conversations. In the game, he’s not much more than a punching suit.
You can even say that talking is not his…strong suit.
You could, but you really shouldn’t.
This soldier’s not so … super in the conversation department.
HE HAS YET TO MASTER THE …
Please stop. Look, the point is that the new TV show could be an opportunity to dig into his character some. Flesh the dude out a bit. Maybe make him less generic. Whether or not the creators will do just that is anyone's guess right now, and it’s probably best for everyone to simply adjust their expectations going forward. It’s less The Mandalorian and more Star Trek: Discovery.
So, at least some decent sci-fi entertainment, still.
Zanandi is on Twitter.
Top Image: Paramount Global Distribution Group