A star-studded web-series based on the popular Sony Playstation video game franchise by Sony, produced by Peacock and, you guessed it, Sony. Available to watch in India on Sony LIV.
The cast and the curious
Anthony Mackie stars as John Doe, love his character beat with Evelyn (his car), he’s an interesting protagonist with charm, tact, and a mysterious past.
Stephanie Beatriz plays Quiet, she has strong motivations and a stronger character arc, however loses a bit of her edge somewhere in the middle of the show but regains it when the plot needs to progress.
Samoa Joe (body) and Will Arnett (voice) combine to play Sugartooth. Easily the most defined character of the show. Every scene he shows up in is must-see. And they’ve used him sparingly to not oversaturate his presence. He’s the wild-card of the show and you know when he shows up, it’s business time!
Why was Samoa Joe only playing Sugartooth physically, you ask? Fans of wrestling know about his gift of gab and baritone. Of course, he wouldn’t be as good as Will Arnett, but it could’ve been a star making performance for him. Will shows off his vocal range as the show moves forward and they somehow made this odd pairing work extremely well.
The mettle of the metal
I have faint memories of playing Twisted Metal on my windows 98 pc 20 years ago or so. It was a fun chaotic game and the makers did a great job of creating a universe out of it.
With the post-apocalyptic, rich gets richer, poor stay poor trope not as uncommon, Peacock did well by focusing more on the characters and their progression rather than social commentary. You get more of the hits now, and maybe some of the pathos in the later season.
It reminded my a bit of cowboy bebop as it started. Like a mad max meets cowboy bebop? The comparison might not be fair, but it’s a good way to visualise what to expect from the show.
There are a lot of little things to enjoy here. The communities and the kind of people that fill up this mad universe. The holy men, the caravan, the milkmen, How the characters remain their goofy selves. I was not expecting an appearance by Pimento (Jason Mantzoukas).
The show has its serious moments but doesn’t delve in them long enough for it to change the mood of the show. The show remains funny, action-packed, in fact my only gripe would be after watching the final showdown would be that why weren’t there more such sequences throughout the show? It lacked the absolute chaos of cars crashing and cool mechanical weaponry leading to massive set pieces of destruction.
The show leaves you with a tease that we’ll get a dose of such action in the next season. Season 1 essentially acts as an introduction to the universe, the characters, and their motivations; season 2 is where it all hits the next gear and we get a glimpse of the larger story.
I hope it lives up to it. This is a good IP by Peacock with a lot of potential that airs on Sony LIV by virtue of Sony’s co-production credit (and of course, their original game development.) Do give it a watch.