So, I've recently watched the premiere of Season 3. Now that both Canada and the United States have seen it, I would like to share opinions. Below, I've organized my thoughts into 5 main sections: (1) What do you think of the new intro? (2) Anything you have to say about the characters? (3) Is there something in particular you want to highlight? (4) How to you feel about the episodes' writing (plot and dialogue)? (5) What are your current feelings about the series?
I'm hoping that you will also provide your input (in agreement or in disagreement - it doesn't matter). It would be great if in the comments, you could organize them the same way as I did so that you can quickly and effectively get your points across, or focus and elaborate on one specific topic. Obviously I've had a lot to say, which is why I used a blog post.
Summary: I find this season premiere quite...demoralizing.
New Intro: I don't mind the intro change. But I do have a few questions about it. Why is Rocky's ear flopped double-time in the elevator now? I don't like it but it's not a big deal at all. Why in the soccer game are they all wearing shoes, jerseys and headbands? I don't care, but I don't understand why all this new clothing was added just for the scene. Why the prehistoric setting when rescuing Alex? Seeing the egg and pterodactyls in the intro makes me think we'll see them again - otherwise there is no point in including them, in such a case I'd have something to say about the lack of logic in their choice - and I really don't want the show to increasingly resort to gimmicks or surreal elements.
Characters: Only one pup (who appeared) didn't have an eye roll or cringe-worthy moment for me, and that was Zuma. Rubble wasn't too bad in Genie, but was still Rubble. Chase's "unitard" confusion and Skye's continued adoration for Francois are relatively minor infractions. Marshall's ongoing ridiculous wipeouts and blonde moments (he stands there questioning where his fellow pups have gone instead of simply removing his blindfold - no, he can't do that until he's been catapulted up to the Lookout's railing), are still bad. I won't care to say anything about the human characters because I expect no less than what was given from Francois anyways (which is a bad thing), and other than him the human characters didn't play much a role in either episode.
Focal Topic: I feel that I will quickly lose respect this season for my personal favourite: Rocky. I'm okay with the voice shift; yes it's higher, but that's expected and it isn't nearly as much a shock as Marshall's and Ryder's voice changes. But despite having some more dialogue than other characters, Rocky often didn't have anything to say. I cringed with the shouted "GO!" in his callout, and that makes me want him not to get picked on missions.... I've also noticed that the puppy-panting (tongue out) thing has become more prominent in general (which I don't like being thrown in there just because: if it's a hot day it makes sense and is perfectly fine). Rocky is the worst offender for having his tongue out, and it just makes him look stupid (watch when they ascend the elevator in Genie).
Content: If this premiere is a good reflection of the rest of the season, I could easily stop watching "PAW Patrol" by the end of it. While I understand that only limited development can be performed within 10-12 minutes, these episodes seemed very simplistic in terms of content. The dialogue was simple, the plot was quick and unidirectional, there were not any standout moments, etcetera. Admittedly, many other episodes in the series have been similar (and again, not much room to change a formula in 11 minutes), but this premiere made me actually feel that yes, this is definitely a children's show.
Current Feelings: Many season 2 episodes had me feeling disappointed for similar reasons of simplicity, in addition to issues such as the overused tropes, exaggerated running gags and soooo much focus on Marshall. Somehow, despite nothing being exceptionally different from past episodes, this premiere has given me a much worse feeling. It could be because they haven't heard/listened to our opinions (not that they should have to go searching for them if we don't tell them directly), on what we (or at least I), want to see from the show. I get it if you can't change your setup in the same season, but seeing the same problems reappear when they had the opportunity to revise them (for a new season), frankly just turns me away. If anything at all, I would gladly accept back the series' original charm - then I'd worry about reducing gimmicks, having creativity without using surrealism, and character development.
Final Words: Here's to hoping that I'm wrong about expecting the rest of the season to be as disappointing. But as always, I believe I'm right.