Saturday, July 17, 2010

Aeon Flux Redux

About 5 years ago, I posted quickly on the cartoon Aeon Flux. With our Netflix on demand feature through the Nintendo Wii, I have been able to watch the entire series (shorts and full episodes). Visually creative and very confusing, it seems like a show to watch with creator or director commentary turned on. With a refreshed memory, it is still a shock that MTV aired this at all.

It was pretty provocative and serious for MTV. Shows tackle free will, religion, the idea of the state, control, sex, reality and other interesting concepts. There is no direct flow from episode to episode, and one has to approach the show as an Aeon Flux framework where each episode is a stand alone tale in that universe. The shows would have a layered storyline where small details matter. Small mistakes haunt characters later. Small details show how things are tied together. One episode had a triple layered love connection, where one character had her boyfriend, but worshipped and looked up to Aeon, but yearned for a beautiful, humanoid creature. Incredibly cool and let me repeat, all on MTV.

The show was also far more sexual than I remembered. This is probably due to my maturity now, realizing the meaning of specific references. It is possible that they hit on every fetish acceptable for MTV in the mid-90s (feet, leather/vinyl, BDSM, lesbianism, alien/humanoid mating). Keep in mind that Aeon has measurements of 40-14-32 and whenever people provide her clothes, they always fit snug. Where did they find a vinyl tailor in the underground lair? Besides Aeon's figure, most of the characters have comic book proportions and smallish heads. It adds to the strangeness of the world.

While there are mant positives, there are some god awful episodes or ideas. The entire episode "Ether Drift Theory" is atrocious. I laughed at its terrible structure, details, and character motivations. Some other bits are heavy on the human melodrama, which seems forced since no character appears more than in one episode (beyond Aeon/Trevor). A laughable detail is that Trevor clones people by taking a really complicated tissue sample (not just one cell) and then grows the subject from that tissue, but wait it gets dumber, that entity is created with mental skills, knowledge and the personality/mind of the original subject. I laughed out loud at that. That is incredibly stupid for a show that would base an episode on the "diamond sutra". I'll take the good with the bad regarding this show and hope that something like this comes along again. Hopefully, animation costs can decrease the streaming video on the Internet can allow for a creative artist to entertain us all with a confusing, interesting animated world.

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