I have two small boys who watch a healthy amount of kiddie television (KTV). So often in KTV, the story is straightforward and simple. It’s an entertainment bit to keep them occupied for 30 minutes at a time. There are exceptions, though, and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” is one, IMHO. My boys, ages 6 and almost 5, are seriously into TMNT, the four shellbacks who mutated into walking, talking, pizza-eating turtles and who became ninjas under the guidance of their sensei, Splinter, a former-human-now-rat.
Every now and then, I’ll sit down with the kids and watch it with them. In the past, I haven’t paid that much attention to the overall plot, so I would ask my kids lots of questions about what’s going on. In Nickelodeon’s revamp, one of the plot lines has the Turtles battling the Shredder, Splinter’s foe. Splinter and Shredder go way back. They used to be friends, but a bitter jealously on Shredder’s part caused pain and heartbreak for Splinter…while still human, he lost his wife and his daughter at Shredder’s hands. The Turtles and Splinter attempt to keep Shredder and his ninja-butt-kicking daughter, Karai, at bay; Shredder wants nothing more than to see Splinter and the Turtles dead. It seemed pretty straightforward to me — Good Guy vs. Bad Guy.
I don’t think that anymore. Continue reading