Why You Should Be Watching ReBoot: The Guardian Code

(Note: This is not a spoiler-free review, but it is a spoiler-light review!)

(EDIT: Due to overwhelming negativity, I am no longer responding to comments on this post. I stand by my assertion that I am an unpaid reviewer. I watched this last week when I was dealing with anxiety, and it made me feel better. If that offends you, feel free to take your opinions elsewhere.)

They say 90s kids are the most nostalgic generation.

I’m inclined to agree. Whether it has to do with fast-growing technology, or the current state of the world, or both, revisiting an old, favorite show can feel like hanging out with an old friend, back from the time before you had grown up bills and not enough hours at your job to cover them, before it seemed like the people in charge of the world were hell-bent on destroying it. The machine of capitalism knows this about us, too – everywhere you go these days, it feels like cheap reboots (har, har) of beloved properties are popping up everywhere. That’s why when ReBoot: The Guardian Code reared it’s head, I was crazy skeptical. Reboot was sort of a product of it’s time, and I couldn’t see it translating very well – and I’d already been burned by terrible reports from the Power Rangers movie.

Despite my cynicism, I’ve been following news of a ReBoot reboot for a long time. I couldn’t help it – as much as the cynical adult in me wanted to scoff, I couldn’t help the burgeoning excitement every time I heard some new snippet of news that one of my favorite childhood cartoons was still alive and kicking. There was never much news – in fact, I feel like The Guardian Code dropped about as unexpectedly as a Five Nights at Freddy’s game – but Bob, Dot, and Enzo were kind of always on the periphery of the eye I kept on the entertainment industry’s attempt to get more of my dollars.

Actual me.

(My format: GUARDIAN. To mend and defend!)

 

Fortunately, The Guardian Code doesn’t cost anything more than a Netflix subscription. But why should you watch it?

Charming Characters 

The show starts out with a whole lot of Power Rangers flavor. Four teenagers get a mysterious summons to a high-tech hidden room in their high school from an AI, where they get the power to enter cyberspace to fight the machinations of a villain hilariously named the Sourcerer.

It’s definitely still a kid’s show, which I love. I don’t need a gritty…reboot. (STILL FUNNY.) There are some teen tropes happening with the guys – jock under pressure, nerd who can’t get the girl, leader who’s conflicted about leading. But each character is individual enough to make it interesting, imo. The girls are a little more developed, which is refreshing.  There’s the vlogger, who is tough but not a mean girl, and the AI character, who wanders into trope territory occasionally but is too adorable for me to care. She’s sort of a cross between Alpha from Power Rangers and a teenage girl, with precious fashion sense, and the source of a lot of the team’s growth over the course of the short, ten-episode season.

The Return of Old Favorites 

One of the things that hooked me immediately was the Sourcerer’s choice of cyberspace allies – old Reboot menace, Megabyte.

This is where the story could have gone off the rails. Reboot was made during a time when 3-D animation wasn’t nearly as common now, and updating the character too much could’ve been damaging. But not only does the character look updated-but-the-same, he sounds the same. I don’t think Timothy Brummund was the original voice of Megabyte, but obvious care was put into creating the same atmosphere. And I won’t spoil anything directly, but some old favorites definitely return with their original voice actors!

There are also a lot of visual references to the old show without making the new one look too dated, and lots of easter eggs for the dedicated fan. During the last episode of season 1 especially I was giddy – there were so many things that twelve year old Em loved that I had forgotten about!

It’s Still Reboot 

My biggest concern about The Guardian Code was that it was going to fall in the the Power Rangers trap – i.e. trying too hard to update an IP and ending up losing the flavor of the original. TGC is updated, to be sure, but it has not stopped being Reboot. 

The story of TGC is not a remake. It’s a direct sequel – which…sounds strange, for a live action version of an old cartoon that took place entirely inside a computer. There were some missing elements – sadly, my old flame grown-up Enzo was missing, as was AndrAIa, but my memory on how their story ended in the original cartoon is fuzzy – but almost everything else felt like I was wandering in after school to grab a snack and watch my favorite block on Cartoon Network.

It was very obviously crafted with a loving hand in a time when creators will slap an old IP on a lazy product just for a few nostalgia-fueled dollars. If you have time for ten 22-minute episodes, I highly suggest you giving Reboot: The Guardian Code a watch. It’s like getting an old friend back after two decades.

23 Replies to “Why You Should Be Watching ReBoot: The Guardian Code”

  1. Are they just paying you, or has Rainmaker like, kidnapped your cat? If you need help blink twice.

    1. Nah, I just enjoyed the show a lot. If I’d been paid to review it, I would’ve disclosed it, because that’s how the law works.

  2. I think your review is a bit off…Of course I have no qualms that you enjoy the series. Everyone is entitled to enjoy something created.

    What’s off is that you say this is a sequel bit it isn’t. Michael Hefferron himself said in an interview : The show we eventually created is certainly inspired by the original ReBoot, but I don’t think of it as a ReBoot reboot. Rather, we tried to imagine that ReBoot had never been made, and we were making it for the first time for today’s audience.

    Essentially they simply used Reboot for marketing reasons. They ensured the original fanbase would be a source of curious viewership giving themselves a leg up over other competitive shows. Nothing wrong with bring tactical for an initial success then they just need to carry the torch themselves.

    From what I’ve watched so far, if you remove the reboot icon and original series characters (they could of made a new original virus) it is completely a different show. Only episode 10 was a NOD at the original fanbase and a bad one at that. It insinuated that we are all obsessive collectors that live in our mothers basements playing games all day long. It wasn’t a nice way to acknowledge the fanbase at all amd they knew it when they wrote it.

    I also found it odd that upon meeting the user that mainframe acted as if it was normal occurrence instead of asking about nullification and why they send games tjat destroy sectors of their homes which would indeed be more accurate for a sequel.

    Anyway long story short. I enjoyed resding your review. But The Guardian Code is not a reboot of Reboot or a sequel sadly. They wanted to make something new using something we loved to ensure a viewership. It worked for the most part and I did enjoy seeing the old cast pop up but it just wasn’t them at the same time.

    Thanks for listening <3

    1. Thank you! I was going to add the same comment. TGC is not a sequel at all as explained by Hefferon himself.

      I really don’t think this was done with “love” for the original fans…..if anything it’s more like contempt as exemplified by the “Fanboy” who played the game. I initially had the same inkling that this was a paid review, but I trust that you would have disclosed that fact.

      1. Not paid, I’m broke as all get out. I appreciate the tone of these comments vs. the others, though, at least you aren’t calling me a liar.

        1. You truly do not deserve any harsh comments for enjoying a series 🙂

          I am an original Reboot fan so of course I was looking forward to this release and personally I was dissapointed but it doesn’t mean every else was or would be.

          I just wanted to explain it wasn’t a sequel while respecting your like of the series and my view.

          I am sorry you are being accused of being paid. People don’t seem to understand that sometimes television shows are simply enjoyed. How else has some horrible series remained on the air for so long eh?

          Hope you have a lovely evening

  3. Joeseph Smidt says: Reply

    lol I’m not believing any of this. You definitely got paid to write this.

    1. I really, really didn’t. I haven’t made any money from this blog save for about .24 cents in Amazon affiliate revenue. If you don’t like it, feel free to find a venue where you feel your opinions are more supported. 🙂

      1. you got paid, this show is awful

        1. Nope, if I were a paid reviewer I wouldn’t be a barista.

  4. This review is completely disingenuous.

    1. I meant every word and stand by it, but feel free to find another site where you feel the reporting is more genuine.

  5. If you honestly feel these characters are charming, you need to go watch… ANYTHING ELSE. Avatar: The Last Airbender would be my best suggestion for actual charming characters and thrilling story. Secondly, this fell so hard into that Power Rangers trap, its not even funny. It has completely ceased to be anything but a pet project that even people who worked on it regret. If this is truly an honest review, I really feel bad that this is considered quality entertainment.

    1. This is like a poor mans Code Lyoko meets ReBoot fan-fiction. If that’s what you’re into fine, but don’t act like this is above that.

      1. I never said it was. Just said I liked it. You don’t have to; feel free to go elsewhere where you feel more supported. 🙂

  6. Robby the Rubber man says: Reply

    Don’t waste your time hun. The Reboot Revival crowd is bathing in hate. Anyone who says anything positive is immediate chastised and ridiculed with obsene remarks and derogatory, inflammatory comments. Classy bunch they are.

    Nice review. Great show I agree.

    Keep up the positive attitude. The hate mongers will go away in due time.

    1. Yeah I noticed that there are a lot of very passionate folks! I hope they find some positive outlets, lol…meanwhile I’ll be over here, liking the stuff I like and having fun. xD Hope to see you around, thanks for the positivity!

    2. Very well said. My son and I have enjoyed watching the show together. He is the target audience, and he loves it. They have nailed their target audience, something many others fail to do, and the creators should be applauded for that.

      These days there isn’t much worth watching with your kids, so I certainly appreciated the TGC release.

      Great that everyone enjoyed the original Reboot so much, but please don’t ruin this for my kids. Remember that feeling you felt when you saw Reboot for the first time? My son deserves that, too.

      Stepping off the soap box. Thanks for a great review.

      1. I’m so glad to hear your babies are enjoying it! It really gave me that feeling I got watching stuff after school when I was a kid. I’m gonna be doing some 90-s themed snacks and some ReBoot themed outfits at some point in the future, so keep an eye out!

        Hearing another positive voice is really nice in all this chaos, and I agree – the show does reach out to it’s target audience. It is, at it’s core, a kids’ show, and a pretty fun one at that.

      2. I have to ask what you found enjoyable in this. As *bork* said in another comment:
        “The characters are paper-thin stereotypes.
        The dialogue is trite.
        The writing is weak (and that’s putting it politely).
        The acting is bland.
        The “let’s-break-the-fourth-wall-and-flip-the-bird-at-the-fans” scene is demonstrative of Rainmaker’s true thoughts of their paying customers.”
        I get that there is far worse you could show them, but there is far better also.

  7. Respectfully disagree.

    The characters are paper-thin stereotypes.
    The dialogue is trite.
    The writing is weak (and that’s putting it politely).
    The acting is bland.
    The “let’s-break-the-fourth-wall-and-flip-the-bird-at-the-fans” scene is demonstrative of Rainmaker’s true thoughts of their paying customers.

    The commonly-parroted excuse of “it’s aimed at kids, not at adults” fails to address a key point about the show: it’s very name includes “Reboot”. By doing so, Rainmaker wanted to capitalize on the interest and market share of the original fans. Therefore, they’re reaping what they’ve sowed.

    As far as being “aimed at kids”? I wouldn’t let my daughter watch this — there’s no redeeming qualities to it. Moot point though, as even if I did let it show, she wouldn’t watch it.

    1. You’re welcome to that opinion! I’m glad you’re so passionate about the original show.

  8. I was willing to give this series a chance.

    I have a son now and thought having a new show about an IP I loved growing up would be great. And then, the people from Mainframe Studios, Reboot Productions and Wow Unlimited Media Inc. disrespected me and all the fans of the original show.

    It’s not all bad, mind you. Some performances are refreshing. The actress who plays V.E.R.A. does a great job in my opinion.

    Having said that, it baffled me why the showrunners would go to such lengths to belittle me and others like me.

    I thought in 2018 we were past harmful stereotypes, but apparently a balding, overweight man living in his parent’s basement is how they see the fans of the original show.

    Sloppy CGI, bland characters, uneven pacing, all that we can overlook as an audience. Having they bully us… not a chance.

    I’d never wish for a show to be cancelled. I’m aware that the livelihood of many depend on it. I just wish there weren’t such mean spirited people at the helm of this production.

    May this message find you and yours well.

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