Space Pirats (2010 YouTube Series) review…

Space Pirats (2010 YouTube Series) review after the break…

Space Pirats (2010 YouTube Series) review…

A film critic, known for writing harsh reviews, was once asked why he bothered watching films if all he did was write predominantly harsh reviews. His paraphrased reply was, “Because that’s what’s on the screen.”

“Space Pirats” (the omitted “e” in “Pirats” is apparently intentional) is a puppet production much in the vein of “Transylvania TV”: A puppet production with adult language and humor. The production is spoken in native German with English subtitles. Currently, all that is present is a trailer for the series and the first episode which clocks in at just under 4 minutes.

As anyone who reads this blog would know, I am not too enthused with puppet productions that are meant strictly for the adult crowd and older. “Transylvania TV” and “Late Night Liars” are two puppet productions that I’ve previously reviewed with less then glowing words due to their adult humor and situations. Does each series have good production values? They do. Good puppeteering? Yup. Yet each accomplishes it’s laughs by spicing the dialogue with obscenities of one stripe or another and situations far too risque for the younger set to watch.

Throw another “adult puppet” production onto that bonfire: “Space Pirats” involves three rat-like puppets in outer space that take over a seemingly abandoned space ship, intent on taking it out for an intergalactic joy-ride that most probably involves pillaging and mischief. Only “Episode 1” and a teaser were available for watching at the time of this review and that is what will be reviewed here.

Once more, I must write that production values were good – The set and the characters felt very natural and professionally made. If the low level of lighting for the set and characters were intentional, that didn’t make sense to me – The low level of lighting made the production seem more low budget then it was, like so many working class productions that one used to see on public television stations or local cable access channels. The main character, a grizzled older foul-mouthed pirate, speaks in the same manner as the flying blue alien in “Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace.” A coincidence or intentional?

Perhaps what is most frustrating about the series is the unnecessary use of obscenities. Since my proficiency of German will never reach the stage of understanding the language when spoken, the subtitles could have been edited without any loss of poignancy to the introductory storyline at all. Pirates invade ship, pirates realize ship is abandoned, pirates spell out their desire to drive the ship to places unknown in search of pirate glory. This simple premise couldn’t have been done with copious amounts of obscenities?

Is it fair to judge an entire series based upon a single 4-minute episode and an even shorter trailer for the series? Not really but it is all that is out there. The trailer features a penguin puppet’s head exploding, with the punchline being that the penguin was hired to clean up the exact type of mess that befell the penguin. Although the decapitation was not overly graphic, this joke would not have suffered if the obscenities had been removed.

Should I be watching these puppet productions if the net result is a negative review because of obscenities and adult situations? Yes. It is the productions’ right to present their entertainment as intended and it also my right to observe what is deemed favorable from that production and what could be altered.

We live in a world of sacrifices and compromises. No one will ever get exactly what they want in life for we all must make sacrifices and compromises each and every day in order to co-exist peacefully with others. However, some such sacrifices and compromises are expected of us while others are more voluntary. One must wonder what might happen if any of these “adult” puppet productions were ever to tone down the adult nature of their offerings in order to broaden their appeal. These productions may well be satisfied with extremely small yet hard-core fan support but, to paraphrase another quote, the television series “Seinfeld” never succeeded because it was on a local cable access channel but because it aired on prime time on a major television network.

It’s noble that series like “Space Pirats” opt not to compromise their artistic vision in their pursuit of adult material but one must wonder at the ultimate cost: After all, paying your bills on time has a certain appeal as well, an activity much harder to achieve with a niche audience.


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