The Mighty Archives (YouTube Series) review…

The Mighty Archives (YouTube Series) review after the break…

The Mighty Archives (YouTube Series) review…
To paraphrase a famous quote, you can not change a river to like it more but only change the way you look at it so that you will like it more. In other words, you can’t hope for something that you want but only admire what is there for what it tries to do. Or something.

“The Mighty Archives” is a series of shorts involving puppets on YouTube. Episodes 1-4 were available and those are the episodes that I will be reviewing here. The series has a website where additional “episodes” are available but these episodes (5-9) appear to be a narrated story with pictures rather then full-motion video, like episodes 1-4 are.

The premise is simple – A large ship holds suitcases and each suitcase represents a story. Occasionally, the suitcases open up and a “leak” occurs – Literally, a concept escapes from a story and materializes on that ship as a physical manifestation called a “Leak.” These leaks are gray cylindrical puppets but they are not the only inhabitants of the ship as there is at least one human inhabitant, a possibly crazed inhabitant named Daniel Bold. The latest “leak,” a female puppet named “The Spirit of Revolution,” seeks out the mysterious “Omy” (or is it “Ome”?) who is said to be able to help leaks get back into their stories. In the meanwhile, she struggles with her new environment and attempts to learn more about Daniel Bold.

“The Mighty Archives” is a puppet series appropriate for all ages, which is a welcome relief from such previous fare like “Transylvania TV” or “The Space Pirats” which have puppets but are decidedly not for the younger set. The production values are more then adequate and when only Leaks are in a scene, the background props and scale of scenery are appropriate.

I’ve never been a huge fan of mixing puppets with humans. Having puppets and humans on the same screen is like having two different art styles in the same picture – It strains the illusion of the entire production, especially if it is a serious production that needs to have viewers invested in the illusion that puppets exist in an imaginary world that also exists. With more lighthearted productions like a Sesame Street or The Muppet Show, part of the charm is having humans interacting with puppets. However, when the productions turn more serious and depend upon the illusion that puppets are real, the two types of actors simply don’t work well together, especially if the puppets aren’t rendered in a realistic style. With that, I have to say that episodes 1 and 3 are stronger then 2 and 4.

Concerning the story, there wasn’t enough of a story presented to make an overall judgment. Certainly, there is more to the story then the 4 episodes provided and the 4 episodes set up a few story arcs left to be resolved – Does The Spirit of Revolution escape back into her book? Who is Daniel Bold? Who is “Omy” (or is “Ome”?) and does ‘it’ really exist at all?

For 4 short episodes, the web series is off to a fairly good start. While I’m not thrilled with the human/puppet interaction, to each their own. It would be interesting to see if the other “leaks” have a greater part in the series and if they develop any distinct personalities or are otherwise affected by their latest “leak.”

You can’t change a river to like it better but that doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate it for what it is or admire it more from one angle then from another. I hope that this series is made to it’s conclusion the way that it’s creator intended. At the very least, the series didn’t have any fart jokes or sexual references in it. What a novelty nowadays – A puppet series that both adults and children can enjoy together… On the Internet, no less. What will they think of next?

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