The Movie Trivia Schmoedown season 9 is titled Reboot and you can see where they are going with the debut of their signature show, Friday Night Titans on YouTube.
I have decided to post about the episode either Friday night or Saturday some time as the season moves along. Much like I have done reviews and comments for the Marvel + shows or for Netflix show, Friday Night Titans now feels like a regular weekly show.
I have enjoyed the three episodes so far with the fresh feel and some entertaining matches. There are also much more storyline development than we saw in the previous few years as the Schmoedown had to go digital in the pandemic to survive. There have been some intriguing vignettes filmed, both as a self-contained story within an episode and as seeds being planted for the whole of season 9.
Some of the best storylines so far have been the heel turn of Ethan Erwin and his development into Mr. Erwin. The use of Roxy Striar in the role of a heel manager has been exceptionally done so far this year and her performance in that role shows how strong of a manager she is.
This past week’s episode where Adam Collins left Korruption for Swag was surprisingly emotional and felt real. The story of how Shannon, manager of Korruption, was verbally abusing Collins as first, in a bout of tough love, only to have him leave the faction was well done and the tears of Shannon did not feel like it was acting. I am dying to see how Shannon’s character moves on from this. Does she double down and become even more bitter and vindictive or does the fact that her words came back to haunt her elicits a face turn for the Queen of Korruption? I think that story has a lot of possibilities.
The change of the character JTE is another highlight as he has embraced a new fashion plate image that is something to see. His teaming with THE Paul Preston created a new team, The Movement, that has some potential. However, JTE being defeated by “The Kid” Brendan Meyer in singles really showed how much of a star Brendan Meyer is going to be. I think this may be the year where The Kid elevates his singles game to championship status.
There is a new set for the game play of the Schmoedown. I am not a fan of the new set, although I will say that it has been growing on me. It just feels too sterilized, with the bright, fluorescent colors. The audience felt too held back, which played against the feel of the old studio play. In my head, the new studio is the Star Wars prequels while the previous studio was the original trilogy. I am guessing that it will bother me less as the season moves on, but I would be lying to say that I loved it.
It also feels as if the faction points are officially gone. There has not been any mention of the “points” any more and the factions seem to be just storyline creations. That does not bother me at all as I felt that the faction races over the last two years were fine, but it was tough to follow because you never knew who had what points or when something would air. I have not heard an official announcement that the faction battle was completely gone, but that would be fine with me.
There have been some great matches early on. The return of Samm Levine from a four year retirement to win a number one contenders match is an incredible story. Levine looked as if he had not lost one step in his match with the Barbarian and he now has a title match next week in a PPV vs. champion “Lady Justice” Marisol McKee.
I have enjoyed the increased use of Ken Napzok and Andrew Ghai on the desk as announcers with “Baby Carrots” Mark Ellis, freeing up Kristian Harloff to do other duties. Both Napzok and Ghai have exceptional chemistry with Ellis and they make for extremely entertaining match banter.
With only two matches per week, I wonder if the league will have players who never see the light of day, even some old favorites. Still, I am looking forward to seeing the way that Harloff and the people at Skybound deal with this through the year. I know the upcoming Free 4 All will have a large roster of players involved (at least I assume).
The first three episodes have been a lot of fun, and I think that is the key point. Fun. There needs to be consistently good matches and so far, they have been very solid. Levin vs. Barbarian, Erwin vs. Jeanine, Meyer vs. JTE, The Movement vs. the Harris Brothers (with Lon not remembering anything about the Professor or Delinquent gimmicks), Plot Twist vs. The Ruling Class and Kempe vs. Doug Benson have been very solid so far.