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Jackie Chan, an amateur archelogist, would prefer to quietly do his work for the local university, but fate has dealt another hand. That happens when he finds a shield containing a talisman is but the first of a dozen pursued by a criminal organization called The Dark Hand led a man called Valmont and guided by a spirit called Shendu. Against this Jackie, his niece Jade, and their uncle must cooperate with the secret law enforcement organization, Section 13, to oppose this threat. Along the way, our heroes must face wild dangers that will demand all of Jackie's skill in martial arts and his daring to overcome. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm <email@example.com>
I first encountered "Jackie Chan Adventures" by accident, while flipping channels one day. It was the first episode of the show, and as soon as I found out what it was, I laughed out loud at the ridiculousness of the show's concept, thinking it would be pretty awful.
As the first season progressed, I soon learned how wrong I was. A hugely witty, fast-paced, well-written show, with a great mix of action, comedy and a supernatural edge that all blended together to create a truly enjoyable TV experience. The high point of the season was surely the appearance of Hak Foo, who, with his massive build, extravagent hair, and urge to give names to his attack techniques, was clearly a well-aimed swipe at "Dragonball Z."
The fact he was voiced by Jim Cummings was a bonus, too.
However, for me, the second season has proved to be something of a disappointment. For starters, it begins with a double-dose of episodes which are set at different points DURING the first season, which really confused me, as it wasn't clearly stated. Then, the third episode was set in real-time, but was just a filler episode before the main season plot started. And there is where this season falls down.
The primary plot of the season is that Shendu has returned, and is seeking to free his demon bretheren from their interdimensional prison. A very good idea, which furthers the supernatural element of the previous season and kicks it up a couple of notches. And yes, when a demon appears in the series, it's a sign the episode will be a good one.
However, this season is nearly three times as long as the first one - but there are only seven demons. Hence, for every episode with a demon, there are roughly two or three episodes that are totally unrelated, and are nothing more than filler material where some random myth or legend is explored (and quite commonly bastardized). Often, the fillers are very poorly written, as well - a HORRIBLE episode about the Chupacabra comes to mind. It was quite possibly one of the worst things I've seen on television of late).
I get the impression that the filler episodes would be a lot better if they actually involved the Dark Hand, who are, to be honest, the only source of comedy in the show that's actually FUNNY (with the exception of Uncle, but he has not had nearly enough to do this season, other than use the phrase "chi spell" far, FAR too much). Though for some reason, Hak Foo, who is now a regular Dark Hang member in this season, is not nearly as funny as in season one. Perhaps it's because he only really worked for comedy purposes as a one-shot character, or maybe it's 'cause Cummings is no longer doing his voice.
This season is increasingly being dragged down by the fact they may as well rename it "Jade Chan Adventures." Jade is becoming the driving force behind every non-demon episode, and is FAR too involved in the demon episodes for the liking of myself or anyone else that I've discussed the show with. She's an annoying character, who is one of those individuals you *really* wish you could smack, but ya can't, 'cause it's just a cartoon. Her irritating pre-teen "gag me with a spoon" voice and attitude are, I would guess, supposed to make the show accessible to girls of her age, but they just annoy the hell out of everyone else.
The second season finale has not yet aired here in Ireland at the time of this writing, but it's coming soon, and hopefully it will make up for the fluctuating quality of this season.
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