Love, Death and Robots: Suits

suits4How can I best describe Suits?  When I saw the title, I thought of a totally different sort of story, but maybe that’s because members of my family have raved about a show called Suits.  No, this isn’t about businessmen.  In fact, its pretty much the other end of the spectrum with farmers using high tech equipment to take care of their land.  But to me, the best description would be a mix of Starcraft with any Tower Defense game ever made.  If you’ve never played a tower defense game, there are tons of free ones online to try.  In effect, waves of some form of bad guy will come and attack and you get a certain amount of credits to buy defenses to put up per round.  You space them out and try to create the most appropriate defense you can.  They are usually fun, but I can’t play for very long.  Still, Suits is only 17 minutes so it works just about perfectly for what it is.

The Good

suits1I don’t think I’ve seen two episodes with the same type of artwork yet.  Maybe that’s just because they space them out, but I have to say, the animation in this is thoroughly enjoyable, feeling more like a Saturday morning cartoon than the average computer animation that we see some weeks.  Even though I loved the animation of last weeks The Witness, this has a more hand-drawn approach that works well.

As I mentioned above, the idea of a tower defense game is immensely fun to watch too.  These farmers use high tech computers and weaponry to defend their land from some Zerg-like creatures.  While RTS games (real time strategy for the non-gamers) are not quite my thing, Starcraft was amazing and there’s nothing that stirs the blood like wiping out waves of bug-like aliens.  

Also, the final scene was unexpected and really amazed me; talk about something you don’t see coming.  That’s both the human element of sacrificing oneself for the greater good as well as the actual last image giving us a new appreciation for what the people are fighting for.  But with that said…

The Bad

suits2I may like my video games, but I have never been a fan of mechs.  You know Pacific Rim style machines?  Basically anthropomorphic robots that people ride around in.  I get so bored with them so quickly.  When the game Mech Warrior came out, I couldn’t be bothered to even try it.  I don’t know why an aesthetic can turn a person off nearly as much as those do to me, but it’s a major point against an otherwise strong episode.

Unlike The Witness, there is no nudity and the profanity is low.  Where the cursing does come in, it’s not over the top and frankly makes sense in the context of the story.  Literally the only thing I had against this episode was the use of mechs.  (I guess I have an unconscious bias towards them.  Or is that conscious?)

The Ugly

suits3We are an inventive species and that’s not a bad thing, but I do think sometimes we make decisions for the wrong reasons.  It’s pretty clear that the farmers should not be farming where they are.  Having said that, the win for this episode comes from the community the people form.  This is basically frontier living, in more ways than one, and the people on their respective farms are a community.  To my amazement, I got teary eyed at one moment in the episode and I think it’s because I don’t expect animated short stories to depict self-sacrifice very well, yet we see it happen.  And that forces me to look at the reality of a situation like this: would a community take form, that would be so tight-knit that the people would band together?  I suspect the answer is yes, and that’s a wonderful thing to consider.  Maybe I’m being generous.

Now, I still think we need to consider a bigger fact that might be alluded to here.  These farmers are doing what their doing in a dangerous location.  I had to ask myself: why would they farm there?  And the answer might be: necessity.  If we don’t take care of our world, we may be forced to look for solutions elsewhere and those places might not always be friendly.  Will we hit a point where the only option to survive is to live in a fight for survival every day?  If so, wouldn’t it be better to fix what we have now?

The Game

The main character, Hank, goes out to his mech with a cup of tea in hand to defend his farm and his livestock… well, there you go: mug, farmhouse, cows… This week’s game couldn’t be easier.  

The Verdict:

It’s another fast action romp with fun animation and the seed planted to replay Starcraft.  I think there have been far better episodes out there, but this one is a good one.  I’d love to understand more of the backstory, especially with that phenomenal ending, but sometimes less is more.    ML

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