A few years ago we would never have imagined finding ourselves making considerations on the goodness or defects of a series focused on the Spartan par excellence and that from all the projects announced and then canceled, at least one really saw the light. Against all odds, all of this really happened and today we are here to take stock of the first season of Halo: The Television Series, already renewed for a second, probably arriving in late 2023.
The nine episodes, which aired on Paramount +, Now and Sky Atlantic in Italy, leave us with very contrasting feelings to reaffirm the extremely inconstant quality of each of them. The Silver Timeline, as mentioned in the first reviews, is itself the main defendant on the approval rating of the series by fans and all those spectators who have never worn a Mjolnir helmet on Xbox. The veterans of one of the most important Xbox video game sagas are not new to harshly criticizing the choices made in terms of narration, especially in video games, the medium that made the super soldier famous.
It was therefore quite obvious that the greatest discontent came from the community, which never willingly accepted to see a completely different John and a plot that would have led far away from the high road. It could have been the great, indeed perhaps the only, opportunity to bring Halo to the small screen with the same epicness that has kept us glued to the pad in these 20 years, and after seeing the last episode aired we join in the disappointment too. of the most avid fans.
Halo: The Television Series is, at the moment, a soap opera that fluctuates between shoddy drama and questionable use of CGI in too many scenes. What has been on the air for well over a month, especially at the narrative level, reflects most of the American salsa productions: nudity scenes to attract attention, impossible loves, unnecessarily dramatic tragedies and predictable twists.
To these aspects is also added the desire to stage many characters and then lose them on the street, even if initially presented as important protagonists. This fate fell for example to Soren and Kwan Ha, always in the foreground in the first episodes only to be forgotten to give more space to others and found only in the final stages in a very hasty way. It is a common mistake, especially in the first few seasons, to insert too much substance that subsequently does not find the adequate space to develop properly. Let’s be clear, despite the opening minutes it was clear that Soren and Kwan Ha had little to tell in the more advanced stages, but at this point one wonders if it was really necessary to present them as the main protagonists from the beginning.
The finale of the first season, however, also leaves some lukewarm hopes, that is to see the Spartans really return to action and find out more about how the approach with the Halo will be, perhaps bringing the series back to a more fitting resemblance to the videogame saga.
It has always been clear that Halo: The Television Series could not please all audiences, but what is clear is the deliberately chaotic direction of the writers. This first season is undoubtedly a testing ground, a testing ground to steal the feedback of the public, staging many plot lines that inevitably do not find a full development episode after episode.
The crucial point, however, will be the following: will the writers really listen to the views of the viewers? The “excuse” of the Silver Timeline, cleverly deployed to avoid the ire of Halo hardliners or mistakes regarding lore, protects writers and screenwriters and entices them to pursue storytelling in a free and creative way. What we have seen so far is an unprecedented point of view that preserves only the basic laws of the universe conceived by Bungie and perpetuated by 343 Industries without being a tribute or a bad copy.
Although free from the shackles of coherence, some plot choices still appeared weak and forced, while in other cases the times took too long to reach the culmination of the main facts. Finally, it is also right to mention aesthetics and CGI since we are in the presence of a very high budget production, 200 million dollars to be exact, for the first season alone. After viewing all 9 episodes we can say that even in this field the results are fluctuating, with successful battle scenes, especially in the pure action phases, but seasoned with locations a little lacking in details and scenarios of decidedly stereotyped futuristic cities. .
We can conclude that Halo: The Television Series could be a starting point for better development in future seasons, but it still remains a not entirely convincing incipit. In the panorama of the small screen very often the fate of some TV series have turned out to be favorable with the increase in the number of seasons but we have also seen cases in which a limp start has never blossomed into something consistent and memorable. The season finale bodes well for a more fitting return to the Halo we know thanks to video games but to know the future of this series we will have to wait a long time, remaining hopeful that the insiders will draw the right considerations from the feedback received.
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