This show is fucking awesome. I blogged about the music in the pilot episode. But now I have to gush about this show again because I just finished episode #5 Saudade. It was psychedelic drug-fuelled mayhem pretty much from start to finish. The trip to Las Vegas was one of my favorite parts of the comics and the show really managed to capture the spirit of that trip and expand on it from a visual perspective.
Saudade by Love and Rockets, the song the episode was named after begins to play, and we are treated to a parade of different styles of animation as Marcus moves through his trip. (He took 7x the Acid everyone one else did)
Visually it’s really both clever and beautiful with subtle nods to the imagery of King’s Dominion, and to the previous episodes. I can’t stress enough how well the music pairs with the animation during the peak of Marcus’s trip. At one point it felt like I wasn’t watching a TV show but I was staring at a work of art.
I’m glad the show hasn’t let the fear of being cliche’ stop it from being true to the source material and true to the audience. Yes, trippy sequences have been done before so what? They haven’t been done this well and in the context of a narrative this compelling. So much of the negative reviews of Deadly Class has sounded something like “Oh another cliche’ explain-the-cliques in the cafeteria scene, or another cliche detention scene.” Shut up, just shut up please, there is nothing wrong with those scenes if you do them well and the characters are compelling. Deadly Class has compelling characters and great writing please pompous idiot reviewers just let this show have fun, please.
Marcus’s trip also dare-I-say gives a shout out to Benedict Wong’s portrayal Kubla Khan in the show Marco Polo, when Marcus comes across Master Lin and he’s being exalted atop a large palanquin carried by snake people.
The Snake is meant to be very symbolic here, it’s part of the school crest, and is shown throughout. It’s not hard to make the connection between snakes and rats. The school is meant for snakes but Marcus and other non-legacy student carry the title of “rat” The sequence culminates with Saya and Maria looking over Marcus in the Hotel Room telling him “everything’s gonna be ok”
But the trip isn’t over for Marcus, he’s going to be tripping balls for a while. Pretty much the whole rest of the episode.
I really don’t want to spoil the plot of this episode just say that you need to watch it. Watch episodes 1-4 of course but MAKE SURE YOU WATCH THIS ONE. It is Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas crossed with Natural Born Killers but with actors that look like they could be the cast of Saved by the Bell 2019.
“Can you and I be friends Teddy Ruxpin, tell me a story about friendship and caring”
Make Friends with this show, you won’t regret it.