Saturday Mornings criteria include, but are not limited to a) being a show geared toward young teens or under, b) being something that adults can possibly tolerate for one or two episodes, and c) generally feeling like something you’d watch on – you got it, Saturday mornings in your PJ’s. Occasionally these will get thrown out and a movie, or a show that makes adults grimace will get added in, but this is technically adult-tolerable TV for kids.
I was surfing kids TV on Netflix looking for something for Saturday Mornings (since I actually don’t watch that many cartoons,) and I saw this. So I said “why not?” and watched the first three-parter (basically an hour.)
I actually enjoyed it.
The story of the first three-parter goes something like this:
Kid named Max McGrath moves to Copper Canyon after the death of his father, Jim McGrath, in a failed science experiment (it went kaboom.)
First day at school, he gets pushed around by the local school bullies after he helped out the kid they were picking on.
Cue strange metabolic changes, with super-speed, super strength, and increased agility among other things.
Turns out that Max here is a major source of TURBO energy, just like his father. His uncle picks him up from the abandoned warehouse where Max had passed out after a mild overload of the stuff.
They (N-TEK, the place his uncle works for,) try to siphon the energy off of Max using futuristic technology… which doesn’t end well. Thankfully, a little flying robot named Steel wakes up from stasis and helps out, keeping Max from exploding due to TURBO energy overload. After everything’s cleaned up, Max’s uncle, Ferris, explains what’s going on.
In short, Jim McGrath, Ferris and a guy named Miles Dredd started the company N-TEK. Jim found TURBO energy, and planned to harness it. Cue explosion killing him and Miles Dredd.
After explaining this, Ferris tells Max not to tell his mother about this.
Turns out she’s an N-TEK agent too.
A little later, Max, while out on a date with the girl he met at school *yesterday*, is attacked by Elementals, giant clay fire monsters who work for the boss of Trans-Human Industries, a guy who really wants that TURBO energy for himself.
I have to admit, somewhere in here I was expecting a “no, I am your father” moment.
No such luck.
Max is captured by Trans-Human Industries, and it turns out Big Boss Guy is Miles Dredd, who supposedly rigged that experiment to go wrong, since he wanted the stuff for himself. Didn’t work out so well for him, as he got a TURBO collector embedded in his body. Now he needs the stuff to live. His plan is to siphon off of Max as he generates the stuff, essentially sucking the life out of him.
After a rescue operation for Max goes mostly right, Steel gets captured, and Miles Dredd starts to generate TURBO energy using civilians who are using THI tech. His plan is of course foiled by N-TEK and Max, who generates so much TURBO energy that it overloads Dredd’s TURBO suit, causing him to end up in a bunch of pieces in orbit.
Max decides to continue learning how to use his energy powers, and he and Steel decide on the superhero-esque name Max Steel.
In a final scene, a THI spaceship picks up the unconscious body of Dredd from orbit.
I actually haven’t gotten very far into this series yet, but so far it’s actually fairly entertaining for a half hour/hour, if a bit cheesy.
Max is a rather likable character, who wants to keep his family and friends safe while making sure that the evil-doer of the day doesn’t succeed. N-TEK is committed to making sure that THI (which is rather corrupt) doesn’t get a hold of more TURBO energy, as that would be very, very bad. Max’s mother is always concerned for her son’s safety, and will (and does) put herself in danger to keep him safe. Steel, even if he annoys Max a bit, is a faithful companion.
Overall, this is a pretty great show. It’s rated TV-Y with Fantasy Violence, but as this is a cartoon, there’s no gore or anything. I’d say it’s okay for anyone over 6, and teens might even enjoy it.
This is actually a remake/reimagining of the original Max Steel series, which was on TV back in 2000-2002. Some people may remember that series. I don’t.
Max Steel airs on Disney Channel. Netflix has Seasons 1 and 2 on instant play.
Have fun this morning!