Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego? and its various video game and TV spinoffs follows a detective (you in the games) for ACME as they chase Carmen around the world. Carmen is a former ACME agent who turned to crime for fun. Her best showing was in the Saturday morning cartoon Where On Earth Is Carmen Sandiego, where she would steal the strangest things using outrageous gadgets, but would save the lives of the agents chasing her because she was a thief for fun but not a killer. It’s really a great show and you should watch it if you can. There were also two game shows but they don’t factor in this discussion.
Netflix has decided to give Carmen yet another cartoon. The focus is on her…except it isn’t. Like a certain Princess Of Power a potentially good show appears to have been ruined by a terrible adaptation. This is NOT the Carmen from the games and cartoon.
Without even clicking the video you can already see the big problem. They de-aged her. Again, like Adora she’s a teenager now. Instead of starting VILE to help her in her crimes, she’s a trainee of VILE. Again, like new Adora. I’m seeing a pattern here, aren’t you?
The Carmen on Where On Earth was a very interesting villain, a thief who doesn’t let the agents chasing her go splat and even worked with them once to bring down a bigger threat. The “Player” was someone playing the Carmen Sandiego game. In the last season they offered a couple of other players for no reason I can figure out. All they do is banter with Carmen in the beginning and end of the episode and wordlessly bring up information and portals for Zack and Ivy, the main agents of the show. Instead we have Carmen as the HERO, working to steal from criminals. A thief who steals from the bad guys who trained her after learning they’re willing to hurt and kill people actually sounds like a good idea for a series. Do you know what it doesn’t sound like? CARMEN SANDIEGO!
It’s another example of a good idea given to the wrong product. And the show seems okay from the trailer (better than the new She-Ra anyway) but it suffers from the same big problem. It’s a re-imagining that is so far removed from the source material they should have called it something else. If you want to see the real Carmen in action, look up Where On Earth Is Carmen Sandiego, which still looks like a better show. This one might end up being good, but it still got everything wrong. You can have both. The last cartoon did.