Eagerly awaited, because we have a long tradition of great Godzilla TV shows
It alternates between a 1950s origin story, and 2010s post-G-Day. Somewhere in between is Kong Skull Island.
“San Francisco was a hoax. I have a podcast.” is the most realistic reaction here. Love the Godzilla evacuation plans & defenses, missile turrets on overpasses. Tokyo’s taking it seriously.
First ep is setup and family drama. Cate (Anna Sawai from Pachinko) is kind of stiff and useless, except when she’s freaking out at her PTSD, flashbacks of Godzilla from the trailer.
Her half-brother Kentaro (Ren Watabe) is a jackass, emotionally closed jerk with no useful skills. May (Kiersey Clemons) the expat haxxor is the only modern character who has their shit together.
Monarch starts to show up, with slightly implausible network access. Why are all the secret files blacked-out redacted? Actual secret files are not blacked out, you only get that in publicly-released versions.
Leland Shaw (Wyatt & later Kurt Russell) really needs to carry heavier weapons, a pistol does not cut it. Wyatt’s not one of nature’s good actors, but he’s adequate and carries “I am my father but softer”. The black eye he starts with tries to butch him up some, but he’d never be Snake Plissken.
Dr Miura’s (Mari Yamamoto, also from Pachinko) not super plausible, woman doin’ it for herself 20 years early, clearly writer ignoring setting. Weird how two people with completely different maps line up exactly right. What are the odds the scale is the same‽
Bill Randa (Anders Holm, later John Goodman!) as proto-Monarch is sus. Creepy guy in the jungle with impossible backstory. Miura should avoid him but as we know does not. The romance here is incredibly weird, fake, and gross, mainly because Anders is one of the most unfuckable humanoids I’ve ever seen. Shaw looks away like it’s skeeving him out, too, but I think it’s supposed to be romantic tension.
By ep 2 we finally see a new kaiju!
Cate really needs to learn the first thing you do when a creepy dude stalks you, is stay in a public area and scream for police, not throw away all your stuff and get kidnapped. But Monarch creep Tim & his French ninja assistant Duvall really suck at investigation, interrogation, and extraction.
The hero party find the wise old mentor and join the main quest. At this point in a JRPG the title screen rolls.
Monarch does not come off well in this, they have resources and yet are utterly incompetent.
I like the two monsters we see, even if they’re very bad CGI composed into the scenes like Roger Rabbit. The enclosed space monster attack looks better; less ambitious is better when you’re not skilled. Maybe it’ll ramp up the monster visibility & quality later? I’m OK with it if they lean into bad FX.
I’ve definitely seen worse season starts, but I expected more, since Matt Fraction’s supposedly writing for it. Well, turns out these first 2 eps are by Chris Black (Desperate Housewives), and Matt’s only writing one ep later.