Sands of Destruction – a pseudo-violent adventure show for the inexperienced

There is a show that gives you all of the following cliches:

A planet with oceans of sand that are navigable by ships.

A brooding Action Girl swordswoman bent on revenge (but the opening animation shows her looking surprisingly kind, so that she doesn’t scare off the six-year-old female audience segment).

An export-character version of Reepicheep.

A suave, debonair, civilized Bad Guy (with Japanese death god hair and eye colors) followed by a hot-tempered female sidekick.

Surprisingly unsophisticated and clean capture by naive captors, who might have been plagiarized directly from Edgar Rice Burroughs.

You have seen these cliches before, many times.

But perhaps some day you’ll be baby-sitting a six-year-old who isn’t supposed to watch hardcore, bloody violence, and you’ll need a kids’ show that adults can watch without going stir crazy. And that show is Sands of Destruction.

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The fact that the brooding swordswoman claims that she intends to destroy the entire world has a ghost of a chance of making her backstory interesting. The show is setting her up to be an edgy anti-heroine, but I wonder whether the writers will chicken out and make her a sweet and charming Girl Next Door who is really just a misunderstood Woobie who needs a G-rated hug from the male hero.

There are gunfights without any blood, and apparently without any kind of injury – perhaps everyone went to the A-Team school of marksmanship. Almost everything is a trite cliche, except for the nonviolent male hero, who is a semi-interesting foil to the uninteresting Action Girl.

The opening hints that the nonviolent male hero may get a fair amount of romantic high-jinks to make up for his total lack of combat skills. I might watch this all the way through just to see whether he ever gets into an actual fight. The ending animation shows him brandishing a knife with uncharacteristic aggressiveness. It would be interesting to see what the writers do with this character. On the other hand, I don’t necessarily have the patience to sit through eleven episodes of a children’s show just to see how good the writing might be.

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