What's your opinion of mermaids?
Specifically, mermaids in fiction. I don't believe mermaids really exist - although, crazy as it seems, some people do. But I completely adore mermaids in television, movies, and books. As a writer I try to follow trends in the publishing world, and the popularity of vampires and zombies is waning. Guess what's coming out as the next big thing? Mermaids! Excuse me while I squeal for joy.
Anyway, for research on books I'm writing, I like to see what's out there that's similar. When I was writing Beila and the Griffin, my Beauty and the Beast retelling, I discovered one of my favorite television shows - CBS's Beauty and the Beast from the 80's. When I moved on to my Little Mermaid retelling, The Rebel Mermaid, I discovered another show (though not as great): H2O: Just Add Water.
The first half of the first season is super cheesy, and as an American I found it harder than I expected to adjust to the Australian accents. The whole show is aimed at middle schoolers and younger high schoolers. It's little more than fluff and fun. There's not a lot of depth and the show certainly doesn't require the concentration level that Doctor Who, my current favorite, demands. But I completely love this show.
Once you get past the first few episodes, the characters are realistic. They don't always get along, they are sometimes brats and sometimes heroes, and they're sort of diverse. The relationships are great, too. Teenage romance isn't shown as overly mature and passionate like it is in most television shows - but it's not shown as trivial like most adults view it, either. Sometimes things work out and sometimes they don't. There's happy moments and hard times. Basically, people and teenagers in particular are portrayed honestly and realistically. As a plus, when actors have to leave the show, their absence is explained rather than ignored, and in a way that's not super dramatic (like their character dying *coughBeautyandtheBeastcough*) and that fits with their character and the storyline.
H2O ended after three seasons. As with any show viewers enjoy, knowing that's the end is disappointing, but it was a natural ending. The actors - and their characters - were growing up and moving on in life. A sequel or continuation wasn't really needed - but loyal viewers received a spin-off anyway.
As of writing this, I've seen the first three episodes of Mako Mermaids: An H2O Adventure. I have to say that it starts out a lot stronger than the original show did. It's rather obvious that the three main mermaids correspond with the three main girls from the first show - and I like that - but they're still their own characters. I think it'll be awesome to see the whole mermaid magic experience I'm familiar with from the first show play out through the point of view of a guy this time - plus, BLUE TAIL! The whole time I was watching the first show I wanted to see something other than orange. The uniformity was nice and all, but really, blue is so much better for a tail anyway! It is pretty nice that all the female mermaids still have the same original tails, though.
Besides the three main characters (who I already love) and Zac (who seems cool but we'll see - not sure anything will beat Lewis!), I really like the principal character. I recognized her secret before the girls in the show did. I think that's partly because, with the three mermaids corresponding to the original show's three girls, I figured there might be someone to replace the "strange old lady" from the first show as well. This principal is obviously not going to be anything like the friendly, eccentric woman from the first show, but I think there's a lot of potential in her character for this show! Oh, and the inclusion of a cafe similar to JuiceNet/Rikki's from the first show is really nice, too. I haven't seen any name for the cafe mentioned so far, so I'd like to believe it's still Rikki's. ^.^ Speaking of Rikki, I think Zac and his friend's lifesaving supervisor seems an awful lot like Zane's dad... bleh.
The only thing that really bothers me about this show is the inconsistencies with the first show. I've decided to come up with my own explanations for loopholes/open-ended portions like fans of Doctor Who tend to do sometimes, but I'd prefer to finish watching the full season before making my headcanon public. :)
Note to H2O Fans: I know, technically the original show had four girls if you count all three seasons. But Emma was only in the first two and Bella was only in the last one, and for these purposes I refer to the group as a trio with Emma and Bella being interchangeable considering which season I'm thinking of.