Ben 10 2016 Reboot Episode Review: Growing Pains
Tactical Ochoa last edited by
Well, here's another episode to cover. Who wants to see Ben and Gwen as actual babies, huh? You know, it really compliments them considering their behaviors in prior episodes of the Ben 10 reboot. They should've had Ben and Gwen stay like that for the rest of the first season. Really works well for them.
Ok, no more joking around. Let's get to the actual review. This episode covers Ben and Gwen once again acting so overly childish to the point of once again being on the level of borderline preschoolers or kindergarteners...or, as the episode puts it as, babies. Writers, how hard is it for Ben and Gwen to just be more like proper 10-year-olds like how they're supposed to be? I think I said this before but if I had, I'll say it again. Not even Ben from the Original Series at his most immature and impulsive was that immature and stupid as what the Ben 10 reboot portrays him as. It's no better for Gwen either because she's supposed to be the more mature of the two characters and she's also supposed to, again, keep Ben in check and keep him from stepping out of line.
So as a result of Ben and Gwen's babyish behavior, Max sends them to a day care center where Ben and Gwen meet another new villain known as Nanny Nightmare, a biochemist that makes a dust that can turn anyone into babies and plans to turn everyone in the world into babies so that she can teach them into having good manners. Why does she do this? Because some of her colleagues mocked her and her "scientific notions." Wow, that is lame and unoriginal. Oh and great idea having Nanny Nightmare give away her entire backstory and her ENTIRE EVIL PLAN to the main characters and the viewers instead of just having the main characters and the viewers try to figure that out themselves. Yeah, hand-holding. Viewers love it when they're hand-held through the plot instead of having the chance to think things out on their own.
Now let's go over the villain of this episode, Nanny Nightmare. For any of you reading this that are big time X-Men fans or are well knowledgable of Marvel's X-Men universe, does Nanny Nightmare seem quite familiar to you? If the answer is "no," how about now? http://marvel.wikia.com/wiki/Nanny_(Orphan-Maker_Partner)_(Earth-616)
Both were mistreated by their colleagues. Both want to "help" children in villainous ways. Both are scientists. Both villains even use a biochemical dust that de-ages other people. Considering how very much similar Nanny Nightmare and Nanny are to each other and considering that Man of Action were former Marvel comic book writers, I'm going out on a limb here and say that Nanny Nightmare is very much likely based off of said X-Men villain. Here's the kicker though, Nanny from X-Men is objectively considered as one of the worst villains ever in the X-Men universe and the people behind this reboot thought that it was a good idea to base Nanny Nightmare off of this very villain. So how did it go for this villain? Well, what do you think you would get from a villain that is very much similar to and very much likely based on one of the worst villains in X-Men? Yeah, overall, Nanny Nightmare is just a bland and stupid villain to have in Ben 10.
Let's next cover that dust that Nanny Nightmare used to turn people into babies. So in the episode, the dust had consistently turned everyone that was blasted by it into babies. Why were Ben and Gwen exceptions to that and were instead turned into toddlers? It's the same exact formula. Also, everyone that were turned into babies also had the minds of a baby. Why is it that Ben and Gwen still had their 10-year-old minds after being turned into toddlers? Let's keep going further here. Why does the biochemical dust make inorganic clothes disappear and replace them with diapers? How does that work? Why are once again Ben and Gwen exceptions to this yet their clothes merely shrink to fit them properly? Why did the Omnitrix shrink as well? Ok, let's take a look at an episode from the Original Series, Don't Drink the Water. This is the episode that I've seen many claim to be what Growing Pains is taking elements from, which I can see as to why. In Don't Drink the Water, Ben and Max were both exposed to water from the Fountain of Youth and as a result were de-aged. Max ages 50 years younger while Ben ages 6 years younger. Why is that the case when they were both exposed to the youth water? Because Max had greater exposure to the water than Ben. Max was dunk into an entire barrel filled with the youth water and was soaked in it for a good while. Ben, however, was merely splashed by it. Therefore, it made more sense that Max would de-age by more years than Ben because Max had greater exposure to the youth water. Also, the youth water didn't affect their clothes. They still had their original clothes that remained unaffected by the youth water in any way. Not even the Omnitrix was affected by the youth water. The Fountain of Youth water only affected Ben and Max themselves. You see what good writing can present here? It makes sense. The OS episode, Don't Drink the Water, presented two of the three main characters de-aging in a way that very much makes sense. Growing Pains, from the Ben 10 reboot, presents Ben and Gwen de-aging in a way that very much doesn't make sense and raises a lot of questions. Do the writers think that their viewers are really that stupid?
Ok, I've done enough here. Let's keep going on with this review. Ben and Gwen find the cannon that Nanny Nightmare was using to turn the entire city's population into babies with the biochemical de-aging dust. Ben used Upgrade so that he can integrate with the cannon and reverse engineer the powder to age everyone that were turned into babies back to their old selves. Here's the thing. That's not how Upgrade works? Upgrade doesn't wrap around pieces of technology as seen when Gwen helps him wrap himself around the cannon. Upgrade INTEGRATES and MERGES with technology. Size should also not matter that much because, again, Upgrade integrates and merges with technology. How and why, with Man of Action involved, is it so hard to get even the aliens right in this show? It's already baffling that one of the Ben-tuition promo clips, that were shown a while back, showed Upgrade somehow integrating with a skateboard. A piece of wood with wheels. I don't care if this is a reboot. The way that Upgrade is portrayed with his abilities in this reboot is not how Upgrade works.
So again, Ben used Upgrade to reverse engineer the dust to turn everyone that were turned into babies back to their old selves. Not sure if that's how it exactly works since that I believe the cannon isn't built to reverse engineer biochemical compounds but I'll let it pass. Nanny Nightmare is defeated and arrested. Apparently the camping tent that Max was sleeping in was airtight, preventing the reverse engineered dust from affecting him. Anyways, the episode then comes to an end after Ben and Gwen reunite with Max.
There's my thoughts and review for Growing Pains. Nanny Nightmare is very much likely based on one of the worst X-Men villains ever and the result of this definitely shows in a negative way. She is a bland and stupid villain to have in Ben 10. If the villain Nanny doesn't work in X-Men, Nanny Nightmare won't work for Ben 10 and shouldn't have been created in the first place. Don't use a concept that has been proven to not work. There are also other elements in this episode that don't make sense, is inconsistent, and/or don't work the way in which they're shown to work as. Overall, I find this episode to be another mediocre and bland episode with even more bad writing.