Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Mako Mermaids: An H2O Adventure Season One

Mako Mermaids: An H2O Adventure

Netflix Summary: This sequel to "H2O: Just Add Water" follows a boy named Zac who turns into a merman after falling into a magical pool. Zac's new powers could spell trouble for the three young mermaids who guard Mako Island.

Number of Episodes: 26 

Stars:  Lucy Fry, Ivy Latimer, Amy Ruffle, Chai Rumruen

Additional Info: In the US, Mako Mermaids in a Netflix exclusive

By accident, I caught an episode block of the original H2O: Just Add Water on Nickelodeon. I've never really been much of a mermaid fan, but I enjoyed it and eventually watched all three seasons on Netflix. When Mako Mermaids showed up, my husband kindly added it to the queue for me.

The biggest problem with Mako Mermaids lies in Netflix's description. This show is not a sequel. I wouldn't even call it a spin-off. It's more of an alternate version of H2O. I was initially confused because the mythology of the mermaids differed pretty significantly.

In Mako Mermaids, there are pods of born mermaids around the world. Mako Island is home to one of those pods, including our three heroines, Lyla, Nixie, and Sirena. The three girls are supposed to guard Mako Island on the full moon but they allow Zac and his friend, Cam, to get onto the island. Zac falls into the moon pool via a magical doorway that only opens in full moonlight and becomes a merman- the first in a long, long time. This major mistake gets the girls kicked out of the pod. To get back in, they follow Zac to land and try to take away his powers. Zac, on the other hand, is enjoying his new-found powers and won't let them stop him.

Outside of the initial few episodes when the girls go to land for the first time, there isn't a lot of the accidental turning into a mermaid in awkward situations. Likely, this is because there is a pretty solid storyline the runs heavily through the whole season. With the original, there were many episodes that could stand alone, with only a minor thread of the main season plot running through it. Because of this, I felt that Mako Mermaid's story was well developed and didn't feel rushed at the end.

The girls, Lyla, Nixie and Sirena, do seem to mimic the original girls... even down to the hair color. They aren't exact copies but there are a lot of the same character traits used. Zac is the new addition to the mix. Unfortunately, while being the male lead, he was the girls' adversary for the season and I found him unlikeable for much of it. Zac's friend, Cam, was also unlikeable- even more so than Zac. I found myself wanting someone to punch the two boys in the face quite often.

There was no romance between main characters in this show. Initially, there seemed like there might be something between Lyla and Zac but, in the end, it didn't happen. The show is supposed to have a season 2, so that may change. There was a sweet, puppy love between Sirena and a minor character, David.

I didn't think the overall setting was as pretty in Mako Mermaids as it was in H2O. The tails weren't as natural-looking, either. These are small things in the grand scheme of the show, though.

I'd recommend Mako Mermaids to people that enjoyed H2O: Just Add Water... with a big warning. Do not expect the same mythology as H2O. Do not expect cameos from any of the original cast members. If you go into the show expecting it to be exactly the same with a different cast, you will be sorely disappointed. Think of it as an alternate universe. With that in mind, if you enjoyed H2O, Lightning Point (called Alien Surf Girls in the US, also starring Lucy Fry), or other similar shows, you'd probably enjoy Mako Mermaids.

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