80s Cartoon Potshots: MASK Season 2, Episode 1

Today on 80s Cartoon Potshot we are looking at an episode of MASK, which was like a combination of G.I. Joe and Transformers.  This is the first episode of the second season entitled “Demolition Duel to the Death”, where the new direction of the toy line drastically altered the story line of the cartoon.  MASK is one of the few cartoon series that was shown on regular TV after the toy line was long gone.  But that was mostly because of the first season, which lasted 65 episodes.  How does the first episode of the second season hold up?  Ehh, let’s see.

1:04  I’m a redneck and I want to make fun of that music

2:11  Do you ever just feel…runned down?

5:15  This is one heck of a demolition derby.  Isn’t the crowd going “Huh?” now?

9:01  This audience was ridiculously close to a battle and they are not scared excrementless?

9:20  Race?  What race?  A demolition derby like that was no race.

11:04  That voice is not just bogus but bogey-us. #punny

12:54  “Since he has neither”…why did that make me laugh?

17:43  That is one cool looking mask.

20:39  And that’s how glasnost and perestroika came to be…honest.

20:53  Ugh, I forgot about the PSAs that were added to make this cartoon “educational”.

21:10  The bad guys get to do a PSA.  That was/would have been…shocking.


Sigh.  With this first episode of the second season you can see why MASK had 65 episodes in the first year, but only 10 in the second.  In the first year MASK and VENOM were just smaller versions of G.I.Je and Cobra that has transforming vehicles and cool masks.  Now they added a racing theme to the series, because the toys that year developed one, and the cartoon suffered as a result.  Also, this was the first episode?  If you are going in a different direction for the series, this is not the episode to do it.  Also, 80s cartoon often stretched credulity but sheesh, that crowd should have been scared being in that warzone.  Also, those vehicles once they showed their abilities should be disqualified.  The whole thing is ridiculously surreal.

That said, I did like the character of Boris and would have loved for him to have been active in the first season.  He was quite enjoyable.  He was definitely a period of his exact time in the 80s, when the “Evil Empire” was starting to crumble and the concept that the Cold War was beginning to end (thanks to Ronald Reagan) allowed for friendlier Russians.  I just wish Buddy Hawks had something akin to a personality.

This is definitely not the first episode of MASK that someone should watch.  If it is, please check out episodes in the first season…they are much better.

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