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The 10 WORST Things About The Halo TV Series

VOICE OVER: Aaron Brown WRITTEN BY: Aaron Brown
For a show that's been in production for nearly a decade and with a budget rivaling some blockbuster films and one of the deepest wells of lore to pull from in gaming, it's remarkable the production missed the mark this badly. In this video, we're breaking down the 10 Worst Things About the Halo TV Series. Our list includes Side Characters, The Artifact, Everything To Do With Madrigal, Master Chief and more!
Transcript
Script written by Aaron Brown

10 Worst Things About The Halo TV Series


Welcome to MojoPlays and we watched the Halo TV Series so you don’t have to, and today we’re breaking down the 10 Worst Things About the Halo TV Series.

For a show that’s been in production for nearly a decade and with a budget rivaling some blockbuster films and one of the deepest wells of lore to pull from in gaming, it’s remarkable the production missed the mark this badly. At least we’ll always have Neill Blomkamp’s shorts to look back on and wonder what could have been.

Did you watch the Halo TV Series? What are your thoughts on all the new video game related TV series and movies on the way? Let us know down in the comments.

Production

Each episode of the series reportedly cost $10 million per episode, you’d think they’d do a better job of… is that an AK-47 in the year 2552?! Production is where the majority of the problems begin and as the long awaited adaptation of Microsoft’s flagship series, you would think the showrunners would have at the very least done their homework, but they instead proudly declared they avoided the games and the majority of the lore that had already been established. From showrunners who clearly aren’t fans of the source material, to the fact that 343 signed off on all of this, the show was clearly going to have an uphill battle it didn’t need to with so many of the pieces already there for the team to adapt in a way that could have appealed to both new and old fans but instead they chose to please no one.

Side Characters

A good story isn’t just about the main characters but also those around them and in the case of the Halo series, there is literally not a likable one in the bunch. Some of them such as Halsey’s assistant are just downright creepy for no reason. And then there are others that had potential such as Soren who just becomes a one note criminal type who’s always looking for the next score. And don’t even get us started on Kwan Ha who is arguably the worst thing about the series and that’s saying a lot. Yet another cliched “plucky” rebellious teen who thinks she knows better than everyone and just gets people killed in pursuit of her own agenda. Why are we still constantly subjected to these archetypes that no one has liked for literal generations of storytelling at this point?

Sub-Plots

Sub plots can be a great way to flesh out characters’ backstories and bring much needed empathy to their journey as the story progresses. None of that happens here. Beyond the tragedy of John’s abduction and subsequent recruitment into the Spartan program, (which, did we really need to spend the MAJORITY of the first season on this?), none of the sub plots especially Madrigal which will get its own entry, go anywhere meaningful. Kai’s journey of self discovery is obscenely cliched with her applying grease to her hair supplanting the usual trope of her chopping off her hair, and none of the remaining side characters fare much better. Soren himself has multiple subplots seemingly going all at once, none of which are particularly interesting in any way or make the character even remotely relatable. All of this screams of padding to fill out an episode quota instead of anything actually engaging.

Character Assassinations

This is where things really start to fall apart narratively. A lot of things can be excused by the showrunners wanting to do “their own thing” but if you’re going to use beloved and established characters, at least have the decency to do them justice. Take Miranda Keyes for example, the TV series Miranda is now a lowly researcher and is almost solely focused on earning Mommy’s approval which is a far cry from the badass Miranda Keyes who faced down Truth and his brutes with dual pistols. And then there’s Halsey who is by and large the villain of the series and while she was always a morally gray character within Halo canon, the showrunners spent 9 episodes transforming her into the most villainous character with zero redeeming qualities who is willing to sacrifice everyone for her own research. Master Chief is a whole other story we’ll get to momentarily.

The Artifact

What even is this and why did it take up the entirety of season 1? The search for the keystone and the artifact is the driving force of both the UNSC and the Covenant throughout all 9 episodes of the first season and by the end we’re not any closer to understanding their relevance beyond a McGuffin to avoid following the plot of the video games the series is supposed to be based on. No explanation is given as to why only John and series original character Makee can activate the relics beyond a need to make “predestined” to discover Halo and give him a pointless love interest. Part of what made the discovery of the original Halo so interesting was the questions surrounding it, but now we have these artifacts that have been repeatedly tested to unlock the mysteries of the Halo without ever even physically setting foot on one.

Silver Age Garbage

The showrunners made it very clear this series was not considered part of the official Halo canon but come on, there’s taking liberties with an established property and then there’s just setting it on fire to see how long it will burn. Beyond the fact that apparently the Spartans need inhibitor chips now to control their combat prowess instead of them just being insanely well trained, why did Cortana need to be implanted directly into John? Oh that’s right because he never wears his freaking armor! We already touched on the bastardization of the characters but it bears repeating again just how little care was given to many of the series' beloved heroes and heroines in a series that has spanned 2 decades.

Everything To Do With Madrigal

This is the straw that broke the fanboy’s back. After the initial introduction to Madrigal, the Artifact found there, and the annoyance that is named Kwan Ha, there was no discernable reason to revisit either Madrigal or Kwan Ha ever again after Chief dropped her off with Soren. And yet, Kwan Ha and Madrigal get nearly 50/50 screen time with the Master Chief. And by the end of the season, there was no reason for it. Absolutely nothing of importance happens on Madrigal that required so much attention to this Dune planet ripoff that couldn’t have waited for the next season. Why did we need to follow the failed rebellion and Kwan Ha doing nothing but getting more people killed while trying to face down a one-note villain on her own? We are given absolutely zero reason to root for her cause beyond the writers telling us we should.

Master Chief

When discussing Halo in any capacity, Master Chief is absolutely synonymous with the series. A man of few words but one who rolled a Nat 20 on luck, John-117 and his green power armor are the backbone of the series. Which is why what the showrunners have done to him is tantamount to sacrilege. Though Master Chief is still the “Demon” to the Covenant, this is Chief in name alone. After the removal of his emotional inhibitor chip, the showrunners decided to take John on an emotional 180 and become OVERLY irrational and even committing a war crime by sleeping with an enemy spy he met like 20 minutes ago. Master Chief has always been emotionally stunted more or less, with the exception of Cortana, but the decision to put Chief more in touch with his “feelings” is just a cliched trope and an insult to such a beloved icon.

Armored Down

In the video games, the Master Chief is an extension of the player, their avatar in the world and is generally accepted why his face is never seen. Over time this became something of a running joke with Chief’s face always obscured unless his helmet was on. We already knew we were going to be seeing Chief's face in the TV series but we didn’t think it would be in the first freaking episode! Not only that, but it seems like Chief is against wearing any of his armor at all for the majority of the series. In comparison, The Mandalorian proved you don’t need to show the actor’s face constantly to tell an effective story. And when we finally DID see Din Jarin’s face, it felt earned unlike John removing his helmet every 10 seconds.

Halo?

You know, for a series called “Halo” we sure don’t get to see a lot of it. With the showrunners obsession with the Artifacts, not a whole lot of attention was left for the series’ namesake as we only see it briefly a handful of times, and even then it’s in more of a dream sequence than actually visiting the ring itself. And even during those brief visits, the Halo is presented more as a paradise than an alien installation. At the very least, our patience with the series could have been rewarded with Master Chief and the UNSC following the Covenant to the coordinates that Chief unlocked while in contact with the Artifact and left THAT as the season cliffhanger but at this rate, we’ll be lucky to touch down on the ring by Season 5. There’s the makings of a decent sci-fi series here, just not a Halo one.
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