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Scott Pilgrim Takes Off

Scott Pilgrim Takes Off season 1

Credits

Cast

Network

Reviewer

Kennedy Unthank

TV Series Review

You may have heard this story before: Scott Pilgrim runs into the literal girl of his dreams, Ramona Flowers. The two go on a date. Scott Pilgrim receives and ignores a strange message—something about League of Evil Exes wanting to fight him.

If you’ve seen Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, you know where this goes. Scott learns he has to fight seven of Ramona’s previous exes in order to date her and to overcome his own confidence issues. Cue plenty of bass-heavy fight music.

But what if Matthew Patel—the first evil ex—kills Scott with the first punch?

That’s the setup of this new alternate Scott Pilgrim narrative, as chronicled in Netflix’s Scott Pilgrim Takes Off.

Naturally, everyone’s a bit shocked. I mean, they all thought Scott would put up a little bit of a fight. And now, the whole timeline has changed: Matthew Patel confidently strolls back to League commander Gideon Graves and takes over the whole operation. Scott’s “fake” high-school girlfriend, Knives Chau, copes with Scott’s death by taking his place in his band. And even friend and band enthusiast Young Neil decides to write a whole screenplay about what may have happened had Scott beaten Matthew Patel—a movie you may have seen.

And as for Ramona Flowers? Well, she really thought that this whole Scott Pilgrim thing could have gone somewhere. And so, she starts investigating his death.

It’s not long before she finds something strange. When she reviews footage of Scott and Matthew’s fight, it becomes apparent that Scott didn’t actually perish.

Someone grabbed him and pulled him through a portal.

A Pilgrim’s Progress

Up until the last minute of Scott Pilgrim Takes Off’s first episode, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was just an animated remake of the film. But the moment Scott’s life is apparently reduced into a buck fifty, the show opens up a whole new plotline—one with its own unique content issues.

This comic-style TV series has some violence on par with a young teen superhero animated show like Teen Titans. But the sexual content makes it more difficult to navigate. Some characters are seen in just their underwear, talk about sex is common and multiple homosexual moments are seen, including with characters who weren’t gay in the film. One episode heavily focuses on the sexual flings of two gay men—and Ramona’s one female evil ex makes plenty of appearances, too.

Viewers should likewise be aware of some mystical elements played mostly for laughs as well as occasional heavy language.

Perhaps what’s most interesting is that Scott Pilgrim himself is absent for about half of the series, and we instead focus on other characters—Ramona, Young Neil, Gideon, Matthew Patel. And certainly, Scott Pilgrim’s mystical Subspace (a black void the characters can enter and from which they can obtain items and powers) allows for the series to explore many what ifs and other storylines.

But when plots about multiverses and alternate scenarios are at an all-time high, Scott Pilgrim Takes Off feels like just another oversaturated story retconning its previous ending that’ll leave you wishing that the story hadn’t taken off at all.

Episode Reviews

Nov. 17, 2023 – S1, E1: “Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life”

Scott Pilgrim begins dating Ramona Flowers, but the League of Evil Exes seeks to put a stop to that.

Scott and Ramona passionately kiss in their underwear before deciding to not have sex. Someone briefly mentions a “cult classic car crash sex film.” Scott’s gay roommate, Wallace, tells Scott to rent a movie that has a “hot guy” in it. Because Wallace owns most everything in the apartment, Ramona describes Scott as being in a “sugar daddy situation.” The 22-year-old Scott dates a 17-year-old high school girl as he pursues Ramona. Additionally, Scott’s band is called “Sex Bob-Omb.”

Matthew Patel has mystical powers, which including calling upon “demon hipster chicks” to do his bidding. Ramona references Subspace, a realm where “if one can imagine it, it exists.” She uses it to travel quickly throughout Toronto.

In a flashback, Ramona is seen in middle school smoking a cigarette.

“B–tard” is used once. Scott’s sister, Julie, often uses the f-word, but it is censored with a black bar over her mouth, intended for comedic effect.

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kennedy-unthank
Kennedy Unthank

Kennedy Unthank studied journalism at the University of Missouri. He knew he wanted to write for a living when he won a contest for “best fantasy story” while in the 4th grade. What he didn’t know at the time, however, was that he was the only person to submit a story. Regardless, the seed was planted. Kennedy collects and plays board games in his free time, and he loves to talk about biblical apologetics. He thinks the ending of Lost “wasn’t that bad.”

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