Well, after years in production hell, and countless delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Halo TV series premiered this month. Well, the first of nine episodes in total that are about to see the light of the day on Paramount+.
And while we don’t own the Halo franchise (yet), we do have plenty of great First-Person-Shooter game series that you can check out. Like Superhot (check it out here). Or how about Borderlands? You can get it here. And how about Far Cry? Far Cry 2 is especially memorable game which you can get here, and let’s not forget. The One and only…. Doom. We’ve actually covered Doom in so many areas. Both in the video game section (available here) and the movie adaptations section. Check them out here.
Halo TV Series: The Ins And Outs Of The Pilot Episode
But we’re here about Halo. As we mentioned the first episode is already out and we’ll try to keep things in the „spoiler-free“ territory. But we can’t really guarantee. So, with that in mind. Let’s begin, shall we?
I’ve never been much of a Halo fan I have to admit. Never really saw the appeal of the game series, and for that, I apologize to the fans. And when it comes to the other parts of the franchise, my exposure to the source content is limited to watching the Halo: Legends. Again… I deeply apologize. But at the same time, I consider my reservations as a blessing in disguise. Well here in this particular article anyway. Why? Because I won’t give my opinion through a fan-girl/basher perspective and I’ll try to stay on the TV adaptation of things. I feel that I used that same approach for the Witcher article too. Which you can look back yet again here.
But in the pilot episode of Halo, we’re transported in the 25th century. And we follow (for the most part) John-117/Master Chief (Pablo Schreiber). A Spartan-II soldier who leads humanity’s fight against an alien threat known as the Covenant. After defeating a bunch of Covenants on the planet of Madrigal, he and his team will discover a mysterious object that could hold the key to ending the Human-Covenant war. However, he’ll also find Kwan Ha Boo (Yerin Ha) and he’ll start to question his assigned mission, his entire life and everything he knows so far.
Halo TV Series Is Not… Boring?
Well, it wasn’t for me. Yes, I know the use of the word boring is the low-hanging fruit, but these days it’s legitimately a complaint. So many of today’s adaptations (and especially video game adaptations) are boring. Dull, snooze-fest-boring. Even to the rookie fan of the franchise like myself. Assassin’s Creed and Warcraft first come to mind, and I can say the same thing about the better part of the first season of The Witcher. Sorry not sorry.
But over here in the first episode of Halo, there’s a decent amount of action (which looks engaging despite the choppy CGI), and cool costumes too. There’s a spoiler about those costumes that I’m dying to tell you about but I shall practice restraint. I loved the Spartan’s costumes though. They looked cool and dare I say it? They nailed them? I don’t know, you be the judge of that.
But on the other hand (underneath the costumers if you will), the acting from the vast majority of the cast looks wooden and sterile. Don’t get me wrong. Pablo is just fine for the role of Master Chief. Physically. He’s 196 cm tall, imposing and can carry the suit that comes with the role. However, outside that suit, he’s not given that much to work with. He seems a bit lost in the role, and I can say the same about most of the cast as well.
People Pleasing Script?
It seems that way yes. Look. Most of the video game adaptations try their best to present the vast world of the games in question but fail miserably to scratch the surface. They either go in a totally different direction in order to appeal to the mass audience (Far Cry for instance). Or try to pander to the die-hard fans but end up pissing them off. Halo attempts to tackle both sides and succeeds at a mediocre level at best.
For instance, wooden dialogue that never seems to take the story and place it at the moment. You’re always looking ahead, and it can be slightly irritating. Especially for the non-fans of the games that are not familiar with the original source material. Everything seems to be going so fast, and the expository dialogue is not helping matters much. I was barely able to keep track of the watch going on.
Seriously, I was scratching my head at the most basic questions. And I didn’t get many answers near the end of the episode, but I hope I’ll get them as the season progresses. Seriously I ended the episode in a much more confused state then when I was starting it.
Some Changes Are Good, While Others Are Bad
The addition of Jen Taylor’s voice in the role of Cortana is a great decision from the team behind Halo. While the introduction of the brand new (original characters) like Makee and Kwan Ha Boo is… well not so much. I got a Mandalorian/Yoda vibe from the unlikely duo that we’ve got here in Halo (Kwan Ha Boo and Master Chief) but I guess that’s the trend these days. And I guess that’s one way that the showrunners are trying to please the masses. There are hints of First-Person-Shooter camera shorts (especially in action scenes) which is great. But hey. There’s always room for improvement. The Halo TV series has already been renewed for a second season. And much like with the Witcher’s second season, improvement can happen. Only if the creative team behind the show wants them bad enough.
Are You A Fan Of The Halo TV Series?
Let us know in the comment section. What do you love the most? Did you enjoy the first episode? Tell us everything. We’d love to know.