Initial thoughts on Game Changers: S02E01 – Ice Breaker

This is your only warning. So if you breeze into this and get spoiled, that’s on you. Ok?

So. First things first, the reason I found out that season 2 was back was… through Apple TV, when it pinged my work mobile and suggested I sign up for free, and would get to watch Ducks as a signing freebie.

Apple TV.

I have been watching Game Changers through Disney+, I follow Disney+ on Twitter, and somehow Apple TV is the one to let me know that season 2 is here.

So, let’s just give them an A+ for marketing there. And also give my boss a big A+ for sourcing me a work phone. Otherwise I’d have found out… god knows when. So, shout out to Big Law here. You are good for something! (Just kidding. I love you, big law firm.)

Second of all, I was not excited for this season. Estevez is the glue, dude. And if we don’t have Estevez, we need Jackson. I will accept the Ducks being led by Bombay or Conway, and nobody else. Well, a ghostly Hans would be an excellent “wait… whut?” moment. (Also, I would actually accept any of the original Ducks that were in at least two of the movies.)

Aaaaand since none of that’s happening, let’s just start watching and see how this unfolds.

Now, the episode. I see that we’re mimicking D2 very heavily here. Something that was foreshadowed by Dean Portman’s delightful return, in a blink and you’ll miss him cameo. Thank you, Aaron Lohr, for leaving your patients to give this aged fan a moment of sheer delight. It was lovely to see the Bash Brothers reunite!

So. The old green Ducks jerseys are back and staying. That’s fine. Aside from anything, I know there’s a copyright/IP issue with the D2 white ones. I’m cool seeing the retro look. I have the green logo on a t-shirt.

Honestly, I’ve just had to read my recaps to catch up – I didn’t even remember that’s what they wore in the finale. When a new season of Cobra Kai airs, I watch all the preceding episodes in preparation. Not with this.

Also, behold the much-thinned herd. To be honest, I can’t really tell any of these kids apart, except for Nick. He’s my favourite. But the Canadian guy is missing. And the cosplay/ren fair girl.

Sorry, Game Changers, but Cobra Kai did this so much better. I know all of their names. Those kids made an impact.

Ah, the Ducks are going to Los Angeles, are they? Where they’ll be up against the best of the best, you say? Well, that’s awfully like the D2 storyline.

And then it hit me.

You know who is going to be hosting the camp? Well, what cheeky trash-talker do we know that lives in L.A.? And who is helpfully played by someone who is still acting and entertaining the world, and will have the chops to step into Estevez’s rather large skates. Yes! RUSS TYLER! IT’S KNUCKLE-PUCK TIME! GIVE IT UP FOR KENAN! LET’S SEE HOW HE…

… Oh. It’s just a dude.

Um. Maybe Cole is a reference to D3’s Cole? No relation. But maybe it’s an homage of a kind? No. Let’s not get too loopy about this. It’s just a common name.

So, the Ducks join the summer camp, and they’re not the right Ducks. The original powerhouse Ducks were invited. Which is cool, because when he was giving his opening speech, I was raging with all of the D2 rage my husband had. Why are they inviting this ragtag team? So what they won peewee in Minnesota? Do you know what that means in the real world? Almost nothing. Maybe the local pizza place will have your picture on the wall. You don’t get invited to a high profile event just because you had a good season, no matter how cool the optics would briefly be.

(Yes, D2, you might well be my favourite of all of my errant Duck children, but you make no sense. I’m looking right at you when I rage like this.)

I don’t know whether it’s age here, but when the Icebreaker happened (for those that didn’t watch, every human being was on the ice and had to score a goal), and it got brutal, I found myself quoting Orion. “Your little Duck tricks are not going to work here.”

So when Alex is all like, “Oh, but it can be fun! Let’s do something whimsical” I just want to shake her and say, “No. These kids are here because they want hockey scholarships. They have NHL dreams. They’re not going to close their eyes and magically score a goal because the plot says so. Shut up and take your idiocy back to a lake or something.”

I used to love horse riding. Loved it. It was a rush. It was a partnership. I loved my horse. One of my favourite teen memories is just me and her hacking along a road towards the woods as the sun shone down on us, having a lovely time with no-one else to spoil it.

I did Pony Club for a year. We both hated it. She probably could have done it with a rider that was more into it, but she also seemed like the fun kind of girl who thought walking round in circles for hours was boring as fuck. We just wanted to have our small adventures, having a pleasant ride through the woods, jumping fallen trees (that we had checked were safe, obv, we’re not idiots) and having a nice time together.

I did not insist that Pony Club took us on a hack through my favourite woods. I just left Pony Club.

So basically, my feeling is, watch the Fulton/Portman cameo, that’s the high point. It’s not like it’s bad. It’s just not particularly good.

And I think having this after Orion taught us that anyone seriously considering a hockey career needs to play, not faff about, will make me irritable if Alex spends the season telling Coach Cole to lighten up and have fun when he’s trying to prepare the kids – all of them that are paying for this intensive coaching at a very high rate by an ex-pro – for their future in hockey, and she just wants everyone to have a nice time.

You didn’t sign up for the nice time camp, Alex, you signed up for a hockey clinic with an ex-NHL star.

Oh, and last year I said that if Stephanie’s not in season 2, I riot. I stand by that. I need her back in this show by the end of the season or I riot.

Also, old Ducks. I need them. GIVE THEM TO ME.

(I am so not the target audience for this show, am I?)