Mr. T & The Mystery Of The Forbidden Monastery
Review By: Gringo

I start this review with a sad admission. Yes, this site bites ass. Ho, ho! Gringo, you wacky joker! Oh, look, I've already started writing in the third person. That bodes well for the however-many hundreds of inane words that are sure to follow. Anyway (now I'm starting sentences with over-used phrases) I think it's time I start getting back to common sense - this is the point where I'm meant to write (no) at the end of a statement to try and be funny (no). Now that you've had a crash course in how to write like Gringo - the fees are very low, i.e. free - I can get on with the real sad admission. This is probably the last ever episode of the Mr. T cartoon series that I will be reviewing...ever! By now, if you've read my previous reviews of the show, which can be found here, here and also here, then you'll know I was only reacquainted with the mohawk-wearing hero's adventures a short while ago. Thanks to finding videos of the show at an aptly low price on internet auction site and part-time flea market eBay, I've been able to relive the mind-blowing stupidity of the Mr. T cartoon time and time again.

But all good things must come to an end. And even bad things must finish at some point. It's because of that latter rule that I won't be able to review any more Mr. T episodes. Why? Okay, you didn't ask, but the answer is that I can't find further episodes available to buy on video, and the show certainly isn't going to be repeated anytime soon on television. Unless they make a feature-length animated movie (please, Mr. Producer, for the love of all that is decent, don't) then today is where the T-related cartoon fun ends. And what a thrilling episode I get to leave you with. Monks, stolen goods and a booze-fuelled road-trip to Mexico are the highlights of the episode that Mr. T himself likes to call Mystery Of The Forbidden Monastery. However, as you read on - brave soul! - you'll learn that the adventure Mr. T and his travelling team of crime-fighting gymnasts had in Mexico wasn't that mysterious and the monastery they traveled to was somewhat less ominous than its 'forbidden' name suggests. That naughty Mr. T! He always lies to the children! Well, no, he doesn't, but he enforces his unique brand of pain with another live-action introduction to the story.

Mr. T gives a solemn warning about one time when a "member of our team tried to pull a fast one." He means one of the wacky gymnasts that we've already seen him taking around America, solving crimes aplenty. As the cartoon proper opens, one of the characters helpfully informs the viewers that the team is on their way to New Mexico. As usual, bland generalizations are the name of the day, as the state is depicted as nothing more than a desert with a couple of shacks dotted around the landscape. Robin, the ginger-haired and fucking annoying gymnast, moans that "we've been driving across this desert for approximately FOREVER!". Because 'forever' is such a well-accepted unit of time. Dumb bitch. Anyway, they eventually pull up at a gas station owned by a man called Sam. How do I know this? Because it's called Sam's Gas. He tells the gym team there are no phones, no schools and even no sheriff for a hundred miles. Right. Then Sky is introduced. Sorry? What the hell? Sky? Who's she? Apparently this American Indian member of the team joined at some random point, even though she was in none of the other three cartoons I've seen. Still, this series never was one for consistency.

Apparently the team are in New Mexico for the '1st Annual Enchanted Pueblo Gymnastics Meet'. However, things start to look suspicious from the beginning. Someone (I don't care who) notices that the letter inviting the team out to New Mexico was actually postmarked in...San Francisco! Oh my! And it's taken them this long to notice? Stupid spooks. There's some inane dialogue before, for no real reason, a monk (yes, a monk, in the middle of an apparently empty New Mexico desert) gets kidnapped. Robin helpfully tells us she has "an ugly feeling about this." The only ugly thing in the state was her face. Ha ha! Such wit! Also: no. Anyway, everyone clambers aboard the tour bus to race after the monk and his mystery kidnappers, but then catastrophe! The bus crashes! Robin - by this point I really wanted to jump into the television in some wacky manner and smack her in the teeth - asks post-crash "am I still alive?" Sadly, her and the rest of the team are. There is no recovery time, as the next scene skips straight to Mr. T observing Sky talking to some mysterious local person. He runs off in a hurry, and the mystery thickens! Even though the only mysteries so far are (1) why a monk was kidnapped and (2) why some company ever decided to fund this cartoon series.

THREE MONTHS LATER! Naughty secret time! I stopped writing this review because I got bored with how unfunny it was getting. I decided to finish it off much later than I'd intended, so for the remaining paragraphs I'm drawing solely on my memory, screen captures of the wacky action, and some notes about the show which include the highly helpful phrases "monks + cowboy boots" and "Dozer the dog is a handy! 'Help Us We Are Trapped, The Eagle Arrives At Midnight'". Oh well, I'm sure I'll make up some sort of explanation. Also, I can't be bothered to read through the last four paragraphs, so what follows will probably be quite unconnected to what has gone before! OH NO! HISTORY IS ALL SCREWED UP NOW! Anyway, judging by my notes, the monks have taken a vow of silence. Makes sense. Oh ho! Here is a memory! One of the characters says "Jeez, this is deeply creepy!", and yet the morons go on to investigate. That's bravery! Cue lots of fighting and bashing and crashing, and then the evil monks kidnap one of the team members (Kim, to be precise, or Harold P. Wakamoto III to be completely wrong). THESE KIDS ARE ALWAYS GETTING KIDNAPPED.

I'm going to admit defeat here. I don't remember a great deal about this episode, so I'm just going to more or less write up my notes now. Mr. T and Woody are back on their road trip (did I mention that earlier?) and there is more monk mayhem. Apparently, Mr. T also says, "Just drive, let me worry about T" and "Whoever that clown is, he's bugged us for the last time!" It's a shame I can't remember the context quality comedy lines like those were used in. Anyway, all sorts of fighting and undercover gymnast investigating goes on, and at some point a few of the kids get caught in a net (hence the picture). But that's about all I can recall. I think the monks were really hiding something like a pirate TV trade or some such scandal, but again, there are no clues in my notes about it. LOSE-LOSE SITUATION FOR ALL! On the bright side, this review will serve as a constant reminder to me not to pause for three or four months halfway through writing something. Stupid memory lapses! Just be grateful this is potentially the last ever episode of the Mr. T cartoon series I will be reviewing.

Allegedly (as I wrote down some months ago) the kids "escape somehow and find a passageway - not paying attention." Those three words at the end of that sentence kind of sum up the last few paragraphs of this review. The gymnast team, no doubt with the help of Mr. T somehow find the 'real' monks locked up, and then there's yet another mindless, badly animated fight scene. At some point, a helicopter gets in on the action. Oh! This makes sense! The helicopter was code-named Eagle! That explains the bizarre Eagle mention earlier on! At last! Success! There's more fighting, the evil monks' scheme is uncovered, and then everyone lives happily ever after. One of the team thanks Sky for "one of the best cases we've ever had". I'd like to agree, but because I've not watched it in almost half a year - plus, I don't really like the entire series - I'd say that person is wrong. This was perhaps the worst of the four Mr. T episodes I've seen, and that's really saying something when one of the other shows saw the gang triumph after a kid was stashed in an VIDEO ARCADE MACHINE. Unnecessary caps lock use = a winner.

What the hell? I'm spending vital free time off work writing this stuff! Damn it! Time for closure! Hooray! This review is nearly over! Well, it's time to say goodbye to Mr. T. After four episodes and countless headaches, I've run out of T-related cartoon content to review. Is that a bad thing? To be honest (such naughty lies!) I can't say I've enjoyed watching the four episodes of his cartoon series that I foolishly paid good money for. Good money, I tell you! However, it has helped out whenever I've been too bored or unimaginative to come up with some original content, simply because there's so much to criticise. But at the same time, it's pretty difficult to keep thinking of different ways to insult all the characters. You will notice I failed. Also, still keen to find out what happens to the evil, fake monks? According to what I wrote down, they end up in prison breaking rocks. THE SYSTEM STILL WORKS! If you've missed the simple lesson you should have learned from this episode of the Mr. T cartoon series, don't worry! Everyone's favorite muscle man sums it up in one simple sentence. DO WHAT'S RIGHT AND YOU CAN'T GO WRONG!

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