Whether or not lacing up towards the peewee league’s elite Hawks, Staff Iceland on the Junior Goodwill Video games or Eden Corridor’s dominant varsity crew, The Mighty Geese constructed an enduring legacy because the scrappy underdogs who play the sport pretty and nonetheless find yourself on prime.
The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers (premiering Friday, March 26) flips the script on the enduring crew, who are actually the dangerous guys within the Disney+ collection created by Steve Brill (who wrote all three movies). Now a powerhouse group led by Coach T (The Descendants’ Dylan Playfair), the Geese function underneath a cutthroat ideology during which profitable is the whole lot. Briefly, they’ve thrived lengthy sufficient to see themselves develop into the villains of the story.
Enter the Don’t Bothers, a brand new ragtag crew fashioned when 12-year-old Evan (Boardwalk Empire’s Brady Midday) will get minimize from the Geese. With assist from his mother Alex (Gilmore Ladies’ Lauren Graham), Evan begins a crew to problem the Geese’ exhaustive win-at-all prices mentality. The collection captures the spirit of the OG movies by means of this new motley crew, who will not be precisely all-star caliber however nonetheless have loads of coronary heart.
There’s Sam (De’Jon Watts), a daredevil skateboarder who joins on a dare; Maya (Taegen Burns), an acid-tonged Queen B who ditches her fellow imply ladies to play; Lauren (Bella Higginbotham), an offbeat fantasy-loving cosplayer; Koob (Kasra Wong), a sheltered gamer whose button-mashing abilities haven’t but translated to actuality; Logan (Kiefer O’Reilly), the brand new child on the town who seems to be the half however has no discernable hockey abilities; and Nick (Maxwell Simkins), the witty podcaster-turned-hockey participant who’s all attraction and no athletic potential (and one to observe!).
Just like the OG Geese, the Don’t Bothers lack the abilities and the right gear to be critical rivals. In addition they don’t have Coach Bombay (Emilio Estevez) to information them, leaving the squad at a good greater drawback than their movie counterparts. Within the first three episodes screened for critics, we meet a Gordon Bombay who’s been damaged down by life and hates all issues hockey. He’s consuming leftover birthday cake and may barely preserve the Ice Palace (which he inherited from his mentor Hans) afloat. However even on this unhappy state, Estevez continues to be likable because the down-on-his-luck former coach. He’s a curmudgeon comedic reduction and a pleasant stability to Graham’s earnest and equally humorous mother/beginner coach. Estevez and Graham are a dynamic on-screen pair, and Alex and Bombay’s reluctant partnership serves up loads of laughs.
Provided that this can be a small-screen continuation of a beloved movie franchise, the comparisons to Cobra Kai are inevitable. Each excel at discovering fascinating methods to inform a well-known story, and so they additionally go the torch to an thrilling crop of latest characters. However whereas the Netflix collection focuses on Johnny and Danny’s continued rivalry, Recreation Changers positions the story round its younger hopefuls whereas the adults fill the supportive roles. It’s an inspirational story a few bunch of excellent children (together with Sway Bhatia’s pleasant overachiever Sofi) studying to imagine in themselves, whilst the chances are stacked towards them. And sure, there are many Easter eggs — and even some cameos — however within the first few episodes, the collection by no means feels prefer it’s drowning in nostalgia.
THE TVLINE BOTTOM LINE: The Mighty Geese: Recreation Changers is a feel-good present that dutifully honors the previous, doesn’t reinvent the wheel, and delivers the comforting optimism we’re all craving proper now.