November 23, 2023

CABLE | 'Scott Pilgrim Takes Off' Gets Remixed on Netflix

"My parties are curated."
Michael Cera Mary Elizabeth Winstead | Bryan Lee O'Malley BenDavid Grabinski | Scott Pilgrim Takes Off | Netflix
Science Saru / Universal Content Productions
Toronto native and cartoonist Bryan Lee O'Malley readapts his famed graphic novel series once again—this time in television anime form. Scott Pilgrim Takes Off achieves the remarkable task of creating both something totally fresh and new storywise while also balancing the familiar comfort of the cult source material, including the entire cast of the live-action film adaptation, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, reprising their respective roles vocally.

Spearheaded by O'Malley himself and writer/producer BenDavid Grabinski as showrunners with British filmmaker Edgar Wright, who directed the film, on board as a producer, this Scott Pilgrim takes a divergent path to the setup of the eponymous aimless 23-year-old Torontonian bassist slacker (Michael Cera) problematically dating a high schooler before falling in love with a mysteriously enchanting American delivery girl (Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Ramona Flowers) with seven vengeful supervillain exes he must defeat in order to date her.

Instead of exploring Pilgrim's sudden romantic obsession with a version of the manic pixie dream girl, Takes Off centers Flowers' perspective and feelings for Scott while also diving deeper into the personalities of the delightful supporting characters. We also spend less time with the evil exes as true antagonists as their characterizations and past histories with Ramona are presented in new ways.

O'Malley and company refrain from retreading what was already told and adapted so well on the page and in live-action. Scott Pilgrim Takes Off is best described as "almost an alternate-reality sequel," because it goes in different directions than the comic book and film versions. This might be the best and really only example of a franchise reset in an alternative medium done so well by much of the same creative team.

Scott Pilgrim Takes Off's eight-episode season is available to stream on Netflix.

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