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The official student news site of Norristown Area High School

The Wingspan

The official student news site of Norristown Area High School

The Wingspan

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‘Scott Pilgrim Takes Off’ Opens the Door for Better ‘Scott Pilgrim’ Media

Science Saru and Netflix Studios
This cover image is the promotional poster for Scott Pilgrim Takes Off (Science Saru and Netflix Studios via AP)

Twenty years ago, Canadian cartoonist, Bryan Lee O’Malley created a small comic series combining all his favorite things: video games, comic books, anime, and indie music. This comic series was called, the now very recognizable, ‘Scott Pilgrim.’ I wonder how 25-year-old O’Malley would react if you told him that his indie comic series would become a million-dollar franchise with a major movie, a video game, and now a Netflix show that was released 20 years after his first edition of ‘Scott Pilgrim.’ As someone who has loved the Scott Pilgrim series for years, I can say that this show, ‘Scott Pilgrim Takes Off’ is just as good as all the other adaptations of O’Malley’s comic. 

The show starts like the movie and comic: Scott Pilgrim is dating a high school student named Knives Chau, who is obsessed with him. (I know, weird. That’s like a 6 year age difference. Yuck.) While dating Knives, Scott has a dream about an attractive purple-haired girl, rollerblading, and later sees her at a party. It is revealed that her name is Ramona Flowers and he asks her on a date. (This is all while he is dating Knives, by the way!) The night after the date, Scott’s band, Sex Bomb-omb, is playing at a venue, and then suddenly, flying through the roof to attack Scott is a man. The man says his name is Matthew Patel and he’s Ramona’s first evil ex.

In the movie and comic, Scott must defeat all of Ramona’s seven evil exes to be able to date her. But this is where the whole plot changes for the show. In the movie, Scott defeats Matthew, but in the show, Matthew defeats Scott, who is then presumed dead. At this point, the perspective shifts to Ramona, who attends Scott’s funeral, but, after the funeral, she finds out that Scott isn’t actually dead. Ramona decides to go on an investigation to find out where Scott Pilgrim went.

I like how most of the show is centered around Ramona; this differs from all the other media made for the Scott Pilgrim franchise. Ramona gets most of the screen time. Now the main character, Ramona isn’t seen as a ‘manic pixie dream girl,’ but rather an actual person with thoughts, feelings, and desires, which goes directly against what a ‘manic pixie dream girl’ is.

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Ramona is extremely flawed, which is seen in the movie but more touched on in the show. When she talks to the exes, it is shown that she is the reason why most of her exes are evil. In the movie, the exes are just evil. Nothing else. By the end of the series, Ramona makes amends with her exes and learns that she is a bad person. 

Knives Chau, Scott’s other girlfriend, is another character that isn’t superficial either. Knives’ whole arc for most of the movie was stalking Scott. For a good ¾ of the movie, Knives is trying to get Scott back, even dating Young Neil, one of Scott’s friends, to make him jealous.

But in the show, after Scott ‘dies,’ Knives discovers that she loves making music and even takes Scott’s place in Sex Bomb-omb. She creates a playwright with Steven Stills, one of Scott’s bandmates, and she is over Scott by the end of the series. She learned to like other activities, not just Scott. 

The plot is another one of the major differences from this show that I really enjoy. Sure, it is different, but different is good. The beginning plot follows the movie and comic, but everything changes once Scott dies. Ramona is the main character, the exes aren’t that evil, Knives isn’t obsessed with Scott, etc, etc.

If they were faithful to the original plot, the show just wouldn’t have been as fun as it was and the story of Scott Pilgrim would eventually get dull. We’ve seen the same story of Scott Pilgrim 3 times; I think it was time to see the Scott Pilgrim universe expanded into something unlike anything else in the franchise. 

However, there was one major aspect I didn’t like about ‘Scott Pilgrim Takes Off’ and it’s the music. I know, I know, it’s stupid to complain about, but one of the ideas Scott Pilgrim is based on is music. The musical classics from the movie are Garbage Truck, Threshold, Ramona, and Slick (Patel’s Song).

Thankfully, Black Sheep by Metric is in the show; it only makes a 15-second cameo. There were some bangers, though: United States of Whatever by Liam Lynch, Police Truck by The Dead Kennedys, and Scott Pilgrim by Plumtree. (I would’ve been so mad if that song wasn’t in the show.) The music wasn’t bad, but most of it was disappointing. It didn’t have that Scott Pilgrimish feeling to it.

What really did give a Scott Pilgrimish feel to the show is how all of the old actors from the movie came back to voice act for the show. The actors liked that movie and story so much, all of them, and I mean, ALL of them came back. Even the bigger actors like Brie Larson and Chris Evans. Hearing Micheal Cera’s voice as Scott or Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Ramona gives me a sense of nostalgia.  

The writers and the director, Abel Góngora, took the story of Scott Pilgrim, which Brian Lee O’Malley made 20 years ago, and changed it into something different and new: ‘Scott Pilgrim Takes Off.’ They definitely could make a second season of this show, which I hope they do. I hope they expand on this world and make it even better. The Story of Scott Pilgrim is such a good one. If you enjoy the movie, comics, or game, you should definitely watch ‘Scott Pilgrim Takes Off’ even if it is different from other Scott Pilgrim media.


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About the Contributor
Abigail Carsner
Abigail Carsner, Graphics Editor
Abigail has always had a talent for writing. From a young age, Abigail could write like there was no tomorrow. She loves it. This is her second year on the Wingspan. She is a fan of film, art, literature, and music. She enjoys writing music-related articles, either it being about a certain genre or music news. Abigail also likes to write creative works, play guitar, and draw. When she is older, Abigail either wants to be a musician or a writer.

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