"Carmen Sandiego" Series Talkback (Spoilers)

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The Overlord

Well-Known Member
Aug 5, 2002
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I will say I have seen 3 episodes and it does seem like V.I.L.E is more vile than in past incarnations, their scheme in episode 3 being pretty evil, trying to engineer a famine in Indonesia for profit. Despite the villains having names like Dr. Sarah Bellum and her having kinda goofy moments like being distracted by cat videoes. V.I.L.E is like SPECTRE or HYDRA in this incarnation, a secret criminal empire, rather a collection of wacky thieves in some of the previous Carmen Sandeigo franchises.

I think they borrowed a lot from Sly Cooper in this series, making Carmen sympathetic by having her steal from other thieves and making a lot of these thieves pretty unsympathetic.

Well they still have some educational segments in this series, I can appreciate that. Its also weird they made Ivy and Zack into thieves with Boston accents and Carmen's sidekicks.
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The Overlord

Well-Known Member
Aug 5, 2002
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She's clearly not an antihero going by the footage.
Well it is easier to make to a judgement by watching the show. Even stealing from other thieves would require breaking the law.

This is the most heroic version of Carmen, sure, but her being an Anti Villain was a creation of the Fox Kids cartoon, in the games and the PBS show, she was just a jerk. I can see why they made her more heroic and sympathetic if she is the main character and in response, made V.I.L.E more villainous and had Carmen oppose them rather then be a member of that group. It is a bit silly for her to form a group called V.I.L.E if she is an Anti Villain or Anti Hero, so having her break off from them in this series does make sense and her being an underdog against an evil SPECTRE like organization is more sympathetic then her running it.
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Peace Loving Shinobi
Mar 8, 2008
Los Angeles, CA
Well it is easier to make to a judgement by watching the show. Even stealing from other thieves would require breaking the law.

This is the most heroic version of Carmen, sure, but her being an Anti Villain was a creation of the Fox Kids cartoon, in the games and the PBS show, she was just a jerk. I can see why they made her more heroic and sympathetic if she is the main character and in response, made V.I.L.E more villainous and had Carmen oppose them rather then be a member of that group. It is a bit silly for her to form a group called V.I.L.E if she is an Anti Villain or Anti Hero, so having her break off from them in this series does make sense and her being an underdog against an evil SPECTRE like organization is more sympathetic then her running it.
I don't care for this change.

The Overlord

Well-Known Member
Aug 5, 2002
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I don't care for this change.
Fair enough, you have a right to your own opinion. I personally think that Carmen Sandiego is adaptive enough of a franchise that I do not think this is an invalid version of the franchise's premises: globetrotting, thieves stealing important cultural artifacts and teaching kids about geographic facts. Everything else is dependant on the version, Carmen's personality has gone from one note jerk to Anti Villain, so I do think this change out of the ordinary and again its always easier to judge something if you have watched some of it.

Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
Jan 19, 2004
Framingham, MA
I don't care for this change.
Your reviews have been a couple of words long which suggests to me you haven't even watched it. It's actually fabulous. Quit trolling.

Carmen Sandiego "Becoming Carmen Sandiego: Part 1"

Promising. As of now the writing is only so-so, but it could become very interesting very quickly. The voice work is top-notch, and the animation style is similar to Samurai Jack and Tangled: The Series. While it isn't as good or fluid as either of those two series, Carmen's character design is especially striking in that style. The long red coat and hat simply WORK.

Professor Maelstrom is totally Palpatine.

I liked the Inspector questioning why a master thief dresses brightly and purposefully drops clues. For a kid playing those games at school, that was part of the fun. Here the show is suggesting it's part of if not the plan, then perhaps the mystique.

The first episode is not education-heavy, which strikes me as a bit of a shame. That being said, I definitely noticed a LOT of educational tidbits about various countries, math and geography sort of mentioned during the missions. And that's fine. Futurama is not an educational series either. But it's where I learned most of my math theory and science anyways. That is the value of this show throwing in the occasional factoid.

Solid opener. ****.

Carmen Sandiego "Becoming Carmen Sandiego: Part 2"

I see the similarities to this show and She-Ra And The Princesses Of Power immediately. It's basically a good but naive chick raised by an evil organization whose coming of age story involves her turning against their evil and rebelling. Alias is the grandmother of that idea, although Sydney Bristow must take down SD-6 from the inside, while She-Ra and Carmen are allowed the privilege of opposing the Horde and VILE openly.

I love the elevator playing the Muzak version of the "Where On Earth?" theme song.

Chief, huh? This show knows what it's doing.

Shadow-San unsheathing the sword is totally the Samurai Jack moment.

I love the subtext that Carmen not only stole the coat and hat, but that she stole it from another thief. Good stuff there.

Good conclusion to the premiere. ****.

Carmen Sandiego "The Sticky Rice Caper"

Who are these Zach and Ivy characters who popped out of nowhere but that we are expected to pretend like they were there the entire time?

When Ivy says all of her machines are girls because they are awesome, I realize exactly which side of the gender war this show falls on. I approve (not that the show needs my approval for that).

The ending with Crackle and the visor in the room with the chair and shackles was creepy. It reminded me of that weird room in Lost and the brainwashing scene in A Clockwork Orange.

Since we actually visited a location this week, the episode did a little educational travelogue of Indonesia which looks to be the normal for the show past the pilot. And this is what the show should be doing.

Dora the Fedora. Excellent burn from Tigress. I bet the writers where practically jumping out their skins in excitement to give us that joke. It WAS clever.

The main title (seen in its entirety for the first time here) is noirish and stylish. I like it very much.

I don't much like Zach or Ivy (they remind me unpleasantly of too many Massholes I know) but the episode was still good. ***1/2.

Carmen Sandiego "The Fishy Doubloon Caper"

Fitting that the Chief is an older black woman who looks a bit like a blond Lynne Thigpen. Good to hear the name ACME again too.

The underwater vistas in the episode were absolutely gorgeous.

Zach doesn't know how auctions work? Which the exception of Player all of Carmen's friends are useless.

I forget if Carmen was from Brazil or Argentina on the earlier series or games. This episode didn't make it much clearer either.

Pretty cool. ***1/2.

Carmen Sandiego "The Duke Of Vermeer Caper"

As long as we are on the subject of affecting accents, I am 100% positive neither Zach nor Ivy's voice actors are from Boston. It's not like they have the cadences wrong. But the way they speak them sound forced, and as if their tongue is struggling a bit with the dialect. In fact, the saying is "Pahk the cah in Harvahd yahd." As a Masshole, Zach should have corrected Carmen on that. That is a saying we all know.

I don't actually have a Boston accent myself (not all Massholes, or even all Bostonians do), but many of the people I know have it. I am very able to recognize when it's natural and when it's fake.

Here's a question I've always wondered. Does caviar actually taste good? I can't imagine so. It probably only so expensive because it's difficult to acquire. But it strikes me as something people eat for status rather than to enjoy. Which strikes me as the weirdest and most foolish reason to eat something. I get there are foodies and restaurant critics out there who sneer at the commoner's palate. But you don't see me eating fish eggs. I'll live with their sneers. A "refined palate" always struck me someone being able to teach themselves to enjoy something that most people think is nasty. Which a weird gift to have, much less want. I don't understand why food critics are as in-demand as they are. Their entire shtick is to review food their readers either wouldn't like or couldn't afford. I could be wrong. But "fish eggs" tells me I'm not.

Interesting episode. ****.

Carmen Sandiego "The Opera In The Outback Caper"

Appropriate that the opera was "Carmen".

I really liked the wordless fight on the stagelights during the opera.

Crackle's amnesia explains the brainwashing room and the visor. It might also explain why there is so little information about VILE out there in the first place.

Hat! Hat! He said hat! Sheesh!

I liked the Number 2 joke.

I think the episode got subliminal messages wrong. It's a cartoon, and one for kids at that, but so far most of the spyjinx on the show have been grounded compared to other kids adventure cartoons. But a subliminal message is only effective if you aren't aware of it. It's not the same as being hypnotized. In fact, once you are aware the message exists, it's no longer subliminal, and no longer effective, at least not consciously. But I accept a kiddie cartoon using it as a form of mind control simply because it's a kiddie cartoon. But most of the other episodes before this were a little more real-world based.

At first I was annoyed that Ivy did so well in her fight with La Chevre. I was like "He's a trained thief, who learned martial arts from professionals. He should be doing better than this." And then he wins and leaves her for dead, and I weirdly said, "That's more like it."

For the record, neither Ivy nor Zach should be able to play the dumb bystander act with VILE operatives for that much longer. That VILE STILL doesn't seem to know who they are, or that they even exist, says their skills and reach are not as notorious as advertised.

Am I the only one who was grossed out that Zach put the doctor's headphone earbuds in his ears? I mean, that strikes me as about as rude and intimately presumptuous as drinking out of a stranger's mug or taking a bite out of their sandwich. It's also weirdly gross. Maybe when headphones were actually headphones it wouldn't be. But now that they are ear buds, I'd just as soon share mine as I would my toothbrush.

Interesting episode. Gave me a lot to think about. ****.

Carmen Sandiego "The Chasing Paper Caper"

The chase music at the end was boss.

I think Paper Star's design is a bit too clownish to be legitimately scary. But her off singsong voice and skipping in the dark creep me out anyways. And when she says she likes the red on Carmen's outfit because it will hide the stains I was like "Oh, wow. This chick's for real!"

I was unhappy that Carmen's hat was ruined. I suspected a continuity problem for the next episode. I was right.

ACME never should have hired Devaneux. True, Carmen was the one who lost the ACME card to Paper Star, but it's the Inspector's fault for losing it to Carmen, and making her aware of the existence of ACME. And frankly, it was not Carmen's responsibility to hold onto it. When Carmen says "ACME, huh?" I was like, "It's lucky he's wrong about Carmen and she's actually on his side." And then at the end it doesn't even matter that he is. ACME is compromised anyways. He's a total liability.

Pretty good outing. ****.

Carmen Sandiego "The Lucky Cat Caper"

If Devaneux isn't fired by the end of the season, I'll be unhappy. He lost his keycard, not only noticed it just now, and STILL hasn't reported it? Dude is a menace. He reminds me a bit of a more mean-spirited Agent West from The Zeta Project. The difference is that West was harmless. Yeah, he usually was the guy who made it so that Zeta accidentally got away. But he also never accidentally helped the bad guys, which the Inspector has done more than his fair share of on this show. He's what would happen if West's incompetence had real-world consequences.

I always assumed West was never fired because he might have been Wally West's ne'er do well black sheep nephew, and being related to the Flash offered him career protection. But Devaneux is what happens in real life when people are bad at their jobs. Julia is no Agent Lee in covering his butt (although she serves the same function as Lee did to Agent Bennet in theorizing that Zeta wasn't actually dangerous) so he doesn't even have an effective babysitter to mitigate his damage. I'm starting to wonder if that means Julia should be fired too. But she IS pretty good at making observations, although it strikes me that all of the observations she has made that have so far impressed the Chief are actually, well, obvious, at least to the audience. I do not share the Chief's opinion that she's a great detective. She's only not terrible, and only in comparison to Devaneux.

The car chase was exciting and all, but the real tension for me was the slow-motion theft on the wharf. What I like about Carmen's missions is that they aren't effortless for her. She always wins, but she always has to work for the victory. And that is not only a good message, but it makes things more exciting for us too.

It's interesting that Shadow-San's empty coat is Carmen's biggest secret hang-up. I like that she used her rare moment of face-time with Shadow-San to try and get him to admit the truth, and then when he wouldn't, she told him she no longer needed his approval anyways. Stealing a stamp from a boot is more impressive than lifting a dollar from a coat anyways.

Ha! I knew the damaged hat would be a problem this episode. They never explained if Carmen repaired it or simply got a new one. They ignored the last episode about that instead which is why I think they shouldn't have done it in the first place.

Good episode though. ****.

Carmen Sandiego "The French Connection Caper"

That was amazing. I didn't have a solid opinion over whether or not Coach Brant was secretly allied with Carmen or not before this, because it could have gone either way, although I did expect to learn her true allegiances in this episode. I was a little disappointed that it turns out Carmen's love for her was one-sided. For approximately 10 seconds before Shadow-San saves Carmen's life, and reveals he was the one secretly looking out for her.

Where does Shadow-San go from here? If he's brave, he'll go back to VILE and under deep cover. If he's smart, he'll look for ACME. If he's both, he'll find ACME first (and quickly) before going under deep cover.

I have to admit, I'm disappointed with ACME. Especially since they used a Lynne Thigpen stand-in the for Chief. Not only does she get Carmen completely wrong, but she loses the season in every way you can think of by VILE learning what ACME was. She better hope Coach Brant is dead. If not, they are completely hosed and lost their biggest edge.

It's interesting, the drunken seeming argument in the mirror the Inspector had with himself made me me sympathetic to Devaneux for the first time ever. And I wound up having more sympathy for him than the Chief by the end of the episode. Simply because as wrong and stupid as he is, him standing up to the torture by singing the French anthem says he is putting his skin in the game, which is more than I can say for the Chief. We haven't even met her in person yet. She does everything via hologram and refuses to get her own hands dirty. As infuriating as the Inspector's stupidity is, he's not a coward, and puts himself in danger willingly. Chief strikes me as a manipulator and a chicken. And it bothers me that I think that way about the Lynne Thigpen stand-in. That's the one thing in the finale I regret.

But everything else was amazing. People talk a LOT of smack about Duane Capizzi for The Batman and Superman: Brainiac Attacks, most of it deserved. But the dude has rehabilitated himself in my mind with both this show and Transformers Prime. This isn't as amazing as Prime. But it someday could be. And I look forward to seeing if it is. *.


Well-Known Member
Apr 21, 2011
Hammond IN
Carmen Sandiego is a superhero now. Dumb.
Not really. She's still a thief just one stealing from even worse thieves. She's still being chased by law enforcement and is still breaking the law just trying to take down people much worse then her.

Now I like it. It's mostly based on the 90s cartoons as most of the characters are based on characters from it but there might be a few characters based on villains from the game show. Still the cartoon seems to be the main inspiration.

Storm Eagle

Power to the peaceful
May 14, 2002
New York
I've seen the first four episodes so far, and I've noticed a couple of Easter eggs. In the first episode, Julia says "I'm not really much of a math detective" when this math problem was presented to her by Chase Devineaux. Then in the second episode, in the scene where Carmen is on the elevator with Cookie Booker, the tune of the Where on Earth theme song is playing as elevator music.
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Staff member
Aug 10, 2003
East Coast of USA
Finished watching it. I really enjoyed it. Adventurous, suspenseful, and educational! And how can I not enjoy a show that has one of her first stop be a country I lived in?
That twist in the last episode took me by surprise. I hope I don’t have to wait long for more episodes!
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Open bar knock yourself out
Nov 1, 2013
I know Zach doesnt like fish but him throwing out Cavier made me want to drown him in an aquarium


Open bar knock yourself out
Nov 1, 2013
Well just finished the season(which was nine episodes for some reason) and thought it was fun. I had some gripes however in that it felt like most of the characters were very uneducated(yeah I know this is an educational show but still), the show is paced why too fast, and I felt that a lot of the characters were meh. However there were a lot of things I did enjoy like the art style for example, its super stylish and really fits with the espionage them the show is going for, its like a mix between Persona 5 and pop art. The lighting in the show was phenomenal and we got a lot of good shots out of it.

Animation is passable, it does it's job but there is nothing that is going to blow you away. Action scenes serve their purpose and are easy to follow but don't expect it to be too memorable.

All in all it was a 6.5/10 show for me.


Time to get my "Game face" on
Jul 20, 2003
Tucson, Arizona
When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth? -- Sherlock Holmes

Time for this detective to put on his thinking cap and get into this Carmen Sandiego mystery.

And the Game is afoot!

Let's just put it this way.. after seeing all 9 episodes, and I mean watching every last one of those first 9 episodes on Netflix. I've come to a potential startling conclusion.. after all as I stated at the top of the line Sherlock Holmes couldn't have said it better..

Who is Carmen Sandiego? And how does all this tie into things from the games and the old 1990's series?

Well it may surprise you.. it ties in a lot..

I'm going to go out on a limb here, and in fact going to start to explore the entire Myths behind this mysterious thief and former ACME agent trainee...

(and yes i am using all the knowledge of the old games, the TV Series and anything else I have a t my disposibal..

As we all know Carmen Sandiego at one time worked as a former ACME trainee working to help protect the world from Evil doers..

and we also know (From the games) she was a head of an evil Organization called VILE. after she went Rogue and defected from ACME.

(Now here is where we begin to build the legend)

After beoming the Queen of Theivery and being the leader of Vile, she was approached by 4 shady Characters namely the four who wanted the new Carmen (Let's call her Black Sheep atm), to join..

and let's say that VILE was at one time was just a thieving company and not a league of Evill (More on this in a moment.. A globetrotter like Carmen would steal items and slip through ACME's fingers time and again

But as time when on she got bored.. tired of the old cat and Mouse game.. so she settled down in of all places.. Buenos Aires..

During one of her capers she meets up with a ninja and being still young and carfree these two eventually continue the business.. that is.. Until the original Carmen gets preggers (with Black Sheep)

at that point the other four Operatives Masterson, SaraBellum, The Countess and Coach Braun decide to move in and take over VILE.. and turn it into a means of being really ruthless villains (Think of VILE as the mdern day version of COBRA. They have the brains and tech and the skills to turn out master thieves..

So Acme Operatives encounter Carmen and make her an offer.. Retire and in fact work for Acme and have her crimes expunged from the record.. Carmen goes back and becomes one of ACME's best agents.. that is until she has her child an then Mysteriously vanishes.. ACME considers her lost and wries her off

Shadwosan is really the father here.. and not just someone who took a kid off the street.. But he also saw that as she grew up the New Carmen (Black Sheep) actually had her mothers talents at theiving and decided to slip her in as a mole to keep track of VILE operatives.. but he also had thought of his wife (who was captured and brainwashed into

Cookie Booker..The Vile Acoouuntant and main bookkeeper..

So do you see where i am going with this..

Carmen (The new Carmen)Isn't working for ACME she's not working for VILE, she's a mercenary who actually is a more modern day Robin hood.. stealing from VILE to help the Poor and Innocent..

and believe me The New carmen is a literal wealth of Knowledge after all , how would she be this way? Knowing all those facts and figures and figuring out who came from where..

And the New Carmen is athletic. (and where do you thinnk she got those Genes from definitely not from Mama Carmen but rather Daddy Shadowsan..after all he's a ninja you know..

I mean you look at this and Carmen is really the progency of the original Carmen Sandiego who is in fact Cookie Bookier..

(So yeah why do you think Booker wore the red hat and fedora..

So now the turth is out.. Carmen Sandiego is really the daughter of Shadowsan and Booker.. after all Vile wiped Booker's memories and thus Carmen the original carmen vanished from Obscurity..

But her daughter is here to pick up the mantle and bring and correct her mother's wrongs..

But neither Acme nor Vile knows who she works for.. to be honest Carmen is a Pawn in this game of Cat and mouse..

Acme trying to see if Vile exists and Vile knowing that ACME is out there looking for them..

In short. what we have his a deeper lore and a way deeper lore than even the boys at Fox Kids or Broderbund Software could come out with.. But Netflix ties it all in with this mysterious story..

In short, this Carmen is "Next Generation Carem" and before this series is over she's introducing the next Generation of Detectives to figure out where i the world she is..

But wouldhn't it be funny if I have jsut literally figured out what the lore is all about?

Move over Sherlock and Batman, Cause if I am right there's going to be a lotof explanation in the next part of the series..

(And god hope I am not right.. It's almost as embarassing as guessin how many sit boys there were in Inuyasha and getting it on the nose..)

Ah well I'll be on the case until this series is over

ACME Agent Coyote Over and Out


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