“The Spectacular Spider-Man” swung onto Netflix screens this summer, webbing up an entertaining and unforgettable experience.
Produced and distributed by Sony Pictures Television, “The Spectacular Spider-Man” follows the story of ordinary nerd Peter Parker, a student at Midtown High School in New York City.
In the day, Peter Parker is an ordinary student with an ordinary life, but by night he’s swinging across New York City and scaring villains off the streets under another name.
Peter Parker’s alter ego, and every child’s aspiration, fights and stops crime of all kinds under the night sky.
Although Spider-Man is winning fights under the cover of darkness, Peter Parker’s life is slowly being destroyed during the day.
Every time Peter Parker becomes Spider-Man, he risks destroying his social life, such as his friendship with Harry Osborn.
Peter promises to help his best friend, Harry, ace his next calculus exam.
However, Spider-Man has to web up a few crooks, causing Peter to miss his study session with Harry. This happens twice in two consecutive days.
If you do the math, that equals a lot of unexplainable explanations and a strained friendship.
Another example of Peter’s secret identity ruining his social life is his interactions with girls.
That’s right! Midtown High’s greatest nerd is also its greatest player. However, Peter Parker has made it clear where his heart lies.
He’s constantly ditching dates with the girls for extravagant outings with the real baddies.
Those are just a few examples of the show’s simple principle: For Spider-Man to win, Peter Parker must lose.
The show is constantly asking Peter Parker one simple question: Is it worth it to be Spider-Man?
Sure, it can be fun to fight villains, maybe even thrilling. But is that a reason to be a hero?
Sure, it helps people, but it also hurts people, like Harry, one of the most important people in his life.
What’s Peter Parker’s answer?
“With great power comes great responsibility,” said Ben Parker, Peter’s uncle and father figure, in every adaptation and flashback of the hero’s story ever made.
New York’s greatest supervillain deterrent is always swinging across the city’s buildings, ready to be called into action.
Although this is a hero story, the greatest strength of “The Spectacular Spider-Man” lies in its villains.
The villains aren’t evil for the sake of being evil. They aren’t destroying the world or attacking people for no reason. They have human and understandable reasons for their actions, such as Electro.
Formerly the engineer Maxwell, Electro loses his humanity after colliding with an eel tank in a laboratory.
Desperate to get his humanity back, Electro attacks the laboratory, in a delusional but firmly held belief that they can cure him.
Electro is eventually defeated, but he is locked up in prison without a cure, without freedom and without hope.
The show finds its stride in its choreography for its fight scenes. Combining Peter Parker’s intelligence and Spider-Man’s abilities to walk and climb on walls, to swing from structure to structure and punch really, really hard all come into play during his fight against Electro.
The fight is thrilling as Spider-Man barely escapes bolts of electricity and is quickly cornered.
Spider-Man throws webs, punches, desks, chairs and bottles containing unknown but probably dangerous liquids.
How does he beat him?
A good old-fashioned, Olympic-sized swimming pool. Obviously.
Spider-Man knocks Electro into the swimming pool. The water conducts electricity, maximizing Electro’s power beyond his control.
Spider-Man wins the fight, earns the glory, saves his friends, but condemns Maxwell, the nice engineer, to a tragic fate as a hated outcast freak with no hope of recovering his physical or mental humanity.
It’s no wonder this scores full points on the Parker Marker.