Last year I reviewed season one of Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous, and while I didn’t get a chance to review seasons two or three earlier this year, I did eventually watch them some time after their premieres. Now that I’ve seen all four seasons, let’s talk about how the show has changed since season one, and if it’s improved at all. I’ll try to mostly avoid the biggest spoilers, but I might talk about the first three seasons with the understanding that you’ve probably seen them by now.
So, to recap my feelings on season one, I enjoyed the second half a lot more than the first, and I think overall, it improved greatly once the island had descended into chaos. I thought the kids were really annoying at the beginning, and once they were thrown into life or death situations, the writing really improved. I think the main thing was probably a case of the writer trying to sound like kids today, and not really succeeding.
Aside from the writing issues, I enjoyed the overall story. I thought they did a really good job at telling the story from the original Jurassic World film, but giving you another perspective on it, sometimes even going so far as to show you the exact same scenes, but from the POV of someone on the other side the island. I thought they were really creative with the way they incorporated the events of the film into a brand new story, and by the end, I was invested in the new characters, despite their occasional annoying tendencies.
Now that we’re in season four, I think that the writing continues to improve, however, the characters do still get on my nerves at times. Whether it’s the attempts at modern slang, or Kenji’s boasting about his family’s wealth, or one or more kids acting wildly out of character in ways that you know were written solely for the purposes of drama/advancing the plot. Thankfully that doesn’t happen often, especially in season 4, but it does happen, and it gets on my nerves when it does.
Season 4 sees the kids finally escaping the island. In season 2 they were “Visited” by a pair of snobby rich explorers, who were devoured a few episodes after their arrival. The last the kids saw of the wife, she was escaping on their boat, but as we all know, she didn’t make it very far.
Early on in season 3, the kids find her boat abandoned offshore, which gives them the idea and motivation to get it up and running to try to finally get off the island. That season followed the kids as they tried to make it around the island to find Kenji’s dad’s penthouse, and get supplies and gasoline, in order to finaly get off the island.
Complicating everything, beyond the usual threats from various dinosaurs, both old and new, the biggest threat facing the kids was the reveal of a brand new hybrid dinosaur, the Scorpios Rex. Apparently the very first hybrid created by Doctor Wu, as he experimented with mixing dinosaur and animal DNA in order to make what would eventually be the Indominous Rex from Jurassic World.
And side note, wasn’t that… creature… one of the ugliest things that this franchise ever spawned? I suppose that’s the point, but Yee-Ikes. I love dinosaurs, I love dinosaur toys, I have several on my shelves, but look at that thing. I have no desire to own any sort of Scorpios Rex figure. That thing is like pure nightmare fuel. You know, for kids!
This season, the kids finally escape! Sort of! And for only one episode… Yes, they escape the main island, but they quickly find themselves shipwrecked on a brand new island. With brand new dinosaurs. And a bunch of other… Things as well. But I’ll leave those for you to discover on your own as you watch. Though I should warn you, if you don’t want to be spoiled as to what kinds of things at all, avoid the trailers, even the one that will be included in the article. They show off a bit more than I would have preferred myself, but I don’t think they lessened my enjoyment of any of it, the way some recent film trailers have.
When teasers first appeared online for this season, it was widely speculated that this new island was going to be the first appearance in the series of Isla Sorna, or Site B. The main location of The Lost World: Jurassic Park, and Jurassic Park 3. However, despite that being a very logical thing to expect, this place is not that at all. It’s apparently not even part of the island chain that contains Nublar and Sorna, which was called “The Five Deaths” in The Lost World: Jurassic Park.
No, I’m actually not sure where this island is supposed to be, it apparently isn’t on any maps, whether that’s because it was previously undiscovered, or it’s existence was erased, or it’s completely manmade, I don’t know. And normally I’d say the last option would be the most ridiculous, however, once they start exploring the island, it begins to seem like that’s a pretty viable option! The land is divided into unique biomes, including Desert, Jungle, and Tundra. and they are all, most likely, completely contained in an indoor, temperature controlled climate. Whoever built this place has access to a TON of money, and a TON of advanced technology.
Anyway, I’m rambling, but I have to say, I really liked most of the new twists to the mythology. Yes, it still has some of the narrative issues I’ve talked about before, the kids get on my nerves at times, and some of the scenarios are a bit ridiculous, but after the last film on the big screen, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, the narrative issues here are kind of moot. After Fallen Kingdom, The Jurassic franchise has traded in a lot of its gravitas for goofiness, and I guess I’ll just have to be okay with that. I still have major issues with that last movie, but this series (sort of?) makes up for some of them. Though I guess I would be more forgiving of a lot of the more ridiculous elements of Fallen Kingdom if they were used in a show like this, rather than in the main film franchise. But that’s a whole other discussion,
All in all, despite the narrative flaws here and there, I do love the mythology and world-building that they are doing, and after some of the big reveals this season, I think I would be okay with them tying Camp Cretaceous into the films. I think at the beginning of the series I would have been against that, but the mysteries and conspiracies that have been revealed to have be going on behind the scenes have been really interesting, far more interesting than whatever was happening in the last movie, and I would love to see how some of these ideas could play out on the big screen. After all, if the movies are going to keep going with the really dumb stuff that happened in Fallen Kingdom; then, if Camp Cretaceous is any indication, things can only go up from here.
Have you been watching Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous? What are your thoughts on season 4?