Hollywood and major media studios around the world have an infuriating habit of learning the wrong lessons from both successes and failures. Fortunately, sometimes a great work of art appears and reverses the script for several sick parts of the environment at once.
Arcane recently made history by becoming the first Emmy-winning television adaptation of a video game franchise. The series received an award in the nomination “Outstanding Animated Program”, beating such hits as “Bob’s Burgers”, “Rick and Morty”, “The Simpsons” and even “What if …?”. This is a huge achievement for a great series, but it can also serve as an example for others.
To be more specific, Arcane’s sixth episode, “When These Walls Come Down,” won an Emmy Award. This is the end of the second act of the season. His finest hour is probably coming to an end when Vai and Jinx reunite for the first time. It is also an episode in which Victor approaches Sinjed and Jace sees Heimerdinger being expelled from the council. It surpassed the premiere of the fifth season of “Rick and Morty”, “Mort Dinner, Rick Andre” and “What If… Did Dr. Strange lose his heart instead of his hands?”. The most unique element of the show’s win is the fact that it is a video game adaptation that has never received this particular award. The genre of the show is also interesting, as it comes from something rare.
The history of video game adaptations and their gradual growth of cultural heritage is well documented. In the early days, fans of the games were almost constantly disappointed, with some exceptions that turned out to be decent. Television, as a rule, adapts the medium more fruitfully, but also less noticeably critically. In the 90s, there were plenty of NES, SNES, and Genesis games turned into adorable cartoons, some of which were more bearable than others. Live-action adaptations such as Mortal Kombat: Conquest were almost universally despised. Later entries in video game series tend to be more respectable. Netflix’s own “The Witcher” was considered a huge leap forward for this medium. His Castlevania series easily ranks among the best video games ever made. But for every success, there are several failures and several projects that never made it to the screen. When it was announced that the streaming service would deal a blow to League of Legends, expectations were low.
Arcane can easily appeal to someone who has never heard of the popular Riot Games game franchise. Most fans of this game are not particularly aware of its narrative, and most of those who only know the basics will not believe that it exists. Most of the story is based on extraneous materials, the main one of which is now Arcane. The show is not a success due to any connection to the giant built-in fan base that a League adaptation could have. He has fully earned a fan base with his own merits, even attracting viewers who actively despise the game. Those who are engaged in the adaptation of video games should pay attention to this. The show has good news and bad news, everything can be turned into a good adaptation, but even the best material cannot rely on the existing fan base. Arcane works independently of League. Riot’s strategy of putting money in the hands of talented creators so they can do marketing for them, rather than obsessively managing every aspect of the brand, pays dividends.
Outstanding Animated Program Over the years, the Emmys have overwhelmingly been dominated by comedy series. There are very few exceptions, the most notable of them is Gennady Tartakovsky’s Primal, which won last year. The award is usually awarded between the biggest adult comedies at the moment. “The Simpsons,” “Bob’s Burgers,” “South Park,” and “Rick and Morty” have dominated this category for years. In 2021 and 2022, the prestigious trophy was awarded to the action movie, despite the protracted and tragic death of the genre in most publications. Action cartoons are incredibly difficult to get on the screen, especially on television. Cartoon Network, Nick and Disney Chanel are almost exclusively home to one or two comedy series aimed at six-year-olds. Arcane is conveniently suitable for a slightly older demographic group, but still suitable for a family region.
Arcane could overcome any disadvantage to achieve the level of prestige and appreciation that she has gained. It’s so good. Aside from the difficulties it faces in its genre, Arcane is an action franchise led by women, and its central relationship is a sincere and authentic lesbian romance. From a bold presentation to a unique look, Arcane is successful despite a number of barriers. The show deserves the praise it has earned and more, and every space it enters should be improved by its presence. Studios need to learn to trust artists, be bold in their stories, take risks in every aspect, and they can get something worth celebrating.