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"Heroes and Villains," "Royal Scam," "Law of the Jungle," "Sword of Shikata," "Keeping Secrets," "Tight Squeeze," "Head Over Heals," "The Party," "Flash Memory," "Spider-Man Dis-Abled," "When Sparks Fly," "Mind Games: Part One," "Mind Games: Part Two"
by Walter Chaw Taking place right where the Sam Raimi feature film leaves off, with Peter Parker, Mary Jane, and Harry Osborn off to college (Peter perplexed, MJ clueless, Harry seething), MTV's "Spider-Man: The Animated Series" is a completely CGI creation that has a pretty tough time finding a pulse in among all the whiz-bang. In truth, it took me a long time to thaw to the look of the series, so much like a nifty video game that I caught my thumbs twitching in unconscious sympathy with the gyrations of the coloured .gifs. And even when it stopped actively bugging me, I never completely bought into the piece as any kind of drama--the suspension of disbelief impossible when thoughts of the size of the mainframe, the insane processor rates, and how neat a video game all this was going to make one day keep running through the brain like a stock ticker. Worse, even if the look of the thing were not super-distracting, the voice acting by lead Neil Patrick Harris is more smug than the intended wry, sounding an awful lot like not only Doogie Howser (natch), but also Screech from "Saved by the Bell". Popstress Lisa Loeb is pretty much non-descript as Mary Jane, her absence from all the collection's voluminous special features conspicuous but probably due either to her being busy with a cooking show on the Food Network with boyfriend Dweezil Zappa or not feeling very confident about the series.