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What I’m Currently Watching #27

Howdy ladies and gents, and welcome to What I’m Currently Watching where I give you a tiny update on what TV-based stuff I’m watching and give mini reviews/impressions on them. This is the 27th week and I’ve got a good few shows to cover,  but since I’m feeling a little tired this week I’ll be focusing on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., The  Flash, Arrow, South Park and Star Wars Rebels. With that out of the way let’s talk about some TV! 😀 Oh and careful for minor spoilers…

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Season 4) “Uprising”

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This episode was pretty intense, for the first time in a while this show presented a threat that had a some stakes, danger and potential no-win scenarios for everyone involved. This revolved around the Watchdogs attempt to create chaos and control by posing as Inhumans, creating blackouts and taking over several key locations across the world in a short space of time. For the first time in a while the Watchdogs felt like a threat, for a while now we’ve known they’ve existed, but they’re primarily a faceless enemy that felt was all talk and no action, but this episode did well to illustrate how formidable, strategic and dangerous they can be when required. I also loved how the blackout created several interesting scenarios like: 1) Yo-Yo being at her friend’s party and being forced to use her powers. 2) Coulson, Mac and Fitz attempting to stop the Watchdogs without their convention electronic equipment. 3) Having Simmons and Radcliffe attempt to save May without electricity to power the defibrillator. All of these situations were pretty handled well and required the characters to make think on-the-spot and make tough decisions. I really enjoyed how this episode addressed the prejudice towards Inhumans, how it was still very fresh in the minds of many humans and how some just weren’t ready to trust those who were different, and this created some create/uncomfortable moments between Yo-Yo and her friend and Daisy and Gabe. The action in this episode was also pretty good with two especially fun sequences involving Mac, Coulson and Yo-Yo taking out the bad guys. But my favourite sequence was when they went into that one room, Yo-Yo took all the weapons and everyone just wrecked shop on those Watchdogs dudes, it was wonderfully choreographed and the lights going on and off in between the action scenes was great. Finally it was also great to see Radcliffe and Simmons bring May back to normal (though I thought that AIDA may have been discovered by Simmons) and seeing SHIELD finally back in an official capacity makes me happy and intrigued for what comes next for the organisation especially considering the reveal Senator Parminder Nagra been in cahoots with the Watchdogs (she’s gonna be someone to look out for).

The Flash (Season 3) “Paradox”

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This week The Flash kept its momentum going, and this whole tampering with the timeline stuff created some really interesting changes for what both Barry and us as the viewers know to be reality, all this crazy stuff with Cisco mourning the loss of his brother, Iris being at odds with Joe because the situation with her mother and other minor/notable characters either being alive or totally new altogether makes me say “Huh?” in the best and most curious of ways. And I liked how things started with Barry talking to Felicity about what he did in the timeline and what’s changed for him in this variation of his normal reality, that was fun and quirky and just highlights how important their connection still is. And I couldn’t help but shake my head at Barry’s poor attempts at understanding what’s changed in his life and how he interacted with those close to him with the worst kind of responses. That conversation Barry had with Earth-2 Flash was very important and beautifully worded as it not only gave a good account about what happens when you tamper with time travel but also how in life certain things happen that can’t/shouldn’t be changed and one can only learn from the experience rather than trying to go back and fix them. I also enjoyed seeing Tom Felton as Julian Albert, this guy is a bit of a snobby douche, but in some ways I like his attitude and distrust of Barry, feels like he’ll discover Barry’s secrets if he gets too sloppy. And while it was nice how Barry’s close friends and family forgave him, at the same time I felt like some of the issues in this world were resolved in too much a happy-go-lucky neat bow. But hell it doesn’t matter as the action was solid with the return of Clarence, plus Alchemy seems to be setting up some interesting events for the future which I’m down for.

Arrow (Season 5) “The Recruits”

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Arrow was. As the title of this episode suggested it was all about Oliver getting his new crew together and having a new threat in Star City which causes some trouble for Oliver not only as the mayor but also as Arrow too. The episode wasn’t even 10 minutes in and Oliver as his alter-ego was schooling the new recruits, beating them up as they tried to ring the bell behind him. I can see how some would view his methods as harsh/unfair, but this is classic training 101; train your newbies by dishing out the pain in the most brutal way without killing them to toughen them up for the road ahead. But it was interesting to see Felicity and Oliver butt heads over his training methods, and it really came to a head when Curt gave that tough yet truth about Oliver’s trust and leadership skills, it was a good scene, and then it led to another great scene about why Oliver acts like he does, because of his training in Russia and the losses he’s had over the last few seasons of the show. I love this retrospective/personal material, it really hammers home how difficult it can be to be hero, to build a crew and have trust, and have them follow you with death being a possibility at any point. But I was happy that Oliver revealed himself to the team and that we’re getting the origins of the new team Arrow! And there’s a few other things of note like: 1) I also liked how the flashbacks were relevant to what was happening in the present. 2) While Diggle’s side mission got interest towards the end, I wasn’t overly engaged since he’s not longer part of the Arrow crew, so whatever’s going on with him felt irrelevant. 3) The introduction of the dark archer known as Prometheus attacking Church was cool and I’m curious to see how close he gets to killing Arrow himself.

South Park (Season 20) “Wieners Out”

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This week’s episode was decent one, nothing overly hilarious, but it certainly had its moments. So this episode was all about the uprising of Butters and his campaign to make boys to pride in their manhood, while Gerald felt the pressure and paranoia of his online trolling as he was contacted by a fellow troll about the upcoming plans coming from the Danish to take out trolls permanently. I liked how this episode focus on gender equality, the complications/loopholes in modern political correctness and trolling and internet anonymity. Can I just say that I love how this episode opened with the narration, wonderful cinematic visuals and the Danish views on traditional trolls and how they basically became questionable human beings behind computer screens. I also loved seeing the progression of Cartman and Heidi, how they’re going out and show all the horribly cheesy elements of a modern PC relationship and I didn’t expect to see Butters start a revolution in school but that was pretty funny/amazing. Oh and seeing the mess Gerald had to go through trying to distance himself from the troll stocking him, then trying to stay away from electronics and then lying to his wife about porn that lead him to get peed on, that was some bizarre/funny stuff too. I think my only major gripe with this episode was the lack of super funny jokes, I don’t mind smiling or chuckling at stuff in South Park, but I do miss laughing my ass off on a consistent basis or at least having one major LOL moment.

Star Wars Rebels (Season 3) “Hera’s Heroes”

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So this episode dealt with Hera teaming up with her father and the Ghost team to go back to her home world to save her family heirloom. I like how this episode started out with an action scene, it was pretty cool to see the Stormtroopers chasing after Cham Syndulla and his companion across the lovely desert scenery. Just like with season 2 it was nice to have another character-driven episode where the Jedi and Sith weren’t the primary storyline. And then bloody Grand Admiral Thrawn comes into play and that’s when things got really interesting. I liked how in this episode was got to see much more of him in terms of his overall demeanour and learning about how dangerous a man like him can be to the Rebel Alliance. Thrawn was calculated, classy and chilled out, but how he was also was a good few steps ahead of our heroes and knew who Hera was and the significance of her family heirloom too. You don’t mess around with this guy. I also enjoyed how he let the heroes escape saying that he found the overall experience enlightening, so this clearly shows that 1) He learns from the people he encounters. And more importantly 2) He’s playing the long game so he’ll probably come back a lot harder down the road. Now I will admit that I though more would have been done on this mission, there could have been more than Hera and crew could have taken maybe with supplies or maybe take down a calculated amount of the Empire’s forces on the planet, but alas that wasn’t the case. Even though in the grand scheme of things the episode felt a little inconsequential by the end, the episode had some good character moments and Thrawn’s appearance definitely made this episode more a highlight than I expected.

Well that’s what I’ve been watching. So have you seen or plan to watch any of these shows? If you have any thoughts be sure to drop a comment below and let me know what TV shows you’re currently watching  too. Until next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on October 16, 2016 in Reviews, TV Reviews

 

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What I’m Currently Watching #26.5

Howdy ladies and gents, and welcome to What I’m Currently Watching where I give you a tiny update on what TV-based stuff I’m watching and give mini reviews/impressions on them. It is week 26.5 and I’ve decided to do another TV post this week because of the extra shows that have started and some of the episodes of current Tv that’s gone down this week too. So today I’ll be talking about Blindspot, The Flash, Arrow, Star Wars Rebels and South Park. With that out of the way let’s talk about some TV! 😀 Oh and careful for minor spoilers…

Blindspot (Season 2) “If Beth”

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Seems like a lot has happened in this episode with Roman trying to help Jane fight for Sandstorm’s cause, Reade trying to process his repressed memories, the animosity between Weller and Nas continued. The main story surrounding the ex-CIA agent was pretty interesting, though not as engaging as last week’s episode, the material surrounding the main characters’ personal struggles was much better. One thing I really liked was when the team went undercover to that fancy charity event, I love when a team have to infiltrate an event by dressing up, but covertly looking for a dangerous suspect in various locations of the location. There was some nice moments of humour, tension and action especially with Patterson, Jane, Weller and Nas. Oh and by the way everyone looked so smart and beautiful especially Jane, Zapata and Patterson. 🙂 We also learnt two major things about Sandstorm this week, 1) Shepard and Roman really wanted Jane emotionally invested to the point where they revealed history not only about themselves but also their ties to Jane. And 2) The revelation that Sandstorm have been watching Weller for over 20 years (even having his old cadet ceremony video), that was creepy and surprising and it makes me wonder just how much does he factor into Sandstorm’s plans.

The Flash (Season 3) “Flashpoint”

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Yay The Flash is back with the first episode of season 3 and so far I’m liking it. I’ve never read the comics or seen the animated versions of the Flashpoint Paradox but this episode seemed to deliver on what I’ve heard about the source material online. So this episode basically dealt with Barry living in this new version of reality where both of his parents are alive, Wally is The Flash, Cisco is a billionaire, Joe is a drunk and a good few other things have changed too. It was intriguing and fun to see Barry interact with this world which was familiar and yet different, but as Eobard Thawne stated time was gonna catch up with Barry and soon it did. Seeing a rich Cisco, a super confident Kid Flash and drunk/lazy Joe was interesting, but it was the Barry and Iris stuff that worked the most for me, I’ve never loved Iris, but I never liked her that much either, but here she was the most likeable she’s ever been for me and I’m not sure why. I loved how there were consequences for time travel for Barry, living in the new timeline was all and well, but because of his speed and new interactions with the people he knew, he was erasing his original memories which made me have to team up with Thawne to correct the original timeline, only problem now is that Iris is no longer part of the picture, so one can only wonder what the hell happened in this version of the prime universe.

Arrow (Season 5) “Legacy”

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After an up and down 4th season, Arrow‘s back again with its 5TH SEASON! Just thinking about how far this show’s come since its inception is crazy. I said after I finished the last season that was done with this show, but I knew I wouldn’t stay away for too long and this first episode wasn’t half bad. It was nice to see how things had changed from last season with Oliver being mayor, but still being the Arrow by night, except now he’s back to killing and brutally hurting his enemies again. 😛 I also liked seeing how tough life’s been for Quentin after Laurel’s death and how Thea didn’t want to go back to the vigilante lifestyle after leaving that part of herself in the past. Straight from the beginning the episode started with the action and it was on-point, it was filmed well, nicely choreographed and was solid throughout the episode. Some of the CGI was a little blurry and didn’t blend too well with the live-action stuff, but it was decent enough. I liked seeing Chad L. Coleman as Tobias Church, he was fun and cheesy (in a good way) and I’ll be curious to see what he brings as the main villain in future episodes. It did feel weird that Team Arrow only consisted of Oliver and Felicity, but its nice how by the end of the episode Oliver was persuaded to assemble a new crew. Even the flashbacks weren’t that offense and might offer up something I may actually be interested in, but we’ll see if I’m still feeling that way halfway through the season haha.

Star Wars Rebels (Season 3) “The Antilles Extraction”

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This week’s episode of Rebels was another enjoyable episode with the focus being on Sabine as she infiltrated Empire to help recruit some of the pilots that wanted to defect to the Rebel Alliance. Firstly I wanted to say that it was great to see Sabine front and center, getting to go on a tough mission and show off her skills. As for Wedge he’s been one of those minor character characters who I’ve always liked seeing in the main films, so seeing him at an earlier point before A New Hope was cool, though not as exciting for me because I’m not overly invested in him as hardcore fans are. I liked how Sabine’s mission wasn’t easy whether it be her questioning the orders given during the training simulation, to her escape with Wedge and the others being sabotaged which lead to them being captured or how Sabine had to fight Governor Pryce in hand-to-hand combat. And speaking of Pryce, it was great to see more of her personality and get directly involved with the Rebels (seeing her fight was awesome), but it was Agent Kallus who surprised me, once again he showed a lot of development and more so than before he definitely seems conflicted, helping Sabine escape and seeming dissatisfied with his treatment in the Empire at the moment (at least that’s how I saw it). And once again I had to comment on how great this show looks with the art direction, use of colour and lighting, on the planet where the Empire were based, it looked gorgeous.

Well that’s what I’ve been watching. So have you seen or plan to watch any of these shows? If you have any thoughts be sure to drop a comment below and let me know what TV shows you’re currently watching  too. Until next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on October 9, 2016 in Reviews, TV Reviews

 

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What I’m Currently Watching #26

Howdy ladies and gents, and welcome to What I’m Currently Watching where I give you a tiny update on what TV-based stuff I’m watching and give mini reviews/impressions on them. This is the 26th week and I’m a little late with some of these reviews due to my bnge session with Luke Cage over the weeked (review available here), but with that out of the way I can finally get back to some of these TV episodes from last week. Today I’ll be talking about Blindspot, Regular Show, Lucifer, Star Wars Rebels and South Park. With that out of the way let’s talk about some TV! 😀 Oh and careful for minor spoilers…

Blindspot (Season 2) Episodes 2 & 3

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I’ve been a little behind with Blindspot, but I’ve been catching up on my days off. There’s been a lot going on with this show over the last few episodes. In “Heave Fiery Knot” there was trust issues going on being Weller’s team, Jane and the NSA, more revelations leant about Jane’s history and crazy action scenes with firefights and a missile that almost hit a plane! That was some intense shit! I’m enjoying the ties to last season when it came to Reade following up his case from last season and Weller dealing with the memory of his father, but there were a lot of new and interesting elements Sandstorm and the tension between Shepard and Roman. As for “Hero Fears Imminent Rot“, bloody hell, that episode had one heck of an opening, I’m never gonna trust a random bag in cab ever again. It looks like Jane’s had the worst of luck with Sandstorm clearly aware about Jane’s lies in relation to her captivity, then they sent her on a mission to an innocent man just to see if she was still loyal to the cause, which she couldn’t do and then after going out on field operation almost got herself killed and lost the guy she was originally following. As for the main case of the week with the bomb guys that stuff was crazy, I hate it when there’s insane people wanting to kill innocent people because of a personal loss because it’s emotionally fueled, and it makes me feel incredibly uncomfortable because one wrong move during a diffusion or saying the wrong thing to a bomber while he’s got a trigger in his hand can spell game over, luckily our protagonists got out of it okay. Some other things I wanted to cover briefly were: 1) Looks like Patterson and Dr. Borden are a thing now, after being initially hesitant, Patterson went in for that kiss and I’m curious to see where that relationship goes. 2) Reade telling Zapata about him potentially being molested by his former coach was pretty significant and I’m curious if we’ll see him unlock those memories. And 3) I was surprised Roman covered for Jane which shows that he really cares for her, but knowing that he can’t cover for her again means Jane will have to get with the program or risk further danger in the future.

Lucifer (Season 2) “Liar, Liar, Slutty Dress on Fire”

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After a week off Lucifer came back with its second episode and this one was more entertaining than the last with better jokes, more character development and new character/story elements which will probably arc across the season. I liked the introduction of Lucifer’s mother, how she hoped from dead body to dead body to find her son and finally settled on woman who just happened to be part of the key investigation for this episode. Tricia Helfer is awesome as Lucifer’s mother, she’s complicated, sassy, fun and not fully aware of human customs, plus her and Tom Welling have great banter. It was interesting to see Lucifer angry at his mother for abandoning him and trying to figure out what his mother was up to, when in fact there was a lot more to the story with his mum explaining the situation and history surrounding his and her events. And while they made up at the end of the episode, that smile she gave to the sky indicates that she’s up to something for sure.

South Park (Season 20) “The Damned”

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So here we are with se. I once again adored this show’s approach to social media, and how obsessed the world can be with technology and the use of Twitter. I love how everyone treated Twitter like the be all and end all of life, whether it was the police officers talking about Twitter suicide or homicide or all of the boys freaking out about the police looking into Cartman’s disappearance because of what they did, that material fabulous. I haven’t found too much of Mr. Garrison’s material too entertaining so far, but this episode was solid because it highlighted the real life madness going on with Donald Trump’s campaign where the man spouts nonsense and everyone’s down with it because he speaks his mind and doesn’t say the same usual political material. But that ending was what got me. Having Cartman and Heidi hanging out as two lost souls left to hang out in the real world was strange/cute enough, but that part when Heidi asks Cartman if he’d like to see her vagina took me by surprise, but it was Cartman’s “Holy shit” line that killed me. BEST. REACTION. EVER!

Regular Show (Show Season 8) Episodes 1-4

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When I found out about Regular Show‘s return last week I freaked out, I knew it’d be back for another season but I just didn’t know when. So firstly there’s “One Space Day at a Time” this episode basically dealt with the Park crew and Eileen adjusting to their new situation in space, while “Cool Bro Bots” introduced our heroes to a new set of helpful robots that came across as friendly individuals that Mordecai and Rigby were skeptical of. With the crazy/unexpected ending of season 7, RS had a lot of places it could go with the new setting and larger-than-life possibilities of space, and these two episode did some interesting things with the Park crew trying to get a phone signal, checking food supplies and almost getting sucked into space, and then having to deal with robots that secretly harvested plants for money and  getting into a laser gun battle alongside hardcore human resistant fighters. “Welcome to Space” expanded the mythology behind the park being in a dome and gave reasoning for the dome coming into play in the past, it was a bizarre yet interesting/funny way to propel this show into new situations and I loved the concept of the Spark Initiative and the fact that all of the Park crew were on board besides Benson, and speaking of Benson, while I understood his pessimistic attitude at the same time he was be being a right party pooper and he started to annoy me. Bt it was awesome that he had a hilariously horrible life on earth, decided he’d made a mistake and came back around on the idea of living in space, even if it was due to being a hologram room haha. And finally “Space Creds” felt like a normal episode of the show with Mordecai and Rigby wanting something dangerous/cool and needing to do something ridiculous to get it, in this case it was hover boots. I loved the random nature of the relationship between the doctor and her husband, their backstory and their interaction with Mordecai and Rigby. There was so much over-the-top foolishness, humour and random material, but it came together well.

Star Wars Rebels (Season 3) “The Holocrons of Fate”

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So how do you follow-up a great season premiere? You bring in Darth Maul that’s how! 😀 Now I know there are previews of upcoming episodes, but I never watch them so I didn’t know the guy would be showing up so soon in season 3 and man this episode was awesome because of it. I love how Maul was able to capture the Ghost team and force Kanan and Ezra to give both the Sith and Jedi Holocrons. And even after getting what he wanted he was willing to kill Kanan and try to influence Ezra. It was interesting to see Kanan and Ezra not only interact with the Bendu, but also how to work together inside that cave to obtain the Holocron, that was good character development for those two. But what was my favourite aspects of the episode was when the Holocrons combined, I assumed the locations that Ezra saw must be tied to various places in the Star Wars films, but the “two moons” comment must have been in relation to Tatooine because when Maul left in his ship and was frazzled/angry saying “he” was still alive he must have been talking about Obi-Wan Kenobi which just makes me all the more excited to see those two have rematch.

Well that’s what I’ve been watching. So have you seen or plan to watch any of these shows? If you have any thoughts be sure to drop a comment below and let me know what TV shows you’re currently watching  too. Until next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on October 7, 2016 in Reviews, TV Reviews

 

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Marvel’s Luke Cage Season 1 Review (NO SPOILERS)

Howdy ladies and gents, time for another one of those beastly reviews and today I’m reviewing something I’ve waited ages to see, I am of course talking about the first season of Marvel’s Luke Cage. The funny thing is, even though Mike Colter’s Luke Cage was one of the best aspects of Jessica Jones, I wasn’t too hyped about him getting his own show initially. However, over time when I watched and read interviews with the cast, producers and showrunner, my interest increased, but it was after the Comic-Con trailer dropped in July that I was down for this show. So now that I’ve seen it all, how is it? Well read on and find out!

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So what’s the story for this show? Well our protagonist, Luke Cage is an ex-convict who was experimented on in prison and given super strength and durability, however he escapes and now resides in Harlem hiding in plain sight. However when problems arise in the city, Luke has to step  up and confront issues past and present in order to keep everyone safe.

What I appreciated the most about this show immediately its sense of identity, Luke Cage is totally different from Daredevil and Jessica Jones in style, tone and story, however, it shares enough similarities that in certain elements that it fits into the same universe as the previous shows. Straight from the beginning you notice the show’s sense of presence, charisma and sophistication that you don’t see with a lot superhero TV, and as someone who has been following this show long before the marketing started, it was fascinating and rewarding to see how showrunner, Cheo Hodari Coker’s vision come to life in such a vivid manner after reading and watching all of those interviews. The show also does a really good job of telling its story slowly and methodically, having a lot of the key superhero story plot points, but also telling a story which felt smart, realistic and relevant to social and racial issues that are happening in the world today.

I would also like to note that Luke Cage might be the most consistent of all the Marvel Netflix shows so far, Jessica Jones‘ episodes tended to fluctuate in terms of enjoyment and relevance and the same can be said for this year’s Daredevil season 2, and even Daredevil season 1 there was a dip in quality in the final three episodes (not so much the finale though). As I was binging Luke Cage every episode had content that was felt compelling, fun, interesting, dramatic and most importantly relevant, none of it felt like filler, though I have heard some say that the final two episodes felt weaker than what came before and while I can see that point of view, at the same time they didn’t detract from my overall enjoyment of the show. I also liked how the show took some chances and made some surprising turns with the overall story and use of certain characters. Oh and the references to the Marvel Cinematic Universe might be my favourites so far with ties to specific characters, events and technology from a few of the films and previous Netflix shows being used to great effect in verbal and visual ways. With all that being said the show wasn’t perfect, firstly there was a misuse of certain characters over the course of the season. Secondly there were some plot points that were brought up but never got properly concluded or didn’t have as much of a satisfying pay off as one would expect. And for all the references that were put into the show, I felt like some of them were teasing certain things that never came to pass unfortunately.

Episode highlights include:

  • Moment of Truth
  • Code of the Streets (personal favourite)
  • Who’s Gonna Take the Weight?
  • Step in the Arena (personal favourite)
  • Just to Get a Rep
  • Manifest (personal favourite)
  • Blowin’ Up the Spot
  • DWYCK
  • Take It Personal (personal favourite)
  • Now You’re Mine

When it comes to the cast they were all really good, and I found it intriguing how a lot of them had surface level personas, but as the season went on you discovered their real selves, though some stood out more than others. Firstly there’s Mike Colter as Luke Cage, damn this guy is good! Colter bring such a sense of fun, charisma, subtlety, magnetism and depth to this character who’s already endured a lot in his life and has more personal struggles ahead of him with the villains and scenarios he gets into. I also adored how grounded and relatable Luke was, he was an every man, like he belonged among non-superpowered people unlike Jessica Jones and Matt Murdock who feel anything but normal and have questionable personality traits. Mahershala Ali was beyond great as Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes, here we had a character who is your standard villain but in all the right ways, he’s charming, intimidating, smart and has some really compelling personal history that enriches him as a character, and every time he was on-screen you wanted him to come back. Simone Missick as Misty Knight was also very good, at first I really appreciated her no-nonsense/cocky attitude, but it did take me a while to feel connected to her and thankfully due to the use of the character in the story and some terrific acting from Missick she ascended into my favourites department. Theo Rossi as Shades was someone I thought would be a throwaway character, but he quickly became one of my favourites due to his totally chilled out demeanour, sense of style and character motivations, plus Rossi’s acting made him so likeable.

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Alfre Woodard was fabulous as Mariah Dillard, this lady was driven, committed and proactive, though the actions of Luke and Cottonmouth created some issues morally and personally for her as time went on. There was a lot more to this character than I expected, and the reason I liked her so much was because of Woodard’s acting, bloody hell I forgot how good she was and she has some really great material at certain points. Rosario Dawson did well as Claire Temple and had a fair amount to do, far more than I expected when it came to learning more about her and see how she fits into main story, and Dawson just brings that passion, charm and beauty that she’s known for in full effect. Then there’s Erik LaRay Harvey (who I remembered from Boardwalk Empire) as Diamondback and he was pretty good too, while his character wasn’t nearly compellng or fleshed out as the rest of the cast, at the same time he was pretty scary, perceptive and ruthless and it really helped that Harvey excels in these kind of roles. A powerful arms dealer who is Cage’s half-brother, and framed him for the crime that sent him to Seagate Prison. You also have Frank Whaley as Rafael Scarfe and Ron Cephas Jones as Bobby Fish, both characters have ties to the main characters (Scarfe with Misty and Fish with Luke), and they have some really cool, hilarious and notable moments in this show. And finally there are some wonderful cameos from characters who first appeared in Daredevil and Jessica Jones and they are used to wonderful effect, especially one key character who you’ll know when you see him. 😀

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As for the presentation, it fabulous. Visually the show looks very nice and consistent with the previous shows, but I feel like there was a lot more attention to detail when it came to the framing of certain shots and general cinematography. I also loved the way the filmmakers captured Harlem in all of its areas, it makes you feel like you know the area and you get in on the ground level from the fancy areas to the dark back alleys. And I have to talk about the action scenes, while not as impressive as Daredevil (obviously because Luke’s no martial arts expert) I really enjoyed the way the show depicted Luke’s strength and durability, but also how he fought in his action sequences which were frantic, hard-hitting and sometimes hilarious. Oh and that intro with the visual imagery and song, fabulous! As for the soundtrack, composers Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad made something damn special, their score for this TV show has such a beautiful sound that feels intricate to the show and has a variety in its sound, but calls a lot a 1970’s funk/disco sound with some hip-hop vibes. Oh and that the choices of music from real life musicians whether they were life performances or just placed within an episode were fantastic and captured the mood and style of the show so well.

In conclusion season 1 of Marvel’s Luke Cage is a damn good show and I would say it’s miles better than Jessica Jones, but not quite as solid Daredevil‘s first season, though it’s damn close! This show has a lot to say over with its themes, issues and story aspects which were explored in such a thoughtful, emotional and engaging manner, and with such fabulous performances and an incredible soundtrack it is impossible to deny this show’s quality. It does have some issues with the use of characters and unanswered story elements, and some may not enjoy the slower pace, but overall it’s some damn good TV which I highly recommend.

Rating: 8.5/10

So have you seen season 1 of Marvel’s Luke Cage and is so what do you think of it? And how would you compare it to Daredevil and Jessica Jones? Please leave your comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters. 🙂

 
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Posted by on October 4, 2016 in Media, Reviews, Television, TV Reviews

 

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What I’m Currently Watching #25

Howdy ladies and gents, and welcome to What I’m Currently Watching where I give you a tiny update on what TV-based stuff I’m watching and give mini reviews/impressions on them. This is the 25th week and I’m a little behind with a few episodes, but I’m getting there. This week I’ll be covering Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., South Park and Star Wars Rebels. With that out of the way let’s talk about some TV! 😀 Oh and careful for minor spoilers…

Agents of SHIELD (Season 4) “Meet the New Boss”

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So we’re back with AoS and the follow-up episode to the great season premiere was pretty damn solid. This episode did a good job of answering a goof few questions presented in the previous episode regarding: 1) Seeing the new director of SHIELD in the flesh, 2) Finding out what was going on with the ghost woman and 3) Seeing how integral Ghost Rider would be to the plot going forward. I really enjoyed the scenes between Daisy and Robbie with Daisy being pushy and trying to get information from Robbie, and Robbie being uncooperative/hostile. I’m also just loving how much Ghost Rider we’re getting at the moment whether Robbie’s getting into scuffles with Daisy or transforming and burning his enemies to the ground (which was awesome by the way), it’s always fun when he’s on-screen. It was also interesting to learn about the ghost lady and how she and her other colleagues were part of some incident that was her fault, I’m curious to see where their story goes whether we’ll learn what happened to them in flashbacks and whether it was science-based or something supernatural, I’m hoping for the latter or possibly a but of both if compromise is required. There were some nice moments with Mac and Fitz, Coulson and May too, but the most intriguing element of the show was the new director of SHIELD, Jeffrey. Finally we got to see this guy in the flesh and he was so nice, friendly and upbeat, but we also learnt that he’s not only got plans to bring SHIELD back into the public eye, but also to keep Coulson away from people he can’t be objective about. Oh, and he’s an Inhuman! That was totally unexpected, and to see him take all that damage from May and shut her down so quickly was cold and badass. Oh and Melinda May had one heck of a day, feeling uneasy and delusional because of the touch of the ghost lady, to see her being paranoid and attacking everyone,it was fascinating to see her outside of her normal demeanour and with her left strapped down all panicky it makes me wonder what Jeffrey’s people will do to May to make her “better”.

South Park (Season 20) “Skank Hunt”

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I always love how South Park can take something so simple in its plot, blow it out proportion and make it funny and that’s what happened in this episode. Seeing more of Kyle’s work as Skankhunt42 was funny during his trolling montages, but to find out his reasoning being why he does what he does was interesting; he just thought being a troll was funny and he wanted to cause chaos just because he could. I also loved how everyone reacted to Heidi Turner leaving Twitter, it was hilarious how everyone treated her like she was dead and the kids started writing nice memories about her in class even though she was still right there. Oh and when the boys tricked Cartman into coming into the woods and then smashed his electronics, only to find out that he wasn’t Skankhunt42, that stuff was funny too. But the icing on the cake was when all the girls broke up with the guys in that awesome sequence towards the end, it was so dramatic, over-the-top and it was interesting to learn how many guys in that school actually had girlfriends haha.

Star Wars Rebels (Season 3) “Steps Into Shadow”

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Star Wars Rebels has come back and I loved the first episode of season 3. It had some minor tonal and story issues, but overall it did ell to show how much had changed since last season with the Ghost team, and what’s been going on with the Empire. I like how we got to see the new Ghost team with Ezra as the leader, clearly they’ve been working this way for a while and have an efficient dynamic with their different skills. Clearly Ezra a lot stronger, more confident and reckless, but in an exciting and captivating way, his lightsaber and Force abilities are miles beyond what they were before, but it was that scene when he controlled that Imperial walker, shot down those Stormtroopers and then made the Walker go off the edge, I was like “Damn, this dude ain’t playing around!” Clearly the time he sent with that Sith Holocron has taught him a lot, but has been corrupting him. I also loved seeing Kanan’s arc in this episode, he’s still been deeply affected by the events of the season 2’s finale and he’s separated himself from the Ghost team, but he at least got to confront Ezra about the Holocron and then go on a journey himself with the Bendu teaching him about his own fear and how to use the Force to see without his sight. That was some thought-provoking and beautiful material. Plus the addition of Grand Admiral Thrawn was very enticing to me, I only know of the character’s significance through fan discussion online, but from what I’ve seen so far is that he comes across as very smart, methodical and cool character, clearly he’s got long-term plans for the Rebels. The overall tone of the show was a little darker and more serious than before (probably thanks to the new later time slot) and I’m liking where this show is heading so far.

Well that’s what I’ve been watching. So have you seen or plan to watch any of these shows? If you have any thoughts be sure to drop a comment below and let me know what TV shows you’re currently watching  too. Until next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2016 in Reviews, TV Reviews

 

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What I’m Currently Watching #24

Howdy ladies and gents, and welcome to What I’m Currently Watching where I give you a tiny update on what TV-based stuff I’m watching and give mini reviews/impressions on them. This is the 24th week and with the summer over and TV season back in full swing again, its time for the weekly TV reviews to come back, and this week I’ll be talking about Blindspot, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Lucifer and South Park. With that out of the way let’s talk about some TV! 😀 Oh and careful for minor spoilers…

Blindspot (Season 2) “In Night So Ransomed Rogue”

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Ah Blindspot, its good to see you again. What was nice was that the tone, plot and characters felt in line with what’s come before, but the new plot involving the NSA working with the FBI to get Sandstorm (the same enemy that messed with Jane) creates a new dynamic that’ll be fun to explore over the course of the season. It’s interesting to see how things had initially changed for not only Jane but Weller and his team too with Jane being incarcerated and physically tortured, while Weller and his crew miss working on Jane’s tattoos. But what captured my attention more was how the events surrounding Jane from last season finally came to light and how it affected Weller, Reade, Zapata and Patterson’s relationship with Jane. Emotions were clearly running high not only with the FBI’s crew’s feelings towards Jane, but also the relationship between Jane and Weller, but then there’s all the stuff with Jane especially towards the end of the episode, with all those revelations about her past and the tie-ins to the beginning of the show, it just adds so much layers to the overall story, and the new characters Jane’s interacted with. I also liked seeing all of the actors back in their roles especially with Jaimie Alexander and Sullivan Stapleton, but it was also great to see newcomers Archie Panjabi, Michelle Hurd and Luke Mitchell (my man from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) establish themselves well in this show.

Agents of SHIELD (Season 4) “The Ghost”

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So S.H.I.E.L.D. is back on TV again and its nice to see how things have progressed since last season and all the new elements introduced. I like how the episode didn’t waste time and started with an action sequence which not only gave us a look at Daisy/Quake in action but also showed us glimpses of Ghost Rider as he drove his flaming car and took dudes out in a gruesome manner off-screen. I also like how Mac and Coulson are a new pairing, while several of the old members of the SHIELD team are off in different departments. Crazy to see how divide of all the characters has created not only a shift in power/authority but also trust issues as well, some of my favourites being with Simmons and May or Yo-Yo and Daisy. It was also great to see the return of Dr. Radcliffe and his Life Model Decoy (AIDA played wonderfully by Mallory Jansen) in action and the conversation he had with Fitz about the codes and ethics of what he can and can’t do in SHIELD and Radcliffe’s reasoning behind wanting to create the LMD was really fascinating. Gabriel Luna is doing a great job as Robbie Reyes/Ghost Rider so far, he’s mysterious, intimidating and cool, and I love his reasoning for doing what he does not only as Robbie, but as Ghost Rider too. Plus how sweet was that reveal of the Rider in action? So cool, the VFX were on-point! The episode was pretty good with the addition of supernatural elements not only with the unexplained origins of Ghost Rider, but also of that strange ghost lady that made those guys kill each other and infected May’s mind. Finally I also liked the theme of attachment and how it applied to several of the main characters including Daisy, Robbie, Fitz and Yo-Yo. Can’t wait to see how this season progresses.

Lucifer (Season 2) “Everything Comes Up Lucifer”

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Lucifer has returned and it feels like nothing has changed and that is both a good and bad thing for me. On the one hand the show’s still the same with the humour, style, characters and cop drama cases, and that’s good stuff. But at the same time there wasn’t too much change between the end of season 1 and the start of season 2, I guess that’s due to the short amount of time passed between episodes. All in all it was a funny episode with Lucifer being his funny, charismatic and egocentric self, but it was also interesting learn details about Lucifer’s mother, his history with her and how Maze and Amenadiel felt about it too. But what was even more intriguing was Decker’s feelings about Lucifer’s abilities and how Amenadiel explained it to her to keep her away from the truth. I’m definitely curious to see where the show goes from here, but the first episode for season 2 wasn’t as impressive as I wanted.

South Park (Season 20) “Member Berries”

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So here we are with season 20 of South Park and it was fine, had some fun moments, but nothing super funny. The episode was topical, covered a lot of stuff that’s happened in the world recently, but also covered certain things that’s happened in South Park history too. I did like how the episode started with the Volleyball match, that was pretty funny especially after everyone left after the national anthem. The Cartman thing with him talking about girls being funny and talking about their virginas was kind of funny, but the best line was when one of the girls called Cartman and a “fat fuck” and Butters laughed, that was perfect. The whole Member Berries thing was just a little weird and dull, but the thing with J.J. Abrams rebooting the natural anthem was fun, if a little anti-climatic, and while I loved Mr. Mackey’s rise to power for the position of President, in this episode I found him a lot less compelling and funny than before, I hope he gets better. The end reveal that Kyle’s dad was skankhunt42 was great and I can see that this being one of the key elements that will continue of the course of the season.

Well that’s what I’ve been watching. So have you seen or plan to watch any of these shows? If you have any thoughts be sure to drop a comment below and let me know what TV shows you’re currently watching  too. Until next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on September 21, 2016 in Reviews, TV Reviews

 

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What I’m Currently Watching #23 – Summer Edition!

Howdy ladies and gents, and after how many months away welcome back to What I’m Currently Watching where I give you a tiny update on what TV-based stuff I’m watching and give mini reviews/impressions on them. I feel terrible for leaving this series dormant for several months now, but work, life, timing and effort were all factors that prevented me from coming back to this. But since I’ve gotten a little spare time recently I had to talk about some TV. So with week 23, I’m gonna talk about two of the shows I recently finished; The Get Down and Luther. Oh and careful for minor spoilers below…

The Get Down (Part 1)

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So The Get Down is a show I’ve been excited about for ages since I heard about it online many months ago, the concept of the show just intrigued me with the 70’s setting and birth of the hip hop genre amidst the all the drama, crime and violence. I finally saw it last week over the course of one day and really enjoyed it.

At first I wasn’t keen on the more fantastical/otherworldly nature of this show, it seemed to ride this line between realism and fantasy and sometimes with the way certain scenes were framed and the use of sound effects took me out of the show on a good few occasions. That being said, once the show got going it became really fun, interesting, and engaging. Regardless of how true to life this show is in terms of the depiction of the time period, disco and the early phase of hip-hop, DJ scratching and being an MC, this show did a great job at showing the origins of these elements with an interesting cast of characters in the main and secondary cast. The show has a great sense of fun, pride and drama, and while some of the characters and story elements aren’t as compelling as other. Once the six episodes are over you really want to see more. The best part was seeing Ezekiel’s journey, seeing Grandmaster Flash and following the formation and adventures the Fantastic Four Plus One. This was my favourite material as it was really engaging, fun, fabricating and felt really realistic to a degree. I also liked seeing the state of New York during the 70’s with pop culture, crime and the difficulties that people faced. The cast is solid and really bring these characters to life. Firstly there’s Justice Smith who’s great as Ezekiel “Zeke” Figuero, Zeke is an interesting character because of he’s a smart,talented ad yet conflicted and has struggles with his future, love interest and friends. Shameik Moore who I loved in Dope was pretty good as Shaolin Fantastic, this was a very different side of Moore than what I’ve seen, Fantastic was strange, cocky and made questionable decisions, but he was an endearing and stylish dude. Jaden Smith as Marcus “Dizzee” Kipling was good, I know these days it’s cool to hate on Smith because of his acting and questionable comments on social media, but Dizzee felt like a role that was made for Smith, he’s artistic, otherworldly and not everyone gets him, but he’s spiritual and pretty cool. Skylan Brooks was really good as the level-headed Ra-Ra Kipling, and T. J. Brown Jr. who initially annoyed me ended up being cool as Boo-Boo Kipling.

The one weak link for me was Herizen F. Guardiola as Mylene Cruz, and it wasn;t so much Guardiola’s acting, she was great in the role, but it was the character I couldn’t get on board with. She had such a hot and cold attitude with Zeke and her quest to become a famous singer in the disco genre just wasn’t as compelling as the Fantastic Four Plus One, however, her story definitely gets better in the later episodes.
Jimmy Smits was really good as Francisco “Papa Fuerte” Cruz, I wasn’t sure what to expect from him in this show but he ended up being one of the most engaging characters because of the balance he had to do between his business and personal life. From the recurring cast Giancarlo Esposito was fantastic as Pastor Ramon Cruz, he was scary, ferocious and felt like he was channelling a bit of Gus from Breaking Bad. Also Mamoudou Athie was really cool as Grandmaster Flash and finally Kevin Corrigan, who I’ve loved since Fringe and Comminuty was one of my favourite people as Jackie Moreno, he played a record producer who had a lot of bad habits but was also brilliant at his job. I’ve enjoyed this show so far and I can’t wait to see season 2.

Luther (Seasons 1-4)

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So Luther, that British TV show from the BBC that a lot of people have been going on about for years, I only got around to watching it in the last week. Yeah it has taken me that long to check it out haha. I can see a lot of people being surprised by this but there’s a legit reason. During its initial run I wasn’t too interested in a lot British TV and didn’t commit to shows that were longer than 30 mins. However after I was exposed to all of the US TV I binged during uni, I became open to watching longer TV like Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones, Sherlock and so on. This show has been on my watch list for years (mainly the last two), but I’ve had a lot to check out and after finishing The Wire in July, Luther was next. So how was Luther? Pretty darn good, but not without its issues.

What was notable straight away was how engaging things were from the first episode. From the beginning the stories featured a variety of scenarios relating to DCI John Luther and the crimes he investigates, these stories are full of danger, mystery, intrigue and drama. The cool thing about these stories was that they were captivating and entertaining in the best possible way with some episodic adventures and some that were in two or more parts. And while most episodes focused on the police cases normally involving murder, they were times when the show deviated away to Luther and his personal life or side cases, and some of the best episodes involved stories involving crazy or creepy murderers and/or Luther’s personal life. That being said, what surprised me about this show was how ridiculous it got. Some of the stories, dialogue and character motivations stretched the realm of realism and the term suspension of disbelief comes to mind. With each season the scenarios got more and more ambitious and absurd, however, after a while you do adjust the over-the-top and silly nature of some of this show as it becomes part of the fun and crazy rollercoaster of an adventure.

It also helped that the show was shot very well, the cinematography was lovely and this show does a great job at showing off London in all its beautiful and not so beautiful scenery. But it is the characters that make the show super fun and engaging to watch. Firstly there’s Idris Elba as DCI John Luther and Elba is great, along with Stringer Bell from The Wire, this is the key role that shows why people love Elba as an actor because of his dramatic range, likeability and screen presence. The next key performance in this show comes from Ruth Wilson as Alice, she’s introduced early on as a dangerous, unpredictable and unlikable character, but over time your grow to appreciate her, and after a while you can’t get enough of her and that is due to Wilson’s performance that is so captivating, creepy and sexy all at the same time. Other great characters include Dermot Crowley as DCI/DSI Martin Schenk who initially is a stern and douche-like character and then becomes one of the key people in Luther’s circle of people, Warren Brown as DS Justin Ripley is another great character who is Luther’s partner and friend and has some really key moments in the show, and some other notable people I liked were Michael Smiley as Benny ‘Deadhead’ Silver, Aimee-Ffion Edwards as Jenny Jones and Rose Leslie as DS Emma Lane. As an overall show it is good but flawed due to the fact season 1 and 2 were great, season 3 wasn’t as good but still enjoyable, and the two-part season 4 was interesting but felt hollow and inconclusive. I do hope that Luther will get a proper ending because this fun show deserves it.

Well that’s what I’ve been watching. So have you seen or plan to watch any of these shows? If you have any thoughts be sure to drop a comment below and let me know what TV shows you’re currently watching  too. Until next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2016 in Life, Media, Reviews, Television, TV Reviews

 

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QUICK REVIEW: Ultimate Spider-Man Season 2

Howdy people, I’m back once agin with a TV review and after two years since my last review on this show, I’m back talking about Ultimate Spider-Man season 2. Now back in 2014 I was watching this show and I dunno why it’s taken me so long to get back to this show, but since I’ve had a bit more free time over the last month I decided to plough through the season and today I want to share my thoughts.

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So let’s get this out of the way first, I’m not the biggest fan of this show, but season 1 had small, and I mean SMALL glimmers of potential for future episodes. And the thing about Ultimate Spider-Man is that with season 2 is that it’s not bad, but not great. With the first season it was a struggle but now with this season the viewing experience was a little more tolerable.

So here’s the pros of season 2:

  1. The show makes attempts at character development
  2. The show also tries to have emotional impact rather than focusing on humour all the time
  3. Interesting character cameos
  4. The amount of references to the comics for fans is pretty good

But for all the improvements there are cons and here they are:

  1. All of the issues from the last season carry over into this season (horrible cut away jokes, bad character development, etc.)
  2. Pointless episodic adventures
  3. Lackluster fight sequences
  4. Weak and repetitive villains

Best episodes:

  • Journey of the Iron Fist
  • The Parent Trap
  • Blade & Hollowing Commandos (two-part episode)
  • Sandman Returns

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Just to expand upon the points I made above, USM season 2 does make an attempt to tell some more meaningful stories and has a better focus on Peter Parker’s solo adventures as Spidey or his interesting team ups with some other Marvel heroes. The relationship he has with his team is better and the development made between him and Luke Cage and Iron Fist was great. Also the show still looks pretty good with its art direction and animation, but that’s more or less solid. Oh and finally I liked how some of the story elements from last season carried over to this one and how some episodes came in two parts. That being said, this show is still infuriating with its use of poor humour which is bottom-of-the-barrel, silly, juvenile and comes at the worst times especially when it comes to certain serious moments. The use of villains were poor imitations of their comic book counterparts, some are poorly integrated while others pose no real threat some are used far too often without room for other villains to make an impression. But what really pisses me off about this show is the same reason I hated the first season, and that is the handling of the title character, Spider-Man. He’s written as an idiot. He’s always so cocky, hot-headed, impulsive and low in intellect. Now I understand that he’s young and still learning, and granted Parker does have decent moments of growing up and learning life lessons, but that is not an excuse to turn one of the coolest Marvel characters into such a dimwit for the sake of humour and being relatable to children. If Spider-Man: The Animated Series and Spectacular Spider-Man could make be shows that appealed to kids but didn’t treat them like they were stupid, then there’s no reason this should can’t do the same.

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In conclusion the first second of Ultimate Spider-Man is better than before, with welcome improvements made in the story and character department, however that isn’t enough to make it must-watch TV or something worth watching for anyone other than children not familiar with any other Spidey media. Well as I head into season 3 I can only hope for better material.

Rating: 6/10 (Better than last season but not by much)

 
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Posted by on June 23, 2016 in Media, Reviews, Television, TV Reviews

 

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ONE PARAGRAPH REVIEW: Ballers Season 1

Good day to you ladies and gents, how are you? Today I’m back with a another one paragraph review and today I have another TV review in the form of Ballers season 1.

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Now Ballers has been on my mind for MONTHS, the only reason I wanted to see it was because of Dwayne Johnson, I mean the premise of the show was never felt too captivating, however considering that I’d gone through the majority of my TV shows and the second season of this show will start next month, I decided to check out season 1. The thing about Ballers is that it’s good and fun to watch, and while it’s not quintessential TV, it has enough humour and drama that its worth a watch. I’d heard so many lukewarm to negative reviews about this show, so I was a little worried after the first few episodes, but I found myself really getting into this world, wanting to learn more about the business side of American Football and engaging with the ups and downs that people in the industry faced. Though it has to be said that the more dramatic and emotional material either got resolved too quickly or was presented with no proper resolution. But the show’s not all about drama, humour also plays a pretty big part as well and while not all of it lands, there are plenty of funny moments that come specific characters and scenarios. As for the cast everyone does well, however, it’s Dwayne Johnson that carries this show as Spencer Strasmore. Johnson brings all of his charisma and charm you’ve come to expect from him, but as a retired NFL player turned financial manager, this role allows him to flex some more of those serious muscles and he fares well. I also really love Rob Corddry and Troy Garity as Joe Krutel and Jason, Corddry brings a lot of humour and has a great chemistry with Johnson, while Garity is quite slick and cool in his role. John David Washington is pretty good as Ricky Jerret, annoyingly foolish yet interesting l NFL player, Omar Miller is also humourous and likeable as Charles Greane, and I also like Donovan W. Carter as Vernon. In the end Ballers season 1 was fun and interesting, and while the content of this show fluctuates in the quality of its story and character material, it is short and enjoyable and sets the stage for more interesting material in the future.

So have you seen season 1 of Ballers and if so what do you think? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to comment below and I’ll se ya on the next TV review, laters! 😀

 
 

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EPIC REVIEW: Star Wars Rebels “Twilight of the Apprentice”

Howdy people of the internet, hope y’all are doing well and all that jazz, well today I finally got around to watching the season finale of Star Wars Rebels entitled “Twilight of the Apprentice” and man, I’m still just trying to process what I watched. This doubled length episode pretty much had the meat of what us fans had been waiting for since the “The Siege of Lothal” and the awesome trailer that was shown a little while ago for the latter half of this season. Now normally I’d do a condensed review as part of my “What I’m Currently Watching” posts, but this two-part episode was just too good to not make a specific post on. Oh and before I begin SPOILERS AHEAD!! Okay? Cool let’s rock.

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So “Twilight of the Apprentice” what a damn good finish to this season of Rebels. I know the quality of the in stories season 2 has been a bit up and down because of it’s expanded length when compared to season 1 and the numerous episodes that didn’t really add to the main plot involving Vader, Ahsoka, the Inquisitors and Ezra’s path to the dark side, however, when Rebels commits to its story, characters, tone and action, it goes hard and kills it and this was certainly the case with this finale. And while there were certain things that I may nitpick about or played out a little differently than I had anticipated, I can say that this was one of the most satisfying season finales I’ve watched for a while.

I mean where do you start? This episode had drama, suspense, brutality, action and death, and as the episode ended there was foreshadowing for the future that just makes things even more intriguing and exciting going into season 3.

Okay so the premise for this episode can be described as the following:

“Ahsoka, Kanan, and Ezra head to Malachor to find a Sith temple. While there they battle inquisitors, Darth Vader and the old master.”

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Straight from the time Kanan, Ahsoka and Ezra arrive on Malachor things felt tense. The atmosphere was great with use of ambience and the muted colours used for the planets clouds and surface, and after that things only got more interesting. Learning about what happened to the Jedi below Malachor’s surface was fascinating and a little depressing at the same time, and then when that Inquisitor showed I was like “Damn, things escalated quickly.” But once Ezra got separated from Kana and Ahsoka and started his journey with Maul (aka Darth Maul) that’s when thing truly got interesting. Just hearing these two talk, relate to each other, but also see Maul teach/manipulate Ezra to tap into the Dark Side and use his emotions to get into the Sith Temple and obtain the holocron, that material was so thought-provoking, unsettling and yet so cool at the same time. Their pairing just had me constantly engaged and I could just watch a whole episode or two just listening to these two learn about each other, their different ideologies and how they could change once Ezra became his apprentice.

It was also great to see Ahsoka and Kanan take on the new Inquisitor and apprehend him only for the Fifth Brother and Seventh Sister to arrive and mess things up. I also really enjoyed how Kanan and Ahsoka had to unwillingly team up with Maul to take out the Inquisitors, and how Maul tried to get Ezra to outright kill Seventh Sister but ultimately refused leaving Maul to do it. And then for Maul to send Ezra off and unlock the secret of the holocron and then show his true colours by blinded Kanan and trying to take out Ahsoka? That was some crazy shit! Something I didn’t expect to enjoy as much as I did was the mythology and history, learning about the Sith Temple and the holocron, hearing about Maul’s history and how he wanted to take revenge on all who wronged him, and seeing the green cross saber, all of that material was great world-building and it also made for good references to The Clone Wars and main film saga too which was really cool as well.

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And then of course we had the appearance of Vader who just descended from the sky on top of his ship in such a badass manner, took down Ezra and destroyed his lightsaber, but before killing him got to take on Ahsoka. Their confrontation was beautiful, adrenaline-fueled and I really enjoyed their interactions and how even in the midst of the fight Ahsoka still sensed Anakin’s presence and how she ultimately saved Kanan and Ezra by stopping Vader and allowing the others to escape. If I had any complaints it was that there was no definitive end to Ahsoka, I know she’s a character loved within certain circles of the SW community but I would have liked to have gotten an on-screen death because towards the end of the episode it looked like Vader was victorious, but who was that figure stepping into the shadows? I certainly looked like Ahsoka and I was prepared for death, but alas I guess we’ll have to wait.

Oh and the fights, holy moly! I LOVED the action in this episode. The lightsaber fights were some of the best so far, and while I still prefer the more realistic/heavier movements of the live-action fights, this is a pretty close second. The fights they were hard, fast, vicious, aggressive, and wonderfully choreographed with each person having a particular style being shown off especially when it came to Maul, Ahsoka, Kanan and Vader. Oh I adored how much more dark and edgier this episode was with two of the Inquisitors being killed by Maul in such a brutal way, and that other Inquisitor falling to his doom, nice. I also have to mention how fantastic this show looked, from the design of the Sith Temple to the upper and lower surfaces of Malachor, and the use of colour, lighting and animation, everything felt so right with the visual presentation. And the music was excellent with some lovely call backs to themes from the live-action films.

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The end of this episode felt very Empire Strikes Back with everyone in a dark/melancholy place; Kanan’s now blind, Ahsoka’s no longer part of the Ghost team, Ezra looked to be channeling the Dark Side, Maul escaped into space and Vader’s still alive, but there were a lot of questions going forward now like:

  1. Was that Ahsoka going into the remains of that Sith Temple? And what will the future hold for her? Because she can’t last forever.
  2. Will Ezra turn? Maul had planted the seeds of Dark Side knowledge into him, but he hasn’t committed to it yet, but if that aggressive expression was anything to go by then Ezra may still develop feelings towards that dark path in season 3.
  3. How will Kanan function now? It was a pretty gutsy move to blind one of the main characters, I thought it got slashed in one eye, but to know that it was two? Damn, I will be curious to see if he can gain his sight back or if it’s permanent and he’ll have to become the Daredevil of the Jedi.
  4. What will happen with Maul? I was so glad that the dude got away because he’s too good of a character to kill off after this awesome return.
  5. How will the end of this season effect the show tonally going forward? There was certainly a feeling of loss, pain and a  bit of hopelessness for several of the characters involved. So will the next season still have room for fun or will the storylines and characters be more serious and dark? I am so curious.

Rebels_Season_Two_Ahsoka-Vs-Vader

In conclusion “Twilight of the Apprentice” was a great way to finish this season of Rebels. Dear god, I can’t sing the praises of this show enough, it is pure Star Wars in an animated format and I never thought I would be so invested in this show, but it truly is fantastic. There was some fantastic emotional material, tension, darkness, great mythology and intriguing foreshadowing for story material going into season 3. I can’t wait.

So have you seen the season finale of Star Wars Rebels and if so what did you think of it? Did it met your expectations or fall below them? Be sure to comment below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on April 1, 2016 in Media, Reviews, Television, TV Reviews

 

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