Howdy ladies and gents, and welcome to What I’m Currently Watching, a blog series where I give you an update on what TV-based stuff I’m watching and give mini reviews/impressions on them. It is week 41, and after watching a few shows recently I have felt inspired to once again share my thoughts on them online. So today I once again be talking about Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, but I will also be talking about Disenchantment, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan and Bojack Horseman. With that out of the way let’s talk about some TV! 😀
Mobile Suit Gundam Wing (Eps 13-25)
Ah, Gundam Wing, after watching those first 12 episodes I was all in on this show, but as the show went on it changed, evolved and then became something more complex than I expect. Seeing the 5 main Gundam pilots go on their own adventures on Earth, unfortunately lose their robots and eventually travel into space to the colonies and continue their mission was fascinating because of how it affects them mentally and emotionally. I thought it was pretty intriguing and surprising to see how the Gundams were this unstoppable force, but as OZ made their advancements in mobile suits technology and had the larger numbers in the army, they were able to take out the heroes and so it really looked like the bad take over especially with how they convinced the colonies that the Gundams were bad and that OZ’s military force was for security purposes. I loved seeing more of the designers behind the Gundams, those dudes were cool, and Lady Une, someone I absolutely hated at first, she ended up being one of the most engaging characters because of her split personality and seeing more of Relena and Zechs was cool especially after Relena learns of her relation to her brother. And though I love Heero, it was really cool to see more of Trowa, his journey was probably the more interesting a varied of the pilots, but Quarte, that dude had one hell of a journey, losing the plot and becoming disillusioned to the mission and going on this crazy hunt to destroy the colonies, that was intense. After finishing episode 25 it definitely felt like the end of an era within this show and it was transitioning into something different with the state of the government, OZ and their military powers, the new Gundams and the state of the original Gundam pilots. I’m still very much invested in this show even if some of the storylines aren’t as consistently interesting as others.
Disenchantment (Season 1)
I remember hearing about this show for the first time back in the summer and then seeing the first trailer just after Comic-Con at thought it was a strange and new direction for Matt Groening considering the setting and characters, but I was curious to see how it turned out. And the initial reactions after the show dropped were mixed to lukewarm to what I’d seen briefly online so I expected the worst, but after the first episode, I was totally on board. I watched the first few episodes in random patches and on finished the last 3 episodes in the last week. So after watching all 10 episodes, I can say that I enjoyed Disenchantment, it certainly has its flaws, but I when it worked I was entertained, I laughed and it was mainly engaged thanks to the characters. I really liked the world, its strange and interesting rules and law, and the humourous approach to most things that shouldn’t be funny like death. The humour doesn’t always land, but when it did I laughed mainly due to the stupidity or absurdity of what happens to characters with well-timed physical or verbal jokes. I love the theme song, I hummed it every time it came on after the first episode haha. But it is the characters that really make the show work, Bean, Luci and Elfo are an interesting bunch of individuals who work really well as a group with their banter and chemistry, I cared about them not only because they made me laugh, but because I liked what they did and how they grew as people especially towards the end of the show (well not so much Luci). I liked how the show felt episode but had continuity over the course of the season, it was surprising to learn where the story was ultimately going, learning of certain mysteries and revelations and having certain plot points from the start of the season finally have pay-off towards the end. And while I appreciated the more heartfelt approach to the show towards the end, at the same time I didn’t feel as emotionally invested as I think show wanted me to be and was surprised that story ended the way it, not in a bad way but just not in an overly satisfying way. But in the end, I enjoyed the show and will watch another season. 🙂
Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan (Season 1)
So this show wasn’t really on my radar, I mean I was certainly curious about it from a distance because it was another Jack Ryan adaptation and I was curious to see if it would fair better than the 2012 film Shadow Recruit with Chris Pine. But last week I had some free time and my mum and I just binged the show over two sessions, and you know what it was some good tv. I’m not overly into political thrillers just because sometimes they can be complex, layered and hard to follow and politics just never holds my interest in films (with a handful of exceptions to the rule). But this show was pretty clear in terms of what it was, how it progressed and concluded. I also enjoyed the cast especially John Krasinski as Jack Ryan, he was heroic, but also impulsive and didn’t always have the right solution for every situation and Wendell Pierce as James Greer was awesome as Ryan’s boss, he’s a bit of a hard-ass, but as the show progresses we learn more about him and he eventually chills out a little bit. I also loved the relationship between Ryan and Greer, they’re normally at odds with each other because of their different tactics but I liked seeing their relationship evolve. Abbie Cornish was also good as Cathy Mueller, and Dina Shihabi was very impressive as Hanin Ali, Suleiman’s wife. And finally, there’s Ali Suliman as Mousa Bin Suleiman, he was really intimidating and quietly intense as an Islamic terrorist and because we learn of his backstory and attachment he is to his family, he ended up being a captivating villain. I also enjoyed how the show didn’t just focus on the Jack Ryan’s perspective, but also on the main villain Suleiman and his motivations so you could understand why he does what he does. One of the best aspects of the show beyond the performances was the rising tension and escalation of danger and chaos, once certain situations start to play out the show just ramps up and never stops moving and that sense of urgency was very engaging and addictive. In a way I thought the overall plot could/would have carried over into season 2, but it was nicely wrapped up over the 8 episodes.
Bojack Horseman (Season 5)
Last year Bojack Horseman became one of my favourite TV shows in recent years because of its dramatic, uncomfortable, yet engaging and humourous content, and after the emotional rollercoaster that was season 4, I was totally ready for the next season. And season 5 has been one hell of a journey, building upon the foundations of previous seasons and presenting new and familiar characters and scenarios resulting in very engaging TV which was very hard to watch at times. While this season didn’t have the same emotional gut punch of season 4, it did have plenty of really insightful, poignant and agonizing moments that remind me of not only how incredible the show is thanks to all the writers, but also how much these stories and flawed characters remind me of real life. It was interesting to see Bojack and the rest of the cast end up making this TV show, and how their stories progressed on and off of the film set through non-linear storytelling, trips out of town, flashbacks and episodes that blurred the lines between fiction and reality. All of it was handled in creative, raw and hilarious ways. I found myself shouting at my laptop in disbelief at some of the stuff that happened on-screen and at several points I just had to stop and take in what happened because some of the issues the show tackles is deep and thought-provoking. .Also, the show’s funny, I’ve never found the show to be super hilarious, but this season may have some of my favourite laughs of the show so far with some of the one-liners and physical humour.
As for the cast is incredible, Will Arnett (Bojack), Amy Sedaris (Princess Carolyn), Alison Brie (Diane), Paul F. Tompkins (Mr. Peanutbutter) and Aaron Paul (Todd) deliver some of their best material to date alongside some great supporting and new cast members. I love learning more about Princess Carolyn’s past, seeing what Diane was up to and how she’s dealing with her own drama and the ever surprising and crazy life of Todd has never been funnier. Also shout outs to Rami Malek as Flip McVicker, Stephanie Beatriz as Gina, Issa Rae as Dr. Indira and Wanda Sykes as Mary BethBut. But now I wanted to focus Bojack specifically, he’s someone I really disliked in season 1, but later on I grew to cheer for him, for as shitty as he was and all the horrible things he’d gotten up to over the seasons, I could relate to his emotional state on several occasions and as he started to learn about himself and grow, I just wanted to see him change for the better. And while he does learn and grow, he also has to face up to all of his transgressions, and this season was the first time where I just couldn’t support him, he went to some dark and troubled places that were almost unbearable to watch and I’m not sure he’ll recover from it, but damn Will Arnett did damn good work with is voice acting. And after all of the drama and chaos the season ends in the place that I thought it would, not to give any spoilers, but after everything that happened with Bojack, the final moments of the show felt like the only logical conclusion and it was handled very well. I don’t know if I can handle any more of this show’s crazy and intense drama, but it’s so good that I can’t help but want to see what happens if and when season 6 rolls around.
Well, that’s what I’ve been watching. So have you seen any of these shows and if so what do you think of them? 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! 😀