Discuss and Rate the Last Thing You Watched (non-movies)

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Dalisclock:

Elfgore:
I finally decided to sit down and watch some Black Mirror to see what the ruckus is about. I think this show does one thing well, it draws me in real nice. I tend to play games like Civilization or Stellaris, you know easy to pause games, when watching TV. I found myself ignoring those to focus on the episodes. The problem is, the pay off is never as good or falls short and in the worst cases, makes no sense for the moral of the episode. Take episode three, season one.

Also, the forced sex scene in every episode isn't needed. I don't need a scene of a buxom, Scottish women in her bra for five minutes. Episode four was bad as a whole, but that just had my eyes rolling. Your premise was interesting enough to keep my attention. I didn't need big boobies shoved in my face to continue being interested.

Edit: Oh no, I reached the criticism of Instagram episode. Send help. It's too awful.

I really want to like Black Mirror and to some extent, I do, but the fact the episodes tend to be Bleak as fuck makes it too hard to watch. The last one I watched was about the soldiers hunting "Roaches" which I almost immediately figured out the twist. The fact it feels far too close to real life right now just makes it too hard to watch the show, not when I can watch the news and feel instantly depressed. I could be playing something a little more lighthearted, like playing Dark Souls.

That episode and the one before it were the first two I genuinely enjoyed and thought had compelling commentary. We already try and paint enemies like monsters, why not take it further?

I do agree, I can only take so much of it at a time. Especially after the darker episodes.

I sat down an watched the first two episodes of Another Life the other day. So, brief plot run-down: Mysterious alien ship/artifact/beacon lands on Earth. After months of failing to deduce the reason for the appearance of this strange thing, a deep space mission is launched to the artifact's planet of origin under the command of Niko (Katee Sackhoff). The story itself has great promise actually, but it is spoiled by one quite glaring thing: the characters are assholes. Most of the crew are arrogant 20-somethings who display a lot of the negative qualities of 'Generation Y'ers and a chunk of the dialogue seems to have been written in deliberate 'Gen Y' slang, meaning the characters respond to serious, even life-threatening events with either quite flippant or quite passive-aggressive remarks which detract from the supposed gravity of the situation. That being said there is plenty of back-story plugged into the first few episodes, and a lot of the characters clearly have intermingled pasts that promise to add to the drama in later episodes.

TL;DR: A strong start to what promises to be an interesting Sci-Fi series, although the writing does grate on my old man nerves somewhat. Still enjoyable for all that, and I will definitely be watching the rest if the series. 4/5.

Once Upon a Time: Season 4 (3/5)

So, been ages since I watched season 3, but having watched season 4, I can say that the show's strengths and weaknesses remain the same, for better or worse. Because in this case, we have the same traits of:

-The first half of the seasons is better than the second half.

-Regina gets to whine about not getting a happy ending while by this point she's well past the moral event horizon.

-Robert Carlyle is still the best actor.

-The series exists in some kind of in-between space of subverting fantasy tropes while also embracing them.

That aside, season 4 is weird. Like, not weird in the sense that what's on screen is weird (because of course it is), it's weird in the sense that what works and what doesn't aren't exactly what you might expect. For instance, what does work in the first half of the seasons is it being based on Frozen. Now, I don't doubt that from a marketing perspective, Frozen was chosen because Frozen is insanely popular, and brand recognition alone would be beneficial for the season. However, it actually works. Like, really works. Especially with Anna, who's arguably even more engaging here than in Frozen itself. The plot, as it unfolds, feels really natural to the Frozen setting which has even led producers to have to clarify that OUAT isn't canon with Frozen and is in its own continuity. Now, now that I ever expected it to be, but the first half of the season is pretty good. And while I've always had limited sympathy for Regina (a tragic backstory does not automatically make the character sympathetic), it does work here better than past seasons. Oh, and Belle wises up that Rumple is, at his heart, a jackass. Well done Belle. You became a bearable character, and in doing so, further demonstrated why Rumple is the best character here. So, first half of the season? Pretty good. if I was dividing seasons based on their halves, it would be a "good" season, and the best one here.

However, then we have season 4B, so to speak. Now, I previously divided season 3 into two halves, and as far as ranking of the seasons goes, I'm actually abandoning that. Granted, the two halves of season 4 feel better welded together than season 3, but I can't pick and choose. Or, well, I can, but I won't. But while they're better welded together in plot, their tone is...um...

Okay, season 4 is kind of nuts. The show's always had a convoluted continuity (the people who worked on Lost also worked on this, so go figure) with flashbacks in every episode), but at this point, I'm kind of lost (no pun intended). Or at least, lost in regards to when what occurs when in the past. Also, there's the character of "the Author," who can rewrite reality, or something, and Emma's going dark, only she doesn't, only she does, but her going dark has nothing to do with her being hinted at that early on, and...seriously, I can barely tell you what happens in the second half. God, I can remember the first half better. It's also at this point that we start getting into more traditional fantasy, whereas the show started not exactly as a subversion of fairytale fantasy, but sort of a winking reference to it. A sort of "yeah, this is what really happened, and it's not what your books say"). Now, it's destiny, and darkenss, and fate, and the Dark One, and gah! Not bad, per se, and I've always watched this show in the background, but then again, I did the same with Lost, and I had no trouble in following the plot. Granted, Lost is an overall much better show, but regardless...I've seen people say that season 4 marks a drop-off in writing quality, and that it's the point where it started playing its tropes straight. I don't agree with the first sentiment, but I feel that the latter leads to perceptions of the former. It isn't that the writing itself got bad, it's that it got convoluted. Or, rather, hit a convolution singularity. I'm sure it makes for great wiki material, but the boat's sailed for me there.

In spite of all this, season 4 is certainly one of the stronger seasons in the series. But it's still not a "good" one. And if I'm treating season 3 as being its own season, it's never been "good," only "average." Not the best track record in the world.

Hawki:
Once Upon a Time: Season 4 (3/5)

So I only watched the first season and didn't continue on after that. What I remember was hearing a lot about characters from all over the Disney cannon ending up in the show, like it's one big Kingdom Hearts style crossover fic. Was it as cringeworthy as I keep imagining("Look! It's Mulan! Look! It's the Frozen Princesses!") or did they somehow make it work decently well, like a live action take on Fables(yeah, I know they're not the same thing but I'm reaching for a better comparison here)?

Anyway, as for me....

Carnival Row: Season 1.

So I started watching this because of the 3 shows I was interested in(along with The Boys and Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance), this was the one that grabbed me the fastest. And for a while it had my attention, with the fantastic take on the late Victorian Era and Colonalism. The problem is, after a while, it wasn't keeping it.

I don't know what I was expecting but I felt like the show wasn't fully taking advantage of it's premise. The fae/pucks/etc feel more like stand ins for real life immigrant groups(particularly the irish) then an actual culture of their own, which I think was what bothered me the most, since it's firmly established even though this is NOT-LONDON/BRITAIN, it's still a different world then ours. I wanted more insight into the magical types, like what their civilziation/society was like back in their homeland(and we get to see precious little of), stuff like that. But there's no hint they have their own language(or did have one), even the new arrivals who haven't lived in the city their entire lives, and only the barest hints of a culture any different then that of the Not-British(Sorry, I can't help but think of it has Barely Fantasy London) and while that might have been a commentary of how the imperialism/colonism tends to deface and erase native cultures, somehow I don't think that was on purpose(because that would imply better writing). Even the Fantasy Monster Jack the Ripper plot felt underwhelming. There's also the problem of how the fae are mentioned to have lighter/hollow bones so they can fly, yet this never actually seems to matter much beyond that. Numerous fae take punches without getting their bones broken or anything like that, which goes back to the writers treating them mostly as funny looking people 90% of the time.

There's also a bit of a feel that the show really wants to be the new Game of Thrones, down to the obligraptory Sex scenes for the sole reason that there hasn't been one for a while. Sadly, it also creates some problems, such as the plot between the rich puck and the rich lady, where she apparently decided "I know I'm a racist victorian rich bitch and sex outside of marraige, especially with a maligned minority, will ruin my chances of ever getting married to anyone of the same social class ever but I LOVE HIM!" It came on a bit fast and didn't feel properly justified other then the writers wanted it to happen.

I was also a little baffled by the sudden anncoument that if the PM/Chancellor dies, the Chancellor's son gets the take the job, even though this is a government that seems to be run by a parliament with no hint of a monacarchy(unless somehow I missed it) and the mention of "Pharoahs" near the end, which stands out because that's a term that refers a very spacrific culture on this world, and a long dead one at that, with barely a hint of explanation. So now I want to know if there a fantastic version of Egypt in this world and are their gods real.

I know it sounds nitpicky but I wasn't really feeling it much, so my mind kept wandering to other things, when my attention wasn't drifting. The next season had better step up it's game or else I'm not bothering.

Dalisclock:

So I only watched the first season and didn't continue on after that. What I remember was hearing a lot about characters from all over the Disney cannon ending up in the show, like it's one big Kingdom Hearts style crossover fic. Was it as cringeworthy as I keep imagining("Look! It's Mulan! Look! It's the Frozen Princesses!") or did they somehow make it work decently well, like a live action take on Fables(yeah, I know they're not the same thing but I'm reaching for a better comparison here)?

So, I'm not overly familiar with Kingdom Hearts or Fables but of the two, OUAT bears far more resemblance to the latter from what I can tell. In as much that:

-KH has a multiverse where each Disney franchise has its own world. OUAT has a variety of worlds, including our own, but it's much more contained. The majority of characters hail from the one realm ("the Enchanted Forest").

-I dunno if Fables does this, but OUAT generally corresponds to the idea of "the truth behind the fairy tale." As in, the in-universe conciet is (or was, it's hard to tell now) that a lot of stories in our world are kind of trickle downs from events in other worlds. Hence, we know about Snow White, but the Snow White here is the "real" one for instance. However, there are exceptions here - like, Dorothy (from Wizard of Oz) and Wendy Darling (from Peter Pan) exist in-universe in our world, have adventures in other worlds, which translates to stories being told after the events take place.

-OUAT can be cringeworthy, but not for the reasons you describe. For instance, with Frozen, we can assume that Frozen doesn't exist in our world in-universe as none of the characters recognise Elsa from that really popular film that came out when the 'real' Elsa appears. That they take characters from Disney franchises is a non-issue for me. What is an issue is that we have terms like "true love" and "happy endings" being thrown around with increasingly less self-awareness. Also, Regina. It's not that she's an unsympathetic character, but the show constantly expects me to forgive her when also showing us that she's done horrible things. FFS, she was a tyrant in her own world, why the hell is she still breathing? Isn't there anyone in Storybrooke who figured out "hey, Earth has these things called guns, let's try them out."

Overall, if the first season didn't sell you, I can't really reccomend the later seasons (I actually can't reccomend the show, period). That I think season 1 is the best aside (right now for me it goes 1>4>3>2), OUAT can't escape the problems I listed above. Also, OUAT exists in the shadow of better shows for me. If I want serialized fantasy, Game of Thrones set the gold standard. If I want shows that utilize heavy flashbacks that run parallel to the present, Lost set the gold standard. In terms of high fantasy, OUAT can't compete with the former, and in terms of structure, while it emulates it, it can't match the latter either. Neither of these are automatic slights against it, but if I taste a well done steak, then a steak that isn't quite as well done will always come up short, even if it can still be tasty.

Top Boy. It's good, but there was a lot of slang I didn't understand, but could, fortunately, obtain from context.

Fully Committed (4/5)

I don't know if FC is the "best" stage play I've seen this year (as in, the difference between "high art" and "low art" and all that, and the difference between quality and personal enjoyment), but it's certainly the most enjoyable.

So, here we have a one woman show with an actress working in the reservations centre of an upmarket restaurant. Cue actress playing (according to the program) 40 characters (I didn't count to be honest) that shows that even in 1999 (when the play was written), there's plenty of insane people in the world. This being where her colleagues have failed to turn up to work, and her dreams of being an actress and all that. As someone who has to talk to customers over the phone at work, and who has my share of crazies, assholes, and difficult customers, and who'd love to NOT be doing that, it hit home. Actually it hit home a lot. It's kind of funny how a comedy like this actually manages to weave in a plot arc (if not necessarily a character arc), but it manages it. I'm left to ask if the title is a double meaning, that "fully committed" doesn't refer to just the restaurant being booked out, but the character being "fully committed" to her desire to be an actress. But if that's the case, it doesn't really get conveyed, because her flaw is, and I quote, "lack of entitlement" (to the roles she's going for). Which doesn't make much sense to me, but then, not in showbiz.

That aside, there's one arguable flaw that this play has, and that's its ending. Over the course of the 90 minutes, we learn about our protagonist's backstory, frustrations, desires, dramas, etc. By the end of that play, all of those issues have been more or less resolved, her dreams as good as achieved. And while this isn't bad writing by any means, it does feel a bit too neat. Arguably it's due to the setup, that this is all achieved within her workspace in the basement of a restaurant, but still, it's noticabale. Alternatively, it might be hitting close to home. Within fiction, our protagonist gets to achieve her goals and find an out from a job she hates. In reality, I know that's never going to happen. Still, that aside, solid play all round.

Too Old to Die Young
An Amazon Prime mini-series directed by Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive, Only God Forgives, Neon Demon). I love Refn's glitzy neo-noir style and the quiet, broody nocturnal vibe of all of his movies. The series gives you all of that and, 2 episodes in, nothing else. It's a slow, slow stew and the branching plot is intriguing but the series is dangerously veering towards a style-without-substance situation. Not to judge too soon.

Once Upon a Time: Season 5 (3/5)

This very nearly got a 2, which would make it the worst ranked season I've seen in the series. Still, while it does crawl its way into the territory of "adequate," this is easily the worst season in the series.

Like the two seasons before it, season 5 is split into two halves. Credit where credit is due, the seasons are arguably better integrated into each other than previous examples, where there was more of a disconnect, but even so, there's some differences between them. Ergo, I'm going to review each half separately.

So, the first half is the weaker half, and utterly wretched. Which is strange, because it's arguably the most ambitious season (or rather half-season) I've seen but it just doesn't work on almost any level. I mean, Camelot and King Arthur? The origin of the Dark Ones? The Dark Swan/Emma thing? Merida from Brave? Well, shit. On paper that sounds pretty neat. I mean, not that I particuarly care about Brave, but despite misgivings they intergrated Frozen into the setting seemlessly, so why not this? Well, Little Jimmy, since I've dragged you in here to be a stand-in to make me look smart, let me explain why none of this works.

First of all, the Dark Swan thing. It doesn't work. At all. Or at least, it doesn't work in the 'present' of the first half. It's fine in the flashbacks (the show's so stuck into its flashback format, it has to do them a few weeks prior to the 'present'), as she struggles with "the darkness," but here, it's like...y'know edgy characters? Characters that are designed to appeal to the "hardcore" audience who want their media to be "dark and gritty?" That's the Dark Swan storyline. It doesn't make the character come off as menacing, it makes them come off as a fan doing a cosplay for an alternate universe. It also reveals a flaw in the show that this started out in a setting where magic wasn't out in the open. But here, Emma's just walking around, Gold's walking around, and people just get on with things. Imagine if Sauron spent his time walking through Minas Tirth and the people were just "well, that sucks, but I've got bread to make, the whole Dark Lord thing can wait."

Second of all, there's the whole Dark One origin/lore/"clash of dark and light"/Excalibur/dagger 'thing' going on. Now, again, on paper, this seems like a nice idea. Delving into lore and all that. Except it comes off as, well, stupid. OUaT is more "low" than "high" fantasy, and it certainly matches the criteria of "urban fantasy." So when you're going into lore in fantasy realms, when people are dressed in black hoods and black robes saying and doing nasty things...something's off. It's off, because the bulk of the show has always taken place in the 'real world,' such as it is. On one hand, you have antagonists going on about "destroying the light," but when these are people who are in Maine coastal towns, or out somewhere wearing costumes, it just doesn't work. Again, I'm fine with high fantasy. I'm a LotR fanboy FFS, and that's a morally binary world. But LotR commited to its setting. OUaT has never really been about its setting, it's been about its characters. The reason why season 1 works well is that you have to piece together a lot of things. Things that are explained, sure, but it was the mystery that drove things forward. Here, it isn't mystery, it's answering mystery that I never really cared about in the first place. So by this point in the series, despite the supposed stakes, I just don't care.

Third problem is Merida. Or, rather, not Merida herself, but what she represents. Because up to this point, each season has more or less had two concurrent plots. Present, and past, with the past informing the present via its flashback format. However, Merida splits the first half of season 5 three ways in that she's doing her own thing on the side, in getting back her kingdom. That's in addition to Arthur and his Camelot thing and...okay, I never really got Arthur's motives in this to be honest. But with Merida, we pretty much go in full on high fantasy, or at least we do if we equate "high fantasy" with "Scots in all but name, trying to do "war is hell" while looking like cosplay." Y'know, it's not a good sign when your big significant battle against the "southern invaders" (Brittons? Anglo-Saxons? I mean, we get clan names like Dun Broch, but they're still fantasy Scots, and the "southern invaders" are the only name THEY get, bastards) looks like a LARP event. So, no. I don't particuarly care for the first half of season 5. But hey, maybe the next half is better, right?

Well, the next half is better, but when your first half is wading through dogshit, you can either suspend yourself above the dogshit, or go below it to the Underworld. This, by itself, is cool...for a few episodes. Because the Underworld is basically Storybrooke with a red filter on that looks like everyone's under a dust storm or a red sun. Now, the out of unvierse explanation is that they wanted to keep the set, the in-universe explanation is a bit vaguer, but okay, sure. We get Hades, who's more Lucifer rather than the Greek god of the Underworld, but sure, whatever. I'll roll with it. He's certainly a better take on it than the Percy Jackson movie. However, here, we run into the same problem as up above, in that there's all this talk of a struggle going on between the protagonists and antagonists, but they're spending most of their time just walking around town. Or Hell. or whatever. The result is that the second half of the season doesn't have the problems the first half does, but it drags. Really drags. What partly saves it is that the half does have some stand-out moments as the living characters are reunited with deceased ones. Now, some of these moments are very good, such as Emma seeing Neil, or Regina making peace with her parents one after the other. Others however, aren't. For instance David meeting his twin brother whom he never met, who hates David. Not because his mother gave him up, but because "you stole my glory." Y'know, when your big twist for motivation is less interesting than the suggested motivation, something has gone terribly wrong in the writing room. And to top it off, Arthur comes back. He comes back in an episode, gets killed by Hades (who's now in the living world), recognises that his true destiny of ruling a broken kingdom was to rule the underworld and help souls move on. Which, isn't a bad idea per se, but when a character's been absent for over half a season, and then has his plot arc suddenly resolved in the space of 45 minutes...yeah. Also, speaking of killing, if Hades can't kill the living, but the dead can apparently kill the living, why can't he just get his lackies to do it?

Also Gold/Rumple is still going back and forth between being evil, Belle's going back and forth on being with him, and she's pregnant. So, not only is one of the show's worst relationships ongoing, but now I've got to deal with the mental image of those two boning. Also, I've said it before and I'll say it again, but no-one seems to care about murder here. FFS, it's established that Zeleena murders Marian, impersonates her, gets boned by Robin, gives birth, and is STILL allowed to keep her baby because it might make her a better person. This, after Regina killed Marian in the original timeline. So, not only does Robin Hood love a woman who killed his wife in a negated timeline (AND HE KNOWS THIS), but he isn't murdering Zeleena who murdered her in the now current timeline, and had sex with him under false pretences. Um, is this rape? cause it's kind of like rape. It just...I can't. I just can't. I can't overlook that it seems that everyone in this show seems to get forgiven for just about everything. There has to be a point where a character passes a moral event horizon, and in my mind, so many of the characters have. Like, multiple seasons ago. Like, pre-show ago.

Oh, and stuff at the end, with the Land of Untold Stories, and Henry's still annoying, and the Evil Queen being separated from Regina (that she's been lurking there all along is a plot point that's raised one episode before the separation occurs), and God, I just don't care anymore. I just don't. I'm sick of characters being forgiven for everything with no consequences for their actions. I'm sick of "happy endings" being played with zero self-awareness, I'm sick of toxic relationships being portrayed as something to be admired (or at least accepted), and I'm just...so...tired. I'm tired, because at the start, while the show was never "great," it was based on an intreresting idea (what if fairy tales were real, and originated from another world), and since then, it's gone so far off the beaten track it's a parody. I'm tired because of everything I've listed. And I'm tired that despite all of this, I'll be starting season 6 soon. Because with only two seasons left, I may as well finish what I started.

Oh, and Red comes back, falls in love with Dorothy, and wakes Dorothy up with true love's kiss in the space of a single episode. Because we've got to get those LGBT representation brownie points in somehow, despite the fact that YOU HAD THREE SEASONS TO DO IT WITH MULAN!

Seriously Little Jimmy, you want to tell me that everything was planned?

I'll admit, I dropped this show after the first season. I enjoyed it well enough, got to the end and said "That was good. Oh, there's another season coming? Nope, I'm good".

Hawki:

Also Gold/Rumple is still going back and forth between being evil, Belle's going back and forth on being with him, and she's pregnant. So, not only is one of the show's worst relationships ongoing, but now I've got to deal with the mental image of those two boning. Also, I've said it before and I'll say it again, but no-one seems to care about murder here. FFS, it's established that Zeleena murders Marian, impersonates her, gets boned by Robin, gives birth, and is STILL allowed to keep her baby because it might make her a better person. This, after Regina killed Marian in the original timeline. So, not only does Robin Hood love a woman who killed his wife in a negated timeline (AND HE KNOWS THIS), but he isn't murdering Zeleena who murdered her in the now current timeline, and had sex with him under false pretences. Um, is this rape? cause it's kind of like rape. It just...I can't. I just can't. I can't overlook that it seems that everyone in this show seems to get forgiven for just about everything. There has to be a point where a character passes a moral event horizon, and in my mind, so many of the characters have. Like, multiple seasons ago. Like, pre-show ago.

Oh, I seem to remember Regina was basically routinely raping the Sheriff in season 1. Apparently she had fans who would give her a pass on that because reasons. I mean, including making Snow White's life hell for an innocent mistake(the thing with the stableboy, something?). I might be misremembering this, I haven't seen it since 2012. I do remember gold doing a bunch of terrible things as well.

Johnny Novgorod:
Too Old to Die Young
An Amazon Prime mini-series directed by Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive, Only God Forgives, Neon Demon). I love Refn's glitzy neo-noir style and the quiet, broody nocturnal vibe of all of his movies. The series gives you all of that and, 2 episodes in, nothing else. It's a slow, slow stew and the branching plot is intriguing but the series is dangerously veering towards a style-without-substance situation. Not to judge too soon.

The pace does somewhat pick up after Episode 2 (in other words, it goes from "glacial" to "very slow) but it very much remains a style over substance type of show. I wouldn't say that there's no substance, there is quite a bit of social commentary, most of it pretty hamfisted, but in terms of plot... well, there isn't exactly one. It's more a series of vignettes following a small handful of characters, mostly in LA. The series also kinda peaks in episode 5, you'll know what I mean when you get there.

Overall I liked it quite a bit but you have to enjoy the atmosphere and the world the show creates for itself for its own sake, the narrative is very thin.

Dalisclock:

Oh, I seem to remember Regina was basically routinely raping the Sheriff in season 1. Apparently she had fans who would give her a pass on that because reasons. I mean, including making Snow White's life hell for an innocent mistake(the thing with the stableboy, something?). I might be misremembering this, I haven't seen it since 2012. I do remember gold doing a bunch of terrible things as well.

I can't remember if there was coercion, but she does kill him by crushing his heart. And yes, she did make Snow's life hell as well, but that's kind of beside the point.

Like, even discounting what we see on screen, Regina's established to be the Enchanted Forest's version of...I dunno, let's say Nero (Hitler's too cliche and too extreme). So, suppose one day, Nero realized he'd been a dick to the people of the empire and said "I'm going to try and redeem myself." I think average Roe might say "well, that's kind of neat, but sorry, you can redeem yourself my just 'effing off." What's weird in season 3 is that we have a guy from outside come to Storybrooke, whose father Regina killed when they stumbled in way before the show, who wants to end magic and/or get revenge...and we're meant to treat him as a villain.

That said, by this point in the show, I've kind of rolled with it, because what Zeleena's done is among the worst things we've seen in the show (on a direct, personal level), and there's still no consequences.

Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance

So, I'm gonna sound like a heretic here, but I don't remember much of the Dark Crystal film. I saw it in my 30's, having missed it growing up(for whatever reason), so I heard about it for years and finally saw it and felt "Oh, is that all?" It wasn't bad, it was fine, but it didn't grab me very much.

So I was presently surprised by Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance series on Netflix. The first 2 episodes were a bit slow, mostly due to being a lot of world building without much actual plot, but after that it gains momentum and just keeps going. I was drawn in by the characters and how gorgeous everything looks, especially since it's mostly practical effects. I only occasionally remembered that I was basically watching a 10 hour puppet show. There's a lot of good and fun voice acting, including Mark Hamil as Scientist(who sounds a lot like the joker, and that's fine) and Simon Pegg as Chamberlain.

Mostly the thing that kept sticking in my mind was that I've seen the film and, this being a prequel, I already know the gelfing resistance is going to end badly. As of the end of Season 1, the Gelfings look like they have the upper hand so we know season 2 is going to be a losing battle, or defeat snatched for the jaws of victory. It doesn't make it less worthwhile, but there's this pall of dread hanging over the whole affair knowing that now matter how hard they fight, almost all of them are going to be dead by the time this is all over.

Baby Doll (3/5)

So, saw the stage play by Tenassee Wiliams. And...I really didn't like it much.

So, let's see. Girl is stuck in loveless marriage in Deep South. Husband is a racist. Husband burns down cotten gin owned by Italian guy. Italian guy coems over, seduces her, and is just as terrible a person as her husband, though she's nevertheless seduced by him. Bad stuff happens at the end, girl is left alone, with husband gone to jail, and Italian guy buggers off, maybe to come back. And...that's it.

This is an uncomfortable play, what with the seduction thing and borderline sexual harassment (or, not so borderline in cases). And I get that it's meant to make me uncomfortable, but it's sensation without much purpose. Maybe the titular character's character arc, of losing naievete, but it's nothing that I haven't seen before. And any discussion of racism is pretty thin. Archie is a racist. Archie uses terms such as "niggers" and "coloureds." Archie is bad. Which he is, for these reasons and others, but again, there's not much meat here.

Legion Season 2

I watched the first 4 episodes a few months ago. Huge break then finished it in a day. The spent a long time on nothing. I like when a story fleshes out characters etc. But much of this was filling a void.

That being said, the story is pretty interesting, the visuals are a drug trip, side characters are developed and the ending was fantastic. They didn't use one particular word at the end, quite possibly so you didn't hate a particular character...

[/spoiler] but David straight up mind raped and then physically raped Syd [/spoiler]
They clearly did this because they were too scared of that word. Which is quite an indictment on society. 'Let's not use a negative word, even though it's completely true, just not to hurt his feelings'.

Hawley. You are better than this

8/10. Plus may some points off for excusing bad behavior

Disenchantment Season 2.

The first season felt ok but I generally liked it. It feels like this season has upped it's game a bit, with more of the jokes landing and with a better set of narrative cohesion across the season(It's still mostly episodic but it feels less random). The introduction of Steamland also raises some interesting questions about the universe the show takes place in, especially considering what may or may not be an in-joke and how that ties in with a popular fan theory.

I do appreciate some of the other characters(such as Derreck, Oona, Dagmar and Odval) getting some more development and giving Zog a little more of a softer side.

BoJack Horseman Season 6(part 1)

The final season starts(but not ends) and so far it's pretty good. Bojack FINALLY starts turning his life around, seemingly for good, after a stint at rehab. He's still his same Jerkass self but he also seems to be trying to make amends for all his shitty behavior. A number of other characters seem like they're also starting to move on to new things, some making progress(Princess Carolyn, Todd) and others less so(Diane, Mr. Peanutbutter). However, as of the end of the first half, it looks like the season is winding up for a major gut punch that'll hit when the 2nd half drops and no doubt it will be painful to watch.

Apparently the BoJack Creators didn't want this to be the final season and that was netflixes call, but I'm honestly kinda glad to see it wrapping up. I'd rather see it go out on a high note creatively rather then decline until nobody cares anymore and it's good to see resolutions are coming into play.

The original Batman series, the two-parter where they introduce the villain "King Tut".

Usual silliness, but notable in that the villain is mentally ill and they deal with the issue actually a lot better than most fiction. Adam West Batman is setting the bar too high, it seems.

Also notable in that the character was invented for the TV show, not an adaptation of an existing comic character.

I posted a couple of in the thread about things that made me laugh, but dozens later, I feel it deserves a mention here as well.

"Super Easy, Barely an Inconvenience - SR Pitch Meetings". It's +150, 4-5 minutes videos during which a guy pitches popular movies to a studio exec (played by the same guy) during which he sells the WORST parts as great ideas. Fast paced and really clever; I'm sure the movie critics in here will enjoy them.

Thaluikhain:
The original Batman series, the two-parter where they introduce the villain "King Tut".

Usual silliness, but notable in that the villain is mentally ill and they deal with the issue actually a lot better than most fiction. Adam West Batman is setting the bar too high, it seems.

Also notable in that the character was invented for the TV show, not an adaptation of an existing comic character.

I always liked 60s Batman. It's a lot better than people are giving it credit for, both as a comedy and as an episodic superhero show.

Original Star Wars Trilogy gets undressed!! XD

Season 4 premier of Rick and Morty. It was spectacular. If you don't know the show, imagine Doc Brown and Marty from "Back to the Future". Doc is a brilliant dimension hopping psychopath. Morty is his kinda wimpy grandson who reluctantly joins him.

The Mandalorian episode 1 - 6/10

There's been talks of a live action Star Wars tv series since the prequel trilogy, but here it is, the first episode. And it's alright. Cast seems fine. Production values are good for a tv show. Score is nice. Action scenes were entertaining. Plot, while pretty basic and rather slow-paced, is fine. Surprisingly low-key, but I guess that makes sense for a tv show, plus I enjoy the smaller scale compared to most Star Wars fare. Getting a bit of a western "Man With No Name" vibe from it. Overall decent outing, albeit surprisingly short at about 36 mins without credits. Shows some promise. Will give it at least another episode or two.

Chimpzy:
The Mandalorian episode 1 - 6/10

There's been talks of a live action Star Wars tv series since the prequel trilogy, but here it is, the first episode. And it's alright. Cast seems fine. Production values are good for a tv show. Score is nice. Action scenes were entertaining. Plot, while pretty basic and rather slow-paced, is fine. Surprisingly low-key, but I guess that makes sense for a tv show, plus I enjoy the smaller scale compared to most Star Wars fare. Getting a bit of a western "Man With No Name" vibe from it. Overall decent outing, albeit surprisingly short at about 36 mins without credits. Shows some promise. Will give it at least another episode or two.

About the same. 7/10. It was good. My daughter begged for Disney plus so I got it for the free week. $7 a month. I can do this for a bit and give it a chance. But I've already seen End Game. Live action Lady and the Tramp got meh reviews. So Mandalorian is about it for me. 7/10 isn't enough to keep me watching long. But I'll check out another episode.

Been watching Rising of the Shield Hero. Actually finding it pretty fun so far, at least in the fundamental premise. The amount of "assholes aligned against the protagonist", and the amount of biases and misconceptions that is needed to put it all in place is....annoying to say the least. But that just seems to be a common thing in anime I guess, so I'll have to deal with it.

But yeah I like the idea that the protagonist isn't the protagonist, because of his ability to kill things, but because of his ability to protect and defend, and heal. It's made for a far more enjoyable viewing for me than most anime, where it's all about how big of a baddy the hero can uber slice because he's unlocked his Ultra Death Spear of Fate and Awesomeness lvl 2000.

The Mandalorian. Its really good. Like, was immediately hooked episode 1, no 'I will keep watching but I am not sure' feeling. I like that it has lots of aliens, the current trilogy is lacking in aliens. Weird seeing Brian Posehn in Star Wars though, even if it was just for a nameless bit character.

It definitely wants to go 'Hey, remember this thing?' but like, actually expands on those things rather than just being a circle-jerk fan-service thing. We got Urgnots, we got Jawas, we got those squidhead guys from Mon Calamari that are not the squid-headed guys named after the planet. It feels like an expansion of the Star Wars universe, which is what I enjoy.

Only seen 2 episodes though, so who knows. So far, so good.

I got more to say, but dont want to spoil things.

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