Friday, May 8, 2020

Locke and Key 2020 Netflix Series

Of the NETFLIX series that I have watched so far, Locke and Key is probably my favorite along side Season 1 of Stranger Things. Even though I saw what happens at end of the season coming from a mile away the show was still engaging throughout.  The story focusing on a family that has moved back to their dad’s ancestral home after his tragic death.  It seems like the typical setting at the start of a horror movie.  Instead of a haunted house this house has a series of magical keys each with their own strange magical functions.   The story feels like a cross between The Goonies and The Chronicles of Narnia.

The best part of the show is what the magical keys do.  One key allows the user to go through any door and end up anywhere that has a door.   Another key allows a person or persons to go inside someone’s mind.  A fun concept and a great first season.   If you are in magical elements in shows definitely check this one out.  Season 1 left itself open to second season –although I almost wish that it had been a one season story. 

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Sunday, May 3, 2020

Firefly Re-Watch on Hulu. Quick thoughts on the episode Mrs. Reynolds

After binging Future Man on Hulu I decided I wanted to do a quick Firefly re-watch (also on Hulu).   Rather than do a review of the series as a whole I wanted to just talk about one particular episode that is pretty much Firefly at the shows best.

The episode Mrs. Reynolds is just about perfect.  The crew of the Firefly lifts off of a planet with a stowaway that apparently Mal accidentally married the night before (unbeknownst to him). This episode is pretty much is when the series cemented itself to me as a favorite.   I was already a fan of both BUFFY and ANGEL,  created by Joss Whedon,  so when Firefly came on the air I was already on board.  Nathan Fillion stars as Mal Reynolds (Basically a Han Solo type character) that captains a spaceship around the fringe frontier like planets of the solar system.   This episode for me is where the cast totally clicked.  The humor of Mal trying to deal with this stowaway wife was hilarious.  I was laughing at every single nervous facial expression as Captain Reynolds tried to sort things out while the rest of the crew made fun of him.  The chemistry of the cast felt like this show was already in its 6th season. Then the fun twist in the plot happens developing simmering plot lines between some characters that would carry throughout the rest of this short-lived classic sci-fi show.  

If you have never seen Firefly ---WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU and if you have already seen it –it may be time to revisit this show.  Nathan Fillion is probably my favorite TV actor now because of this show Castle and now The Rookie.    Watching this makes me want a Joss Whedon  Han Solo DISNEY+ Series.

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Saturday, May 2, 2020

Dracula BBC 2020 (Netflix Series)

Brief thoughts on BBC's  Dracula

I was excited when I heard about this show hitting NETFLIX.  The reason for that excitement was that it was by the same people that did Sherlock on BBC.  Sherlock is one of my favorite mystery shows and I was eager to see what they would do with a short mini-series based on DRACULA.   Each episode is basically like a mini-movie in length. 

The first 2 episodes I found to be really enjoyable.  The pacing of the episodes was slow -but purposeful.  The first episode basically covered the Bram Stoker tale in a style that felt very much like Sherlock.  

 The second episode featured Dracula’s voyage to England that played out like a murder mystery cruise with a shocking ending that left me excited for the finale episode.

Unfortunately, the third episode felt like a terrible movie sequel that you almost wish you hadn’t seen.  I was left so disappointed with where they ended up taking the story that I probably wouldn’t watch another season if the show returned.  

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Friday, May 1, 2020

The Witcher 2019 (Netflix Series)

I’m not at all familiar with the material that the series is based on so it was all new to me.  Season 1 of The Witcher on Netflix had a lot of buzz when it came out.  I think people were hoping and wanting to be the next Game of Thrones.  For me, it was a bit of a mixed bag.   Unlike Game of Thrones, this show mixes around timelines and tells s a non-linear story.  It was unnecessarily confusing at times because of this and the fact that the show's creators want the audience to figure it out on their own like Westworld.

The show has some really cool and interesting stuff and some corny stuff.   The show at times felt like a big budget fantasy film and at other times it felt like an episode of XENA Warrior Princess.    I would say that if you are a genre fan it is a good binge-watch, but it definitely isn’t a must-see.

What I LIKED about the show:    The Witcher character himself was cool. I wish the show had just focused on this character alone.  His adventures are captured my attention despite Superman’s odd choice of talking for the character. 

What I DIDN” T LIKE about the show:   The humpbacked witch storyline was completely uninteresting to me.  I just wanted to get back to the main character.  Both this character and the young girl character's stories left me bored.  

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Thursday, April 30, 2020

Futureman TV Series Review Seasons 1-3

As we discussed on our recent Podcast of things to watch during the lockdown of 2020 - Future Man Hulu was one of the suggestions.   Future Man is a Time Travel comedy that can best be described as The Last Starfighter meets Hot Tub Time Machine.  Season one was great.   A couple of time travelers from a miserable future land in the year 2017 to find the "savior". An average guy that was the only person in the world to beat their recruitment video game.  Of course, he isn’t what they expected instead he is just a video game playing janitor.    They join up with him anyway to try and fix the future by changing the past.   Time Travel fans know how good that usually works out and this show takes us on a fun journey through time.

The highlights from Season 1 include some great stuff in the 1980’s that includes one of the Time Travel warriors becoming a Corey Hart fan and getting involved in an impromptu shirtless Volleyball game a la TOP GUN.     My favorite episode of Season 1 includes this same character Wolf opening an underground sewer restaurant where he kidnaps famous people for a culinary experience of a lifetime. There is also a great scene where the main character accidentally cock blocks his dad and takes the Back to the Future mom scene a step to far.  The first season has some really funny stuff and plays around with fun Time Travel homages.

Season 2 for me was a little bit disappointing as the show gets bogged down in a dystopian future that was a little less compelling then going back in time.  The show picks back up again near the end of the season with some really good stuff and the end of season 2 sets up perfectly for a great third season.

Season 3 picks up in far future with our characters prisoners and a part of a Running Man style game show.  A hilarious start to an interesting season.   I loved some of the concepts in this season like the place they find called HAVEN.  A place where time stands still.   All in all it was a good show and a fun and easy binge-watch.  Of course, I’m a big-time travel fan.

 The finale of season 3 was a satisfying series finale.  Of course, this is a time travel show –so they could always find a way to continue on.

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Altered Carbon Season 2 2020 (Netflix Series)

I was excited to find out that Anthony Mackie would be headlining season 2 of Altered Carbon.  It is odd when a show comes back for season 2 with a new lead actor – but in the case of this show where characters come back in different bodies or “Sleeves” it makes sense.  His performance in the show was great,  unfortunately the story in season 2 just felt uninspired. 

Season 1 dropped us into a Blade Runner type future with some people living for generations in new bodies and had some interesting themes.  The plot of season 2 just didn’t seem fresh or new in anyway.  There were some cool scenes –but as a whole the whole season just feel flat for me.   I  finished the season – but this was a perfect example of a show that if it was a weekly show I may not have stayed with it.  As a short binge watch dumped all at once I worked my way through it quickly.

One of the problems I’ve noticed about several Netflix shows is that you binge them and then generally forget about them.  The gap between season 1 of Altered Carbon and season 2 was so long that season 1 pretty much is wiped from your mind by the time season 2 comes out.  Even shows that you really like become disposable in a way- because the dump the season and binge watch it model.   I’m finding that I enjoy shows like the Mandalorian and Clone Wars much better than Netflix shows.  A part of the that is that they are Star Wars and a part of that is that you get to let the episodes sink in and get excited again for the next week.  That is badly missing from NETFLIX shows that dump all at once.  With shows like Altered Carbon it is binge it and completely forget about it.   I don’t think I would have made it through season 2 of LOST in Space if it was a weekly series, so maybe NETFLIX Is getting me to watch shows I wouldn’t normally watch with this dump the season model.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

What We Do in the Shadows: The TV Series

What We Do in the Shadows Season 2 has begun on Hulu/FX and so far it is just as great as season 1.  If you aren't familiar with this show it is based on the film by the same name from 2014.   
 ( Note to self I need to watch this film as quickly as possible) 

The series was created by Jermaine Clement (of Flight of the Conchords fame) and Taika Waititti  (Thor Ragnarok and The Mandalorian).  The series features a documentary crew that follows around a household of out of touch vampires.   The show is brilliantly written.  One of my favorite characters is an energy vampire that basically sucks the energy out of people by boring them to death.   A highlight in season 2 so far is episode 3 when they get invited to their neighbors Super Bowl party and mistake it for a Superb Owl Party.

I'm absolutely in love with the humor in the show.  If you like Flight of the Conchords style humor this show will be right up your alley.   

Here is a trailer for the show.

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