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Re: Favorite Television Shows

Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 3:31 pm
by Dong Zhou
Watched second season of Westworld, was hugely looking forward to it and though I'll watch season 3, it certainly won't be with the same feeling of anticipation. It does have moments of the old magic, particularly when it goes "now for something you haven't seen before"
Shogun world for example
, those episodes away from the main storyline tend to be the best though one late one didn't click for me but my sister enjoyed
the Indians
but too much was off, too much didn't work this time.

The first season had intriguing mystery, something to say about humanity, lots of character moments as hosts and humanity interacted. It has the something to say but the mystery gets overly complex at times with one wondering if they are being confusing for confusions sake. With the character stuff, the first season benefited from what westworld is and the "now for something different" often benefits from that as well as they explore elements of the spark but season 2 was always going to have a challenge
with the hosts having risen and humans in flight
which they don't quite manage to deal with.

Most of the story strands can be hampered by the mystery, a slow pace and that it lacks a bit of spark. Maeve's story strand is the only consistently strong one, charismatic performances, humour, personalities bouncing off each other, the eye for the small detail so when the big moment comes, it tends to work. The others are not awful but patchy particularly during the first half, sometimes the human connection isn't working, the pace is slow, humour went even from characters who had a sense of humour, things can feel a little forced but second half sees more interactions and sense of character though one strand
Black Hat's
deteriorated for me due to choice it took. I liked the finale well enough, it had some good moments that made an impact though it wasn't more then fine overall as a finale.


Watched second season of 3% which had the challenge of what to do without the process being the central part. That had provided chances to do all sorts of tests, to speak about humanity, kept characters close while doing some world building. Initially it was a problem, the new storylines didn't click with Ezequiel not quite clicking, that characters were spread all over the place meaning a lack of narrative cohesion, Offshore wasn't quite as intresting as I expected though had it's moments. It wasn't a bad start but it was somewhat slow and missing that thrill, that episodic look into human nature of the first season.

Once main characters began to cross each other's paths and the story started knitting together into something cohesive, it was a lot better. Characters we knew were bouncing off each other again, most of it was in-land which was better then offshore, the plot became more exciting and intresting as they used their wits to try to get through moments, some very good tense scenes. There was some intresting scenes about the wider world
like the parade for those going through the process
, new characters like the likeable Gloria (Cynthia Senek) or the intimidating Marcela (Laila Garin who brings presence to the role) do not feel they quite have enough depth by the end of the season. Built up well to a good finale that leaves intrigued for next season

Credit to show for having a recurring transgender character as in appears for more then one or two "look, we are soooo with it" episodes. The character is very much a support to a support character at the moment, will pop in the relevant episodes, has a moment or two but needs bringing more to the fore.

Re: Favorite Television Shows

Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:32 pm
by Dong Zhou
Watched first season of comedy Schitt's Creek created by the Levy family and starring them with Sarah Levy as waitress Twayla. Premise: The Rose family are wealthy but when the authorities discover the accountant has not paid their taxes and has now run off with their money, they lose everything. Apart from one small town they own with a certain name. How will the family, businessman Jonny (Eugene Levy), actress wife Moira (Catherine O'Hara) and their two children, fashionista David (Dan Levy) and socialite Alexis (Annie Murphy), cope in this small, odd little town?

I liked the premise and was on netflix so we thought we would give it a try, first episode a bit slow but afterwards loved it. Having a member of the cast reading the language warning is an odd touch but intresting to see what they do with it (O'Hara went for in character, Jennifer Robertson seemed to start laughing), they use the premise of two very different and exaggerated cultures clashing for good comedic effect. Characters either start off comic and larger then life but one grows to like them or start off the straight likeable figure to comedic partners and then one realises how funny they are themselves. There are some inventive scenario's they play with and a lot of good one-liners.

While comedy is key and so is the family, the build a nice sense of two figures starting with mayor Roland (Chris Elliott) his lovely wife Jacqueline (Jennifer Robertson) and sarcastic receptionist Stevie (Emily Hampshire) then widening out to other figures in the town. You get the wacky escapades (the one with the town sign...) and the culture clashes but you also get romance, inadvertent hurt feelings, hopes and dashed one to centre the humour with an emotional, solid core.

Re: Favorite Television Shows

Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 3:59 pm
by Dong Zhou
Watched season 4 part 2 of Agents of Shield: LMD which feels like it is going from strength to strength, consistently performing well. It's handling of issues arising around the third-season storyline can be clumsy, it doesn't follow up the shield director's storyline sufficiently, one or two of the villain characters are lacking as it jumps from one to the other. Yet the core characters remain good to watch, a romance is nicely built up, the main villains generally work well, good action, a clever finale that left me very excited for what they are doing with part 3.

-Surprised no return of Ghostrider, maybe next part.

-Mack's opening episode fear of robots and mentioning movies got heavy headed while generally his scenes bemoaning AI and so on felt simplistic. Good Mack scene as he told Yoyo about his past after going missing for 24 hours

-I liked the Nadeer dynamics, siblings torn apart by her hate for Inhumans, her clever use of politics and media to put pressure on Shield, preferred Ellen to Supreme Leader. Death was well done by how it went ways one wasn't expecting

-Showing May as a robot early worked for the show, it gave you a certain perspective on her actions throughout and the heartbreak that would be caused for both May and Phil, seeing the robot gain awareness and the pain it caused her. The world created for real May and it's initial failings was a clever touch, I liked seeing an early mission with Phil and May, her sacrifice was one of the best bits of the finale.

-I'm glad Talbot is being a bit less of a joke figure that Shield have to handle, yes they like a shot but he did warn against the political trap they fell right into and he has backed them hard

-Mace being fake inhumane was an intresting twist and in that episode, with the fighting+discovery by others, it was well delivered. Afterwards it kind of got "now back in your place for Phil" then, while not quite dropped, didn't get properly followed through as it got distracted by other issues

-Radcliffe being the traitor and then the arrested Radcliffe being an AI as the real one fled was a good twist. Agnes strand was good and allowed Mallory Jansen to further flex her muscles by playing a different character, I didn't warm to Agnes particularly but I warmed to Radcliffe's reaction and how his world helped her, I thought Radcliffe's death was nicely done but as a character, he never quite lived up to potential. He always needed someone to be alongside him, a Fitz or an Aida, for Radcliffe to really spark off and produce some humour, I liked his idea for the season but I never felt he came alive as a character

-Aida really well managed. Bit by bit, seeing her (after the initial fake outs) develop, taking more control, her fierce authority, her taking decisions or her reaction to Agnes, her ruthlessness towards the Superior with that cruel fate for him, her ruthlessness towards Radcliffe but also one that was not unkind as she worked out best route forward. Without her maker acting as a sometimes restraint, be intresting to see what happens now

-I really wanted MayxCoulson in season 1, now I'm less keen on it. It can work but so used to them being friends

-I like the Koening's but didn't warm to their guest episode role though the fanfiction line was very funny

-The Superior was lacking, wasn't a character with much depth (though his fear of the impure and the new could have been used) or threat and Zack McGowan didn't manage to do anything with the role. Huge relief when he turned out not to be the major villain

-The plot twist of Ai in shield just before the season break finale was good and lead to a tense enough episode as Fitz and Simmons turned on each other

-The only problem with the end of season glimpse to part 3 is can they live up to the promise of this alternative universe?


Finished season 3, the final season before moving onto second show in trilogy, of Trollhunters, tragically lost Anton Yelchin's voice for Jim but Emile Hirsch fitted in well and found I quickly adjusted to new voice. Season started slowly with Toby veering very much onto the annoying and there is later a new character that also veers onto annoying
Merlin (David Bradley)
and few few adventures don't quite click. However it soon finds it's feet, giving some good emotional punches with it's twists
families finding out about trolls
, decent villains and is best when it sticks to main storyline rather then seeks humorous sideline. The finale episodes are well done and a fitting way to end what had been a decent show, will likely watch the next show.

Re: Favorite Television Shows

Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:12 pm
by Dong Zhou
Watched season 3 of Preacher which started slowly, partly because of setting itself up again but also because the setting of Angelville never quite worked. The idea had great merit
the evil grandma, the tombs, the faded glory
, the cast are good in Colin Cunningham, Betty Buckley and Jeremy Childs yet while there are some good individual scenes (Cunningham's TC providing some good laughs), it tended not to click. Cassidy seemed in a rut, characters were not bouncing off each other, the threat wasn't quite in the atmosphere.

When other factors into the play like the welcome return of the Grail and Cassidy gets his own separate storyline, it clicks more. The humour, the rivalries of old, some great friendships, enjoyable twists, some good big bads, the show's "ok we don't have the biggest budget so let's be inventive with our action scenes" works more then it misses. Not everything works, I did feel at times they had a tad many characters and the Angelville stuff sometimes misfires but it goes along nicely to it's finale which hits the mark and brings a good end to the season.

-The man struggling with drink scene was an effective way to introduce Miss Marie's magic, at times there were was creepiness about her.

-I liked Tulip's scene in purgatory and she had some decent scenes with an increasingly frustrated God, briefly with Sabine, Featherstone (that HR scene!) or the not always bright TC. More then I liked her scenes with Jesse. She was also good whenever allowed to be a robber again, well constructed action scenes and usually bouncing off her allies to humorous effect. Bus stuff was running out of steam but mostly due to her alongside characters who had struggled for time

-What an entrance for Herr Starr as he fights Krishana's supporters and he was an effective operator again like his early wins over Jesse. He and Featherstone have some good comedy scenes as she continues to try to gain his favour while he and Jesse, sometimes united and sometimes opposing spar well

-I liked the animation of what Angilville does to vampires but Cass only really got going when out of there when he dates a poser vampire then kidnapped. Eccarius (Adam Croasdell) grew on me, utterly charming, kind to Cass, lonely, the two different worlds blending well together so the punch he was a baddie was a good twist and Cass finding the proof had punch. Watching the old lady realizing what had happened and begin to turn on Eccarius was good

-Never warmed to Satan, having him as a bit of car salesmen type figure wasn't a bad idea but delivery wasn't right. Hell tended to work due to the Saint Killer and sometimes the angel of death who shows promise. Do feel most of Hell/Saint Killer's group could have been left out other then setting up the stuff for finale which sets up next season

-Humperdoo's tapdancing, truly a worthy descendant! The Allfather was a bit grossout for my tastes but grew as a threat episode by episode, even the usually brave Star unsettled and had good final confrontation with Jesse

-Slightly sorry Hoover died but was usually just a comic relief figure, did have a good final episode with way he tricked Cas

-Looks like one huge challenge for Jess, Star has strong defences, the Saint of Killers hunting him down


Watched K-drama half hour comedy Dramaworld. Premise: Claire Duncan (Liv Hewson) is working at her father's cafe, obsessed with K-drama's and particular the work of leading man Joon Park (Sean Dulake) and romantic interest Seo-yeon (Bae Noo-ri). When she finds herself suck into the drama-world, will her dreams come true?

There was a phase earlier this season when Korean culture was being highlighted by UK media like the BBC and Dramaworld kept coming up so we gave it a try. First episode, we found Claire annoying version of a millennial who needed to grow up, an exaggerated style about things but by second episode, we were laughing. This seems to be an affectionate comedy about K-drama tropes but most of them are tropes I have seen in other drama's, this manages to get balance between that teasing and doing a k-drama with romance and evil plotting.

As a comedy, it uses Claire's outside status so ability to yell at the production, her errors that alter things and her knowledge of K-drama's are used to funny effect Hewson selling the excitement and frustration of her character. It is fun, amusing show. As a drama, it has nice twists, likeable and warm romances beneath the humour but side characters like Ga-in (Kim Sa-hee) and Seung-woo (Woo Do-hwan) are underwritten which becomes an issue and the big bad lacks a bit of oomph.


Saw second season of Killjoys, first had showed promise but had a fair few episodes that didn't quite feel good enough over the 45 minutes. This was better, one or two episodes where an episode might run out of steam, but generally held up from start to finish. The comedy felt sharper as lines sizzled, good character dynamics (including that of the ship Lucy), the villains were fun but not great, adventures tend to go along nicely. It works as just a good time, you get an adventure, you get jokes, you get nice romances and a bit of spark.


Watched Marvel/Freeform show Cloak and Dagger. Premise: Many years ago, Roxxon oil rig exploded near Orleans and two children caught up nearby save each other from the waters and gain powers. Years later thief Tandy (Olivia Holt) has become a thief haunted by her father being blamed for the accident, Tyrone (Aubrey Joseph) is a student at an elite school but troubled by the murder of his brother. What odds they will meet again?

I like superhero shows, I had heard decent things about this one and I liked the idea that they have updated: white girl (used to be rich in comics as I understand it) who has white light and black boy (used to be... less rich) with the power of darkness and to vanish, hope and fear intertwined. First two episodes? On paper the quality was there, it was well written, there were good scenes but the pace was agonizingly slow and at times Aubrey Joseph was underwhelming so some of Tyrone scenes lacked spark.

After the first two episodes, it finds a better pace. It has things to say about society, the way young black people are treated, how woman are treated and it usually does it in intresting ways, touches on culture of New Orleans though to a lesser extent. The powers are different from the usual ones and are used well to explore the characters and those around them, good twists, a sense of humour about itself, decent romances and decent if slightly under-done villains. It felt like the main plot was a little underdone by the end but the character development and what it meant for the two leads covered for that. Aubrey Joseph still could have the odd passage where he lacked a bit of charisma but felt he grew stronger as the season went on and landed some big moments, Holt always had a spark to her. Good supporting cast be it family members or Emma Lahana's cop, some good one off adventures.

Re: Favorite Television Shows

Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 5:38 pm
by Dong Zhou
Gotham season 4 part 2 feels like it should have been split up so it was a 3 part season. The first part of this one (I'll call it part 2) struggled becuase it's choice of villain was stretching the logic
Poison Ivy mark 3, played by Peyton List
and though the actress involved is a good one, she didn't deliver her best performances in this show, it could never shake off the bag logic starting it. Some of the changes for Bullock or Alfred following on from the real part 1 don't seem to last very long or never quite built on properly. It has a good finale that goes on other themes and has a very good big scene

Sofia vs Gordon and her "not death", reversing that was weak

-Bruce tripping wasn't bad

-Penguin vs Jerome wasn't quite as exciting as I hoped but picked up as the rattled Nygma (who had a strong strand) turns up, amusing moment at the pier

-Ivs vs Bullock and the tattered friendship with Selina was probably the only things that worked for ivy

Part 3 as it were was hampered by some strands really good like Lee, Nygma, Jerome and some... less so like Barbara's where it felt like they were trying to jam in a storyline that didn't suit her character's history to keep her in play while villains best when it trims numbers down. That last one did pay off in a great finale but even with that, I'm not sure I'm willing to take the forced strand for that finale moment. There is fun romances, intresting villain moves, flamboyant moments, a strong ending strand and big final battle

-I didn't find the aslumn break out that good, Jarvis felt a bit forced, I'm not a fan of their scarecrow. Tetch and the people prepared to jump was effective. Ra was alright but never felt like the big bad he needed to be

-The Valaska's, the switch to Jerimah took time to work, when one goes from an intense charismatic and erratic figure to a calmer plotter, it lacked intensity at first but it was clicking by the end. Jerome's death was well done and he has been a great character and intresting Joker (I know, not the Joker), the intelligence needed but the unpredictable crazy and charisma, the way he bounced off others like Bruce, Gordon and co.

-LeexNygma was a real strong point (bar the jealousy), Lee's ability to tease and flirt with Nygma, the great showdown with Nygma's game, the wits and loyalty. The final showdown and romantic near deaths

-Honestly, even with the eventual "you look like a woman I loved" would you choose Barbara to be the demon head? I liked the feminist angle but the needless rows with Tabitha, the killing time till the finale feel. Barbara the gang leader of sirens? That I welcome

-Copplepot was an amusing but sadly side figure in this season, great double cross of Tabitha and Butch in finale

-Bruce and Selina's potential romance was nicely boiling up, the Alfred horror scene was really well done but weakened by "no t really Alfred"

They have built well for season 5, it looks potentially very intresting. Worry that being the final season will hamper that strand as they seek to wrap it up but glad they got notice.

Re: Favorite Television Shows

Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 3:52 pm
by Dong Zhou
Watched Indian/Netflix 3 episode mini-series horror Ghoul. Premise: In a dystopia future with an authoritarian government battling terrorists, eager recruit Nida Rahim (Radhika Apte) is sent to a famed interrogation centre under the command of Colonel Sunil Dacunha (Manav Kaul) but things will soon go very very wrong. Hint in title :wink:

I liked it more then my sister despite being sleepy, I felt in first two episodes there was good haunting atmosphere at the right times, some good dynamics though they never explore the authoritarian theme after the first episode. Some nice conversations whether between the interrogators or between them and there prisoners, Nida made a good entry point for viewer. However the Colonel looked a bit too hollywood and cleancut, a bit too superstar which could distract from his scenes. Final episode had some decent horror moments but fell into the old horror trap felt like the script ran away with itself and it just got silly as logic flaw after logic flaw hit.


Second season of Van Helsing retained it's excellently effective horror credits using just two red words, blackness and sounds from the opening scene. Was an erratic season, a slightly slow start with good patches, then strong as little teams of two or three set off in different tasks with humour, good dynamics, romance, very good twists and scenario's. Even as they started to merge together it was fine at first though was something lacking in it's big bads.

It made some radical changes in the last third with some characters feeling like they dropped off the face of the earth for a few episodes and it wasn't quite as good. It was fine bar one strand that had run out of steam but lost that bit of sharp dynamics that had come with a series of partnerships, the journey the characters had been on felt wrenched off course by big twist
the helicopter arrival and kidnap
, an end episode that was fairly good but had questions about the logic.


Agents of Shield: Agents of Hydra seems to have been a very well regarded segment in what is regarded as the best of four seasons. I agreed it was best season, I just wasn't quite as in love with what as others, it never quite clicked as well as it should have but that may just be me as I can see what people liked it so much. Good twists, some nice nods to the past, they committed to their concept and explored it fairly well, good character moments. The highlight tended to be when villain was on the screen, strong performances and the best characters moments for me and the big bad was probably the best shield have had and one of the best in superhero TV shows.

What I found frustrating is that I did find near the end I was regretting the Ghost Rider section of season 4 due to stuff I felt that was squeezed out here. Unfair and it is credit to season 4 that, with superhero shows nearly always having filler episodes, it was a case here of there was no filler and the ideas were so good 22 episodes wasn't enough. One of the two strands that got squeezed to parts of 2 episodes it is just a little disappointing
a lot of stuff must have been happening outside the Framework
but the other is so frustrating due to potential. The aftermath as it were
they have left the framework including Aida
had such potential, including with the baddie, it felt a little rushed. Hopefully a lot of the issues can be explored in season 5.

Had a good fitting finale that lead to an intriguing place for next season

-The Hydra symbol instead of Shield in title sequence was a nice touch

-Was good to see Ward back, would have liked a little more building on the theme of Ward and Fitz very different due to father situation.

-Aida was awesome, taking Fitz for herself and her worry about Simmons, way she handled the injuries, the strong and uncontrolled emotions (particular when Fitz made his choice) that she was unused to. Mallory Jansen did a superb job and would loved her to stay on

-Lovely way for Dr Radcliffe to sign off and liked the shield group relaxing in restaurant waiting for arrest

-Mack and Hope is the type of thing that can be cheesy but was generally well done, his love for his daughter, that he chose to stay behind. This and the Fitz/Simmons damage needs to be kept going for season 5

-Mace death lacked a certain impact sadly, nice character but he was better in shield then in the resistance


Money Heist second season was, for a long time, awesome. The excellent perfectly placed plotting with twists and turns, the strong characters, the sense of a doomed romance and other good romances, well done action, the battles between authorities and the robbers had tension as wits and narrow scrapes occurred. The hostages felt more sidelined this time after the first few episodes and it missed that angle, there was one issue where I saw what they did and was carefully handled but still felt uneasy
Berlin's "romance", it did suit his character but was still something a little off.

The big problem is that it felt like the writers had perhaps planned for 3 seasons (and then got it afterwards when Netflix discovered it, tad worried how that will work) but discovered they were only getting two. Last three or so episodes has glorious moments
major spoiler
Moscow's death was done movingly
but the tight plotting is gone as they rush to the end, twists and character moments can feel forced or "I can see how that would have worked given time", one character turning into MWAHAHAHA evil, it had lost something so special in the rush. Finale had glorious moments in the one final tussle but some of aftermath moments didn't yet feel right
ending spoiler
Professor and the inspector ending up together, would have probably been better as a doomed romance


Watched latest season of Elementary and really did feel really like it had picked up a level. A good villain where they were brave enough to know when to leave alone for other cases and development, using the strong dynamics and improving them with appropriate storylines, nice nods to past, cameo's without overdoing them, built up well to a good finale. Elementary has tended to be a good show but everything just felt better done

major spoilers
Felt like last season with the ending and it then made sense they way built a Marcus having relationship, Sherlock pushing him for a better job though not a Sherlock starting a new relationship. I wonder quite how they plan for next season, London is a big change and I worry that having landed an ending they aren't stopping.

Wasn't a huge fan of the Watson motherhood thing


Second season of Jessica Jones came in with high exceptions despite some of the Marvel/Netflix missteps thanks to a superb first season but there were questions about it would handle without first season's superb big bad. It started badly and though it recovered, felt this season was alright overall despite a good end phase. It touched on real world issues but I never it quite explored them as well as the first season, I felt the show lost Jessica's sense of humour at times but mostly, there was a lack of cohesion for too long. Possibly a result of that Netflix superhero curse of 13 when, say, ten would be better though I did like the flashback episode well enough and they had a clever episode idea that could easily have gone wrong but went right
major spoiler
the return of the Purple Man inside Jessica's mind, they avoided overdoing it

The only strand that was consistently good was Jeri Hogarth's and as excellent as Carrie-Anne Moss undoubtedly was, it helped that her character had early goals, a sense of purpose and story. To an extent Trish does it was patchy particularly when it involved a character I didn't care about for awhile
the boyfriend
, it touches intresting themes around the character but it never quite as good as it should have till near the end when it is strong. Malcolm has a few moments of his own and bounces well of others but his storyline wasn't engaging enough by itself.

Jessica? I missed some of her humour, she has good relations with old gang and new members that gets grown gradually, they explore impact of what happened in first season and second. Yet so much in first half, there felt like playing for time as they waited to really get the "adventure" started and then... it takes awhile to click. There are good themes and idea's but it lacks the sheer chemistry and power of the first season even at it's best though in fairness it can be very good during moments.

-Felt Pryce looked nuance

-The death of Whizzer and the impact in aftermath was well done

-Trish vs Maximilian was powerful, her big break down on show was well done, the Griffin proposal and that it wasn't what she wanted even if I felt the Griffin stuff was lacking overall, drugs and Maclom was good but lacked just a little something, loved the row with Jessica and end and the way they build her hero complex

-Jessica and her mother was helped once Karl was out of the way and they had a chance to build a fragile, testy thing, Jessica being cuaght by the pull of finally having a mother, the mother's violent rages and Jessica murdering of guard was well done. Excellent final scenes together

Re: Favorite Television Shows

Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 6:22 pm
by Dong Zhou
Watched BBC America spy show Killing Eve, based on Luke Jennings work. Premise: Intelligent analyst Eve (Sandra Oh) is convinced the latest round of assassinations are not random but the work of somebody. She is right and soon becomes obsessed with stopping the stylish assassin Villanelle (Jodie Comer).

This is hyped as a great show, I would say it's start is awesome and then is a fairly good show. Got highly praised for feminism and diversity (Sandra Oh first Asian descent to be nominated for Emmy) which I do wonder if part of the critics love for it, the show is more subtle then the articles about it. It is twisting things like fridging, way shows treat spouses (not connected to fridging) and some of the old staples in a natural way, females are the lead 2 (arguably 3
Carolyn Martins (Fiona Shaw) the intelligence boss
) sure but males are well rounded figures. It is sad that, by simply doing things well and with a fresh eye, it is considered such a step forward but as Oh's nomination shows (and that she struggled to believe she was being cast for lead), it is.

The reason it starts strongly? Stylish and flair filled assassinations, a sense of humour, a good team around the two lead figures with Villanelle's humorous, friendly but battling relations with boss or Eve's domestic bliss with husband Niko (Owen McDonnell) or her boss Bill (David Haig). As it moves more towards spy thriller and less assassinations, as the support figures take lesser roles, it loses something. There is still humour, very good twists, some strong scenes but it doesn't quite feel s strong as it's start. Good not great one for me.


Watched Marvel's Inhumans which apparently was meant to be a film, all sorts of things happened (including Inhumans being a key theme of Shield) and then the first episodes on Imax got awful reviews. Not been renewed for second season. Premise: King Black Bolt (Anson Mount), who can never speak due to his powers, rules over Inhumans (beings with a specific power each) on the Moon city of Attilan. However when brother Maximus (Iwan Rheon), who was made human rather then Inhuman, launches a coup, Black Bolt and his family have to flee to earth.

I didn't hate it but it was certainly not worth renewing, was passable for one short season. Opening episodes did not do it any favours as some blatant "ok actually doing this would require too much money so ensure we curb it within first episode" moments like Medusa's (Serinda Swan) hair and early curbing of CGI dock Lockjaw. The sets and costumes felt cheap and unreal, the palace felt like a set rather then a place, cast didn't give a strong first impression. Did that fix? One got used to costumes and they seemed to use sets better, performers as a whole didn't really rise above doing a decent enough job.

The writers attempted to balance things better then, apparently, the good Black Bolt vs evil Maximus of the comics but it felt weird. Team Black Bolt are clearly meant to be the good guys one gets behind but they are, in essence, pro a caste-system, arrogant and out of touch, it is hard to get behind them or the disgraceful cause they back. Maximus has the far better cause but they never quite knit the sympathetic side with his more cruel side into a coherent whole, it also doesn't knit his intelligence with acts of "how does he not think there would be problems from doing this?".

Scenes with Maximus and co tended to be better, Rheon didn't deliver the performances he showed in GOT and other shows but was still one of the better performers, and there were good scenes. He and his second in command Auran (Sonya Balmores) had a nice bond, watching them react to events and their cause tended to click. The family on earth? Only the amusingly blunt Karnack (Ken Leung) had consistently good strand once it got going, young Crystal's (Isabelle Cornish) was predictable but at least had humour. The rest struggled to be exciting, some bad dialogue, romances were meh, action scenes struggled for oomph and they struggle to make their cause work but at least earth scientist Louise (Ellen Woglom) provided humour as the eccentric figure in it.

It did build nicely towards the end, unifying the storylines, some decent twists and plots, some good verbal sparring between the two sides, some decent action. I can't say where it left itself off, though perhaps might have worked with a better show, left me excited or thinking "it had potential."


Watched first season of Rick and Morty, I had heard good things but had trouble persuading sister till she realized it was by Community writers. Initially I struggled with Rick due to the halting/burping delivery was very off putting and felt sabotaged momentum of episodes but that smoothed out. Inventive, funny, able to go on absurd adventures or be set around the family (love Jerry particularly) with their clashing personalities and own humour. Within the zany humour, use of sex and so on, it also has a dark streak that has strong impact when it is revealed, very much enjoyed it.

Re: Favorite Television Shows

Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2018 6:26 am
by Dong Zhou
Watched first season of Discovery of Witches, based on Deborah Harkness's first book in All Souls trilogy. Premise: Diana Bishop (Teresa Palmer) is a historian (and witch) given post in Oxford but when she comes across a manuscript thought lost, she is centre of a lot of attention. Witches, demons, vampires and particularly vampire Matthew Clairmont (Matthew Goode)....

It has a strong start, the magic, the chemistry, the use of location and sense of an intresting world. It never quite lives up to that but is a nice, pleasant show. It's main focus for the eight episodes is Diana and Matthew and they work as a duo, good chemistry, attitudes that flare off each other, carefully learning more. When the two are not together then Matthew's strands tend to shine thanks to Goode's strong performances and the vampires tend to be more intresting, Diana's strands feel weaker, not sure I particularly warmed to any of her side's characters bar "ohhhh good villain".

The season has effective villains, mixing pure bad to more sympathetic figures, they all carry a sense of threat, well performed and intresting enough figures. They build up the internal politics between the three factions fairly well by the end and those scenes of confrontation and argument tend to be good. Where the show has a problem is juggling everything. Too many characters are barely touched upon till near the end, whole thing important parts of world suddenly turn up in the finale as if meant to always be there, demons really badly served. Finale felt like an ordinary episode and didn't land it's ending.


Watched first half of 3rd and last season of Shadowhunters, nice mystery that leads up to a fairly good baddie
Lillth (Anna Hopkins)
, uses what happened in season 2 to good effect to change dynamics, decent new romances that drift off and I suspect they became aware they were being cancelled so lead to some changes. The main adventure has good impact on characters, said capable baddy but loses a bit of steam near the ending as it gets distracted and half-season finale lacks force.

What doesn't help is balance with Simon has gone wrong. In past he has been the geeky outsider to the world, though getting more pulled in and with an absurd love life, that helps add a bit of light and humour to things. Bar the indulging his singing with everyone wowed by it. This also allowed balancing off Clary being bit of an untouchable Mary Sue who is centre of everything and always right/gets away with blatant "should be in real trouble." They are better slightly with Clary as there are some degree of consequence for her actions but this time, everything that happens to Simon makes sense but it also feels like he has become a Gary Stu. In and on itself, the choices they make for him this season are fine and arguably less Gary Stuing then last season but it is an accumulated effect of all that has gone on before, it tilts the balance.

Re: Favorite Television Shows

Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2018 7:09 pm
by Dong Zhou
Watched first season of half hour Netflix zombie comedy Santa Clarita Diet. Premise: Joel (Timothy Olyphant) and Sheila Hammond (Drew Barrymore) are estate agents with a happy life, one teenage daughter Abbey (Liv Hewson), good neighbourhood. When Sheila is very sick and then starts to eat flesh, this puts a strain on things....

It had got decent reviews at the time but hadn't been too impressed by trailers, sister saw an episode or two and suggested we both watch it. It doesn't do anything particularly original with the idea of zombie in family, the need to hide it and so on but it does it fairly well. Abbey and nerd neighbour Eric (Skyler Gisondo) are great fun with growing dynamic and humour, neighbours tend to be fun particularly Eric's mother Lisa (Mary Elizabeth Ellis) characters into fun and amusing situations

A weak point is Joel and Shelia, it drags the opening few to almost "it's fine but should I continue?" and even by the end, does feel like things are better when it isn't centred on the both of them. As a couple they are fine and they have their moments but the comedy bit seems to be where Olyphant and Barrymore struggle, they try just that bit too hard so jokes don't quite work and they don't have a natural comic touch.


Watched TV adaptation of The Purge. Premise: Set in a time when Purge has taken hold, children of the first purge have grown up, but people remember a time before. Three main strands: 1) Soldier Miguel (Gabriel Chavarria) returns looking for his sister (Jessica Garza) 2) Happy couple and business partners Jenna (Hannah Anderson) and Rick (Colin Woodell) reluctantly head to Founding Founders party to seek funding 3) business woman Jane (Amanda Warren) is left handling business on Purge night while her boss David (William Baldwin) is safe at home

I was pleased at the idea of a TV adaptation, what I tend to enjoy about Purge films is social commentary and it showing the how society functions during purge night but with limited time, can get squeezed by need for adventure and action in a short film. This has ten episodes to flesh out it's society and shows what happens, those bits tend to be intresting like all the little events, traditions and feelings going on during the purge with, of course, the violence. It touches on a lot of social issues and points out the kind of groups that would get really hurt by a purge night, I enjoy those moments for most part.

Some of the storylines are bit hit and miss at the start, Jenna and Rick's the only one to really get going thanks to their dynamics, the party and support cast (loved founding father supporter Albert Stanton (Reed Diamond) from the off), Jane's takes it's time setting itself up while I didn't warm to Miguel and co. Of the three Miguel does build well and show some really good purge night special events, some good action scenes though one figure is badly miscast
Dominic Fumusa as Pete the bar owner lacks the easy charm and humour they are going for
which hampers a bit. The couple is strong thanks to great characters and dynamics
Lila (Lili Simmons) really throws some spanners in the works
, the storylines are more personal but also has fun with the rich founding father celebrations and it provides a different perspective even if your clearly not going to back most in the party. It did tend to blatantly side with Jenna whenever the couple had a disagreement even when Rick seemed to have a fair point and perhaps doesn't quite have an ending for their individual strand to match the build up. Jane has some powerful stuff related to the purge once hers gets started and society commentary used extremely well on her journey, meets some formidable figures.
there is also a 4th strand which tends to be little by little at the end of episodes, gradually building up which is nicely done

It all builds up nicely within first eight episodes, there are twists, a willingness to be brave, some great purge and social commentary stuff, effective action, it is knitting together the pieces well to merge the stories together, thought it was about to do something very intresting
Joe (Lee Tergesen) was a pro-Purge figure who might well be seen as the exact sort of figure who voted Trump as jobs went, white skilled working class whose certainty has fallen. His set up episode was really intresting and looked like the show was going to do a viewpoint it doesn't often cover and do it with sympathy/balance.
. Yet something went wrong with last two episodes, despite some excellent scenes in 9, it lost the atmosphere and made some choices that left the ending feeling deflated and flat.

They got the balance wrong with one key character
If I'm being generous then they possibly tried to show some old nobility in Joe at moments but essentially he became the straw man of those who don't like Trump voters
, one character seemed to ignore their own history so writer could have big heroic speeches, the scenes that should have drawn emotion didn't particularly in finale. The ending itself felt... cheap
ending spoilers
Joe being killed after purge ends, fine. Absolutely nobody having any repercussions or concerns or guilt or backlash... just felt like "give a nice ending" when purge is capable of rather more powerful chilling ones

Will watch season 2!

Re: Favorite Television Shows

Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:59 am
by Dong Zhou
Watched (apparently going to be a second season) Fleabag, a TV comedy by Phoebe Waller-Bridge which really cuaght people's attention to her talents. Premise: Fleabag (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) is a struggling cafe owner, mourning the death of her best friend Boo (Jenny Rainsford), dealing with love life and family.

It does really well to give a strong sense of characters over six episodes including of it's side characters, it has emotional punch and a strong finale thanks to storylines that have gently built up. The dynamics between Fleabag and sister Claire (Sian Clifford) provide a strong central dynamic, flashbacks to Boo work well. As a comedy? There is some great 4th walling including in every opening, uses situations and dialogue as well as character's sarcasm and observations for plenty of enjoyable humour, really glad I finally watched it.