Fairly compelling viewing, focusing more on the relationships the crew form with various past elements of their lives, especially the baddie Marcos. Light on actual plot (you are left hanging at the end of season 5), but heavy on the drama and betrayals.
I was disappointed how they handled Drummer. Up until 5 she was a tough as nails ass-kicker, and now she is just sad and indecisive.
My wife watches this crap and makes me watch it too. TV exec: 'we need a new show. It needs to be a doctor/lawyer/cop show. It needs to have a diverse cast. Make sure to include some old famous dude for name recognition. Pay no attention to the quality of the story line.' And off this crap comes from the assembly line. I am including here any show that has the tag '9-1-1', 'NCIS', 'CSI', etc.
On a positive note, Rob Lowe is still pretty. And this show is STILL better that the ones where celebrities dress up like furries and sing or dance or pop-n-lock or whatever.
'In the Dark' is like a daytime soap on steroids. Imagine Scooby and the gang have now decided to deal drugs and shoot people, all while 'dealing with their personal shit' which would involve all the soap opera backstabbing, sleeping around, and shivving. It is undeniably addictive in the same way you watch a car accident and can't wait to see what happens next. And there are whole episodes that are taunt thrillers. That this show is on CW is really no shocker.
I was totally not a fan, but my wife loved it. At LEAST it isn't as bad as any crime CSI show or the one where celebrities dress up like muppets and sing - but this show is morally bankrupt. I WILL give the show points for their willingness to kill off major characters.
Still a fantastic show 3 seasons in. It is of course, extra cheesy, and you can see some issues with the choreography. The flashbacks to Karate Kid sequels no one watched is not all that great, but good enough you can tell what they are driving at. Kreese gets his own backstory which is told in a choppy and ham-handed manner... and while it explains some stuff, it felt a bit of a cop out. And really? A pit full of snakes? And the cheesy soap opera plot twists! 'Oh, Robbie, I didn't see you there when I was kissing this other dude. My bad!'
The focus on Johnny is wavering a bit with all the other character arcs, and his character, while coming around, is often relegated to the realm of 'Encino Man' - 'what's a computer?'
But all that aside, it is still a blast to watch.
Mandalorian is good. It has great production values and a decent star wars-y feel to it. There are almost too many references to the old series, but not so much as to become distracting. The formula is the tried and true 'jumping to the next situation to help people in need' (Kung Fu, Incredible Hulk, Quantum Leap) - much of this is retread, but it is well done retread, and certainly entertaining. The weakest part of the show is trying to make a hero out of a bounty hunter is COMPLETELY at odds with what he does with yoda's kid or whatever it is. I guess 'this is the way' until it isn't.
'The Boys' (horrible title) takes all of the popular characters from DC and Marvel, rips them off, and then asks the question - 'What if their characters were weak and subject to human frailty? What if power corrupted them?' And then tries to answer that as darkly as possible. The most depraved activities are not beneath the superheros, and the filmmakers revel in this. It is what makes this show both so much fun to watch, and also so repulsive.
Season 2 of Umbrella Academy is certainly entertaining and binge-worthy and my wife loved it. I found elements of it dragging, and the dysfunctional relationships were tedious at best. Of course that is the point, and what sets UA off from say X-men, but it was just annoying and I felt like I was watching General Hospital. Luther and Diego are given not much to do. Claus as usual is worthless and not particularly funny. There is a variety of baddies that don't really stand out. Five really saves the series though... he is the best part, and I can't believe he is only 16.
Hopefully we are not jumping the shark here. R&M have been around long enough that the show stands on its own, and I suspect they are taking more risks with the plotlines. That seems to be resulting in uneven show quality. The dragon, toilet and heist episodes were pretty bad, but the snake episode was brilliant. They are starting to recycle stuff like the meseeks, and some of the plotlines are a bit meta and self referential. I find myself not busting a gut as much as I did. Still a great show, we shall see where this goes.
The movie was ok. Like submarine flicks, it suffers from 'you can't do alot with it' problems, but for a 2 hour movie, I thought they did a pretty good job. But a series? Color me skeptical. The series starts out pretty much like the movie, but just before the big revolt - oops, they have to bring the main character out of steerage into the opulent rest of the train because.... wait for it... he is a homicide detective! Get it? CSI on a train! Because we don't have enough cop shows. Pass.
Also, Jennifer Connelly should bulk up. She looks like Skelator and she is supposed to be one of the 'fat and happy' class. And the biggest mystery of both the film AND the series? Who does the track maintenance?
WAAAAAAAYYYYYYYY too slow paced. I like sci-fi, and this is certainly right up the alley of much better paced shows like Twightlight Zone or Outer Limits. The reveals aren't that great for all the time you have to put in. Also, the soundtrack is horrible. If that pianist doesn't stop tink tink tinking on the one note over and over I will go crazy.
It's pretty good... I would go so far as to say better than Elementary, whose characters are better fleshed out. The formatting is weird - a season is basically like 4 or 5 90 minute short movies, so you never spend enough time with the characters. I would say all the episodes made from 2010-2017 would make up 2 seasons tops for most other shows.
The characterizations are pretty solid, it is well acted. The leads are likable. The first couple of seasons are fairly strong and cover familiar Sherlock Holmes mythology. Towards the end, and especially season 4, it just went off and got weird and uncomfortable to watch... I would definitely rate season 4 as the worst season. Less sleuthing and more Twilight Kirsten Stewart drama. ick.
I can come up with all kinds of problems with this series - Miller's hair, the improbable coincidences, the (sporadically) bad acting - Chrisjen seems completely miscast and is not threatening at all, the really poor lighting - we are in the FUTURE and you are sitting on a pile of nuclear fuel - do they not have 100W light bulbs in the future? Or why do you not have exploratory drones and have to explore every creepy abandoned ship on foot? Or why, in the distant future, does everyone speak English and every nation is multi-culti like 21st century NYC? Wouldn't each planet merge into its own culture and racial makeups? They tried a LITTLE with the Belters, but it is a pretty weak attempt.
But for all that, the Expanse is a binge-worthy show. The CGI is first rate for TV, and they really put a lot of care into the shots. Yes, you can tell when they are using PVC pipes on set and there is some reuse, but they really try to make the show look good. Plotlines are solid, if a bit soap-opera-ish. You really want to see what happens next at the end of each episode. The show is not great, but it is pretty good.
Witcher is good enough to keep you watching, but I wouldn't call it compelling. There are some interesting character build ups, but they kind of never go anywhere and you never get any real idea what exactly is going on. Perhaps that comes in season 2. Superman plays the attractive, muscled and super-powered antihero, and is fairly interesting to watch, although much of the rest of the casting is uninteresting. I have no idea what Yennefer is for as a plot driver other than the Witcher has a crush on her... no idea why other than maybe she has nice boobs... which... come out... in almost every episode? I mean honestly - the actress should get like three screen credits! Characters seem to randomly do good and bad things, and there seems like a lot of quickly whispered plot that is easy to miss. The series seems to have no real driving force other than got to get the girl to unleash/stop something bad. It also suffers from 21st century morality syndrome. I know I know, it isn't historical. But geez. Could they stuff more orgies in there?
The positives: there is no laugh track, and I DID laugh in spots. There is some quick-witted humor here and there.
Negatives: The plot is roughly 'single girl makes it in NYC' - there isn't really anything else to it.
The whole mole woman thing seems to have no bearing on the rest of the show other than to get a few quick jokes in here and there. The lead seems perfectly well at home in NY almost from episode 1. I get the impression this is supposed to be a fish out of water story, but the fish is fine in the tank and one of the LEAST standout-ish characters, other than annoyingly large amounts of energy that cause her to flap about alot. I can almost hear the director 'more arm flapping!' Most of the characters are almost caricatures - vain couger boss, gay black friend, crazy cat lady landlord, upbeat hardworking but unintentionally funny immigrant. It is hard to watch as they insert random PC snipes from what might be considered prejudiced stereotypes - eesh.
This show is clearly not for my demographic, so I am probably harsher to it than the show deserves, and I suspect for the show to make it 4 or 5 seasons or whatever, there must be some character development later on.
Imagine a one-man play being made out of Multiplicity. Kinda like that. It is weird and engrossing and it kind of makes you think about how insufferable your are if you have to look at yourself all the time. I am not really sure where they can really go from here without burying the show in shlock (once the baby shows up, the show is done... maybe Mr Mom?), but the 8 episodes of the first series were totally binge-worthy. Rudd does a great job.
I am pretty impressed what they did with a very simple Disney-esque set and a handful of characters. The show is undeniably funny - maybe not laugh out loud, but I smiled a lot. There are twists and turns which make me think of something like General Hospital.
I was not a huge fan of any of the characters, although I kind of liked Adam Scott as the jerk demon, Janet the helpbot, and Jacinto made me laugh a bit because I lived in Florida - although in all fairness, can you be sent to the Bad Place if you are developmentally delayed?
They did a really bad job with the theology, trying to convert it to some sort of dumbed-down secular utilitarianism with a scoreboard - run by white guys? Pretty much the only ones in the show?? But it is a comedy and this IS NBC, so...
Looking forward to Season 2.
I managed to get through one episode, and while points for poking the bear, yeah, uh, gross and cringy. I would be a bit more forgiving if the material was funnier.
Also, while I personally don't really have an issue with this (the show is by adults for adults and not meant as pornography), if society's most unforgivable sin is pedophilia, why is this allowed on the air?
Cobra Kai is phenomenally well done on so many levels. My wife and I both can't wait for more episodes. It could, of course, like many series, overstay its welcome, but season 1 (and so far 2) don't disappoint.
Cobra Kai is the 'sequel' to the 1984 movie Karate Kid, a pretty good film about karate and bullying. 30 years later, where are the characters?
This show works on multiple levels:
1) as nostalgia for the 80s and the original film. They keep bringing back original characters, and you keep going 'isn't that...?' Cool. Ralph Macchio is decent, but Zabka steals the show doing his shtick as the ex-bully living in his past and at rock bottom. Replete with old cars, music and disdain for modern culture - like he was an unfrozen 80s Encino Man. Funny and sad and mostly fun to watch.
2) But Karate Kid is merely the framework and the hook to lure in viewers. Unlike some other franchise reboots that flopped miserably trying to cash in on viewers' fond memories, 'Cobra Kai' presents a fresh set of insights into characters - Zabka is not just a cardboard bully from the movie. He was bullied himself, and struggled to be the best and please his elders. He is scarred, and actually trying to do something positive with his life - where his students, especially Miguel, teach HIM about doing the right thing. Macchio, despite good intentions, is scarred by his experience with the original Cobra Kai, and bullies and cajoles to end Zabka and Kai.
3) The 'next generation' - the children and students of Macchio and Zabka, are not just thrust into the limelight to replace the wheezing geezers as they are shown the door (Star Wars, anyone?). They are organically brought in to the story for their own angsty reasons - they don't just show up because. Then the generations start to influence each other - Zabka turns his students into the same old stormtroopers the old Kai was (Hawk!) while realizing at the same time maybe he is doing them a disservice because he actually CARES about them like he failed to do with his own son. Macchio likewise tries to compete with Cobra Kai on its own terms, realizing finally that it is not all about himself and that there is a different path Miyagi tried to teach him.
The kid's stories are equally compelling, although perhaps a bit more teen soapish. Their motivations and actions interweave with the main storylines as much as the teachers. Miguel especially, in season 1, is the fresh, upbeat inspiration Zabka doesn't know he needs. And his naivete is hilarious.
OK, some of the dialog is cheesy, and some of the fight scenes maybe lack polish, but that can more than be forgiven in what I can only describe as the best TV series reboot ever.