Da 5 Bloods
On the Record
I May Destroy You
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Where it not for Jacques Lob and Jean-Marc Rochette, the creators of the original "Le Transperceneige" comic book, or even for the by far more popular movie by Bong Joon-ho, this show would be seen as a masterpiece based on its setting only, but alas, the ingenious idea of the Snowpiercer train was not conceived in the minds of the creators of this TV show (and neither was it created by Bong Joon-ho), so it is not their contribution. All they did is that they added to it a whole new story, one closely connected to the one presented in the movie, but mostly lacking the same aggressive energy that made its predecessor so powerful and pleasurable to watch. But this new story is, I must admit, quite intriguing, though I am afraid that we would find it lacking were it not set in such a marvelously concocted world. And while I did not liked Layton, Melanie made me want to watch one episode after another, even if her great secret initially left me angry and feeling empty. But now I see there was a reason for it also, and ‘tis a reason that finally distinguished this series in my mind from the vision that Bong Joon-ho left us with all this time ago.
Since I first read Baudrillard's critique of the Disneyland project (putting it briefly he thinks that Disneyland serves as a mean to convince people that their fake postmodern lives are real by showing them something even more fake) I deemed it as indefensible. And yet, lo and behold, such a defence has been undertaken, and in a form of a documentary TV series, no less. And what a defence it is! Disney, it seems, conquers all, and not only from the economical standpoint, but philosophical also. This series uncovers deep techeoretical fundaments of Disneyland conceived by Walt Disney himself and shows perfectly how and why they are working even now, so many years later. Watching it enriched my reflection on that subject and brought to my mind the idea that Baudrillard was, perhaps, not entirely right.
Season 3 of "Westworld" brings much needed change to the show, but right now it is pretty hard for me to determine if for better or for worse. I must admit that I was not as impressed by show's version of our near future as I hoped I would be; it is far too close to what we can see outside our own windows for it to be adequate in a universe where perfectly humanoid androids are a reality. They should have pushed it much further. That said, I enjoyed the as always rich and convoluted plot of this installment in "Westworld" story-line, even if some situations felt less impact- and meaningful than in previous seasons. But in the end for me this show feels like a ride downhill from greatness to the mundane; I can only hope that after next season I will be able to say that I was wrong in that matter.
I would very much like to just say that I am ambiguous about the last season of „BoJack Horseman", but that would not be exactly accurate. It will be much closer to the truth if I would say that the last season of „BoJack" is ambiguous in itself. Having watched all of its episodes, I am still quite unsure what all the fuss was about. They did not go for a very good and clear direction that they had mid-season (BoJack finally becoming a good guy despite everything that happened to him); instead, the show ended just as it was: as an inconclusive mess. Shame, really. I really hoped that it all lead to something meaningful. It did not. BoJack's life, after all, meant nothing, really, and that is the greatest tragedy of this show.
After some years of studying pop-cultural narratives I came to realisation of just how hard it is to write a satisfying ultimate ending for anything longer that a miniseries, thus I all the more appreciate such an ending when I see one. The last season of „Legion" delivers conclusion that is really, really close to that, although also not flawless. While still trying to push forward the very borders of television it goes to a whole new direction and is completely different form first and second season. We see here great developments of already known characters (especially David and the Shadow King, my personal favorite), as well as a really intriguing story of a new character, Switch, which ends with fabulously warm twist. All in all I am thankful that creators of the show did not decide to prolong, and therefore overuse, their chance at changeing television and ended their TV series the way they did.
I must admit that in course of watching this show I found myself often questioning whether there is a large audience for that kind of grim adult fantasy TV show that will enjoy it us much as I do. But then I always thought of the Game of Thrones and how much attention it gained, and confirmed myself that yes, there is, in fact, an audience that, like me, just waits for this kind of delightful stories set not only in medievalesque setting, but in all kind of places, like, let us say, a city very much alike Victorian London. Well, good for us. The only thing that I am not certain of is why would we want to have a second season of Carnival Row, when the first was such a perfect, complete narrative... But, afterall, people are greedy, they always want more.
Overall this first season of the series is a well chosen collection of the most iconic tales about Geralt of Rivia adapted rather safely, but with a hint of distinctness that builds its own identity, separate from the books and, most notably, video games. Contrary to popular opinion I think also that narration and timelines are handed rather well here, I was, however, quite disappointed with special effects (Platige Image did not work that hard this time apparently) and while the very first fight will surely be counted as one of the most important moments in television this year, the rest of them does nothing to aspire to this level of craftsmanship. In summary, this TV shows serves mostly as a confirmation of the status of the Witcher as a worldwide pop-cultural icon, and as a Pole I for one am proud that character that came to be in my homeland achieved that kind of recognition.
Truth be told, it does not seem as much as a grand adventure in space as one would think it will. It is incredibly chaotic, jumps from place to place in light-speed, and the audience is not always certain why. To make matters worse, characters die, then are resurrected, then die again, and nothing seems to matter one bit because of that. And jokes on average are not the best too, and sometimes are much, much worse. But, on the other hand, new characters add interesting dynamics to main team, and you can watch this mess of a show with certain pleasure, so there's that.
Delightfully crafted space western that benefits largely from the fact that it is so, so different from everything that we saw thus far in live-action "Star Wars" properties. It is also another proof from Disney that to create a mature, thrilling work of fiction you do not need even one bit of vulgarity, nudity, sexuality or graphic violence. None of those things can be found here, and yet it is an electrifying show and a potential grand classic of television.
So in place of the movie, which was definitely too short to give Pullman's novel justice we got TV series which is too long for that purpose. But even though it is unnecessarily expanded and takes pride in its shameless spoilers for those who did not read the second book of "His Dark Materials", it is still a good watch. If only literally ALL of the gypsies (maybe except for Tony Costa) were not so terribly miscasted...
"Legions" strives to push forward the limits of mainstream television. Even if it is uneven and sometimes fails to deliver satysfaing conclusions, one must admit that it has impeccable sense of aesthetics and narrative.
It can be funny. Sometimes. Not always. And it is choke-full of stupid, convoluted lessons that often become incoherent. To younger viewers, if it has any, it can offer only chaos. To older of them, those who already learned their lessons, it can offer a lot of unnecessary gibberish.
Nothing has changed: "Archer" still contains some of the wittiest dialogues there are out there. And still stubornly refuses to go back to its golden era of spy story parodies. Maybe next year...
Does just a tad more than your average modern superhero TV series in the setting department and has good story tempo as its additional virtue. Not one unnecessary subplot but a narrative coming together rather nicely.
A masterpiece quite unlike anything you have ever seen (that is, of course, not including the orginal Dark Crystal movie...), this TV show is a tremendous triuph of imagination, and one very needed in these modern times at that.