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

 Pages 1 2 3 4 NEXT
 

This is a counterpart to the movie thread (see http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/18.1019704-Discuss-and-rate-the-last-movie-you-watched?page=1), except it's for non-movies - TV, cartoons, anime, etc. I'd prefer it if it was on the seasonal level rather than by-episode, but ultimately it's up to people.

So, stuff I've watched this year include:

Captain Planet and the Planeteers: Season 1 (3/5)

Supergirl: Season 1 (3/5)

Game of Thrones: Season 7 (4/5)

The Expanse: Season 1 (4/5)

The Shannara Chronicles: Season 2 (4/5)

Parks and Recreation: Season 2 (4/5)

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

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

The Expanse: Season 2 (4/5)

I'll probably discuss Expanse Season 2 since it's the most recent thing I watched, but if any of the above pique your interest, feel free to say I'm right/wrong/terrible.

Have fun. :)

Edit: Just in case you've forgotten, my ranking system goes:

1/5 = Terrible
2/5 = Bad
3/5 = Average
4/5 = Good
5/5 = Excellent

So far this year:

Death Note (3/5)
Watched all 37 episodes with my girlfriend just so she'd cave in and watch Cowboy Bebop with me. Kind of a drag, picks up ahead. What a horrible intro by the way.

Black Mirror
Watched episode 2 of season 4 I think. Never seen Black Mirror before, was alright. Episode was 3/5.

The Office UK (5/5)
Marathoned the measly two seasons in a few nights, really liked it.

The Office US
Rewatched seasons 1 and 2 of the US version. Seasons 2 and 3 are a solid 5/5, seasons 1 and 4 are 4/5. Everything else sucks.

The Sopranos (5/5)
Rewatched seasons 5 and 6 (first half) so far. How I'm going to miss it (again) once I'm over (again).

This year I've rewatched...

Spaced - 8/10
The Office (UK) - 8/10
Extras - 7/10

New watches: Game of Thrones season 7 - 8/10

Now rewatching Seinfeld on DVD. I'm almost done with season 3. I haven't watched TV in over a decade, so it's nice to see these again in their best quality. Some of the commentary is pretty interesting. Wouldn't have thought the parking garage episode was filmed on a set. They had to take down Jerry's entire apartment to do that and used mirrors to make the garage seem bigger. Also amusing is how many of those stories are based on the writers' experiences and how miserable Larry David was about having to write so many more episodes after just wanting to collect his pay after the pilot.

9/10

I also bought the Peanuts 1960s Collection and am looking forward to watching those specials when I don't have so much else to do.

I...I don't watch TV really. My favorite show still on, Supernatural, is absolutely bananas now and I stopped watching nearly 6 seasons ago.
I watch MLP, but meh. Saw the Season 8 beginning and meh. They're clearly just killing time and running through the discarded episode ideas until the reboot.

Outside of that, couldn't care less about Game of Thrones or that cowboy robot one or IT Tv-show, or Black Mirror.

I might watch the Supernatural Scooby Doo episode. That looks pretty cute.
This is disgusting fan service, but it might be just too cute to hate:

Homeland. I don't watch many TV shows but this is the one show I never missed an episode of. I like how it changes it's thematic focus with every season while maintaining to stay relevant to current events. I also love political intrigue and it's just very well done here with the story itself having engaging characters and lots of forward momentum. It almost chronicles the concerns of the times which probably makes it a good time piece in a few decades.

I've watched a few things this year so far.

Black Mirror season 3: It was good, maybe not the best episodes but still fine.

Jessica Jones season 2: Not great, did not live up to the first season at all. Some good moments but really suffered from a lack of direction and not just weak villains... but there really didn't seem to be anything you might actually consider a villain. And it went nowhere. It started, some stuff happened, and then it ended... and very little changed. Jessica is just down several people she can trust, but the Defenders added some allies so it evens up.

Hap and Leonard, Mucho Mojo: I have not heard people talking about this one, but I have so many good things to say about it. Its based on a series of books by Joe R Lansdale, who is working on the show. The first season "Savage Season" was a good adaptation of the book it is named after, and Mucho Mojo is much the same. This series is not for everyone. If you like Lansdale, which is a pretty niche audience, this is very good. But Lansdale is hard to explain to people who haven't experienced him. If you are touched and a little sad at the end of "Bubba Ho-Tep"... you will "get it." Bubba Ho-Tep is a movie about an elderly Elvis Presley teaming up with an elderly black JFK at a West Texas nursing home to fight a Mummy. If you don't think that can be a meaningful and touching film... you will not "get" something like Hap and Leonard. Trigger warning for bigots though, one of the title characters is a homosexual. And you really can't even root for the other guy because even though he is straight, and white, he is the best friend of the other guy. So if you hate gays and minorities... you won't get much enjoyment out of Hap and Leonard. And, Lansdale stuff is very, and generally suddenly, violent. Its savage in a way that sometimes even outstrips something like George RR Martin. But when it isn't its folksy, making its contrasts very stark.

Altered Carbon: Good, but much less interesting than I was hoping for. Some good action. I'm not sure a second season would be worth the expense.

Into the Badlands season 2: Oh my. Better than even the very good first season. I don't even generally like wire-fu, and the action is first rate. And now the story is coming together. I ran right through the episodes in a weekend. I missed half a hockey game I had free tickets to, watching just one more episode.

I haven't tried any new anime so far this year. Last year I took Gosick and Ghost Hunt off my backlog. They were both Ok, but nothing special. I've added Blood Blockade Battlefront and the Netflix series B the Beginning, A.I.C.O. Incarnation, and Children of the Whales to my lists but I haven't started any of them.

It's been a while since last time I watched TV. So...

ProJared's Final Fantasy full LP. (4/5)

It's always fun to watch him taking a nostalgia trip on his favorite games (and mines too). He is not only good at explaining what's going on; he also fills the grind time with entertaining interpretation of the battles, funny stories of his childhood and making jokes about the characters and the game.

But if Youtube doesn't count, then Nextflix.

Manhunt: Unabomber (4/5)
Only 8 episodes, but they are a pretty good dramatization of the capture and trial of the Unabomber (a real-life American terrorist who reportedly detonated 10 bombs, injured 23 people, killed 3 and evaded the FBI in the span of almost 20 years).

Mr. Mercedes. Pretty damn good, though it gets very silly at points. I'll have to read the book now, so I can get annoyed at all the minor changes.

Farscape season 1 and most of season 2. This show is right up my alley. It's about a bloke who falls through a wormhole and joins up with a ragtag group of misfits in a distant part of the universe, as they travel through space, searching for a way home, trying to survive and occasionally having to escape from the space police.
The show's greatest strength is its characters. They have a wide range of personalities and they play off of each other very well.
A lot of the first season is very shaky, but once the plot really gets going and you've become attached to the characters, it just gets better and better. Highly recommended for anybody who's still annoyed about Firefly's cancellation.

Dan of the Game Grumps playthroughs of Space Quest I, II & III.
Since working my way through a large amount of Game Grumps videos last year, Dan Avidan has become a bit of a hero of mine. These series in particular are a great showcase of what a cool, down-to-earth guy he is. He plays through the entirety of some classic computer games, discussing everything he loves about them, while regaling you with stories of his childhood in a leisurely, relaxed tone. Perfect for chilling out to after a long day.

Jessica Jones season 2 - yeah, I wasn't a fan of this. I loved the first season and thought it was well done, but season 2 was incredibly boring with not much interest or stakes. Also kinda made me like the characters less.

Jessica Jones Season 2. I made it as far as the middle of the season, then I gave up. Everything about this is boring as fuck. Nothing of note happens. The marvel netflix stuff in general is pretty weak, with only two villains (Kingpin and Purple Man) being interesting. What's worse than boring though, I find Jessicas character unbelievable, in the 'high school writing class wannabe drama' sort of way. Hey writers, listen. There's this thing called life and death, and shit happens. Everyone has people around them dying, and everyone is getting over it all of the time. Jessica still being a bitch ass drunken pussy about her parents death twenty years after the fact is not an interesting starting point for a story, and then someone surprisingly turning up alive is about as surprising and original as the "save the princess" story in videogames is. 2/5

Doctor Who: Static -

So I listened to this audio play from Big Finish written by Jonathan Morris. I really liked it. Atmospheric, well-paced, creepy, the performances were really good and touches upon some issues about the dead coming back to life. It does get a little complicated in the second half, but it didn't bother me. 4/5

Sword Gai Part 1 An anime series that appeared on Netflix. Interesting enough premise about people being possessed by demonic weapons. The main protagonist annoys me though. He's got the usual dark broody lone-wolf thing going on, but he clearly grew up with people who cared about him including an adopted sister figure who adores him. However the action is good and the other characters are likable, even the ones I think I'm not going to like I end up liking. The art and animations is also beautiful. Not esp. stylish, but still beautiful. So I'll give it a 4/5

Altered Carbon 2/4

I've never understood why genre fiction aspires to be derivative on purpose. Bad steampunk insists on airships and goggles. Bad cyberpunk insists on rainy city blocks, sad looking prostitutes, and gruff detectives. Altered Carbon goes out of its way to imitate a popular sci-fi noir movie from the 80s. Well done, it succeeded. Or rather suckseeded.

Altered Carbon's biggest issue is with exposition. The show throws a whole glossary of made up words at you within the first episode, and has to explain each and every one; Meths, stacks, needles, sleeves, envoys, neo cs yadayadayada. I'm sure this is less of a problem in the book, where they have the time to describe these things at a leisurely pace, but the TV show has to make you understand a lot of concepts before it can really get going.

Once it does, it's okay - I like how it thoroughly explores its central conceit of how a person can swap their minds into new bodies, but it always feels like it is rushing through the material. I also found a lot of the characters annoying; the most relatable is an AI that resembles Edgar Allan Poe but behaves like the overly attached girlfriend. Everyone else has a severe shortage of fun; a bunch of grim-faced pricks who talk in extended speeches.

Oh, also:

Kakegurui 2/4

Kakegurui is a combination of cheesecake, constant yelling and rubbish gambling. The former comes in the form of writhing, leggy women who jill in their pants at the prospect of betting money on things. The latter comes in the shows format, in which a girl joins a school that's obsessed in high stakes gambling, to the point that it determines the entire school hierarchy.

If it were just a bit a shameless fanservice and neat card sharking, Kakegurui might have qualified as a guilty pleasure. Unfortunately the actual games are really rubbish and undermine the entire premise. Basically each episode consists of our protagonist challenging one of the "bosses" at their chosen game, that person introduces - and inevitably cheats at - the game, and then our protagonist spots the cheat and (usually) wins. The problem is all the games are all fucking stupid variations of already not very good games (like roulette or match the card) with pointless bonus rules that clearly only exist to help the bad guy cheat. The fact that every game is blatantly rigged should appal a school full of professional gamblers, to the point where you wonder why anyone would ever play, but what makes it all the worse from a story standpoint is that there is no way for us the audience to work out how exactly the game is being cheated. All we're doing is sitting, waiting for our lead to miraculously work it all out for us with her magic gambling skills - its a very passive viewing experience with no relatable characters or investment.

maninahat:
Oh, also:

Kakegurui 2/4

Kakegurui is a combination of cheesecake, constant yelling and rubbish gambling. The former comes in the form of writhing, leggy women who jill in their pants at the prospect of betting money on things. The latter comes in the shows format, in which a girl joins a school that's obsessed in high stakes gambling, to the point that it determines the entire school hierarchy.

If it were just a bit a shameless fanservice and neat card sharking, Kakegurui might have qualified as a guilty pleasure. Unfortunately the actual games are really rubbish and undermine the entire premise. Basically each episode consists of our protagonist challenging one of the "bosses" at their chosen game, that person introduces and inevitably cheats at the game, and then our protagonist spots the cheat and (usually) wins. The problem is all the games are all fucking stupid variations of already not very good games (like roulette or match the card) with pointless bonus rules that clearly only exist to help the bad guy cheat. The fact that every game is blatantly rigged should appal a school full of professional gamblers, to the point where you wonder why anyone would ever play, but what makes it all the worse from a story standpoint is that there is no way for us the audience to work out how exactly the game is being cheated. All we're doing is sitting, waiting for our lead to miraculously work it all out for us with her magic gambling skills - its a very passive viewing experience with no relatable characters or investment.

The description of Kakegurui wasn't enough to get me to put it on my list. And your description doesn't make me any more likely to do so. However, I doubt any professional gambler would balk much at a "rigged game." Every casino game is rigged favoring a house win, and I do constantly wonder why anyone would play a game in which if you play long enough... you are statistically guaranteed to lose.

Kyrian007:
The description of Kakegurui wasn't enough to get me to put it on my list. And your description doesn't make me any more likely to do so. However, I doubt any professional gambler would balk much at a "rigged game." Every casino game is rigged favoring a house win, and I do constantly wonder why anyone would play a game in which if you play long enough... you are statistically guaranteed to lose.

I doubt they would want to play at a casino though where the game rules are non-standard, the dealers are discovered to use marked cards, magnets in the roulette wheels etc (as is the case in the anime). Casino games are designed to give the casino the edge, but only in the form of slight advantages that only become apparent after lots of people play hundreds of games (eg in roulette, the payout on a number is 35/1 despite your odds being 37/1). It's a lot less blatant than "person comes up with a game with weird rules and cheats the rules, always wins at what is supposed to be a game of chance".

Johnny Novgorod:
So far this year:

Black Mirror
Watched episode 2 of season 4 I think. Never seen Black Mirror before, was alright. Episode was 3/5.

The first season is still the best for me.

.

I've decided to give short horror videos another shot on YouTube. Not much scares me any more, but I think this one's pretty decent:

My Little Pony (S8 E1&2)

I ... ehhh? As a season opener it feels a bit uncharacteristically out of tune of the general format. Also I'm not sure I entirely agree with the moral of the episodes. As someone who worked in my state's Department of Education, standards and protocol are kind of important and I feel like the conflict with the chancellor seems to allow a bandaid to cover what might actually be quite reasonable conditions for Twilight's school.

As well as some severe issues with truancy, discipline and conduct.

The central themes of racism, youth engagement and regulatory forces kind of ... feels all over the place. Equestria is kind of meant to be this fairly utopian place where such issues don't really crop up, but in these episodes it actually makes you realize that Equestria isn't all it's cracked up to be. After all, in the real world (at least in where I live), active bias crime in the form of the chancellor trying to keep students out of a school kind of strips one of ever being able to assume such a position in the first place.

So why does Celestia put up with it and why does she let it persist? I can buy the idea she doesn't want to directly act, but I'd say after such a public event surely there is some authority-led tribunal that would divest them of their position. There's places on Earth that have to deal with poverty, bigotry, violent crime and corruption ... and they'd still axe said official in many of those places.

More over it feels like a complete 180 from her position from one episode to the next. Going from giving the 'EEA' her rubber stamp of approval, to suddenly being willing to toss away basic regulations and standards, as well as some hard written code of conduct for teachers outlying (most likely) their duty of care.

Apparently incompetence and truancy is magic... Don't worry kids! You can skip class, destroy part of your school, endanger other pupils, and it will be fine and truly it's just a problem of your teachers not teaching as you'd like them to.

Once again, not sure I agree with the moral these episodes are trying to impart.

And all of this is hamstrung by Celestia knowing Twilight would follow to the letter the guidelines given to her ... because it's Twilight, Celestia gave her two free houses and libraries, as well as practically soft adopts her for x number of years. We can only assume that she knows her by now and what she'd do. More over Celestia following those same guidelines and curriculums at the School for Gifted Unicorns that Twilight was educated as her pupil.

... And these were already the same school guidelines that allowed for Twilight Sparkle to fuck up her school auditorium with dangerously reckless entrance exams of messing with a dragon's egg. Struggling to find reasons why boredom would be a result of following the rules now. Also struggling to find reasons why a more structured and conventional experience would necessarily be bad.

So Twilight Sparkle ends up as if a Principal, as well as all the subject department heads, as well as a teacher, as well as theoretically all the year co-ordinators, because who else can say 'overworked'... And apparently it's her fault for expecting the same effects from the otherwise effective regulation that governed her education. Sure, there's more to teaching than just a student's marks ... but Christ, hard to disagree with former-unicorn-turned-Alicorn princess alumni to speak to a school's credentials and the quality of its teachers.

The thing is ... Ponyville already has a school. With a trained teacher and has a school board. You'd think Twilight might, I don't know, perhaps seek guidance from a professional educator when she has that crisis of faith in her abilities? Cheerilee is quite literally around the corner, after all... and who doesn't love the idea of more Cheerilee screen time?

It's almost as if it takes a Bachelor's degree + Master of Education with a year of practical experience training to be your average school teacher for a reason...

The episode might have been better if they dropped the Chancellor altogether and simply made it an exploration of bureaucracy where it can and does often allow problems to slip through the cracks. Perhaps looking at education not as if a static concept, but addressing new challenges of an evolving sociological frameworks. Which would have been a great concept for an episode, might have lead to more character development between Celestia and Twilight almost as if Twilight Sparkle being a Princess might ... I don't know ... also be a symbol of a changing Equestria with multiple friendly, non-pony creatures inhabiting it and given a solid reason why Celestia was looking for someone like her the entire time?

All in all, it's My Little Pony and I'll eat it all up with a spoon. It's the same charming characters that suffer solely for the fact that the new focus characters of the episodes take time away from them.

In the end I'm left with the same opinion of it as I do with anything Harry Potter. That the teachers are infinitely more interesting than the students ...

Arbitrary Point Scale: 3/5.

Ash vs. Evil Dead (Season 3, Ep 1-3)

I .... ehhh ... it feels like it's trying to rehash a lot of territory of the last season about Ash trying to create a 'normal' life for himself in Nashville. Only now it's Ashy Slashy's Hardware and Sex Toy Emporium. The new addition of some Knights of Sumeria came out of nowhere, and the forced conflict with Ashley as a sudden parent is no different from any cheesy 80s/early 90s sitcom.

A lot of the charm is there, and ultimately it is trying to grow the worldbuilding which may or may not bite them in the arse.

The fact that I'm three episodes in and not sure how I feel about it is probably not a good sign, however. When the best they can come up with is 'Knights of Sumeria' and seeming to just scrap it and the character that introduced this faction to us about a full episode of runtime after their proper introduction ... well, something is happening and I'm not sure it's all that deep nor going to be all that coherent.

And if there is something wonderful about Ash vs. Evil Dead it's direct, the characters are wholesomely brutal, shallow (in a good, earthy way), and poignant in elegant simplicity. And they kept all that, while trying to build a bigger world frameworks for which I don't think the characters themselves can fill.

And if the characters can't fill it, it means a lot of the charm is gone.

AvED is all about direct and mirthful flow of cause and effect. Set piece comedy-battles where big, evil book animating dead and artfully unrefined choreography to defeat it set within a solid if simple story arc. Colourful characters, slapstick humour, where the plot is a stadium for some smartly written toilet humour (it can be done). This season feels meandering...

Arbitrary Point Scale: 3/5

How I score stuff arbitrarily;

1- Annoying episode(s) to watch
2- Decent episode(s) to watch
3- Fun episode(s) to watch
4- Great episode(s) to watch
5- Fantastic episode(s) to watch

Silentpony:

I might watch the Supernatural Scooby Doo episode. That looks pretty cute.
This is disgusting fan service, but it might be just too cute to hate:

Holy shit ... Supernatural is still going on!? That show has been going on for almost half my life on this planet. What the metric fuck? The first time I watched it I think I was still in hospital undergoing rehab for a TBI. I remember it being fun ... then when they cut off my access to the good shit not finding it so much fun.

Addendum_Forthcoming:
SNIP

Its gone absolutely bonkers crazy for the last few years. The original writer, Eric Kripke, wrote a 5 season arc that was going to end in Season 5. That was the original intended run, and he left after that. Then more seasons got made, they're up to Season 13 and they're just floundering.
For a few seasons they just went gory, replacing plot with just bloody monsters, then they dropped the whole 'hunting ghosts' one-off episodes for season long stories involving Purgatory, an angel civil war, Cain and Able, new God, old God, lady God, evil God, super Evil God, super evil lady God, and on and on and its just silly.

MLP season 8 opener episodes. Overall I liked it, the new characters are fun, although having the mane6 be teachers is a bit odd especially since they all already have jobs, except Twilight since the library got blown up and I guess trees aren't covered by the repair crew. I suppose in the end its simply a framing devices for the adventures this season.

I would have liked to see Celestia take a more hooves on roll in dealing with trumple pony. I mean you have someone actively trying to antagonize other species right in front of her and she doesn't curb stomp him? Oh well, I suppose it fits with the writers really not knowing how to handle her anymore, but she did at least get a good quip in. I do look forward to seeing more of the species moving forward and I'm curious to see how the new season will play it.

necromanzer52:

Farscape season 1 and most of season 2. This show is right up my alley. It's about a bloke who falls through a wormhole and joins up with a ragtag group of misfits in a distant part of the universe, as they travel through space, searching for a way home, trying to survive and occasionally having to escape from the space police.
The show's greatest strength is its characters. They have a wide range of personalities and they play off of each other very well.
A lot of the first season is very shaky, but once the plot really gets going and you've become attached to the characters, it just gets better and better. Highly recommended for anybody who's still annoyed about Firefly's cancellation.

Another Farscape fan? Squeeee!

So, pretty much this. I do agree that the first season does take awhile to find its groove, but while I don't think this is a popular opinion, I'd argue that the show peaks at season 2 (for me, 2>1>3>4). And while it does have similarities with Firefly (small crew keeping ahead of a large, oppressive regime, out on the frontier), I'd actually rank Farscape above it.

Silentpony:

Its gone absolutely bonkers crazy for the last few years. The original writer, Eric Kripke, wrote a 5 season arc that was going to end in Season 5. That was the original intended run, and he left after that. Then more seasons got made, they're up to Season 13 and they're just floundering.
For a few seasons they just went gory, replacing plot with just bloody monsters, then they dropped the whole 'hunting ghosts' one-off episodes for season long stories involving Purgatory, an angel civil war, Cain and Able, new God, old God, lady God, evil God, super Evil God, super evil lady God, and on and on and its just silly.

Yeah, I remember something about a Colt pistol that can kill anything. Which I thought was a pretty cool concept ... it had shades of a pnp RPG Hunter: the Vigil. Or vanilla nWoD game where you had relics that you could create (nWoD: Reliquary). You could make it cursed to offset the cost, etc. I made a sword that was deadly sharp against inhumans but required me to inflict 1A damage on myself with it as a blood sacrifice for every 4A I inflicted upon its edge by the time of the next Full Moon or else it the murder spirit bound to it would be released and ride my flesh.

To be fair it seemed to have its own outrageous moments in the first 5 seasons. Something about the cheesy idea of the two hunters being vessels for an apocalyptic battle, and everyone apparently on both sides of the fence wanted them to end the world ... for what reason? Beats me. Apparently they were bored ... that they just wanted to die or something, even though apparently they can actually just die. So why don't they die as opposed to taking out humanity with them that seems pretty content not to die?

I think I watched about 14 episodes over a couple of years.

Hawki:

necromanzer52:

Farscape season 1 and most of season 2. This show is right up my alley. It's about a bloke who falls through a wormhole and joins up with a ragtag group of misfits in a distant part of the universe, as they travel through space, searching for a way home, trying to survive and occasionally having to escape from the space police.
The show's greatest strength is its characters. They have a wide range of personalities and they play off of each other very well.
A lot of the first season is very shaky, but once the plot really gets going and you've become attached to the characters, it just gets better and better. Highly recommended for anybody who's still annoyed about Firefly's cancellation.

Another Farscape fan? Squeeee!

So, pretty much this. I do agree that the first season does take awhile to find its groove, but while I don't think this is a popular opinion, I'd argue that the show peaks at season 2 (for me, 2>1>3>4). And while it does have similarities with Firefly (small crew keeping ahead of a large, oppressive regime, out on the frontier), I'd actually rank Farscape above it.

I would say sideways. Farscape writers must have been drug-riddled. Firefly was more grounded, but that was too its detriment sometimes. Rigel was too annoying and not enough redemption. They character assassinated Jool. Zotoh was the best, pity she had to go. And Scorpius as a villain was pretty weird and fun

Last two I watched were anime, both on Netflix:

B: The Beginning - 7.5/10

This one was a bit all over the place, a hodgepodge of police procedurals, detective fiction and your typical anime superhuman battles, with some visual bits clearly lifted straight out of Sherlock; still, I found it honestly hard to dislike, possibly because of the very messiness of its tone and writing, the unusual quality of which, along with its very striking visuals, made it stand out for me.

Then, there was

Children of the Whales - 8.5/10

I went into this one with rather low expectations, and found myself quite pleasantly surprised. There's some clear Miyazaki influence in both its concept and storytelling, which is always a plus for me, and some very interesting concepts explored without the heavy-handedness of some other anime; my only complaint would be that it ended just as it was starting to get most interesting, but considering the manga it is based on is still ongoing, that's just to be expected I guess. Really enjoyed it.

I recently finished the 2010-2015 Syfy show "Haven," a supernatural police procedural that's very, very loosely based on the Stephen King book The Colorado Kid. And by "very, very loosely," I mean there's an unsolved murder, and characters called The Colorado Kid and Vincent Teague, and that's about where the similarities end. Regardless, I really liked the show a lot. The characters were really likable and their growth over the course of the series--particularly antihero Duke--was quite nice. It even managed to get a pretty satisfying ending that resolved all but one dangling plot thread (that I can think of), rather than being suddenly canceled. 8/10

And then I started the Netflix reboot of 70's sitcom "One Day at a Time." Bit of a shift going from "Haven" to this, and I've only finished the first season so far, but I'm glad I'm watching it. It's definitely got the soul of an old-school sitcom, with a small number of sets and characters, and a laugh track included, and it's cheesy as hell, but it has a lot of heart. And it's frigging hysterical; I haven't laughed so hard at a sitcom in ages. It also tackles LGBT and racial minority issues pretty well, in my opinion. 7/10

trunkage:
I would say sideways. Farscape writers must have been drug-riddled. Firefly was more grounded, but that was too its detriment sometimes. Rigel was too annoying and not enough redemption. They character assassinated Jool. Zotoh was the best, pity she had to go. And Scorpius as a villain was pretty weird and fun

Farscape was always rather hit or miss for me, there are lots of episodes I skip, but some good stuff in there as well. Also, there are muppets, and various recognisable Australian actors in guest roles very unlike what they usually play.

Kotaro:
I recently finished the 2010-2015 Syfy show "Haven," a supernatural police procedural that's very, very loosely based on the Stephen King book The Colorado Kid. And by "very, very loosely," I mean there's an unsolved murder, and characters called The Colorado Kid and Vincent Teague, and that's about where the similarities end. Regardless, I really liked the show a lot. The characters were really likable and their growth over the course of the series--particularly antihero Duke--was quite nice. It even managed to get a pretty satisfying ending that resolved all but one dangling plot thread (that I can think of), rather than being suddenly canceled. 8/10

I always get this name confused with Sanctuary's. Their names just don't stand out. Similar premise at the start as well but Sanctuary then veers of into vampire Tesla territory.

Watched Season 3 of Better Call Saul. I liked the stuff with Fring but everything Jimmy is pretty boring and just feels like the are spinning their wheels.

Penny Dreadful S3. It just wasn't as fun as the first two. I couldn't care less about Hartnett's back story. It wasted so much of the season.

Rewatched the Expanse. I don't know what it is in that show, but it feels more flesh out than the average.

trunkage:
I would say sideways. Farscape writers must have been drug-riddled. Firefly was more grounded, but that was too its detriment sometimes.

Firefly's more grounded, sure, but I don't think this can really be compared because they're so different in their approach to worldbuilding. Firefly has a more fleshed out setting, where, even if you haven't seen the 'Verse map that was released after the series, you can still get a good sense of how this world operates (Inner Alliance worlds, frontier outer worlds, Reavers further beyond that). In contrast, Farscape has no real sense of scale or location, and it differs in promotional material as to whether John is even in the Milky Way or not (sometimes it says "the Farscape galaxy," other times it mentions "the other side of the galaxy"). On the other hand, this does let Farscape be far more creative in its plots and creature designs.

Rigel was too annoying and not enough redemption.

Rigel's awesome and doesn't need redemption. :P

They character assassinated Jool.

Um, really? How?

I certainly think that Sikozu suffered character assassination in Peacekeeper Wars, though for what it's worth, she did get redeemed in the comics apparently.

Zotoh was the best, pity she had to go.

True. It doesn't help that her death is rushed. However, when the VG-Zotoh appears in season 4, I think it's well done. Zhaan was always the mother figure to the crew, and as her VG counterpart points out (paraphrased), the crew has 'grown up' and can now stand without her.

Yes, it hit me in the feels, thanks for asking.

And Scorpius as a villain was pretty weird and fun

Yep. Scorpius is a great villain.

Also, Harvey. Harvey is awesome as well.

trunkage:

Rewatched the Expanse. I don't know what it is in that show, but it feels more flesh out than the average.

"Flesh" out or "fleshed" out? Because those are two different things. 0_0

If we're talking about it being "fleshed" out, then yes, The Expanse, both the TV and books, does very well in worldbuilding, in part because of the confined set of locations, in part due to striving towards scientific accuracy. I actually like the show more than the books though as it does a far better job with the characters, and gives Bobbie and Chrisjen far more screentime (a.k.a. the only characters from the books I really liked.)

If, however, we're talking about "flesh" out...well, Ade, Holden, and Naomi do strip a few times, and Julie Mao's protomolecule-infected form does show a lot of skin (blue or otherwise), so...yay?

Star Trek Discovery: Season 1 (3/5)

Oh boy...this show...

I can't really talk about it without acknowledging fan outrage, because no-one hates Star Trek like a Star Wars fan (except maybe a Star Wars fan, but they're busy hating Star Wars right now). And on those complaints, some, I get - the level of technology in Discovery feels far too advanced for its timeframe. Some, I can sympathize - I think the klingons are well fleshed out and actually look alien, but it's hard reconciling their appearance with previous (future?) incarnations. And then there's the absolutely ludicrous arguments. Y'know, that the series is "advocating white genocide because the lead is a black female who's paired with an Asian female, and it's against men because Lorca is a bad guy, and is pushing the transgender agenda by calling a female Michael, while also pushing the gay agenda with Stammets, and some other insipid nonsense that I can't be bothered to repeat here."

So, fine, Discovery is a mixed bag for the fanbase, but as someone who isn't that enamored with Star Trek, what do I think of it? Well, if I had to grade Discovery's quality over the course of its season, it would resemble a bell curve. At the start, we have to deal with some wooden acting, and it doesn't help that Michael...isn't the best character in the world. The season gets better over time, and peaks in the Mirror Universe. Unfortunately, it dips in quality once the ship returns to the Prime Universe. I will say that I do like the characters overall, and how many of them do indeed have a character arc. However, while Michael is...fine, I guess, it doesn't help that the lead character is perhaps the least interesting. I have no problem with her being raised by Sarek, or being Spock's adopted sister, but whether it's down to the actress or the writing, she just feels so wooden in comparison to everyone else.

I'll also say that of all the Star Trek series I've seen, this is perhaps the least "Star Trekky." Not just because of its serialized nature, but because for a show named "Star Trek: Discovery," there isn't much trekking or discovery. I'm pretty fine with this myself - I like how the show tries something new (for Star Trek), and doesn't feel the need to follow convention, but I can understand why people might be put off. But again, I'm reminded of Enterprise. That tried to emulate TOS and TNG and, IMO, fell flat. Hard. But on the other hand, for a season that deals primarily with a war, we don't actually get to see much of that war - "show, don't tell," as the saying goes.

So, yeah. I think Discovery is a pretty mixed bag, one that has great potential if it can iron out its kinks. I will say that as first seasons go it's a far better start than, say, TNG (with its insufferable first season), but as a series as a whole...well, I'd still rank it above Enterprise, but it's not at the level of TOS or TNG. So, mixed start, but it'll be interesting to see where this goes.

I stopped watching STD after the mid-season break and really have no desire to get back to it. I might, but I just don't feel like it.

Caught a minute of Seinfeld on TV during my break at work today. Saw that it was cropped for fullscreen. People are so stupid, holy shit. Like I said earlier, I haven't watched TV in a decade. It's probably normal for you folks.

Atlanta. So far, Season 2 has been doing a good job of continuing with the (appearently) Twin Peaks-esque weirdness while developing the characters even further and exploring the ups and downs of Paper Boi's slowly increasing fame in the hip hop world and all the grinding and trying bullshit that entails.

Highlights so far (spoilers, obvs): the opening to episode 3 where a tearfully outraged white woman reads Paper Boi's lyrics completely straight and when some girl at that ridiculous German festival in Episode 4 thought Earn was dressed in amazing blackface only to be awkwardly realize he's actually black. Episode 4 is the trippiest and more emotionally weighted thus far and may end up being the highlight of the season. Van's talk with her dopey friend about blackness was a really interesting exchange.

Really looking forward to the rest. Thus far, solid 4.5/5.

Addendum_Forthcoming:

The central themes of racism, youth engagement and regulatory forces kind of ... feels all over the place. Equestria is kind of meant to be this fairly utopian place where such issues don't really crop up, but in these episodes it actually makes you realize that Equestria isn't all it's cracked up to be. After all, in the real world (at least in where I live), active bias crime in the form of the chancellor trying to keep students out of a school kind of strips one of ever being able to assume such a position in the first place.

I can't say I'm that fond of the opener. That said, I think it's more to do with the saccharine approach. That's part of MLP, true, but let's just say there's a reason I gravitate more towards the "wacky" episodes more than the "Twilight and/or friend(s) learn a lesson about friendship" episodes.

That aside, with this point, while it's handled clumsily, there is a precedent for this behaviour. All of the non-pony races have had iffy relations with Equestria to some extent or another in the past, with the exception of the hippogriffs. So xenophobia is something I could see existing. Naysay is a stock character with stock arguments, but it at least tries to deal with the subject.

Addendum_Forthcoming:

The episode might have been better if they dropped the Chancellor altogether and simply made it an exploration of bureaucracy where it can and does often allow problems to slip through the cracks. Perhaps looking at education not as if a static concept, but addressing new challenges of an evolving sociological frameworks. Which would have been a great concept for an episode, might have lead to more character development between Celestia and Twilight almost as if Twilight Sparkle being a Princess might ... I don't know ... also be a symbol of a changing Equestria with multiple friendly, non-pony creatures inhabiting it and given a solid reason why Celestia was looking for someone like her the entire time?

Eh, maybe.

Look, here's the thing. I do like MLP, even if my level of enthusiasm for it has diminished over the years (no real issue, just that at 8 seasons, it no longer has the "oomph" it once had. But let's be honest, it's still a show for kids, and as a show for kids, in a setting where the "magic of friendship" is a literal force, this isn't the kind of place that one can expect weighty themes from an adult's perspective. So, is the episode meant to be an in-depth examination of xenophobia/racism, and the sign of a shifting political/social climate within Equestria, as the races of the world come together? Is it a comment on the school system, and a critique of rigidly following guidelines? Or are these backdrop plot points to be used as a catalyst for wacky hijinks?

I'll give it this though, it does at least make sense in the context of Twilight's arc. I commented way back in the day that Twilight teaching Starlight did seem like the natural progression for her character, as she transitions from student to mentor. So taking numerous students on and doing the same thing does feel like the next logical step in her career path.

Well I'm currently about 50 episodes into Hunter x Hunter (2011) so I feel that's long enough to have some kind of opinion on it;

So far it's decent, but for me it falls far short of "Best Shounen Ever" that so many people will name it without hesitation. The plot is a bit all over the place and unfocused...

Gon, the MC, just frustrates me as well;

Killua and Kurapika as characters are fine. Leorio is f*cking useless. The best things the show has going for it in my mind are Killua & Gon's friendship which is endearing, and Hisoka as a character (who is by far the most interesting one, even if he does give off some strong pedo vibes). I'm a bit interested in Melody as a character as well now - hoping she's not just brushed off to the side as a one-note character (ha).

Also the music is alright (not bad, not great), but I'm really sick of the opening. I rarely skip openings in general unless I really don't like the song. HxH's opening is average, but it's been the same song for 50 episodes. They've only altered the visuals a couple of times in places. Whoever decided to never change tracks needs fired.

As a whole, I find it wholly undeserving of best shounen ever. Even if it gets ludicrously good from this point on (doubtful), it will have taken 50 episodes to do so. Boku no Hero Academia beats it by a mile, and I remember enjoying even the likes of Naruto a lot more back in the day. So far HxH is maybe on par with Bleach, but even then not as a good as the "Save Rukia" arc of Bleach.

 Pages 1 2 3 4 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here