Series Review: Godless (2017)

A Netflix western miniseries? Yeah, I didn’t need any convincing to watch this. So here we go.

Ladies and gents… “Godless”.

Roy Goode (Jack O’Connell) used to be part of an infamous gang up until he betrayed them. And the gang’s leader, Frank (Jeff Daniels), wants Roy dead for that. So now Roy is hiding out in a town called La Belle, a town run entirely by women. So now we have our western plot. And with this plot they embrace pretty much every western cliché known to man… but they also put some interesting new perspectives on them to make them feel a bit more fresh. There’s a lot of good drama here that I found myself quite invested in while they still gave me some of the classic western plot points. If I had to make a comparison in plot style I’d say that this is part “The Beguiled” and part “Red Dead Redemption”. There’s the women-majority cast of the first, and the violent gang betrayal stuff of the latter. And I think it makes for an interesting mix in this show. Hell, I’d say that it’s great.

The characters here are given a good amount of time to develop and I think they’re interesting. Jack O’Connell plays Roy Goode, the former outlaw hiding out in La Belle. He has the kill-skills from his gang-days, but you can tell that he’s also a good guy who prefers to live quietly and help out. He’s a tragic character and O’Connell is great in the role. Michelle Dockery plays Alice Fletcher, the woman who is responsible for helping/hiding Goode. She’s tough, but she also shows a more vulnerable side during the show, giving her a good amount of layers. And Dockery is great in the role. Then we have Merritt Wever as Mary Agnes, one of the many women of Le Belle. She’s tough as hell, but you can tell that she’s also a sad and damaged character. And Wever is great in the role. Then we have Scott McNairy as Bill McNue, the Sheriff of La Belle and one of very few men there. He’s aging, but he’s still determined to get the job done. And McNairy is great in the role. Then we have Jeff Daniels as Frank Griffin, the outlaw in charge that Roy Goode betrayed. What I like about him is that he isn’t just a ruthless asshole kind of outlaw, but he’s given a lot of interesting sides to him. He’s damaged, he’s charismatic, he has a kind heart, but he is also an intimidating outlaw that will shoot you dead if you cross him. And Daniels is absolutely great in the role. The final one I want to go slightly more in-depth with is Whitey Winn, played by Thomas Brodie-Sangster. He’s a slightly over-confident young deputy. But they don’t go the route of making his over-confidence turning him into an unlikable idiot (which so many shows/movies do), but they show that it’s a flaw of his. But generally he is a good guy that is worth liking. And Brodie-Sangster is great in the role. And then you can expect some great performances from people like Kim Coates, Samuel Marty, Tantoo Cardinal, Sam Waterston, Christiane Seidel, Erik LaRay Harvey, Jessica Sula, and many more. Seriously, this is an incredibly well acted series.

The score for the show was composed by Carlos Rafael Rivera and it was pretty fucking great. Trumpets, strings, piano, other types of brass… seriously, this is a full-on western score emulating a lot of classic ones and it makes me so happy. And overall it is just fantastic, perfectly fitting the show and often elevating scenes throughout the show.

This show was created by Scott Frank and Steven Soderbergh, with Frank having written and directed all of the episodes. And I think he did a fantastic job with that. His direction here is sweeping, but also tight and focused when it needs to. It has a good sense of flow and style to it, while also managing to create a good amount of tension to it whenever it needs to. And let’s talk about the shooty-bang-bangs (I know they’re called shootouts, but I prefer my phrase for them). They’re badass, fun, exciting, and quite violent. There’s even a decent amount of tension in them, making them even more interesting.

This show just came out but has already been quite well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 89% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 76/100. And on imdb.com it (as of writing this) has a score of 8,5/10.

“Godless” is another win for Netflix. It has a great plot, really good characters, great performances, great music, and great directing/action. Time for my final score. *Bang*. My final score for “Godless” is a 9,85/10. This of course means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Godless” is now completed.

Part of me wants more. But part of me feels like it should stay a miniseries.

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Series Review: Bosch – Season 2 (2016)

A long time ago (October 2015) I reviewed the first season of this show, and I liked it a lot. So naturally I was excited to see a second season… which didn’t air here until this year. And I know that you will mention that I could simply stream it last year on Amazon, but this is a show I watched on TV with my parents, and I didn’t wanna break that for season 2. So I patiently waited and it finally came out here weeks ago. And a day or so ago the season finale aired. So, let’s just get into it and see if this follow-up is any good.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Bosch” season 2.

Detective Harry Bosch (Titus Welliver) is called back into active duty after a six month absence to investigate the murder of a pornographer. And as Harry, with his partner Jerry (Jamie Hector), investigates this case they find that this guy might’ve had ties to the mob. And as the two continue investigating, they find that this case is a lot more complicated than it might’ve seemed at first glance. So now we have our gritty cop drama. And while this season admittedly lacks some of the tense unpredictability of the first, it’s still a well constructed plot filled with twists, turns, engaging drama, and intrigue. In a world filled with cop dramas, “Bosch” and it’s plot stands out.

The characters here are layered, entertaining, and interesting. Titus Welliver returns as Detective Harry Bosch, the eponymous cop with a less than shiny past. He’s not necessarily a “bad” cop, but he is a bit rough around the edges. We get to see a more vulnerable and emotional side to Harry this season as he learns more about what happened to his mother, and also because of some other stuff that I won’t spoil here. But he’s a really interesting character, and Welliver is great in the role. Jamie Hector is back as Jerry Edgar, Bosch’s partner. He’s funny, he’s cool, he’s interesting, and he’s a good counterpoint to Bosch. And Hector is great in the role. Amy Aquino returns as Grace Billets, Bosch’s friend and superior. She’s still the tough yet charming and lovable woman we got to know in season 1. And Aquino is great in the role. Lance Reddick returns as Irvin Irving (actual name), the highly ranked police that Bosch often works for/with. And without saying too much, he goes through a pretty interesting and even emotional arc this season that made me care a bit more for him. And Reddick is great in the role. Then we have Sarah Clarke and Madison Lintz returning as Bosch’s ex-wife and daughter respectively. And they add some interesting dramatic weight to the season that I won’t go into. But both actresses do a really good job here. Now for newer people worth talking about. We get Jeri Ryan as the widow of the dead pornographer. And she’s an interesting character that gets to go through some stuff this season. And Ryan is great in the role. Then we have Brent Sexton as a security guard that Bosch gets to know through the season, and he gets some interesting things to do here. And Sexton is great in the role. Then in a couple more supporting roles throughout we get actors like Robbie Jones, James Ransone, Matthew Lillard, John Marshall Jones, and more… all doing a great fucking job.

Jesse Voccia returned to do the score for this season, and he once again did a great job. The score is tense, exciting, emotional, and just overall works very well for the show in general, at a lot of times elevating certain scenes. Then there are some licensed tracks used throughout and they work pretty well in their respective scenes.

The show was created by Eric Overmyer and Michael Connelly, and is based on Connelly’s book series about Bosch. And it was written/directed by a whole bunch of people. And I think they did a great job. This world/show feels fully realized, and they make it feel interesting. The directing here is great, often adding tension and/or energy to a lot of scenes, making sure it never feels dull. The action scenes in this show too are pretty exciting. They don’t do anything unique, but they’re done well enough and they have enough tension so that you can’t help but sit and enjoy them. The first season’s sly and dark sense of humor is back, and it’s just as enjoyable.

This show/season has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 100% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 76/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,3/10.

Season 2 of “Bosch” is a great follow-up to the great first season. It has a great plot, really good characters, great performances, really good music, and great directing. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Bosch” season 2 is a 9,82/10. Which means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Bosch” season 2 is now completed.

As far as modern cop shows go, “Bosch” is one of the best.

Series Review: The Punisher – Season 1 (2017)

I don’t really think I need to make an introduction for this. I’ve talked about this show several times on this blog before, every time reminding you of my excitement for the show. So let’s just get into the review and see if this show is any good.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is season 1 of… “The Punisher”!

After he has seemingly killed the people responsible for the death of his family, Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal) soon uncovers a deep and complex conspiracy that somehow relates back to his past as a soldier. So now Frank has to find out what the hell is going on while a Homeland Security agent (Amber Rose Revah) gets a whiff of him being back in town. So now we have our comic book thriller. And is this plot any good? Yeah, it is. It’s not a fast-paced action/revenge plot, but it’s a slightly slower conspiracy thriller that features Punisher, and I think the plot here is very intriguing. My only gripe with it is in one of the early episodes. It’s not bad, but the pacing at one point dragged a little bit. But overall here we have a surprisingly deep plot that isn’t afraid to tackle dark and socially relevant themes regarding guns, violence, vigilantism, PTSD, black ops, family, and it is all incredibly engaging and intriguing. ’tis a great plot.

The characters here are flawed, damaged, layered, and just really interesting. Jon Bernthal (like in season 2 of “Daredevil”) plays Frank Castle/The Punisher, former soldier turned violent vigilante. Already in “Daredevil” he got a fair amount of development as a character, and they somehow managed to cram in a bit more here. As we follow him through the season we see how the war, death of his family, and the vigilantism has taken a toll on him and how it messes with his mind a bit. And it is all incredibly engaging. He’s of course also a motherfucking badass, but that didn’t need to be mentioned. And Bernthal is once again fantastic in the role. Amber Rose Revah plays Dinah Madani, the Homeland Security agent on Frank’s trail. She’s a tough and determined woman who wants to find Frank and possibly get justice. But she’s not just some brash and unstoppable idiot, as she at times is shown as vulnerable, but in a good way. And Revah is great in the role. Ebon Moss-Bachrach plays David Lieberman (AKA Micro), a skilled hacker and whistleblower that Frank teams up with to try to solve this conspiracy. And he brings a much needed levity to the dark and grim tale of “The Punisher” without coming off as forced or out of place. He is funny, but he is also a serious character with a good dramatic arc. And Moss-Bachrach is great in the role. Then we have Ben Barnes as Billy Russo, Frank old best friend that I will not talk too much about since it’s too easy to get a bit spoiler-y with him. But he has somewhat of an arc and Barnes is great in the role. And then (to not ramble or give too many character details here) in various supporting performances we have people like Jamie Ray Newman, Kobi Frumer, Deborah Ann Woll, Paul Schulze, Michael Nathanson, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Jason R. Moore, Daniel Webber, Kelli Barrett, C. Thomas Howell, and they all are great in this. Really, it’s a great cast.

The score for the show was composed by Tyler Bates, and it was great. What we have here is a tense, exciting, dramatic, emotional, badass, and just overall interesting score that takes heavy influence from rock and blues to create a fairly unique sound for a show like this. It’s not straight-up rock or blues, but there are traces of it in the score and I like that, makes it sound almost a bit western-y at times. And it all works very well for the show. There are also a couple of licensed tracks used throughout and they all work well in their respective scenes.

The show was created by Steve Lightfoot and written/directed by a whole bunch of different people (with Lightfoot having written a couple of episodes). And I think they did a good job here. While it’s not as action-packed as the trailer made it out to be, there is still action here. And when action happens it is exciting, badass, and brutal. Not just brutal as in a lot of blood being spilled, but brutal as in the violence having a real impact here. And it’s not just gunshots penetrating bodies, there’s also close quarters fighting, and knives, and various other things used throughout to create the memorable and brutal as fuck violence. And the directing and such in the less action-based scenes is good too… got a little sidetracked there, I usually save action for after overall directing… oh well, c’est la vie.

This show just came out, but it has already gotten some mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 67% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 54/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 9,6/10 (though this is very likely to change).

Season 1 of “The Punisher” is pretty damn great. It has a great plot, great characters, great performances, great music, and great directing/action. My only flaw was the slight pacing problem in one episode, but it doesn’t really bring it down too much for me. Time for my final score. *One batch, two batch, penny and dime*. My final score for “The Punisher” season 1 is a 9,52/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “The Punisher” season 1 is now completed.

I really want to get into the comics.

Series Review: Stranger Things – Season 2 (2017)

The Month of Spooks, still going strong! And on the plate today we have the second season of last year’s smash hit Netflix series. So let’s get into it.

Ladies and gents… “Stranger Things” season 2.

It’s 1984, one year has passed since the horrifying events that transpired in Hawkins, Indiana. And ever since he’d been rescued from the Upside Down, Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) ihas been experiencing a series of terrifying visions. And we soon find out that a new threat in looming over the sleepy little town, ready to take over. And that’s just the main plot here, we do get several sub-plots as well. This is an ambitious narrative, both in making the monstrous threat feel bigger, and in just expanding this world that we’ve gotten to know. And while that is a risky move for any show, since the multiple sub-plots aspect can tangle itself up and become convoluted, I feel like “Stranger Things” pulls it off nicely. You have the tension of the monster plot, you have the drama of finding out more about Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), you have the kids meeting this new girl (Sadie Sink) that comes to town, you have the struggles of Nancy, Jonathan, and Steve (Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton, Joe Keery)… what I’m trying to say is that there’s a metric buttload of threads here, and they never feel like they tangle into a mess. It’s a solid plot filled with good drama, mystery, and charm.

The characters in “Stranger Things” are likable, layered, and endlessly interesting. Let’s start with Will Byers, played by Noah Schnapp, because he is more or less the focus of this season. Sure, he’s safe(ish) from the Upside Down, but he’s experiencing these horrifying/traumatic visions, putting him in a more vulnerable position. And Schnapp is great in the role. Then we have Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler, the pseudo-leader of this group of friends. Seeing him trying to cope after his friend/love Eleven has been out of his life is actually a bit heartbreaking, but he’s not some mopey idiot about it, keeping him interesting. And Wolfhard is great in the role. Then let’s go with David Harbour who once again plays police chief Jim Hopper. He’s still a stern man with his heart in the right place. Hopper was my fave last season and he still might be. So yeah, Harbour is great in the role. Gaten Matarazzo returns as Dustin, the funny and slightly naive little man with the colorful hat. Like I said, he’s a bit naive, but he’s not stupid. He’s also the funniest of the four main kids. And Matarazzo is great in the role. Caleb McLaughlin returns as Lucas, the slightly more serious one in the group. And McLaughlin is great in the role. Then we have Winona Ryder once again as Joyce, mother of Will, and slightly neurotic person. However, her being a bit nervous like that is understandable after everything that happened last season. But she seems to have found a decent system for her life… until shit starts getting real again, that is. And Ryder is great in the role. Natalia Dyer returns as Nancy and she’s really good. Charlie Heaton returns as Jonathan, and he’s great in the role. Joe Keery is back as Steve, and he’s great in the role. Millie Bobby Brown returns as Eleven, and she’s great in the role. Right, returning faces done, now for some newbies. We get Sean Astin as Bob, Joyce’s new boyfriend. He’s a bit of a dork, but he’s a good person and he does everything to try to be a good pseudo-father for the Byers boys. And Astin is really good in the role. Sadie Sink plays Max, the new girl in town with a seemingly troubled home life. She meets the boys and more or less starts befriending them. And Sink is great in the role. Then we have Dacre Montgomery as Billy, a new guy in town who is a big asshole bully. And while he doesn’t have much of an arc, Montgomery is really in the role. And finally, we have Paul Reiser as a doctor who is likable and kind, but seems to have some shady shit going on. And Reiser is great in the role. Overall, this has great characters and the performances are great.

Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein returned to do the score for this season, and once again they killed it. The synth-heavy sounds perfectly capture the era and tone, and does even manage to create some decent tension at times. Really, it’s more of the good synth-y stuff, not much else I can say. And since this is set in the 80s, we of course get some really awesome licensed songs throughout from not only the 80s, but also 60s and 70s… it’s really just an awesome soundtrack that made me very happy. Overall, great music.

The show was created by the Duffer brothers, and written/directed by a whole bunch of people. And it’s just overall very well handled. The directing is tense, fun, and filled with energy. And Tod Campbell’s cinematography is of course absolutely stunning. And the visual effects in the show look great too. There’s also plenty of comedy in this show, and I thought it was all really funny. I also enjoy that it never overshadows the drama/Lovecraftian sci-fi, but just is another part of the world that comes into play every now and then.

This show/season just came out but has already been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 94% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 78/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,9/10 and is ranked #37 on the “Top 250 TV” list.

“Stranger Things” season 2 is pretty awesome. It has a great plot, great characters, great performances, fantastic music, and great directing/cinematography/writing. Time for my final score. *Rawr*. My review of “Stranger Things” season 2 is a 9,86/10. So it of course gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Stranger Things” season 2 is now completed.

Awesome.

Series Review: Mindhunter – Season 1 (2017)

I know what you’re thinking. “Markus, you said that October was about spooky shit, and maybe some trailers and Thor!”, and that is true. However, sometimes an idiot like me has to make exceptions. Plus, this could technically count as Month of Spooks stuff… ’cause serial killers are scary.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Mindhunter” season 1.

Set in 1979, “Mindhunter” follows FBI agent Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) as he investigates various murder cases while also developing a system for psychologically analyzing criminals. So now we have our drama plot. And is it any good? Yeah. Seeing the early stages of criminal psychology and how it develops is fascinating, and the way they use it to investigate these horrible crimes is quite riveting. The pace here is deliberately slow as a tortoise, which will turn some people off, but I thought it worked quite well for the show. But the plot isn’t just the development of the criminal profiling system, it is also an engaging character-drama. Seeing how these characters react to all the shit going on and how it affects their lives is quite riveting. So yeah, it’s a solid plot.

As you probably could understand from the end of the previous paragraph, the characters here are all quite interesting and engaging. It’s also pretty refreshing to have a cast where I didn’t know any of the main players. I recognized a couple of the supporting people, but for the most part I knew no one. Jonathan Groff plays Holden Ford, the young man who we follow for the majority of the show. He’s slightly naive, but means well and shows great intelligence. And Groff is really good in the role. Holt McCallany plays Bill Tench, Ford’s colleague/partner. A slightly stern family man, Tench often get slightly annoyed at Ford’s plans and action, but understands that they can be important. And McCallany is great in the role. Anna Torv plays Wendy Carr, a consultant who gets brought in to help Ford and Tench in their work. She’s determined to get shit done, and she’s an interesting part of the team. And Torv is great in the role. Hannah Gross plays Debbie, a woman that Ford meets and starts a relationship with. She’s sassy, she’s smart, and she’s a nice foil for Ford. And Gross is really good in the role. The entire cast does a solid job here.

The score for the show was composed by Jason Hill and it was great. It was dark and quite chilling, reminiscent of the movie scores by Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross. It often helped elevate certain scenes, making them feel a little eerie and slightly uncomfortable. There were also licensed tracks used throughout the show and they were used pretty well.

This show was created by Joe Penhall, and directed by three people. The directors are Asif Kapadia, Tobias Lindholm, Andrew Douglas, and David fucking Fincher. And yes, the only reason why I listed all of them was for that dramatic effect on Fincher. And even though he only helmed four of the ten episodes, all of them feel very Fincher-esque. Cinematic, cold, steady, confident, it just oozes of David Fincher. So yeah, it is incredibly well directed. This show is also R-rated. Cursing, nudity, sex, some violence. Sure, it’s not “Game of Thrones” levels of R-rated, but it still has some stuff that makes it inappropriate for younger audiences. Also, this show was produced by Charlize Theron… not trying to make a point, just think that’s pretty cool.

This show just came out but has already been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 96% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 76/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 9,2/10 (but will most likely drop in the near future).

“Mindhunter” is great… don’t know what else I can say. It has a great plot, great characters, great performances, great music, and great direction. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Mindhunter” season 1 is a 9,65/10. Which means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Mindhunter” season 1 is now completed.

Month of Spooks, not Month of Spooks… Killers are scary, Month of Spooks.

Series Review: The Frankenstein Chronicles – Season 1 (2015)

IT’S ALIVE, IT’S FUCKIN’ ALIVE! JEFF, GET THE CAMERA… ‘CAUSE IT’S ALIVE!

Ladies and gentlemen, these are… “The Frankenstein Chronicles”.

London, early 19th century. Inspector John Marlott (Sean Bean) discovers the body of a dead child washed up on a shore. Upon further investigation it is found out that this child is made up of body parts from a whole bunch of kids, all stitched together. So it’s up to Marlott and his partner Nightingale (Richie Campbell) to find whoever did this and bring him/her to justice. So now we have our 19th century crime-drama. And is it any good? Yeah, I’d definitely say so. Is it perfect? Not really. But damn, it sure did impress me quite a bit. They create an interesting enough plot here that kept me engaged all the way through, filled with twists and turns. And while it has “Frankenstein” in the title, it isn’t a strict “Frankenstein” story, but rather creating an entirely new thing relating in some way to Mary Shelley’s classic story. My only flaw with the plot is the finale. It isn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination, it even has some pretty damn cool things happening in it. But compared to the relatively slow burn of the rest of the episodes, it felt like it rushed a little bit. It’s a minor flaw, but I thought it would be worth noting. Overall the plot here is really good.

When it comes to the characters here, only three of the main players I found interesting. The rest I thought were a little bland and forgettable. Sean Bean plays John Marlott, the inspector leading this investigation into the stitched together child. He’s a deeply troubled man who has experienced some shit in his past, and Sean Bean is absolutely fantastic in the role, often acting the shit out of a scene with just his eyes, he really knows how to do troubled really well. Richie Campbell plays Joseph Nightingale, Marlott’s partner in this investigation. He’s a bit more of a lighthearted presence than Marlott, but he’s still a fairly serious and interesting character. And Campbell is great in the role. The final one I want to properly go through is Elosie Smyth as Flora, a young woman that Marlott meets during his investigation and makes an ally out of. She’s a damaged individual, but she does get a somewhat good arc here. And Eloise Smyth does a really good job here. And while I think pretty much all the other characters were kind of meh, they weren’t necessarily bad. Their writing is fine, and the actors do really well in their respective roles, but their characters weren’t really as memorable or interesting as those three I mentioned before. So this is overall well acted, with some flaws in the characters.

The score for the show was composed by Roger Goula and I think he did a really good job. His score is eerie and atmospheric, perfectly capturing the intended tone of the show. It also managed to give me some chills throughout, which helped elevate some already kind of chilling scenes.

This show was created by Benjamin Ross & Barry Langford, and written/directed by various people. And they manage to create some really interesting stuff here. Their directing looks really good and managed to create a feel of unease from the very first frame. There are also some scenes here that are pretty suspenseful, adding to the already good quality of the show. I also want to mention that the period detail here is amazing, they really made it feel like the early 19th century.

While there isn’t much on this show where I usually steal reception data from, it seems to have been pretty well received (as far as I can tell). On Rotten Tomatoes it does exist, but has no score on there. On Metacritic it doesn’t exist at all. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,4/10.

“The Frankenstein Chronicles” is a pretty damn solid show. It has a really good plot, okay characters, great performances, really good music, and really good directing. My only flaws with it come from my minor problem with the finale, and most characters being pretty unmemorable. Time for my final score. *IT’S ALIVE!*. My final score for “The Frankenstein Chronicles” season 1 is an 8,98/10. While flawed, I’d say that it is definitely worth a watch.

My review of “The Frankenstein Chronicles” season 1 is now completed.

IT’S ALI- Okay, I’m gonna stop that now.

Series Review: Hap and Leonard – Season 2 (2017)

About a month ago I reviewed the first season of this show, and I thought it was quite good. Not perfect, but definitely a good season of television. And now I am finally reviewing season 2 (which aired in the spring on this year). So here we go.

Ladies and gents… “Hap and Leonard” season 2.

Hap (James Purefoy) and Leonard (Michael Kenneth Williams) are back, though this time they are not looking for money. This time they instead find the remains of a dead child underneath Leonard’s floorboards. The two then report this find to the police (as you should) only to find themselves under investigation for committing the crime, despite them being innocent. But hope is not completely gone as Florida Grange (Tiffany Mack), a lawyer, comes in to try to help ’em out. So then the plot follows our heroes as they try to find the actual culprit while also dealing with corrupt lawmen. And immediately we can see that this season goes for a more serious and less cartoonish plot compared to the first season. And the season we have here is more quiet and serious. It brilliantly manages to tackle dramatic topics like racism, corruption, and child murder without sacrificing the offbeat and unique feel that the first season set up. It perfectly manages to balance a serious drama with an entertaining and pulpy world. And the pacing is much better compared to the first season, moving at a much more steady and focused pace. So yeah, the plot here is pretty great.

The characters are unique, entertaining, colorful, and just really interesting. James Purefoy of course returns as Hap Collins, the well-meaning worker who sometimes takes a wrong step (which makes him a flawed and interesting character). And Purefoy is great in the role, getting to show a somewhat wider range of emotions this season… his southern accent is also a bit more consistent here, so that’s nice. Michael Kenneth Williams returns as Leonard Pine, the black, gay, Vietnam veteran. He’s a troubled man who gets to endure a whole bunch of various problems throughout the season. And Williams is of course great in the role. And the chemistry between our two leads? It’s great, it’s very entertaining and feels genuine. Tiffany Mack plays Florida Grange, the lawyer who comes to Hap and Leonard’s aid and becomes their most important ally this season. She’s tough, smart, sexy, and fun, making for a refreshing presence in this show. We also get Cranston Johnson as a police detective that is investigating this case that our dynamic duo have gotten themselves involved in, and he’s great in the role. I also have to mention Irma P. Hall as MeMaw, the elderly woman that Hap and Leonard find themselves with every now and then throughout the season. She’s so much fun and one of the best things about the season. Overall the season is filled with good performances.

Like the first season, the score here was composed by Jeff Grace, and it’s once again great. It often manages to add a lot of emotion, excitement, or tension to a scene, really showing Grace’s talent/versatility as a composer. It’s great and works very well for the season/show. There are also a couple of licensed tracks used throughout and they work quite well.

If you forgot or just didn’t read my season 1 review, “Hap and Leonard” was created by Jim Mickle & Nick Damici and is based on a series of novels by Joe R. Lansdale. And it was written/directed by a whole bunch of people (including Mickle/Damici/Lansdale). And in season 1 they made such a well defined world that felt lived in. And with this season they improved on it, deepening the stories of the area they’re in as well as the backstories/relationships of everyone there. The shots look good and the direction in this season just has a really nice flow to it, having some nice energy to it while still keeping it feel real and lived in. And even though there are some heavy dramatic moments this season, they don’t skimp on the black humor. There’s quite a bit of humor here and it made me laugh.

This show/season has been decently well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it exists but has no score. On Metacritic it has a score of 86/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,5/10.

“Hap and Leonard” season 2 takes everything that was good about the first season and improving on it quite a bit. It has a great plot, great characters, great performances, great music, and great directing. Time for my final score. *Y’all*. My final score for “Hap and Leonard” season 2 is a 9,82/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Hap and Leonard” season 2 is now completed.

Mucho mojo.

Series Review: Preacher – Season 2 (2017)

Last year a little show called “Preacher” premiered on AMC. Critically speaking it did well, with audiences it did well, so of course a second season would get made. And now it has finally finished, which means that I can finally review it. So here we go.

Ladies and gents… “Preacher” season 2!

After the explosive end of season 1, we find Jesse (Dominic Cooper), Tulip (Ruth Negga), and Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun) on the road to try to find god… I’m not being metaphorical, they’re seriously trying to find the individual known as god. All while they’re trying to survive being chased by the Saint of Killers (Graham McTavish), who wants to kill Jesse. So now we have our plot for the season. And I’d say that it is quite good. It’s not flawless, but it’s strengths definitely outweigh it’s flaws. For the most part you have this weird, fun, and sometimes blasphemous adventure with plenty of fun mythology to it. And at times you get some pretty solid character drama. And it’s filled with a whole bunch of good twists and turns. Now, my only gripe with the plot here is that there are some mild pacing issues in maybe two episodes near the middle. But they’re not that bad… noticeable, but not deal-breaking. So overall I’d say that the plot is really good.

The characters in this are fun, colorful, and just incredibly interesting. But it’s not just the characters being the same throughout, you see them develop more and more over the season while still remaining true to what we were introduced to in season 1. Dominic Cooper returns as Jesse Custer, the troubled preacher with a special ability. Seeing him trying to find god while also dealing with his other demons is quite fascinating, and Cooper is great in the role. Ruth Negga returns as Tulip, Jesse’s girlfriend and partner in crime. She’s as badass as ever while still showing a relatable vulnerability, and Negga is great in the role. Joseph Gilgun is back as Cassidy, the Irish vampire… yeah, he’s as awesome as he was in season 1, still my favorite character in the show. He’s incredibly fun, but he’s also given some good dramatic depth this season which was fun to see. And Gilgun is of course awesome in the role. Graham McTavish returns to play the Saint of Killers, AKA the cowboy we saw every now and then in season 1. Though this time he has an arguably bigger role, and he’s honestly quite awesome. He’s a terrifying villain, an unstoppable badass who will kill Jesse Custer no matter what, and any scenes with him were quite tense. But he was also given some solid dramatic moments too, fleshing out his character a bit more. And McTavish is fantastic in the role. Ian Colletti returns as Eugene/Arseface, and he’s still great in the role. As for new people, there are a whole bunch, including Noah Taylor as… you know what, I’m not gonna spoil it if you haven’t seen it already, because it has to be seen to be believed. That said, he’s great in the role. Then in more supporting roles we have Pip Torrens, Julie Ann Emery, Ronald Guttman, Malcolm Barrett, and Amy Hill. There are more people in the show, but I’m not gonna write up every name that appears in this season. But with that said, every actor did very well in this season.

Like in the first season, the score was composed by Dave Porter, and once again he did a great job. The score is tense, dramatic, and just overall fits the show quite well and elevates a couple of moments throughout. There’s also plenty of licensed music throughout, not only being overall ear-pleasing, but also fitting the scenes they were used in very well.

The show was created by Sam Catlin, Seth Rogen, and Evan Goldberg and is based on a series of comics by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon (R.I.P). And the show was written/directed by Rogen/Goldberg and a whole bunch of other people. And they all did very well in those departments. The show is directed with plenty of style and energy, making sure to keep most shots interesting. It’s also a visually appealing show. And the action scenes too are quite entertaining. Sure, a couple feel a little bit clunky, but most of them are quite solid… intense, fun, and badass. This show also has plenty of humor in it… admittedly quite dark humor, but humor nonetheless. And I laughed quite a lot throughout the show, both in small chuckles and in loud, gut-busting laughter. I also feel like I have to mention that if you have a problem with copious amounts of blood/gore, then this might not be for you because fucking hell, this is gory. But if you can stomach blood and gore then you might have some fun with it.

This show/season has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 93% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 76/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,1/10.

“Preacher” season 2 is a fucking blast. It has a really good plot, great characters, great performances, great music, great directing, and great humor. My only issue with it was that an episode or two had some mild pacing issues, but it’s not horrible for me. Time for my final score. *Amen*. My final score for “Preacher” season 2 is a 9,52/10. Which means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Preacher” season 2 is now completed.

By the way, my friends from the We Have a Hulk podcast interviewed Graham McTavish (The Saint of Killers) a handful of weeks back, and I highly recommend checking it out.

Series Review: The Defenders – Season 1 (2017)

At long last, it is here. The culmination of all the Marvel/Netflix shows. It’s a really exciting time to be alive. Four characters from four different shows (three great, one meh), coming together for one big event. Let’s get into it.

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Defenders” season 1!

When something threatens to destroy New York City, Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox), Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), Luke Cage (Mike Colter), and Danny Rand (Finn Jones) have to team up to try to stop this great threat. And from that we get a superhero plot filled with twists, turns, and drama. And I’d say that it’s quite the enjoyable plot. Sure, at times in certain episodes the pacing can drag a little bit, but for the most part it moves at a good pace and it’s just a fun plot to follow. Seeing these heroes we’ve come to know and (mostly) love band together to fight a common threat is just really exciting. And overall it is a solid plot, with a couple of (minor) pacing issues.

The characters here are fun, cool, interesting, and quite entertaining. And most of the characters get some really solid development throughout. Charlie Cox once again plays Matt Murdock/Daredevil, and once again he’s great in the role, giving us the blind(ish) catholic badass that we’ve gotten to know. Krysten Ritter once again plays Jessica Jones, the drunken, cynical bitch who has a heart hidden somewhere behind all the whiskey and trauma. And once again she’s great in the role. Mike Colter once again plays Luke Cage, the bulletproof badass with a heart of gold. He’s charming, he’s likable, and Colter is once again great in the role. Finn Jones once again plays Danny Rand/Iron Fist, and I wasn’t the biggest fan of him in his solo show. As a matter of fact, he kind of annoyed me. But here something happened… he’s fun, he’s interesting, and he’s not the worst thing ever. Sure, at times he has some of those whiny moments that can get on one’s nerves, but he’s much more likable/tolerable here than in his own show. And Jones is good in the role. Rosario Dawson once again plays Claire Temple, the Nick Fury of the Netflix shows. And once again she’s fun and cool. And Dawson is great in the role… she’s Rosario Awesome. Jessica Henwick from “Iron Fist” reprises her role as Colleen Wing in this, the interesting and badass love interest of Danny Rand. And once again she’s really good in the role. Elden Henson and Deborah Ann Woll reprises their roles as Foggy Nelson and Karen Page from “Daredevil” here, and while they don’t have the biggest roles in the show, they’re present, and they’re good in their roles. Simone Missick once again plays Misty Knight, her tough cop character from “Luke Cage”, and once again she’s really good in the role. Rachael Taylor once again plays Trish, Jessica’s best friend, and once again she’s great in the role. Wai Ching Ho once again plays Madame Gao, the mysterious lady from “Daredevil” and “Iron Fist”, and once again she’s great. Also, spoiler for “Daredevil” season 2 coming up here, but this is a character important to this show, so I have to mention her… sorry. Elodie Yung plays Elektra, the dead ex-girlfriend of Matt Murdock. But she’s back here, and she’s tough and interesting (more so than in “Daredevil”) and Yung is great in the role. Now, for the newcomer. We get Sigourney Weaver (oh hell yes!) here as Alexandra, the primary antagonist of this show. She’s interesting and I found myself caring about her. And as expected, Weaver is great in the role. Then we get plenty of supporting characters/performances throughout, and they all range from good to great.

The score for the show was composed by John Paesano, the man who handled the music for “Daredevil”. And once again he has succeeded in a score that works very well for the show. It’s big, epic, cool, dramatic, and even at times beautiful. It’s just overall great. There were also a couple of licensed tracks throughout and they were used well. This show has good music.

The show was created by Douglas Petrie & Marco Ramirez, and written/directed by a whole bunch of different people (and don’t get me started on all the producers). And overall this show is quite well crafted in terms of directing and such. The show looks good and feels tight in it’s directing. The action scenes too are quite fun. They’re well choreographed, and you get a clear sense of what is going on in each action scene. It’s just fun seeing all of these guys kick some ass… even Iron Fist. One little detail that I too liked that was noticeable in transitions and the opening credits is that each character gets a specific color to represent them in those situations. I won’t go through each of them as you’ll quickly pick up on them yourself. Just thought I’d quickly mention it.

This show just came out but has so far been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 79% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 63/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 9,0/10. (Keep in mind, these scores can and will change over time, but I will not edit this damn post for that, all these scores are at the time of writing).

Season 1 of “The Defenders” is one hell of an entertaining show. It has a really good plot, great characters, great performances, great music, and great directing. The only flaw I have with it is that in a couple moments throughout the pacing drags a little, but it’s not too deal-breaking for me. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “The Defenders” season 1 is a 9,32/10. While mildly flawed, you should definitely watch it!

My review of “The Defenders” season 1 is now completed.

It looks unclear right now, but let’s face it… there will be a season 2 at some point.

Series Review: Hap and Leonard – Season 1 (2016)

Adapting books to screen is really difficult. Doesn’t matter if it’s movies, TV, or video games… there’s nothing easy about adapting books. So I have some respect for the people atempting it even if it seems like something that would be impossible to translate to screen.

Ladies and gents… “Hap and Leonard” season 1.

Texas, late 1980s. We follow Hap (James Purefoy) and Leonard (Michael Kenneth Williams), two best friends. One day a woman named Trudy (Christina Hendricks), who turns out to be Hap’s old flame, shows up. The main reason why she’s there is because she wants their help (or at least Hap’s) to find some money that have been more or less lost for years. So now we have our caper. And it’s quite a good one. It has a very offbeat feel which makes it stand out compared to a lot of other crime shows of a similar nature. It’s also fairly unpredictable, suspenseful, and overall enjoyable. The only flaw I have is that the pacing in the first few episodes wavers a bit. It’s not a deal-breaker, but it’s definitely worth pointing out. So overall I’d say that the plot here is really good, with a few pacing issues mildly hurting it.

The characters here are fun, interesting, and very entertaining. Hap is this ex-con trying to live a quiet life, but his plans takes a bit of a turn when Trudy comes to town(?). And James Purefoy is really good in the role. Leonard is a black, openly gay, Vietnam vet, trying to life a quiet enough life, working, and hanging out with his best friend. And Michael Kenneth Williams is great in the role. Purefoy and Williams share a very likable chemistry, their banter and general dialog feels natural. Trudy, as previously mentioned, is an old girlfriend of Hap and it basically the reason for the plot happening. She’s sexy, smart, and pretty tough. And Christina Hendricks is really good in the role. Bill Sage plays a man named Howard, this hippie-esque character that is involved in finding this lost money. And Sage is really good in the role. We also have Jimmi Simpson and Pollyanna McIntosh as this crazy couple that shows up in town(?) and starts causing trouble. They’re a total wild card in this and they’re quite fun. Jimmi Simpson especialy, he totally stole every scene he was in. But both he and McIntosh were great in their roles. Really, this is overall a very well acted season of TV.

The score for the series was composed by Jeff Grace, and I think he did a great job here. This is another example of his versatility as a composer. He’s done the music for a couple movies that I’ve covered on this blog before, so I already knew that he could tackle several genres, making something that totally fits the piece of media he composes it for. And “Hap and Leonard” is no exception, he made a score that in some tracks works well for the rural Texas setting, and some tracks that fit the crime-drama side of things. And it all sounds great. There are also some licensed tracks use throughout the seaosn, and they’re used quite well. So yeah, this season has some great music.

This show is based on a series of novels by author Joe R. Lansdale, and was created by Jim Mickle & Nick Damici. Now, if those two names sound familiar, then you’ve been on my blog before. I’ve talked about movies they’ve been involved in (“Stake Land”, “Cold in July”, “Late Phases”) on this blog. Anyway, they also wrote the episodes, and Mickle directed a couple of episodes. And overall it is a very well directed show. The direction is tight and really helps make it feel fresh and tense. It’s also a good looking show. The show also has an element of dark humor to it that I think really helped it out quite a bit. Also, beware of bloody violence… just thought I’d mention that in case any reader out there is squeamish.

This show/season ha been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 87% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 73/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,4/10.

“Hap and Leonard” season 1 is a fun bit of crime television. It has a really good plot, great characters, great performances, great music, and great directing. My only flaws with the season are those previously mentioned pacing issues, but even they aren’t too bad. Time for my final score. *Y’all*. My final score for “Hap and Leonard” season 1 is a 9,11/10. So while slightly flawed, I’d say that you should watch it!

My review of “Hap and Leonard” season 1 is now completed.

If you’re looking for a binge-worthy show, this is it. Not only is it good, but it’s only six episodes, so it’s easy to binge through!