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!

Series Review: Comrade Detective – Season 1 (2017)

I don’t know what kind of intro to make for this. Just the idea and existence of this is a riddle to me. So let’s just get into the review and see if this is any good.

Comrades… “Comrade Detective” season 1.

“Comrade Detective” is set in 1983 and is about Romanian police detective Gregor Anghel (Channing Tatum/Florin Piersic Jr.), a man sworn to stop crime and uphold the communist way of life. But tragedy strikes as his partner one day gets killed during an operation to catch some bad dudes. So Anghel, together with a new partner named Iosif Bacio (Joseph Gordon-Levitt/Corneliu Ulici), starts investigating the case of his former partner’s murder. And as they keep investigating they stumble upon a conspiracy that could endanger not only them, but also their communist way of life. So now we have this weird thing. But it’s not just a cop show randomly set in 1980s Romania, as it’s actually kind of a metanarrative. The show is presented as this really old communist propaganda show that had seemingly been lost forever, until it was found and then dubbed by Americans. So we’re working with a metanarrative cop drama that is also a satire of society and capitalism/communism. Yeah, it’s weird. That said, I found it to quite an interesting narrative. The cop side of things, while not always the most engaging, is actually fairly solid, filled with twists and turns. Then you have the satirical elements of it which adds a bit of a fun edge to it. Then you also have the dubbed aspect of it which is just a fun idea to add to it. So yeah, the plot here is… good.

What is interesting about this whole thing is that on the screen we see some actors, but the voices that come out of their mouths are clearly dubbed over, like in ye olde foreign films. Poorly dubbed with no sync between voice and mouth, which is clearly deliberate and also quite fun. So when you have Florin Piersic Jr. moving around and “talking”, you hear the voice of Channing Tatum come out of him. It’s a little weird at first, but I quickly got used to it and thought it was fun. And Tatum delivered his lines very well, and Piersic Jr. did well with the physical parts. Joseph Gordon-Levitt voiced the partner, Baciu, and he did very well. And Corneliu Ulici was good in the physical role. I don’t have the patience to write down every pairing and giving comments here, so I will just list some of the voice actors you hear in the show, but I will list the physical actors in the tags so I don’t get shit on too much. *Inhale* Nick Offerman, Jenny Slate, Jason Mantzoukas, Chloë Sevigny, Jake Johnson, John DiMaggio, Bobby Cannavale, Beck Bennett, Daniel Craig. There are more, but again… I don’t have the time or patience to write every single one. That said, it’s a well acted show.

The score for the show was composed by Joe Kraemer and he did a pretty good job. Some of it is the typical cop drama stuff, which is fine because it works well within the show. There is also some synth pop in here too, because of course there will be synth pop in a show set in the 80s. And alls the music in this show works very well for it.

This show was created by Brian Gatewood & Alessandro Tanaka, with the directing being done by Rhys Thomas, who I think did a good job. Nothing feels overly flashy or too current (for lack of a better word). It feels like an 80s cop show, only shot with better cameras. The period detail and directing style is what makes it feels genuinely 1980s. It is a well directed show that flows pretty well. The action scenes especially, they’re quite fun.

This show has been pretty well received (based on few reviews). On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 73% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 65/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,8/10.

Amazon’s “Comrade Detective” is fucking weird, and I’m okay with that. It has a good plot, pretty good characters, really good performances, really good music, and really good directing. The only flaw I have with it is that the plot wasn’t always the most engaging. Time for my final score. *Comrades*. My final score for “Comrade Detective” is an 8,88/10. So while flawed, I’d say that it is worth watching.

My review of “Comrade Detective” is now completed.

I have questions… I don’t know what questions, but I have them.

Series Review: Peaky Blinders – Season 3 (2016)

As some of you might know, I reviewed season one and two a while back (*nudge nudge wink wink*). And if you have any memory of that happening, then you might remember that I pretty much loved those seasons. So I’m super excited to finally review the third season for you guys. So here we go!

Ladies and gents… “Peaky Blinders” season 3!

The year is 1924 and everything seems to be looking up for Thomas Shelby (Cillian Murphy). Business is going well and he’s finally getting married. However, he soon finds himself getting into the fray once again when he has to start dealing with Russians, Italians, and a priest (Paddy Considine) with powerful connections. And I thought the plot here this season was really good. And while not quite as tense and unpredictable as the previous seasons, it still retains most of the intrigue and dramatic heft that one can expect from the show at this point. The season does go to some really dark and slightly messed up places at times too which really helps keep the plot of “Peaky Blinders” well above most shows out there.

The characters have always been a highlight of the show, and this season is no exception. Cillian Murphy of course returns as Thomas Shelby, the head of the Shelby family/business, and he is still the damaged and layered man we’ve come to know. And Cillian Murphy is once again fantastic in the role. Helen McCrory returns as Aunt Polly, and she is still one of the best female characters out there. And McCrory is of course fantastic in the role. Paul Anderson returns as Arthur Shelby, the rough-around-the-edges brother of Thomas, this time getting some more development than in previous seasons. And Anderson is fantastic in the role. Joe Cole returns as John Shelby, Thomas’ younger brother, and he’s great in the role. Ned Dennehy, Ian Peck, Sophie Rundle, Annabelle Wallis, all return and they’re all great. Tom Hardy also makes a return as Alfie Solomons, and while he isn’t in this season a whole lot, he’s still one of the best parts of it. Now, let’s talk about the newcomer worth talking about: Paddy Considine. I’ve been a fan of him for a while now, and seeing him in here as a sneaky priest was interesting. His character is really interesting and Considine is great in the role. Really, the acting here is terrific.

Like in previous season, there is no real identifiable original score that we can properly talk about. But instead we once again get a soundtrack consisting mainly of rock songs from the past 20 – 25 years or so. There are also a couple newer songs too that are hard to pin a genre on, but still work really well in this show. That is something I want to mention: When imagining a gangster show set in 1920s Birmingham one woudln’t think a rock-based soundtrack would work, but it somehow does. Give the person responsible for picking the songs a fucking raise.

This show was created by Steven Knight, and all episodes this season were directed by Tim Mielants, who I think did a great job. His direction is very tight and helps create a tense and good mood that elevates the show quite a bit. It’s also a visually arresting show… just thought I’d mention that. Also, this show is bloody/violent and features nudity, so if you’re one of those wimps who can’t stomach that stuff in movies and TV, you have been warned.

This show has been very well received, but this season is fucking impossible to say with since it has no score on the sites I usually use. Sure, it exists on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic, but it has no score on there. And on imdb.com the show (no seasonal average) has a score of 8,8/10 and is ranked #66 on the “Top 250 TV” list.

“Peaky Blinders” season 3 is great… not much else I can say. It has a great plot, great characters, fantastic performances, great music, and great directing. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Peaky Blinders” season 3 is a 9,71/10. So yeah, it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Peaky Blinders” season 3 is now completed.

Mumble mumble mumble mumble fuck mumble. That is how Tom Hardy sounds in this show and it’s so much fun.

Series Review: Ozark – Season 1 (2017)

Netflix seems to be taking over the entertainment world. Sure, Amazon and Hulu aren’t doing too poorly either, and HBO gets all the viewers thanks to “Game of Thrones”, but it really feels like Netflix is the ruler of the watchable media.

Ladies and gents, welcome to… “Ozark”.

Marty Byrde (Jason Bateman) seems like your average man. He has a wife (Laura Linney), two kids (Sofia Hublitz & Skylar Gaertner), and a steady job as a financial advisor. However, he has secretly been laundering money for a Mexican drug cartel. And when his dealings with them goes to hell, Marty decides to quickly move him and his family out to the Missouri Ozarks to try to try to sort this shit out. So now we have our crime-drama plot. And is it any good? Yeah, I’d say so. It’s very serious and surprisingly deep. Not deep in a mindfuck kind of way, but it just has layers to it. My only problem with it is that the pacing at times can get a little too slow. I have no problem with a slow burn, and for the most part this show’s slow burn is just fine, but there are times where it drags it’s feet a little bit too much. Mainly in a couple of episodes near the middle of the season. But like I said, for the most part it’s fine. And the overall plot is solid enough that the occasional pacing problem doesn’t hurt it too much.

The characters here are all troubled, layered, and just overall interesting. Jason Bateman is great as Marty Byrde, this highly intelligent and cunning man who just wants to protect his family (and his life). He can at times seem like a dick, but then I remember “Oh yeah, Mexican gangsters might kill him and his family”, so it can be accepted. And like I said, Bateman is great in the role. Laura Linney plays Marty’s wife, Wendy, a woman who has secrets of her own as she’s trying to accept this situations with Marty and moving and all that. And Linney is great in the role. Sofia Hublitz and Skylar Gaertner as Marty’s kids are really good in the roles, going through some interesting situations/arcs of their own throughout the season. Julia Garner plays Ruth Langmore, a local girl who is clever and constantly conniving, and she was probably my favorite character in the show. And Garner was great in the role. We also get Jason Butler Harner as Roy Petty, an FBI agent investigating Marty’s activities. He’s quite the interesting dude, and Harner is great in the role. I also want to mention Esai Morales who shows up at a few points in the season as Del, the main gangster that wants Marty’s money. The dude is a great mix of charming and intimidating, with Morales giving a great performance. Every actor in this show does a good job.

The score for the show was composed by Danny Bensi & Saunder Jurriaans amd it was great. Dark, chilling, eerie, and overall well composed, it often helps elevate the suspense in a lot of scenes. There’s also a good amount of licensed tracks used throughout the show that help set certain moods too, which I liked.

This show was created by Bill Dubuque and Mark Williams (not the Mr. Weasley one, totally different Mark Williams). And it was directed by a whole bunch of other people, including Jason Bateman who did a few. And the show is tightly directed, with as muc hsuspense as possible being squeezed out of a lot of scenes. It’s also a good looking show, with an often cool blue hue that gives the show a cold and eerie feel. There’s also a little bit of dark humor to it which I thought added a little bit to it.

This show came out fairly recently, but it has still been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 65% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 68/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,8/10 and is ranked #166 on the “Top 250 TV” list (as of writing this, as I refuse to update this in case of change).

“Ozark” is another solid show from Netflix. It has a really good plot, really good characters, great performances, great music, and great directing. The only problem is the previously mentioned pacing issues. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Ozark” season 1 is a 9,21/10. So while it has a few flaws, I’d say that you should still watch it!

Season 1 of “Ozark” is now completed.

If you’re still in denial about Jason Bateman’s dramatic talents, go watch “The Gift”. He’s great in that.

Series Review: Castlevania – Season 1 (2017)

I’ve been anticipating the release of this show for a while. From when the teaser poster and such was released, to when the first trailer dropped, it all seemed like it could be good. Could Netflix bring us a good video game adaptation? Well, let’s find out.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Castlevania” season 1!

After his wife gets burned at the stake, Dracula (Graham McTavish) unleashes an army of dark creatures upon the city of Gresit. So when Trevor (Richard Armitage), the last surviving member of the Belmont clan, shows up in town he has to try and save the city from this evil. So now we have our medieval fantasy. And while it’s only four episodes long, they manage to develop the story pretty damn well. They manage to establish backstories without getting too heavy with the exposition. And it actually creates some solid drama at times, giving the world and plot a little extra weight without sacrificing the fun and interesting fantasy elements of the plot. There’s also time dedicated to showing what a bunch of dicks members of the Christian church was at the time. Sure, there were no actual demons back then, but a lot of the bullshit they’re up to here actually happened in real life. So yeah, it’s a surprisingly layered story that stays true to the source material while still making it feel fresh and different.

The characters here are all pretty interesting. Trevor Belmont as a character is kind of an arrogant asshole, but he’s actually given a good reason in the show, so he’s not just an ass for the sake of being an ass. And you can tell that despite his arrogant façade, he is a good person (and badass warrior). And Richard Armitage is great as the character. Dracula doesn’t appear much in the show, but his presence is always felt. I also like that he’s not just a generic evil-doer that just wants to kill people because he’s the villain. They give him good motivation for doing it, making him a much more interesting antagonist. And Graham McTavish (again, despite not showing up a lot) kills it in the role. We also get Matt Frewer as a bishop who’s a huge dick, and Frewer is great in the role. We also get Tony Amendola as an elder that Trevor runs into/befriends, and Amndola is really good in the role. Really, every actor heard in this show does a good job.

The score for the show was composed by Trevor Morris, who also did the score for “Iron Fist” (*cough* read my review *cough*). And while that was good, I think this score is even better. The music in “Castlevania” is dark, eerie, epic, badass, cool, and just overall fits the dark and haunting atmosphere of the show. Morris composed some really solid stuff here.

“Castlevania” was produced by Adi Shankar, animated by Powerhouse animation & Frederator studios, directed by Sam Deats, and written by acclaimed comic book writer Warren Ellis. And it’s, as I’ve made pretty clear, an adaptation of the “Castlevania” video game franchise from Konami. And in terms of animation/direction, this show is very well handled. The animation is beautiful in a dark and haunting way, perfectly helping to create a dark and often eerie atmosphere for this show. The show shines especially in the action scenes which are badass, intense, and quite brutal. And I really mean it when I say brutal, there’s blood and dismemberment in this show. So yeah, this show has some fucked up visuals throughout, which I do think works for the show. Still… don’t bring grandma.

Seeing as this is a pretty niche show that just came out, there’s not much in terms of reception on the sites I tend to use. Keep in mind, i only report the reception as it is at the time of review… I refuse to edit. Anyhow, it does exist on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic, but it has no critic scores at the time of this review. But it does have a score on imdb.com (based on very few votes at the time), and it is an 8,7/10.

Season 1 of “Castlevania” is one of the best video game adaptations available out right now. It has a great plot, really good characters, great performances, great music, and great direction/animation. The only minor flaw I have is that it is so short (four episodes), but it’s not a deal breaker for me. Time for my final score. *Stabs demon*. My final score for “Castlevania” season 1 is a 9,65/10. Which means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

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

There is a season 2 planned… for 2018… fuck.

Series Review: Fargo – Season 3 (2017)

It feels good to have had this show back. I loved the first two seasons of this show (*cough* there are reviews available *cough*), so I was of course looking forward to this season. So let’s see if it is any good.

Ladies and gents… “Fargo” season 3!

Minnesota, 2010. We follow brothers Emmitt (Ewan McGregor) and Ray (Ewan McGregor) and how their sibling rivalry becomes the center of a series of deaths, betrayals, conspiracies, and other crazy things. So now we have our off-kilter crime-drama. And yeah, it’s pretty fucking great. Once again this show has managed to craft a deep, compelling, weird, suspenseful, and unpredictable crime story. I honestly never knew where it was going and it managed to really surprise me with some of the twists and turns throughout. It’s an odd and fascinating journey that I loved following.

The characters in this season (like in previous ones) are unique, interesting, quirky, and just extremely entertaining. Ewan McGregor had a tough job here as he had to play two roles, and make them feel different from each other. Emmit is the parking lot king of Minnesota, a wealthy and generally liked businessman. While Ray instead is a balding, poor(ish), parole officer who is jealous of his brother. And McGregor makes them both feel very different and manages to give two fantastic performances. Carrie Coon plays Gloria Burgle, a police chief/single mom who is investigating a murder that might be linked somehow to the Stussy brothers. She’s determined and kind, but has a little trouble with modern technology. And Coon is fantastic in the role. Michael Stuhlbarg (sporting an awesome mustache) plays Sy Feltz, the right hand man and best friend of Emmit. He’s loyal to a fault, wanting to make sure Emmit has a good a life as possible. And Stuhlbarg is great in the role. Mary Elizabeth Winstead plays Nikki Swango (awesome name), a gambler who is also the girlfriend of Ray. She’s tough, sexy, and just cool. And Winstead is great in the role. David Thewlis plays V.M. Varga, a very strange man that comes into Emmit’s life and starts changing it quite a bit. How do I best describe Varga… he’s weird and creepy and and he gets under my skin. So yeah, Thewlis is fantastic in the role. Really, this is filled with plenty of awesome characters and performances, and while I don’t have the time to go through all in detail, I’m just gonna list some of the awesome supporting players here. Olivia Sandoval, Shea Whigham, Mark Forward, Thomas Mann, Hamish Linklater, Goran Bogdan, Andy Yu, and Mary McDonnell. There are more, but I feel like some are better left as surprises.

The score for this season was composed by Jeff Russo, the man who did the music for the previous seasons. And once again he killed it. Of course the main theme from the previous seasons is played every now and then, still being awesome. But then there’s also a lot of new stuff that fits the show very well. There are tracks for more serious moments, and there are tracks for some of the more “silly” (in lack of a better word) moments. And there are licensed tracks used throughout as well, and they fit pretty well too.

For those not aware (fucking cave dwellers), “Fargo” is an anthology series created by Noah Hawley, based on the Coen brothers film of the same name. And while I’m not gonna list every director that this season had, I will at least say that they all did very well here. The shots look great, and they manage to create a lot of tension with very little thanks to their excellent direction. And the cinematography too is great. Sure, color pallet is a bit drab, but I think it kind of works for this story. They even have a little bit of animation in this to tell a certain part of the story. I’m not gonna spoil what, but let’s just say that it’s pretty cool. I also feel like I have to mention that this is really violent. Not just in terms of there being blood (though there’s that too), but there’s plenty of violence in this. There’s also a good dose of dark humor in this which I thought was quite funny.

This show/season has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 95% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 89/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 9,0/10 and is ranked #23 on the “Top 250 TV” list.

While not qutie reaching the heights of season 2 (which is fucking amazing), “Fargo” season 3 is still a fantastic season of television. It has a fantastic plot, great characters, fantastic performances, great music, and fantastic directing. Time for my final score. *Oh jeez*. My final score for “Fargo” season 3 is a 9,90/10. Which of course means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Fargo” season 3 is now completed.

*Please get renewed, please get renewed*.

Series Review: American Gods – Season 1 (2017)

Adapting a novel into a movie or TV show (or even a video game) can’t be easy. Especially when it’s something so acclaimed and unique, that just puts all kinds of pressure on the people adapting it. And you can’t just make something specifically for the people who have read the source material, but you need to have it be accessible to general audiences too, which just makes the task of adapting it even more difficult.

Ladies and gentlemen… “American Gods” season 1.

After he gets released from prison, Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle) meets and gets employed by a man who calls himself Wednesday (Ian McShane). And they soon find themselves on a strange road trip which introduces Shadow to a different and more supernatural side of the world. And fucking hell, this show is weird. Some shows are weird just for the sake of being weird, but I feel like “American Gods” has a reason for it’s weirdness. It’s also a show that isn’t clear about it’s motivations and goals at first, which might put some people off, but if you stick with it you’ll learn more and more about the plot, world, and myhtology of the show. And what we get is quite fascinating to follow. I wouldn’t call the plot here flawless, but it’s still pretty fucking good. Weird and patience-demanding, but definitely great.

The characters in this show are all unique, extremely interesting, and really entertaining. Shadow for the most part is just a good guy who has a troubled past, and when he goes on this trip with Wednesday he has a hard time understanding a lot of the shit going on, which makes him quite relatable. And Ricky Whittle is great in the role. Wednesday as a character is kind of a con-man who seems to have some ulterior motive as to why he’s taking Shadow on this journey. And Ian McShane is fucking fantastic in the role. Emily Browning plays Shadow’s wife Laura, and I’m not gonna spoil what her purpose in the show is, but I will say that Browning is great here. Pablo Schreiber plays Mad Sweeney, a literal Leprechaun, and while his accent can be a bit off and on, his overall performance is great. We get Yetide Badaki as Bilquis, a very interesting lady (not saying how), and she’s great in the role. We get Gillian Anderson in a couple episodes as… well, it’s hard to explain without spoiling anything, so I’m just gonna say that she kills it in this show. We even get Crispin Freeman in the show giving a performance that just violates my soul and gets under my skin… yeah, he’s fucking great in a creepy way. Though he appears a surprisingly small amount of times in the show. Still, he really left an impression on me. Then to get through a few more solid ones (because there’s no bad acting here): Bruce Langley, Peter Stormare, Omid Abtahi, Orlando Jones, Cloris Leachman. Yeah, there’s plenty of cool people in this show.

The score for the show was composed by Brian Reitzell and I think he did a terrific job. The tracks take influences from all over, both from various genres and cultures which makes it a joy to listen to. There are a licensed ones as well that are used quite well. Really, this show is filled with great music.

This show was created by Bryan Fuller & Michael Green and is based on a novel by acclaimed writer Neil Gaiman. And for those not wondering, no I have not read his novel… though I might have to at some point. But what Fuller & Green managed to create with this show is pretty damn interesting. The directing (from various people) is fantastic, featuring some of the most gorgeous visuals I’ve seen in a TV show. And it’s not just great shots of normal environments and such, oh no. We get some fucking trippy shots/environments too, and it all looks amazing and perfectly fits the weird story that’s on display here. I also want to make very clear that this show is not for kids AT ALL. There’s some incredibly brutal/gory violence here, which I think perfectly fits the stylized world of “American Gods”. There’s also plenty of cursing (all the curse words), and also really graphic nudity and sex. Tits, asses, dicks, vaginas… it’s all there. So if you don’t like really graphic shows, then maybe this isn’t your cup of tea. I also love the dark sense of humor that this show has. I laugh and it probably means that I’m a horrible person… oh well.

This show/season has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 94% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 77/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,4/10 and is ranked #228 on the “Top 250 TV” list.

“American Gods” isn’t for everyone. But I kind of loved it. It has great plot, great characters, fantastic performances, great music, and fantastic directing/cinematography. Time for my final score. *Amen*. My final score for “American Gods” season 1 is a 9,77/10. This means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “American Gods” season 1 is now completed.

So. Fucking. Weird.

Series Review: Outcast – Season 2 (2017)

About a year ago I reviewed the first season of this show, and I thought it was really great. And now that season 2 is wrapped up I still wonder how this aired with little to no fanfare. At least when season 1 was airing, there was some hype around it… but no it’s almost like the show doesn’t exist. Oh well, let’s see how this second season is.

Ladies and gents… “Outcast” season 2.

We once again follow Kyle Barnes (Patrick Fugit), the troubled young man with the ability to drive darkness out of a person, now having learned that his daughter (Madeleine McGraw) has inherited the same ability. And we follow them figuring this power out while also trying to stop a dark and probably evil event called The Merge. Throughout the season we get to learn more about the origins of Kyle and his abilities, while also giving us a bigger look into this world, including an in depth look into this cult that’s based in the forest. And while it’s interesting to see more of this world that’s been set up, I feel like the plot loses a bit of it’s focus. Season 1 had a very tight plot that had a consistent tension to it while still managing to be dramatic. Season 2, while containing an overall good plot filled with some good dramatic moments, doesn’t have that same focus. By showing the side stories of a lot of the supporting characters and by throwing in a whole bunch more lore it doesn’t feel as tight as season 1. So the plot here overall is good. Not great, but good.

The characters here are all pretty fleshed out and interesting. Patrick Fugit once again plays Kyle Barnes, the troubled young man also known as the Outcast (roll credits). After his “adventure” in season 1 he is a more determined and hardened man, not being as quiet and mopey as in season 1. And Patrick Fugit is great in the role. Philip Glenister once again plays reverend John Anderson, the priest who lost some of his faith after seeing all this dark and weird shit. And Glenister is relaly good in the role. Wrenn Schmidt once again plays Kyle’s adopted sister Megan, and after the horrible shit that happened to her in season 1, she is a bit more damaged than usual. It still haunts her in season 2 and it makes her quite an interesting character. And Schmidt is great in the role. Reg E. Cathey returned as Byron Giles, local police chief and friend of Kyle and Anderson. And Cahtey is great in the role. Brent Spiner once again plays Sidney, the msyterious man with mysterious (evil) intentions. And god damn, he is creepy… gets under my skin. So yeah, Spiner is great in the role. We also get to see more of Kate Lyn Sheil as Kyle’s wife, Allison, in this season, and she’s really good. We also get more of Charmin Lee who plays Rose, the wife of chief Giles, and she’s great in the role. We get introduced to Bob, a new ally and an old friend of Kyle’s dad. He’s played by M.C. Gainey and he’s great in the role. We also get Hoon Lee as a doctor who is important to the plot, but I’m not saying how because potential spoilers. So I’m just gonna say that he’s really good. Really, overall it’s a very well acted season of television.

The score for the show was once again composed by Atticus Ross, Leopold Ross, and Claudia Sarne. And once again it was great. It’s dark, eerie, suspenseful, and jsut overall helps create a very uneasy atmosphere for the show.

The show was, like I said in my review of season 1, created by Robert Kirkman, and it’s based on the comic books of the same name… which were also created by Kirkman (and Paul Azaceta). And the show was written and directed by a whole bunch of people (including Ti West, a decently well known guy). And in terms of overall craft this show is fantastic. The directing and cinematography is gorgeous, giving us plenty of “damn, that’s really good!” shots. And in terms of scariness this season… yeah, it’s not that scary. Season 1 was often bone chilling and actually managed to scare me a good amount. Season 2 on the other hand isn’t really that scary. That’s not to say that it’s not an eerie show, because it is. There’s a good amount of tension throughout the show which makes it a really interesting show. Also, there’s plenty of brutal gore and various other disgusting things on display here… and this is one of the few shows that has made me feel queasy because of it… so good job, “Outcast”.

It’s difficult to say how this season has been received because it barely even exists on review aggregator sites. Really, on Rotten Tomatoes there’s no trace of it. On Metacritic it exists but has no real score to it. And on imdb.com there’s no seasonal average, but the show in general has a score of 7,6/10.

“Outcast” season 2 is a little bit of a let down after the terrific season 1. That said, it’s still a really solid season of TV. It has a good plot, really good characters, great performances, great music, and great directing/cinematography. The problems with it comes from the plot feeling a bit unfocused, and the scares not really being there. Time for my final score. *Boo*. My final score for “Outcast” season 2 is an 8,88/10. So even though it is flawed, I’d still say that you should watch it!

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

I hope this gets renewed for a third season.

Series Review: The Expanse – Season 2 (2017)

As some of you might remember, I reviewed the first season of this show a couple of weeks back. You might then also remember that I kind of loved it. So, now that season 2 is watched, the question is: Is it any good? Let’s find out. Oh and by the way, there will be some spoilers for season 1 here. So if you haven’t seen that first season, maybe go catch up and come back. Or you just don’t care. Anyhow, let’s get on with the review.

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Expanse” season 2!

After they discovered the Protomolecule and succesfully escaped from Eros, the crew of the Rocinante (Steven Strait, Cas Anvar, Dominique Tipper, Wes Chatham) and detective Miller (Thomas Jane) are once again out in space. So now they have to find out who/what’s behind this infection and also if there’s a way to fully stop it. We also once again follow Chrisjen (Shohreh Agdashloo) as she navigates the tough world of politics, trying to keep the tense relationship between Earth and Mars from brewing into a full blown war. I’m not gonna dilly-dally too much… fuck me, the plot here is fantastic! The conspiracy/mystery behind the Protomolecule that Holden and gang have to solve is extremely fascinating and helps give a bit more depth to the universe. And the political side of the plot is extremely interesting, adding a surprising amount of tension to everything that happens throughout the 13 episodes. That’s right, this season is 13 episode long instead of 10. Increasing the amount of episodes like that can sometimes go poorly, but here they handle it spectacularly. It is overall a bigger season in every sense of the word, and while “bigger doesn’t mean better” can apply to a lot of situations, this isn’t one of them… the expansion of “The Expanse” (HA!) is very well handled.  The plot here is dramatic, exciting, suspenseful, intense, and just overall fantastic!

The characters in season 1 were already quite interesting, and here in season 2 they get even more development, and not just singularly, but the relationships are developed a bit more too. Steven Strait once again played Jim Holden and while he at times can seem a little dumb in his decisions, he’s still an incredibly interesting character. And Strait is great in the role. Dominique Tipper returned as Naomi Nagata, a very clever woman who can let her emotions get the best of her at times. And Tipper is great in the role. Cas Anvar returned as Alex Kamal (my favorite character in season 1), the Martian-born pilot of the Rocinante. Like in season 1, he is quite a funny character, but he’s also given a lot of good dramatic moments that really helps make the character even more compelling, and Anvar is great in the role. Wes Chatham returned as Amos Burton, the Roci’s resident knucklehead. But he’s not just a big, dumb piece of bicep, he is also a character that clearly cares about his friends. And after he experiences something in the season (no spoilers), he gets some dramatic weight to him. And Chatham is great in the role. Shohreh  Aghdashloo returned as Chrisjen Avasarala, the extremely interesting UN politician. She knows how to cleverly mainpulate people to get her will across, without seeming like a villain. And Aghdashloo is fantastic in the role. Thomas Jane returned as detective Miller, the stubborn man out to do his job. I don’t wanna say more about him because there’s some spoiler-y stuff. So I’ll just leave that by saying that Jane is really good in the role. Now let’s talk about the newcomer of the season. This season introduced us to Roberta “Bobbie” Draper, a Martian soldier who goes through some shit. She’s played by Frankie Adams and she’s great in the role. We also get some killer supoorting performances throughout from people like Jared Harris, Chad L. Coleman, François Chau, Hugh Dillon, Shawn Doyle, and various other actors.

The score, like in season 1, was composed by Clinton Shorter and it’s just as great as season 1. Dramatic, tense, epic, cool, and it just overall fits the show perfectly. Really, there’s not much else I can say here.

Like I said in my review of season 1, this show was created by Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby and written/directed by a whole bunch of people. Season 1 was very well directed, making use of the claustrophobic ships, the futuristic/shit towns, and the big, open space to create a tense atmosphere. And they nailed it once again, making perfect use of their sets/environments. And the shots look great, with some interesting cinematography. And yes, there are some shootouts here and they are very well handled. I also have to mention, in season 1 the effects were great… but here they really upped their game. They seem to have given the CGI some extra polish/work because holy shit, it looks even better than in season 1 (somehow). They even have space battles which are handled in a very realistic but still exciting way. This show really is pure eye candy.

This show/season has been quite well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 94% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 77/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,3/10.

“The Expanse” season 2 manages to be both bigger and better than the (excellent) first season. It has a fantastic plot, great characters, fantastic performances, great music, fantastic directing, and fantastic visual effects. Time for my final score. *Space*. My final score for “The Expanse” season 2 is a 9,97/10. This of course means that it gets the one and only “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “The Expanse” season 2 is now completed.

I’m still stunned that a show this good can come from the same channel as “Sharknado” and “Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus”.