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”. 

Series Review: Samurai Jack – Season 5 (2017)

I know, I know, it’s a bit weird that I’m giving you a review of the fifth season of a show without having given you reviews of the other seasons. Well, truth be told, I just didn’t feel like going back and reviewing each and every season of this show, mainly because I’m sure that all of them would look almost identical. But long story short, “Samurai Jack” season 1 – 4, they’re great and you should watch them. Sounds good? Awesome, let’s get into the review.

Ladies and gentlemen, he’s got to get back, back to the past… “Samurai Jack”!

I guess I should at least give some backstory for the overall series so anyone that hasn’t watched it has some idea what this is all about. Long ago in a distant land, a shapeshifting master of darkness named Aku unleashed an unspeakable evil, but then a Samurai warrior wielding a magic sword stepped forth to oppose him. However, before the final blow could be struck, Aku tore open a portal in time and flung the Samurai into the future, where Aku’s evil is law. So now the Samurai seeks to return to the past and undo the future that is Aku. Or to simplify, evil demon fucks shit up, Samurai fights demon, demon throws Samurai into the future, Samurai tries to find a way to go back in time. We good? Good. Now onto season 5.
Set 50 years after the original run, we follow the Samurai (Phil LaMarr) who wanders around helping various people/creatures out. However, it’s not as easy as it used to be. For one, he has lost his magic sword which is the only thing that could destroy Aku (Greg Baldwin). He also feels a lot of guilt because he hasn’t been able to travel back in time to save his family/land, which weighs heavy on his mind. And a new threat has arrived in the form of the seven daughters of Aku, a group of young women who have only goal in mind… KILL THE SAMURAI! there are a lot of moving parts here, which can turn out poorly. So how does this fifth and final season of “Samurai Jack” handle it? Pretty fucking well to be honest. The other seasons were very episodic, never really having any seasonal arc, instead just focusing on individual adventures in each episode. So this season having an overarching plot feels quite refreshing. The plot here brings us not only a fun sci-fi/fantasy adventure, but also an interesting and dramatic story about mortality and hope. There’s a good amount of really solid drama, and I’d say that it wraps the series up in a satisfactory way.

The characters here are fun, colorful, unique, and very interesting. Jack (the Samurai) has always been an interesting character, showing that he’s a good-hearted and heroic man who has shown great determination, not only in his quest to find a portal back home, but also in the situations when he’s helped characters out. And adding the guilt he feels in this season over his “failure” makes him even more compelling, and Phil LaMarr is great in the role. Aku is one of the most interesting villains from any show ever. Not only is her a big and scary master of darkness, but he’s also funny. They give the villain an actual personality that I find entertaining, compared to a lot of generically evil baddies out there. In the original run he was voiced by Mako (R.I.P.) but he unfortunately passed away about 10 years ago. So instead we have Greg Baldwin filling in for him, and I think he does a great job. Then we also get a lot of great supporting characters/performances in here from people like Tara Strong, John DiMaggio, Grey DeLisle, Tom Kenny, and even Keegan-Michael Key in one episode.

The score for the season was composed by Tyler Bates and it was pretty damn good. You can tell that he’s taken inspiration from a lot of different styles when creating the various pieces heard throughout the show. And the score is tense, exciting, dramatic, emotional, fun, and just overall fit the show very well.

The show was created by Genndy Tartakovsky and what he created here is fantastic. An animated series taking influences from all kinds of places. From the cinematic style seen in movies, to minimalist art pieces, this show takes a lot of elements from various things and creates a very unique style. And since this is an animated series, let’s talk about the animation. It is absolutely gorgeous. The lack of outlines on characters gives the show a very fluid look despite having a lot of sharp edges. But there are some truly stunning images in this season, my jaw was dropped several times throughout. One thing I also want to mention is that there’s blood in this season. In the first four, there was some violence, but no real blood (damn you, PG!). But here, since it aired on Adult Swim, there’s blood… a good amount of it. It worked in this series, I just thought it would be worth mentioning considering it’s… family-friendly origins. Also, this show is really funny, plenty of funny comedy here, and none of it feels out of place.

This show/season has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 100% positive rating (wow!). On Metacritic it has a score of 94/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,5/10 and is ranked #207 on the “Top 250 TV” list.

“Samurai Jack” season 5 is a great return for this beloved cartoon and it’s a perfect way to properly wrap up the show. It has a great plot, great characters, great performances, great music, and fantastic animation. Time for my final score. *Sheaths sword*. My final score for “Samurai Jack” season 5 is a 9,88/10. This of course means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Samurai Jack” season 5 is now completed.

As someone that grew up with the series, it makes me happy that it finally got a proper ending… though it’s also a little sad.

Series Review: The Expanse – Season 1 (2015 – 2016)

Space, the final frontier. Alright, that is enough “Star Trek” for now. Time to move on to a different science fiction thing.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is the first season of… “The Expanse”.

The Canterbury is a giant ship flying around in outer space collecting ice. During one of their missions they get a distress call and part of the crew gets sent out to investigate it. At the same in a different location we follow detective Joe Miller (Thomas Jane) as he is trying to find a missing woman who happens to be the daughter of a very important businessman. And soon we find out that these two seemingly unrelated stories might be connected somehow. So now we have a sci-fi story that actually turned out to be pretty fucking good. The story of the Canterbury crew makes for an exciting space-thriller, with Detective Miller’s story makes for an intriguing detective noir. But none of them feel out of place in any way, as they complement each other very well. The season also gives us a good look at the politics and such of this universe, which helps everything feel more deep and well realized. And the political stuff actually has a purpose in the story and it’s a welcome addition. The plot also takes a few interesting twists and turns throughout that I didn’t expect. So yeah, the plot here is great.

The characters in this movie are all interesting and get a fair amount of development over the ten episode season. Thomas Jane (sporting an interesting haircut) plays Joe Miller, a detective who’s determined to find this missing woman. And Thomas Jane is really good in the role, giving one of the best performances I’ve seen from him. Steven Strait plays Jim Holden, one of the people from the Canterbury investigating the distress call. He can often seem like he’s making dumb decisions, but the more time we spend with him over the season, the more we understand why he does that. And Strait is great in the role. Dominique Tipper plays Naomi Nagata, another one of the Canterbury crew members. She’s a tough and determined woman who wants to get the job done soon, and Tipper is great in the role. Cas Anvar plays Alex Kamal, the pilot who goes along to investigate the distress call, and he’s probably the closest thing we have to comic relief in the show. I mean, he does get some of the funnier lines in the show, but his humor never clashes with the overall serious tone of the season, and he does have serious moments in the season. And Anvar is great in the role. Wes Chatham plays Amos Burton, another member of the Canterbury crew. He’s basically the muscle of the group, I’d even say that he’s kind of a knucklehead. But he’s not a bad guy, he’s just impulsive and brash. And Chatham does a good job in the role. Shohreh Aghdashloo (aside from having one of the most unique voices ever) plays Chrisjen Avasarala, a politician on Earth, and she’s terrific in the role. Then we get a lot of solid supporting performances throughout the show from people like Shawn Doyle, Chad L. Coleman, Elias Toufexis, Jared Harris, and Jay Hernandez. So yeah, this is a very well acted show.

The score for the show was composed by Clinton Shorter and I think he did a great job. His score doesn’t really do anything original in terms of a sci-fi score, but the overall execution is great. The score is tense, exciting, inspiring, and just overall fit the show very well.

“The Expanse” was created by Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, and is based on the book series of the same named written by Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck under the shared pseudonym James S. A. Corey. I haven’t read any of the books, so I can’t speak on if this is a good adaptation or not, but I can at least speak on it as it’s own show. And what Fergus, Ostby, and any other writers/directors managed to create is pretty fantastic. It’s a very well directed show with a lot of suspense being created even when very little is happening. It has a cold and kind of blue look, really making it feel like a different world than our own. There are also a lot of cool sets in this show. Sure, we’ve seen very similar things before in other shows and movies and even video games, but that doesn’t discredit any of the sets on display here… because they’re great. And the CGI, especially on a TV budget, looks fantastic. Definitely some of the best effects I’ve ever seen in a TV show. And to answer your question, yes there is action in this show. It isn’t the main focus, but action does happen in this show. And when it does it is fun and exciting and badass.

This show/season has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 77% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 65/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,3/10.

“The Expanse” season 1 is pretty fucking great. It has a great plot, great characters, great performances, great music, great directing, and fantastic visual effects. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for season 1 of “The Expanse” is a 9,93/10. Which means that it of course gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

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

Bit of “Star Trek”, a splash of “Mass Effect”, bit of detective noir and voila… good show!

 

Series Review: Legion – Season 1 (2017)

The world of comic books is filled with all kinds of crazy characters. From grumpy billionaires dressing up like bats to angry Canadians with sharp knives in their hands, there are all kinds of weirdos in comics. Now, while it’s fun seeing some of the more “normal” and popular characters, I’d like to see some more obscure and odd characters. Now, I’m not talking about Arm-fall-off-boy, though that would be hilarious. But here we go, FOX taking a chance with one of their more… “crazy” characters.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Legion”!

David Haller (Dan Stevens) is a young man that’s been admitted to a mental hospital to get treated for schizophrenia. However he soon finds out that his crazy episodes might be because of more than simple schizophrenia, that he might have some kind of power. And that’s where I’m gonna leave it because this plot is fucking great! I mean, it’s really weird and most definitely a mindfuck… but it’s definitely great. I think that it could be a bit polarizing for some. The weirdness might seem like it has no purpose at times, but if you stick with the show then it will actually make sense. It’s weird, it’s trippy, but it’s also compelling, layered, and incredibly entertaining. So yeah, the plot here is great!

All of the characters here are troubled which makes them really interesting to watch. Dan Stevens plays David, our really troubled and fascinating main character. The character has a lot of layers to him and the fact that he might actually have serious mental problems just makes him so much more interesting. And Dan Stevens is fantastic in the role. Rachel Keller plays Syd Barrett, a woman that David falls for, and she’s great in the show. Her character has some problems of her own, and it makes her a really compelling character. Aubrey Plaza plays Lenny, a friend of David’s and she’s just a million flavors of fun. Her character is chaotic and unpredictable which makes the scenes with her so incredibly fun and investing. We also get some great performances in the show from people like Bill Irwin, Jeremie Harris, Amber Midthunder, Jean Smart, and Mackenzie Gray. Shit, every actor that pops up in this show is great… no weak performances here.

The score for the show was composed by Jeff Russo and it’s really great. Often it can be as weird as the plot, which just makes it a better fit for the show. But overall it is very well composed, containing all kinds of great stuff from big and brassy action tunes to weird electronic stuff to slower/more serious stuff. There are also a lot licensed tracks used htroughout to great effect from artists/bands like Nina Simone, T-Rex, Radiohead, and Sonny Simmons (and a whole bunch more).

The series was created by Noah Hawley (the man behind the awesomely awesome “Fargo” series). And while he didn’t write/direct every episode, it’s still clear that he had a hand in this. Speaking of directing, this is a very well directed show. Shto composition is really solid and scenes flow very well. What I also like about the show on the more technical side of everything is the use of different colors, lighting, and even different aspect ratios. It makes for a rather unique and interesting watch… and I love it. So yeah, there are loads of weird visuals in this show, but I’d argue that it all has a point. It’s style mixed with substance.

This show has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 90% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 82/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,8/10 and is ranked #91 on the “Top 250 TV” list.

“Legion” season 1 is an incredibly weird but also incredibly awesome show. It has a great plot, great characters, terrific performances, great music, and great directing/editing. Time for my final score. *Clears throat*. My final score for “Legion” season 1 is a 9,90/10. So yeah, it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

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

So it’s probably gonna be about a year until next season comes out… *sigh*. At least “Fargo” returns soon.

Series Review: Iron Fist – Season 1 (2017)

The Marvel/Netflix machine has returned to give us another show… so here we go!

Ladies and gentlemen… “Iron Fist”!

Danny Rand (Finn Jones) is a young man that has returned to New York after being gone for 15 years. But as Danny is trying to reconnect with his old friends he soon finds out that an ancient enemy is in New York. So he will have to use his martial arts skills and his mystical “Iron Fist” powers (which he gained during his 15-year long abscence) to try to stop his enemies. And as the plot unravels there are twists and turns throughout, some more obvious than others. And this plot is… fine. The biggest problem with the plot of “Iron Fist” is that it’s trying to be intriguing and deep, but it never reaches those heights. It doesn’t have the tense crime-drama of “Daredevil”, the intriguing detective story of “Jessica Jones”, or the socially relevant tales of “Luke Cage”. I wouldn’t really call the plot here bad, but it just never gripped or intrigued me like any of the previous three shows did. It has it’s moments, but overall it’s a pretty predictable plot.

The characters here are not very deep and not always the most interesting, but I at the same time didn’t hate them. Finn Jones is pretty good as Danny Rand. His performance can feel a little bland at times, but you can at least tell that he’s giving it his all (I blame any shortcomings on the writing). Jessica Henwick plays Colleen Wing, a young woman that Danny befriends in the show and she’s really good. She’s a believable badass. Tom Pelphrey plays Ward, an old friend of Danny’s who works at the company started by Danny and Ward’s parents, and while he is the typical asshole at first, he has a small arc in the show, and that was kind of nice. And Pelphrey gives a pretty good performance. Jessica Stroup plays Ward’s sister, Joy, and she’s good in her role. David Wenham (AKA disount Sean Bean) plays Harold, the father of Ward and Joy, and he does a pretty good job in the show. You can tell that he’s pretty shady and Wenham does a good job portraying that. We also get Rosario Dawson once again playing Claire Temple and she’s awesome as always… not much else I can say about her. Most actors in the cast do a good job.

The score for “Iron Fist” was composed by Trevor Morris and it was actually really solid. Sure, parts of it feature the typical electronic action beats one should expect from action movies/show scores (which I didn’t mind). But there us also a lot of synth used in the score which makes for a really awesome sound and actually elevates a good amount of scenes in the show.

This show was created by Scott Buck and directed by a whole bunch of people. And overall this is a fairly well directed show. Normal conversation scenes look fine, nothing special about them. Now, the fight scenes in this show are quite interesting. Because some of them are quite badass. You get a good look at the combatants and it looks good. Then there are a few scenes which are shot in that close up, quickly cut way which the “Bourne” sequels made so popular. However, the close up, quickly cut, shaky-cam scenes in this show are less “Bourne Ultimatum” and more “Alex Cross”… yeah, that’s not great. But there are still good fights in here too. I also want to mention that the “Iron Fist” effect (the glowy hand) looks pretty great… it’s a simple but cool visual effect.

This show has not been the most well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 18% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 37/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,6/10.

“Iron Fist” is a very hit-and-miss show, but overall it’s pretty good. It has an okay plot, okay characters, good performances, great music, and mostly good directing. However it is of course brought down by the plot being relatively weak, the characters not always being the most interesting, and a few of the fights being shaky shits. Time for my final score. *PUNCH!*. My final score for “Iron Fist” is a 7,88/10. So while it’s the weakest of the Marvel/Netflix shows, I’d still say that it’s worth a watch.

My review of “Iron Fist” is now completed.

Right… bring on “The Defenders”!

Series Review: Westworld – Season 1 (2016)

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It is no secret at this point that I love westerns, I’ve stated it a few too many times on this blog… and on twitter… and in real life. So I always get a bit excited when a new western gets announced. Movie, TV show… doesn’t matter, just give me a western.

Sirs and ma’ams, welcome to… “Westworld”.

Welcome to “Westworld” (roll credits), a giant theme park made to resemble the old west. This park is filled artificial beings called “hosts”, and if you’re in the park you can practically do whatever you want to them. Kill, beat up, fuck… any of it. And everything it seems to be going pretty well here. However, things soon seem to be going a little bit haywire. And that’s all I’m gonna say about that because there’s a lot of things going on here and I don’t really wana spoil any of it. But I will say that the plot is intriguing, dramatic, and overall really entertaining. And it gets even deeper and more mind-blowing as the season goes on. And I fucking loved it.

The characters in this show are all very interesting and get more and more layers as the season went on. And the actors they got for the show portrayed it all very well. To try to stay as spoiler-free as possible I’m just gonna list some of the main players in the show because they were all great and talking more in depth about them might acidentally spoil some stuff. But we did get some great acting from Evan Rachel Wood, James Marsden, Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright, Ed Harris, Anthony Hopkins, Jimmi Simpson, Ben Barnes, Luke Hemsworth, Rodrigo Santoro, and Angela Sarafyan… among a fuckload of other actors that did great work here!

The music in the show was composed by Ramin Djawadi and he gave us some pretty damn great tracks, The main theme is of course a standout for me, it is absolutely fantastic. And the rest of his original tunes were pretty damn great too. Exciting, hanting, and dramatic are just a few of the words I’d use to describe it. What I also kind of enjoyed is that there were some musical covers in the show that I didn’t expect. I’m not gonna say what they are, but you will most likely go “Hey, I know that song!” when you hear it. I know I did.

This show was brought to us by Jonathan Nolan & Lisa Joy (Nolan’s wife), and was co-produced by J.J. Abrams. And what they have given us here is pretty great. The writing is superb and the directing is just as great. The shots look fantastic and scenes flow very well. And whenever there’s a bit of action it is exciting and badass. I also wanna add that this is an HBO series, so expect lots of violence and nudity. If you have a problem with those things then you might not have a great time with this show. Though I’m sure most people that read my blog aren’t really wimps like that. Also, fun fact: This show is based on an old movie that was written and directed by Michael Crichton (the brain behind “Jurassic Park”).

This show has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 89% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 74/100.  And on imdb.com it has a score of 9,2/10 and is ranked #16 on the “Top 250 TV” list.

All I can say is that “Westworld” is a fucking amazing show. It has a great plot, great characters, great performances, great music, great writing, and great directing. Time for my final score. *Bang!* My final score for “Westworld” is a 9,90/10. Which means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
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My review of “Westworld” season 1 is now completed.

Wait… HOW LONG UNTIL SEASON 2!? 2018!?

 

 

Series Review: Harper’s Island (2009)

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So now we are taking the next step in the Month of Spooks. And by next step I of course mean “yeah, here’s a new post for you or whatever”. And before we get into it, I just wanna mention something. I remember that there was a lot of hype when this show came out/was airing, at least here in Sweden, so that’s kind of why I decided to do it here. Anyhow, backstory over… time to review.

Ladies and gentlemen, I welcome you to… “Harper’s Island”.

Harper’s Island, a small island located not too far from Seattle. The island was the location where a series of gruesome murders happened seven years prior to the start of the series. Henry (Christopher Gorham) and Trish (Katie Cassidy), two attractive, young people, in love and about now about to get married on this island, feeling that it’s safe. However, weird stuff starts happening on the island. People start disappearing and even dying. And I’m not gonna say more than that, because I want my reviews to be as spoiler-free as possible. But yeah, now we have a bit of an Agatha Christie style mystery that also takes influence from various horror flicks. The way I’d describe the story is as a combination of “And Then There Were None” and “Friday the 13th”. Which actually is a pretty cool idea for a show. However, the plot doesn’t feel as engaging as that… at least not at first. The first 4-5 episodes are a bit meh, not bad just… meh. Then from episode 6 and forward we get a pretty suspenseful and surprisingly engaging show. I mean, there are still some dumb moments every now and then throughout the good episodes, but they are at least much more interesting in terms of plot. We get some decent twists through those episodes as well which add to the mystery, which I actually enjoyed. And I actually didn’t see a good amount of them coming, which I applaud. Yeah, interesting idea that takes a while to become truly good/engaging.

The characters in the show are pretty much walking clichés. Or at least they are at first. But as the show goes on and more and more shit starts going down, they really begin developing as characters. I really started caring about the people I had no real interest in at the start. And the acting in the show was really good as well. I mean, with people like Christopher Gorham, Katie Cassidy, Elaine Cassidy (no relation to Katie), Harry Hamlin, and Jim Beaver, the acting would of course be really good. Not the best ever, but definitely good.

The music for the show was composed by David Lawrence, and while some bits take cues from typcial horror sounds, the overall score helps build tension in the show and actually sounds really good overall. There are also a decent amount of licensed tracks in the show as well, most of them being modern pop-rock stuff that I never cared much for. The tracks never detracted from the show, but I wasn’t a huge fan of them either. And I swear, during a scene in a bar very early on in the show I swear I could hear a cheap knock-off of AC/DC’s “Back in Black”. I promise, there were several cues in that background music that were so close to “Back in Black” without being “Back in Black”. I don’t know, it’s just weird.

Not gonna lie, this show has a surprising amount of graphic/brutal imagery for a show that ran on CBS. Seriously, you get to see some decently gnarly stuff in this show. Also, when the show finally decides to give us some legitimately tense sequences, it does. There are scenes from episodes 6 and forward (the good episodes) that really gives us some pretty tense moments. I was really feeling the suspense in those scenes and I was really surprised at that because the first few episodes are pretty soapy and mediocre, with the occasional bit of gnarly imagery. Speaking of imagery, one fun thing I noticed was that in an episode we get a good look at a bottle of scotch, labeled “Robert McLachlan”. If you¨pay attention when the credits roll early on in the episodes, you will see that Robert McLachlan is the show’s cinematographer… so that’s a pretty fun easter egg. There are also plenty of scenes that pay homage to classic horror movies, so keep an eye out for those. I’ll also warn you, the dialog in the show is pretty amateurish… so prepare to not be impressed by that.

This show has gotten some mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 65% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 63/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,5/10.

“Harper’s Island” is by no means a perfect show. But it is definitely very entertaining. IT has a pretty good plot, pretty good characters, really good acting, good music, good directing, and some really tense sequences. However it is dragged down a bit by those mediocre first few episodes and from some mediocre dialog. Time for my final score. BOO! My final score for “Harper’s Island” is an 8,45/10. So while quite a bit from perfect, it’s still worth watching.
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My review of “Harper’s Island” is now completed.

A neat little package if you want some chills a cold fall evening.