Friday, August 23, 2013

Quick Drama Reviews

Title: Tumbling ( タンブリング)
Starring: Yamamoto Yusuke, Seto Koji, Miura Shohei, Daito Shunsuke, AKIRA, Nishijima Takahiro, Tomiura Satoshi
Genre: School, Sports
Synopsis: Bad boy Azuma Wataru has failed to meet the credits needed to pass his classes. The girl-crazy Azuma decides to join the male rhythmic gymnastics club after seeing a beautiful transfer student among the girls team.
Language: Japanese
Status: 11 episodes, COMPLETED (2010)
Rating: 3/5

Despite over the top and silly moments, Tumbling focuses on overcoming differences and uniting to accomplish a goal. Can the bad boys stop fighting long enough to learn gymnastics? Will the previous members of the team be able to accept the other boys? There is no real romance in this series. You won't have couples to root for. It focuses more on how the boys work together. Yamada Yusuke tends to overact at times. This is even more unavoidable in each instance where he threw down his bag and gave a speech. This happened quite often. However, the gymnastics scenes make up for the silliness. If you like pretty boys in spandex prancing around, give this one a chance.

Title: Grey's Anatomy
Starring: Ellen Pompeo, Sandra Oh, Chandra Wilson, Patrick Dempsey, Sara Ramirez and more...
Genre: Hospital, Romance
Synopsis: A drama centered on the personal and professional lives of five surgical interns and their supervisors.
Language: English
Status: 9 seasons, 10th season begins airing in September 2013 (2005- ?)
Rating: 3.5/5

Romance, drama and tragedy are the usual setup for Grey's Anatomy. The series follows Meredith and her fellow interns as they work, live and play. As with most romantic hospital dramas, the series can fall into a repeatative pattern. It's the interactions between the interns, their superiors and sometimes patients that make the series watchable. There were some characters that I didn't like, but they eventually grew on me. Sometimes, Meredith's voice can be very annoying though. Check out the earlier seasons if you're looking for a guilty pleasure.

Title: Supernatural
Starring: Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Misha Collins and more...
Genre: Fantasy, Horror
Synopsis: Two brothers follow their father's footsteps as hunters fighting evil supernatural beings of many kinds including monsters, demons, and gods that roam the earth.
Language: English
Status: 8 seasons, 9th season begins October 2013 (2005 - ?)
Rating: 4/5

Over eight seasons, Dean and Sam Winchester have been hunting demons, killing know, the family business. After the death of their mother when they were children, their father, John Winchester, began researching and hunting the things that go bump in the night. He trains both sons in the art of tracking and killing those monsters only to abandon them when he suddenly disappears. It's up to Dean and Sam to try to find him. From episode one, I was pretty much hooked on the show. Sure, there's some campy, cheesy moments, but otherwise the mythology is fairly solid. Fans of horror, fantasy and general supernatural things will enjoy this series. 

Title: Farscape
Starring: Ben Browder, Claudia Black, Anthony Simcoe, Lani John Tupu and more...
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Science Fiction
Synopsis: Thrown into a distant part of the universe, an Earth astronaut finds himself part of a fugitive alien starship crew.
Language: English
Status: 4 seasons, 1 movie, COMPLETED (1999 - 2004)
Rating: 5/5

This series had everything a great science fiction series needed. You had action, adventure, drama and chaos. John Crichton is an astronaut who finds himself sucked through a wormhole during a routine experimental flight into space. Crichton's character is a fish out of water, thrown into an alien world where he doesn't know anything. There are lots of themes explored in this series. These include acceptance, tolerance, war, finding where one belongs, love, racism and many others. Throughout it all, we're treated to pop culture references as Crichton attempts to relate to the strange worlds around him. There's even an episode that looks and sounds very much like Looney Tunes! Another is very much the setting of a 'save the princess' video game. The highlight of it all is the convincing  use of traditional and prosthetic makeup.The creatures are amazingly crafted and puppeted by the Jim Henson's Creature Shop.

Title: The Walking Dead
Starring: Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun, Danai Gurira and more...
Genre: Drama, Horror, Thriller
Synopsis: Police officer Rick Grimes leads a group of survivors in a world overrun by zombies.
Language: English
Status: 3 seasons, 4th season beginning in October 2013 (2010 - ?)
Rating: 4/5

On the surface, The Walking Dead is a series about the zombie apocalypse. Most would write the series off there and change the channel. Those people are missing out on something great. This is a series, although fundamentally different from its origin comic, about survival, life and rebuilding. The characters are what make this series so compelling. Their reactions aren't over the top. They're real human responses to the horrors that surround them. Every day is a struggle and the dead aren't the most dangerous things in the world. One of the show's highlights is the skill of the actors. The makeup effects are top notch as well. I'm looking forward to the new season when it begins in October. 

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