Monday, November 21, 2016

Quick Television Review

Penny Dreadful Season 2 (10 episodes) | Status: Completed
Rating: 4/5

Originally, I was planning on giving this second season its own full length review like the first, but as time went on, my opinions started to fade little by little in my memory. I also kinda had a little less to say about this season. Much like the first season, I continued to be intrigued by our set of characters and was looking forward to certain characters improving since some last minute discoveries toward the end. With a new season comes new demons to conquer and face and there were plenty to keep me entertained. Vanessa taps into her past and the occult, which of course is the main focus of the season. This in turn ties into her relationship with Sir Malcolm, Ethan, and Dr. Frankenstein. Of course these characters have their own subplot of problems as well, along with Dorian Grey. While watching this series, I was hoping that the pacing would be a little better and it was, although there might've been some spots where it dragged. More importantly, it didn't feel like I was constantly waiting for something engaging or exciting to occur for several episodes. At the time I was watching this season, the third season was in the midst of airing and the unfortunate announcement of it concluding in the third season. I'm looking forward to more improvements with the story, pacing, and character development, but more importantly another engaging occult adventure with Vanessa and company.

Degrassi: Next Class Seasons 1-2 (20 episodes) | Status: Renewed
Rating: 4/5

Since the time of The N (now TeenNick/The Splat) and possibly before that name change, there was a little show called Degrassi: The Next Generation. This was a Canadian drama that dealt with typical teen situations that not only gave a social message, but entertained me (and my mom) with their colorful and diverse set of characters. When it was announced, I believe, last year that TeenNick would be airing its final season of the show, I felt completely lost. I practically grew up with this show and my mother loved watching it with me. Unfortunately, she hasn't seen some of the newer seasons after Emma's class graduated and some season of their college life was aired. Not too long after that, Netflix swoops in to save the day once again by picking up the show on its streaming service, while it continued to air in its native country of Canada. I actually kinda wanted to review the first season, right after watching it, but time went by and my memory of what I watched faded. Having a second season gives me a chance to redeem myself and comment on both seasons as a whole. Degrassi: Next Class picks up where we left off in the final season of Degrassi: The Next Generation ended, but also keeping with tradition of adding new characters and underclassmen. Per usual, the show upgrades its topics such as cyber bullying, infidelity, school violence, and feminism. While some of these approaches/plot points may teeter the lines of recycling, they still manage to be entertaining and easy to binge watch. I admit when both of these seasons appeared, I unintentionally watched every episode in one sitting. This new generation of students may not make a permanent spot in older fans' hearts like the original cast, but there are some I am very fond of and later on in the second season we do get some lovely cameos.

Mr. Robot Season 1 (10 episodes) | Status: Renewed
Rating: 4/5

I've heard nothing but good things about this show since it aired, but all this time, I had no idea what the show was even about. At first, I thought Rami Malek's character was a robot or something, but that isn't the case at all...kinda. His character is a bit robotic when it comes to emotions and social situations, but, in case you didn't know, it's about hacking. If you're familiar with Orphan Black's storytelling (or even Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex), it's definitely a show that's hard to multi-task to. There's so many poignant dialogue and subtle actions that you have to take in to understand the overall picture such as Elliot's backstory and relationship with the people he decides to let be close to him. I can't see a lot of people getting into this show because of that demand of attention the show needs and perhaps even the high tech lingo and dark situations, but for me, the show has gradually held me and kept me wondering what's going to happen next, what's real and what isn't, or how they're going to pull off their hacking missions. After the twists and turns of the first season, I'm looking forward into diving into season two and anticipating what season three has to offer in 2017.

Flesh and Bone (8 episodes) | Status: Completed
Rating: 3.5/5

It's probably obvious to say that my workplace gets a lot of DVDs in and half the time I pick things that sound interesting (good or bad). Occasionally, I'll check out TV shows that I've never heard of as well and this is one of them. This mini-series aired on Starz and looking at the cover of the DVD, I thought it was a horror type show. Upon reading the description on the back of the case, I quickly learned that it was an unveiling of the cruel world of ballet; think Black Swan, but darker and more real. I remember skimming the comments of IMDb, after completing the show, and I saw that some people couldn't connect with the main character Claire, which I suppose I can understand to some extent. She's very...quiet and uncertain, but I think her uncertainty and trying to find her inner confidence was something I could connect to in some ways. Compared to the people around her, she isn't as colorful or aggressive, but she balances out that in her own world. While everyone is fighting against the world, Claire is constantly fighting with herself and I wished this miniseries gave me more to fully explore that turmoil and struggle a little longer, especially when her brother enters the picture. This series does a good job of balancing the beauty and perfection of ballet, while blending the drama and personal battle behind the scenes. It's just a shame that it was simply a one off miniseries.

Helix Seasons 1-2 (26 episodes) | Status: Cancelled
Rating: 3/5

This was another series I was originally planning on doing a full review for, but this time I simply changed my mind on doing it because I realized that I don't have a lot to least, I don't think I do. Getting into the first season was a somewhat slow process, but it wasn't a difficult one. The concept was interesting, albeit something that has been done before, but added a human layer beyond the obvious conflict of infection spreading: mysterious parental history, jealous brothers, and the usual romantic relationship conflicts. Even though there were elements of the story that were a bit difficult to follow due to either unclear dialogue or me trying to multitask, I was very curious where the story was going to go in this isolated land of ice and snow. There was enough action and character development to keep me invested and wanting more. The second takes a different route of going forwards and backwards with time, but also answers the question of what happened to our main cast of characters. This time the story not only focuses on the "disease", but we have a cult to deal with as well. The story does tend to be a little cluttered, drag, or become convoluted in places, but overall the action and characters kept me least the ones that carried over. Unfortunately, this aired on Syfy which is apparently notorious for not keeping its original series on air for long. Even though I had a few problems with the second season, the way it ended made me sad that there wasn't going to be a continuation.

If there's something you want me to review (or want a more in depth review of the movies above or previous ones), check out this post on how you can submit requests.

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