Sunday, August 13, 2017

Quick Television Review

Atlanta (10 episodes) | Status: Renewed
Rating: 4/5

Being a casual fan of Donald Glover's musical persona, Childish Gambino through my brother, I heard a lot of hype for the his newest television venture. Unfortunately, I have yet to delve into Community, but I plan on doing so at some point as I see gifs of it on my Tumblr feed and heard it's quite hilarious. When I saw commercials for Glover's newest show, I figured I'd check it out and see his acting side. Now, BlipMasta5 has already given his opinion on the show, but I figured that I'd do a quick little thing on my thoughts. Getting into the show took a bit of time for me. While I did enjoy each episode, they didn't make me go "wow, you really need check this out", but there were a couple or so episodes that really kept my attention such as "Nobody Beats the Biebs", "Value", and probably my favorite "B.A.N". The show definitely has a special kind of humor and satire of the world and the black experience through entertainment, so it might not be for everyone, but I definitely enjoyed it and I look forward to checking out the second season.

*Loosely Exactly Nicole (10 episodes) | Status: Cancelled
Rating: 3.5/5

Nicole Byer is a hilarious comedian who makes a regular appearance on MTV's Girl Code, which explores the unwritten rules of womanhood and how to navigate life with a comedic and somewhat educational flair. When I saw commercials for her own TV show, I was quite excited as she was one of my favorite ladies on the show. The show follows Nicole in her day to day life as she tries to make it big in Hollywood, while dealing with intimacy, rent, and close friendships. While I enjoyed Nicole's loud and proud personality and wacky shenanigans, I realized that the show probably wasn't strong enough to attract a large audience. At least, I didn't know anyone else who watched the show in my friend circle. Before putting this post together, I saw that the show was unfortunately (and unsurprisingly) cancelled after the first season ended. Despite the short journey of Nicole's show, I still think it was funny, entertaining, and unique in content as it starred a woman of color who's proud of who she was and aspired to bless the world with her charisma and style.

American Horror Story: Roanoke (10 episodes) | Status: Renewed
Rating: 2.5/5

It's tradition here on Muddy Cult to cover American Horror Story. Buonaventura has made her debut solo review covering this show already, so it didn't make sense to have two full reviews covering some of the same grievances we had with the sixth season. Although, I could easily rant about my issues with the season too, but I will try to condense it down to suit my quick review format and perhaps simplify my thoughts on certain points. Positives: I really enjoyed the new format of the first section of the series, despite giving away the fact that they all survived during this retelling of the story. But I still enjoyed the entertaining story and tension that the storytelling gave us through the "real life" characters and their reenactment counterparts. To some extent, I kinda enjoyed the "Big Brother" portion as well when the actors meet the "real" people and stay in the haunted house together. Their interactions and relationships with each other gave some entertaining dynamics to their horror experience. Lastly, some characters I enjoyed watching were Shelby and Lee with their amusing romantic relationship, the delightful, whimsical Cricket; and the over the top performance by Kathy Bates as Agnes. Negatives: Pretty much everything else. haha I guess I should be more specific. Once again, this season is overstuffed with too many ideas that sound good, but could be left for later. Of course, there were some ideas that should've been left behind as it brought down the quality of the show. There are way too many segment ideas: haunted house, "Big Brother", talk show, ghost hunters. Buonaventura pretty much mentioned this in her review. Some of the choices the characters make sometimes don't make sense like Shelby and Lee's rocky relationship, the lore behind Scathach (Gaga's character), and, also mentioned in Buonaventura's review, the original owner of the house's lack of help later on. There's a lot of open ended questions and convoluted explanations for the supernatural; it's just a mess in short. It's really unfortunate as this season seemed so promising in the beginning, but when you have too many ghost stories (just like AHS: Hotel) and really too many ideas, it gets confusing and less least in a positive perspective. We shall see what this year's season holds for us, aside from amusement over Murphy's usual mess.

Cosplay Melee (6 episodes) | Status: Unknown
Rating: 3.5/5

Here we have Syfy's second attempt at a cosplay based show. I was kinda surprised that they were going to try this venture again, but it looked very promising as the host was the lovely Yvette Nicole Brown. Seeing her time and time again of being a guest on AMC's Talking Dead, I knew our fandom would be celebrated and appreciated with her on board. This show was everything cosplayers wanted from Heroes of Cosplay; a cosplay competition with a Face Off inspired format. Each episode features four different contestants with their own special skill to compete for $10,000 and a different theme, similar to Face Off. The show is split into two rounds: first round the competitors create a prop for the original character, such as a sword, crossbow, or wand and the second round the remaining three competitors get to choose an item to enhance their overall costume design such as a vacuum and assorted LED lights. This show brought enough excitement, construction involvement, and competitiveness that I for sure wanted in Heroes of Cosplay. While there isn't any personal drama or feuding, the struggle is more within themselves and the construction process, which is something that would be hard to fake and I think that's one reason that Face Off works so well; it doesn't depend on the typical person-to-person drama. Of course the highlight of the show is watching each costume walk down the runway. One thing I wish the show did was not make the winners so obvious before the runway begins, but I appreciate the attention to detail in explaining how these cosplayers achieved their end goal, minus the make-up. I'm not sure what the future is for this show, but I look forward to seeing more, especially since it features a range of amateur and professional cosplayers with no Yaya Han in sight.

Strut (6 episodes) | Status: Unknown
Rating: 3.5/5

Since America's Next Top Model decided to hang up its towel...and surprisingly picking it up one more time later on, Whoopi Goldberg produced a show that delved into the lives of a group of transgender models. For the most part, the show revolved around Slay, a transgender modeling agency, with glimpses of the models dealing with personal situations such as along distance relationships, being accepted by their parent(s), and getting back into the dating scene. This reality show didn't just have some of the drama you would expect, but manages to balance trans issues and normal every day issues. In other words, showing audiences that trans people are just people. I really enjoyed watching these models and agents interact with each other on a professional and personal level. The drama wasn't too over the top, I was happy to see ANTM contestant Isis King, and seeing these people compete and converse with each other made it worth watching. I'm not sure if this show is getting another season or not, but I was sad that this show only had 6 episodes. The models really made the show interesting and it was great seeing that them being trans wasn't overly emphasized; in other words, that's all they are is their gender.

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