Tag: Television Reviews

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I was not raised with television. There was no television in my parents’ home until after I was off to college. So, my experience of television, outside of a babysitter’s home where I, as a 4-5 year old, found the original Star Trek a bit traumatic,* started with Hill Street Blues and Cheers in a […]

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“Hello, Is Charlie There?”, episode 7 of Amazon Prime’s not so new series Patriot, begins with a puppet show that artfully encapsulates one of the main undercurrents of the entire series: the unbearable demands parents can make on their children. This elegantly designed and beautifully realized 3 minute segment is, therefore, actually a microcosm of […]

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While you spend your July 4th weekend relaxing and spending time with your family, don’t miss the chance to check out the best new show on Television. If you’re an Amazon Prime subscriber, you can watch the brilliant new show All or Nothing: A Season with the Arizona Cardinals. Preview Open

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Small Screen Reviews: DC’s Legends of Tomorrow

 
Also-rans in a Lague of their Own

These guys are legen — wait for it … … — dary. Sorta.

If you’re as nerdy like me – and I know I am – you’ll have been watching DC’s offerings on the television. Though DC’s big screen offerings have been mixed, their small screen shows have remained strong. I’m including Constantine in this mix because I think it was a great show, but its premise was fresher back when it was released and, nowadays, it’s nothing new. So with Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, and yes I’m including Gotham, things have remained strong. Well, until now.

Small Screen Reviews: Lucifer

 

luciTake an unusual person with social traits and mannerisms which would normally make him/her someone you’d never want near a police investigation. Then, finagle it so that person is partnered-up with a detective and accompanies the latter on regular homicide investigations. What do get? About half the shows on television at the moment. Apparently, kooky lead and detective sidekick/love interest are all the rage these days. The latest, as you probably figured out from my title and illustration, is Fox’s Lucifer.

Yes, that Lucifer. Unlike most supernatural shows where the super tries to hide its true nature from the rest of the world, Lucifer — played by Tom Ellis — wants everyone he meets to know exactly who he is. In fact his one thorn in his side is the fact his detective partner just never seems to believe him entirely. The story is that Lucifer, who rebelled against God and was banished from Heaven is now … rebelling and hanging out in Los Angeles. Better to run a nightclub than serve in Heaven. In your face, Milton!

In the first episode, a young woman is killed outside Lucifer’s nightclub. As it’s someone whose career he helped along, he takes it personally and takes it upon himself to find the killer. Enter Detective Chloe Decker (Lauren German) who believes there’s more to the crime than is being let on. Of course, the two of them end up working together. Actually, it takes several episodes for the show to establish just why he is allowed to accompany Decker. He’s disruptive, he fouls up crime scenes and investigations, he doesn’t seem to help as much as get in the way, but it takes several episodes before Decker’s boss officially teams the two together. If Lucifer started to write mystery novels and looked more like Nathan Fillion, the circle would be complete.

Small Screen Reviews: Master of None

 

monSo maybe someone here can help me. Aziz Ansari is an up-and-coming comedian. Even if you don’t know his name, you might have seen him on Parks & Recreation as the young go-getter saddled with layabout ne’er-do-well best friend and girlfriend (of sorts). He’s had a stand-up performance on Netflix, and most recently has a Netflix series called “Master of None“.

For the life of me I just don’t find him funny.

Maybe I’m missing something, or he’s just not my type of humor. “Master of None” must be full of it because I find I watch this show waiting for the laugh. And occasionally it comes. Occasionally there’s that one line that makes me guffaw … and then we’re back to boring. In fact, I had hoped to write this review long ago, after I finished all 10 episodes of season one on Netflix. However I’ve found that I am stuck on episode five. Whenever I’m looking for something to watch, I circle around it like a fish examining bait, but decide it’s not for me and opt for something better.

Small Screen Reviews: Minority Report

 

minorityYou might recall a little Tom Cruise film from 2002 entitled Minority Report. The movie, based on a Philip K. Dick story, posited a world where three “precognitive” children — i.e., teenagers who lay in a bath of goo and have a limited ability to see into the future — are used to predict murders so that the police can stop them before they happened. This being a Philip K. Dick story, things of course go overboard and the police arrest and imprison people for future murders. The tale gets complicated when the protagonist is accused of future murder. Since this is a Cruise film, this involves serious chase scenes and action sequences before he’s finally caught. In the finale, we see how he was set up and it’s revealed that he’s been falsely accused. He’s released, the precogs are set free and they all live happily ever after on a secluded island without murder or chase sequences. But this being a Philip K. Dick story, the ending suggests that the finale isn’t real and that our protagonist is dreaming an all-too perfect end to his predicament while imprisoned in forced hibernation.

It was a solid movie, one of the earlier science fiction films that Cruise has made that I’ve enjoyed. But that’s another topic because, hey, Hollywood has decided to take that overly happy ending that could actually be a sucker punch and turn it into the basis for an uninspired television series of the same name. I’m being harsh: the show isn’t bad so much as uninspired. Thus, it tends to lessen the effect of the source material. As I’m fond of the source material, my judgment on the present tends to be a bit more pointed.

The series begins a several years after the events of the movie, which brings us to its first flaw. Remember that hint of ambiguity I wrote about earlier? Well, it’s gone out the window and the most surface telling of the movie is the show’s unambiguous truth. If you like safe, I guess this is alright, but then why turn to Philip K. Dick when you want safe storytelling?