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Malaphax
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Not everything deserves it's own forum post, feel free to dump here with whatever random show/movie you watched recently 

The Crown season 4 - I binged the 4th season and felt a bit mixed about it.  I was disappointed they didn't do more with margaret thatcher because she served as PM for 11.5 years and was incredibly divisive (severe understatement).  There's a fairly big focus on princess diana (understandable), and the actress that plays her does a great job and really looks the part.  But they're still glossing over huge swaths of conflict surrounding her marriage to prince charles and at times seem to make the royals look much better than reality, which is funny because they still look like major assholes most of the time.  I think they're recasting the actors again for the next seasons, which will be interesting to see.  I'm also curious just how "modern" they'll get, I feel like a large portion of the appeal of the show has to do with it being a docudrama/period piece and showing modern times might take away from some of the uniqueness of the show. 
I saw a post on reddit that recommended a podcast called "You're Wrong About" which has 5 episodes regarding princess Diana that goes into much more detail.  It's been fairly well rounded and does mention that basically every person involved is shitty in their own way.  I'm not done with the podcast episodes (they're 1.5 hours each) but it's been eye opening to compared to the show and see what parts were glossed over and which were given justice. 

Blood of Zeus - I'm a few episodes into this, it's the same animation studio as castlevania and the style even looks very similar.  It's based on greek mythology but they upfront say that this is their alternate version (with demons).  The story is mostly garbage, not nearly as good as castlevania and the characters haven't done much to impress me.  There's mention of the olympian pantheon following strict rules regarding meddling with the mortals, and it brought back very strong memories of an animorphs spinoff I read as a teenager - the ellimist chronicles, which basically pits a good vs evil "game" on a universe scale but each "player" can only make minor adjustments like changing weather or increasing birth rates, the rest is outside of their control.  The greek gods sometimes follow this same style of rules, where direct intervention is not allowed but minor influence is considered within bounds, other times they straight up get involved - mostly zeus fucking around constantly. 
I'm always surprised just how easily media dismisses zeus fucking around.  In greek mythos he basically fucks anything and everything, but somehow other gods (including his wife) mostly let this slide by.  I guess it's a product of a different age. 

Archer season 11 - I've watched this show, especially from season 3 onwards and generally enjoyed it.  They did a few seasons of "what if" storylines that they played off as the main character in a coma/dream.  They've gone back to the main storyline and it didn't feel as fun or interesting. 

Fargo season 4 - Same writer/showrunner and he's been damn consistent.  This season is just as solid as before and still enjoyable.  I admit chris rock doesn't do a great job being convincing, but the other acting has been solid and fits in their slightly weird mold. 

Star Trek: The Undiscoverd Country - At kuhla's insistence, he recommended I watch this film.  I'd only ever seen bits and pieces of the original series and the associated movies, so much like when I watched TNG as an adult a while back it was interesting to watch this with new perspectives.  The main plot is pretty basic, but reasonably well done - there's absolutely some tropes and usual bullshit: kirk making out with a hot alien, bones trying his best to be a real doctor, a shittload of shakespeare and classic literary references - including by the klingons (what the fuck is that about).  There are also some elements of proper star trek: the klingons call out the federation for being human centric and using terms like human rights, xenophobia on both sides, and even thinly veiled critiques of the cold war and the military industrial complex.  Overall the film is decent but not great. 

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On 11/18/2020 at 9:34 PM, Malaphax said:

Star Trek: The Undiscoverd Country - At kuhla's insistence, he recommended I watch this film.  I'd only ever seen bits and pieces of the original series and the associated movies, so much like when I watched TNG as an adult a while back it was interesting to watch this with new perspectives.  The main plot is pretty basic, but reasonably well done - there's absolutely some tropes and usual bullshit: kirk making out with a hot alien, bones trying his best to be a real doctor, a shittload of shakespeare and classic literary references - including by the klingons (what the fuck is that about).  There are also some elements of proper star trek: the klingons call out the federation for being human centric and using terms like human rights, xenophobia on both sides, and even thinly veiled critiques of the cold war and the military industrial complex.  Overall the film is decent but not great. 

So I have a lot of to add to this. I first saw this movie  20+ years ago on VHS so I do have some nostalgia bias.

The Shakespeare stuff is definitely overdone but I liked it from the perspective that it gave the Klingon's some depth; showing they have a culture that at least is complex enough to enjoy theater. So many other times they are portrayed as just a bunch of bloodthirsty warriors with nothing else on their minds. The movie goes farther on this point talking about the different factions vying for control in the Klingon empire with some not even wanting to prolong conflict.

The xenophobia is the real star of the film. So often Starfleet is portrayed as this shining utopia of idealism but this movie presents that not everyone is like this and sometimes for very understandable reasons.

Still head and shoulders above any recent Star Trek content.

On 11/18/2020 at 9:34 PM, Malaphax said:

Fargo season 4 - Same writer/showrunner and he's been damn consistent.  This season is just as solid as before and still enjoyable.  I admit chris rock doesn't do a great job being convincing, but the other acting has been solid and fits in their slightly weird mold.

I feel like this season has been less consistent than the others. Less "fun". More serious. Chris Rock does feel authentic when he gets animated/angry/agitated (which has mostly only happened in the most recent episodes) but when he is just calm I feel like he is just too flat and as the biggest name in this season (I think) that is not great. Still a decent show but I'm not quite hooked on it like the previous seasons.

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55 minutes ago, kuhla said:

The Shakespeare stuff is definitely overdone but I liked it from the perspective that it gave the Klingon's some depth; showing they have a culture that at least is complex enough to enjoy theater. So many other times they are portrayed as just a bunch of bloodthirsty warriors with nothing else on their minds. The movie goes farther on this point talking about the different factions vying for control in the Klingon empire with some not even wanting to prolong conflict.

The xenophobia is the real star of the film. So often Starfleet is portrayed as this shining utopia of idealism but this movie presents that not everyone is like this and sometimes for very understandable reasons.

Still head and shoulders above any recent Star Trek content.

I'm sure we'll discuss more of this offline, but I think my issue is that the way they try and expand the Klingon empire's culture is incredibly - dated.  I think a more modern style of worldbuilding would have the Klingons talking about Klingon opera (mentioned later in TNG/DS9) or something unique to their arts and culture.  Klingon's being aware of major human culture makes some sense, but I feel like Sun Tzu's Art of War would fit better than quoting Shakepeare, or maybe set up more of a dichotomy with the diplomat being aware of Shakespeare but the general quoting Sun Tzu. 

The xenophobia is well done, and while it's not universal there's large swaths of Starfleet, Vulcans and Klingons that all have such massive distrust built up over time that they have a hard time empathizing (almost said humanizing, lol) with one another.  Where it falls a bit flat is Kirk having such a huge about face, and Spock almost giving up on diplomacy.  I get that they're trying to leave it on a high note, but I feel like Kirk should have moved towards a grudging respect for the Klingon's desire towards peace/armistice rather than showing him totally onboard. 
I'm glad this is before they had fleshed out section 31, because if this movie was done today they would try to shoehorn that in. 

Sidenote about Blood of Zeus, I was trying to place the voice for the major villain, and after a bit I realized it's done by the actor who played Adam Jensen in Deus Ex.

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Queen's Gambit - It's a romanticized fiction about a woman playing chess at the professional level in the mid-sixties.  It's well acted, and well written, the pace of the miniseries is quick enough that it doesn't overstay it's welcome.  It's also done wonders for people's interest in chess, similar to lord of the rings legolas and hunger games katniss everdeen did for archery when those films released.  They don't go particularly deep with the themes of mental health and addiction struggles, but they do play with the idea of madness and genius being two sides of the same coin.  There's also an entire subplot about the russians and the cold war, but it's framed much more in a personal rivalry than anything grandiose or overly patriotic.  The miniseries is definitely worth a watch. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Some podcasts I've been listening to:  Several of these are radio shows on KPCC/KCRW. 

  • The Daily - It's from the NY Times and acts as a ~30 minute article/story, sort of a mix between long form journalism and analysis of daily news.  Most of their analysis is good, they tend to go past the surface level headlines and show some additional depth. 
    Unfortunately a huge portion of the recent shows have been pandemic related or politics related and I've been trying to take a break from that.
  • You're Wrong About - They look at historical events and try to do a deeper analysis of what happened or debunk common misconceptions.  A fair bit of comedy and random asides.   
    Their episodes of Princess Diana give you a much deeper look into the details of how everything was super fucked up.  Fun details like Diana pushing her stepmother down the stairs, or Charles openly mocking her bulimia at important dinners being some of the highlights/lowlights. 
  • Left Right and Center - Political analysis from multiple perspectives.  They switch up their pundits after a few months and do a good job of trying to push past the more obvious talking points.
  • Marketplace - Business News and analysis.  I enjoy this show but it's very surface level. 
  • Make Me Smart - A spinoff show from marketplace, some episodes are more in-depth analysis of business/tech and others are taking questions from listeners and more daily news content. 

I normally scan the episode title and synopsis and figure out if I'm interested before I listen. 

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  • Golden Kamuy Season 2 - still continues to be solid.  It's a weird mix of nat geo style segments about ethnic minority culture and food, combined with a weird story about gold and prisoner tattoos.  Honestly this season was a bit short, but still worthwhile. 
  • Akudama Drive - Suicide squad, the anime.  It started off with some cool cyberpunk style visuals and decent animation but it went so far off the rails it was laughable.  The ending in particular was trite garbage. 
  • Wonder Woman 84 - Hey this came out, and boy is it bad.  The storyline is absolute crap, the villains are terrible, the CGI is really awful in a couple scenes and it runs long.  Honestly it's not even worth watching.  I was curious why WB decided to dump this on christmas day, and I can only assume it's because it tested terribly and they thought they could garner some good will by giving out some "free" family entertainment during the holidays.  I don't know why so many DC films have been terrible, but this is one of the worst.
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  • 3 weeks later...

Manhunt (2017) - The first season is a docudrama surrounding the unabomber and the FBI profiler that helped capture him.  It's well acted and produced, certainly easy to sit through, although I think it ran a little long. 
Each season is self contained.  There's a second season focused on the atlanta olympics bombing, I might try that as well.  

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  • 2 weeks later...

"‘Babylon 5 Remastered’ now available to buy, or stream on HBO Max"

article - https://www.engadget.com/babylon-5-remastered-hbo-max-digital-download-080058907.html

Is this it? Is this finally my opportunity/excuse to rewatch this series? The last time I saw this show was on personal VHS tapes which I used to auto-record the show since I was not home at the time it was airing.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • Babylon 5: this has become my ultra casual show.  It's peak 90's scifi, both the bad and the good.  I never watched it when it originally aired, so I'm going into this with zero nostalgia.  Even so it's certainly decent enough to watch. 
    I'm using this episode guide, because I don't have enough interest to watch all of it, I did something similar with Deep Space 9 a while back: https://io9.gizmodo.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-babylon-5-5876320
  • Judas and the Black Messiah: This is a docudrama about Fred Hampton, it was interesting enough to watch, certainly very well acted.  They clearly want to portray Fred Hampton and the panthers as the good guys, but they also don't shy away from instances of the panthers killing police (and also being killed/beaten/harassed).  Obviously the movie has additional impact due to the current political and social climate but the preachyness didn't seem overdone. 
  • Re: Zero - I still strongly recommend this show, they seem to find a fantastic middle ground of character drama and an interesting storyline as well as making sparse use of shockingly violent scenes. 
  • Mushoko Tensei: This is another isekai anime, but I've read that this was one of the first manga that inspired so many other spinoffs and various versions.  It's very well animated and the story feels like it moves very quick, keeping you engaged through the entire thing.  There's a few standard tropes but they're not grating.  It's also one of the few shows I've watched where the character's narration for inner dialogue works well and doesn't seem cheesy. 
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  • 1 month later...

Finished some anime. 

  • Mushoko Tensei: So this is absolutely a solid show.  It has some major anime tropes and the main character is mega-horny with some 'problematic' elements regarding the physical age of a character and the mental age of the character.  All that being said, the production values are almost off the charts, there are episodes and action sequences that look better than some anime movies with bigger budgets - I've seen some great action sequences and this is right up there with them.  The world and themes are very basic but everything seem ultra-polished and well put together.  It's not going to wow you with amazing story or anything unique about the premise, but it does everything exceptionally well and sucks you in as a result. 
    This video does a great job going over the show, he's one of my preferred anime review youtubers. 
  • Jujutsu Kaisen: I grabbed this because multiple people were referencing it as another top tier shounen show that they expected to end up becoming a major hit, like my hero academia or something similar.  I powered through this in a few days and basically skipped any dialogue that didn't catch my attention and focused mostly on the action elements.  The animation is solid and the characters are kinda cool.  The powers system is beyond silly and the anime sets up a traditional ranking system and then even comments in the show about how the ranking system doesn't make sense because everything is "off the scale."  It certainly doesn't take itself too seriously and that's kinda refreshing if you're willing to turn you brain off and skip all the boring bits.  I certainly wouldn't recommend it beyond finding some of the cool fight scenes on youtube but it wasn't terrible.  Bonus meme
  • Re Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu: This just finished up a third season.  This one felt a bit weak compared to some of the others.  It slowed down the pace quite a bit and tried to build up some of the larger conflicts as well as character backstories but it just felt like it dragged more than I would have liked.  I still thin the show is great, but wasn't super impressed by this season. 
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  • 1 month later...

Finished up The Wire.  It's certainly a show worthy of it's praise although I do think that season 5 is the weakest of the bunch.  The main premise of each season varies, with season 1 being focused on the drug trade and street level dealers, season 2 setting up the port unions and how the drugs enter Baltimore, season 3 exploring the political realm and how that affects the police and other institutions, season 4 the schools and systemic issues of poverty and racism, then finally season 5 journalism and how the media acts as amplification for good, bad ugly and straight up fictional narratives.  While they do build off each other substantially, season 5 does feel like the most obtuse, at times hinting at a larger scale of dysfunction but without some of the more grounded realism that the show handles so well.  Some of the characters are consistent throughout the series with some seemingly minor characters having significant scenes across multiple seasons. 
It's well worth the watch, but don't expect action - expect slow almost procedural work that you need to pay attention to in order to keep track of the various threads introduced. 

Vivy: Flourite Eye's Song - Yea the title is absolutely pure anime bullshit, and the premise is strange to say the least.  You have elements of idol singing and anime juxtaposed with hardcore sci-fi and artificial intelligence rights butting up against a horrific dystopian future reminiscent of terminator and the matrix.  The animation work is done by Studio Wit, who I have some healthy respect for - I'll definitely finish this partly because it's an anime original with some unique ideas and a sci-fi setting, but also because I'm curious where this all goes. 
Sidenote: One character talks extremely quickly, not quite tatami galaxy fast, but fast enough that you will need to speed read some subtitles to keep up with what they're saying. 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 5/3/2021 at 10:00 PM, Malaphax said:

Vivy: Flourite Eye's Song - Yea the title is absolutely pure anime bullshit, and the premise is strange to say the least.  You have elements of idol singing and anime juxtaposed with hardcore sci-fi and artificial intelligence rights butting up against a horrific dystopian future reminiscent of terminator and the matrix.  The animation work is done by Studio Wit, who I have some healthy respect for - I'll definitely finish this partly because it's an anime original with some unique ideas and a sci-fi setting, but also because I'm curious where this all goes. 
Sidenote: One character talks extremely quickly, not quite tatami galaxy fast, but fast enough that you will need to speed read some subtitles to keep up with what they're saying. 

So this is done by Studio Wit and they absolutely went ham on the last episode's action sequences.  Even the detail level in these fast paced scenes is super impressive. 

https://streamable.com/6kzd6h

https://streamable.com/fa17tl

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  • 1 month later...

Waco - This series reminded me of both seasons of Manhunt.  It's a docudrama about the Branch Davidians and what happened at Waco, although the first episode also covers Ruby Ridge.  It makes the ATF look like absolute and complete fuckheads, and the FBI don't look much better.  They definitely lean on the sympathy for the Branch Davidian cult, but they also don't shy away from the fact that this dude "married" girls that were 14 (one may have been 12) and then had children with them.  They don't shy away from the fact that David Koresh was a charismatic cult leader and when he was given the opportunity to broadcast his views, most people correctly viewed it as a rambling incoherent mess with tangential ties to the prophecies in the book of revelations. 
The series is well acted and there's quite a few actors I recognized, Michael Shannon being the biggest star.  I'd say it's worth a watch if you want to be reminded about what extreme lengths the ATF/FBI/Federal government is willing to go to. 
Wiki article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waco_siege

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Black Widow: The latest marvel entry.  I actually thought this was one of the better marvel movies.  The first 2/3s feels almost more James Bond / Mission Impossible than marvel and only during the final act when a ton stuff is blowing up and flying through the sky (as seen in every trailer) does it finally suffer the usual marvel bloat.  Another minor thing that I appreciated is that while the movie is clearly centered around an almost entirely female cast, it didn't go out of its way to remind you of that fact; it's arguably an even better female-centric film than wonder woman, which is quite impressive.  The plot is tenuous at best and the villain is practically a cardboard cutout (although well acted); but the standout is definitely Yelena aka Black Widow's sister.  I think the sarcastic comments and snarky attitude could potentially overstay their welcome, but they manage to not overuse it.  Spoiler Stuff:

Spoiler

The Taskmaster red herring is kinda shit.  It seems like they weren't willing to commit to the actual taskmaster character and so they adapted a throwaway villain with a "twist." 
My memory is sort of hazy but I believe there's a neat short run series with Taskmaster where they describe him as suffering from dementia as a side affect from the serum that gives him perfect mimicry.  That would be awesome to adapt and give the character a lack of agency that could see him fighting as a hired mercenary for both bad and good forces. 

No Sudden Move: A heist/thriller set in 1954 Detroit with a good cast.  The movie is solid, but there's one thing that sticks out like a sore thumb - the fish eye effect is insane in this movie.  It's clear the fish eye lens is a stylistic choice, but it almost gave me a headache watching it.  I'd give it a recommendation, especially if you've enjoyed other Steven Soderberg movies. 

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 7/13/2021 at 2:47 PM, Malaphax said:

Black Widow: The latest marvel entry.  I actually thought this was one of the better marvel movies.  The first 2/3s feels almost more James Bond / Mission Impossible than marvel and only during the final act when a ton stuff is blowing up and flying through the sky (as seen in every trailer) does it finally suffer the usual marvel bloat.  Another minor thing that I appreciated is that while the movie is clearly centered around an almost entirely female cast, it didn't go out of its way to remind you of that fact; it's arguably an even better female-centric film than wonder woman, which is quite impressive.  The plot is tenuous at best and the villain is practically a cardboard cutout (although well acted); but the standout is definitely Yelena aka Black Widow's sister.  I think the sarcastic comments and snarky attitude could potentially overstay their welcome, but they manage to not overuse it. 

Also watched this movie. Meh. The first half was better than the second half but it still just felt too silly for me.

The Tomorrow War - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt9777666/?ref\_=fn\_al\_tt\_1

It's bad. Not really cringy but it's just bad. I do not recommend. Did a lot of fast forwarding.

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  • 1 month later...

I kept hearing good and terrible things about the movie Malignant
It's nearly impossible to talk about the movie without spoiling it, but I will say, this isn't a horror movie.  If you don't care about spoilers and want a bit of a laugh, you can watch this review.  I clicked though the film because there's no way I was going to watch this seriously. 
If you'd like a very short taste of what you're getting into with this film here's a glimpse into the madness

Marvel's What If?
This show is a flaming pile of the most odorous shit I've seen Disney put out with a marvel badge on it.  Most of the stories are fucking awful, the last episode with Thor being a stereotypical partying frat boy was so bad I've actually lost the will to even click through the episodes.  The few "decent" episodes weren't worth watching because the ideas aren't even that cool or interesting.  There's some wild/wacky crap in marvel comics and they're not tapping any of that they're instead making braindead boring shit like "hurr durr marvel with zombies" or "lol captain america genderswap." 

The North Water
Do you want a dark and somber show about 1850's British whaling ships?  Well this is for you then.  Colin Farrell is the biggest name on this and does a great job being a menacing brute (he's also bulked up for this role or used some extensive prosthetics), it's almost worth watching for his performance alone.  The mini-series is short (5 episodes) and probably worth a watch if you're in the mood for something dark and slower paced. 

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 3/30/2021 at 7:51 PM, Malaphax said:

Finished some anime. 

  • Mushoko Tensei: So this is absolutely a solid show.  It has some major anime tropes and the main character is mega-horny with some 'problematic' elements regarding the physical age of a character and the mental age of the character.  All that being said, the production values are almost off the charts, there are episodes and action sequences that look better than some anime movies with bigger budgets - I've seen some great action sequences and this is right up there with them.  The world and themes are very basic but everything seem ultra-polished and well put together.  It's not going to wow you with amazing story or anything unique about the premise, but it does everything exceptionally well and sucks you in as a result. 
    This video does a great job going over the show, he's one of my preferred anime review youtubers. 

So season 2 is airing (or part 2 of season 1? idk).  The show is genuinely great, the animation is fantastic and the world building is superb.  The show also manages to balance comedic lighthearted elements with some fairly grim scenes.  I would give this an unabashed recommendation - except for the "mega-horny / problematic" elements of the show, which I know for a fact will bother some people. 

Succession season 3 is running, the show is great, just go watch it. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Media list, current, backlog and upcoming - why is this so fucking long...

  • Succession Season 3 - mostly caught up, makes for a nice Sunday watch
  • Foundation Season 1 - decent show, there's some good acting and some bad acting, plot and premise are kinda neat but execution has been mediocre.  I'll stick in there because it's big budget scifi but I'm seeing some cracks and have concerns about the writing. 
  • Mushoko Tensei Season1 (part 2?) - really good, I find myself disappointed every time an episode ends because I want more. 
  • Yellowstone Season 4 - This is in the backlog but I'd like to catch up, if it's anything like the previous seasons it's a solid drama that throws in a few action sequences which have come very close to jumping the shark.  Acting is solid, I have a healthy respect for the writer Taylor Sheridan (Siccario, Wind River, Hell or High Water). 
    • Speaking of which there's another series he's working on that star Jeremy Renner and airs next week.  I might throw that into the backlog pile as well. 
      Mayor of Kingstown
  • Narcos Mexico Season 3 - This just released, it goes on the backlog pile.  Trailer here. 
  • Cowboy Bebop (Live Action) - This comes out in a week, it will be added to the pile. 
  • Acane (League of Legends animated series) - This dropped 3 episodes and more will follow in the coming weeks.  This is absolutely on the backlog list.  Hell it has me flirting with the idea of playing league again (terrible idea).
  • Blade Runner Black Lotus - I might check a few episodes of this when it airs but only because I like blade runner, the animation style isn't something I like and I suspect it's going to be mediocre. 
  • Wheel of Time - This comes out shortly.  Major fantasy series (young adult?) I'll give this a shot but if it starts giving me Shadow and Bone vibes, I might just bail. 
    Sidenote: I was right about the series authors.  It was originally written by Robert Jordan and then Brandon Sanderson finished the last 3 books in the series.  I've read two of Sanderson's series and generally enjoy his work - I doubt that's going to translate to this tv show. 
  • Hawkeye - Comes out at the end of the month.  I normally loathe christmas themed content, but the trailer seemed decent.  I'll certainly give this a shot. 
  • Critical Role: Campaign 3 - I'm only a little bit behind.  I don't know that I'd recommend this to anyone because of how niche this is.  Unless watching voiceactors play dungeons and dragons sounds appealing, it's a tough sell.  The content is generally good, but there's also a fair bit of filler/improv that doesn't always make for great watching experience.  Imagine someone watching you do random sidequests in a videogame - probably wouldn't make for the best viewing experience. 
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  • 2 months later...
  • Yellowstone Season 4 - Honestly it's just a soap opera set in a modern western backdrop.  It's enjoyable if you're willing to turn your brain off.  I do think this season in particular was weaker not just in plot but also because they really leaned into the cowboy motif, with excessively long shots of rodeos, cowboy songs etc.  To make matters worse, the writer/creator is self inserted as a world class horse rider. 
  • Mayor of Kingsdown - It was a very weird mix of bleak prison industrial complex critique and criminal thriller.  It's very dark, and aside from the finale being extremely over the top, the series was mostly ok.  It was similar in tone to wind river or sicario, which made the show more enjoyable. 
  • Hawkeye - This was ok.  I normally loathe anything christmas themed but it managed to not be obnoxious and more importantly didn't overstay it's welcome.  One of the better marvel tv shows. 
  • Blade Runner Black Lotus - I barely made it through one episode before calling it quits.  The writing is bad and the animation is somehow worse.  Don't bother. 

Currently watching:

  • Peacemaker - It's good.  This is James Gunn and his style of humor, if you liked Guardians of the Galaxy and The Suicide Squad, you'll like this show.  It's very clearly not taking itself seriously and you shouldn't either.  The comedy is mostly landing for me and the action/plot are serviceable enough to enjoy the show. 
  • Kimetsu no Yaiba (Demon Slayer) - This is the second season, they re-aired the movie cut up for tv and went into a new arc.  The new arc is very solid, the fights are exceedingly well done and totally worth watching for.  The plot is still shounen trash, complete with rankings. 
  • Megalo Box - I saw this popping up on multiple recommendations and gave the first season a try on netflix a while back.  The plot is "underdog enters tournament to be the best." The action is mostly good, the story was very meh but at least it was on netflix and easy to watch.  I'll give the second season a shot, I've read it has a completely different tone, far more depressed/darker so I'll be interested in how that works. 
  • The Legend of Vox Machina - I kickstarted this because it's an animated version of Critical Role's campaign 1.  I have actually listened to this arc in podcast format, but they're changing it up a bit for streaming.  It's very very clearly adult oriented animation, overly sweary and sort of gross at times but I've been mostly ok with it.  I actually don't like campaign 1 (I really started with campaign 2) but I'm glad to see this passion project is being made.  Animation quality is ok, obviously the cast voices all their characters.  Plot for this arc is one of the best in the show (so I've read) so I'm interested how well it's adapted.  The first two episodes are a sort of intro and not directly related to the arc/plot of this season, they felt weak in comparison to episode 3. 
  • Ozark Season 4 - Only one episode in, but I'm interested in seeing where it goes.  I enjoy some of the grounded feeling this show has. 
  • The Great - Finished season 1, started on season 2.  It's more of a comedy along the lines of Death of Stalin, with some very loosely based on historical facts thrown in.  The show is also mega-horny so be aware of that. 
  • Book of Boba Fett - This is pretty bad.  Boba Fett as a character comes across as naive and not some badass bounty hunter.  Temura Morrison is too old to do the action scenes and they look really terrible.  Robert Rodriguez is directing/executive producing and that's not helping, we're definitely getting spy kids and not sin city.  Episode 5 gets a special mention because it's literally an episode of the Mandalorian and dramatically better than the other episodes. 
    Also every single person involved in Star Wars needs to just leave Tatooine alone, it's a boring desert planet and it's seen so much screen time across various media that I'm beyond sick of it.  Go be creatively bankrupt on a different goddamn planet, at least JJ Abrams called it Jakku...
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  • 4 weeks later...
  • Kimetsu no Yaiba - The second season was good, solid fights and very strong animation work.  The storyline is still trash, our valiant hero is on a quest to kill vampire michael jackson and his 12 top ranked minions.  It's super popular and I've heard it speeds up with another 2 major arcs available, so I'm hopeful it won't drag past another 2 or so seasons (with another movie maybe?).
  • Megalo Box season 2 was bad, the first season was solid with a bit more action focus, the second wasn't as good.  The depressing/dark tone was sort of there but didn't materialize enough and they really pushed some elements of the story that I didn't appreciate.
  • Ozark Season 4 (part 1) this was solid.  I still enjoy this show and it's very well written.  One of the better shows on netflix and absolutely worth a watch.  Not a fan of netflix's new tactic to split up seasons.  We're starting to get into anime territory of seasons having cours or parts, which I think defeats the purpose of netflix dropping entire season of episodes at once. 
  • The Great - Finished season 2.  It's still well done and well acted, the second season felt like it was just starting to drag a bit.  Overall still a strong show I would watch if you're in the mood of comedy leaning shows. 

Currently Watching:

  • Reacher - Tom Clancey's estate and the quest for more money.  It's actually a decent little show if you turn you brain off.  It's basically the modern version of an 80's action movie/show, with some braindead plot elements.  The dude they have playing reacher is big (but not 6'5", he's 6'2" and there are some giveaways) and they do a decent job of hiring short people to try and keep that illusion.  Certainly a more book accurate version than Tom Cruise lol.  Keep low expectations and just enjoy some very mid-tier television. 
  • Raised by Wolves Season 2 - This is back and still just as weird and confusing as the first season.  I can't pin down this show, it's oddly captivating (for now) but also incredibly odd.  I can't tell what the overall goal/plot is but maybe Ridley Scott has a trick up his sleeve, he's certainly done good work in the past.  It definitely is very unique.  If you're in the mood for sci-fi this is one of your few good options out there. 
  • Severance - Looks decidedly weird, I'll give it a shot. 
  • The Power of the Dog - It's on my list, got plenty of awards nominations. 
  • Killing Eve - I've seen the first 2 seasons, I should watch the third.  The fourth (and final?) is coming out shortly. 
  • Peaky Blinders Season 6 - This is dropping shortly (on bbc first) and I'm ready for some birmingham accents. 
  • Euphoria - I've seen so many recommendations for this, I'll eventually give it a shot.
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  • 2 months later...

Finished:

  • Peaky Blinders Season 6 - I feel like this show really outgrew what it was good at.  The stakes kept getting raised and the relationships didn't build enough to be interesting.  Worse yet, there was a severe overuse of slow motion walking towards the camera shots that quickly became a parody.  It's short enough to get through but even 6 episodes managed to overstay it's welcome.  I know they're finishing this series with a movie but I have very little interest at this point. 
  • Raised by Wolves Season 2 - This is also falling off for me.  This season introduced some new elements and then proceeded to completely flip the script, and then flip it again, and again.  The best analogy I have is the Star Wars sequels where 'subverting expectations' just leads everyone to believe you're a fucking idiot and don't know what's going on.  The show is well filmed and acted but the unexplained plot-lines and weird mystery elements have quickly run out my patience. 
  • Slow Horses - This show is certainly high quality but also classic british tv, complete with a short 6 episode season and "lower stakes."  It's a nice spy romp, with a band of misfits and screw-ups that get caught up in something above their pay-grade, along with a decent mix of high-tech and low-tech spy shenanigans.  It's well worth the watch, I believe they must have filmed two seasons back to back because they had a trailer for season 2 at the end of the first season. 

Watching:

  • Ozark Season 4 part 2 - Seems good so far, I'll reserve judgement until I finish this. 
  • Halo - This show is simultaneously interesting and complete trash.  The acting is surprisingly decent, but the plot is all over the place.  They also took major liberties with any sort of Halo lore, most of which I'm ok with, but I suspect all of these changes made people on the internet real mad.  The action sequences have been very underwhelming, and if this wasn't tied to a major franchise like Halo I suspect no one would be watching this.  I'll finish it but, I've been skipping through the boring bits.  The entire B plot is fucking trash. 
  • Tokyo Vice - This show is really good.  Strong recommendation. 
  • Spy x Family - This is the darling of this season's anime.  A master spy accidentally marries an assassin and adopts a psychic child while trying to go undercover for a mission.  Seems very middling so far, I'll see if it picks up. 

Watch List:

  • Under the Banner of Heaven - I want to check out this mini-series, true crime based on a series of murders in a heavily mormon area. 
  • Outer Range - Yellowstone + scifi - might be cool. 
  • That Dirty Black Bag - More western stuff, might be interesting if the action is decent. 
  • We Own This City - It's set in Baltimore and deals with police corruption... of course it's written by the same dude that created the wire.  Could be solid. 
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