Category Archives: TV

TV Review: The Man In The High Castle

Amazon's streaming video service was long regarded as an also-ran behind Netflix and even Hulu.  Their efforts to broaden appeal by producing orig­inal pilots (and taking some to series) was met mostly with apathy until last year. The success of Trans­parent changed things. It showed that Amazon could produce the same sort of quality mate­rial that Netflix and HBO do. So when I heard they were going to do a series based on Philip K. Dick's The Man In The High Castle, I had to check it out, even though I dislike their inter­face and don't have a device that will Stream Amazon Instant to tv. And having watched it, I'm telling you that you should too. Alter­nate History Back in 1962 when Philip K.

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TV Review: Agent Carter

Two episodes into Marvel's latest TV venture Agent Carter I feel like I have a good enough grasp on the series to pronounce it great. It's not impor­tant or worthy tv. It's not pushing the bound­aries or remaking tv drama in any way. But it is wonder­fully fun, and that's what I want from a tv series. It's basi­cally a glorious mixture of pulp, noir, comic books detec­tive fiction and James Bond influ­ences. The Femi­nist Agenda By setting Agent Carter in the post war period, the show gets to have its cake and eat it. On the one hand they get to show Peggy Carter as both an extremely capable agent frequently making her male colleagues look like fools (well there's the one compe­tent agent but he has lost a limb so he's sort of treated like another woman). On the other hand we have Carter going full femme fatale right in the first episode so they're more than happy to take advan­tage of the cliches when they have a chance.

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Doctor Who Review: 2014 Christmas Special — Last Christmas

The 2013 Doctor Who Christmas Special was flawed by the need to resolve so many plot elements and give Matt Smith a swan­song and to try and make it Christ­massy as well. That's prob­ably too many things for one special to achieve. This time out, it just had to be Christ­massy. That's actu­ally a Moffat thing. The earlier Christmas specials were only very loosely tied to Christmas, but Moffat likes to really hammer home the holiday vibe. I get it, but it's prob­ably unnec­es­sarily limiting. In this case however, putting Santa Claus into a Doctor Who episode is a stroke of genius. Wait, Santa?

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TV Review: Gotham S01E09 — Harvey Dent

It's been a while since I checked into Gotham with a review, but I have been watching it every week. The show is more compelling than I would have predicted from the first episode. Why review this partic­ular episode? Well it is called Harvey Dent. And that should catch the atten­tion of anyone with more than a passing famil­iarity with the Batman mythos. Gotham's biggest strength so far has been its cast of actors.  Whether it's Ben McKenzie as the earnest Jim Gordon, Robin Lord Taylor as a perfectly cast Penguin or Donal Logue as a lovably slovenly Harvey Bullock, this is a cast that makes the most of every­thing they're given. The plots them­selves are rela­tively pedes­trian really, but much like with Batman himself it is the cast of char­ac­ters that enlivens things.

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TV Review: The Flash S01E05 — Plastique

Although I'm watching it weekly it's been a while since I checked into The Flash with a review. So let's take a look at episode 5 Plas­tique. While its TV sibling Arrow has, largely, steered clear of super powered char­ac­ters it seems The Flash fully embraces them. Right from the pilot episode where it gave us a reimag­ined Weather Wizard, the show has not only openly embraced super powers, but also the, rather goofy, villains that are Flash's Rogues Gallery. Plas­tique, however, is not tradi­tion­ally a Flash villain but rather a spar­ring partner for Captain Atom. As, I'm sure it's no coin­ci­dence, is General Eiling. Monster Of The Week So far The Flash has largely stuck to a supervil­lain of the week format with only the CW soap-opera elements and the little tags at the end about Dr. Wells serving to move along any larger plot.

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Doctor Who Review: S08E12 — Death In Heaven

As I mentioned in my review of Dark Water, Steven Moffat doesn't have the greatest track record when it comes to concluding two parters. Indeed if there's one crit­i­cism you can always levy at him it's that he tries to cram too many ideas into his stories. I loved Dark Water which kept the action going from begin­ning to end and set up multiple cliffhangers for the season finale. But would Death In Heaven be able to deliver? Yes and no. There are some really strong elements to Death In Heaven with the inter­ac­tion between Missy and The Doctor being right there at the top of the list. But there's also some clever use of imagery and  a solid reso­lu­tion to the Danny/Clara rela­tion­ship as well. Looking purely at the plot outlines almost every­thing is right.

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Doctor Who Review: S08E11 — Dark Water

This is what happens when you have 10 episodes to build up an emotional connec­tion with a char­acter. An opening sequence that hits hard and then a story that just keeps kicking you.

For me, Steven Moffat's track record on season closing stories is a bit mixed. So this could still go off the rails. But, judging purely by Dark Water, the first part of this two part finale for Season 8, this could also be the strongest story in what I think has been a great season.

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