Stranger Things: TV Review

Hello everyone,

Here is another TV show review, and this is one of the most talked shows of the summer. Stranger Things.

If I were to describe the show I would describe it E.T. meets X-Files with a little bit of Super 8.

The main story-line of the show is the disappearance of a young boy named Will Byers, and how his mother (Winona Ryder) and his friends try to find him and figure out how and why he disappeared. As his friends are looking for him they come across a young girl (Millie Bobby Brown) who has strange powers and who may have a clue of what happened to Will.

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This show is a basically an ode to 80s sci fi movies, and what I loved about the show is the acting of the boys. It was nice to kids act like normal kids, they rode bikes, played games and stayed out till the street lights came on. It really did feel like a throwback series.

Another stand out is Winona Ryder’s performance as Joyce Byers. She did a good job at playing a mother whose son has disappeared. Also David Harbour who plays the local sheriff on the case, also does a really good job.

If you are a fan of sci fi and 80s movies, this is a show I highly recommend. The only reason I am very vague in this review is because I don’t want to give anyway too many spoilers because the show is very good, and it should be watched.

I really hope season 2 dives deeper in the shows mythology, because I believe we are seeing a new version of the X-Files.

Season MVP: Winona Ryder and Millie Bobby Brown

Best Episodes: The Disapearance of Will Byers and The Body

Grade: A

Game of Thrones Season Six Review with Spoilers

Yeah, I meant to do an episode by episode review of the season but than I got really bust and didn’t have time to watch the episodes live, so this is me doing a season six review of Game of Thrones.

This season, in my opinion is seriously the best season the show has put out since season three. I really liked that this was the season in which stuff was getting done, story lines are moving forward. Also as a book reader I was excited for what the season had to offer because since the last two books Winds of Winter and Dreams of Spring hasn’t been released yet I really didn’t know what was going to happen.

Lets discuss some story lines. First Bran’s story line in sort of flashing back to when Ned Stark was fighting in the war. He was finding out some family secrets with the help of the Three-Eyed-Raven and also learning the significance of the White Walkers and where they came from.

One of the key parts is in the episode The Door in which he was flashing back to when Ned was a child and met Hodor who could actually speak, but while he was there he may have led to Hodor’s sanity and maybe Bran is manipulating time, especially when Hodor was told to “Hold The Door” which led to him saying Hodor, and also his death.

Another key story line was Arya in Bravoss. When working for the Faceless Men she is tasked to killing an actress, who basically stars in a Westeros version of the Ember Island Players from Avatar: The Last Air Bender. After she fails her tasks, she ditches the Faceless Men, but soon after she confronts Walder Frey in the best way possible; killing him after letting him know she killed his sons and baked them in a pie.

While Maisse Williams and the Arya story line was pretty brief within the episodes it did make an impact on her character and her development.

In the Iron Island, after the death of Balon Greyjoy, Euron takes control and willing to kill both  Yara and Theon to take his power. Yara and Theon leaves to make their way to Meeran in order to meet Dany, and start an alliance with her. While it was also a brief story line it did lead to Yara and Dany shippers.

After Daenerys, manages to leave the Dothraki army she finally returns to Meeran and trying to maintain control from the Slavers with the help of Tyrion, and in Battle of the Bastards she succeeds by using her dragons. Also with the help of Yara and Theon finally manages to maker way to Westeros while also naming Tyrion, Hand of the Queen.

At the wall, Jon Snow coming back from the dead is now dealing with the fact that Ramsey Bolton has Rickon and using him as a bargaining chip in order to get Sansa back. Snow is trying to form an alliance with other house in order to have an army to fight Ramsey Bolton to back back Winterfell. The Battle of The Bastards episode was such a great episode, with great visuals and Ramsey Bolton being the bastard that he kills Rickon by making him run towards Jon and killing him right when Jon gets to him.

When it felt that all hope was lost, Sansa with the help of Littlefinger brings to Knights of the Vale in order to fight the battle with Jon Snow defeating Ramsey in a hand-to-hand combat. It was so great seeing the the Stark banner back in Winterfell and seeing the Starks reclaim the North. Also the Ramsey Snow death scene was so good to watch especially seeing Sansa feed Ramsey to his dogs.

Finally in Kings Landing, Cersei is dealing with the power struggles in regards to her sin, King Tommen and the Grand Maester who basically took over Kings Landing and his ruling by proxy. Cersei is spending most of the season trying to gain power back at Kings Landings and it comes to a head at the finale when she is suppose to be on trial, she doesn’t show up and in her absence burns the trial room and all inside including the Grand Maester and Queen Margery. King Tommen then kills himself which leads to Cersei becoming Queen once again. But not before killing most of her enemies including the Nun who “shamed” her.

What a great season it was and it took so many twist and turns. It really pushed the stories forward and you could tell that the show is coming to close. Dany, and her crew is on their way to Westeros. Cersei is on her way to becoming the Mad Queen and the Starks took back the North. It was truly one of the best seasons the show has done.

Grade: A+

Season MVP: Kit Harrington and Lena Heady

Season Best Episodes: The Door, Battle of The Bastards and The Winds of Winter.

 

Game of Thrones Season 6 Episode 2: Home (with Spoilers)

And now for my episode 2 review of Game of Thrones, and this episode is where the story really picks up.

We see Bran Stark, after being absent for all of the previous season, getting visions of his fathers life when he was a child and seeing Hordor who was called Willis actually talk. It is also worth noting how much puberty Bran went through in the course of the season. He also gets word of an impending war that is fast approaching.

The next story line is seeing Ramsey Snow taking control and trying to one up Joffrey in the being an awful person. He first kills his father Roose Bolton and then kills his baby brother who was just born along with the mother in order to maintain control. All I could say is yeah, Ramsey Snow is truly worse than Joffrey. While Joffrey was more drunk with power, Ramsey Snow is someone who would kill someone just to watch that person die and be amused by it.

Another plot is one of the Iron Isles and the death of Balon Greyjoy at the hands of his brother. As someone who read the books, this was a long time coming since he was killed in third book. This will basically introduce a power struggle for control of the Iron Isles.

Arya Stark is still blind and getting her training from the nameless men. While it was brief it still, hopefully it will lead to something in the future.

On Meeran, Tyrion is still dealing with the dragons with the absence of Daenerys, and keeping the people in line and maintaining order.

There was also a few brief scenes with Sansa, Brienne and Theon, with Theon leaving while the rest go to Castle Black.

Now for the one that everyone wants to know. JON SNOW LIVES!!!!!! While it was a little cliched how it happened, and I knew his eyes would open at the last minute than cut to credits, but it was handled well and kept me on my toes.

Overall, I thought the episode was much better than the premiere and really set up what is to come of the season which also gets me excited.

Tell me what you thought of the episode and do you have any theories comment below!

 

 

Game of Thrones Season Six Premiere: The Red Women (w/Spoilers)

Game of Thrones is back for season six, and now comes the part where everybody does not know what’s going to happen next because George RR Martin hasn’t even finished the last two books and the show finally caught up with the books.This is actually pretty exciting for me because I don’t have friends pestering me over what happens next.

What I am going to do is review each episode of season six and discuss them with you. I will also be posting spoilers so if you haven’t seen the episode yet do not read, unless you want to be spoiled.

Now the season six premiere like most of the season premieres in Game of Thrones picks up right where the previous season left off and in that case, Jon Snow dead after being stabbed several times. I know there is many theories that predict Jon Snow isn’t really dead, he will be resurrected and etc. but as of the writing for this review he is pronounced dead. Now there maybe a civil war between the nights watch man who support Jon Snow and the other watchman who don’t. This could be something that plays well into the season.

Next is Theon/Reek and Sansa escaping from Winterfell with Ramsey Bolton’s men out to get them. Of course they are both saved by Brienne and Podrick, with Brienne swearing her allegiance to Sansa, and Sansa accepting.

Another cliffhanger from last season was the poising of Mycella who was engaged to marry the Prince of Dorne, and now that she is dead, Queen Cersei believes in the witches prophecy that her three children will die. Also on Dorne the women have taken over by killing both the prince and his son, while also maybe declaring war on the Lannisters.

After escaping on her Dragon, Daenerys is now a prisoner for the Dothraki, and hoping to use the fact that she was marrid to Khal Drogo before he died, it actually backfired and now has to live the rest of her time in a temple for the widows. While on Meeran, Tyrion and Varys are now dealing with the aftermath of Daenerys escape and trying to keep the city in order.

All in all, I think this was a good season premiere that attempted to tie up what happened at the end of the previous season and also set up what is to come for the upcoming season. I will not grade each episode until I give my season review.

Mortal Instruments: Shadowhunters Review with spoilers

Tuesday was the season finale of the Freeform series Shadowhunters based on the Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare. Click here for my first impressions of the series.

First let me describe my history of the series, to be completely honest I only read the first two books and than I stopped. I hopefully will pick up the series again. With that said I don’t really have any context of how the TV show holds up to the book series, so I am judging this as a TV show itself.

Also while I am at it let me give you my views of the 2013 movie. It was ok, nothing special.

At first I felt that the series started the same as the movie, going to the club and Clary sees the Shadowhunters hunting demons. I felt the show started off a bit slow, but in regards to the fact that it is a supernatural show the show has to introduce the characters, plot and the  world to an audience who mostly didn’t read the books, but I think the show did a good job.

Now for the character. I actually prefer show Clary and Jace to movie Clary and Jace. They actually have chemistry and Jace doesn’t sound too emo. I also felt that the romance was handled a little better than the show. I actually like more of the supporting cast which includes Alec, Isabelle and Simon also did a pretty good job.

My main problem with the series is a lot of the plot lines. A first they have to get the Mortal Cup, than have to rescue Simon from vampires, Simon actually turning into a vampire, the politics of the Institute, Alec’s coming out story, plot line with the wolves, finding Valentine, saving Clary’s mother and dealing with the fact the Clary and Jace turned out to be brother and sister. I felt that with so many plot lines it was hard to keep track of what was going on and this is from someone who watches and enjoys Game of Thrones. I think the season could have used a bit more a polish just make the series a little more cohesive.

I also really hated the Clary and Jace brother-sister twist and I know from friends who have read the book what really happened, but even than the plot-line was stupid to begin with. I also think that the Alec coming out story line could have been better handled without him trying to marry a girl and than go for Magnus at the wedding.

I know the show did take liberties in regards to the book series, but I am not judging the show on how good an adaptation just on the show itself. As show I thought it wasn’t that bad. Hopefully in future they could make the plots more cohesive.

Grade: B-

House of Cards Season 4 (with Spoilers)

I finally finished House of Cards season 4 and now let me review.

I think this season was a lot better than last season because it had a better narative flow without getting caught up in subplots. This season picks up where it left off with Claire Underwood (Robin Wright) leaving Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) in the middle of his primary campaign, and going to see her mother (played by Ellen Burnstyn). Claire also has her own political agenda and trying to run for a vacant seat in her hometown.

Frank is also dealing with trying to win the Democratic nomination to run for reelection, and dealing with Heather Dunbar (Elizabeth Marvel) as his opponent. I feel the story really picked up is the assassination attempt on Frank, done by Lucas Goodwin who was involved with Zoey Barnes who was killed back in season 2. Even though Frank was out of commission within those few episodes it gave an opportunity for other cast members to shine such as Donald Blythe, Frank’s Vice President who had to take power while Frank was in the hospital recovering. Also Doug Stamper his chief of staff, having to step up. I also think that Robin Wright was phenomenal in those episodes dealing with Frank’s assassination attempt both with performance and also behind the camera (she directed the 4th episode when the assassination toke place).

After the assassination I think the show didn’t slow down in terms of storytelling. With Frank securing the nomination, he had to deal with the Republican nominee William Conway (Joel Kinnamen), who is basically if JFK was on the Republican party. I think Joel Kinnamen was great in the few episodes he was on in the back half of the season. I like that at first he is the laid back candidate who is young and ambitious, but then at the end of the season he is almost as bad as Frank.

If I were to point out a negative about the season is how characters such as,  Heather Dunbar, Jackie Sharpe and Remy were sort of push off to the side and didn’t have a lot of story like they did in previous season, but it did have a reason, especially when an article comes out about Frank Underwood in the Washington Herald.

Another not really negative, but a point in the show when one must has to suspend disbelief is how Claire became Frank’s running mate in the election. I know its a fictional drama series but it did seem really strange that it happened.

All in all, I think this season was very good and much better than season 3. The performances was still amazing and the way the season ended makes me even excited for the next season.

Grade: A

Best Episodes: Chapter 43 and Chapter 52

Season MVP: Robin Wright and Kevin Spacey

Fargo: Season one

Fargo is a series created by Noah Hawley based on the 1996 movie, based on the same name. It stars Martin Freeman, Billy Bob Thronton, Allison Tolman and Colin Hanks. While the show is based around the 96 movie, it tells a completely different story set within that universe.

Let’s first look at the characters. The series starts with Lorne Malvo (Billy Bob Thronton) taking one of targets into town and has a chance encounter is Lester Nygaard (Martin Freeman). What makes the show great is that a simple act can cause a huge mess. Both characters meet in a hospital waiting room and have a same discussion of how Lester was still being bullied by Sam Hess and starts with a great qoute by Malvo “if that were me I would have killed him” and Lester said “If you are so good why not do it for me?”

After watching the entire season, this brief interaction with these two characters set off the entire events of the season.

The other two leading characters are the cops who are investigating the events; Molly Solverson (Allison Tolman) and Gus Grimly (Colin Hanks). Who both give outstanding performances. They both also meet because of the circumstances of the case and become a couple during their investigations. Both characters especially Molly has their fair share of development, with Molly being more like her father, who was a former policeman and Gus, who is trying to seek redemption after initially letting Malvo go.

For the plot, it revolves around a series of murders that take place in a small Minnesota town and how if effects everyone in the town, whether they are the killers, the investigators or just bystanders. That is all I will say about plot without giving anything away. This is a very great show, and it did help fill the void after Breaking Bad ended. It also doesn’t feel like a TV show but a 10 hour movie, and that is what I love about this show.

Grade: A+