The Good Lord Bird (Miniseries) | A History Lesson, An Interesting Tone, and Great Acting

This show was on my list, the members of the cast I knew put it higher on that list but I let the premiere pass me by. I then saw images of a young boy wearing a dress, and I wondered why that was, that’s how I got to watch this show. James McBride wrote The Good Lord Bird in 2013 and it was main star Ethan Hawke (Tesla, Predestination) and screenwriter Mark Richard, who created this historical drama. The pair produced it with Jason Blum‘s Blumhouse Television production company.
They’ve managed to assemble quite the cast to appear alongside Hawke’s John Brown, Joshua Caleb Johnson (Snowfall) as Henry “Onion” Shackleford, Beau Knapp (L.A.’s Finest, Seven Seconds, Measure of a Man) as Owen Brown, Hubert Point-du Jour (Blindspot) as Bob, Mo Brings Plenty (The Revenant, The Glorias) as Ottawa Jones, Jack Alcott (The Blacklist) as Jason B. Brown, Ellar Coltrane (The Circle, Boyhood) as Salmon Brown, and Nick Eversman (The Duff, Wild) as John Brown Junior.

Premise: Told from the point of view of Henry Shackleford, a fictional enslaved boy, who is part of John Brown’s motley crew of abolitionist soldiers during the time of Bleeding Kansas, eventually participating in the famous 1859 raid on the Army depot at Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. Brown’s raid was the instigating event that started the American Civil War.

Review: “All of this is true. Most of it happened.” quote before every episode kind of sets the tone for the whole series, that and the ‘beginning is the end’ first scene, we got at the start of the show.
The story is not one that I knew, John Brown was not and historical figure I was familiar with so this show is basically my introduction to the man and I have t say that I was both surprised and wary of him. The show is a weird but fascinating history lesson, the absurd comedy throughout the series is very enjoyable. It lightens the show without taking away the horrors of slavery and the importance of the antiracism movement of the time – that I still can’t believe excited. Not that I expected every American of the time to be horrible pieces of sh!t that only saw people of color as commodities, I just had a hard time imagining that people like John Brown existed in the extreme that he’s depicted here.

The esthetic of the show is also very interesting, the actors and places look dirty and grimy in locations rooted in slavery, given a subtle visual cue to the rot in these places. The era allows for a Western iconography that comes with amazing landscapes and beautiful cinematography. There are fiery impressive action sequences that manages to blend in perfectly with the comedy peppered in the show.

The comedy, the drama and a lot of the things that make this show work is the cast, whether guest-staring like David Morse (Blindspot, The Green Mile) and Crystal Lee Brown (Mindhunter, Hidden Figures), or recurring like Daveed Diggs (Snowpiercer, Hamilton), Wyatt Russell (Falcon, Overlord), or Maya Hawke (Stranger Things) the ensemble is amazing. They are hilarious and poignant, Hawke’s John Brown is a silly old man with a huge heart and a dash of crazy, Onion and Bob cracked me up the whole time. The level of talent is staggering, I see awards going to this show and more work coming for this cast whether established or not.

The Good Lord Bird is a fascinating show with an interesting tone and great acting. A roller coaster of emotions well worth the ride.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10.

If you’re interested in the book, it’d be a huge help if you get it from the link bellow:

Eye Candy| Review

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Based on R.L. Stine’s eponymous best-selling novel, Eye Candy stars Victoria Justice, Harvey Guillen, Casey Jon Deidrick, Kiersey Clemons, John Garet Stoker, Marcus Callender & Ryan Cooper.

Premise: Lindy is a 21-year-old hacker with a gift for seeing clues and connections in the digital world that others can’t. Persuaded by her roommate to try online dating, Lindy begins to suspect that one of her suitors is a deadly cyber stalker. When the local cyber-crimes unit uncovers a potential serial killer in Manhattan, all signs point to this mysterious stalker. Teaming up with the cyber unit and some hacker friends, Lindy leads the charge to solve these murders while unleashing her own style of “justice” on the streets of New York City.

Review: I first said it on my pilot review Eye Candy has great potential, the premise and prologue were really good but the show kind of sucked.  The pilot was one of the worst I’ve seen this year. The mediocre writing, and acting was painful to watch but I persevered because there was room for improvement. By episode 2 my hope stayed intact even though the show suffered the same problems. The amateur writing and the cheesy teenage aspect of 20 something characters -_-“, but the show got a little more interesting. That’s when the mystery really kicked in and they introduced a possible suspect – the one taking pictures in the precinct. It peaked my interest…let’s not exaggerate, it got me interested because I never suspected him. It never really changed my idea of who the killer was and turns out I was right. 

Regardless, Eye Candy slowly but surely improved, but just a little bit. They tried to get us wondering who the killer is and as far as I’m concerned, it didn’t work. They gave too many characters suspicious scenes or comments in the hopes of throw us off the trailer but it was so poorly done that it was a bit annoying. The show is kind of a guilty pleasure show. It’s kind of bad but has enough mystery and drama to keep you coming back. It’s a good pallet cleanser show before watching a really good show.

On a side note, the amateur writing gives me hope though, because if these writers can write for a TV Show so can I. Anyway if you’ve seen the show what did you think of the first and maybe the only season?

Eye Candy | Pilot review

It’s based on R.L. Stine’s best selling novel of the same name and stars Victoria justice as a New York woman suspects that one of her online dates is a serial killer.

When the show was announced I thought I’d check it out, so I watched the pilot with hope of it being the next best thing and my heart sunk. Eye Candy has great potential, the premise and mostly Lindy’s back-story in the prologue was really good but the show kind of sucks. 
I might be getting too old for this but the pilot was one of the worst I’ve seen this year. The mediocre acting alone was painful to watch, the main characters introduction was weak as was the story line. Or maybe it was based on the assumption that we’ve all read the books – I didn’t. They went “Game of Thrones” on us by killing a supposedly important character and it did not even worked because they never gave us time to care. 
However, there’s a silver lining, at the end of the pilot there was the “this season on Eye Candy trailer” that gave me a sliver of hope. 

So I’m gonna hang on and cross my fingers because I want this show to be a good one. There’s so much room for improvement, considering that Jason Blum with Blumhouse (The purge, Whiplash) is producing. 
So I’ll keep watching desperately hopping that the trailer at the end of the pilot wasn’t the best thing about the show.