TV Review: The Man Who Fell to Earth (Pilot) | Engaging but a little slow

Review:

For the past couple of months, I’ve been working toward something else. So books, Tv Shows and movie reviews have not been more of a priority to me. I read a little less, don’t have much time for series and films but I watched this pilot.

I wasn’t sure about reading the book that the show is based on but after watching this pilot I’m very intrigued. The intro to the series is starking, with Ejiofor’s voiceover paired with images of his character’s arrival on Earth was beautiful. It was also useful to see where he ends up since the show starts from where he started, because the episode does drag a little at time. Because it’s very anchored in the mundane – for a alien-on-earth TV series – so the anticipation I felt to see the extraordinary side of things made some of these mundane parts a bit…boring or maybe more acurately slow.

However the cast is excellent, they make give the slower moments some gravitas, they also make the plot so engaging. Overall this pilot grabbed so I’ll be watching.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

If you’re interested in the source material, help us by getting them from the links below:

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

TV Review: This Is Going To Hurt (Pilot) | Quite Raw and Unfiltered

Adam Kay (Creator)

CAST
Ben Whishaw
Ambika Mod
Michele Justin
Alex Jennings
Tom Durant Pritchard

Review:

It’s surprising to me but this show was not on my radar despite starring Ben Whishaw who happens to be my first male celebrity crush. I don’t know how the series passed me by but withing the first fifteen minutes of the show I knew I like it.

It’s quite raw and unfiltered, with good production values, and good look at the stress people working in that environnement are under. The show focuses on Adam, the young doctor, but everyone working in the hospital is on display. Also having an honest look at how is personal life is affected adds to the commentary being made.

The show is set in 2006 and I guessed it when I saw his Nokia N95. I think setting it that far back allows some distance and a reflection opportunity on how things might have changed, if they even did. Whishaw is well cast has an overworked doctor who seem to love his job while at time not liking it very much. The comedic tone worked for me and reflects what I of hospital workers. Though it was used very sparingly I liked the forth wall breaking and hope we see more of it.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

If you’re interested in the source material, help us by getting them from the links below:

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

TV Review: Hawkeye (Premiere) | The Hero’s Apprentice

Review: Before I got a chance to watch this show for myself I was told to lower my expectations, which made sense because by nature Hawkeye is just human, not enhanced. Unlike WandaVision, Loki, or even Falcon and The Winter Soldier – that has one non-enhanced character out of the two title characters – this TV show is more grounded and realistic because it deals – so far – with regular street level antagonists.

Although it starts in a very cinematic fashion with a clever link to The Avengers (2012) in the opening scene. The show gradually gets scale down to a point that out of all the MCU TV series – so far – Hawkeye feels like a step down in quality but it’s not. The quality is fine, even great considering what the show tackles when it comes to Clint or even Kate, but the spectacle is for sure not as grand – at least not in the first two episodes – as one might expect. It’s not reality bending, multiverse breaking, or world-wide terror attacks in Hawkeye but low level street fights.

The series show focuses more on Kate, her family life, her skills, and then on Clint’s grief, regrets, and the toll avenging has had on him. It’s actually where the strength of the series lies, when it’s heavily focused on Kate or Clint it’s amazing. The two characters are interesting and they have great chemistry but as soon as that focus retracts from them, most of the secondary characters seem plucked out of a CW and/or Marvel Netflix show. It’s not necessarily a bad thing but it adds to this feel of a downgrade I got at times. The story is average and lacks the complexity of previous MCU projects.

However this show has enough personality to make it fun and entertaining to watch.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

If you’re interested in the source material, help us by getting them from the links below:

TV Review: Dexter: New Blood (Pilot) | Welcome Back Dexter!

Clyde Phillips (Creator)

CAST
Michael C. Hall
Jack Alcott
Julia Jones
Jennifer Carpenter
Clancy Brown

Review: When this show was announced, I was excited about it, I watched the whole run when it aired. The show might have lost some steam as the seasons went on but I still have fond memories of it. And this latest season seams to have the same edge and quality that the first few seasons of Dexter did.

We pick up with Dexter in a rural town with some woods around, it reminds me of the last scene in the previous season, but if memory serve that was suppose to be in Canada wasn’t it? Anyway, now his named Jim Lindsay – which I guess is a play on the name of the author of the books, Jeff Lindsay – he lives a simple and regulated life. He has a routine and he’s sticking to it. He hasn’t killed for a decade but he seems to be prone to worse hallucinations than he previously did, seeing someone than his adoptive father – I’m pretty sure it’s common knowledge but just in case I won’t spoil. I was excited to see her, it’s a nice and clever way to keep her in the show and I can’t wait to see them argue as things starts to get dicey for Dex, I mean Jim.

There’s also someone who tracked him down, and I’m so curious to know how he managed that, maybe it’s trap or a cry for help? Whatever it is I want to see it. That particular storyline holds most of my interest but I also want to see a rusty Dexter get back into it, after holding out for ten years I think he might go on a killing spree.

Anyway this premiere is all that I wanted and more. I didn’t know how much I missed this show until the theme at the end gave me goose bumps.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

If you’re interested in the source material, help us by getting them from the partner links below:

TV Review: Loki (S1) | A Somewhat Complex Talkathon

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, out of all the Marvel Cinematic Universe Television Series that were announced Loki was the one that I was the most excited for. Not because I am a Loki or Tom Hiddleston mega stan – Hiddleston can get it I’ll admit that – but the look, the feel of the show and the time element sold me on it. The head writer Michael Waldron was not known to me but I’ve seen and enjoyed Ricky and Morty; same thing for the director Kate Herron (Daybreak, Sex Education). However, I had to admit that the rest of the cast was both known to me and surprised the heck out of me. I mean we have Owen Wilson (Marley & Me, Inherent Vice), Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Come Away, Concussion, Belle, Miss Sloane), Sophia Di Martino (Yesterday, Into the Badlands), Richard E. Grant (Star Wars IX, The Nutcracker, Logan, GoT), and Wunmi Mosaku (Lovecraft Country, The End of the F***ing World, Philomena).

Premise: In Avengers: Endgame – where an alternate version of Loki created a new timeline when he stole the Tesseract – the TVA (Time Variance Authority), a bureaucratic organization that exists outside of time and space who monitors the timeline. They give that alternate Loki a choice: face being erased from existence due to being a “time variant”, or help fix the timeline to stop a greater threat. Loki ends up trapped in his own crime thriller, traveling through time and altering human history.

Review: Not sure what I expected the series to be but this ain’t it, and I’m glad about it. The show is a bit more complex and smarter than I would have guessed. It’s designed for a specific type of fan, one that knows the MCU like the back of his hand, who loves to speculate about it, and would pick up on the many implications the series has.

By putting the 2014 Avengers’ Loki in this situations, being outside of the MCU we know and protecting it from anything that might disturb it. From a character’s perspective, it gets a bit fascinating because we know the growth Loki’s capable of, he can become a somewhat nice guy. However the one in the show is still angry and bitter, just like ours was back in 2014. So the process of getting him where we know he could be starts anew and that is, when I think about it, the redundant part of the show. As great as it was to see the old Loki back in the beginning of the season, it kind of gets old because regressions aren’t very fun to watch. I think it’s why Mobius is a lifeline at the start, and when he wasn’t there, he was missed.

Since this Loki has a different experience during the series, the road to get him where we know he can be wasn’t very exciting for me. For a good chunk of it the show seemed a bit slow, not much was happening, there was a lot of talking, but it was necessary. We needed the time to redefine the 2014 Loki. The quips, the memorable lines, and the visuals in the series were a good distraction but the show wasn’t as exciting as WandaVision or Falcon and The Winter Soldier got by the second half of the season.

Despite amazing action scenes, the story is cerebral throughout, like a chess game. The main vilain being a bit abstract, a vague entity that they’re up against and that we don’t really know, the action scenes have a different impact. To me Loki is best when he has a clear concrete foe, someone we know, which is why I think season two will be even better. We’ve met that vilain, a variant at least, and by the time next season rolls out we will have learn more about that enemy.

Pacing and story aside the cast does a great job, casting is key here. They are one of the reasons why I was so engaged. When the pace was a bit slow, the story not developing fast enough, they kept me entertained. The visuals were also amazing, hands down more impressive than all the shows so far. It helped getting immerse in the story but also with the scope. It very much felt like what was happening in this show will have repercussions not only on the main characters but on the cinematic universe at large.

So season 1 of Loki is visually striking, fun, very well acted and a great primer for the following MCU films and the upcoming season 2.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

If you’re interested in the source material, help us by getting them from the links below:

TV Review: Loki (Pilot) | A Recap and A Mystery

Michael Waldron (Head Writer) & Kate Herron (Director)

CAST
Tom Hiddleston
Owen Wilson
Gugu Mbatha-Raw
Wunmi Mosaku

Review: I suspected as much but Loki has a different vibe than the other shows and I love it. The set and costume designs, the cinematography, it all look singular yet it fits with the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Story wise most of the pilot was flashbacks, ones that served to brings us back to Loki’s past. It’s history to us but news to him since this Loki is an alternate version. The flashbacks also shine a light on his state of mind back in Avengers. We get an accelerated version of the crumbling of his armor, some of his façade is shed when his trajectory is revealed to him.

The rest of the episode pretty much sets up the mystery around the show. If you follow this kind of stuff it is not a surprise but it does set up Loki to face his own demons in a more hands on way than the flashbacks did. Like WandaVision was, Loki also seems to be some kind of a therapy session for the character, a form of active therapy to try and get him to know himself better.

The pilot does raise a few questions but there’s not much excitement so far. However, we get to revel in the beauty of the show, banter and the amazing acting performance.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

If you’re interested in the source material, help us by getting them from the links below:

TV Review: Invincible (S1) | The Incredible Adult Animated Series

I grew up reading and watching manga, and adult animated series like this one is the closest thing produced in the west that has the same level of complexity and excitement that animes have. Invincible is the name of the series, and the Image Comics series by Robert Kirkman it’s based on, the show has a long and incredible voice cast that includes Steven Yeun (Minari, The Walking Dead), Sandra Oh (Killing Eve) and J.K. Simmons (ZSJL, The Stand).

Join Amazon Prime – Watch Thousands of Movies & TV Shows Anytime – Start Free Trial Now

Premise: The series revolves around Mark Grayson, a normal teenager, except for the fact that his father, Nolan, is the most powerful superhero on the planet – Omini-Man. Shortly after his seventeenth birthday, Mark begins to develop powers of his own and enters into his father’s tutelage.

Review: I was glued to my TV for the three episodes premiere. I was amazed by the story, the action, and the depth the series showed in that debut. Despite all that I paused the show after episode five. Every week there was something to discuss, whether it was a great action sequence, an interesting new character, or the way a storyline was evolving. But I wanted to binge that show, and there also was weekly episodes of TFTWS, whole seasons of various series (S&B, The Irregulars) that I wanted to watch, and movies (Concrete Cowboy) that premiered at some points.

The premiere was proof that Invincible has so much story packed in each episode that I couldn’t watch it if I wasn’t 100% engaged in the series. It’s in fact one of the things I like the most about the show. Everything feels deliberate, there’s little to no fillers in the episodes – I don’t think there is any but someone somewhere might find something -, great interpersonal relationships, and a solid plot.
There’s the core story about Mark and his family, which is the hook of the show, one that pays off in the end a thousand times. But there are smaller storylines mixed in that are interesting, even if a bit generic for some of them, and could have to potential to develop into a bigger storyline in later seasons. As for the core one, there are subtle clues laid throughout the season that hint at the reason for the episode one ending. If you’re like me at least one of your theories will be right on the money but it doesn’t negate the enjoyment of seen this playing out.

I mentioned the cast earlier and it makes a huge difference when you have an all star cast voicing these characters. Whether you recognize their voices or not the difference is felt. It elevates the show, help distract from some of the weaker aspect of the show. There are few, some you might not notice – like the slight dip in quality in the animation at times, or one character that’s not so well written – given the mountain of great things about the series.

I think I should mention the violence. Again it’s adult animated, it really is. The show is gory at time, it’s not for the fainthearted, but to me it’s not made for shock value. The violence is one of the grounding aspects of the show. The interpersonal relationships are realistic and relatable, and here the violence is as well. When there’s battle near civilians, there are casualties; if a super powered individual punches another, it’s going to leave a mark. The show does not hold back.

Invincible might not look like anything special at first but it’s excellent. It plays with our expectations of a superheroes show, it’s adult, violent, a really refreshing superhero series.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

Invincible has been renewed for a 2nd and 3rd season,
if you’re interested in the comics that inspired the show, help us by getting them from the links below: