Saturday, March 24, 2012

Hello blogger people!

Yes, as you may have noticed, I haven't posted a review this week. It's finals week coming up for me so I will be busy with that. Don't worry though, I do have several reviews lined up for the coming weeks. Hint: one of them is Terra Nova.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Better Off Ted: Again with the dying young thing.

*Note: I am not a professional TV critic nor do I claim I'm the most knowledgeable in the world. These reviews are strictly for entertainment and informative reasons only. All images/video belong to the network and or their respective copyright holders. Please don't sue me. Seriously.*

Okay, assuming a genie gave me three wishes, one of wishes would be used to bring back Firefly and the other would be used to bring back Better Off Ted. Why? Because it was one of the best satirical situation comedy shows I've ever seen.

Damn you too, ABC. Damn you.

The show takes place in a office building for the corporation called Veridian Dynamics.They make everything from military missile guidance systems to kids toys. To put it simply, it's a parody of the corporations in America. The higher ups obviously don't care about human safety, ethics, and such.

Seems so innocent doesn't it?

Theodore Margaret "Ted" Crisp (played by Jay Harrington) is the main character as well the narrator. He is the vice president of the R&D department at Veridian Dynamics and is respected and loved by the people who work under him. He does his best to balance what the company wants (usually not so good) and what the employees want. Really, he's a great character and funny too.

He's a cool guy. Really, he is. 

Veronica Palmer (played by Portia de Rossi) is Ted's boss and she is a ruthless one. She's very ambitious and is feared by many employees. Despite this demeanor, she does respect Ted and recognizes what he's trying to do when he tries to balance the good and the bad of a project. 

Also, she's good looking. 

Linda Katherine Zwordling (played by Andrea Anders) is a tester at Veridian Dynamics. She shows a romantic interest in Ted, but is always in a relationship with someone else. She also is oblivious to how corporations such as Veridian Dynamics work in terms of ethics and so on. She often tries to persuade Ted into thinking about the possible fallout of the project as well as other things. Overall, she's a likable character.

 Look at that naive smile.

Dr. Philip "Phil" Myman (played by Jonathan Slavin) is one of the laboratory scientists at Veridian. He's almost always with his coworker Lem. There isn't a whole lot to say about him other than he's fun to watch when he and Lem are talking and working. 

He's a scientist. That is all.

Dr. Lem Hewitt (played by Malcolm Barrett) is also a laboratory scientist at Veridian. As stated with Phil, they are practically jointed at the hip. Just watch the show and you'll see what I mean.

He's not really smug. Don't let the picture fool you. 

Rose Crisp (played by Isabella Acres) is Ted's daughter. She is a very smart kid who seems to understand things beyond what normal children do. Because of this, she sees things differently than the employees and often gives her own view on things which Ted realizes to be either better than what he was thinking or to simply remind him of what is right and wrong. 

Future Nobel Peace Price winner right here.

As I said previously, the show is satire and I'm sorry to say, you kind of need to be of average intelligence to understand some of the humor. While it is satirical, it also has some dark humor in it which, as a cynic, I find to be hilarious. Here's an example: 

What's great is that these fake commercials ran right before or after real commercials which is something I don't think I've ever seen in any other TV show. The show is witty, intelligent, and funny. It even had a Doctor Who reference and almost any American show with a Who reference in it, is a show of mine. It's a real shame it got canceled after two seasons due to poor ratings. I'm guessing a lot of the jokes just went right over people's head.

If you didn't understand the satire in this book, 
you probably won't get satire in this show.

Just go to Netflix right now and watch the show on instant streaming. As of writing this blog, both seasons are available to watch, so go and watch it. Now. 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

NBC's "Awake" review: The New Kid on the Block

*Note: I am not a professional TV critic nor do I claim I'm the most knowledgeable in the world. These reviews are strictly for entertainment and informative reasons only. All images/video belong to the network and or their respective copyright holders. Please don't sue me. Seriously. This review will be in a slightly different format than my others.*

A friend of mine turned me onto a new show on NBC called Awake. He didn't tell me anything about it other than I might like it. He was right. I do like it so far. There have only been two episodes as of the writing of this blog, I can see both the show's potential and it's possible downfall.

It's mixed bag really.

The basic pilot starts off with Detective Michael Britten (played by Jason Isaacs), his wife Hannah Britten (played by Laura Allen), and his son Rex Britten (played by Dylan Minnette) have gotten into a car accident. Since that accident, Michael Britten has been living in two "realities". To distinguish between the two, he has a green band on his wrist in the reality where his son survived the accident and his wife didn't and a red wrist band in the one where his wife survived, but his son didn't. 
It's not rocket surgery.

In these two realities, he has to solve different crimes that share something similar such as a number or a person's name. He also has two different partners working with him in each reality. In his green reality, he has Detective Isaiah "Bird" Freeman (played by Steve Harris) and in his red reality, he has Detective Efrem Vega (played by Wilmer Valderrama) who recently got a promotion to be a detective. Isiah "Bird" Freeman is also in the red reality, however he is not Michael's partner anymore. As for Efrem Vega in the green reality, he's still just a cop. Also in his green reality, Tara (played by Michaela McManus) has become Rex's tennis teacher and Michael clearly has an attraction to her.
Keep a chart if it helps or or try this. Yea, I know it's Wikipedia.

In both realities, he has different therapists as well. In his red reality, Dr. John Lee (played by BD Wong) is his therapist and in his green reality, it's Dr. Judith Evans (played by Cherry Jones). Both tell him that their respective "realities" are the real ones, but Michael obviously can't tell because each one is so real. 

If only it were that simple.

So, what does this all mean? It means that this show is actually really good. It's got fantastic writing and it's not some sort of Korean drama (long story) I was expecting. While the concept is fairly fresh for a TV show, it's probably been done before on the big screen. I did mention previously that there is possible downside to all of this. It's a fairly simple one. 

It's just as easy as that.

I can see the show becoming too confusing too quickly. I don't mean the whole different realities; I mean the over arching story could become too confusing. At the end of the most recent episode, it is revealed that there is more at play here than expected. That alone is worry enough to me think that this show could become like Lost; people will only understand it if they've been there since the beginning. 

The show's tittle really gives away how I felt. (Such an original joke.)

Other than that one potential problem, it's a show worth checking out especially if you like psychology stuff, like me. Just watch the show if you really want to and you'll see how everything meshes together. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Firefly review: Why must the good die young?

*Note: I am not a professional TV critic nor do I claim I'm the most knowledgeable in the world. These reviews are strictly for entertainment and informative reasons only. All images/video belong to the network and or their respective copyright holders. Please don't sue me. Seriously.*

If I had to choose just one show to bring back from the dead, it would have to be Firefly.

Damn you, Fox! Damn you all to hell!

This show was amazing. Sure I only caught it because of its cult following (it only lasted one season), and because it was Netflix, but still, I want it back. Can you really blame me for that? Sure you can, but it would stupid to. Anyhow, bottom line is that the show is something anyone who appreciates Sci-Fi will love. The show has a wild wild west feel to it mixed with traditional Chinese flare. Sounds odd at first, but it works. 

It's science. Trust me.

The show focuses on the crew of the spaceship named Serenity which is a firefly (see what the producers/writers of the show did there?) class ship. The crew does Robin Hood inspired/style stuff such as steal things for people who hire them to do so or to transport goods from one place to another. 

Ain't she just a beaut? Really, she is.

While doing these odd jobs, they are constantly on the run from the Alliance and the Reavers. the Alliance are basically the power/control hungry government faction in charge of the majority of the galaxy. They are some shady people which you will eventually learn by watching the show. 

They have a flag. 

The Reavers are essentially feral people of the galaxy and are completely insane. While you only ever see one Reaver (rather a person become one), it's enough to make you not want anyone to be their victim. I'm not going to go into detail about them. Again, just watch the show for yourself and you'll see what I mean. 

No Reavers here. Just kittens.

Malcolm Reynolds (played by Nathan Fillion) is the leader and captain of the crew aboard Serenity. Personality wise, he's decisive, smart, funny, and at times, intimidating. He also is almost never without his trusty signature revolver. Overall, he's a great character to watch and you'll definitely grow an attachment to him.

It's Nathan Fillion. That's all you need to know.

Zoe Alleyne Washburne (played by Gina Torres) is the second in command behind Malcolm Reynolds. She's a fighter and fairly well rounded. She's been a long time friend to Malcolm Reynolds and it shows. She trusts him and he trusts her. 

One word: Badass

Hoban "Wash" Washburne (played by Alan Tudyk) is Zoe's husband and the pilot of Serenity. He's a fairly funny character and really entertaining to watch him at work. He does show jealously of Zoe and Malcolm's friendship and it becomes an entertaining thing to see. 

Three words: Not exactly badass

Inara Serra (played by Morena Baccarin) is a companion or the future equivalent of a high class call girl. She's the most "dignified" when compared to the other characters. Despite her higher class status, she seems to enjoy being on the crew even though she rarely participates in what they do. Malcolm constantly calls her a whore and of course, she hates that. It's called sexual tension, kids.

Not bad. Not bad at all.

Jayne Cobb (played by Adam Baldwin) is the hired merc of the crew. He's a fairly greedy character and a bit hot headed. He's the type of person you can rely on in a gunfight or fights in general. He's not exactly likable a few of the episodes, but still, he's alright in my book. 

I would kill a man for a hat like that.

Kaywinnit Lee (Kaylee) Frye (played by Jewel Staite) is the ship's mechanic. She's a real sweet person and she really shows her love for the ship. She never had formal training in terms of fixing a ship, but she knows what she's doing. She's probably one of the most likable characters.


Dr. Simon Tam (played by Sean Maher) is the crews doctor/surgeon. It's very clear that he's really good at what he does and had sacrificed a prestigious career in medicine. I won't say why, but you'll see for yourself. He is a fairly passive guy and doesn't really participate in the fighting and rather just patches up the wounded after the fight. 

He's an alright guy by my standards.

River Tam (played by Summer Glau) is Simon's sister. She's a bit crazy, a freaking genius, and slightly psychotic, but the people to blame are not in the crew. While she is crazy, it's kind of crazy most of the crew can put up with. You'll see what I mean. 

She's also okay. Sort of.

Derrial Book (played by Ron Glass) is what's known in the Firefly universe as a Shepard or a modern day equivalent to a pastor or priest. Being a priest, he doesn't fight very much and is fairly quiet. Despite this, he can still hold is own in a hand to hand combat situation as well as know his way around guns. However, he doesn't kill, only injure. 

He's a cool guy. Also badass.

So, as I mentioned previously this show only lasted one season. Now, some of you may think, "well, if it only lasted one season, it must have been a terrible show". Well, you would be wrong. Basically, the only reason why it lasted one season (it wasn't even it's intended full season either) was because all of the episodes were aired out of order. This meant bad ratings which lead to to the cancellation.

It's like watching a bald eagle take it's first flight only to watch it get shot down moments later.

As it stands today and forever, it's a fantastic show and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys sci-fi. It's got great writing, acting, and scenery. There was also a comic and movie made afterwards explaining more of the universe and lore. The movie is titled Serenity and it too was also good. Seriously, just watch Firefly, take a short 24 hour break or so, and watch Serenity. You can't go wrong. 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Archer on FX review

*Note: I am not a professional TV critic nor do I claim I'm the most knowledgeable in the world. These reviews are strictly for entertainment and informative reasons only. All images/video belong to the network and their respective copyright holders. Please don't sue me. No kittens were harmed in the making of this blog. This is my first review so please don't rip me apart.*

    Recently, I noticed an animated show on Netflix instant that I've seen commercials for on TV. That show would be Archer on FX.

I had heard it was a good show so being the person I am, I watched it.
It's a damn good show. Having watched the first two seasons (They were the only seasons on Netflix), I know enough to write a review.
    The show takes place in the late Cold War (despite having modern slang in their vocabulary) and focuses on the fictional spy agency called ISIS.
The main character is Sterling Archer (voiced by H. Jon Benjamin) who is widely considered the best field agent ISIS has and perhaps the best in the world.

He also happens to be a chronic drinker, womanizer, and someone with some serious Oedipus Complex issues. Archer is actually a likable character in the same way Charlie Harper from Two and Half Men is. In fact, an actual TV critic said that Archer is 007 meets Charlie Harper...or something along those lines. I'm paraphrasing here okay?

Malory Archer (voiced by Jessica Walter. You may know her as Lucille from Arrested Development.) is Sterling's mom who also just happens to be the head of ISIS. She's a chronic drinker and selfish. Basically, she's like Sterling and Lucille from Arrested Development. Practically interchangeable.

Lana Kane (voiced by Aisha Tyler) is a field agent for ISIS and also happens to be Sterling's ex-girlfriend. She's the more down to earth character when compared others. When she and Sterling argue, it leads to hilarity and great entertainment. She's got big hands and it becomes a running joke throughout the series.

Cyril Figgis (voiced by Chris Parnell) is the comptroller for ISIS. He's good at his job, however, there are problems  (mostly personal) that rise up and becomes his Achilles heel. Despite these problems, he's also a fairly reasonable person. 

Cheryl Tunt (voiced by Judy Greer) is the secretary to Malory. She changes her name often between  Cheryl and Carol. She's definitely "out there" in terms of personality and doesn't seem to understand that fact. She's also got a thing for erotic asphyxiation. Just saying. 

You wouldn't even know it.

Pam Poovy (voiced by Amber Nash) is ISIS's HR director. Boy is she a different one. She's got some major issues, but they all lead to laughs for you. Just watch the show and you'll know what I mean.

          I swear she doesn't always have that dolphin puppet. I swear.

The writing for the show is fantastic. It's witty, smart, and fairly bunt. That bluntness probably comes from the fact the show is on later at night than most. It's also got some dark humor in there as well as having running jokes throughout the series such as the giant hands I mentioned with Lana. Really, there's something for everyone to watch. Expect for children. They definitely should not watch this show. 

All in all, it's damn good show and it's really underrated. Currently it's on it's third season with a fourth season in plan. I know this is a short review, but I think it's better for someone to watch the show and judge it for themselves than to read a review about it. If you haven't watched this show, I highly recommend that you do. It'll be worth your time.