Category Archives: Television

Black Mirror Review – Arkangel

BQB’s Black Mirror marathon continues.

It’s not easy being a parent. This is the understatement of the year.

You want to protect your child, extend their youthful innocence for as long as possible – shield them from everything and yet, the more you shelter them, the less resilient they become.

You don’t want them to scrape that knee yet they won’t learn to not run around like a goofball until they get that scraped knee. It is indeed quite a slippery slope. Maybe the best you can do is safeguard them yet as they grow up, hope your lessons take hold and they make wise decisions or at least learn from their mistakes.

Marie (Rosemarie DeWitt) wants to keep her daughter, Sara, safe. After an incident where she briefly loses sight of her kid at the park, Marie signs Sara up for Arkangel, an implant that reports everything and anything about what Sara is up to directly to Mom’s tablet.

There’s good news. Mom can monitor daughter’s health. Put her on supplements as needed. Mom can block out anything that is scary, i.e. that scary dog in the neighbor’s yard just becomes a blur.

However, the as the years past and the more protective Mom is, the less able to comprehend the dangers of the world Sarah becomes. Ultimately, you don’t want your kids to see violence and yet, until they see one kid shove another kid and cause a boo boo, they don’t learn to keep their hands to themselves.

All this control and lack of learning about the world seems like a powder keg a brewing and how it will explode…well, you’ll have to watch.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

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TV Review – Good Girls – Season 1 (2018)

Good girls gone so bad, it’s good.

BQB here with a review of NBC’s “Good Girls.”

If you read any of my drivel, 3.5 readers, then you know I despise network television.  Rarely, if ever, do I get drawn in by its formulaic hackery.

For the longest time, I felt that way about this show.  The ads made me roll my eyes.  A TV show about three women who knock over a grocery store doesn’t seem like the stuff of great television.  A bank, yes, but bank robbery has been done and maybe overdone on screens large and small, and seeing as how a supermarket stick-up, though awful, I’m sure, if you’ve ever survived one, isn’t exactly the caper of the century that could inspire multiple seasons.

So, I skipped it.  Then, the other day I saw it was on Netflix and gave it a try.  I was hooked and binged the whole thing in a matter of days.  Talk about an unexpected gem.

The plot?  Three suburban moms in Michigan, just outside of Detroit, are BFFs and coincidentally, all experience life ruining financial woes at the same exact time.  Retta, the comedienne of Parks and Recreation fame is Ruby, a waitress who can’t afford her ailing daughter’s medical bills.

Christina Hendricks, she of Joan on Mad Men fame, is Beth, a stay at home mom who has just learned that her dumb husband, Matthew Lillard of live-action Scooby Doo fame, has drained the family’s finances buying gifts for his hot, young secretary, putting the family home at risk of foreclosure.  Damn, that must have been some good pussy.  Even so, if you are married to Christina Hendricks and cheat, you are one greedy son of a bitch.

Rounding out the trio is Mae Whitman, she of a lot of stuff you may or may not have seen fame but regardless, her ship has finally come in fame, Beth’s younger sister, Annie, a single mom raising perpetually bullied daughter Sadie while requiring the expensive services of a lawyer to fight her ex-boyfriend in a custody battle.

Depressed over their financial woes, these women do what any suburban mom friends do.  They get together, talk out their troubles over wine and…oh yeah, they randomly decide to rob the grocery store that Annie slaves away at for minimum wage.

Amazingly, they get away with it, but that’s not the end.  Bizarrely, and perhaps the greatest of many plot holes in the show that you’ll have to ignore, the supermarket was holding onto cash belonging to a street gang, because, you know, that’s something that corporate chain stores do, apparently.

Sidenote: You’ll also have to ignore the fact that the only one who could have been in on helping the street gang hide their ill gotten loot is the store’s pervy, creepo manager, Boomer (David Hornsby), he of Rickety Cricket on Always Sunny fame.  At no time is it ever shown that he somehow helped the gang hide their loot.  He seems as surprised as anyone else so whoever the supermarket employee who was helping the gang stow their cash is either a mystery to be solved at a later date or more likely, a little tidbit that was left on the cutting room floor.  At any rate, Hornsby has long excelled at playing creepy weirdos, so kudos to him for landing a gig that lets me learn his name and not just “Hey, it’s Rickety Cricket!”

Long story short, the gang comes over the trio.  They will have to set aside their motherly schedules of PTA meetings and playdates to commit more crimes just to cover up their initial crime and to appease gang leader Rio (Manny Montana), who, ironically, gets the least amount of screen time, is the least developed character and yet, is one of the more interesting characters in the series.

Eventually, the bad mommas realize they are good at committing crimes and once they are on Rio’s good side, they become his witting accomplices, raking in the cold, hard cash they need to solve their problems.

In a twist that seems too good for network TV, Ruby’s husband, Stan, (Reno Wilson), is a cop who keeps coming home with tales of the scary street gang that is raking in the dough as of late.  One shudders to think that he and his wife might eventually find themselves at odds if Stan ever puts two and two together.

It’s fun.  It’s silly.  It strikes me as a sanitized for TV version of The Sopranos.  There are bad paths the show could go down but then it couldn’t be watched by the non-cable masses.

It seems obvious that the show runners steer clear of getting the ladies involved in drug running.  Instead, they get involved in stuff like counterfitting, money laundering, and botox thievery – all bad but nothing that will immediately lead to someone dying of a heroin overdose in a back alley…then again does it?  You get the impression that Rio and friends aren’t exactly selling cookies, so they must be running large quantities of something highly illegal that will get people killed but ultimately, a trio of suburban moms pushing horse on a street corner is not the stuff of wacky comedy gold, so that is avoided, obviously.

STATUS: Surprisingly shelf-worthy.  Come for the humor.  Stay for Hendricks’ copious sweater stuffers…which sadly, are never set free for the world to enjoy.  Maybe time to get this show transferred to HBO.

Bonus points for Netflix.  Without them, I likely would have never given this show a chance.  They do breathe new life into a lot of shows.

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Auntie Fucking 101

When Jon Snow bangs his Auntie, he gets…


Meanwhile at BQB HQ…(don’t even think about it, Aunt Gertie.)

aunt gertie

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Game of Thrones Recap – Episode 7, Season 7 – The Dragon and the Wolf

I’m so sad, 3.5 readers.

One of my favorite shows will soon come to an end…next summer…because they’re making us all wait.

I have to say I have been long waiting for the big, final battle over King’s Landing between the Lannisters and the Khaleesi.  I always assumed that would come first and then the winner would face the White Walkers.

Not so fast as there was a truce.  The Dragon Queen and the Bitchy Queen will hold onto their menstruations for now in order to face the greater white walker threat.

Not exactly the outcome I was hoping for, but perhaps it will pay off in the next season.

I feel a little cheated that these seasons are shorter, but I’ll wait and see.  Perhaps the showrunners know what they are doing.

For a moment, it was looking like there would be a sad showdown between Sansa and Arya, only to see them turn on Littlefinger.  Unlike the Internet, I was sad to see Littlefinger go.  All of the other characters were born into their wealth and prestige.  Littlefinger actually had to work for it.  Sure, he was a douche, but when you only have yourself to rely on, you have to be that much douchier.

During the truce scene, I kept waiting for Cersei to spring a trap.  Maybe all her guests would be killed ala the Red Wedding but nope, no cigar.

The big secret of the show is revealed.  Jon Snow is not a bastard.  He is the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyana Stark.  That means as the oldest male Targaryen he is the rightful ruler of Westeros and oh yeah, since he didn’t know and boned the Khaleesi, he is now an Auntie fucker.

Oh well.  The Targaryens keep it in the family.

Wasn’t it sad to see the Wall go?  It’s been a menacing presence for years only for a damn fire breathing zombie dragon to make short work of it.

What’s next, 3.5 readers?



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How Game of Thrones is Like Life

What a long, strange trip it’s been, 3.5 readers.

I was in my early 30s when this show began.  I didn’t feel happy about my life at the time but looking back on it, I realize I should have.  I guess that’s the thing about getting older – we only realize how good we used to have it when time goes by and things get worse and believe me, they can always get worse.

Still, there was a difference in my early 30s.  I was unhappy that I’d gotten older, yet there seemed like there was enough time left to pull a happy life off – find a good job, lose weight conquer some of my health issues, meet a girl and start a family.


In the back of my mind I knew that age 40 was coming for me, slowly trudging my way like a white walker and just like a snow zombie, age 40 could not be bargained or reasoned with, could not be destroyed, it was coming and so I’d better deal with it.  (I’m about a year and a few months from it eating my brains now.)

In other words, I suppose I would fit in as one of the characters on Game of Thrones.  For seven years, the main characters have been aware that the Khaleesi, Queen of Dragons, was on her way to cross the Narrow Sea and toast everyone to a crispy, golden brown.  As it turns out, she’s too nice to do that but they didn’t know that…and we aren’t entirely sure she won’t yet.  The Khaleesi is trying to be kind and loving but she definitely has a switch that can be flipped that can make her want to cook you with the help of her big ass reptiles.

By the way, aren’t all the dragon action scenes great?  We’ve been waiting a long time for them.

Anyway, like me ignoring the coming of age 40 and failing to get my life in order, the characters all fought over the Iron Throne.  King Robert’s brother Stannis and Renley fought each other for it.  Robb Stark didn’t want it but just wanted to bring his army to King’s Landing to make the Lannisters pay for killing his father, Ned.  Those damn Greyjoys took advantage of the chaos to do some looting and pillaging.  The Boltons got in on the mix.  Honestly, I lose track of how many people wanted that throne.  It was a lot.

But that was the point of the show.  All the characters have known that a Khaleesi was coming but…she was so far away…and there were more pressing matters in front of them.

A smaller handful of characters also knew the white walkers were coming.  They tried harder to warn people but no one would listen.  There’s the rub, I suppose.  If you actually see or experience a threat, you’re more likely to try to do something about it.

I’ve always seen the show as an allegory for America.  We Americans spend so much time fighting each other over our differences – party lines, racial lines, class lines – we don’t stop to think about what we have in common, or to realize that the only thing we have to stop the outside forces who’d like to see this country burn from getting their way is each other.

The warring families could have set aside their differences and been in a better position to stop the Khaleesi from bringing her dragons to cook everyone up.  Alas, they killed each other, decimated the country’s resources and now it’s easy pickens for the Mother of Dragons.

Had they not fought each other, they could have been in a better position to stop the white walkers.  Now it may be too late.

Now as I get older, I see the show as an allegory for life.  This past decade has moved so quickly and at the time, I felt out of control, powerless to fix things.  I knew in the back of my mind that a myriad of health problems would be coming if I didn’t lose weight, that financial problems would come if I didn’t find a better job, that sadness would come if I didn’t find a girl.

Sad to say that by the end of season 7, I’ve only accomplished 1 out of 3.  The good job was found and the financial problems are over, so I don’t have to worry about a looming white walker in the form of financial ruin…but…I still have to worry about a white walker in the form of a heart attack if I don’t lose weight…or a fat ass fire breathing dragon in the form of permanent bachelorhood/inability to father children due to old age.

And I guess that’s the moral of the story.  We focus on the problems right in front of our faces.  It’s too easy to delay the long term problems.  “We’ll worry about the fat ass dragon or the evil white walkers when and/or if they get here” we say, rather than take the daily steps that, when done with regularity, build up over time and help us stave off the impending doom.

In short, I could have lost weight low these past seven years.  That would have made me a healthier man today and would have made it easier to find a girl (wait I have VGRF but maybe this is the Alleged Man’s brain bleeding through), but I didn’t.  Now I fear I may be too late and I might get bitten by the white walker of poor health or be eaten by the dragon of loneliness.

I worry it may be too late for me, 3.5 readers.  However, if you are young, take the warning that this show provides and run with it.

In your life, you have your own personal white walker or perhaps, your own personal dragon.  Maybe it’s money, or romance, or employment or health or addiction or what have you.

Whatever it is, know in the back of your mind that your white walker of a problem is slowly trudging its way down from the North, ready to eat your brains.  Will you assemble an army within yourself to fight it and keep it at bay, or will you wake up one day and find a big chomp has been taken out of your brain and now it is too late?

You know that your Khaleesi of a problem is heading East.  Slowly but surely, she’s kicking ass and taking names, growing her numbers and feeding her dragons so they get big and strong, the bigger and stronger to fricassee your oily hide.  You’re placating yourself, telling yourself that you are young and have plenty of time before that problem becomes a reality.  You’re also fooling yourself.  Will you, again, assemble a personal army inside yourself to fight the dragons, or will you wake up one day and find yourself a charcoal briquette?

I can tell you seven years ago, when this show first began, I knew that if I didn’t get a better job, that if I didn’t lose weight and didn’t find a woman, I’d essentially end up approaching forty, feeling like a white walker had eaten my brain or a dragon had burnt me up.

Now I feel that way.  Sure, I conquered the financial dragon.  I kicked the financial white walker in the gonads.  But I ignored the health dragon/white walker and the romance dragon/white walker and now I’m about to be fried and eaten.

Then again, I suppose it’s never really over until a white walker is actually chowing down on your brains or until a dragon has toasted you, so…I guess I’ll pick myself up, dust myself off and give it another try.

You should too, 3.5 readers.  Feel free to tell me in the comments what you are going to do to keep your personal white walkers from eating your brains or your personal dragon from roasting you and chomping you up like a chicken nugget.

Remember, “Winter is coming.”  That’s been the slogan of the show for seven years.  Our own personal winters are coming – be they in the form of a heart attack because we didn’t eat better, or cancer because we didn’t take care of ourselves, or yuck, being that fifty year old in “da club” still trying to score a date because he didn’t pick someone and try to make the best of it when he was younger.  Sure, Winter seems a long way away but it will be here soon enough and it will bring zombies…and dragons and apparently, a freaking zombie ass dragon.

What will you do to stave off your personal winter, 3.5 readers?

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer is 20

Hey 3.5 readers.

Did you know that the series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer turns 20 this year?  That’s right.  Two decades ago this month, it began on the now kaput WB network.

What is your favorite Buffy moment?  Your favorite Buffy episode?

For me, the three most memorable:

  1. The one where they are silent the entire episode.
  2. The musical where they sing for the entire episode.
  3. The one that is sort of a parody of the show where they focus entirely on a subplot where Xander saves the day on his own while Buffy and the gang are busy working on something else.

In this world of reboots, remakes and sequels, I wonder if it isn’t time for a Buffy sequel film?  The main cast members are all around late thirties to early forties, still photogenic after all these years.

Then again, the ending did tie up the series nicely so it is always problematic when a good ending is tinkered with.

I don’t think a reboot with a new actress playing Buffy would work.  We know this because there was an actual Buffy movie earlier in the 1990s that flopped, though it gained a following in light of the Buffy series.

This was an example of a good cast coming together with good writers to capture lightning in a bottle.  Sometimes you can have great writing but a lousy cast.  Sometimes a great cast but lousy writing.  Here, you had both.

Happy birthday, Buffster.  Go celebrate at the Bronze.



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Making a Murderer

Anyone watch it yet?

I’ve only watched the first half hour so please, NO SPOILERS!

Generally speaking, is it as good as everyone says it is?

I mean, so far, it seems like bad police work but as far as the show goes, its not blowing me away so far, though like I said, I haven’t seen much of it.

Does it get better?

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Jessica Jones

I’ve seen the first two episodes on Netflix.  Enjoying it so far.  Very noir.  Very cool.  Stylish but also with super heroes.

What say you, 3.5 readers?

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SPOILERS!!!This Week’s The Walking Dead

Hello 3.5 readers.shutterstock_225100087 copy

What did you think of this week’s Walking Dead?


What did you think about Glenn?  I need to cut out the pizza because I couldn’t fit under a dumpster in a zombie apocalypse.

What was up with those balloons?  Why was there a helium tank and green balloons on the side of the road?  Did a wandering clown abandon them?

The wall is down!  Is it me or do Rick and the gang screw up wherever they go?

I have a theory that someone else will die.  Our emotions were toyed with vis a vis Glenn for too long for it all to be wrapped up that neatly.

Will they save Alexandria?  Is it done for?

Theory: Abraham saves the day by blowing all the zombies sky high with his newly found rocket launcher.

What say you, 3.5 readers?

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True Detective Season 2

Too busy to bother with episode recaps, but just curious, what’s everyone think of the new season of True Detective?

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