Tag Archives: tv

Who Will Sit On the Iron Throne?

Theories:

1 – Dany.  The various power players will decide as hard as that may be to stomach, it wouldn’t be worth putting the kingdom through yet another war for the throne.

2 – Jon Snow.  He pretends like he’s cool with it then kills his aunt with his penis….or somehow uses sex as a pretext to get close and kill her or something.

3 – Invasion from Afar – Arya said a couple seasons ago that there was land far away that no one from Westeros had explored.  I felt like that was a big thing to just leave dangling there.  So maybe an army from far away will land and take it all.

4 – Jon Snow and then a governing counsel after he croaks.

5 – No throne.  It goes straight to a governing counsel.

6 – Sansa – I think she’s like the oldest member of any remaining house that isn’t a bastard or a three-eyed raven.

7- Varys.  He would never let himself get burned up like that.  He had a stunt double get burned.

8 – Littlefinger.  He also would have never been bested.  He had a stunt double killed in his stead.

9 – Arya will use her faceless man skills to pretend she is Jon Snow at her chamber on the pretense that he needs khaleesi sex.  Once in, Arya will reveal herself and chop up Dany to pieces.

10 – Ser Davos because why not.

11 – Tyion because why not.

12 – Governing council – Tyrion, Snow, Davos, Greyworm.

13 – Greyworm.

14 – Nobody is left.

15 – It’ll be like the ending of Hamlet where an outside invader enters the castle only to find everyone is already dead.

Who do you think will sit on the iron throne, 3.5 readers?

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Do You Agree With What Happened to the Khaleesi?

SPOILER ALERT

I think I’m the only one who thought the last episode of Game of Thrones was good.

I get it.  We all cheered Khaleesi on the past 8 seasons.  She was the underdog.  She started from the bottom and now she’s here.  She suffered every bump in the road and set back and she managed to move across a fantasy continent, free countless slaves and turn enemies into allies and recruit top advisers.

But still…you had to see something like this coming.

First, the show has always had an air of real life or as close to real life a fantasy world can get.

In real life, you hope to be great but then you suffer all kinds of setbacks.  Same thing in GRRM’s fantasy world.  Yes, you want a person to be good but shit happens.

Khaleesi has been through some shit.  Let’s review:

#1 – Exiled as a baby across the Narrow Sea.

#2 – Sold as a sex slave wife to a nomadic warlord by her asshole brother.  The wealthy man who took her and her brother in as their guardian allowed this to happen.

#3 –  Trusted Ser Jorah.  He turned out to be a spy.  Eventually, she trusted him again.

#4 – I forget the details but a lot of shit happened in her travelling years.  Her husband croaked.  The dothraki turned on her for awhile before getting behind her again.  Evil dudes tried to steal her dragons.  She conquered cities but if she went too soft, bad guys would start shit.

#5 – More recently, she delayed her assault on King’s Landing and brought her Army north to help defeat the Knight King.  You might argue she had to do that anyway to save the land she wanted to conquer, but she could have also sent her full army at Kings Landing first, allowed the Night King to destroy the North and then made a stand at them from a strong position in Kings Landing.

Note that her reward for doing so was that the Starks start bitching about how Jon Snow should be king.

#6 – Tyrion and Varys are her chief advisers and yet they are always doing shit behind her back.  They think it is for the greater good but they always get found out and exposed as a-holes.

First, I didn’t buy that Varys would go right up to Snow and tell him to be king.  Varys is smarter than this.  He is the spymaster.  He would have orchestrated a coup from behind the scenes if he wanted Khaleesi gone.

But if you count that, plus Tyrion telling Varys about Snow’s claim to the throne which is a big betrayal and then also count Sansa up her ass and the Northmen and Wildlings giving the credit for the white walker victory to Jon and then losing her second dragon (two she lost in the name of protecting the North, a land of assholes who benefit from her protection yet openly talk shit about her) and losing Missandei?

I mean, what was Missandei’s last words?  Dracarus.  What’s that mean?  It’s the word you tell your dragon when you want him to burn some shit.  BFF was telling Khaleesi to burn that shit down.

I think HBO has moved these past two seasons way too fast and we deserved a little more development and build up, but if you take a look at all of this, it’s not that unlikely that Khaleesi might just say, “Fuck it.  I tried to get these people to follow me out of respect, but they’re all doing their own shit behind my back so I’m just going to set this shit on fire.”

What say you, 3.5 readers?

 

 

 

 

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Game of Thrones Review – Season 8, Episode 5 – The Last War

Holy crap, 3.5 readers.  What an episode!  SPOILERS!

Well, here are my thoughts:

#1 – It’s hard to complain because it was riveting, edge of your seat and really grabbed your attention.

#2 – But I’ll complain anyway.  The complaint I keep seeing is wasted character development.  Khaleesi has spent 7 seasons being good only to go berserk at the last second.  True, I suppose the capacity to snap is in all of us.  Her second dragon and best friend were just killed.

Still, the set off of her snap was Varys’ treachery?  I don’t know.  Seems weak.  Then again, I suppose there have been inklings throughout that she might flip out.  Her father did flip out and there was always a fear that she might flip too.

Also on character development, Varys was long portrayed as the realm’s top spymaster, like an old fashioned CIA chief.  Ergo, it’s hard to believe that he would just walk right up to Jon Snow and tell him what’s what.  If Varys wanted Khaleesi out, he wouldn’t have told her boyfriend.  He would have orchestrated some kind of intricately detailed behind the scenes coup that left him 20 steps away from it all.  He would have had a servant poison the Khaleesi’s soup or something then would have been all like, “What treachery is this?  Oh, shit.  Our beloved Khaleesi is dead.  Oh well, Jon Snow, hate to say it but you’re up now, buddy.”

#3 – I think we have to be honest that the show always promises A then delivers not even B but Z.  So we should have never really expected a happy ending where Khaleesi farts rainbows out of her butt.

#4 – There were some payoffs that longtime fans have been waiting for, from the Cleganes finally duking it out, to the wildfire deposits getting burned up to Arya looking to check Cersei off her list.

#5 – In true form for the show, they managed to make you feel bad for Cersei.  She’s done some bad things over the years and yet, in her final moments you’re like, “Well, maybe her ass shouldn’t be ate the hell up by a damn dragon.”

CONCLUSIONS:

Snow, Tyrion and Davos all look sad at the side they chose.  And there’s still a few episodes left so where this goes next will be interesting.

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TV Review – Game of Thrones – Season 8, Episode 3 – The Long Night

Hey 3.5 readers.

BQB here.

So, this episode was a long time coming.  It’s the end of the road for many characters, their purposes and story lines coming to a final fulfillment.

We lost Dondarion – we always wondered why the Lord of Light favored him and now we know why.

We lost Jorah – fighting to the death to protect the girl who kept him in the friend zone.

We lost Theon, who was finally forgiven by the Stark he wronged.

I think we lost Brienne but I’m not sure.

We lost Lady Mormont, the little hero being squeezed by a giant.

We lost the Red Woman, her purpose finally fulfilled.

Overall, a great episode.  And that the Knight King was dispatched so early and yet there are so many episodes left makes me think we’ll get the Khaleesi vs. Cersei battle we’ve long waited for.

Was the show too dark?  Yes, as in it was literally too dark.  They’re doing this thing now where they want realism.  So when it is night, they make it so dark you can barely see anything.  Occasionally, a fire will light up and you can see.  Some people like this.  I don’t.  I think it’s possible to show a scene at night and still light it so it is watchable.

Sure, it’s not realistic.  It’s like when some genius points out that a movie taking place in China yet how unrealistic it is that the characters are speaking English.  Yes, it is, but on the other hand, I don’t have time to become fluent in Mandarin just to watch a movie.

But Hollywood seems bent on the dark night scenes now.  I see this in movies and also other TV shows.  Sometimes I’ll spend whole episodes of the Walking Dead just squinting at the screen.

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Game of Thrones Recap – Season 8, Episode 2 – A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms

Hey 3.5 readers.

So, there was a lot of payoff in this episode.  A lot of things that rewarded you if you’ve been watching since the show began:

#1 – Jaime now feels like a dick for pushing Bran out the window all those years ago.  The show is a miraculous piece of writing that it has a character who started out the series pushing a kid out a window to cover up for his incestuous affair with his sister and now all these years later you feel sorry for him because he has grown and become a better person, a person who wouldn’t do such a thing now but he will always carry the guilt of having done so.

#2 – Jaime isn’t trusted by Dany because he killed her father though that seems silly because even she admits her father was a dickcheese.  Brienne of Tarth vouches for him, rewarding you for watching that season where she and Jaime became the traveling odd couple.

#3 – Brienne is formally knighted.  It seems like a sleight of writing hand to make it so any knight can appoint another knight because she’s known so many damn knights for so long.  Then again, maybe she just needed to vouch for one and then he owed her a favor.  It was a nice feminist moment though the show has long had women in positions of power.  The GOT world is ancient and backward but damn if it doesn’t let women be in charge of things.

#4 – Arya and Gendry get freaky.  This is bizarre and I’m not sure they should have done it.  Problem is the actress who plays Arya still looks very young for her age though I guess she is of age now.  I assume Gendry is her age but he looks like a full grown man getting down with a kid in this scene.  I believe the characters are both of age at this point.  I don’t know.  They might have handled this scene better.  Maybe they could have just alluded to it.  Masie Williams just looks too young.

#5 – Khaleesi seems to really be up Tyrion’s ass for every little mistake.  Jorah Mormount who doesn’t like Tyrion stands up for him, pointing out that no hand would ever not make a mistake and he as at least gotten her this far.

#6 – Sansa and Khaleesi are at odds.  Also, she isn’t happy to learn Jon Snow is a Targaryen.

#7 – Tormund is a giant titty sucker.

#8 – Overall you just had a lot of characters who finally come together after years of infighting and so far the last season is progressing well.

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Game of Thrones Recap – Season 8, Episode 1

Well, 3.5 readers, the final episodes are here.

I’ve been blogging about this show since this fine blog began.  Come to think of it, HBO probably owes all their success to me, since I sent my 3.5 readers their way.

So now, the end begins and we begin to watch the end.

Spoiler alert.

Jon Snow and Khaleesi are in Winterfell and the Northerners don’t like all the new people.  Jon learns that his bae is also his aunt so now he is an auntie fucker.

The dragons aren’t eating enough, the White Walkers are at the door, Cersei’s still a bitch.  I don’t know.  That’s about it.

My, how fast the past decade has flown.  This show has always been a welcome favorite, something riveting enough that I was always able to turn it on Sunday nights and for a brief hour, get lost in another world.

Six episodes doesn’t seem long enough to tie up the loose ends, but here’s hoping they will be.

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A Look at the First Episode of The Umbrella Academy

Hey 3.5 readers.

BQB here.

I just watched the first episode of Umbrella Academy.  If you’ve watched more, I’d thank you to not give away any spoilers.  I will eventually return to this fine blog to discuss the first season.

My initial impression is its great.  Before I saw it, I scoffed for a number of reasons.

  1. Anything with too many characters tends to be a mess.  There’s like 7 main characters here plus supporting characters.  Seems destined to be a pot of gumbo where everyone gets lost in the steam, but somehow, everyone gets their moment to shine.
  2. Movies about long established heroes are great.  Movies about new superheroes tend to stink.  I’ll give this show credit though.  It is based on a Dark Horse Comic so perhaps if newer heroes have a chance to percolate in comics first, then they’ll shine on the screen.
  3. It reminded me of Watchmen, which everyone said was genius but I thought stunk.  Again, a bunch of heroes you hadn’t heard of before, all thrown at us at once, each getting less than five minutes to show their power.  Somehow that was lame but this looks good.

The plot thus far is that in 1989, 40 (I think that’s the number) children were born immaculately on one day.  The mothers had not been pregnant previously.  The kids just popped out unexpectedly.

An eccentric, reclusive billionaire with a penchant for collecting exotic things adopts 7 of these kids.  He starts a school for superheroes in his house, training his new wards to use their powers.

His methods turn the kids into (mostly) powerful grownups.  Some have gone on to do great things.  Others flounder and fail.  All blame their problems on their father’s cold, uncaring aloofness.  The only source of love the children ever had was their father’s robot wife and monkey butler.

By the way, is there something wrong with me that I think it would be awesome to have a robot wife and monkey butler?  Thus far, there has been little explanation as to how the robot wife and monkey butler came to be but I’ll keep my fingers crossed for more on that in future episodes.  Ironically, in a series with 7 heroes, the robot wife and monkey butler pique my interest the most.

Not that the heroes are slouches.  Overall, the first episode was cinematic.  Lots of cool fights and special effects.  Cinematic quality.  Had this been laid out in a movie that I paid money to see, I would have walked away happy.

Netflix really upped their game here.  I’ll reserve judgment until I’ve watched the first season but so far, I am impressed and willing to watch more.

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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TV Review – Russian Doll (2019)

Everlasting snark…day after day after day.

BQB here with a review of the Netflix series Russian Doll. (SPOILERS ABOUND)

I have to say it, 3.5 readers.  When I was a kid, there were a ton of TV shows and movies were single adults partied hard and lived fabulous, interesting, adventurous lives well into their forties.

Lies.  All lies, I say!  This lifestyle may work for a handful of ultra rich, ridiculously good looking people but for the rest of us normals, your best bet is to find someone you can stand being in the same room with before you hit 30, maybe 35 at the latest.

At first, from the opening scenes I thought this show was celebrating that lifestyle but in reality, it is far from it.  I’m not saying that 30 plus single people should be dumped on, I’m just saying there’s a certain point in time when you’re just too long in the tooth for the jet set crowd.

Natasha Lyonne’s Nadia has just turned 36 and her BFF, Maxine (Greta Lee) has thrown her a much undesired birthday party.  Now over 35, Nadia must come to terms with a fact that she has long been avoiding – she isn’t going to live forever.  She must find her happiness and yet, how does a misanthropic cynic who, with a dry wit and dark sense of humor, manages to openly mock everything and anything in life with great gusto find some sort of meaningful purpose in life?

Long story short,  Nadia dies.  Again and again and again.  Sometimes in scary ways.  Sometimes in hilarious ways.  To put a chill in your shorts, many of the deaths (falling down a flight of stairs, accidental electrocution, gas leak) are all things that could easily happen to any of us at any time if we aren’t careful.  When you think about it, it’s amazing that we all don’t croak again and again, what with our bodies being so fragile and all.

My early assessment was wrong.  This isn’t a show that glorifies the post 35 single life.  It doesn’t dump on it either.  Equal time is given to the fact that people who act like posers and social climbers after 35 are lame, but also, to the fact that not everyone finds love easily and sometimes love and/or happiness doesn’t come easily for everyone and that doesn’t make those people bad either.

This is Natasha Lyonne’s magnum opus, her Mona Lisa and her piece de resistance all wrapped up into one.  From the time she hit it big as Jessica, one of the funnier yet more street smart teens in 1999’s American Pie, audiences have gotten the sense that Natasha excels at playing jaded ball breakers whose fast talking, cynical facades mask deeper pain that few could handle, yet manage to joke about…all with a dose of Jewish guilt mixed in.

In recent years, her character on Orange is the New Black has cemented her status as this archetype and in Russian Doll, I get the impression, at least IMO, that Natasha is trying to say, “This is me.  This is who I am.  I’m troubled.  I carry around a lot of pain but I deal with it by tossing out a snappy one-liner that will kick you in the nuts.  You’ll get mad for a second until you realize that my assessment of you is correct and then you’ll laugh as you nurse your nuts back to health.  Oddly, you’ll find me so charming that you’ll come back for more, which is confusing, because I’m as cuddly as feral cat yet strangely, someone you can lean on, like a loyal puppy.  Although, I will bark at you.”

Was she trying to say all that?  I don’t know.  That’s what I got out of it anyway.

The repeated loop genre seems like it has been done to death, with Bill Murray’s Groundhog Day being, to the best of my knowledge, the first to tackle the idea of someone who has to repeat a day over and over.  Other films and shows have put their own spin on it.  Hell, this week, “Happy Death Day” releases the second in a series of films about a girl who gets murdered again and again only to wake up and get murdered again.

Creative?  Sure.  Overdone? Yes.

So why should you watch this addition to an overdone premise?  Well, it’s different.  Easy to say but it really is.

First, much of the series is devoted to the what of it all.  I.E. most of these films focus on something the looped character must do to make the loop stop.  This series spends a lot of time trying to figure out the why of it all…or better yet, the how of it all.  How the heck is this happening?  Nadia plays junior detective, investigating a number of theories – for example, maybe it’s spiritual energy in Maxine’s apartment caused by it being located on a former Yeshiva school, drawing her back to the same place at the same time after each untimely demise.  Hallucinations brought upon by a ketamine laced joint are another possibility.

Other theories are researched and personally, I’m torn as to whether or not the ending gives justice to the how of it.  I can see an argument for and against vis a vis whether it explained the how, but at any rate, the show does eventually make a shift from the how to the what, as in, what does Nadia need to do to make all this craziness stop?

The show is also different in that Nadia has a partner in crime.  While Nadia keeps returning to her birthday party, Alan (Charlie Barnett) gets it much worse.  He must continually return to the most unwanted of situations, reliving a scene where his girlfriend reveals that she has been cheating on him.

Eventually, Nadia and Alan meet and they must solve this mystery together.  Nadia might be cynical but at least she has somewhat of a can-do spirit.  Alan is deeply morose, ready to curl up in a corner and cry over the slightest of obstacles.  One’s a fighter and the other’s a sad sack.  Somehow they balance each other out and whether or not they resolve this never ending loop is a question I’ll let you answer when you watch it.

Stop by sometime and discuss the ending with me.  Those who haven’t watched it yet, just avoid that discussion until you do.  I think it is a great ending, not what I expected and it is rather complicated.  The show trusts you to use your brain to figure it out and doesn’t spoon feed it to you, that’s for sure.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.  Not sure I see it lasting more than one season.  It’s binge-worthy but I think to do a second season would be to spoil it.  Sometimes all a show needs to say can be summed up in one outing and this show is that.  Kudos to Lyonne for baring her soul for us Looky Lou’s to pick over and analyze, and for Netflix for letting her do it.  This isn’t the traditional kind of show that network TV would go for, and probably wouldn’t exist at any time other than this streaming golden age.  Also, to producer Amy Poehler.  She doesn’t star in this but by backing it, she steps out of her usual comfort zone of upbeat, silly comedy and into the world of dry, dark comedy.  Just don’t get sucked in too far, Amy.  The world still needs plenty of kindhearted Leslie Knopes, just as it needs Nadias to dump on them.

 

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SNL Skit – Millennial Millions

It’s been awhile since SNL had me doubled over laughing, but Aidy’s song had me in hysterics.  “Who are the boomers?  Oh, they had all the sex and they made all the music and they got all the jobs and they made all the money and they bought all the houses and now they’ll never die!”

They nailed each generation perfectly.  Like Keenan, I’m Gen X, so I’ve already given up and now I’m just sitting on the sidelines and watching the world burn:

 

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