Archive for January, 2014

s3_e13

The season 3 finale… oh boy, call over the villians!

 

Well I finally picked up Dr.Who again, sorry for the long wait! Mostly business… editing, and general non-who-ness. But I swear, I’ll try get these reviews out in the timely-iest of fashions… (heh… heh… get it? Time…)

So today I got the pleasure of seeing the shows FIRST three parter!  A movie-length season three finale, and is it just me, or is the show really running the whole “end of the world” thing to the ground… but I guess in a show like this, we know the outcome… we are here for the ride. And what a ride it was… for the most part.

Let me just say, that the first episode in this three episode extravaganza was downright splendid, I REALLY liked it… I wasn’t expecting it to go where it did, and for a moment, I thought this whole series of episodes would be incredible! No… no, definitely not incredible. Passable would be the word for it.

I loved the way it got set up though, the entire first forty minutes was splendid, and it had great characters, great progression, splendid pacing, and best of all, a really interesting premise. I like that the Doctor isn’t the last timelord, and his “arch-nemisis” is “The master”… but one has to wonder, how come no one else got these names? Are there only a few hundred Time lords to ever live? Because god damn, these seem like pretty popular names if they were able to be chosen!

But anyway…. JACK’S BACK! Yay!!! I missed him, a lot! He is a fantastic character, the chemistry he had with Tennant was still good… although not as perfect as it was with Eccleston. Also, the entire aspect of him being literally unkillable is interesting, and honestly, not too bad. So far, this three party doesn’t quite have the Deus Ex Machina this show’s creator loves oh so much…

Now… the second two episodes. This is where the two parter goes into full swing. I will say, I liked “The Master” he was a neat villain… intimidating? No. Interesting? No. Incredibly acted? No… But still neat, his entire premise is what elevated him beyond “cliché archetype” and more of an “odd freakazoid” character.

His place was an odd one… and the entire concept of him taking over the earth through some unexplained “drum beat” could have been executed SO much better… and unrealistic amount of missiles being built… and the entire concept of the last two episodes was way too far out there. There was no believability to any of it, it was in its own world of crazy. And I would have loved that… if it was actually explained. Killing the American president really isn’t enough to get the entire world under your control.

But… anyway… after you overlook these glaring flaws, it was still a fun episode. It was nutty, bonkers, and I think the over-use of decent CGI is just not necessary. As we saw in Blink this show is at its best without an over-abundance of explosions and eye-gouging effects. And I’m making a complete bet… that season four’s best episodes will not feature some deafening amount of Michael bay-esq explosions to gain my coveted “A” score.

In the end, it was simply too farfetched, and not well enough executed… but if there was one thing that brought a massive smile to my face, and absolutely made my night, was the final few minutes of the finale. Not only did Tennant deliver a great performance, but oh my… JACK IS THE FACE OF BO!!!!! I’m so done! This was like my favorite thing ever!

Grades

Ep 1: A-

Ep 2: B-

Ep 3: B

Overall: B

Season Grade: B+

Discord_showing_a_map_to_Twilight_and_Cadance_S4E11

 

Discord, Q, Q, Discord, nice to see you again!

 

So today we got to see the return of Discord, who made a welcome appearance in the season premier as well. Once again, he was voice acted brilliantly by the magnificent if not slightly intimidatingly awesome John De Lancie. His entirety was dedicated to make Discord both menacing and hilarious, and once again, his entire character was a success. But apart from that… this episode didn’t really tread on ground we haven’t seen before.

We saw Princess Cadance as well, making a return from season three, as her and Twilight try to spend time together. Which is sort of… ok? I mean, I can’t really come to terms with this, is it good, is it bad? No… it’s just fine. It’s just there, and it’s fine. Nothing about it is too memorable, and this entire part of the episode was somewhat forced, if not completely useless.

Then Discord pops in, and makes the episode infinitely more fun. He firstly asks for Fluttershy, which is fun since they clearly have some sort of odd bond. However, she has gone to visit the “Breezies” which are apparently some creature far, far away! So it turns out it’s up to Twilight and Cadance to take care of the poor… thing (Discord).

We have a fantastic music piece in this episode, as John De Lancie uses his incredible voice to deliver some great vocals! We have a lot of hilarious references to various things (Harry potter, Risky Business, etc). All of this was welcome, although I’m sure many out there are willing to scrutinize it.

Apart from this, the episode was fairly bog standard. It was regular Discord antics, and at the end we got a somewhat shoehorned lesson that was just “there”, there was not real build up or anything. However, we did see a fun little action set-piece to round out the episode.

Three’s a Crowd was a generic episode, of a fairly generic show. But thankfully, it was backed up with enough comedy to make it stand out a little more than some previous season’s entrances. Season four still hasn’t disappointed me, it has stayed solid if not excellent, so it’s only natural for it to hit a few “casual” episodes… if I can even call it that.

Grade: B

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Goodbye… Troy…

This show never quite ceases to amaze me, not a single episode goes by without me thanking the writers, directors, and producers for making something like this air. An oddity, a show so weird that it can’t help but push people away…
Today, my favorite character, Troy Barnes (played masterfully by Donald Glover) departed from the show, his character is to set sail in the wide open ocean. Just like the actor himself, Donald Glover, left the show to set sail on the wide open ocean of opportunity, something this show gave him, and something i can’t help but feel sorrow about… but i get it. I understand why he is leaving, opportunities come and go, and this was the kickstarter to his acting career.
And oh boy was it a kickstarter… after episode twenty of the first season, he was my favorite character beyond a doubt. However, as the show progressed, in a sense, every character is my favorite. Every actor has an immense capability to portray a very human character in a very cartoon-ish show.
Today, the most unchanged character, Abed, changes. Everything in his world changes, because a chunk of his world has just left. And although this day has not come yet, I can’t help but feel for Abed, as i know i’ll be left with the same emptiness once this show goes off the air.
There is something beautiful about the way this episode was handled… and at first I could not place it. But then, on the third or fourth watch through, I came to the realization that this episode embodies the show. Everything about it is strictly Community, episodes like these can’t be pulled off by any other show. “Escapism” is what Community is. It’s wacky, fast paced, incredibly smart and silly at the same time, and best of all, it has heart. Because no matter how wacky the situation is, like Abed falling into imaginary lava and dying, it’s still somehow grounded. The emotion behind it is still resonant and felt.
During the final few scenes, when Troy is saying his goodbyes, the most poignant one was of course Abed’s. Abed is someone whom is almost always written perfectly, the writers know exactly how to give someone like him character. So it felt so natural that someone like Abed would resort to trying to prolong Troy’s stay, denying the fact that he has to leave. So it only felt perfect when it ended up being a “clone” that saved Abed. As he was always placed in a world of his own, a world that we almost never understand, but almost always can relate to.
I think we get his pain, we get Abed’s fear and anguish, and the almost uneccesserally touching line that Troy spoke. The fact that no one understands Abed, yet he understood him just a little. Maybe that’s their connection, the fact that Troy was able to understand and befriend Abed, and after this episode wrapped up, and I realized that we are almost half way done through this season… I felt the pain, I felt the sorrow, but most of all, I felt like i just watched yet another episode of Community that simply blows everything around it out of the water. And i did… the perfect ending, to my favorite character.
Goodbye Troy

 

Grade: A seal-of-approval (A seal of Approval to mark a grade even higher than “A”, a true masterpiece)

 

Community-Review-S1ep 5-7

Posted: January 21, 2014 in Community-Reviews

Community - Season 5

 

Advanced Criminal Law

Football, Feminism, and You

Introduction to Statistics

 

The ball is rolling

Episodes without a specific direction or strategy are almost always the best episodes of this show, so perhaps the first true directional episode of this show being one of it’s weakest is still understandable. Even at it’s worst, this show is still a solid block of entertainment that doesn’t cease to impress me.

Here, Jeff is still selfishly going after Britta, masking the false care with proper “lawyer” words. But this episode never forgets its routes, comedy. Here we get an absolute comedy. Scenes made just for the punch line, which is more casual sitcom-ness.

I don’t have too much to say about this episode, funny enough. This is because previous episodes wanted to establish this one, this episode wanted to establish the kind of world Greendale is. A world where the judges jury is held near a swimming pool near a swimming naked old man named Leonard… this pretty much defines Community if you think about it!

Episode 6:

In football, Feminism, and You, we get the first glimpse of drama within the show. As well as hilarious setpieces, and the first episode that truly sets up Troy (played masterfully by Donald Glover) as the funniest character within the show. His dialogue with Jeff, on the football field, was a compilation of hilarious physical gags within the background, as well as two actors with fantastic chemistry.

Also, Annie’s unkempt jealousy helped her sprout a “crazy” side that we will be seeing more often as the show progresses. The fact that this show did not venture into the “everything works out in the end” territory really speaks pages about how it’s ahead. A regular, down to earth, sitcom would have both characters get together within the episode, or create some sort of tension there to be resolved within the season.

Not community, that’s just too easy for Community. Instead, they shut Annie out of the T-bone steak, she has to be dealing with that now. And she’s a bigger character for it, rather than if this relationship nonsense sprouted between them, and the rest of the show was them bickering or breaking up.

Episode 7:

Truly, this episode is an “Introduction to Statistics”, a thorough analysis of what the characters mean to Jeff Winger, the disbarred lawyer. And as his cold heart melts in this school shaped toilet, so does the status which these emotionally driven characters take within his heart.

In this episode alone we saw this progress, and we also saw chevy chase be amazing. Not only popping pills like a champ, but also in perhaps the best constume ever invented for the actor.

But I can’t really finish this review without mentioning the highlight. Abed is batman, batman is abed. And troy and abed are hilarious.

 

Grades:

Episode 5: B

Episode 6: A-

Episode 7: A

Community-Review-S1ep2-4

Posted: January 19, 2014 in Community-Reviews

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The first three, with the El Tigre!

             Within the second episode of the show, we get some resounding developments. One, the character of Senor Chang, and two, that amazing rapping tag at the end of the episode. Not to delve too deep, this alone warrants praise.

Community decides to continue laying it’s ground work throughout this episode, trying to develop these characters as much as possible, but thankfully, not too quickly. Jeff is still after Britta, and Abed is still hilariously unaware of his surroundings.

But most importantly, it began the development of the character, Pierce. Who gets shown as a lonely old man, trying to grasp onto a family as drastically as possible. He’s trying his hardest to bond with Jeff (Jeffrey) because Jeff is the leader, bonding with the leader breeds respect from the rest of the gang.

Did he succeed? Nope. But further developing the three dimensionality of the character, Jeff understands the unsuccess of Pierce. The familiar bonds of this group grow from that, that even the most perturbing and hard to like character of the show is still welcome, still allowed in this circle of weirdos.

 

Episode 3:

While episode three examines Abed, thankfully. Although I view this episode as slightly less successful than the standout before this, it still did wonders for this growing world.

Abed has issues, not his disability, but parental issues. The character of Britta, with her slightly motherly and protective nature, wanted to care for abed. But as uniquely as this show does things, she of course, fails. But she does this by providing too much care, too much protectiveness on a character that is really not in any trouble at all.

He may have emotional issues, but he is still just as human as the rest of us. In a way, he is just like, if not more capable than the rest of us. However, Britta sees the disability, she sees the issue and springs to help. A move that’s both ignorant and noble, which is her character in a nutshell for quite some time. She learns this lesson, sooner than later, and Abed proves to not only have more depth, but also to be more keen on the situation…

While Jeff and Britta didn’t understand the metaphoric situation Abed put them in, the answers that he seeked, and the way he structured them. It was oddly poignant to see his father understand his son. Seems funny, a father understanding his son… Duh! But in this situation it was something unexpected, and heartwarming.

Community really doesn’t hesitate to bring the big guns when necessary!

Episode 4:

To anyone who has seen this episode, they should notice an ongoing theme. Every character is getting an interesting pair, but not only that, the character is also getting developed. This week we get the riotously funny “Social Psychology”.

It’s not only called that because of Abed’s hilarious departure in the B-story with Anne (another new pairing). But also Jeff’s jealousy of Britta’s new boyfriend, and Shirley’s attempts to fit in. After all, gossiping is still something that bonds people over a common interest.

Episode two has Pierce attempting this, while this episode had Shirley trying. While both end in failure, somewhat, they still work to various degrees. This is either breeding sympathy, or falseness of character.

Best of all, they breed comedy. Although this may be the emptiest episode of the show thus far, it’s definitely the most funny. If only for Professor Dunkin’s absolutely hilarious freakout.

This episode is not remarkable by any means… but it still never neglects to make me giggle at the bonding of Jeff and Shirley, and the very funny B-plot. Congratulations Community, you never cease to impress!

 

Grades:

 

Episode 2: A-

Episode 3: B+

Episode 4: B+

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Rainbow DAAAAASH!

 

So this episode did a whole lot to develop the outside world more! Just like on the map of Equestria you can probably see somewhere… Rainbow Falls is a place we visited before (or atleast a place that’s very similar) within the episode “Sleepless in Ponyville”. So I thought that was a neat little snapshot of what the show can do with its continuity in the world of Equestria.

Apart from that, we got a highly entertaining episode that expands on the world of the more background characters. For example, we got voices for various characters we never heard before. Such as the famed “Steroid Pony” named appropriately “Bulk Biceps”, as well as the third member of the wonderbolts team and various other characters. We also got to see gryphons in the competition! Cool!

This episode revolved around Rainbow Dash trying to get into the Equestria Games… which is an understandable device, as well as continuation on the more background story behind season five. I’m guessing the actual Equestria Games will be held later on? Yes… definitely.

Every character was resoundingly IN character, as well as the writers wanton to include everyone in every episode… which is either good or bad for some. For me, it really doesn’t matter, as long as it doesn’t intrude on the more character developing scenes.

Thankfully, the one scene with emotional significance in this episode was played out near perfectly. As Dash found out (once again) how much her friends truly love her, and how much she truly loves her friends. Which is actually really true, since the heat of competition can sometimes cloud such thoughts.

Overall, it was a success in terms of an episode… as I’ve said, I really can’t scream and shout at this show. Because for how much the fandom around it is trying to make it out to be more than it is, in the end, it’s just a very good cartoon show that does what it does much better than other cartoon shows. I watch this show like I watch a good children’s entertainment, with my mind half shut, and laughing at the simplistic humor and the shockingly well-developed characters. G’day.

Grade: A-

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The saga begins

 

With this, I begin to talk about a show that has changed my life, a show that is so different, unique, original, interesting, hilarious, and developing that it dwarfs any competitor. A show that is underrated, a show that makes the weirdo’s in the world feel normal, and the normal people in the world feel weird. A show that for once makes me feel that someone around earth understands what comedy is, someone who doesn’t stop trying until he is fired. And then when the void of his loss was noticed, rehired once more, only to capture the essence of this show. The essence of what makes “Community”, “Community”… What is that essence, you may be wondering? It’s heart.

The first episode of this series starts it off on a pretty “normal” foot. We get introduced to the characters in an understandable fashion, and get ready to embark on a journey like no other. For what it is, a regularly scripted pilot of a sitcom no one was sure about, it does it’s job splendidly. On my second, third, fourth, or even fifth rewatch, I still laugh at some of the incredibly clever jokes published within the script.

The viewers didn’t hesitate to notice the standout performance of Danny Pudi, who plays the Asperger’s stricken character, Abed, whom associates real life with Tv and film to try and understand it. Troy, the underdeveloped Jock (whom becomes my favorite character of the show). Shirley, the divorced Christian house mom. Pierce, the lovable old racist. Anne, the used-to-be pill addicted teen. Britta, the rebel. And lastly, Jeff, the disbarred lawyer.

This is a simple setup to a complicated show, a budding flower, sprouting from the harsh beginnings with regular sitcom shtick, but still never hesitates to be resoundingly “Community” in it’s delivery.

This pilot is what is needed to start this show, to lay the groundwork, and to produce what I feel is not only the most post-modern show, but also the most resoundingly human show we have in our generation. So I say, to everyone who decides to read this… let’s begin!

Grade: A-