Category Archives: tv reviews

Review: Breaking Bad 101 by Alan Sepinwall

Breaking Bad 101: The Complete Critical CompanionLooking back, I wish I could say I was on board with Breaking Bad from the beginning.

Lured by the potential of a former X-Files writer, I tuned into the first installment and let the first season stack up on my DVR – only to delete it when the DVR got full.

I didn’t quite connect with what Vince Gilligan and company were trying to do in season one. But with seasons two and three generating such a huge buzz, I decided to give the show another try. Like the product at the center of this show, I was hooked, binging all of season three in the weekend leading up to the debut of season four and then breathlessly waiting each new installment as they aired. Continue reading

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TV Round-Up: Star Trek: Discovery & The Flash

Star Trek: Discovery: The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not for the Lamb’s Cry

discovery41After three episodes of laying the ground-work for Discovery, the fourth episode finally settles in and begins to delve a little deeper into the characters and situation.  It makes for a fascinating hour and one that is this series’ best and most Trek-like so far.

As with “The Devil in the Dark from TOS, Discovery finds out that just because a creature looks and acts like a monster from our point of view, that doesn’t necessarily make it the case.  The tardigrade isn’t blindly attacking people or killing indiscremently.  Like the Horta, its attack response is done in self-defense.   The crew of the Glenn attempted to use the creature serve as a navigator for the spore drive with not disastrous results (though I wonder how much of the twisted alien bodies we saw on the Glenn comes from using the drive without the creature as a navigator and falling into some type of star or anomaly like Discovery does on its first attempt).  The creature lashes out when attacked or in danger but is fairly docile when allowed to feed on the spores.  Apparently, the creature and the spores can somehow connect to warp around the galaxy in the blink of an eye. Continue reading

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Audiobook Review: Doctor Who: The Time Meddler by Nigel Robinson

Doctor Who: The Time Meddler: 1st Doctor NovelisationI’m not really sure why I skipped Nigel Robinson’s adaptation of “The Time Meddler” during my Target novel collecting days. Whether it’s that the relatively recent release date came with a higher price tag or that I didn’t really appreciate the serial during my teenage years, I don’t quite recall.

But this gap in my collection allowed me to come to Peter Purvis’s reason of the story without my memory cheating on the relative merit of the original novelization.

Coming at the end of the classic series’ second season, “The Time Meddler” is a pivotal point in Doctor Who history. Continue reading

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TV Round-Up: Star Trek: Discovery: Context is for Kings

context-is-for-kings-star-trek-discovery-saru-burnham-1506732203935_1280w“I believe you feel regret but in my mind you are dangerous.”

One thing that’s interested me so far about Star Trek: Discovery is that while the title of the episode doesn’t flash on screen (I promise, I’ll try and get past it at some point!), it’s been incorporated in dialogue in each of the first three installments.  Maybe the title is supposed to be an Easter egg for fans in the same way as the tribbles we see in Lorca’s ready room. Continue reading

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TV Round-Up: The Orville: About A Girl

the-orville-season-1-episode-3-about-a-girl-foxDear producers of The Orville:  More episodes like this one, please.

Not sure yet if this episode will be the exception or the rule, but I’m hoping it becomes the rule.  While not perfect, “About a Girl” feels like it’s a step in the right direction.

Which, knowing Seth MacFarlane can only mean next week will the series take on “The Naked Now” only instead of acting drunk, everyone will act like they’ve had one too many of the special brownies the replicators can whip at the drop of a hat. Continue reading

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TV Round-Up: Star Trek: Discovery — Battle at the Binary Star

what-time-does-star-trek-discovery-start-1022837-320x180With “Battle at the Binary Star,” Star Trek: Discovery takes some of the pieces introduced in “The Vulcan Hello” and begins to move them into place for the next thirteen episodes.

It doesn’t hurt that “Binary Star” includes one of the best space battles that Trek has ever committed to celluloid in either a series or a movie.

It’s interesting to see Discovery has taken a different tactic to most of the other modern Trek shows with its two-hour pilot.  Each modern Trek had everything in place by the end of the first two hours.  At this point in Discovery, the only regular cast member we’ve spent significant time with is Michael Burnham.  And we haven’t even seen her assume her new role on board her new ship.  We haven’t even seen the ship that gives the series its namesake. Continue reading

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TV Round-Up: Star Trek: Discovery: The Vulcan Hello

Star Trek has introduced viewers to new series on one of two ways.

STAR TREK: DISCOVERY

Pictured (l-r): Doug Jones as Lieutenant Saru; Sonequa Martin-Green as First Officer Michael Burnham; Michelle Yeoh as Captain Philippa Georgiou. STAR TREK: DISCOVERY coming to CBS All Access. Photo Cr: Jan Thijs. © 2017 CBS Interactive. All Rights Reserved.

The first is the sink or swim approach utilized by “The Man  Trap.”  The episode threw viewers into the universe of Star Trek with little or no exposition or character introduction.   (Of course, it helps that “The Man Trap” feels like the middle portion is a “day in the life of the Enterprise”).

Then there’s the get the crew together and start having adventures model used by the four modern Treks.   There may be an emphasis on a central character (Sikso for DS9) and a lot of exposition on the setting, place in the Trek-verse and potential storylines that may or may not be examined during the series run.

Now with (for lack of a better term) post-modern Trek, Star Trek: Discovery starts off with a hybrid of those two models. Continue reading

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