Posts tagged #tvreview

Killing Eve REVIEW

KILLING EVE

**SMALL SPOILERS AHEAD**

I’ve been hearing a buzz about Killing Eve, a BBC America show, so I dropped the latest season of Arrested Development (sorry, I’ll get back to you) and queued up all eight episodes for a two-day binge.

Sandra Oh starts as the titular Eve Polastri, a dowdy MI5 security agent who has more ambition and intelligence than her current role calls for; fortunately, she’s quickly sacked and given an opportunity to run a covert MI6 operation tracking and identifying a new female assassin who’s been making quite a name for herself internationally. But what is that name and who does she work for?

Her name is Villanelle (codename, of course) and she’s a young, Russian psychopath living and partying in Paris. Portrayed by Jodie Comer, she is, all at once, humorous, rude, manipulative, cold, brazen, childish, and lovely. She has a complicated father-daughter-type relationship with her handler, Konstantin, from whom she learns of Eve’s special (and apparently not-so-secret - do you smell a mole?) operation and soon develops an infatuation with the frumpy agent who is just her type, sexually speaking.

And speaking of ladies who know what they want, all the major leads in Killing Eve are women. In addition to Oh and Comer, we have Fiona Shaw, a veteran Irish actress who played Mrs. Dursley in the Harry Potter film franchise. Shaw plays Carolyn Martens, a living legend in MI6 and Oh’s new boss. All these women are determined, intelligent, self-possessed, and the definition of badass… but can they be trusted? It’s no wonder strong women are the central focus of this show - Killing Eve was created (well, adapted from the novels by Luke Jennings) by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, an immensely talented writer and actress whose off-kilter appeal has been a magnet for success of late.

Aside: As a Britcom lover, I was also pleasantly surprised to see several appearances from British character actors, including David Haig and Darren Boyd - not women, but actors I love nonetheless.  

Killing Eve is a spy show in that there are secret agencies, covert operations, and intelligence gathering, but it’s not always as intense as traditional spy shows tend to be. Yes, there’s double-crossing, questioning of loyalties, and wondering who really works for whom, but it’s very light-hearted at times, playful and witty, even, with a fantastic soundtrack of 1960s French pop (think Françoise Hardy and Brigitte Bardot). What makes these madcap moments even better is that they are always followed by a sharp, emotional gut-punch, quickly bringing the viewer right back into the dark world of espionage and assassination.

Also unlike a traditional espionage drama, the cat-and-mouse game is a little different. The mouse wants to be caught by the cat -- and Eve and Villanelle are both each others’ mouse, if that makes any sense. Each is infatuated with the other and the two meet face-to-face much earlier than is normal in a classic spy chase. Traditional genre cliches are thrown out the window and this lays the groundwork for the rest of the season (and indeed the next season) - When will they meet again? Will one kill the other? Do they love each other? Who does Villanelle work for? And will Eve ever wear any of those fancy French garments?

The first season of Killing Eve is set to premiere on Hulu in Fall 2018, but you can stream it via AMC until June 25th.

Posted on June 19, 2018 and filed under TV Reviews.

Cobra Kai REVIEW

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A lot of revivals and revisits have been happening in recent years. It's seen by many as "unoriginal" and "lazy" but what needs to be understood is that starting with the late 70's movies and television began having a more solid substance as far as extended story lines and world building. Sequels existed before but did not reach their full potential until the 70's with the Planet of the Apes series, Star Wars, the Star Trek films, Indiana Jones... The list goes on. Before then films and television did not require revivals because there wasn't as heavy of a fandom. So the continuation of stories from the those years may not be needed but, when executed well, are welcomed.

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In that world of welcomed revivals is the return to the world of the Karate Kid but through the eyes of Johnny Lawrence. YouTube Red has not had much success with original programming, a division they seemed to make a mistake with by featuring popular YouTube stars in series that seemed hastily thrown together. A move that left a bad taste in the fans of those stars' mouth by ostensibly putting new content behind a paywall. 
As a subscriber to Google Music I got YouTube Red for free and enjoy it for it's commercial free videos but have never found anything worth bragging about when it came to programming until now. 

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Cobra Kai is what YouTube Red should have led with. A series that within the first two episodes can go toe-to-toe with a Netflix or Hulu original. It pays respect to the original three films without ever making it feel like lip service or cheap. As I stated in the Super Trooper 2 review, often sequels lean to heavily on the crutch of the original but Cobra Kai is the complete opposite. The villain is now a lowly loser underdog and the hero is now a self righteous douche, both clinging so hard to the past that they can't see each other as anything more than the enemies they once were. This is a move that flips the dynamic on it's head but, I'd imagine, over the series will prove for both men that they have more in common than they think. The series hits the ground running and through a few flashbacks and a little character development to catch the audience up, by the end of episode one, you're in. I don't know how it will end but I already hold out hope for a second season.
The first two episodes of Cobra Kai are available now for free on YouTube and with a free month of Red you can burn through the other eight, as I plan to immediatly after posting this. If YouTube Red continues producing quality programming on the level as Cobra Kai they definitely will be able to give other streaming services a run for their money.

CLICK THE BANNER TO CHECK OUT THE FIRST TWO EPISODES!

CLICK THE BANNER TO CHECK OUT THE FIRST TWO EPISODES!

Posted on May 2, 2018 .

Westworld: Season 2 Spoilers!!!!!

Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers!

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Season 2 of Westworld premiered tonight and all signs point to a well built, multifaceted story of a ride we are going to be journeying this summer.

Right off the bat, we get some answers to questions everyone had. We learn they are on an island, location unknown, and there are multiple parks that share borders.

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Continuing from where we left off last season, Dolores is still on her killing spree with Teddy by her side along with the other hosts. The guests are scurrying for survival.

While Maeve made it to the top level and could have escaped, she was compelled to stay and find her daughter.

We get to follow Tessa, Bernard and a group of guests as they try and make their way to safety. Let just say it doesn’t end well for the guests.

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Tessa and Bernard do make it to refuge and ill just leave it at that. I don’t want to give away everything from the first episode. It is a critical scene and seems to give a direction for this season.

We close out with a scene that had Bernard shaken to his core. All I’ll say is it leaves lots of questions and I cant wait to see how we get there.

If you were on the fence after season one, make sure and give season 2 a chance. It looks like its going to be a complex, twisted tale that I will be looking forward to each Sunday.

Posted on April 22, 2018 .