Discuss and Rate the Last Thing You Watched (non-movies)

Hawki

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The Dragon Prince: Season 3 (3/5)

While not a bad season, this is easily the weakest of the three.

I should specify that it's been ages since I saw seasons 1/2, and that there's no real explanation as to why I never got round to season 3 until now - probably in part due to season 4 being imminent. Whatever the case, season 3 has significant issues that dragged it down for me, mainly due to its plot. To this end, I'm going to divide this review into three sections - the "Xadia Arc" (Callum and Rayla heading to the Storm Spire), the "Katolis Arc" (events in Katolis), and the Final Battle (no arc, the last episode can be examined on its own. So on that note:

XADIA ARC

There aren't as many issues here with the Katolis Arc, and I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that Callum and Rayla are a pair of cinnamon buns that need protecting on their ship. Or, snark aside, the relationship between them goes full-fledged romance in this season, but it's done well, helped by the fact that we had two seasons leading up to it (I don't recall if there was outright attraction in season 1, but there definitely was by the end of season 2, so good job there). However, the Xadia Arc has an issue that's arguably endemic to this season, that things happen because they have to, regardless as to whether they make sense.

I'll be more speciific. The pair need to get to the Storm Spire to reunite Zym with his mother. Meeting one of Reyla's parents, he sends a magic bird thing to have aid be sent to them. The next episode shows the bird being killed by a Skywing elf, who shows up, and introduces herself as Nyx to the pair, pointing out that she can fly Zym to the mountain much faster than them walking. The pair are suspicious, but as they haven't seen what the viewer has, they have no concrete reason to distrust her...until she abandons them in the desert, but is then rescued, then leaves, no harm, no foul, right? I was waiting for some grand reveal that Nyx was some kind of agent of Aaravos or something, or wanted Zym for her own purposes, but her actual motivations are never brought up. Taking things as writ, we can only assume that she DID want to take Zym to his mother, and that if she had, the season would have ended much earlier because the job would be done.

I bring this up because it's an example of "stuff happens, damn the reasons." Or, alternatively, I have a sneaking suspicious that either the writers were short on time, or just couldn't fit everything in, because it feels like the season's story is missing material. But overall, the Xadia arc (in as much as getting to the Storm Spire) is decent. The Katolis Arc, on the other hand...

KATOLIS ARC

The writing is bad, and the writers should feel bad.

I'm not exaggerating, there's stuff that happens here that just doesn't make sense. Thanks to Viren's actions in season 2, four of the Five Kingdoms are clamouring for war. But Ezran returns, and things immediately go wrong when literally as soon as he steps into the throne room, triumphant music plays, and the crown gets put on his head. No questions asked. This has got to be the fastest coronation in history. Also, I cannot, for the life of me, work out what Ezran is even trying to do here. As it can summized as:

-Kasef: We want to attack Xadia.

-Ezran: No.

-Kasef: We'll attack Xadia with Katolis, or attack Katolis.

-Ezran: Okay, I'll abdicate.

-Viren: I'm king now.

-Ezran: So, war's averted right?

-Viren: Nup.

That's a bit unfair, but it's not far from the truth. Ezran wants to avoid war (nevermind the insanity of the other nations wasting resources on Katolis for Ezran not committing to war), so he abdicates, which somehow translates to him being imprisoned in place of Viren. What? Why? Did I miss something, or did the writers? It doesn't help much when Viren rallies the army and declares that everyone who doesn't want to fight should leave, and some people do, and I was waiting for someone, anyone to denounce him, but nup, it just never happens. It's like the writers just forgot to write these things, or chose not to for reasons I just can't understand.

-Ezran escapes, and ends up flying on a magic wing creature to Callum and Rayla. So...basically, all of his actions in Katolis were at best, a waste of time, or at worst, actually made things worse, since it led to Viren being freed, albeit indirectly. Also, it's similar to the eagle/Mordor question - not as blatant, but what took our heroes 3 seasons to do on foot is accomplished by Ezran in a single episode via flight. Um, sure. Go for it.

-All of that would be questionable enough, but it gets worse. Viren leads the armies of four of the five kingdoms into Xadia, and we later learn that he doesn't have any real plan. This in of itself isn't bad writing - it actually fits Viren and works thematically - but what doesn't work as well is that we have to believe that no commander in any army asked Viren what his plan was. When Soren of all people is the one asking what the plan of attack is, something has gone terribly wrong in your command structure.

-But then, maybe they don't have to worry, because the Sunfire Elves are hilariously incompetent. Viren's combined army, which we later learn is 10,000 strong, manages to march within sight of Lux Aurea (their capital, and the biggest city we've seen in the setting so far), and Viren, allowing himself to be captured, reveals the existence of his army to their queen. So basically, a 10,000-strong army marched through Xadia, with not a single elf noticing, to the extent that it could approach the Sunfire Elves' capital, and catch them unawares. Yeah...no. This is just too much. I know the Sunfire Elves are meant to be arrogant, which is why Viren's plan to get the queen's staff works, but there's a difference between arrogance, and incompetence, and this gets too far into the latter.

-It's worth noting that apparently, the entire city is destroyed with only a handful of survivours. Keep that in mind.

-Viren turns his army into literal monsters bar a few, including Soren (who escapes), Claudia (who's loyal to her father, despite her misgivings), and Saleer. Why Saleer? Saleer helped get Viren on the throne, but why is he spared? What does he think about the monsterizing process? I don't know, because while he's part of Viren's army, I don't think he has a single line of dialogue after the army heads east. Again, it's like the writers just forgot about him, or they just didn't have time to do anything with him, because he just stops being a character along the way.

Overall, this arc is weak, riddled with contrivances that stack up over time. Maybe I'm expecting too much from a kid's (teens at most) show, but the prior seasons didn't have this many problems. At the least, things made sense in the context of their own universe. And yeah, there's some really hooky dialogue in this season (such as Callum telling Rayla how emotionally torn he is by...saying how emotionally torn he is), but really?

Whatever. Final battle time.

THE FINAL BATTLE

Both arcs eventually converge as the protagonists mount a defence of the Dragon Queen (who's fallen into a coma because of grief), as Viren and his army approach, seeking to kill Zym because...um, Aaravos wants Viren to (this isn't bad writing, again, Viren's lack of a real plan fits his character at this point). I'm giving this its own section because a) both arcs reach this point, and b) it's arguably a microcosm of the whole season - cool stuff is happening, but it begins to buckle under contrivances if you think about it too much.

So, on one side, we have the remnants of the Sunfire Elves - apparently all that survived Lux Aurea. Not too many, and you'd think they'd be a mite pissed about the apparent genocide of their people, but nup, this doesn't come up. We later see them bowing to Ezran for instance, so apparently they're totally over their anti-human prejudices. It's so weird, it's like being slaughtered by a human mage makes them LESS prejudiced, not more. This being a series that has alternated between moral ambiguity and the "humans are bastards" trope, but I covered that in reviews of prior seasons (though the flashback at the start of this season keeps up the trend). Regardless, joining the Sunfire Elves are Soren, Amaya, and Ezran leading a flight of dragons, because I guess Daenerys wasn't available. 0_0

The battle itself is actually fairly good for the most part - the tactics used make sense, at least on the part of the Sunfire Elves (oh so NOW you start to act intelligent), whereas Viren's tactics are more based around trickery. However, the tide turns in the protagonists' favour with the arrival of Annya and her army. Y'know, that girl from season 2, who is seen briefly in the credits of a season 3 episode with Corvus and Opali, and who's apparently led her army into Xadia to do...something.

Yeah, sorry, this makes no sense. It relies on the following to happen:

-Corvus and Opali get to Annya

-They convince Annya to lend her army to do...something (remember, they don't know what's actually happening in Xadia in this time period)

-Annya, despite refusing to march to war in season 2, marches to war in season 3 for reasons that are never given or questioned (I don't think she even gets a line).

-The army makes it in time, despite setting out after Viren's army.

-It arrives with the strength to fight.

-It knows automatically that the "human" army is actually the bad guys, and that the elves (the people they've hated for 1000 years) are the good guys.

...fine, whatever. Might have been nice to see any of the leadup to this, but nup. Again, maybe I'm spoiled by more adult fantasy, that goes into the logistics of moving armies around continents (see Game of Thrones for example), but even by the series's own standards, this is questionable. Also, what's average joe's motivation here? I can imagine the conversation playing out.

Commander: We're marching to war.

Joe: Why?

Commander: Viren's leading an army into the land of the elves to kill a pair of dragons.

Joe: ...not seeing the problem here.

What's also questionable is that the battle ends and the elves and friendly!humans are not besties. Maybe. I mentioned the Sunfire forgiveness issue before, but season 3 has a weird take on things. By all the lore that's been established so far, the hatred between humasn and elves goes back 1000 years, but here, the implication is that things onyl really started to go bad with the death of Thunder and the stealing of Zym's egg. I bring this up in part because of season 4, which implies that after 2 years, things are pretty swell between the two races. I...no. Just no. Fantasy or not, you can't end 1000 years of hatred in 2 years or less. Even Chronicles of Narnia did it in 3 between Telmarines and Narnians, and that, at least, had the excuse of being a borderline fairytale. Even Avatar: The Last Airbender (which the creators worked on) ended at the start of the Fire Nation beginning to make ammends, not a "we're all good now, right?" moment.

So, yeah. Zym's mother wakes up, all's right in the world. Again, this is kind of neat, but events feel rushed. Hypothetically, the series could have ended here if it cut out the Viren/Aaravos cliffhanger, but even then, it really feels like it needed another episode, season 4 or no.

So, yeah. The season is a net positive, and there's plenty of stuff I liked, but there were so many contrivances, it really started to bog things down. I don't think this is nitpicking - nitpicking is pointing out how few people actually die in the series, for instance - there's severe plot issues that I just couldn't ignore. Just hope season 4 is better, if/when I get round to it.
 

sXeth

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Werewolf by Night (I mean, its a TV Movie, but we'll go with thiss thread)


So yeah, this one is definitively someone doing their stylistic take, and one of the more radical departures from the Marvel formula thus far. It takes the theming idea from Wandvision, but does it better (possibly because its not noticably tethered to an inveitable albatross that is MCU tie-ins (Though if you know Man Thing''s whole comic deal, then maybe). Also we get actual blood and a coherent not-cut-to-pieces action scene. And mostly practical effects.


That said, it does have a lot of the standard MCTU baggage. The "villains" are basically throwaways. The main plot resolution is just an introduction or establishment of a character (which is not the titular WbN as that goes).


Its a fun little romp, but yeah, it doesn't really go anywhere, even within its own little self-containment.
 
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Piscian

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Werewolf by Night (I mean, its a TV Movie, but we'll go with thiss thread)


So yeah, this one is definitively someone doing their stylistic take, and one of the more radical departures from the Marvel formula thus far. It takes the theming idea from Wandvision, but does it better (possibly because its not noticably tethered to an inveitable albatross that is MCU tie-ins (Though if you know Man Thing''s whole comic deal, then maybe). Also we get actual blood and a coherent not-cut-to-pieces action scene. And mostly practical effects.


That said, it does have a lot of the standard MCTU baggage. The "villains" are basically throwaways. The main plot resolution is just an introduction or establishment of a character (which is not the titular WbN as that goes).


Its a fun little romp, but yeah, it doesn't really go anywhere, even within its own little self-containment.
I just watched tonight as well. On the positive side I enjoyed them doing something unrelated to the "franchise". I liked the ideas, acting and story. On the negative side I wasnt impressed with the cinematography. Despite it being filmed in B&W it felt pretty uninspired. Rather than be a true homage to B&W horror where "less is more" with sharp close ups and what not, most of it is filmed in big wide shots, reminiscent of the lazy cinematography of Obi-wan. Some of the "magic" was lost, in seeing this sort of cw level kungfu kills that noir tone set in the early moments.

That said, if Disney is asking me I want to see more Werewolf by Night? Hell yeah, I would.
 
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hanselthecaretaker

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Dragon's House Episode 8

I think the series was ultimately successful in convincing the audience that war is unavoidable. That none of the main players are paper thin villains. I enjoyed the feeling of each side that losing is a death sentence. Whats more its impressive that they had the gall to do it in 8 episodes. If this were AMC wed be 8 seasons in before the sense of a climax is felt. I wouldn't compliment it with a comparison to Shakespeare, but certainly redeems the producers from the trash that was the latter half of GOT.

Its just nice to see one of these shows move at a nice clip and each episode feel like it has a beginning and an end.

Hopefully this thing sticks the landing. Id like to see this story end in the next episode for this particular group of players. I dont need three more seasons of these people giving each other the stink eye.

If there are gonna be three more seasons I want to see a jump to a new cast.
If they plan on bridging the roughly 200 year gap between it and GoT then they would need to recast a new generation at least a few times. Probably will do something like a generation per season. Would be highly surprised if they didn’t have a roadmap planned out.
 
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Bob_McMillan

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I really, really enjoyed watching the She-hulk finale. And yet, I was incredibly disappointed at the same time. Definitely a shit ton of surprises that don't quite make up for the shit writing.

I'll probably go more in depth once other people leave their thoughts, but for now: She-hulk is the D+ MCU show I've had the most fun with. At the same time, it is no less poorly written and made than any of the other ones. Perhaps it's because I had less than zero expectations for this show, or because it's so easy to not really give a shit about the show. I won't mind seeing Jen again but I really don't see how they can stay true to the character without derailing whatever she's in.
 

Piscian

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I really, really enjoyed watching the She-hulk finale. And yet, I was incredibly disappointed at the same time. Definitely a shit ton of surprises that don't quite make up for the shit writing.

I'll probably go more in depth once other people leave their thoughts, but for now: She-hulk is the D+ MCU show I've had the most fun with. At the same time, it is no less poorly written and made than any of the other ones. Perhaps it's because I had less than zero expectations for this show, or because it's so easy to not really give a shit about the show. I won't mind seeing Jen again but I really don't see how they can stay true to the character without derailing whatever she's in.
I think my thoughts on the finale and the show in general could be summarized as "huh..that was interesting.". Marvel will be disappointed to find out I did not get out of my chair and whoop and clap at their clever ending. The whole thing was just kind of competent and neat, but never pushed any boundaries. In fact its made weaker by the fact that Deadpool did all this better and did it before. That said, my lasting memories of these shows comes down to execution. Marvel has a lot of Ups and down in that department. Wandavision had good acting and ideas, but really did not manage to stick the landing, Falcon America will stick in my memory as the most miserable, disjointed experience of any of the shows, Loki was messy but alright, Ms Marvel was CW trash, Hawk-eye and Moon Knight fine-ish. I think in a weird way She-hulk is my favorite of any of them because of the consistency of the quality. It didn't wow me, but at the same time I've gotten up every thursday morning like a kid excited for Saturday Morning cartoons. It's difficult not to give it a pass, where as with the majority of the other shows I always had a bit of Apprehension going into each episode. Ms Marvel is the first and only show where I literally took a break as I'd completely lost interest.

Regarding the ending, it felt neat, but also obnoxious like Marvel is patting themselves on the back for being so clever. I would have enjoy it more if they took out the Kevin stuff and thats drags and just had her go after the writers like she does in the comics. I didn't care for the picnic cameo. This episode was a lot of teasing and wrapping things up at the same time which made the pacing awkward. Is it the best Marvel show so far? For me yeah, but its all perspective. A lot of people care more that "THEY DID THE THING!" than good pacing and consistent writing. For me this show was a joy start to end, it was straight forward and didn't derail itself with sidequests, characters or flashbacks excepting the origin story which was fun. Solid A-.
 

FakeSympathy

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Well, I recently watched the first episode of the anime Bleach. The show has been on hiatus (or was it cancelled? can't remember) for around 10 years, and now it's back. It'll cover the last arc of the manga, The Thousand Year Blood War.

And as one of the long-time Bleach fan, I am so glad to see its return. The first episode was very impressive, especially in the animation aspect. The show's supposed to have additional scenes that weren't in the manga, and I'm glad they are adding those extra scenes. Because this arc, as much as I love its story, has some pacing issues
 

SilentPony

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Corner of No and Where
Just watched the She Hulk finale. I have some mixed feelings on it, but overall I really enjoyed it. I thought it was clever with pretty great twists and a real Freakazoid feeling. Though I have thoughts on it as well.

Okay so the big twist. Shit hits the fan, the weird incel Todd is now a hulk, Titania goes crazy, Abomination is back and Bruce Hulk comes in and its a great big messy grand slam. And then Jen just calls fucking pause, this is stupid and breaks the fourth wall over her knee by leaving her show and going to the Disney studio to talk to the writers.
This is clever. This is a way better version of breaking the 4th wall than DeadPool ever managed.
Now for the thoughts. This has the same problem Deadpool's 4th wall breaking had. Not how they break the 4th wall, but why. In Deadpool Ryan looks to camera and says the studio doesn't trust them enough for a budget for cameos from the cool Xmen or to have a great big climatic finale...and then proceeds to not have any cool Xmen or a great big climatic finale. Its not a subversion of expectations if you tell them to expect shit and then deliver shit. That's just shit.
In She Hulk Jen literally confronts the writers about the weird shit stories and the nonsense plotlines and they just shrug and go "Pffft, shit stories are what we do."
And its like okay, we can have She Hulk strong arm the writers into doing a better job as a joke, or...and hear me out here, we could do a better job from the get go and not retroactively justify shit plots as a gag for the finale that the writers knew was shit the whole time.
The thing with Kevin was okay, in a real meta way. I enjoyed it. Some of it was a little on the nose, but I can't really complain when the premise is She hulk broke into the real world to talk to the Marvel head about her show. It was a literal Deus Ex Machina moment, but I can forgive it because of the premise of She Hulk being aware she's in a show.
And fucking hell, they brought DareDevil back! See Deadpool, that's how you subvert an expectation. Have the God Machine say they didn't budget for Daredevil, and then have him come in anyway. That's clever, and a good use of 4th wall breaking. Literally falling from the sky, having booked an entire week to spend with Jen. No explanation needed, or rather, God did it because it was good for the show.
And I guess they're just going full steam ahead on their relationship, which I say good. They're cute, and its nice to see Daredevil breaking out of Moore's mold of grim dark. This isn't Warhammer 40k, other emotions besides blinding bloody rage are allowed to exist.
Probably gonna see Jen in Daredevil Born Again, and I say good.

Overall 8/10, Daredevil and She Hulk should be a Marvel power couple. I approve.
 
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Hawki

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Masters of the Universe: Revelation (part 2)

Skeleton and Evil-Lyn reguarly had sex during the original series. Just thought I'd drop that plot point on you and see if I ruined anyone's childhoods.

So, finally got round to part 2 of season 1 of this series. It's weird coming off this from Dragon Prince, because it's kind of the inverse - DP season 3 had a mixed bunch of episodes with a very solid final one, while MoU has a solid run of episodes with a very iffy ending. It's also strange coming off Dragon Prince, because as iffy as the worldbuilding was there, it at least had it, while MoU is completely bonkers. That said, it being bonkers is kind of part of the charm, though that makes its attempts at gravitas a bit weird at times. Not bad, but weird.

Anyway, I should specify, if I didn't when I reviewed part 1 way back in the day, that I don't have any connection to the 1980s series, and no real emotional stakes in the IP as a whole, so my thoughts on Revelation are almost entirely based on Revelation and nothing else. So, random thoughts:

-Mark Hamill as Skeletor is the MVP. There's streaks of Joker in his performance, but it's not a 1:1 matchup.

-Skeletor summons the Army of the Dead near the start...and never does it again. Circumstances kind of explain why, but even so, it flies in the face of Chekov's gun.

-So Adam can turn into, ahem, "Hulk Man" (techincally "Savage He-Man") by calling down "the power" without the sword as a conduit. So, what, throughout the entire original series he was never in a position to try this? Meh, whatever. Him and Skeletor going balls to the walls in their empowered forms is decent, and thankfully doesn't drag out.

-So I'm going to diverge quite a bit and discuss Evil-Lyn, because how this part treats her is really part of the issue at the heart of the series, and whether it's a good or bad thing will be down to personal taste. Let's not mince words, Revelation fully establishes that Evil-Lyn has been physically and emotionally abused by Skeletor over the years, and no, this isn't subtext. That "this isn't your dad's He-Man" is kind of said almost directly to the audience as she addresses the flunkies ("the idiocies of the past will no longer be tolerated"), or Skeletor's "look what I could accomplish when I wasn't held back by idiots" line. Even if you don't have any emotional connection with the 80s series (which I don't), I'm on the bridge about this, because on one hand, the visuals of this are silly (brightly coloured people discussing abuse, nihilism, existentialism, etc.), while on the other, in of itself, it's actually surprisingly well done. It reminds me of a dilemma many writers and fans have, including myself, when revisiting stuff from their youths - is it better to try and update an IP, to make it more mature to fit your more adult tastes, or are you losing the essence of the IP in doing so? I suspect that Kevin Smith has chosen the former, but whatever the case, while I think this is done well overall, I could see it being an issue for others.

Also, while I mentioned that Skeletor is the MVP for voice acting, Lena Heady deserves all due credit for Evil-Lyn. Maybe it's because of me watching her as Cersei Lannister, but I can hear her inflections in Evil-Lyn and mannerisms, and it's good stuff.

-So, Adam reunites with his father, who hugs it out (literally), causing him to revert to his normal, non-berserker state. Again, it's this weird mix where the visuals are kind of bonkers (seriously, what's with Eternia's BDUs for its soldiers?), but the actual writing is very well done.

-So Evil-Lyn gets the Sword of Power and is now a god, and uses that power to wipe out this setting's equivalent of Heaven. She never does anything like this again for the rest of the season, despite her powers increasing over time as some planetary alignment nonsense gets closer. Yeah...this series has a problem with power levels. if your antagonsit can wipe out fucking Heaven, the good guys shouldn't have a snowball's chance in Hell of stopping them. So instead of literally summoning demons from not!Hell in the final battle, you'd think she'd literally just squash them, but doesn't, because...reasons. And this isn't projection, Lyn calls Skeletor out for not doing this very thing, but when she gets "the power," she doesn't.

-So, the final battle plays out. Is it bonkers? Yes. Does it make sense? Not really. Is it a visual representation of toys being smashed against one another? Kind of. Is it glorious? Hell yes. The final battle sequence is arguably a microcosm of the entire series (or at least part of it), where it's this weird mix of what's happening is bonkers, yet glorious, yet it's also taking itself super seriously, and bizzarely, kind of works.

-Also, fun fact, we see the death of god (or "Zoar") in a flashback that is either literally happening, or a metaphorical representation of a creation myth. I...really didn't expect He-Man of all things to depict the origin of the universe and the death of God in such a way that it's left vague whether what we're seeing is literal or metaphorical, but it went there, and somehow, it works.

-So the final battle plays out. There's some absolutely stellar animation involved, at least for He-Man as he carves through demons, and later has a 1v1 with Skeletor as the universe starts to unravel around them, while Teela engages Evil Lyn in a mind duel, or something...yeah, you may have noticed that despite Teela being the protagonist of this series (yes, I'm calling her the protagonist, while Adam is a deuteragonist at best), I don't actually have that much to say about her. If anything, what I have to say isn't good, as in the span of days, she manages to master her sorceress powers, and decides that she's so gosh darn special that she isn't going to be bound to Castle Greyskull like her mother, and every sorceress before her. Um, sure. Okay. While the series is more Teela's story than anyone else, it really drops the ball for her here. She has an arc, sure, but it feels unearned, and her 'power level' boost is nearly as rediculous as Lyn's, only it's without any in-universe rationale for it.

-So the season ends with the universe saved. Lyn wanders off to find redemption (or something), everyone in Eternia is happy, there's maybe a 'thing' between Adam and Teela (wasn't there a thing between Teela and Andra in part 1?), and Skeletor is borgified by Mother Board which hints at the coming of Ordrak. And if you don't know what those things are, look it up, you plebs.

So that was Masters of the Universe: Revelation. Supposedly there's going to be a season 2. I'm not holding my breath, but I'd be fairly interested. Overall, while it has hiccups, the series is surprisingly good, at least from the perspective of a newbie. If it's raped your childhood or anything, be it Skeletor's literal rape or something else, well, guess that kinda sucks, but not my problem I'm afraid - I don't have the power. :p
 

Hawki

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Black Lightning: Season 4 (3/5)

...bleh.

That really describes my thoughts on this season. To reiterate, seasons 1 and 2 were terrible, season 3 was actually pretty good, season 4 is just bleh, having more in common with the first two seasons, but not being as bad. To give some pointers as to why, I'll list the following:

-There's a lack of any central plot, and for the first half of the season, the characters just sort of meander along. The closest thing there is to a central plot is Tobias Whale running for mayor and whatnot, but come on, it's been four seasons, Tobias isn't compelling enough of a villain to still be around.

-The fight scenes are terrible...mostly. Any season that involves actual martial arts is fairly well done, such as those with Khalil/Painkiller (who's one of the rare bright spots in terms of characterization - the camera gets creative in highlighting his dual personalities), but anything involving powers is just bad. The shots are anemic, and often, literally, a fight boils down to "X and Y shoot lightning at each other, stand still, one of them fails." I don't know if this is a budget or directing issue, but the action's just BAD.

-Also, the music. Every time with the action, music is played that clashes with the scene. This can work at times, when music is played that doesn't fit what's going on-screen, usually to establish a sense of unease or irony (think Flur de Les playing as someone's beaten to death, y'know, that sort of irony), now apply that discordance to literally every...single...fight. It gets old fast.

-A sub-plot involves Jennifer being replaced by a doppleganger, who's revealed as a doppleganger by the end of the season and defeated. This is a plot twist which fails as a plot twist, because nothing actually changes. You could remove this plot element and literally, nothing would change. A good plot twist recontextualizes past events, this doesn't manage it, and if anything, brings the season to a stop to accomodate it. If it's due to the original Jen actress being unavailable or something, sure, I can understand that, but from what's on-screen, it's just pointless.

-I've said it before and I'll say it again, the whole "metahumans are a metaphor for oppressed groups" doesn't work, and in the entire Arrowverse, it's never worked except, fittingly enough, season 3 of Black Lightning. And now that the show's part of Earth Prime, it makes even less sense because metas are now a dime a dozen, what with Central City. Heck, Central City is even namedropped, but it's still going with this angle, and it still doesn't work. It really doesn't help that the show thinks it's more intelligent than it actually is when it intercuts footage of BLM protests with a certain moment, despite this being a setting where the police are equipped with laser guns (yes, really) to hunt down metahumans. In season 1/2, I expressed unease that the greenlight thing as a metaphor for drugs was in iffy territory, but this is just plain stupid. This isn't an argument against superhero shows trying to tackle political issues, but like most shows in the Arrowverse, it just doesn't work.

So, yeah. Didn't think much of this. For a show with "Lightning" in its title, apart from season 3, it never found its spark. The season ends with...well, not a cliffhanger, but with clear throughlines to follow up on, and barring a comic series, that'll never happen. Kind of a shame, but I'll live.

Anyway, current Arrowverse rankings are as follows:

30) The Flash: Season 7

29) Black Lightning: Season 2

28) Black Lightning: Season 1

27) Arrow: Season 8

26) Arrow: Season 3

25) Black Lightning: Season 4

24) Arrow: Season 7

23) Legends of Tomorrow: Season 6

22) The Flash: Season 5

21) Legends of Tomorrow: Season 3

20) The Flash: Season 4

19) The Flash: Season 6

18) Stargirl: Season 2

17) The Flash: Season 3

16) Supergirl: Season 1

15) Arrow: Season 5

14) Legends of Tomorrow: Season 1

13) Legends of Tomorrow: Season 2

12) Arrow: Season 6

11) Supergirl: Season 2

10) The Flash: Season 1

9) The Flash: Season 2

8) Legends of Tomorrow: Season 5

7) Superman and Lois: Season 1

6) Black Lightning: Season 3

5) Arrow: Season 4

4) Legends of Tomorrow: Season 4

3) Stargirl: Season 1

2) Arrow: Season 2

1) Arrow: Season 1
 

thebobmaster

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Finished She-Hulk. I have never seen a show fall apart that much in the last episode, that's all I'll say. There's meta, and then there's mess.
 
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SilentPony

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Finished She-Hulk. I have never seen a show fall apart that much in the last episode, that's all I'll say. There's meta, and then there's mess.
See this is why I love the MCU. Because I thought the exact opposite. I thought it was a great 4th break, and went into new territory for this unique character.
 

Bob_McMillan

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I think in a weird way She-hulk is my favorite of any of them because of the consistency of the quality. It didn't wow me, but at the same time I've gotten up every thursday morning like a kid excited for Saturday Morning cartoons. It's difficult not to give it a pass, where as with the majority of the other shows I always had a bit of Apprehension going into each episode.
I have more or less the same sentiments. The focus on being a comedy first, everything else second bought the show a lot of leeway in my eyes. Each Thursday was less "Oh boy we get to see what happens next" and more of "Oh boy another 30ish minutes of stupid fun with friends!".
The whole thing was just kind of competent and neat, but never pushed any boundaries. In fact its made weaker by the fact that Deadpool did all this better and did it before.
The big difference though is that Deadpool 2 did this as an end credits scene, basically as a joke. After the actual plot of the movie had reached a satisfying ending. Which brings me to...
See this is why I love the MCU. Because I thought the exact opposite. I thought it was a great 4th break, and went into new territory for this unique character.
I did quite enjoy it, it was really over the top and endlessly stupid. What's not to love?

But the biggest problem for me is that this isn't an ending. The whole point of the sequence was to get a better ending for the show. What actually did happen was that they erased the bad ending and never bothered replacing it with something else. The show just straight up fucking ends, showing no redemption or victory for Jen, no villains are truly held accountable, and once again the show demonstrates it never took the "courtroom" part of "courtroom drama" seriously. I absolutely hate this kind of "subverting expectations", where all they do is subvert and not actually provide a good alternative to your expectations.

We just needed a single montage of a good ending, and even that they couldn't provide. I had my apprehensions when we learned that this episode would only be 30 minutes, and my fears were justified. Was it studio interference? Did they just run out of budget? Or most likely, could the writers just not come up with anything better?
 

Piscian

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I think the biggest problem with the Disney shows up to this point is that every episode is like "WERE SETTING SOMETHING UP!", and so every episode you're like "sigh ok fuck is this gonna reward my time here?" and then it was constantly hit and miss. Loki was a lot of that like "can this just be a movie please?".

Reflecting on it, the vast majority of She-hulk episodes have a clear beginning and resolution. They might tease something, but other than the second to last episode, She-hulk has always felt "episodic". Even on shows like Hawk-eye, which was pretty well written, every episode was like "sigh ok whats next?". Thinking about how much TV I watch these days, that mystery box shit is kind of exhausting. They think they are drawing you in by holding a resolution hostage until the end of the series, but the delivery has been so inconsistent and I think its at a breaking point where a lot of people are going to start tuning out. Obi-wan and Ms. Marvel really broken my back. So I think whatever the quality of story or writing, She-hulk simply gets a pass because it never felt like it's holding you hostage. Even Andor, which finally just had a sort of conclusion I had to ask myself like "Fuck this could have been like 3 episodes shorter".
 

thebobmaster

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I have more or less the same sentiments. The focus on being a comedy first, everything else second bought the show a lot of leeway in my eyes. Each Thursday was less "Oh boy we get to see what happens next" and more of "Oh boy another 30ish minutes of stupid fun with friends!".

The big difference though is that Deadpool 2 did this as an end credits scene, basically as a joke. After the actual plot of the movie had reached a satisfying ending. Which brings me to...

I did quite enjoy it, it was really over the top and endlessly stupid. What's not to love?

But the biggest problem for me is that this isn't an ending. The whole point of the sequence was to get a better ending for the show. What actually did happen was that they erased the bad ending and never bothered replacing it with something else. The show just straight up fucking ends, showing no redemption or victory for Jen, no villains are truly held accountable, and once again the show demonstrates it never took the "courtroom" part of "courtroom drama" seriously. I absolutely hate this kind of "subverting expectations", where all they do is subvert and not actually provide a good alternative to your expectations.

We just needed a single montage of a good ending, and even that they couldn't provide. I had my apprehensions when we learned that this episode would only be 30 minutes, and my fears were justified. Was it studio interference? Did they just run out of budget? Or most likely, could the writers just not come up with anything better?
That last part was my big issue. The meta stuff was fine in and of itself, and I actually quite liked most of the humor in the episode. But as a finale? Nope, it just didn't cut it. It made fun of itself for the original ending, talking about how stupid it was, and then just...sort of did nothing in place of it. My friend and I were both scratching our heads at the end more than anything, trying to figure out what actually happened, what was over-written by Jen Mandate, whether INTELIGINCIA will actually be a thing due to Jen's re-write...
 
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Gordon_4

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Masters of the Universe: Revelation (part 2)

Skeleton and Evil-Lyn reguarly had sex during the original series. Just thought I'd drop that plot point on you and see if I ruined anyone's childhoods.
From this I can only infer that while Skeletor has impeccable taste in women, Evil-Lyn has very questionable taste in men.

Please also insert here as many ‘boner’ jokes as your inner six year old will allow.
 
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Bob_McMillan

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Even Andor, which finally just had a sort of conclusion I had to ask myself like "Fuck this could have been like 3 episodes shorter".
I really don't understand why they did that. Who the fuck uses two whole episodes for heist prep? And the second episode doesn't even end with the beginning of the heist. Character moments are great and all but they weren't nearly strong enough to justify two weeks of waiting for something to happen.
 

SilentPony

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But the biggest problem for me is that this isn't an ending. The whole point of the sequence was to get a better ending for the show. What actually did happen was that they erased the bad ending and never bothered replacing it with something else. The show just straight up fucking ends, showing no redemption or victory for Jen, no villains are truly held accountable, and once again the show demonstrates it never took the "courtroom" part of "courtroom drama" seriously. I absolutely hate this kind of "subverting expectations", where all they do is subvert and not actually provide a good alternative to your expectations.
I get that, Im just not sure I agree. Like yes, they should have shaved about 2 mins out of the really played out incel infiltration scenes, and done an extended ending. Todd getting a mug shot or something.
But I enjoyed it precisely because it just sorta ends. She Hulk is all "Why should my show, ultimately about a woman struggling with unwanted fame and the violation of her privacy by stalkers using revenge porn be solved by Hulk punching a bunch of people?!" If anything I would have loved Jen to bring that up with Kevin more, talking about how this level of stalking is a real problem for women and they can't just Hulk out and fix it. Plus having Todd get Hulk powers and immediately being able to control it really takes a double broccoli and Metamucil shit all over Bruce. Like fuck again?! Is Bruce just the most emotional person in existence? 'cause it seems like literally everyone else is better at being Hulk than Hulk.
I like that She Hulk just wanted Todd to go to jail, Bronski to take some responsibility and get to date her new boyfriend Matt. And personally Im all for that. I think they're an adorable couple, I buy their chemistry and I hope She Hulk has a big role in Daredevil Born Again. But I do agree there needed to be about 2mins more of the ending, and you could have cut like 3 episodes out of this series. That's one thing the writers are on the hook for, wasting time and purposefully writing shit episodes as a build up to the 4th wall break.
 

Old_Hunter_77

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Binge finished Warrior season 2

As one would think/hope, it just takes season 1 and refines the pacing and spectacle. If you like season 1, you will like season 2.

Yes, this is the show Nick goes on and on about which is why I checked it out and I can't stress enough about how your enjoyment of it will correlate 100% to how interested you are in the premise: period piece grimdark "golden age of TV" wannabe crime drama + spaghetti Western + kung fu show

By golden age wannabe I mean there's gratuitous sex and swearing. The dialogue is blunt and stupid so to improve it in season 2 they just do less of it, which is the correct way adapt to a show's weakness.
Season 1 has an episode in a different location that is just a straight-up spaghetti western. Season 2 has an episode in a different location that is just a straight-up take on Bloodsport. Those are fun breaks in the action. End of season 2 the main guy is just straight up Bruce Lee homage.

In between, the plot moves along with very little B.S. I like She-Hulk for what it is but it is nice to watch a show that is no meta, no smirking, no 4th wall. Warrior is great because it is not clever, because it is not trying to be clever. Is there a word that is the opposite of clever? People say "I'm gonna kill you" and then they try to kill you, it's pretty great.
 

Bob_McMillan

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I get that, Im just not sure I agree. Like yes, they should have shaved about 2 mins out of the really played out incel infiltration scenes, and done an extended ending. Todd getting a mug shot or something.
But I enjoyed it precisely because it just sorta ends. She Hulk is all "Why should my show, ultimately about a woman struggling with unwanted fame and the violation of her privacy by stalkers using revenge porn be solved by Hulk punching a bunch of people?!" If anything I would have loved Jen to bring that up with Kevin more, talking about how this level of stalking is a real problem for women and they can't just Hulk out and fix it. Plus having Todd get Hulk powers and immediately being able to control it really takes a double broccoli and Metamucil shit all over Bruce. Like fuck again?! Is Bruce just the most emotional person in existence? 'cause it seems like literally everyone else is better at being Hulk than Hulk.
I like that She Hulk just wanted Todd to go to jail, Bronski to take some responsibility and get to date her new boyfriend Matt. And personally Im all for that. I think they're an adorable couple, I buy their chemistry and I hope She Hulk has a big role in Daredevil Born Again. But I do agree there needed to be about 2mins more of the ending, and you could have cut like 3 episodes out of this series. That's one thing the writers are on the hook for, wasting time and purposefully writing shit episodes as a build up to the 4th wall break.
I don't have a problem with the ultimate end result. The original ending is purposefully bad, it's not like I wanted any of that to happen.

But now we're left with a shit ton of questions. Like why the fuck is Titania even still here? Bruce was completely erased from the scene, so why did Titania still show up in this new ending? Does she like Jen all of a sudden? Is this girl power? Did she just want something to make a TikTok out of? And why has Blonsky just been lying to Jen about being reformed? Or at least, why does he go out of his way to help her in a previous episode only to have been involved in a plot to kill her? Is he really that dumb that he didn't understand what Intelligencia is about and was unwittingly serving as a life coach to people who hate his friend? Did the whole blood stealing thing not happen anymore? Even though it was explicitly said that exposure to Hulk blood would kill any other human being?

Like Mooney on the Escapist review said, Jen's changes to the ending are all superficial. Todd should have taken the serum, gotten horribly disfigured, and gone to jail. Maybe Jen could have even saved his life, to make sure he gets prosecuted to the fullest extent. The dude who actually slept with Jen and SEXUALLY HARASSED HER should have gotten his due justice. Titania should... just not be there. Blonsky should have picked a lane. Either be a villain or a clueless dipshit. Jen should have had a courtroom scene where she sues the absolute shit out of Intelligencia, gets her job back to the chagrin of the old dude who hired her, and is redeemed in the public eye.

Or you know, just whatever. But just have something. We don't have any idea how any of the conflicts in this episode were resolved, and while I could forgive that if it just meant skipping out on a big CGI fuck fest, that is a horrible way to resolve a woman being sexually harassed, publicly shamed with revenge porn, and forced out of her professional career.