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

Hawki

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Addendum_Forthcoming said:
Yeah, I can see that. I think I might have brought up this complaint before with another poster? About the nature of magic in Equestria? How Maud Pie can do shit with rocks that would outstrip even most gifted unicorns in terms of what can only be described as 'magic'. Moreover even while not having 'magic' ... she seems to know a hell of a lot about magic. One time of which actively assisting with doing what was once thought impossible, as in stealing cutie marks. So why exactly does Celestia's school only allow unicorns?
No, it was me. And as I said, Maud's 'magic,' if it can be called that, seems to be passive rather than active, coming from rocks rather than her own abilities. Unicorns use 'active magic,' in that there's distinct cause (horn) and effect (result). So there's nothing untoward about a school that caters to them, same way a flight school can only really help pegasai.

Right, but it seems to be a stretch the idea that children of foreign powers studying in Equestria (when none of them barring the Changelings have invaded) should somehow be purposefully antagonized. I mean two of those beings so maligned by Naysay have actively assisted Equestrian interests both there and abroad. Ember becoming Dragonlord through Equestrian interference basically stopped a worse potential Dragonlord taking the throne. You had Thorax who orchestrated regime change against Changeling leadership and ousted Queen Chrysalis.
I don't think it's "purposely antagonized." A lot of Naysay's comments are directed to Twilight with the other creatures overhearing. Also, racism/xenophobia doesn't have to be direct. I mean, people don't usually go up to (insert minority here) and say "I hate (minority of choice)" - racism/xenophobia tends to operate on the subconcious level.

Not only that, the biggest threats seem to come from within pony society itself. The Pony of Shadows (Stygian), Sombra, Starlight, Sunset, Nightmare Moon, Tempest ... Tempest was the real power behind the Storm King. It was her idea to capture the Alicorns, it was her knowledge that helped the Storm King gain the staff able to take their power, and it was she who captured them in the first place.

If it was Tempest, not the Storm King, that wanted the power of the Alicorns for herself, Equestria would have been more than screwed ... because she got the staff, knew how to use it, and also captured all the princesses. G4 ponies seems to be a story about just how messed up unicorns can be. I'm surprised they haven't had a pony Tribe War ... oh wait, they did. And it lead to Hearth's Warming Eve after dooming their original lands to the Wendigos forcing them to come to what would be Equestria to begin with.

When armed with that weight of history you'd think that the overriding mentality might be; "Now, maybe we shouldn't be arseholes and give this whole friendship and co-operation thing a chance?"
It's far easier to look as outsiders as a threat than consider oneself to be at fault. Not saying that's right, but there's precedent for this in the real world (the whole "terrorist" vs. "disturbed" lexicon for attacks against innocents).

Naysay's attitudes should be considered antithetical to basically whatever happiness Equestria has. Just the Great Blizzard alone ... let's say if there were a hypothetical nuclear winter event on Earth, you'd kind of hope 1000 years later after we've rebuilt we might still collectively understand nuclear weapons are bad.
They're antithecal, but that doesn't mean they don't exist. Like I said, I'm dubious as to whether Naysay's attitudes are meant to really be symbolic of anything, or whether he's simply written as being the "resident dickhead" that the viewer is meant to dislike. Also, the Great Blizzard, it's hardly equivalent to a nuclear war. The blizzard was mainly caused by the wendigos IIRC, the ponies just didn't have their act together. With a nuclear war however, someone needs to actively press the button.

I think you're neglecting a lot of obvious growth there. CMC got their cutie marks, Changelings have been all but neutralized as a threat. Rarity has apparently become an absentee boutique operations fashion designer. Dash has joined the Wonderbolts proper. Fluttershy has .... balanced out? Her time spent with Discord feels like it's given her a slight edge of chaos or maybe more actively rebellious in terms of not just being an active doormat for the machinations of the rest of the Mane 6. Starlight has gone from a great villain, to a bit meandering, to actually endearing and her relationship to Twilight is blossoming into something quite sweet and charming. We learnt the background of the Ponyville Apple family and the tragi-heroic and touching tale behind that. Twilight's become a teacher, though how much of that was a logical leap from 'librarian' is debatable.

And this is just stuff from S5 onwards...
That's all true, but the Mane 6 are still generally the same characters they were in S1. The specifics might have changed (Twilight is less neurotic, Rainbow's ego has gone down, Fluttershy's less of a doormat), but they're still fundamentally the same characters. None of them have demonstrated anything like Starlight, Sunset, or Discord (funny how villains tend to change more, since they're mostly redeemed).
 

Addendum_Forthcoming

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Hawki said:
No, it was me. And as I said, Maud's 'magic,' if it can be called that, seems to be passive rather than active, coming from rocks rather than her own abilities. Unicorns use 'active magic,' in that there's distinct cause (horn) and effect (result). So there's nothing untoward about a school that caters to them, same way a flight school can only really help pegasai.
Only you don't just have Pegasi. That flight school also taught griffins. And schools don't teach as if one thing. It's almost as if by having someone like Maud actually lend her intellect to the study of magic maybe Celestia and her staff might actually detect future magical threats.

Given unicorns going off the deep end every season, and even how both of the Mane 6 unicorns, and I say this with love, have issues (Rarity is still best horse) ... maybe it might be an idea to widen that study of magic to avoid another Maud helping another tyrant unicorn to be. By not opening up the curriculum to allow all forms of understanding magic... they are crippling their understanding of magic.

Quite clearly someone is teaching Maud about magic and its relationship to rocks... but given that extraordinary disconnection that information is not being taught in Celestia's school. It's almost as if needless segregation in education limits total worldliness and understanding...

Starlight didn't need to go to Celestia's fancy school to enslave a town. She did however need a magic rock that apparently only an Earth pony knew about as to its properties. I hesitate using Starlight as an example, given that she has ridiculous degree of power without seemingly a formal education. But the argument still stands.


I don't think it's "purposely antagonized." A lot of Naysay's comments are directed to Twilight with the other creatures overhearing. Also, racism/xenophobia doesn't have to be direct. I mean, people don't usually go up to (insert minority here) and say "I hate (minority of choice)" - racism/xenophobia tends to operate on the subconcious level.
It is also very not tolerated in our government officials. If such a scandal erupted here, of government official arbitrarily deciding purely in terms of race the merits of a student's education... that's a sackable offence. There is zero to be gained by pretending such an official is worth keeping. The U.S. is the only country in the West that I know that allows its unelected officials to actively politicize their student's lives like that.

But the fact of the matter is it's not their job to do that. Moreover their duty of care to the children outstrips active attempts to transform their lives into a media circus. To put it bluntly ... it's fucked up.

It is not part of the job description, and causing a scandal like that almost demands them 'resigning' or being terminated if they do not. I can't imagine segregation is written into the EEA's criterion of certified approval, given Celestia didn't approve of the sentiments... so this is purely self-willed transgression. You can't let that shit slide, otherwise you get nutcases who can do a tremendous amount of longterm damage.

As I was saying ... nearly everywhere on Earth that is decidedly less utopian, that guy would get the sack.

It's far easier to look as outsiders as a threat than consider oneself to be at fault. Not saying that's right, but there's precedent for this in the real world (the whole "terrorist" vs. "disturbed" lexicon for attacks against innocents).
Which is precisely why you hire people capable of doing the job without bringing bias crime into the equation

If you're an unelected official, you have a job and not a mouth. You don't get to use the trust and power invested in you to injure unjustly. You wouldn't excuse a bent copper, you definitely don't excuse a government official shooting from the hip and abusing their station.

They're antithecal, but that doesn't mean they don't exist. Like I said, I'm dubious as to whether Naysay's attitudes are meant to really be symbolic of anything, or whether he's simply written as being the "resident dickhead" that the viewer is meant to dislike. Also, the Great Blizzard, it's hardly equivalent to a nuclear war. The blizzard was mainly caused by the wendigos IIRC, the ponies just didn't have their act together. With a nuclear war however, someone needs to actively press the button.
To put it more adequately they might exist, but would ponies toleratr their officials abusing their station like that?

I'm leaning towards 'no'.

As to Hearth's Warming, quite clearly they treat it as their responsibility and fault that the disaster happened. The play they run doesn't mince words, nor spares any sympathies for Platinum, Puddinghead and Hurricane. They turned it into a public holiday. It's treated as if a reminder of a more belligerent past. The funny thing is Platinum is somewhat more jovial in the Journal of the Two Sisters than she is in the play the Mane 6 run.

Arguably given it happens after the first Hearth's Warming that she had loosened up (a bit), and had been reformed and she makes fast friends with Celestia and Luna after a brief stint of hostility ... but then that doesn't explain why she, Puddinghead and Hurricane is so rubbished despite doing the right thing in the end.

You'd think that would earn some good will.

It's quite obvious who ponies put the blame on. And more over, Celestia herself uses it as an argument against Naysay in the very episode in question.

Take for instance the young griffon, Gabby. Holds no qualms hanging out with ponies. She even wants a cutie mark. She earnestly helps ponies in Ponyville and manages to make a good impression on so many of them. It doesn't seem like the type of society that seek active conflict or growing hostilities for simply shits and giggles.

Even with Zecora, who I would say is an example of ponies at their worst ... It's less fear, hatred and revulsion, it's more just fear. And it seemed specifically restricted to merely Ponyville ... not Twilight who recently came from Canterlot.

That's all true, but the Mane 6 are still generally the same characters they were in S1. The specifics might have changed (Twilight is less neurotic, Rainbow's ego has gone down, Fluttershy's less of a doormat), but they're still fundamentally the same characters. None of them have demonstrated anything like Starlight, Sunset, or Discord (funny how villains tend to change more, since they're mostly redeemed).
Are they, though? I think there is a huge difference between Rarity of S1 and Rarity of S4, S5, S6 and S7. Less histrionic, less ... prissy? Take for instance Castle Mane-ia in S4.

S1 gave us Rarity whining and fainting, and being taken advantage of by the rest of the Mane 6... but later on it gives us a depiction of Rarity making a stand on her art in Canterlot Boutique and bringing her hoof down. These characters aren't making the same mistakes, they seem to actually be growing. What sort of benchmark are we looking to for a show that splits slice of life with adventure?

Rarity seems to have more character growth over 7 seasons (given I count roughly 2-2.5 years in passing) of the show than people I know in reality over 7 years of the show running.
 

Hawki

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Doctor Who: The Deadly Assassin (3/5)

Bland, tedious, boring, far too much wallpaper music...in essence, your average episode of OldWho.
 

Hawki

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Addendum_Forthcoming said:
Only you don't just have Pegasi. That flight school also taught griffins.
Who can still, y'know, fly. Point stands.

And schools don't teach as if one thing. It's almost as if by having someone like Maud actually lend her intellect to the study of magic maybe Celestia and her staff might actually detect future magical threats.
Okay, but again, different magic, different ponies. There's nothing wrong with having a specialized school that focuses exclusively on certain subjects. We've never seen any earth ponies or pegasi doing the things that unicorns have with their horns (not that I recall at least).

Given unicorns going off the deep end every season, and even how both of the Mane 6 unicorns, and I say this with love, have issues (Rarity is still best horse) ... maybe it might be an idea to widen that study of magic to avoid another Maud helping another tyrant unicorn to be. By not opening up the curriculum to allow all forms of understanding magic... they are crippling their understanding of magic.
I'm sure those subjects are still studied.

Quite clearly someone is teaching Maud about magic and its relationship to rocks... but given that extraordinary disconnection that information is not being taught in Celestia's school. It's almost as if needless segregation in education limits total worldliness and understanding...
Except where else have we seen segregation? Cherilee's class seems pretty diverse.

It is not part of the job description, and causing a scandal like that almost demands them 'resigning' or being terminated if they do not. I can't imagine segregation is written into the EEA's criterion of certified approval, given Celestia didn't approve of the sentiments... so this is purely self-willed transgression. You can't let that shit slide, otherwise you get nutcases who can do a tremendous amount of longterm damage.
Maybe, but again, wasn't part of the school destroyed?

Naysay is an arse, and I doubt we're meant to see him as anything other than being an arse, but he at least has an understandable, if not sympathetic mindset, given Equestria's history of being invaded. This being in the presence of one species that's invaded at least twice (changelings), one that's implied to have done its fair share of looting and plundering (dragons), and the griffons, while not antagonistic, I think were depicted as being an insular state prior to Pinkie and Rainbow visiting.

To put it more adequately they might exist, but would ponies toleratr their officials abusing their station like that?

I'm leaning towards 'no'.
Yeah, but when was Naysay put in the position to run his mouth?

I've applied for various jobs over the years (still am, though I've at least got employment), and a common question is "demonstrate your understanding EEO principles." So, I can wax lyrical about how one shouldn't discrimiante based on gender, religion, sexual orientation, etc., but that doesn't mean I necessarily believe it (which I do, don't worry). In theory, I could easily lie on the application, but not believe in the stuff I'm writing. Naysay being an arse doesn't preclude him getting a position of power.


As to Hearth's Warming, quite clearly they treat it as their responsibility and fault that the disaster happened. The play they run doesn't mince words, nor spares any sympathies for Platinum, Puddinghead and Hurricane.
Being a play, I'm guessing that the character traits are exagerated. Remember Richard III? Shakespeare's depiction of him is...let's say, "creative," compared to what's actually known about Dick III.

Though if it's shown as being otherwise in EU material, I can't comment.
Take for instance the young griffon, Gabby. Holds no qualms hanging out with ponies. She even wants a cutie mark. She earnestly helps ponies in Ponyville and manages to make a good impression on so many of them. It doesn't seem like the type of society that seek active conflict or growing hostilities for simply shits and giggles.
Yeah, and then there's Gilda. And when Pinkie and Rainbow visit, the griffons aren't shown as being particuarly nice. Gabby is an exception to the rule. The "rule" may have changed since then though.

Are they, though? I think there is a huge difference between Rarity of S1 and Rarity of S4, S5, S6 and S7. Less histrionic, less ... prissy? Take for instance Castle Mane-ia in S4.

S1 gave us Rarity whining and fainting, and being taken advantage of by the rest of the Mane 6... but later on it gives us a depiction of Rarity making a stand on her art in Canterlot Boutique and bringing her hoof down. These characters aren't making the same mistakes, they seem to actually be growing. What sort of benchmark are we looking to for a show that splits slice of life with adventure?

Rarity seems to have more character growth over 7 seasons (given I count roughly 2-2.5 years in passing) of the show than people I know in reality over 7 years of the show running.
Rarity has changed in elements of her character, but she's still fundamentally the same character. Rarity may still be less prissy, but she's still really into fashion, and still a drama queen, albeit to a lesser extent. Same applies to Twilight, Fluttershy, and Rainbow. Their core personalities remain, all that's changed is elements of them. If you want an example of really dramatic character change in a children's cartoon, look at Avatar: The Last Airbender. Going for the big guns, characters like Aang and Zuko are drastically different characters by the end of the series than they were at the start.

I don't begrudge MLP for this - it's an open-running series with no set end, so it's hard to plan for character development down the line. Plus, as it's marketed primarily towards children, you'd probably want the characters' personalities to remain stable. And after all, looking at something like Simpsons or South Park, is anyone changing for Homer to get off his arse, or Cartman to not be a repugnant human being? I'm not. There's something to be said for characters remaining stable in a non-serialized show. But again, if we're talking about character development in the series, I'd say that Sunset and Starlight have probably had the most - compared to their old selves, they've pretty much done a 180.
 

Addendum_Forthcoming

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Hawki said:
Who can still, y'know, fly. Point stands.
How? The original point was that non-ponies were still being taught by ponies as established in the first season.

I never said anything about the validity of that flight school... but I would remark as to this aspect of the discussion that it totally makes sense for such a school to look at both mechanical and non-pegasi flight assuming they wanted to teach both adults and juveniles.

Okay, but again, different magic, different ponies. There's nothing wrong with having a specialized school that focuses exclusively on certain subjects. We've never seen any earth ponies or pegasi doing the things that unicorns have with their horns (not that I recall at least).
There's nothing wrong with it... but it's the only school of magic we know of in Equestria. If a country had only one school for studying visual arts, you'd hope it would be a pretty fantastic and comprehensive university.

Schools branch out into niches, correct... but not at the cost of a curriculum and academic pursuit.

Celestia's school seems more a glorified library rather than a place of study.

I'm sure those subjects are still studied.
Are they? After all... Starlight didn't need it to basically destroy Equestria.

Except where else have we seen segregation? Cherilee's class seems pretty diverse.
Absolutely. As I was saying before, Cheerilee is best teacher and science mare. But never seen her teach magic.

Maybe, but again, wasn't part of the school destroyed?
Yeah... I think I kind of addressed this point in the first post I wrotr about the episode about my time working in the Department of Education. How I think the show sends the wrong message... because I wouldn't be very impressed. But then again, the difference is I'd be angry how truant students unreported by teachers went on to destroy part of the school... and it wouldn't matter about their race.

Naysay is an arse, and I doubt we're meant to see him as anything other than being an arse, but he at least has an understandable, if not sympathetic mindset, given Equestria's history of being invaded. This being in the presence of one species that's invaded at least twice (changelings), one that's implied to have done its fair share of looting and plundering (dragons), and the griffons, while not antagonistic, I think were depicted as being an insular state prior to Pinkie and Rainbow visiting.
Well frankly I cam't see it as sympathetic. It might be because I've worked as an official, but we're paid to do a job. Not abuse our power or to commit bias crime. It should be seen as a transgression of public good will. As I was saying, you can't let this shit slide. And for whatever meandering excuses for it, quite clearly are irrelevant to Equestria's current state. They wouldn't be excusable even if they were.

For an episode about bureaucracy being bad... the thing is those protocols are a two way street in making sure the system isn't rife with bigoted people with too much power. There are a multitude of countries on Earth... that have been invaded, that face geopolitical competitors, and yet would sack said official.

Yeah, but when was Naysay put in the position to run his mouth?

I've applied for various jobs over the years (still am, though I've at least got employment), and a common question is "demonstrate your understanding EEO principles." So, I can wax lyrical about how one shouldn't discrimiante based on gender, religion, sexual orientation, etc., but that doesn't mean I necessarily believe it (which I do, don't worry). In theory, I could easily lie on the application, but not believe in the stuff I'm writing. Naysay being an arse doesn't preclude him getting a position of power.
It kind of does when said bias crime is laid to bare. No one is saying bigoted arseholes do not achieve positions of power... but that doesn't distance the necessity to act when you do see it.


Being a play, I'm guessing that the character traits are exagerated. Remember Richard III? Shakespeare's depiction of him is...let's say, "creative," compared to what's actually known about Dick III.
Which is precisely my point. Platinum is different in different materials, and is rubbished actively by ponies regardless of seeming differences. And they're intentionally rubbished for a reason. It turns oit Puddinghead turned into a really good administrator for Earth ponies wiyh a bit of dutiful prodding and semi-guidance. Leading to questions whether they were mad or secretly brilliant and mad.

Yeah, and then there's Gilda. And when Pinkie and Rainbow visit, the griffons aren't shown as being particuarly nice. Gabby is an exception to the rule. The "rule" may have changed since then though.
And quite clearly you don't see ponies treating Gabby worse solely because they once met a Gilda. In the same way I doubt Earth ponies in Ponyville that suffered at the hands of Trixie don't roll their eyes st Starlight moving into their village and aaying; "Great... there goes the neighbourhood."

And Earth ponies in Ponyville, at least prior Sparklr getting a crown, were the dominant tribe in Ponyville.

They had the wealthiest aspects of village commerce, the mayor runs unopposed, Cheerilee heads up the local school, Apple family (while fairly poor) are still the largest land owners in the region. So Earth ponies had cornered all aspects of the means of production and the politicsl power to maintain its perpetuity of industrial-social mechanics.

Yet, as Maud adequately demonstrates Earth ponies aren't necessarily perturbed by other tribes... or even all that judgmental...


Clearly the moral metrics are on how a pony acts. And I doubt Maud would have knowingly assisted Starlight if she explicitly said she was going to steal the magic of an entire village. If anything it lives up to those old creator notes about how Earth ponies are supposed to be fair minded, and more resilient to temptations to do harm. And this shapes their world view of others and they just assume other creatures will act decently if given opportunity.

Which is problematic for the idea that they hold grudges when they seem to be the largest of the three tribes.

I don't begrudge MLP for this - it's an open-running series with no set end, so it's hard to plan for character development down the line. Plus, as it's marketed primarily towards children, you'd probably want the characters' personalities to remain stable. And after all, looking at something like Simpsons or South Park, is anyone changing for Homer to get off his arse, or Cartman to not be a repugnant human being? I'm not. There's something to be said for characters remaining stable in a non-serialized show. But again, if we're talking about character development in the series, I'd say that Sunset and Starlight have probably had the most - compared to their old selves, they've pretty much done a 180.
I haven't seen Avatar so I can't comment... and it seems like a lot of adjoined material I need to get through to understand the point. But just to talk about Starlight and Sunset... it's kind of hard to have former villains not do a 180. I think I made a comment before how if Queen Chrysalis is no longer a villain, at least give her spikes where perhaps not like Discord, at least while not antagonistic just in general not exactly unbegrudging.

Regardless ... it's a bit hard to compare former villains to the Mane 6 to begin with.... in the same way the Doctor's companions in Doctor Who undergo more growth because individually they are expected to trundle off, often less than a total season after their introduction.
 

Tanis

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ReBoot.The.Guardian.Code.S01E01 - 1/10:
It's SHIT. I mean, holy shit it's shit.

NOTHING to do with ReBoot.
Shitty, teenager, acting.
Shitty, generic, CGI.
Shitty, Dollar Store, Power Rangers.

Just...yikes. I think The Last Airbender movie was better than this shitty shit shidwich.
 

Hawki

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Addendum_Forthcoming said:
How? The original point was that non-ponies were still being taught by ponies as established in the first season.

it totally makes sense for such a school to look at both mechanical and non-pegasi flight assuming they wanted to teach both adults and juveniles.
Where's Equestria actually demonstrated any mechanical flight though? I don't think we've seen anything more advanced than zepplins.

There's nothing wrong with it... but it's the only school of magic we know of in Equestria. If a country had only one school for studying visual arts, you'd hope it would be a pretty fantastic and comprehensive university.
Absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence.

Are they? After all... Starlight didn't need it to basically destroy Equestria.
1) As you've already pointed out, Starlight has a high level of raw magical ability. She can afford to skip a few lessons.

2) Starlight destroying Equestria was more due to the knock-on effect of her preventing the Mane 6 from forming - Nightmare Moon, Sombra, etc. did the actual destroying in the alternate timelines.

Absolutely. As I was saying before, Cheerilee is best teacher and science mare. But never seen her teach magic.
Probably because it's a specialized field that only unicorns can really use actively?

Think of it this way - Cherilee's school is your general public school. Celestia's is more like the eqivalent of a STEM school (or art school, or any other school that has a specific focus).

And Earth ponies in Ponyville, at least prior Sparklr getting a crown, were the dominant tribe in Ponyville.

They had the wealthiest aspects of village commerce, the mayor runs unopposed, Cheerilee heads up the local school, Apple family (while fairly poor) are still the largest land owners in the region. So Earth ponies had cornered all aspects of the means of production and the politicsl power to maintain its perpetuity of industrial-social mechanics.

Yet, as Maud adequately demonstrates Earth ponies aren't necessarily perturbed by other tribes... or even all that judgmental...
Yeah, but Ponyville was founded by earth ponies, so makes sense they got into positions of power.

As for Maud, I don't think her attitude can be considered typical of earth ponies (or any type of pony for that matter).

Regardless ... it's a bit hard to compare former villains to the Mane 6 to begin with.... in the same way the Doctor's companions in Doctor Who undergo more growth because individually they are expected to trundle off, often less than a total season after their introduction.
Y'know, upon reflection, how many companions in Doctor Who actually undergo a character arc? The Doctor certainly changes between incarnations, but as for companions...sorry, I can't think of any. It struck me as less the companions undergoing an arc per se, and more just becoming the best version of themselves, if that makes sense.
 

bartholen_v1legacy

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Watched the first 2 episodes of the new season of Jessica Jones. It feels like a perfectly organic continuation. Krysten Ritter is still impeccable as the burnt out, bitchy, unstable alcoholic, and everything I liked about the first season is still there. It's pretty interesting how they make her decision at the end of season 1, which was widely criticized, a central part of her character now. I didn't watch the Defenders because Luke Cage bored me and Iron Fist was apparently bad, and the reception of Defenders wasn't extatic either to my understanding.
 

Hawki

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Diplomacy (4/5)

So, thanks to this thread, I can finally discuss stage plays. So, now I get to discuss Diplomacy by Cyril Gely, depicting the discussions between Raoul Nordling and Dietrich von Choltitz, specifically the attempts by the former to get the latter to not follow Hitler's order to level Paris in response to advancing Allied forces. So, admittedly right there that's part of why I can't say I love this play, because I know ahead of time that Paris isn't going to be blown up.

So, alright then, surely the dialogue carries the play then, and we get a nice discussion about the morality and legality of certain actions in wartime? Well, we do...except that a lot of the time it feels like we're getting the same discussion over and over again. The play goes for 90 minutes without an interval, and even then it feels like a lot of the run time (if that's the word) is being stretched to accomodate that. Also feels rushed in some areas, in that the penultimate scene is von Choltitz fearing that Nordling's betrayed him as Allied tanks go rumbling down the street, then cut to black, then monologues from the cast revealing that everything worked out. I get that in a play you have a far more limited scale to work with, but...yeah.

Still, play's good. Not "great," but "good." As someone who still remembers 'The King's Choice' from last year, which had a similar principle of Norweigen and German diplomats trying to get Norway to accept the inevitable, this is a far better experience.
 

Natemans

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Doctor Who: Castrovalva -

So IPTV finally starting airing reruns of Peter Davison's era. So far decent start.

Not perfect and mostly odd writing areas, but its fine. 7/10






Also I loved The Deadly Assassin
 

Ninjamedic

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Star Trek: Discovery - 1/5

I'm still trying to put my thoughts on the series in a concise manner currently but as it stands I see Discovery as one of the weaker starts of the Trek series but without any of the interesting aspects that I can get out of even Season 1 of TNG. Even as an action series I find it lacking in it's execution.

A reliance on contrived drama, an ill-thought out and rushed main plot that prioritises twists and shock moments regardless of how much sense they make, using none of the advantages a serialised plot should have. The main character's backstory and persona are a contradiction with itself let alone Trek as a whole. In lieu of any point to the main story outside of explosions and deaths it's been the most jingoistic the franchise has gotten with it's portrayal of the Klingons, and the character reveals leave the story borderline incoherent.

There are some okay character moments with the supporting cast here and there, but it's not enough to carry it to the finish line for me.
 

Hawki

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Arrow: Season 5 (3/5)

Sigh...

Okay, confession time - I really liked Arrow Season 4. I did. I can accept that I'm in a minority there, but I just don't agree/get/accept many of the criticisms levelled at it. I bring this up because Season 5 feels a lot like a "back to basics" season, and I'd argue that's the root of its problems.

So, we have the new Team Arrow, because we need some new blood. How do I feel about them? They're...okay, I guess, but they feel like pale imitations of what's come before. I have to question some choices though - Ragman's rags can apparently stop a nuke from exploding by covering it, so why the heck should I fear any potential harm that comes his way? Yes, it removes the rags' powers, and he goes off, never to be seen again, so, um, see ya. Then we have Evelynn/Artemis, who could potentially be set up as a twisted inversion of Thea given her affiliation with Chase, but again, underutilized. Rene/Wild Dog is...okay, Curtis is...okay, but feels shoehorned in as someone who started out as a normal tech geek. Oh, and then there's Dinah Drake. The "real" Black Canary because her scream ability is a metahuman ability, because god damn it, we need to appease the comic book purists. I'll admit that Laurel was never my favorite character, but I still liked her, but Dinah's personality is...actually, what is her personality? FFS, Black Siren is in the season and is more interesting because she actually has a character, and has the whole inversion thing going on due to her being the doppleganger of Earth-1 Laurel. But no, I'm meant to like Dinah Drake, because her scream is a superpower, and that's what apparently matters. I'll also point out that it feels really out of place in a team where the characters' abilities are down to personal and/or mental skill, not superpowers (Ragman also has this problem to an extent).

Then we have Adrian "Prometheus" Chase. Someone who's apparently a bigshot in the comics, but here, feels like a poor man's version of Merlyn (Season 1) and Slade (Season 2). As in, combining Merlyn's fighting style with the whole vendetta thing that Slade carried in Season 2. Unfortunately, he falls short in both areas. His 'fighting strategy' is mostly to let Oliver pummel him, only to be forced to be let go as his overall plan is revealed. And the vendetta thing feels shoehorned in - I cared about Slade because he goes from being a good, decent, kickass character in season 1, to a figure in season 2 that's both tragic, but also reprehensible. Season 2 works excellently because we see both versions of Slade play out. Here, Chase's vendetta basically boils down to "daddy issues." Yes, there's some introspection on Oliver's more murderous past, but it comes off as hollow given how quickly Oliver gets over being 'interrogated' and whatnot. And it gets to the point where him always being ahead, knowing exactly how people will act ahead of time, gets tiresome.

As for Slade's quasi redemption at the end of season 5...mixed on that.

Oh, and the season 5 flashbacks. Enough of them. I'm tired of them. The flashbacks haven't been interesting since season 2. If anything, I'd argue they undermine Oliver's "time in hell" considering how little time he apparently did spend on Lian Yu.

Now, you can tell from the rating that I don't hate this season. There is stuff I like in it. Problem is, I'd argue that only the last quarter of the season's run is really interesting, but it soon plateaus. While it's better than Season 3, it's a pale imitation of the show's first two seasons, and comes short when compared to season 4. As I said, I feel this is an attempt at getting "back to basics," but it doesn't do enough new with its premise to make a "back to basics" approach interesting. In a way, the best new character is arguably Talia al'Ghul...because Lexa Doig tends to be awesome in whatever she's in, and "evil sexy British accent" Talia is a fun Talia to interact with, however briefly. Come to think of it, why isn't SHE the antagonist? At least we actually saw Oliver kill Ra's, whereas Chase's daddy has to be retroactively introduced. Heck, even Evelynn would be a more interesting core antagonist. But no, we have Adrian "Prometheus always ahead of you" Chase.

Anyway, rant over. I'll be posting my thoughts on Season 1 of The 100 soon, and unless the season finale take a U-turn, I'll have far more positive things to say about that. So, um, yay.
 

Groxnax

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Aggretsuko on Netflix

The main character may be a cute little red panda but when she gets stressed or angry she vents it via Death Metal.

The thing that surprised me was that it was created by the same group that created Hello Kitty.
 

Hawki

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The 100: Season 1 (4/5)

Alright, funny story. When The 100 was about to come out, I remember people hating it. As in, not only was this a show primarily dealing with under 18s, but said under 18s looked quite well dressed for being sent to an Earth where a nuclear war destroyed civilization 97 years ago. When the show was actually released, it turned out that being well dressed only lasted for about 1-2 episodes, and it turned out to be quite good...or at least that's what people said, I never got to find out myself until recently. Years after the first season debuted, and years after I learnt through library work that this was actually based on a YA novel series. So, having actually watched the first season, is this show good?

Yeah, pretty much.

That's not to say it's perfect mind you. These are still teenagers on a CW show, which means that the teenagers are going to do teenage things, usually at the end of an episode, and usually with soft music playing in the background. There's also the character of Octavia, who shacks up with three guys over the course of the first season, including a Grounder that has the hots for her, if not so much her people. So, are her actions do to her repressed upbringing, being forced to hide on a spaceship that has a 1 child policy, cut off from outside contact? Or is it because sex sells?

Good question. The answer is yes.

That said, this doesn't happen too often, and while there is a love triangle of sorts with Clarke-Finn-Raven, it never feels too obtrusive to the story, which despite the dramas, is still primarily based around survival on a world that despite expectations, does have human populations who survived the apocalypse, who want to kill the 100 in various, nasty ways. Which means that considering that the 100 landed with 100 (technically 101) prisoners, that's plenty of cannon fodder to be killed off in various ways.

So, there's that. What isn't discussed as often is the story that's going on in the Ark, as the people there have to deal with the space colony giving out, and intercine strife breaking out as well. In a way, I kind of find the Ark narrative more interesting, but both complement each other quite well. What also complements each other is the character arcs of Bellamy and Kane - both are set up on the ground/in space as characters you're meant to hate, with Bellamy taking the 100 down a Lord of the Flies route (no rules, do whatever we want, etc.), and Kane being a stickler for the rules who's quite happy to float people who break them. By the end of the season, Bellamy's been driven by need (the Grounders) to actually rise up to be a good leader, one who's willing to do whatever it takes to keep the 100 safe (bearing in mind that he's the oldest, and these are teenagers who are fighting for their lives) and Kane...well, Kane might be my favorite character on the show (or at least, he's my favorite on the Ark). He goes from basically a heartless drone to someone who does have heartbreaking moments and layers to him. He's set up from the start as someone who you're meant to hate, and by the end, someone who you can't help but root for and sympathize with. Not every character gets the same level of character development (really feel like Wells get's shafted - doesn't help that Clarke seems to forget about him immediately after he dies, despite them being childhood friends, and Diana Sydney should have been introduced much earlier IMO), and I have to question why being on Earth doesn't kill the 100 immediately (they've lived on a spaceship all their lives, pathogens should kill them pretty quickly), but well, can't get everything right. I already have to accept that the apocalypse created giant snakes, two-headed deer, and blue glowing butterflies, so hey, go figure.

So, all in all, very solid first season.
 

Kendritch

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Finally finished season 4 of Gintama. Unlike the other anime I've completed over the past few weeks, I won't be writing a review for it because I had this season on hold for a long time, before jumping back in in the middle of the Shogun arc, so my memory of half the season is fuzzy, and therefore, I won't be able to write a very accurate review.

I'll say this though: when I put it on hold back then, I had initially thought that it's just the usual hijinks as per usual, even when I started watching the Shogun arc. But of course, I was wrong. Things do feel like they are coming to an end with Gintama. Lots of significant plot-development can be found here in the final two story arcs, and boy, are they amazing. Gintama remains as the prime example of shounen anime done right. It embodies everything awesome about shounen anime and that hot-blooded spirit in keeping your chivalry alive.

Definitely can't wait to get started on the next season.

9/10
 

bartholen_v1legacy

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Binged most of Jessica Jones season 2 today, all the way to the end, because damn those cliffhangers.

I have to say this season took some very unexpected and strange turns. In a good way. But even talking about what makes this season special requires spoiling vital plot points, so in non-spoiler summation: It's really good. Not as good as the first season since David Tennant is no longer present, but the acting, characters and story remain great. Hogarth's plotline feels a bit out of place and crowbarred in, like the writers were desperate to give her something to do. Also, JJ should rename her firm to Alienation investigations, because that's what she spends most of the season doing. The season also feels a bit stretched with 13 episodes. 10 would have been perfectly enough, with 13 the material feels a bit stretched, and a couple of subplots seem thrown in just to pad the runtime.

The thing I appreciate most about this season, especially considering its ties to the MCU, was the decision to not have a villain. What initially seems like a rather typical "taking down the sinister corporation" type thing turns into an incredibly twisted family drama and later a manhunt story. The story was really well written in how you see and understand everyone's perspective, and really can't pick a side. Just like how there's no villain, neither is there a good guy: many of the characters move through multiple shades of grey during the season, whether with Karl's well-intended but catastrophically botched experiments, Hogarth's altruism getting rewarded with betrayal, and her repaying with utterly ruthless manipulation, or Jessica's inability to keep even her small life together pushing her to harder and harder choices. There are a couple of dumb plot points, like Cheng trying to outright kill Alisa instead of reporting her to the authorities when he finds out where she is, or the warden being just a dick (I was sure the reveal would be that he was a friend of Cheng's, like the one Alisa kills, and Cheng uses this for his revenge).

The dynamic of Jessica having to choose between her two families was well written and believable. This is greatly helped by Alisa's writing, since she's genuinely smart, charming, caring; a person you'd like to hang out with. But she's also a superpowered, unstable, psychotic killing machine. I really felt for Jessica when she was unable to make a decision on the matter.
 

Ogoid

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Cobra Kai - 8/10

I've never really been all that big on Karate Kid (though far be it from me to dispute its status as an 80's classic) and I'm usually very suspicious of long-after-the-fact sequels... but hot damn, this was an awesome show. As self-aware as it is unapologetically nostalgic, as nuanced in its characterizations and plot as it shamelessly engages in some good old 1980's formulaic cheese, this is a love letter to the original... and it shows.
 

Hawki

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Shirley Valentine (5/5)

I debated whether this should be a 4/5 or a 5/5 - you could say it's a 4.5, but I don't go for decimals in these reviews, so, after some thought, 5/5 it is.

Not to say it's perfect mind you. The play is divided into three acts, with the first two happening before intermission, and the third occurring after. The third is easily the weakest, which is something I've noticed with a lot of plays I've seen, that later acts are rarely superior than earlier ones. Whether that's down to writing or actor fatigue, I can't say, but the third act doesn't have the same 'punch' as its predecessors. Granted, this is a one-woman show, so by this stage, the style of delivery is established, as well as the themes, so act 3 is really the codifier.

Still, these are nitpicks. The play is exceptionally solid. It being solid is ultimately going to rely on its actress (the sole character really), who has to mimic numerous other characters, but in this case, she does it expertly, conveying emotions ranging from humour, to melancholia, to everything in-between. So, on that note, excellent job.
 

Hawki

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The Flash: Season 3 (3/5)

Ask Arrowverse/Flash fans to rank the seasons of the Flash, and the consensus seems to be 1>2>3. Speaking personally, it's 2>1>3. But that aside, while 2 and 1 are almost interchangeable in terms of quality for me, season 3 is the weak link in the series. It's not the worst Arrowverse season out there (hello, Arrow: Season 3), but it's probably the second worst. And while I don't agree with some of the criticisms labeled against this season (Barry being sad...gee, I wonder why? It's almost as if the season focuses on the question as to whether Iris's death can be averted, and for most of the time, there doesn't seem to be any way to change said future), there are issues I have with it, namely:

-The Flaspoint timeline doesn't last nearly long enough, and raises a heap of questions (Thawne apparently still has his speed after the incident, so shouldn't that invalidate him ever giving Barry powers in the first place?)

-Minor point, but it seems The Flash is going the same way as Dragonball Z did, with Wally and Jesse equaling Barry's speed in a fraction of the time it took for him to get as fast as he is. This doesn't bother me as much as Z, but it's still noticeable.

-So, the premise of this season...I kinda like it. Mostly. While we've got yet another evil speedster as our series antagonist, I at least like the angle it initially goes for - Savitar will kill Iris in 3 months time, cue questions as to whether the future is set or not. To avert the future, the team takes note of news headlines in the future, and seek to alter events. So, fair enough, you've got me. That's an angle the series hasn't gone for before, even if it has dealt with time travel before, including pre-destination paradox/casual loops. So, what's the issue?

-Part of the issue is that this idea barely carries enough momentum to justify a season. The 'future aversion' idea starts off strong, but then falls into the background. There's a sub-plot of Barry training Wally to save Iris instead of him, but this is basically abandoned. Jesse Quick shows up, then goes, then comes, then goes, then...okay, she doesn't really add anything to this season. And Savitar kind of fluctuates between being OP early on, and not OP later. And I bring them up because in seasons 1 and 2, Reverse-Flash and Zoom were shown to be faster than Barry initially, and you can chart his progress in coming to match their speed. Here, there's no sense of buildup. Paradoxically, Savitar seems less powerful after being released from the Speed Force.

-Speaking of the Speed Force, that stuff where Barry goes into it to rescue Wally...no. Just no. It worked in season 2, it doesn't work here. While I get what the writers were going for, it feels like a hollow imitation of what Season 2 did. Plus, the re-use of sets - apparently the Speed Force just likes mimicking CCPD, because even the time-space continuum has a budget.

-Speaking of the time-space continuum, this is the season where any consistency in the rules of time travel is gone - heck, this is even kind of addressed, where it's said "the more you [Barry] travel through time, the less the laws [of time travel] apply to you." And, yeah, that kinda covers it. Eddie's sacrifice in season 1 is well and truly pointless by now, but the season seems to want to have it both ways. Sometimes changing history creates an alternate timeline, sometimes it doesn't. Savitar owes his existence to a temporal loop, but that loop can be broken fairly easily apparently through H.R.'s sacrifice. When Barry travels into the future, but changes his present, does that future still exist as an alternate timeline, or is it negated, because if so, when he meets his future self, it kind of renders the arc of that episode moot. Normally I wouldn't complain too much, but the season is focusing so much on the time travel element, it's impossible to ignore.

There's other pros and cons, but if I had to describe this season in one word, it would be "floundering." It toys with numerous ideas, of fate vs. determination, but it never really delivers on any of them.