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

Groxnax

New member
Apr 16, 2009
563
0
0
Disenchantment 7/10

I thought all the episodes were good and the characters were interesting.

The end of the season answered a few questions but created many more questions at the end of the season.
 

Trunkage

Nascent Orca
Legacy
Apr 3, 2020
5,603
1,101
118
Brisbane
Gender
Cyborg
Disenchantment 6/10

Just generally not funny. It's a fine story otherwise

Final Space 8/10

Is funnier than Rick and Morry and runs at a faster place (which is good and bad.) Has an actual season story rather than the meandering Rick and Morty does . Rick and Morty tries to be political and pushing you to be less judgmental while Final Space is far more black and white. (Which is good and bad too)
 

Kyrian007

Officially no longer the Enemy of the People
Legacy
Apr 6, 2020
2,086
123
68
Kansas
Country
U.S.A.
Gender
Male
Disenchantment 3/10

I see the possibility of something entertaining here, but nothing that's worth watching now. The problem could be one of expectation (Futurama and The Simpsons being tough acts to follow) but a definite problem is not following formulas that MADE Futurama and Simpsons tough acts to follow. Just when I was getting an understanding of the characters and their place in the story and things were starting to get funnier, they make the tremendous mistake of turning from an episodic show into a long story arc show. Not that modern style story arc shows are always inferior to classic episodic shows (just mostly) but being episodic in nature was a part of what made Futurama and Simpsons so good. Its a better way of deconstructing their genre and a better platform for meta humor. Its basic premise needs work and isn't particularly original ("bad princess" being one of a couple of common ways to go with fantasy deconstruction.) Which isn't always a problem, but you have to go somewhere interesting or have a unique take on it to compensate... and Disenchantment really doesn't. There also isn't a character that "jumps out" as one I particularly like or find really funny, and (unfortunately going back to the comparison) Simpsons and Futurama had multiple characters that did so. Hell, I hate Mike Judge shows and even King of the Hill had one character I found really funny (Dale if you must know.)

And not wishing to spoil, so I won't,
now that they've gone full story-arc and blown up the whole status quo in the finale... they've undone nearly all the development they did in the pathetic handful of episodes they released. They killed an established main character, deconstructing an element of Game of Thrones... that Game of Thrones used to deconstruct traditional hero-centric fantasy. You run into diminishing returns deconstructing a deconstruction. Yes, they will magic themselves out of this in season 2 (I assume, I'll have to retract this if they don't) and there goes any real weight the death had in the first place. Its not as if Family Guy didn't already try this and find out it was a terrible idea.
They did so many things wrong that its really difficult for me to remember that there is real potential here. Narrowing the potential audience worked with sci-fi for Futurama, I have to believe it can with fantasy for Disenchantment. But they've got a hole to dig themselves out of after season 1. And so I can end on a positive note, there is without question enough talent working on Disenchantment to do just that.
 

Hawki

Elite Member
Legacy
Apr 5, 2020
6,908
619
118
Country
Australia
Gender
Male
The Widow Unplugged (2/5)

If you looked up this play, then looked up the reviews, then looked at the score above, you might be inclined to say "oh boy, here we go again, there's Hawki, being triggered like the SJW that he is." To which I say, "no, you reprobates, the second half that contains the Chinese skit is easily the stronger of the two halves of the play. It's just that it doesn't save it." Not that the skit is good, but, well, here we go...

As a one man play, written and performed by the same actor, it's hard to tell where the actor ends and the character begins. Here we have Arthur Kwick, a down on his luck actor living at a retirement home, keeping his rent by entertaining the guests and working as a janitor. His last hit was in 1969, and since then he's been down on his luck. So, fair enough, that has a lot of potential...

...only it's squandered in the first half as it meanders with no sense of direction. This kind of thing can be done well (saw Shirley Valentine this year as an example of this concept executed properly), but here, there's no real impetus. It ends with him having to do a pantomime from '69, which is about the only clear plot point we get in Act I. Everything other than that is character and backstory, but it's all over the place I found myself nodding off. Come Act II, well, not everyone who was there for Act I came back, I'll tell you that much.

Which is a bit of a shame as Act II does have a clear...er, direction, in that it's said pantomime, where he plays the Chinese Oriental stereotype in 60s Australia. Now, this isn't bad in of itself. What IS bad is that Act II has a drastic change in tone as it goes on, as it's revealed how our protagonist has early onset Alzeimers, and, well, isn't that happy - monologues about actors, applause, etc. While it's potentially heartfelt, again, it's far too scattershot to leave much impact. The Chinese oriental thing is one example. If it's a critique of political correctness, it doesn't work, because it's not critiquing anything. It doesn't go into any kind of depth, it's just "here's the skit, someone in the audience doesn't like it" (whose complaints don't even touch on political correctness). If it's trying to say "this kind of humour isn't funny anymore," that doesn't work either, because there's no real point of realization in the script either - again, it's too all over the place for that. You might say that it's being left to the audience to interpret, but I don't think so. I think the playright is trying to say something, but it needed to be streamlined a lot more. All I can say is that I've seen better one-character plays, and better comedies as well than this one.
 

Cycloptomese

New member
Jun 4, 2015
313
0
0
Castle Rock

I'm watching this as it comes out right now. It's based on a town established in Stephen King novels. The first several episodes are pretty slow but the music and atmosphere are such that it doesn't bother me, though some may be turned off by this. I think it's about halfway through right now and the episodes have been picking up pretty well. Last night's episode would normally piss me off. It was one of those deals where it focuses on one specific character and has no intention of resolving a cliff hanger set up at the end of last weeks episode. Somehow the episode managed to be good enough that I didn't care at all, and pretty much forgot all about that by about ten minutes in. I don't want to spoil anything, but they really did some super interesting shit with a character that has alzheimer's disease and I can't wait to see what kind of shenanigans they pull next.

Anyway, it's damn good if you're a Stephen King fan or any kind of slow burn horror fan.
 

McMarbles

New member
May 7, 2009
1,566
0
0
Disenchantment: 7/10 (so far, I'm only five episodes in and it's definitely showing improvement)

A perfectly enjoyable series that's getting shat on for not being what people expect it to be.
 

Hawki

Elite Member
Legacy
Apr 5, 2020
6,908
619
118
Country
Australia
Gender
Male
World of Warcraft: Warbringers (4/5)

This is arguably stretching things (in regards to whether a series of short webisodes can be considered a season to review), but I did review Sonic Mania Adventures earlier, so I suppose this counts. Anyway, unlike Mania Adventures, I have less to say about the overall piece (in part because of the lack of inter-episode continuity), but more about to say each individual episode. So, on that note:

-Jaina: The best of the bunch. Also the one that some people thought Blizzard was retconning Frozen Throne with, given the more favourable view it presents of Daelin Proudmoore in the more negative one of the orcs. Those people are...weird, to me, because it's pretty obvious (to me) that it's a Kul'Tiran sea shanty that's recounting their version of events. But that aside, everything about this short is top notch. The animation, the music, the theme, the atmosphere, etc. Course it does lead to Jaina having an OTT moment in the Siege of Lordaeron (flying ships! Magic cannons!), but in of itself, the shot is good.

-Sylvanas: The weakest of the three, but not by its own fault...mostly. Sylvanas has yet another flashback as to how Arthas killed her, and it's yet another take on events. Not utterly irreconcilable with Warcraft III, but the deviation is noticeable. But that aside, while the short is fine in of itself, it can't escape that Sylvanas is basically Garrosh 2.0 at this point, just replace Theramore with Teldrassil. And while there's been suggestions that it isn't 1:1, but so far these are just suggestions. And while this is keeping in character with Sylvanas at this point, the short can't escape the fact that it's covering old ground.

-Azshara: The middle child, even though Azshra is older than Jaina and Sylvanas combined. Anyway, this is pretty good. It has the unenviable task of having an Old God converse with Azshara directly, but also try and make it come off as all-powerful and unknowable. Like, I haven't read anything by Lovecraft, but I doubt C'thulu ever talked to a mortal directly. Still, Aszhsara isn't mortal, and it's done quite well. There's a kind of twisted irony that mere minutes/hours are being screwed over by Sargeras, she's making a pact with another devil, though is still assertive. So, it doesn't hit the same emotional highs as Jaina's short, but it's still solid all around.

So, yeah. All in all, good job. Guess we'll have to wait for the next expansion for these kinds of shorts, but they've all been pretty good so far. Wouldn't mind Blizzard's other IPs getting the same treatment (aside from Overwatch, which already does, and has more of a need for them due to the lack of in-game narrative), but I guess one has to take what they can get.
 

Hawki

Elite Member
Legacy
Apr 5, 2020
6,908
619
118
Country
Australia
Gender
Male
House of Cards: Season 5 (4/5)

While this season is "good," it's easily my least favourite HoC season I've seen. There's a few reasons for that. One, is that I saw seasons 1-4 in close proximity to each other, which meant there was a long gap between 4 and 5. Second, is the notion of "familiarity breeds contempt." If a show goes on for long enough, no matter how good it is, it's eventually going to lose some of the impact it once did. There's plenty of examples of this that I can name, and I think the same can be said for many others. However, beyond these first two reasons are some issues that I think are endemic to this season.

First is Conway. Now, in season 4, he was one of the season's highlights, in that while he could be ruthless, he still came off as a more honest candidate than Frank Underwood - a very low bar to surpass, but he did great as a natural foil. Here however, things get iffy. In the first half, it teases his military record, that he may have been lying about his actions in Iraq. This plot point is raised, teased, but never explored. Furthermore, when the election is thrown into limbo due to polling booths shutting down due to a 'terror threat,' he begins to lose it. There's hints that some of this might have to do with PTSD, but again, it never really explores this. So when Frank does win the presidency, he's just...gone. Has his last stabs at Frank, then isn't mentioned again. On the flipside, speaking of people disappearing, we've entered full-blown assassination territory, where Claire can get away with literal murder, and Frank can apparently order hits on one staff member, and push another down the stairs (not even killing her, so if she wakes up, what's his plan then)? I don't really get the sense of things being dialed up to eleven for shock value, but at this point, the show feels 'old.' Also doesn't help that given the constant scandals surrounding Frank's administration, it's a bit too close to my reality for my liking. If anything, Frank is the Democrat Donald Trump, only Trump hasn't actually murdered anyone (not to my knowledge at least).

So, show's still "good," but it's past its use-by date for me. If I had to rank the seasons right now, they'd go 1>4>2>3>5.
 

Hawki

Elite Member
Legacy
Apr 5, 2020
6,908
619
118
Country
Australia
Gender
Male
Parks and Recreation: Season 5 (4/5)

So, it's finally happened. I've had a PnR season that doesn't surpass the one before it. Looks like I'm on the descending end of the bell curve.

That's not to say the season's bad mind you - characters are still as engaging as ever (mostly). However, it does feel...underdone, compared to what's come before. Think of season 4, which had the running sub-plot of Leslie running for council. The groundwork for that was arguably laid as early as season 1, and outright teased at the end of season 3. Season 5 feels like the show's post-climax, especially after Leslie and Ben tie the knot. Because of what sub-plots the season does raise, they just run their course, but either don't go anywhere, or just peter out. As in:

-Jerry retires, and it's played mostly for laughs. The show's always walked a fine line in regards to making the bulleying of Jerry comedic, but if there was ever a time to call them out on this (outside season 2, in one of Mark's few contributions to the show), this was it...except nothing is learned. Jerry's called back in, just so Tom doesn't have to bear the brunt of their taunts.

-Ron gets romantically entagled with a new character, Diane. She's fine, and the plot's handled well, but it doesn't feature enough for my liking. It's the effect of coupling a tertiary character with a primary character, without changing the amount of screentime of the latter.

-Tom starts his own business...that actually succeeds. Yet he's still with the Parks n Rec Department, so, what gives? It kind of implies that he's splitting his hours between the two, but I'd like to remind you that last season had Ron tell Leslie that if you want something, you should focus on that thing and not try to divide your time. Yet for Tom, it works. If anything, it kind of reminds me of Anne, how the show had to justify (or not) her constant presence despite not being a government employee. Only here, it's that same problem, but in reverse. Oh, and Tom gets entangled with Mona Lisa, who's somehow even more obnoxious than April was in earlier seasons. Apparently she and Jean are some of the most loved characters in the show, but like early April, I don't get why. Jean's obnoxious, and Mona Lisa's even more so (though at least the show kind of acknowledges that).

-Speaking of April, she's fine. Andy's...fine. He goes for his police exam, fails, gets depressed, then works for Ben, then isn't depressed. Um...yay?

-Ann decides to have a baby (which is handled well). She requests Chris to be the sperm donor (which is handled well). This leading to them getting back together...sorta...somehow? Very clunky. It just sort of...happens, and not in the good way.

-Leslie's stuff is good in that as a member of council, she has to negotiate the civic and political hurdles that come her way. And...yeah, that's good, overall. Jamm isn't the most in-depth antagonist in series history, and Leslie's race for office was far more engaging, but it does provide a good counterpoint to Leslie's optimism and work ethic. As Ron points out, there's going to be a lot of people like Jamm that Leslie encounters. And speaking of Ron (separate from Dianne), I think their dynamic is still the strongest in the show. As wacky as Ron can seem, he's still an erudite individual, so while they have very different views on government, it's good to see that they're still both individuals of principle who disagree, but can still respect and support one another.

-I mentioned that Leslie and Ron is the strongest character dynamic, so therefore, the question has to be asked about Leslie and Ben. They're...good. They're fine. Not "great," and therefore not as good as Ron-Leslie, but fine. The wedding angle is arguably the major plot thread of this season, but it happens so uneventfully (I get that this is the point, that it's low-key), and doesn't conclude the season, it feels underdone. If I had to rank the LesliexBen 'feels,' it still falls short of the last season where Ben resigns but has his court record read out to Leslie, or when he proposes. In contrast, the marriage angle doesn't work as well.

So, you might be saying "but Hawki, this is just commenting on various plot threads, what about the actual season?" To which I say "that IS the actual season." Various plot threads that go at their own pace, some succeeding better than others. So, it's enough to make the season "good," but not "great." If I had to rank the seasons right now, it would be 4>3>5>2>1. So, enjoyable, but still a regression from some past seasons.
 

Johnny Novgorod

Bebop Man
Legacy
Apr 10, 2020
16,756
821
118
Country
Argentina
Giving a second try to Evangelion of all freaking things. First viewing lasted about 2-3 years (basically watched it whenever I was on a bus or plane) and I made it up to episode 17. Got bored, moved on. Now we're doing an anime quid pro quo with my girlfriend where we take turns watching each other's favorite show. She put me through Death Note, I put her through Cowboy Bebop, now I'm doing Evangelion all over again.

EDIT: Just found out Unsho Ishizuka, voice of Jet Black, passed away last month. RIP Black Dog.
 

Addendum_Forthcoming

Queen of the Edit
Feb 4, 2009
3,655
0
0
Steven Universe (S1-2)

Yeah ... I like it. I finally got around to watching it as it was on my list. We need more positive queer representation in kid's tv. I feel like it explores interpersonal aspects between people better than Adventure Time whilehaving a hint of existential angst in there, and effectively characters having to deal with trauma and some form of unrequited feelings that we all have in some measure, great or small, for the people in our lives due to that gulf of divergently lived experience.

Garnet and Pearl are clear standouts of the show as they seem to bounce off the titular protagonist that is at one time both paternalistic in nature but from two different aspects of what it means to be a guardian that often emphasise that (particularly in the case of Pearl) significant character flaws can still come from a good place even if alienating.

Small things like Pearl casually dropping she kind of watches Steven in his sleep, and how a lot of her problems with his father isn't merely that he is kind of a deadbeat, but that she views him as driving a wedge between her and Rose Quartz ... and that is driving her self-sabotaging of her own understandings of self worth and to be incredibly clingy of the one thing that reinforces those neuroses of feeling as if her love was unrequited in the first place.

And that's a pretty good message. All too often relationships are painted as either toxic or empowering, particularly in children's programming. But here you have a nuanced depiction of where it's merely a pair of people who hold sincere affection for one another, but that affection comes from two differenet places. That none of that is necessarily bad, and they both have real issues they're working on together at their own pace and it's a journey to someplace better they both see as sharing in some capacity.

Which leads to some incredibly confronting, and genuinely creepy moments that are also deeply human because it's given that level of nuance of their character's moral metrics. That they weren't merely written to be affectionate, that they had reasons surrounding it that are played out that inevitably come to that moment. And that isn't 100% healthy in many aspects because being human is never an exercise in healthy experience...


I don't entirely gel with some of the morals its presented thus far. Like why exactly is Connie's mother being treated as too defensive and protective around her daughter when her friendship with Steven does actually put her in precarious situations of life and death, and why exactly is it bad that she confiscated the sword Steven just haphazardly gives to her? I'd have problems with that ... particularly if it lead to my child actively seeking out gem monsters to slay and apparently being trained by someoe related to Steven's actual guardians to do just that...

I imagine my parental alarm bells would be ringing as well.

That being said, despite some hit and miss aspects it's a pretty good show as far as I've seen. Be nice to see more queer friendly and positive representation on tv. I certainly think it should be seen as a benchmark in terms of that, at least.

It subverts traditional depictions of beauty, class and family and I honestly hope that more tv in this Animation Silver Age takes notes about how they should approach queer themes in programming.

Hasbro and whoever handles animating its intellectual licences in the future, pay attention for G5 Ponies please. Lyra and Bon Bon are cute, but it's still problematic we have to literally jump the shark in order to joke about possible rage at queer themes in media, as opposed to actual positive representation and being able to joke about possible reactionism to it.
 
Jan 27, 2011
3,741
0
0
Not movies? Hooh...

I don't really watch TV, nor am I that into anime, soo...

Pretty much just Stranger Things (season 1 and 2).

Season 1: 10/10

Oh my gosh, so freakin' good, why did I wait so long to watch this?! It was amazing seeing several different groups of people all with different clues to the mystery, and not being able to share those clues with each other because they have understandable reasons not to talk to one another.

That and they knew exactly how to hype up the monster. You don't get a good look at the bastard until very late in the season, and it's excellent for building the tension.

Also, the characters were just freakin' great. Dustin, Chief Hopper, and Joyce were particularly great standouts.

The whole thing gave me vibes from the call of Cthulhu larp that I once participated in, with the whole homey setting beset by horrors no one understands, and everyone trying to do their individual part while hoping they're not going crazy.

Season 2: 9/10

With the core of the mystery already solved, I wasn't sure how they would have a second season and make it work, but make it work they did.

They developed characters more (Woo, more Dustin! :D) , they completed some arcs, they gave others a chance to shine that they didn't get quite so much in S1, and they escalated things in a way that I could get behind.

It wasn't quite as special as the first season, but it was still damn good and I marathoned it with zero regrets just like the first one.

I'm not sure what they're gonna do for Season 3, but I'm looking forward to it.
 

Hawki

Elite Member
Legacy
Apr 5, 2020
6,908
619
118
Country
Australia
Gender
Male
Similarly, don't have the time to go in-depth, so quick notes:

The Librarians: Season 1 (3/5)

Basically a poor man's version of Doctor Who. Has some entertaining qualities, but nothing special.

Parks and Recreation: Season 6 (4/5)

Well, the bell curve's been slightly avoided in that it's a step up from season 6, mainly because similar to season 4, it has a clear sense of direction. So, good job there.

Luna Gayle (4/5)

A stage play that deals with a variety of issues. In a word, "harrowing."
 

Chewster

It's yer man Chewy here!
Apr 24, 2008
1,052
0
0
Sharp Objects. 4.5/5

Hella dark/slow. Well acted and fascinating for someone who grew up in a small-ish town but has never been to the South and probably never will.

So yeah. If you're down for a murder mystery that has some commentary about small town Missouri and based on a book by the writer of Gone Girl, give this a spin. It's excruciatingly slow paced and the ending was a bit predictable but it's relentlessly gloomy and Amy Adams does well as a very broken alcoholic reporter.
 

Chimpzy_v1legacy

Warning! Contains bananas!
Jun 21, 2009
4,791
0
0
Disenchantment - 5/10

I'm only about halfway through the season, but it's ok-ish so far. Basically Futurama, but with fantasy tropes instead, and not as witty or engaging. It's funny at times, but there's many jokes that fall flat. I can't put my finger on it, but there were plenty times where the comedic timing of the animation and/or delivery of the voice acting just felt off, like things could've been much funnier if that reaction shot came a little faster or a line was brought a little different. Might just be me, but it stood out to me. Surprising, considering all the talent working on this show.
 

Trunkage

Nascent Orca
Legacy
Apr 3, 2020
5,603
1,101
118
Brisbane
Gender
Cyborg
BoJack Horseman S5 8/10
Look, I like this show but I'm tired of its tires spinning, which is pretty much my opinion of Rick and Morty. Or Community. Move forward or become irrelevant.
 

Dalisclock

Making lemons combustible again
Legacy
Apr 18, 2020
6,750
1,390
118
Country
United States
Gender
Male
trunkage said:
BoJack Horseman S5 8/10
Look, I like this show but I'm tired of its tires spinning, which is pretty much my opinion of Rick and Morty. Or Community. Move forward or become irrelevant.
I haven't started S5 yet but that's honestly kind of the biggest flaw in the show. Every time it looks like anyone is going to start making progress as a character, they pretty much start backsliding immediately.
 

Zeraki

WHAT AM I FIGHTING FOOOOOOOOR!?
Legacy
Apr 9, 2020
1,608
27
53
New Jersey
Country
United States
Gender
Male
The Dragon Prince 7/10.

I'd put the rating higher because I like almost everything about the show, but that animation really pulls it down. Not sure what they were trying to accomplish with that animation style but it just... doesn't work.
 

Hawki

Elite Member
Legacy
Apr 5, 2020
6,908
619
118
Country
Australia
Gender
Male
So, again, site's been down, don't have time to go in-depth, so:

Parks and Recreation: Season 7 (3/5)

Well, the bell curve is complete. Season 1 was previously the worst season, now it's this one...though for different reasons. Primiarily because it's so short, so while we have some very strong episodes (e.g. where Leslie and Ron make up and the show finale), the length really makes it come off as rushed - the whole Leslie/Ron thing doesn't have as much impact when only a handful of episodes are dedicated to it, whereas in, say, season 4, around 80% of it was dedicated to a continuous plotline. Likewise, thematically, it's stepping on the toes of the previous season (whole "moving on and being what you want to be" thing). So, enjoyed it, but a bit a of a letdown.

Still, been a fun ride watching this. If I had to rank the seasons, it would be:

7) Season 7
6) Season 1
5) Season 2
4) Season 5
3) Season 3
2) Season 6
1) Season 4

-The Librarians: Season 2 (3/5)

For season 1, I gave it the same rating and stated it was a poor man's Doctor Who. While season 2 isn't "good," it's still an improvement over its predecessor. Watching season 3 now, I've come to the opinion the show is much better when it does stand-alone episodes because it can play to its strengths more, rather than trying to do an over-arching plot. While season 2 does have a better villain than season 1 (if only because Prospero gets to quote Shakespeare, and Moriatry gets to be a smug bastard), I think the main thing is that it's able to dedicate more character-centric episodes. That's probably an exageration, but it feels that the show's established more of an identity for itself. Not "good," but still "better."
 

Kyrian007

Officially no longer the Enemy of the People
Legacy
Apr 6, 2020
2,086
123
68
Kansas
Country
U.S.A.
Gender
Male
I've started on "The Man in the High Castle" season 3. I'm seeing some cracks so far. I'm starting to think this is going to join the legion of shows recently I've started out liking... and then giving up on before the finish. Like "The Walking Dead" after season 3, or "Game of Thrones" after season 2... it just has stopped being interesting. I truly believe from the quality of the first 2 season that it can redeem itself in the remaining 2/3rds of this season I have yet to watch. Easily probably. But right now, its just meh. Previously it had been #1 on the list of currently running things I'm watching. But at least for the next few days I'm promoting "Into the Badlands" to #1. Netflix put "Monty Python's Flying Circus" back on streaming, so "The Man in the High Castle" is at the moment on a short hiatus. I'll get back to it at some point, but I'm not in much hurry to do so... whereas I had to really fight not to binge watch the first 2 seasons.

I finished "Ozark" season 2. Pretty much on par with season 1 I'd say. If "financial planner breaking bad" sounds good to you, then I recommend Ozark. I enjoy it, mostly because I'm familiar with the setting and am amazed how well they manage to make Georgia really look and feel like southern Missouri.

As far as anime goes I watched "Akashic Records of Bastard Magic Instructor." Interesting, but it would need more to be something I'd consider good. The idea is good, basically grizzled deadbeat wizard teaching at a Japanese magic school. Like "The Dresden Files" meets "Little Witch Academia" with common anime tropes cranked up to about a 7 or 8.