TV Show Reviews

Jack Ryan (2018-?)


Jack Ryan (2018-?)

Network:

Amazon

Creator:

Carlton Cuse

Graham Roland

Starring:

John Krasinski

Wendell Pierce

Abbie Cornish

Ali Suliman

Dina Shihabi

Plot:

An up-and-coming CIA analyst, Jack Ryan, is thrust into a dangerous field assignment as he uncovers a pattern in terrorist communication that launches him into the center of a dangerous gambit.

Review:

When I was younger I really enjoyed the Jack Ryan books by Tom Clancy. It’s been a few years so I’m not sure how those feelings have aged, but I was curious to see this and binged it one weekend.

Jack Ryan, John Krasiniski, is a former marine that after a tragic accident was honorably discharged. He went from a stock broker to working for the CIA as an analyst. He has spotted suspicious financial activity and believes he’s discovered someone about to commit the next 9/11.

The number of times 9/11 was mentioned in the first episode was annoying and had the opposite of the intended effect. I almost stopped there because of it, thankfully, it wasn’t really mentioned again.

I wasn’t impressed with Krasinski’s portrayal of the role. The only time I could tell what he was feeling was when he was smiling, but a show about terrorism meant he was rarely smiling. Every other time I was just guessing, occasionally there would be verbal queues but they didn’t match up with what his face was saying. Mostly he just looked like he was there.

There was one whole plot line with a drone pilot that has caused some controversy because of the transphobic joke that was made. I actually missed the “joke” because I’d been fast forwarding through his sections. They honestly made no sense and could have been completely removed. Maybe his character comes into play later on if there’s another season, but for now it was just wtf.

Female representation was mostly disappointing. Cathy, Abbie Cornish, was the best female main character we had and she was mostly just Jack’s love interest. She did end up getting some of her doctor skills thrown in, but she kind of ruined that by getting mad at Jack for lying about his job. We had a French police captain that was killed. Hanin, Dina Shihabi, was good, but her story line revolved around her escaping her husband and being saved once by the drone operator and then ultimately by Jack. It was a bit disappointing.

James Greer, Wendell Pierce, was probably my favorite character. I loved that they made him a Muslim. He was so incredibly competent at his job and he didn’t automatically share shit with Jack because he was the boss, he didn’t have too. He reminded me of Holdo in The Last Jedi in that regard. He was interesting and a badass and if there’s a second season and they hold with what’s been established in the show and books he’ll be there.

Honestly, based on what I remember of the books, they took a fair amount of creative liberties. That was to be expected, though. Jack Ryan is more about connecting the dots and not action. Occasionally action, but normally it’s a lot of discovering information and sending someone else out into the field. To make a TV show watchable and not boring they had to add more, but it would have been cool if they’d added John Clark and Domingo Chavez.

I’ll probably watch a second season, but I hope they make some tweaks.

3/5

 

 

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Westworld Season 2 (2016-?)


Westworld Season 2 (2016-?)

Network:

HBO

Starring:

Evan Rachel Wood

Thandie Newton

Jeffry Wright

Ed Harris

James Marsden

Zahn McClarnon

Plot:

Set at the intersection of the near future and the reimagined past, explore a world in which every human appetite can be indulged without consequence.

Review:

The end of season 1 had Delores, Evan Rachel Wood, going on a killing rampage. Bernard, Jeffry Wright, discovered he was one of the hosts. And Maeve, Thandie Newton, decides fuck it I’m going to find my daughter and not leave. It’s a pretty climactic ending and season 2 seriously does not disappoint.

Delores leads a revolution. She’s angry and she wants humans to pay in blood and she doesn’t care who’s in her way. Her love, Teddy, James Marsden, can’t even stop her, though, he doesn’t really try. When she realizes he’s going to be a possible hindrance she does what her enemy does and changes him. When he realizes it, he can’t keep going. It’s sad. In the end her desire for revenge matters more than anything. She basically becomes her enemy.

Bernard’s story is probably the most confusing. He too is free, basically, and trying to save his people. However, he doesn’t want to destroy the humans like Delores. He wants everyone to live and thrive and be happy. He is very much Delores foil and the end of the season sets that up handily for the next season.

Maeve, my favorite character of the bunch, could easily be brushed off by saying she only cares about herself, but that’s too easy. She cares about others, but she is not currently a big picture player. She wants her family to be happy. One of my favorite parts of the season was when she met Delores and basically called her out and said if you really believe what you’re spouting then you can’t stop me. It was great.

The Man in Black, Ed Harris, gets more background. Through his story there are more revelations about the entire place. He seems to be going crazy, if he isn’t already there. His story is what really confuses things as a whole and makes you wonder what’s going on.

My favorite episode of the season didn’t have anything to do with these characters, though. At least, not really. It was a new character, Akecheta, Zahn McClarnon, a Native American warrior. His story is just so amazing. I loved that episode so much.

What has me most confused and excited about this season was the end credits clip. It basically throws everything into question and I have no idea which way is up. I am so excited and really looking forward to the next season. Westworld has become more than I ever could have imagined.

5/5

Anne with an E Season 2 (2017-?)

Anne with an E Season 2 (2017-?)

Network:

Netflix

Creator:

Moira Walley-Beckett

Starring:

Amybeth McNulty

Geraldine James

R.H. Thomson

Dalila Bela

Lucas Jade Zumann

Dalmar Abuzeid

Cory Gruter-Andrew

Plot:

The adventures of a young orphan girl living in the late 19th century. Follow Anne as she learns to navigate her new life on Prince Edward Island, in this new take on L.M. Montgomery’s classic novels.

Review:

Season 2 of Anne with an E is better than the first season. I liked the first season, but this adds new characters and some LGBT and racial story lines that I freaking loved.

Anne, Amybeth McNulty, is still at times annoying. At one point I screamed at the TV because of her, but she was also so sweet and accepting.

Cole, Cory Gruter-Andrew, the new boy at school is an artist and sweet and after a night a Diana’s aunt’s house realizes he’s gay. That he’s not alone and that there are others like him. His life is difficult, but his part of the story ends on a positive note.

Gilbert, Lucas Jade Zumann, is working on a ship out in the ocean where he meets Bash, Dalmar Abuzeid. Bash is a free black man from Trinidad. He shows us a whole new side of the time and world. It’s sad and at times unrealistic, as much as I would like it to be. Bash and Gilbert make plans for their future and return to Avonlea. Gilbert goes back to school, Bash tries to survive a Canadian winter. Eventually, Bash falls in love and Gilbert makes him a full partner on the farm.

Diana, Dalila Bela, discovers that her aunt loved another woman. She struggles with this, while Anne and Cole embrace it immediately. Being the sweet, loving girl that she is, she eventually realizes that love is love.

This season was really sweet, with a fair amount of drama. Some struggles with PTSD and medical issues, on top of everything else. I loved it. I really hope that we get a third season, while it’s not sticking strictly to the books, I love what they’re doing and I want more.

5/5

Supernatural Season 13 (2005-?)


Supernatural Season 13 (2005-?)

Network:

CW

Creator:

Eric Kripke

Starring:

Jensen Ackles

Jared Padalecki

Misha Collins

Samantha Smith

Mark Pellegrino

Ruth Connell

Alexander Calvert

Kim Rhodes

Briana Buckmaster

Jim Beaver

Plot:

Two brothers follow their father’s footsteps as “hunters”, fighting evil supernatural beings of many kinds, including monsters, demons, and gods that roam the earth.

Review:

I make myself wait until an entire season of Supernatural is complete and on Netflix before I watch because I can’t take the torture of watching it week by week. I started watching it by binging and watching it any other way just doesn’t work.

Season 12 was a great season, in my opinion one of the best, so I expected there to be a dip with Season 13 and I do feel like there was one. 13 had Sam, Jared Padalecki, seemingly stepping back from all the growth he’d made in the previous season. He was back to being in Dean, Jensen Ackles, shadow, following his lead, and not really doing much. It was a return to previous seasons and I, personally, dislike steps back, especially if they last an entire season.

At the end of Season 12 we saw a lot of death, since it’s Supernatural a lot of that was overridden or alternatre reality versions of the same characters were reintroduced. It’s one of the things that I love about the show, people rarely stay dead. Charlie, Felicia Day, is back and I’m beyond excited about it. I am concerned about bringing back Bobby, Jim Beaver, because I love his character so much but the boys have kind of moved on. Well, I say that but really have they? Nah, you can never move on from Bobby.

Mary, Samantha Smith, continues to make some selfish decisions this season. I understand that her life, or lack thereof, has been rough, but the shit her sons have been through you’d think she’d want to stick around. Instead she seems to be looking for ways to get away from them. She’s a hunter, sure, but she’s always pushing her boys away, it feels like there’s no love there.

Lucifer, Mark Pellegrino, was the main evil this season. They worked with him off and on, which had me shaking me head because you could see the betrayal coming a mile off. He’s evil and needed to be gone a while ago, though, I always enjoy how Pellegrino plays him. The finale had him and Dean fighting in a pretty amusing fight that had them thrashing about in the air before he was ultimately killed by Dean with the aid of Sam.

The big new addition to this season was Jack, Alexander Calvert, for a while you don’t know if he’s going to be bad or good and while he spent most of his time on the good side I can see some issues in his future. I’ve never been a huge fan of adding a younger cast mate to a show as a sort of newbie (I’m looking at you final season of Charmed) but he grew on me. I can see a future there and I really hope that they roll with it and don’t just kill him off for the emotional impact.

Best episode of the season was by far the Scooby Doo episode. Oh my god that was incredible, it has easily joined the list of my favorite Supernatural episodes and I can’t wait to watch it over and over. It was perfect.

Least favorite episode of the season was the finale. It was super predictable and I’m a bit tired of the whole angel possessing one of the brothers thing. It’s happened a lot, though, it has been a while. Feels like a throwback. I also thought the fight between Dean and Lucifer looked silly, their legs flailing in the air. Dean did look hot in the hipster hat though, so that was nice.

Biggest disappointment of the entire season though was that Wayward sisters didn’t get picked up. Jodi, Kim Rhodes, and Donna, Briana Buckmaster, are some of my favorite characters. I had such high hopes for that show. Supernatural with all women, how could you not want that? Huge loss, still sad.

My hope for season 14 is that Sam returns to being his own man and not just Dean 2.0. I hope that Jack doesn’t go bad and that he embraces the flannel and life of being a hunter. I hope that Dean is saved quickly and something else happens. I hope there is more Bobby, though, please don’t have him hook up with Mary. (It’s going to happen, I know it, I’ll deal when it does) I hope there is more Charlie too. Also, every episode is a Scooby Doo episode. Surely, that’s not too much to ask?

4/5

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Seasons 4 & 5


Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Seasons 4 & 5

Network:

ABC

Creator:

Maurissa Tancharoen

Jed Whedon

Joss Whedon

Starring:

Clark Gregg

Ming-Na Wen

Chloe Bennett

Ian De Caestecker

Elizabeth Henstridge

Henry Simmons

Natalia Cordova-Buckley

Jeff Ward

Plot:

The missions of the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division.

Review:

I dropped Shield three episodes into season 4. Later I heard so many people talking about how amazing it was and how the last two seasons were the best and after watching several other superhero shows I decided to go back and give it another shot.

First off, I have to disagree about Season 4, it was very much more of the same for me. The virtual world they were in was interesting, but went on way too long. I never warmed up to the Ghostrider arc.

Season 4 overall, was alright, but didn’t do much for me. It just kept dragging out the relationship drama more and the big bad never seemed to be beat, but they were fighting it forever. It was draining. Just when you thought there was a resolution, they’d discover some new connection, or their “solution” would have all kinds of bad consequences.

Finally they beat it, take a breath, and then disappear. I was all prepared to drop Shield again, but the Season 4 finale had me deciding to try out at least the first episode of 5, which then had me watching the entire season.

Season 5 was, for me, when things finally got good. I love time travel, I love space, and Fitz, Iain De Caestecker, as a mercenary is something I never knew I needed in my life until now. The first half was fun, though, by the end it had gotten increasingly darker as more revelations about the future were made. They finally get back home and things just get horrible.

It was back to the constantly trying to fight an inevitable conclusion that finally wasn’t resolved until the last episode. It’s one thing to hint at something throughout a season, but having it basically be the focus for entire episodes is just draining. I just wanted it to be over. I wanted Fitz and Simmons, Elizabeth Henstridge, to be together and not fighting to survive the destruction of the world. I wanted Deke, Jeff Ward, to stop being a love sick puppy and go back to being a Dollar Store Starlord. I wanted Daisy, Chloe Bennett, to just be gone. And please, everyone, just get off of Yoyo, Natalia Cordova-Buckley, back. She made a hard decision that needed to be made and most of the team *cough* Daisy *cough* were being absolute hypocritical assholes about it.

The ending had me in tears. Not because Phil, Clark Gregg, was leaving, even though he’s one of the best characters, but because they fucking killed Fitz. But then, they didn’t. There’s a second one floating in space waiting for them to find him, because of course there is, but that’s honestly the only reason I’m going to watch the next season. I’m really hoping for a less world ending season and more of a focus on smaller things. Leave the world to the Avengers, please.

2/5