We already know people enjoyed Stranger Things’ new season, nothing new there. Netflix‘s collection of writers, actors, set design, seriously everyone involved put their best foot forward and made for an entertaining new chapter to the story of Hawkins, Indiana. Some people are probably getting to the point that they hope this story turns into the Neverending kind.
However, the efficacy Stranger Things has achieved in making well-rounded, interesting characters could be part of its own undoing.
Almost all characters featured in their past three seasons have grown into complex, interesting personalities. However, series can’t always showcase all of its characters. Having such a large cast can cause a lot of trouble and distract from the story.
Everyone can bitch all they want about Yennefer’s far more model look and all the race-bending in the new Netflix The Witcher series, but they are all ignoring the real visual problem with the adaptation.
Henry Cavill is too pretty to play Geralt and it’s awful.
Let’s back-trek. By no means am I saying that Geralt of Riviera is an ugly man. Absolutely not. He’s rugged and stoic and a fantasy hero, so obviously he’d charm the pants off of a lot of people. However, no one ever looked at him and thought, “why yes, he looks like he could pass as Prince Charming.”
While commentary sites tend to lean towards the informative or negative, let’s take a moment today to just revel in something super awesome.
Let’s talk about Aggretsuko.
Aggretsuko is a Netflix show about a cute, reliable red panda who vents her rage by singing death metal karaoke. In a world of anthropomorphic animals working desk jobs, the show walks to the beat of its own drum. As does its main character, Retsuko, even though she hides it under sweetness and compliance.
With 15 minute episodes, the Japanese original series is short, to the point, yet oh so effective. And, somehow, depicts one of the realest expressions of being a twenty something, despite being a bizarre animation about office animals.
Black Mirror has always been a series that pushed the envelope, with some great episodes, some perplexing episodes, and the rare few that fall flat. Fans have been enamored with the show, especially since it was picked up by Netflix and has only asked wilder questions and explored even more shocking scenarios.
While every season has its low points, Black Mirror dropped the ball in its short, three episode season, but not because of quality. Overall, the season was great. Well, 2/3 of the season. The season failed by having its final episode feel utterly pedestrian compared to the other two. “Striking Vipers” explored complex, vague, and undefined sexuality. “Smithereens” juxtaposed the grandness and tragedy of technology with the horrors of grief.
And then there’s “Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too”. Compared to its predecessors, it’s a bizarre and uninspired tale that could be found in a lower grade YA novel. Considering YA novels can be damn good sometimes, it’s really a shame. The science behind it doesn’t really make sense, and the characters and story are not strong enough to cover that up.
Gilead’s a cesspool of discomfort that only gets worse, isn’t it?
This last weekend, The Handmaid’s Tale season 3 premiered on Hulu. Instead of gracing fans with just a single episode, though, Hulu gave fans three. Thank you, Hulu gods, for such a gift. Since they premiere Handmaid’s Tale weekly, it’s nice to be able to binge ourselves a little to get back into the show before wait each week to continue the journey.
As the NerdBastards resident Handmaid’s Tale reviewer, I thought it might be good for me to cover such a momentous debut.
And boy, did the show really go for it.
Despite early complaints about She-Ra’s design not being sexy enough, Netflix’s She-Ra and The Princesses of Power series has made a huge splash. Fans have fallen in love with the inclusive, diverse, and beautiful show. With the strong and powerful Adora, bold but insecure Glimmer, and the overexcited, intelligent Bow, the main cast drives each episode with gusto. Even if the intro theme song sometimes gives a harsh reminder that the show’s made for kids, people of all ages can enjoy and appreciate it.
However, what’s gotten the biggest buzz about She-Ra is its open and casual acceptance of LGBTQ+ people and relationships. Bow has two fathers. Two different allies are in a serious relationship (Netossa and Spinerella). Adora and Catra have romantic undertones so heavy that they could drown an entire city.
Black Mirror’s “Striking Vipers” was amazing. Well, except for the fact that the episode didn’t have the balls to go all the way exploring these two men’s sexuality and relationship in favor of a more heterosexual viewpoint.
It gave fans all the subtext, all the LGBTQ+ specific leanings and even community jokes. But it refused to try to truly dissect and figure out the relationship between these men.
After a tumultuous experience with all the other Marvel Defenders series getting cancelled despite all the promise they showed, Jessica Jones season 3 is the final outing we’ll see from the franchise. Even though fans adored Daredevil and Jessica Jones, were intrigued by Punisher and Luke Cage’s stories, and had lukewarm responses to Iron Fist, Disney cancelled all of it. Assumedly, it’s because of their upcoming Disney streaming service, but the axing was still brutal.
Even though Daredevil technically started the Defenders series, Jessica Jones has always been right alongside him, an equal poster child for the heroes protecting New York City.
DC Universe is knocking it out of the park again and again. Titans, Doom Patrol, and now Swamp Thing. DC Universe is stepping things up in quality, not afraid to take chances on comic-accurate costumes and lesser-known characters. Pushing things to a more adult-like direction, darker without taking itself too seriously or losing the “fun” that fans feel is synonymous with comic book characters. Now with Swamp Thing, they delve into the horror genre. Bringing in characters like Madame Xanadu and Blue Devil, Swamp Thing is following in the footsteps of Titans by showcasing characters that have never been seen live action. The newest trailer gives fans a glimpse into the world. But will it be another home run?
Eight years and 72 episodes later, we arrive kicking and screaming at the conclusion of one of the most loved and talked about shows on television. Whether the kicking and screaming is because viewers can’t bear for the series to end, or because this season has left fans dissatisfied, the unavoidable conclusion is here. Game of Thrones is over.
While this season has had some truly fantastic moments that left fans in awe, and some plot developments making other fans feel it was massively rushed, the resolution that this episode has provided has got fans feeling, well… ambivalent about it all. (more…)