Monthly Archives: March 2018

Westworld: S1E1

To prepare for season two of HBO’s Westworld (by husband and wife team Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy), I’m very thoroughly watching the first season again… and taking careful notes!

By “thoroughly” I mean that I plan to watch each episode multiple times. I’ve just watched the first episode three times (twice in a row last night, once the night before), and I plan to watch it again so my buddy can see how absolutely stunning it looks on my new LG 65″ OLED TV in 4K HDR off the Blu-Rays I bought. (And it is truly stunning that way! I gasped when I first started watching.)

I’m transcribing my notes from last night here, in part, because my handwriting is so bad I just have to type them up, but also to share them for whatever they may be worth. Obviously: Serious Series Spoilers!

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NCIS: Spin-off Spin-out

Some of you may know that NCIS (the one with Mark Harmon) is one of my favorite TV shows. And, absent the occasional clunker, they still are turning out very good episodes in their 15th season. It’s quite an accomplishment to remain a top, and high quality, show for 347 episodes.

Some of you may also know that I forsook the first spin-off, NCIS: Los Angeles, because it is — in my view — a silly-ass, lame-ass, stupid show (with too much gun play). I haven’t watched it in quite some time, and I haven’t missed it one iota.

And now it looks like I’m going to forsake their second spin-off, NCIS: New Orleans, because it also has gotten too stupid for me to enjoy anymore.

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Surreal Science Fiction

It’s been a long time since I’ve written a Sci-Fi Saturday post. (I didn’t post at all in 2017, so it’s been a long time since I’ve written a lot of things.) But last night I watched Mr. Nobody (2009), a slightly surreal science fiction film that I found hugely engaging and affecting, and it inspired me to write about it.

The truth is that Mr. Nobody isn’t actually surrealism — it does have a concrete narrative, but it’s a jumbled, imaginary, and fantastic one. That can sometimes be the case with really good science fiction. A common trick SF authors play is keeping you guessing until they reveal their mysteries.

Mr. Nobody isn’t particularly mysterious, but it does require that you pay close attention!

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A Sense of History

I considered naming this post Moar Roar, because it continues the last post’s rage rant against Republican Politicians, the increasingly ironically named “Right” (ha! as if!), and — in general — anyone who still supports that foul toad illegally squatting in the oblong office.

The problem with the last post is that it started off kinda tongue-in-cheek. I’m not really mad at my local grocery store or my streaming video apps or even AARP, for that matter. A bit frustrated at times — even irritated at times — but most of them don’t come close to boiling my blood.

The current political scene, however, absolutely does.

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Dear [insert name]…

I will admit: There are times when it would be nice to have a Twitter account just so that I could fire off tiny missive missiles about things that annoy me (or, flip side, delight me, but that happens all too rarely these days).

And by “annoy” I mean: Really. Piss. Me. Off. Another sign of the times is that mere annoyance barely registers anymore. What with that evil orange toad illegally squatting in the Oblong Office, I live mostly in a state of constant rage.

So a brief angry pause from streaming video for some spleen venting…

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Assassination Classroom

I want to tell you about Assassination Classroom, an amazing Japanese anime series I discovered, but it’s going to be a bit of a challenge, because I just don’t know that much about anime — it’s not something I’ve ever watched a lot of. In fact, the anime series (as is often the case) is based on the manga series, and I’ve never gotten into manga at all.

But I was so enthralled by this anime series that I have to give it a best effort. If you like anime, or even just animated storytelling, and especially if you like hard science fiction (the good kind), you have got to check this one out.

For one thing, it’s surprisingly deep! And it made me weep.

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Fresh Off the Boat

Last post I mentioned the ABC sitcom Fresh Off the Boat, a show I’m currently mini-binging[1] on Hulu. When I wrote that, I was still very much on the fence as to whether I even liked the show. In fact I was puzzled about why I liked it at all, since it’s a fairly standard sitcom in many regards.

Ever since I’ve been paying more attention to my reactions while watching, and I’ve come to realize that it’s not a matter of being undecided — it’s a matter of having developed a strong like/dislike for the show. As I wrote with Halt and Catch Fire, my feelings are mixed, not vague.

And it turns out to really tap into what attracts or repels me to sitcoms.

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So Much Television!

When I first started watching TV there were only the Big Three: CBS, NBC, and ABC. We had just a handful of shows we loved and followed, maybe a few others we watched with family members or friends. Often we just played outside.

There were various local channels, but they offered mostly re-runs, news, or sports — not much original content. It wasn’t until the Second Era, of cable TV, that original content offerings exploded into so many choices. We had to pick what we watched among all that new content.

Now the Third Era, streaming TV, with even more original content to choose among. On the other hand, also the chance to catch up on content we missed along the way!

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FTW: Netflix

My last post ended up with a misleading title (oops). When I started it, I planned to rag on more than just the Fargo TV series — figuring I didn’t have all that much to say about it — but the post become a total spleen vent about that one show (with a bit of shade for Hulu). Ah, well, better out than in.

This post, and at least two I’m planning after, will fall on the other side, my good side. To Yin the Yang of the previous two posts, these will be about shows I’ve really enjoyed (or even loved).

This post is about shows I’ve enjoyed that are produced by Netflix.

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