Back in March I posted about the Japanese manga/anime franchise Lupin the Third (aka Lupin III aka Lupin the 3rd). And about my love of stories about clever thieves, a love clearly shared by many given all the stories and movies made over the years — from Robin Hood to Inside Man (2006) and beyond.
Because I’ve been watching various Lupin III anime TV shows, Amazon Prime’s mighty algorithm suggested a Japanese live-action spin-off, Daughter of Lupin (2019; 11 episodes). It’s quirky, silly, exciting, delightful, romantic, and fun. Definite thumbs up!
I also have some movie double-features to tell you about.
6 Comments | tags: Daughter of Lupin, Donnie Yen, Iko Uwais, Lupin the Third, Martial Arts Movies, Tony Jaa | posted in Movies, TV Tuesday
I don’t know how it is with hobbies and interests for others, but mine — the ones that persist, anyway— are typically cyclic. I’ll be into something, reading, blogging, programming, trying to learn quantum mechanics, whatever, and then I’ll burn out or get temporarily tired of it and take a break.
Watching TV is definitely an interest that waxes and wanes. Through most of March, it was more or less on the wane. In April, though, it waxed, and one result of that is another TV Tuesday post.
Perhaps not surprisingly (given my tastes), the main entry today is a Japanese anime series, but there are a number of side dishes, including some movies that snuck in because I watched them on TV.
3 Comments | tags: anime, Japanese anime, Netflix | posted in TV Tuesday
‘Tis human trait that, when we love something or someone, we accommodate and excuse flaws. We may not even see them. The classic example is the love a mother has for her child. Very similar is the love any pet owner has for their pet. (Of course, dogs don’t have flaws, so it’s extra easy to love the little darlings.)
Conversely, not loving something or someone tends to amplify flaws. Sometimes to the point it’s all we see. We lose sight of the good, especially over something we once loved. [As Danny DeVito says about Bette Midler in Ruthless People (1986), “I hate the way she licks stamps!” Great line.]
Which brings us to the TV series NCIS.
6 Comments | tags: Doctor Who, NCIS, South Park, The Blacklist, YouTube TV | posted in TV Tuesday
Over the last week or so I’ve been watching The Umbrella Academy (2019-2022; Netflix; three seasons; 10 episodes each). Speaking as someone who is beyond being over live-action superhero stories, I rather enjoyed it. Enough that I plan to check out (in both senses of the word) the same-named graphic novels the show is adapted from.
And that right there says even more about my enjoyment of the series. How many times have I written here that doing a live-action adaptation of comics or animated shows is a mistake that usually ends badly? (A lot is the answer.) And it’s a Netflix show to boot.
Yet, despite some small annoyances, I found it quite engaging.
5 Comments | tags: adaptations, Netflix, superheroes | posted in TV Tuesday
Early last year I wrote about Cowboy Bebop, an award-winning Japanese anime classic from 1998. It’s on my list of favorite things ever. It’s so rich on so many levels that I’ve watched and enjoyed it at least half a dozen times. For me it’s an almost perfect combination of anime, hard SF, music, action, and humor.
Late last year Netflix released a live action version with John Cho, Mustafa Shakir, and Daniella Pineda, as Spike, Jet, and Faye, respectively. I watched three episodes and bailed. It wasn’t just me. Netflix cancelled the series only a few weeks after its release.
Ever since, I’ve wanted to give it another try, see if it really is that bad.
10 Comments | tags: anime, Boston Legal, Cowboy Bebop, Lucy Liu, science fiction, science fiction TV, SF, SF TV | posted in TV Tuesday
As an intro with nothing to do with the post, yesterday I started reading The Big U (1984), by Neal Stephenson (one of my favorite authors). It’s his first novel and one I’ve been meaning to read for a while. As with his second novel, Zodiac (1988), his first is a social satire with a distinct technological flavor. Unlike most of his later work, these aren’t science fiction. That began with novel #3, Snow Crash (1992), still one of my favorites.
I mention this because I’m eager to get back to it, but it’s TV Tuesday, and I want to commemorate the ending of not one, not two, (…etc.), but four TV shows that recently aired their last episodes.
Two I was glad to see go, but I am in mourning over one of them.
5 Comments | tags: Black-ish, Bull (TV series), Grace and Frankie, Grown-ish, Kenya Barris, Mr. Mayor (TV series) | posted in TV Tuesday
I’ve been awaiting the sophomore season of Netflix’s Russian Doll with both anticipation and dread. Anticipation because I thought season one was outstanding, one of the best shows of 2019. I only mentioned it briefly in a post back then (and gave it a solid Wow! rating). I meant to write a whole post about it but never did.
The dread came largely from how complete the story arc of season one was. It was hard to see more story there. Dread also came from how good it was — a very hard act to follow. Maybe best not to try?
Season two finally came out last month. My best reaction is something along the lines of “Huh?” but the phrase “muddled mess” keeps running through my mind.
10 Comments | tags: animation, anime, Futurama, Hulu, Japanese anime, Netflix, Russian Doll (TV series) | posted in TV Tuesday
One of many benefits gained when I cut the cable and subscribed to Netflix and Hulu was access to a very large catalog of Japanese anime. Until then I was largely at the mercy of the Cartoon Network cable channel and rented videos. While I’ve so far barely scratched the surface of the Netflix catalog, I have been steadily working my way through Hulu’s.
Recently I’ve enjoyed two there: Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? and xxxHolic. The former is a fun medieval fantasy adventure series (with expected twists and unexpected depth). Saying the latter is about a beautiful hard-drinking witch who grants wishes is accurate but misses the point.
It’s a lot more interesting than that.
9 Comments | tags: anime, Japanese anime, streaming video | posted in TV Tuesday
Recently I watched the first season (twelve episodes) of a new Amazon Prime “original” series, The Legend of Vox Machina. I say “original” because Amazon didn’t originate it and, according to Wikipedia, the first ten episodes were funded by a Kickstarter campaign, so it seems Amazon didn’t really even pay for it.
On the other hand, by acquiring the rights and putting it on their streaming service, they allowed this animated series to be decidedly adult (which, in the USA, means over-the-top violence and gore with some bits of coy T&A because Americans wallow in blood and are scared to death of (yet obsessed with) sex… which is a weird definition of “adult” given it’s what I remember about being 12 years old).
That said, it has some good bits and nothing that really pissed me off.
11 Comments | tags: Amazon Prime, animation, anime, medieval fantasy | posted in TV Tuesday
I discovered, and become a huge fan of, Sherlock Holmes at an early age — somewhere in grade school. Too long ago to remember, so it feels like I’ve “always” been a fan. (Conversely, I can remember watching the first episode of Star Trek in 1966, so reading A.C. Doyle for the first time must be many years earlier.)
Per Doyle’s stories, Holmes has a well-defined center, but as adapted, extended, reimaged, even satirized, by others, his boundaries are extremely fuzzy [see The Real Sherlock Holmes].
There is even a Japanese anime version of Holmes: Case File nº221: Kabukicho.
4 Comments | tags: anime, Japanese anime, Sherlock Holmes | posted in TV Tuesday