TV Review – Lego Masters AU

TL;DR – This is a breath of fresh air in a crowded market that shines by showing the strength of people and not my trying to tear them down.

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

Lego Masters AU. Image Credit: Nine Network.

Review

In Australia, it feels like if you want to make any new content you have two choices Sport or Reality TV. Everything has to be designed around “Event TV’ that is television that you have to watch live so that you can be part of the conversation the next day in the office. This has been done in the response of shifting viewing habits of people away from traditional timeslots and TV stations not knowing how to respond. In Australia that has meant that we are inundated with one reality show after another, each jostling to try and be that next event, often by scraping through the bottom of the barrel to see what is underneath. For a viewer, this means that they take a concept and try and stretch as much out of it as possible so it can fill as much of the schedule as possible, and for a consumer, this is a real drag (and I assume it is no joy for the people making it either). However, every now and again something will break through the noise, and today I get the chance to look at just one such show, even though it is a reality TV show on three times a week.

So to set the scene, if you have seen a reality competition show before then you probably know what to expect here. Eight teams enter into a warehouse where they battle in the challenge after challenge where some of them will be eliminated until there is only one team left. The big change this time around is that the arena where they are battling is not food, or singing, or being married, at first sight, no it is building Lego creations. It is a show that celebrates creativity, working under pressure, but also being part of a team, and supporting them at each step of the way.   

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TV Review – Game of Thrones: The Long Night

TL;DR – The storm is here, the storm is coming for you, the storm bites.  

Score – 5 out of 5 stars

Game of Thrones: The Long Night. Image Credit: HBO.

Review

Have you ever watched a show where over seven seasons of story led to one moment, thinking back for me only maybe Deep Space Nine, or possibly Fringe funnelled everything into one moment. Well, today we have another example to add to the mix, with just about every single person left alive in Game of Thrones all in the same location waiting for the oncoming storm.

So to set the scene, during last week’s A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms we got a chance to sit back and revisit all the characters that we had gotten to know over the last few seasons, which would have been great if this didn’t have the feel of one last happy moment before the end. Jon (Kit Harington) told Danni (Emilia Clarke) about who he was which yep shocker did not go down well. Arya (Maisie Williams) made it with Gendry (Joe Dempsie), Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson) and Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) plan out their post-conflict lives and we get drunk by the fire. However, at every moment there is the threat of death that will be with them before the morning. Well, ladies and gentlemen, that time is here, and oh wow, just wow. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.  

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TV Review – Street Food: Season One

TL;DR – This is a fascinating series exploring the food and people that make up some of the most interesting cities in Asia.  

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

Street Food. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

If you have read my reviews in the past you could probably tell that I am a sucker for a good food documentary. A documentary that explores the origins of a dish, or the people that make it, or the cultural context it exists in. Well, today we get a show that does all three with Street Food. When you think of street food, what first comes to mind? Well for a long time for me it was that kebab shop that is open to late in the morning or that one chip store I found in Sydney that one time. However, as I have started to travel I have found it is much, much, much more than that, and this is what we will be exploring today.

So to set the scene, today we delve into the street food cultures of eight different cities across Asia. Some of these locations are quite well known like Bangkok, Osaka, Delhi, Seoul, and Singapore, as well as some less well-known places like Chiayi, Yogyakarta, and Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). We see the foods that mark each of these cities and the people that make them. We discover the Fish-head Stew of Chiayi, the Crab Omelette of Bangkok, or the Putu Piring of Singapore. But more than this we explore the cities, their history, their relationship with food, and what it means for the people who make/eat it.   

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TV Review – The Orville: The Road Not Taken and Season 2

TL;DR – Time travel, parallel universes, and the end of the universe, oh my.

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

The Orville: The Road Not Taken. Image Credit: Fox.

Review

Time travel is a dangerous thing because you never know just what you may accidentally do. Today we are looking at the second part of an interesting look at the past of The Orville. It gives us time to see characters in a new light, in new circumstances, and asks the question: what could really happen when you know the future?

So to set the scene, at the end of Tomorrow, And Tomorrow, And Tomorrow Kelly (Adrianne Palicki) was meant to be sent back in time with her memories wiped so she could not accidentally change the crew’s past and her future because of the knowledge she knows. Well at the end of last week’s episode we discover that the memory wipe didn’t take, and out of a need to not cause any pain Kelly decides not to accept Ed’s (Seth MacFarlane) proposal for a second date. I mean that can’t change anything, right, it is just one date, right …? Well, as it turns out it might have changed everything. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.    

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TV Review – Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Ticking Clocks

TL;DR – It experiments with the format while still having an emotional core.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Ticking Clocks. Image Credit: NBC Studios.

Review

One of the great things about getting another season of Brooklyn Nine-Nine is that it is clear that the writers, producers, and actors are swinging for the fences, making the most of their new chance. Today we get to see the fruits of that when we see the show experiment with its format without missing a beat of what has made it so grand.

So to set the scene, we open with Hitchcock (Dirk Blocker) and Scully (Joel McKinnon Miller) trying to work out how best to cook their lasagne only to discover in horror that they forgot the garlic bread. However, all is not what it seems because Jake (Andy Samberg) has discovered through keen observation of Holt (Andre Braugher) that the slow internet is actually a crisis, because there is a hacker in the building and if they are not found one of two things will happen. Either the hacker will know the identities of all the precincts criminal informants, or Holt has to wipe the entire server, losing months of evidence. Well, there are 19 minutes left for them to find who it is … if they can. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.

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Article – Films, an Exercise in Selling you Stuff.

TL;DR – While films are here to entertain, they also have an increased chance of selling you all sorts of things

CAT in Skyfall. Image Credit: MGM.

Article

Today one of the biggest films in recent memory Avengers: Endgame has launched and with it comes reviews, calls for no spoilers, marketing and PR, but also a similar trend we see with every major movie release recently and that is comments about product placement. This is something that is not new for the movie universe, indeed it was being lampooned all the way back in 1992 in Wayne’s World. However, it does feel like it is becoming more of an issue these days, or at the very least it is more in your face.

So why is this important? Well, for many reasons, the first being that companies are using films to pepper you with ads when your subconscious has lowered its usual defences that it uses to ignore advertisements. Sometimes these are very obvious like when on Chuck they would stop to explain the Subway sandwich they are having, or on Cougar Town when they would stop to explain the Subway sandwich they are having, or on Community when they … okay look Subway does this a lot. Fun fact, when writing this article I double checked I was right about the Subway integration and lo and behold before the YouTube videos of the shows was a new ad for Subway. While this is all a bit silly, it is also important because advertisers pay a lot of money to do it. PQ Media found a 14% increase in spending on product placement in 2017 alone.

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Map-It – Mapping Infinity: The Cartography of the MCU (2019 Update)

TL;DR – Today with the next Avengers release imminent we take a look at where on Earth we have visited during all of Phase One, Phase Two, and Phase Three

The Avengers Image Credit: Marvel

Article

Today Avengers: Endgame was released in cinemas, and well since I like maps and I like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I thought it would be interesting to update our map out where the MCU has visited during its three phases from Iron Man in 2008 to Endgame in 2019. This means that there are some slight spoilers for Endgame here, but only their locations which don’t really give anything away, but if you are super cautious please be aware.    

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