Foundation: Death and the Maiden – TV Review

TL;DR – The show is starting to find its place.  

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Apple TV+ service that viewed this episode.

Foundation: Death and the Maiden. Image Credit: Apple TV+.

Foundation Review

After Foundation’s bombastic explosion onto the scene in its first episode, The Emperor’s Peace, I had become concerned with where the show was heading. It felt like it was grasping around in the dark, possibly crushed under the weight of adapting the source material with all its quirks, while trying to bring it into the 21st century. While it still feels like it is struggling to find its place, we have now seen the bedrock it is building upon, and I am intrigued.

So to set the scene, the Anacreon’s attack on Terminus has caught everyone, including the Empire, with their pants down. Well, everyone but Salvor Hardin (Leah Harvey) who spotted Phara’s (Kubbra Sait) play but not before she could enact it. Meanwhile, back on Trantor, Brother Day’s (Lee Pace) frustration with the state of things boiled over, and he breaks with thousands of years of tradition and boots Brother Dusk (Terrence Mann) off a trip to the centre of the Luminism religion in the Moon Maiden in the Surah System. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead. 

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Ted Lasso: Season 2 – TV Review

TL;DR – Builds upon everything that made the first season great by focussing on the character development of every kind  

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Apple TV+ service that viewed this episode

Ted Lasso: Season 2. Image Credit: Apple TV+.

Ted Lasso Review

When I came into the first season of Ted Lasso, there was so much praise and hype around the show that there was no way it could ever live up to those expectations. But not only did the show live up to them, but it also exceeded them. However, surely now with its sophomore season, it can’t strike lightning twice? Well, can I just say, in the echoes of T2: Judgement Day or Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, the second helping is even better than the first.

So to set the scene, at the end of Season One, things were not looking great for the English Premier League team, AFC Richmond. After a gruelling season under new coach Ted Lasso (Jason Sudeikis), the team was moments away from saving themselves from relegation when a play from ex-teammate Jamie Tartt (Jeremy Swift) sealed their fate. Relegated, the team tries to fight back to the Premier League only to start their season with seven tied matches. But just when it looks like they will turn a corner, the win is stolen from them when the penalty Dani (Cristo Fernández) kicked accidentally kills the team mascot. Now we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there may be some [SPOILERS] ahead.

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Foundation: The Mathematician’s Ghost – TV Review

TL;DR – We start to see the main story unfurl, but some of the more frustrating elements are still there.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Apple TV+ service that viewed this episode.

Foundation: The Mathematician’s Ghost. Image Credit: Apple TV+.

Foundation Review

‘Non-linear storytelling’ is a method of creating a narrative that does not follow the usual A->B->C->D pattern but can jump all over the place C->D->B->A. Sometimes this comes in the form of a narrative hook where they show something shocking and jump back in a week to show how they got there. Sometimes it can be used to keep an audience off-balance. Sometimes it can be a complete surprise, like in Westworld. But if you are going to employ a non-linear story, you need to make sure it improves your narrative and that you are not losing your audience in the process.

So to set the scene, at the end of Preparing to Live, we had a moment of horror as Hari Seldon (Jared Harris) is apparently murdered at the hands of his own son Raych (Alfred Enoch) while Gaal (Lou Llobell) was jettisoned out of an escape pod. This episode we open 400-years earlier when Cleon the First (Terrence Mann) is looking over the construction of the Starbridge and preparing to create the legacy of his clones. We then jump 19 years after the bombing in The Emperor’s Peace, as Brother Dusk (Terrence Mann) has started his final day before becoming Brother Darkness. While 36 years after the bombing, the colonists have landed on Terminus and have been spending their time founding a colony and starting the task of softening the fall of the galactic empire.   

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Foundation: Preparing to Live – TV Review

TL;DR – While still showing promise, the follow-up does not hit as hard as the first.   

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Apple TV+ service that viewed this episode.

Foundation: Preparing to Live. Image Credit Apple TV+.

Foundation Review

Adapting a work from one medium to another is a complex process. Indeed, the media landscape is lifted with the failed attempts and aborted projects. This danger is amplified further when you adapt a work that is older and does not play within modern narrative frameworks. Today we continue to explore a show that is charging through this dangerous terrain by adapting a pillar of Science Fiction’s canon.

So to set the scene, Trantor is a planet still reeling from the terrorist attack in The Emperor’s Peace that destroyed the Starbridge sending the space elevator plummeting towards the planet, killing hundreds of millions on the ground. In the opening, Eto Demerzel (Laura Birn) leads a task force to Dwarf Planet Aethra to hunt down whoever financed the attack, but no clues could be found. But while the Empire reals, the Foundation is making the slow 5-year journey to the outer rim, but for all their training, projections still show that 30% of the colonists will still die in the first year. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.  

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Ted Lasso: Season 1 – TV Review

TL;DR – Heart-warming and sincere without ever being saccharine.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Apple TV+ service that viewed this episode.

The Media Conference in Ted Lasso. Image Credit: Apple TV+.

Ted Lasso Review

When I first got Apple TV+ for Foundation, I knew that I would probably take the chance to check out what else was there because nothing had called me before. Well, if I was going to start somewhere, I thought I might as well go with the series that just obliterated the Emmys. However, I went in with a thought that it could never live up to all the hype … I was wrong, it could, and it did.

So to set the scene, Ted Lasso (Jason Sudeikis) is working as an NFL coach in America. He led the Wichita State Shockers to a Division II NCAA championship, an impressive feat. While that win put him on the radar of several NFL clubs in America, an offer right out of left field caught his attention. Rebecca Welton (Hannah Waddingham) was the new owner of AFC Richmond, an English Premier League Football club, and she offered him the job of team manager. Ted jumps at the chance and brings along his coaching partner, Coach Beard (Brendan Hunt), all the way over to London only to get thrown in the deep end and demolished by the press like Trent Crimm for The Independent (James Lance). However, he soon finds his feet. Unfortunately for Ted, Rebecca got the team from her ex-husband Rupert (Anthony Head) in the divorce, but she has no intention of letting it thrive. She wanted the one thing her husband truly cared about to go down in flames. Now we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there may be some [SPOILERS] ahead.

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Sex Education: Season 3 – TV Review

TL;DR – This show keeps going from strength to strength with more in-depth storytelling.  

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Netflix subscription that viewed this show

Sex Education. Image Credit: Netflix.

Sex Education Review

If there is one show that constantly surprises me at how honest and explorative they will be, it would be Sex Education. Every episode is designed to both shock the viewer but then also be filled with deeply heartfelt stories. The combination creates a show that should be jarring, but rather than that, it just works. As we dive into the third season, there was always a chance that the steam would run out, that the juxtaposition would falter. While it might do that one day, this season still holds the line.

So to set the scene, at the end of Season Two, there was a lot of drama that befell the small town of Moredale. Otis (Asa Butterfield) finally expressed his love for Maeve (Emma Mackey) through a voicemail message, which would have been amazing if Isaac (George Robinson) had not deleted it. Jean (Gillian Anderson) discovered that she is pregnant with her ex-partner Jakob’s (Mikael Persbrandt) baby, and the hierarchy of Moredale Secondary School came crashing down when Michael’s (Alistair Petrie) plan to discredit Jean blew up in his face. Well, over summer, everything shifted, with Otis dating Ruby (Mimi Keene) and Eric (Ncuti Gatwa) is starting a new relationship with Adam (Connor Swindells), But none of them are ready for the new headmistress Hope (Jemima Kirke), that is about to change all of their worlds. Now we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there may be some [SPOILERS] ahead.

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Foundation: The Emperor’s Peace – TV Review

TL;DR – This is a good foundation for a series that moves everything into place and hints at much more.  

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Apple TV+ service that viewed this episode.

Foundation: The Emperor’s Peace. Image Credit: Apple TV+.

Foundation Review

For a while now, I have been wondering just what would make me up and give Apple TV+ a go. Sure, I’ll probably watch Ted Lasso at some point and cry a lot, but I needed something to grab me. Well, I have made my position about Sci-Fi quite clear, and if you are going to hook me with something, adapting a series from one of the greats, well, that will do it. Isaac Asimov is up there with Arthur C Clarke, Ursula K Le Guin, Philip K Dick, Frank Herbert, Mary Shelly, and HG Wells and to see his masterwork brought to the screen, well count me in.

So to set the scene, we open in on the planet of Terminus, where on a promenade looking over the small colony is ‘the Vault’. It is a floating repository with a null field forcing you to turn away from it if you dare approach, as some local kids find out the hard way. 35-years earlier, we land on the planet of Synnax, a water world surrounded by rings. Here a young Gaal Dornick (Lou Llobell) is making a final trip from her planet. She is going to the centre of the galaxy, the home of Emperor Cleon (Lee Pace, Cassian Bilton & Terrence Mann), and where she will meet Hari Seldon (Jared Harris), the great man of mathematics and the founder of psychohistory. But little does Gaal know that the Empire’s peace is being tested and that she might just be arriving for her trial and execution. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.  

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TV Review – Brooklyn Nine-Nine: The Last Day and Season 8

TL;DR – A wonderful way to end a beloved series

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Disclosure – I watched this on SBS On-Demand

Brooklyn Nine-Nine: The Last Day. Image Credit: NBC Studios.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine Review

After eight beautiful seasons, all good things have to come to an end, an end that could have been much sooner had people not been as passionate as they were. So it is in that vein that today we are a little happy/sad, happy for all the fun we’ve had and sad because there is no more to come. Today, we will look at first the finale double-part episode, The Last Day, and then take some time to look at the season as a whole.

So to set the scene, we open in on Amy’s (Melissa Fumero) and Raymond’s (Andre Braugher) last day in the 99, but as the gang wake, they don’t find their loved ones there but instead a waiting Jake (Andy Samberg). Because today is the day of the Final Heist, to crown The Grand Champion of the 99. It is time for hijinks to ensue as everyone picks their teams. However, one betrayal has already happened because Amy and Jake are working together. For you see, it is also Jake’s final day in the 99 and the NYPD. Because we will be looking at the season as a whole, there will be [SPOILERS] ahead for the whole season, so if you have not watched, please be aware before continuing.

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Rick and Morty: Season 5 – TV Review

TL;DR – A season of incredible highs and deep lows

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Netflix subscription that viewed this season.

Rick and Morty. Image Credit: Netflix.

Rick and Morty Review

At the best of times, Rick and Morty are one of those shows that are hard to contextualise on a season level. Each episode tends to fly so wildly into different territories that it makes finding a through-line difficult. However, this season is a little different, as you can divide the season into three relatively neat chunks. However, this is easy because there is a vast difference between this season’s high and low marks.

So to set the scene, we open Season Five’s Mort Dinner Rick Andre with things in dire straits. Rick (Justin Roiland) has been gravely wounded, and the spaceship is badly damaged. As Morty (Justin Roiland) carries Rick to the ship, all around them are crystals showing potential Ricks and Mortys, including them as Blade Rick and Morty, which is quote “tight”. As the spaceship crashes towards Earth, uncontrollable and on fire, Morty spends his last few moments calling Jessica (Kari Wahlgren) lamenting over what could have been. She suggests they go on a day tonight. Buoyed by that opportunity, Morty manages to save the day and splash lands the spaceship into one of Earth’s oceans, which should have been good but for the fact that it summons Mr Nimbus (Dan Harmon). Because we will be looking at the season as a whole, there will be [SPOILERS] ahead, especially for the season finale, so if you have not watched, please be aware before continuing.         

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TV Review – Brooklyn Nine-Nine: The Lake House

TL;DR – A lighter follow up episode that has its moments

Disclosure – I watched this on SBS On-Demand

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: The Lake House. Image Credit: NBC Studios.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine Review

In last week’s The Good Ones, we got a taste of the tone the show will be setting in its final season as we explore what it means to be police in this new era. This week we get a slight course shift back to the comedic as everyone comes together to help one of their own.

So to set the scene, last week Amy (Melissa Fumero) discovered that Raymond (Andre Braugher) and Kevin (Marc Evan Jackson) have separated, and while that was meant to be a secret, now everyone knows. The whole group decided to help Raymond out by going up to his “lake” house and supporting him in this trying time. But Jake (Andy Samberg) has other plans/schemes/stratagems. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.  

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