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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TV Review – Game of Thrones: A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms

TL;DR – A moment to catch our breath before the onslaught is unleashed.

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

Game of Thrones: A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms. Image Credit: HBO.

Review

You know, Game of Thrones is known for its sweeping storylines that explore events happening across continents. However, there are times in the show’s history where a bunch of main and supporting cast find themselves in the one location, and if you know anything about the history of the show, that is never a good thing. Well today, we look at an episode that is the calm before the coming storm, when everything is still but you can see the dark clouds and cracking lighting on the horizon.  

So to set the scene, at the end of last week’s Winterfell a number of big plot bombs got dropped on us. There was the big news of John (Kit Harington) finally finding out who his real mother and father from Samwell (John Bradley). There was the growing sense that The North is not fond of being under anyone’s rule again. After fleeing from the destruction of The Wall in The Dragon and the Wolf Tormund (Kristofer Hivju) comes across the dead ruins of the Last Hearth and also finds the survivors of The Night’s Watch where they discover that the dead are on the move and heading straight for the Capital of the North. In the final shot, Jamie (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) arrives in Winterfell only to find Bran (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) waiting for him, and this is where today’s episode starts off. Jamie is fighting for his life after pretty much betraying, or being at war at some point with everyone in the room. With only Tyrion (Peter Dinklage), who no one cares about in this case, and Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) who people do care about, standing for him. However, while revenge would be nice, the dead are coming and they need every sword. 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 – Lunatics Season One

TL;DR – This is a show that wildly oscillates from being deeply offensive to just plain dull  

Score – 1 out of 5 stars

Lunatics Season One. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

Before we get into this review, let me take you back 14 years ago to 2005, this was when We Can Be Heroes first aired down here in Australia. It was a revolutionary comedy for many, as it satirised people that you thought you all knew. Also having one actor play multiple different parts was a novel concept … at the time. Chris Lilley won multiple awards for the show and it put him in the limelight which he followed up with the equally successful Summer Heights High two years later. Why am I opening with this, well I wanted to give it a bit of history for non-Australian readers, and I wanted to give a bit of context before we fall into the rubbish that is this series.

So to set the scene, Lunatics is based around the lives of several characters (all played by Lilley). There is Jana a lesbian pet psychic based in South Africa, Gavin a brat that somehow going to be an Earl, Joyce a former adult movie star, Keith a long time retail worker that is opening his own store, Becky a tall twin starting her first day at an American college, and Quentin a real-estate agent from the Gold Coast. The series explores their lives as they all move into their next stages of life. Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.

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