The Boys: What I Know & Season 2 – TV Review

TL;DR – Just when I thought I had worked everything out, The Boys was like, you know nothing while pulling the rug out from under my feet and maintaining eye contact as I fell to the floor.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
The Boys: What I Know. Image Credit: Amazon Studios.

What I Know Review

After an exciting and long season, we have drawn to the final episode for their sophomore season. This is a season where back in episode three, we exploded through the guts of a whale in its entire gory spectacle, and even that was not the most bonkers moment. With that in mind, in today’s review, we are going to look first at how the final episode came together. Then we will explore an overview of the season as a whole.  

So to set the scene, in last week’s episode Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker, we thought everything was coming to ahead … until the head’s started popping. Throughout this episode, there were several essential plotlines. The first was getting a good look at Butcher’s (Karl Urban) life and the world that formed him as to who he is today. Homelander (Antony Starr) and Stormfront (Aya Cash) manipulated Ryan (Cameron Crovetti) and turned him against his mother Becca (Shantel VanSanten). Meanwhile, after Vought captures starlight (Erin Moriarty), Hughie (Jack Quaid) goes on a rescue mission with Lamplighter (Shawn Ashmore) to save her, and it goes … mostly okay. Finally, after everything they have done up until this point, there is a congressional inquiry led by Victoria Neuman (Claudia Doumit) into Vought and what they did. Finally some progress, or not, as heads start exploding on live TV. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode and season as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.          

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The Boys: Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker – TV Review

TL;DR – This is the episode that any semblance of subtly gets thrown out the door.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
The Boys: Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker. Image Credit: Prime Video.

The Boys: Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker Review

The Boys is a show that has never shied away from the gore, sex, violence, subtle this is not. However, when it comes to the story, it was always framed around a simple good v bad framework. Throughout this season we have seen that there is more to that narrative as we dive down the well that is Vought, and this week the story takes all of its gloves of to show you just what it wants to say.

 So to set the scene, in last week’s episode we got to see inside Vought International’s final plan. They aim to stabilize Compound V so that it can be given to an adult and cause an instant and safe transformation to being a Supe. But that is how it is not the why. The why is that Vought is not just Nazi adjacent, it is straight-up completely Nazi. Stormfront (Aya Cash) who is leading this campaign was born in Nazi Germany, and the aim is to given powers to select people to ‘take the country back’. This week with the turning of we start with the turning of Lamplighter (Shawn Ashmore) and the best possible chance to take Vought down … if everyone can make it to the hearings alive. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.   

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Love, Guns & Level Ups – YouTube Review

TL;DR – A series that charts the course of a relationship from the online to the IRL  

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Love, Guns & Level Ups. Image Credit: Fury Fingers.

Love, Guns & Level Ups Review

We live in a big weird connected world. I have good friends that I have never met in the real or only one time. I also have nemeses that I have never met in the real … you know who you are. This oddity, thanks to the internet, is a concept that I have seen a couple of attempts to explore. Still, it is usually from people who don’t understand the medium of video games and the relationships that can form because of them. Today we get to look at a series that    

So to set the scene, we open in on a chat log as two friends hop online to play Go-Go Soldier, a popular Battle Royale game. Amongst all the carnage of power-ups, dance bonuses, and just general chaos, two players Elliot or Mad_Martigan (Eduard Geyl) and Bree or GG_Gun (Lisa Fanto) eye the same bonus, a bow with a dynamite arrow. They get beaten to the bow by another player, but through some quiet communication, they choose to help take down the goon before a falling stick of dynamite separates them. They are pulled apart, but there is an instant connection which leads to some clear gun flirting a little later. Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead. 

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The Boys: Season One – TV Review

TL;DR – Confronting, uncomfortable, but entirely compelling.  

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Warning – Depicts scenes of abuse

The Boys: Season One. Image Credit: Amazon Studios.

Review

When I first heard of The Boys, the concept of ‘what if superheroes were assholes?’ I’ll be honest it didn’t grab me. Maybe it was the Suicide Squad fatigue that had set in; perhaps it was the general feel of the time. However, given this is 2020, and what’s the worst that can happen? Well, I am glad I did because a lot is going on here, some unsettling, some subversive, but all fascinating.

So to set the scene, we open with bank robbers driving recklessly through the streets of New York. The truck carriers off the side of the road heading to some innocent bystanders when Queen Maeve (Dominique McElligott) of The Seven steps in front and takes all the damage herself while Homelander (Antony Starr) flies in and laser eyes the bandits while stopping to take a selfie or two. Meanwhile, Hughie (Jack Quaid) is walking down the street with his girlfriend Robin (Jess Salgueiro) after finally deciding to move in with each other when one second she is standing there talking. The next she is red mist as A-Train (Jessie T. Usher) runs into her at super-speed after being too preoccupied to see what was coming. Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead. 

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TV Review – The Witcher: The End’s Beginning

TL;DR – This is a great introduction to the show by setting up the lore and giving us a taste of everything to come

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

The Witcher: The End’s Beginning. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

Today we look at a show that is really interesting for me. The Witcher has been this series, first books, then video games, that has permeated pop-culture for quite a while after coming out of its native Poland. However, for me, I have tried a number of times to get into it but I keep bouncing out of it. Well given that at the very least Netflix does not shy away from production and Henry Cavill has been ecstatic about being cast, I thought now was the best time to give it one last shot.

So to set the scene, in the swamps near the town of Blaviken a witcher called Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill) is hunting monsters. As a witcher, he makes money by killing monsters that towns have put bounties on. However, when he arrives in Blaviken he discovers that there may be more going on behind the scenes that he first thought. Meanwhile, in the kingdom of Cintra, all is well, Queen Calanthe (Jodhi May) is even throwing a ball much to the annoyance of her granddaughter Ciri (Freya Allan). However, all of that comes to a halt when word reaches them that the evil Nilfgaard has set their sights on the city. 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 – Bard of Blood

TL;DR – This an interesting spy series which is unfortunately held back a bit with inconsistent pacing and the flow-on effects from that.  

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Bard of Blood. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

One of my goals this year has been to expand my global cinema intake from places away from the traditional English speaking countries that I am used to. I have not been as successful as I would have liked, but when a new Indian spy thriller drops on Netflix you don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. Now I have finished it, wow, is this series a lot, and I think it might also have lasting repercussions.

So to set the scene, in Balochistan, Pakistan, a group of Indian deep-cover spies are in a lude video internet café using it as a cover as they upload important information back to New Delhi. However, before they can finish, they are captured by the local Taliban. Before they can be executed the Pakistani Intelligence forces intercede and save then, not to keep them alive, but to kill them at the right time and place. Back in India, one of the chiefs in India’s Intelligence bureau Sadiq (Rajit Kapur) feels that something is odd so he seeks out Kabir Anand (Emraan Hashmi) code name Adonis but there is bad blood between them over what happened last time in Pakistan. He instead sends Isha (Sobhita Dhulipala) to retrieve him, however, Sadiq is murdered in his home and Adonis is framed, and only he might be able to save the agents because there is a mole in the Indian government and he does not know who they might be. Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.

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TV Review – Wu Assassins: Season 1

TL;DR – A good start to a season however it struggles to keep the momentum moving in the back half of the season.

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Wu Assassins. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

Sometimes in life, it is the simple things that really work. For me, that is a show with a well-crafted story, strong characters, clear action, and with the fundamentals of filmmaking down pact. Now, once you have that, if you want to spice it up with some deep lore, building upon some grand mythology, I am also here for it. Today we look at a series that has the characters, has the action, and the filmmaking, but does not quite nail that story component.   

So to set the scene, we open in on San Francisco and Kai Jin (Iko Uwais) who works as a chef at his friend Tommy’s (Lawrence Kao) place (well actually his friend’s sister Jenny’s (Li Jun Li) place but it is complicated). Tommy is throwing a party for his Triad friends and when something goes wrong Kai steps in to stop one of the cooks getting attacked. This means that the Triad has to respond, attacking Kai while he works in a food truck. As he is escaping he hits a woman, instead of finding someone injured on the street, he finds a woman (Celia Au) who gives him the power of 1000 monks to fight an oncoming storm. So let’s break the Wu Assassins down, using those four categories we mention in the introduction.  Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.

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TV Review – Wu Assassins: Drunken Watermelon

TL;DR – A good start to a season and a good promise for the things to come

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Wu Assassins: Drunken Watermelon. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

It has been a long time since I have seen someone attempt a martial arts TV series in the west and it not be mostly a disappointment. With that in mind, I came into Wu Assassins with a little apprehension but after watching the first episode I have some hope.  

So to set the scene, we open in on San Francisco and Kai Jin (Iko Uwais) who works as a chef at his friend Tommy’s (Lawrence Kao) place (well actually his friend’s sister Jenny’s (Li Jun Li) place but it is complicated). Tommy is throwing a party for his Triad friends and when something goes wrong Kai steps in to stop one of the cooks getting attacked. This means that the Triad has to respond, attacking Kai while he works in a food truck. As he is escaping he hits a woman, instead of finding someone injured on the street, he finds a woman (Celia Au) who gives him the power of 1000 monks to fight an oncoming storm.     

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TV Review – Game of Thrones: The Iron Throne and Season Eight

TL;DR – While there has been patchy moments this season, I do think they stuck the ending.

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Game of Thrones: The Iron Throne. Image Credit: HBO.

Review


Well, here we are, the final ever episode of Game of Thrones (if you don’t count the multiple prequels in preproduction at the moment). I can still remember that day when I first watched the very first episode as a group of men from The Watch go north past The Wall and discover there was something worse than wildlings waiting for them. A lost queen forced to marry into a barbarian horde to secure her ungrateful brother an army to retake their throne. A drunkard ruling a kingdom though all he wants to do is hunt and joust and fornicate with people who are not his wife. A family of noble people trying to do what is right, especially when it is hard, and being woefully unprepared for the mess they were walking into. Also, the things we do for love. All of those years of story have been building to this final episode, and I wonder can they stick the landing?

So to set the scene, during last week’s The Bells a lot of things happen and a lot of people died. After the death of Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) in The Last of the Starks, Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) had become inconsolable, and Missandei’s final word Dracarys sat in her mind so that even when she heard the bells of surrender Dany decided to burn Kings Landing to the ground, not really caring who or what got in her way. The complete slaughter of the capital is something she has threatened since she arrived and finally showed what damage even one dragon can do, insert the nuclear weapons analogies. The capital is in ruins, Jon (Kit Harington) tried to do the right thing and failed, Cersei (Lena Headey) and Jamie (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) had their whole worlds crash down on them, oh and Euron (Pilou Asbæk) is finally gone. We open with the aftermath as ash and snow still fall in the ruins of Kings Landing and the dead and dying lay among the wreckage. Here Tyrion (Peter Dinklage), Jon (Kit Harington), and Davos (Liam Cunningham) walk and see the damage their actions have wrought and the potential hell that they have unleashed. 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: The Bells

TL;DR – The rushed final season is starting to show its issues … badly.

Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars

Game of Thrones: The Bells. Image Credit: HBO.

Review

I have honestly been really happy where the final season has been going so far. I liked how Winterfell and A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms were these slow-burn episodes giving us some much-needed character development and interaction. I found The Long Night to be a really emotional experience as the dead came and slaughtered. I was ever really jiving with The Last of the Starks up until that last 15 minutes. It was like a speed boat suddenly threw out its anchor grinding everything to a halt. This means for the first time, I am coming into an episode of this 8th season, and the penultimate episode at that, with a lot of hesitation and I don’t know how to feel about that. 

So to set the scene, last week everyone was celebrating their win over the dead and the Night King (Vladimir Furdik) but there was still one big threat on the horizon. Cersei (Lena Headey) still controls King’s Landing, and with it the legitimacy of the throne. Just one problem Cersei captured Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) and beheaded her in front of Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) and well that did not go down well. So we begin today with everyone getting ready for the final push but some people have reservations and one of them is Lord Varys (Conleth Hill) who is finally caught out. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead. This week we are going to do something a little different and focus our review on different character relationships because it is through these relationships we see the very highs of this episode and the real lows.  

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