The Last of Us – Long Long Time – TV Review

TL;DR – A quiet contemplation of what love is in the face of loss.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Binge service that viewed this show.

Warning – Contains scenes that may cause distress.

Walking over a bridge.

The Last of Us Review

In our exploration through the world of The Last of Us so far, we have had a pretty point-by-point adaptation from the source material. A fact that many, including me, have deeply respected. However, sooner or later, they were going to make a big swerve from the game’s story, and the question is, how would that work? Well, we will find out a little sooner than I expected with today’s episode.

So to set the scene, in When You’re Lost in the Darkness, Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Tess (Anna Torv) were charged with taking Ellie (Bella Ramsey) to the Fireflies in the old statehouse. Still, when they arrived in Infected, no one was left alive, and soon Tess had to sacrifice herself to let the others escape. On the road, Joel has few options, bar an old contact Bill (Nick Offerman), who lives in Lincoln, a town near Boston. But it has been a couple of years since he was last there, and Joel does not know if he is still welcome alone. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead for the show.

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The Last of Us – Infected – TV Review

TL;DR – A more intimate episode of the series that focuses on the realities and hardships of their upcoming journey.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

Disclosure – I paid for the Binge service that viewed this show.

The gang looking out over Boston.

The Last of Us Title Review

In last week’s When You’re Lost in the Darkness, we got one of the best video game adaptations. It was not just faithful to the overall vibe of the video game. It was also faithful down some of the blow-by-blow action moments of the show. My question back then was would a direct adaptation lack the emotional impact, and we have little to fear there if this episode is anything to go by.  

So to set the scene, it is Jakarta, Indonesia, on the 24th of September 2003 when Ibu Ratna (Christine Hakim), Professor of Mycology, is taken from her lunch by military police. She is whisked away to a lab and asked to look at a specimen. She discovers the impossible, that cordyceps has made the jump to humans. Her recommendation, burn Jakarta to the ground before it is too late because there is no vaccine. In the future, Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Tess (Anna Torv) are still reeling from the revelation that Ellie (Bella Ramsey) is infected. The question is, do you kill the girl now, or when she enviably turns? Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead for the show.

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Who Killed Santa? A Murderville Murder Mystery – TV Review

TL;DR – This special shows that they have learned from performing the first season and put those lessons into designing one of the funniest things I have seen in a while.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Netflix service that viewed this show.

Santa's Dead.

Who Killed Santa? A Murderville Murder Mystery Title Review

Earlier in 2022, there was the odd show that dropped on Netflix. It was a bunch of comedians being dropped in a murder mystery, but they don’t have a script. I thought the first season of Murderville was fine, but you could feel the story wrenching people in one direction rather than organically developing. I didn’t think much of it after I watched it. However, when I saw there was a Christmas special, well, I had to give it a look.

So to set the scene, Detective Terry Seattle (Will Arnett) is home alone, feeling bad about Christmas. Still, Mayor Palmer (Tawny Newsome) needed security at a Christmas event, and Chief Rhonda Jenkins-Seattle (Haneefah Wood) ain’t gonna do it because she is on holiday. But Seattle can’t do this by himself, bring on his new trainee Jason Bateman (Jason Bateman). Everything was going fine until lights went out, and when they came back, Santa, aka John ‘Johnny’ Blaze, aka Sean Hayes, was dead with a candy cane sticking out of his chest. They need to find out who the killer is, but they have to do it before the Sun comes up, or the orphans will not get their presents.  

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The Recruit – Season 1 – TV Review

TL;DR – This is a delightfully fun romp through the world of espionage with a leading man finding himself in all the wrong places at all the right times.  

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Netflix service that viewed this series.

Hiding behind your computer monitors.

The Recruit Review

I have to say that when I first heard about The Recruit, I was kind of a bit tired of the overall spy genre. Add to that, it was led by Noah Centineo, who I had never seen as a leading man before, and the constraints of the end of the year. Well, I was happy to give this a pass. But something niggled in the back of my head, and part of me had to see what was going on here and look. I am the first to admit I was wrong.

So to set the scene, Owen Hendricks (Noah Centineo) is a brand new lawyer for the general counsel’s office of the CIA. Most jobs make you feel like you are in over your head when you start. The CIA takes that to a whole new level when all of your colleagues are also trying to sabotage you. To prove himself and because people wanted him to fail, he takes on the grey mail. These are letters from people threatening the CIA. 99% of them are not threats, but in his first week, Owen has to find the one credible letter. Max Meladze (Laura Haddock) is locked in a Phoenix prison for caving a guy’s head in with a tyre wrench. But she also knows code word clearance intelligence and might just be able to destroy all the CIA’s operations in Belarus and Russia. Owen is happy to find the threat but less comfortable when he is tasked by his boss Walter Nyland (Vondie Curtis-Hall), to take care of it, and then quite put off when that leads to him getting his fingernail ripped off in a ruin in Yemen. Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.   

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Andor (Star Wars: Andor): Season 1 – TV Review

TL;DR – Some of the best Star Wars I have seen since the original trilogy.  

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Disney+ service that viewed this series.

Post-Credit Scene – There is a Post-Credit scene at the end of Rix Road.

A star destroyer a[[ears over the skies of Aldhani

Andor Review

When I heard that they would do a prequel to Rogue One, which was already a prequel to the Original Trilogy, I was concerned. Add to that, it was going to be based on Andor, a character I wouldn’t say I liked all that much in Rogue One, and concern moved to real hesitancy. However, when I sat down to watch the first episode, Kassa, I knew instantly how wrong I was and what a ride it was.  

So to set the scene, on a dark and rainy night, we see Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) make his way across a boardwalk to the glittering city Morlana One, part of the Preox-Morlana Corporate Zone in the Morlani system. He is going to the ‘leisure district’ to find out any information about his missing sister when two local security forces or Corpos accost him. Taking his leave, Andor returns to his ship when the two Corpos accost him again, not willing to leave him alone. But this time, there are lethal consequences. 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 Peripheral: Season 1 – TV Review

TL;DR – While it expertly builds tension and the world, it ends on a flat note of frustration  

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Prime Video service that viewed this show.

End Credit Scene – The final episode, The Creation of a Thousand Forests, has an end credit scene.

Warning – Some scenes may cause distress.

Flynne connects to the VR Set

The Peripheral Review

It has been a while since I have sat down to a good sci-fi mystery. One that makes you scratch your head and wonder how all the different parts connect. I think the last one that truly captured me like this was Westworld. Which is good timing because you can see those influences in the show we are looking at today.

So to set the scene, we open in London in 2099 as Wolf (Gary Carr) sits on a park bench as holographic galleons recreate a battle on the pond in front of him. As he watches a young girl Aelita (Sophia Ally), approaches the bench without shoes. She wants to save a world, not the one they are in now, that is lost, but another world, one that can still be saved. In the Blue Ridge Mountains in 2032, Flynne Fisher (Chloë Grace Moretz) is helping her sick mother, Ella (Melinda Page Hamilton), when she notices that her medicine is being cut by her no-good brother Burton (Jack Reynor). Confronting him, she instead gets dragged into helping some guys beat a level in a WW2 VR Video Game, something she is very good at. At work, she is given a package for her brother, a new VR machine that she can beta test, and get money for her family. But the immersive VR set in a future London is more real than anyone expected. Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.    

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Wednesday: Season 1 – TV Review

TL;DR – Wonderful characters crammed into a generic “insert narrative here.”

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Netflix service that viewed this series.

Nevermore Academy sign

Wednesday Review

When you take a beloved property from the past and create a modern adaptation, you need to translate a text into a future it was not ready for. This transition can help you find a new voice for an old work or what can drown an old work as you lose what made it work in the first place. Today we look at a show that hits both of these extremes in its wild ride to make it to our screen.

So to set the scene, Wednesday Addams (Jenna Ortega) is an odd duck in the straight-laced Nancy Reagan High School. However, she is and always will be intensely protective of her family, and no one gets to torture her brother Pugsley (Isaac Ordonez) but her. Well, one application of piranhas during water polo practice later, and she is expelled from another school. Wondering what to do, her parents, Morticia (Catherine Zeta-Jones) and Gomez (Luis Guzmán), decide to enrol her in their old school Nevermore Academy. Aghast at being forced to live in her parent’s shadow and her roommate Enid’s (Emma Myers) colourful room, Wednesday decides to run away. But that is when one of the students tries to murder her, and she is saved by a creature that might be disembowelling local hikers, and maybe there is a place for her here after all. Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.    

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House of the Dragon: The Black Queen and Full Season – TV Review

TL;DR – A frustrating mess at times, it all came together in the end, but I am not sure the ride to get there was genuinely worth it at times.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Binge service that viewed this episode.

Warning – this season contained season that could cause distress.

Illuminated map of Westeros.

House of the Dragon Review

Well, we have reached the end of the latest season of the Game of Thrones universe. As I think back to the prequel, I have to wonder if the show nailed its place in the landscape. Did it work as a prequel when we know the outcomes? Can it work to shore up some of the lost drive towards the universe after Season 8? For some of these, I think the answer was a strong maybe.  

So to set the scene, on his deathbed, the late King Viserys I Targaryen (Paddy Considine) tried to tell his wife about the prophecy that Aegon the Conqueror. But Queen Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke) misheard him and thought he was talking about her son Prince Aegon Targaryen (Tom Glynn-Carney). So when Viserys is found dead the following day, Alicent declares her son as the next king, not Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D’Arcy). Back on Dragonstone, the Princess and Prince Consort Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) are warned about this betrayal from Princess Rhaenys Targaryen (Eve Best). Now they must work out what forces they can muster and who will stay loyal when dragons come flying. 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 Peripheral: Pilot – TV Review

TL;DR – It does what you need to in a show like this and builds the world and the mystery from the start.  

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Prime Video service that viewed this show.

Warning – Some scenes may cause distress.

A mod

The Peripheral Review

It has been a while since I have sat down to a good sci-fi mystery. One that makes you scratch your head and wonder how all the different parts connect. I think the last one that truly captured me like this was Westworld. Which is good timing because you can see those influences in the show we are looking at today.

So to set the scene, we open in London in 2099 as Wolf (Gary Carr) sits on a park bench as holographic galleons recreate a battle on the pond in front of him. As he watches a young girl Aelita (Sophia Ally), approaches the bench without shoes. She wants to save a world, not the one they are in now, that is lost, but another world, one that can still be saved. In the Blue Ridge Mountains in 2032, Flynne Fisher (Chloë Grace Moretz) is helping her sick mother, Ella (Melinda Page Hamilton), when she notices that her medicine is being cut by her no-good brother Burton (Jack Reynor). Confronting him, she instead gets dragged into helping some guys beat a level in a WW2 VR Video Game, something she is very good at. At work, she is given a package for her brother, a new VR machine that she can beta test, and get money for her family. But the immersive VR set in a future London is more real than anyone expected. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.    

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She-Hulk Attorney at Law: Whose Show is This? and Season 1 – TV Review

TL;DR – Probably my favourite of the Disney+ Series so far, and the first to make the most of the narrative medium it was on.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Disney+ service that viewed this film.

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene

She-Hulk Attorney at Law Review

How do you tie up a season that has been so joyfully chaotic as we have gotten so far? Do you bring back Wong (Benedict Wong) because everyone loves Wong? Do you add a splash of Daredevil (Charlie Cox) because people can’t get enough of him? Do you bring in a secret cameo that didn’t get spoiled in the first trailer for the show? After watching it, I can tell you that you did not expect to land where were ended up. In today’s review, we will first look at the season finale and then take a broader look at the season as a whole.

So to set the scene, after trying to take She-Hulk (Tatiana Maslany) down all season because they don’t like that she is a woman with Hulk powers. In Ribbit and Rip It, the group of assholes finally found their moment to strike when Jen was getting an award for being a good lawyer. While that was happening, they broadcast intimate images taken without her permission, trying to slut-shame her with revenge porn. In that moment of complete degradation of privacy, She-Hulk lashed out at the televisions showing the abuse, but now people see her as a monster, and cue old-timey opening titles. 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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