High Score: Season 1 – TV Review

TL;DR – It tells birth the history and the human stories behind the rise, fall, and rise again of video games  

Rating: 4 out of 5.
High Score. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

Video Games might be considered the newest form of mass media, but they rake in billions of dollars a year outgrossing all in their wake. Since the 1970s, they splashed into this world and raked in first quarters and then dollars and then more and I should say that I been known to pass on much my hard-earned coins to the industry. However, it is old enough that those who started have started to retire and pass on. I have seen a couple of attempts at documenting this history, and they had skewed to being too dry, to being too focused on entertaining, or even built with an agenda in mind. So to see a documentary to walks that line and succeeds is a joy to watch.

So to set the scene, we start back with the first big wave of video games with the rise of the arcade machine in the 1970s beginning in Japan and exploding across the world. We get introduced to this world through Tomohiro Nishikado, the creator of Space Invaders. It shows how quickly the industry can rise, shift, and fall. From here we cart the history of video game up to the Nintendo’s N64 with hints of where it would go in the future.

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TV Review – Street Food: Latin America

TL;DR – A fascinating look into Latin American food and culture.  

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Street Food: Latin America. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

A couple of years ago, we got the next evolution in David Gleb’s food documentaries with Street Food Asia. It explored a side of the different countries that you don’t usually see. It delved into everything from food, culture, history, governmental practices and more through the lenses of these street vendors. Today we dive back into this series with a look at its next destination Latin America.   

So to set the scene, we jump across Latin America from Las Chicas de la Tres in Buenos Aires, Argintina, Ré Restaurante, in Salvador, Brazil, Memelas Doña Vale in Oaxaca, Mexico, Al Toke Pez in Lima, Peru, Tolú in Bogotá, Columbia & Rellenos de Doña Emi in La Paz, Bolivia. Every episode takes a glimpse into the cities and the food that drives them.

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TV Review – Help! My Kid Is A Gamer – Season 1

TL;DR – This is a really good resource for parents wanting to know more about video games to help understand and engage with their kids on the issue

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Help! My Kid Is A Gamer. Image Credit: ABC TV.

Review

Video games, they are the latest hotness in the world, but like a lot of new technologies, there is a lot about them that can be difficult for people to understand if they are not familiar. This is amplified when it is parents trying to understand the world that their kids are living in. Today we look at a series that is trying to de-mystify some of the real issues around gaming and to give parents the tools needed to understand and help kids develop.

Each episode of the show revolves around one aspect of the video games industry and how it applies to children and then talks to the experts to help parents understand the issue. For example loot boxes and microtransactions. This is all presented in a form that is easy to digest which is important when dealing with very complex issues where there are quite often no straight forward answers. I feel that this show is really important because it does not shy away from the problematic aspects of video games but it also does not lean into the sensationalist reporting that you get from most of the Australian media that does not know how to write stories unless it is about “insert game is the new addiction” like we saw just last week with untitled goose game. There are real problems and concerns with video games, but these are no different for any other types of media and as a parent it is important to be across these issues.

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TV Review – Man vs. Wild with Bear Grylls and PM Modi

TL;DR – This was such a surreal experience even if it might have been the most uncritical political interview I have seen in a while.  

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Man vs. Wild with Bear Grylls and PM Modi. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review


It has been a long time since I have been able to catch an episode of Man Vs. Wild. Back in the day it was this weird yet deeply compelling story of Bear Grylls dropping himself into the wild (or apparently wild) locations and trying to survive by consuming some of his own urine. Well if anything is going to get me back into a show it is Bear Grylls going on a trip with the Indian Prime Minister.

I was wondering how if at all the show had changed over the years and in the first five minutes of the show Bear picks up and examines some elephant dung. So the more things change the more they stay the same. Over the years, there have been some contentions as to how staged the show is if at all. Well here when you have a world leader in a place that he could get killed by a tiger so there is no chance they would be allowed to walk around by themselves and I liked that they acknowledged that the Secret Service is around.

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TV Review – The Chef Show

TL;DR – Watching this I discovered that Orange Juice goes into ever marinade and there is a peach not-pie that has my name on it.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

The Chef Show. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

There are many reasons to make a food TV show, maybe you want to explore what drives the top chefs, maybe it is exploring the food that speaks to a place or time, or maybe you create a TV show so you can hang out with a friend and cook stuff across America.

So to set the scene, back in 2014 Jon Favreau wrote and directed a film called Chef about someone who quits his job in a fine dining restaurant to open a food truck. On the film consulting about the food was Chef Roy Choi who had followed a similar story in his real life. I have not seen Chef (though that will likely change in the coming days) it is clear that the two formed a strong friendship which we see all throughout The Chef Show.

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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 – Chef’s Table Season 5

TL;DR Chef’s Table returns to its core by using its platform about chefs and their food to explore deeper issues in society

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

 

Chef's Table. Image Credit: Netflix

 

Review

If you have read any of my past reviews about Chef’s Table (see here) you will know that I am in love with this series that explores the lives of impactful chefs right across the culinary world, their lives, their philosophy, and their impact. However, last season I found myself walking away from Chef’s Table feeling like something in the recipe just didn’t work. Was it the shorter run time, or the format, or was it on me because I am not really a dessert person. Well whatever the case, I approached this season with a bit more trepidation than I have in the past, and I am happy to say it was just as impactful as ever.

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TV Review – What is Music?

TL;DR – A fascinating documentary that looks at all facets of music, from slow motion uvulas to metal screaming and everything in-between.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

What is Music? Image Credit: ABC

Review

Music is one of those things that is both universal but also deeply personal, everybody on the planet loves music in some way even if we don’t agree on the particular style. One of the things I have started to look more at as I delve into the realm of cinema is the impact that music has on me, so a series exploring all the different facets of music immediately caught my attention. With this in mind, today we are going to look at the first three episodes and also the number of shorts they have created which seems to be a good barometer of how the series will progress. But before we go on, just a reminder that the show is also being posted online, so you can watch all the episodes here.

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TV Review – Queer Eye: Season Two

TL;DR – This is a show about helping people out of the problem they find themselves in, with more than a few tears along the way … mine that is

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

 

Queer Eye. Image Credit: Netflix

 

Review

When I first heard they were going to do a reboot of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, titled Queer Eye on Netflix, I honestly wasn’t that into it. I was starting to get really burnt out by the reboot fever that hit over the last few years, and this was before they started to find their groove with shows like Lost in Space (see review). However, over the months, things about the show would just pop up in my feed from time to time as the people around me watched it and after a while, I thought ‘blast it let’s give one a watch’ … well several hours later and much crying I had watched Season One all in one sitting. So when I heard there was a Season Two coming, this time I decided not to miss out and I watched them all over the first few days it was out and while it still had the moments of the first season there were a couple of more problems that did appear the second time around.

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TV Review – Ugly Delicious: Season One

TL;DR – A fascinating documentary dissecting every facet of food, from its history, its traditions, and the future.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Ugly Delicious banner

 

Review

As a food culture, we have really started to focus on tradition, authenticity, style and presentation, but have we lost something in the process? This is something that chef David Chang is trying to get to the heart off in his new series Ugly Delicious which he hosts with food writer Peter Meehan. Chang who is known from his Momofuku restaurants is pulling apart what makes food the way it is, what makes something traditional and something rebellious, and what is the soul of the food we may eat on a daily basis.

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