1899: Season 1 – TV Review

TL;DR – A dark and compelling tale full of mystery and ‘wait… what?!?!’ moments.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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

Warning – Contains scenes that may cause distress.

The Kerberos

1899 Review

One of the shows recommended to me is Dark, and I have always meant to give it a look, but finding time to watch three seasons has been elusive. However, when I heard that the creators of Dark had a new series that hit all the same feels, well, it was time to give it a watch. Also, for some reason, Netflix defaults to the English dub of this series. Please, before you watch, make sure you change the language from English – Dubbed to English – Original.

So to set the scene, it is 1899, and in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean is the Kerberos, a large steamship taking passengers to New York City. The ship itself is light on with passengers because the Kerberos’ sister ship Prometheus disappeared on the same route a month ago with no trace. One night as all the first class passengers are eating their dinner, a young boy Krester (Lucas Lynggaard Tønnesen), bursts into the dining hall saying they need help because his pregnant sister Tove (Clara Rosager) is going into shock. No one will help but Maura Franklin (Emily Beecham), who rushes to assist, even though the dreams of her being locked up and tortured in a psychiatric institution bare heavily upon her. Captain Eyk Larsen (Andreas Pietschmann) is annoyed that Maura broke the rules, but that is all put aside when the ship has a sudden communication from the Prometheus, which might not be at the bottom of the ocean as most people thought. 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: Driftmark – TV Review

TL;DR – The bookends of this episode are full of intrigue. It just falls out during the middle

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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

Dragons fly over Driftmark.

House of the Dragon Review

I have been wondering why I have been having a bit of a disconnect with the show. The production is just as good as Game of Thrones, the narrative has all the elements that usually capture me, and the cast is giving their all in their performances. After some thought, I can tie it down to the show’s narrative structure being like quicksand underneath, with you never being able to grab a foothold. An issue we see in part today, but maybe for the last time.       

So to set the scene, at the end of last week’s The Princess and the Queen, Laena Targaryen (Nanna Blondell) begged her dragon Vhagar to incinerate her after her labour went wrong. At the start of this episode, all of the Targaryens and Velaryons have gathered in Driftmark for Laena’s funeral. However, the growing divides continue to spew forth after Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy) took her family from court to Dragonstone, and the accusations of her children’s parentage still linger. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead. 

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Heartbreak High (2022): Season 1 – TV Review

TL;DR Heartbreak High crafted an interesting narrative with compelling characters in a setting that does not get the coverage that it should

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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

Warning – Contains scenes that may cause distress

The "Map"

Heartbreak High Review

Ever since Sex Education blasted onto the scene, there has been a big push by networks to jump back into the world of teen coming-of-age series, but written with a level of maturity. While there have been a lot of pretenders, I have yet to see anything come close to capturing that level of honesty in a show, well, that is until today. Today we are looking at a show that feels like a breath of fresh air while also being a call back to an Australian classic set at Hartley High School in Sydney, Australia.

So to set the scene, Amerie (Ayesha Madon) and Harper (Asher Yasbincek) are besties who spend their lives inseparable and then fighting hard. But after a music festival, Harper ghosted Amerie and completely changed her appearance. Amerie is trying to find out why all hell breaks loose when they get into a fistfight. Because all last year, Amerie and Harper spent their time in the abandoned stairwell making a map of all the different sexual encounters their grade had engaged in. So on the day that Amerie losses her best friend, the map is discovered, and Amerie goes from being Amerie to becoming ‘Map Bitch’ before being sequestered away in a sexual literacy tutorial with everyone else on the map, including Darren (James Majoos), Quinni (Chloe Hayden), Malakai (Thomas Weatherall), Ca$h (Will McDonald), Dusty (Joshua Heuston), Sasha (Gemma Chua-Tran), Spider (Bryn Chapman-Parish), Missy (Sherry-Lee Watson), and Ant (Brodie Townsend). Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.     

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Westworld: Que Sera, Sera & Full Season 4 – TV Review

TL;DR – While I am not sure it landed its final episode, this season was a successful course correction, and I hope they make that one last test.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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

The Man In Black appears from the smoke.

Westworld Review

Ever since the second season of Westworld failed to capture the dramatic highs of that first season, people felt that it could never live up to the hype it built. However, I still found Season Two to be engaging, and even more, it is still the high watermark for the show for me with Kiksuya. I also enjoyed Season Three’s more streamlined narrative. However, there was a feeling that maybe the show didn’t have much more to explore. Well, if nothing else, Season Four showed the latter assertion plainly wrong. With our review today, we are first going to look at the season [or possible series] finale before taking a broader exploration of the season as a whole.

So to set the scene, at the end of last week’s Metanoia, the host copy of The Man In Black (Ed Harris) went on a killing spree, first killing the original Man In Black (Ed Harris) before taking out Maeve (Thandiwe Newton), Charlotte (Tessa Thompson), and Bernard (Jeffrey Wright). Before that can even sink in, he causes the control tones from the tower to infect every human being left on the planet to send them into a murderous rage. As Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) with Teddy (James Marsden) tries to stop the carnage, and Caleb (Aaron Paul), his daughter C (Aurora Perrineau), and Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth) try to escape it. One thing is clear: this might end sentient life on Earth. 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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Westworld: Generation Loss – TV Review

TL;DR – All things become clear, but in a Westworld way that asks far more questions than it answers    

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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

Maeve drags Caleb to the evac point.

Westworld Review

There are many strengths to a show like Westworld. They get to play around in an interesting setting, actors take on these grand roles that let them chew all the scenery, and you get to mess with people’s expectations all the time. In Season Four, we have been getting all those things, and a plot that is moving like a cheater is chasing it in the Serengeti. The question is, can it run out of steam? Well, it hasn’t today.

So to set the scene, at the end of Annees Folles, Caleb (Aaron Paul) and Maeve (Thandiwe Newton) know they we walking into a trap, but not a trap with Caleb’s daughter (Celeste Clark) as bait, and the infestation of mind-controlling parasites as the goal. We open with Caleb screaming as the parasites take control, but Maeve is not ready to get taken out by The Man in Black (Ed Harris) just yet. Meanwhile, Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) and Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth) have been rounded up by the rebels and C (Aurora Perrineau) and her boss (Daniel Wu), who are trying to work out if they are useful or if they should just have them killed. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.  

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Westworld: Annees Folles – TV Review

TL;DR – We race forward at the speed of light, but I just hope the narrative does not run out of steam before the end.    

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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

Bernard's Eye

Westworld Review

This season so far, we have gotten to see what Charlotte/Dolores (Tessa Thompson) is up to with her possession and host Man in Black (Ed Harris). We’ve gotten to check in with Maeve (Thandiwe Newton) and Caleb (Aaron Paul) as they escape hit squads. Indeed, we even have gotten to see but not really understand what is going on with Christina (Evan Rachel Wood) and Teddy (James Marsden). But there has been one piece of the puzzle that has so far alluded the show. Well, that is till today.  

So to set the scene, at the end of Season 3, Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) discovered that the hidden codes to enter The Sublime were not found in the Supercomputer AI or Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) but hidden inside of him all along. With that revelation and Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth) bleeding out in the bath, he decided to visit The Sublime to see if he could find a better path for the world. When Bernard arrives, he meets an old friend Akecheta (Zahn McClarnon), who lets him see all the possible futures they have modelled. The only problem is that Bernard dies in all the futures he returns to the real. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.  

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The Boys: Season 3 – TV Review

TL;DR – It was a slow start to the season, but it did start to hit as it went on, but more than anything, this felt like it was just setting everything up for a season 4 and not a complete whole in its own right.  

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Amazon Prime service that viewed this film

The many press conferences of Homelander.

The Boys Review

Some shows have a simple premise on the surface, but you find the depths underneath when you outwork that premise. With The Boys, we get ‘what if people with superpowers were pricks’, but from here, we start delving into what that means. What would having all that popularity and fame do to someone with superhero qualities and who could destroy ordinary people instantly. This is taken even further but exploring what corporate/political frameworks would exist to manage and exploit this phenomenon. Now we are in the third season, and all of that groundwork has been laid, but then the question is, what will grow from this foundation? 

So to set the scene, at the start of the season, everything is in a state of stability, or well as much peace that one can when dealing with people who can shoot laser beams out of their eyes. Hughie (Jack Quaid) is now one of the chief members of a task force working with congresswoman Victoria “Vic” Neuman (Claudia Doumit) going after rogue supes. The rest of The Boys’ team, Butcher (Karl Urban), Frenchie (Tomer Capone), and Kimiko (Karen Fukuhara), run sanctioned missions targeting supes that mess up like Termite (Brett Geddes). Over at Vought, Stan Edgar (Giancarlo Esposito) has been keeping a more fractured Homelander (Antony Starr) under wraps as he goes on an apology tour after the events of Season Two and then promotes Starlight (Erin Moriarty) to co-captain to smooth over the disastrous press from the Stormfront (Aya Cash) revelation. But stability can’t last, and as Hughie sees Vic pop some dude’s head, he discovers there is no way he can get anything done while working in the system. 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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Station Eleven – TV Review

TL;DR – This stunningly beautiful show is about the connections we make and how love can triumph even in the darkest of worlds.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Stan subscription that viewed this series.

Station Eleven. Image Credit: Stan.

Station Eleven Review

I came into Station Eleven not knowing anything really about what I was getting myself into. I had heard vague mentions that it was pretty good, and I knew it was post-apocalyptic, but not much more than that. So I was completely unaware that I would inhale this show in the space of a week and everything about it. It has been a long while since a show has affected me like this, and goodness, what a ride it was.

So to set the scene, one night in Chicago, Jeevan Chaudhary (Himesh Patel) is seeing to opening night of the play King Lear. However, halfway through, something odd happens on stage and star Arthur Leander (Gael García Bernal) collapses on stage. Jeevan rushes to help, but Arthur dies of a heart attack. As chaos erupts around him, Jeevan finds one of the child actors, Kirsten (Matilda Lawler), has been forgotten, so he offers to walk her home. But after finding no one home at Kirsten’s house, Jeevan got a call from his sister (Tiya Sircar), that works at the hospital. The flu spreading across Europe is not usual. The death rate was 999 in 1000, and a kid had arrived in Chicago from Moscow that day. The flu is here, and it will rip through the population in 24 hours. Jeevan has to get supplies and head to his brother Fred’s (Nabhaan Rizwan) apartment, don’t talk to anyone because society is about to collapse. Just one problem, what does he do with Kirsten? Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.     

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The Great: Season 2 – TV Review

TL;DR – There is an absurd chaos on display from start to finish.  

Rating: 4 out of 5.
The Great: Season 2. Image Credit: Stan.

The Great Review

There is something so odd watching something proposing to be one thing but is another. There is a level of tonal dissonance that can take you out of the experience if there is not a deft hand on show. Today we look at a show that dances through history while ignoring actual events for a more engaging story.

So to set the scene, at the end of Season One, Catherine (Elle Fanning) finally made her move on Peter (Nicholas Hoult) with the help of her advisors Orlo (Sacha Dhawan) and Velementov (Douglas Hodge). Catherine had to sacrifice her lover to take the crown, but her love for Russia overtook her personal desires. However, Peter still has some support at court and weeks in. He still controls part of the Palace even though he is now surrounded. Time is short, and the one constant is everyone around Peter and Catherine has made it clear, they need to kill the other. Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.

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The Expanse: Why We Fight – TV Review

TL;DR – War takes a back seat this week as we explore the emotional fallout.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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

The Expanse: Why We Fight. Image Credit: Amazon Studios.

The Expanse Review

If there is one emotion that films, TV, etc., rely on, it is pain. It is a universal emotion, so it is easy to use without any substance behind it, yet it still appears to have weight. These are the moments that hit at the moment yet make you feel hollow later when you think about it. There is a lot of death and pain in The Expanse, but as we see today, none of it is cheap.

So to set the scene, everyone is still reeling from the attacks across the system, and for the Martians, slow and steady is not the order of the day. They fly their newest stealth ships right through the portal to take Medina Station out of the equation. It is a daring attack. Bar, Marco (Keon Alexander) had made a deal and fortified all of ring space with railguns, killing the MCR fleet in moments. Meanwhile, The Roci has docked with Ceres Station as James (Steven Strait), and Naomi (Dominique Tipper) have found that the ring gates are killing ships, but James’ ultraism falls flat. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.

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