The Sandman: Season 1 – TV Review

TL;DR – This is a genuinely odd series bouncing from one story to the next with the power of a tsunami, yet somehow it all flows together into a grand gothic fairy-tale.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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

Warning – Contains scenes of abuse and scenes that may cause distress.

The Sandman looks into a sunrise.

The Sandman Review

In 2019, I wrote an article on how we entered a New Golden Age of Science Fiction on Television. However, in the last twelve months, we have gotten, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, House of the Dragon, Shadow and Bone, The Wheel of Time, The Witcher, and more. It is such an incredible rise that I think I need to update my article and explore the new Golden Age of Fantasy on TV, and the next entry into this world is the dark gothic fairy-tale set in the modern world.

So to set the scene, humans go about their day in the real world, but every night they dream, but for some reason, they feel that The Dreaming realm is somehow less natural just because it is filled with dreams and nightmares, and they wake up in the ‘real’ world every morning, well most of the time. The Lord of this Realm is Morpheus (Tom Sturridge), one of the seven Endless, powerful beings that shape all forms of reality. In 1916, when one of his nightmares, the Corinthian (Boyd Holbrook), goes rogue, Morpheus takes a rare trip to the ‘real’ world to take care of the matter personally. However, at that moment, an incompetent aristocratic occultist called Roderick Burgess (Charles Dance) delves into spells he does not understand because he wants to capture Death (Kirby Howell-Baptiste) to bring back his beloved son, who was killed in Gallipoli. Still, he gets Morpheus and binds him under his mansion for 106 years. Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.   

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Resident Evil: Season 1 – TV Review

TL;DR – This is a silly, over-the-top, ridiculous show in all the right ways …until its not.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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

Welcome to New Raccoon City.

Resident Evil Review

When the original Resident Evil video game came out, I didn’t have a PlayStation, so I was tangentially aware of it and probably watched someone play it at some point. Still, I would never consider myself a fan at any moment and never had the drive to try and work out the convoluted lore built up over the years. But then the films came out, and at least the first couple were … let’s say engaging, but then they got … well, they got Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. I don’t think it would be hard to say that I was not chopping at the bit for a new Resident Evil TV Series, but then I watched one episode out of interest … and ended up watching them all.

So to set the scene, we opened in a ruined London in 2036, 14 years after the world ended. There are probably only 300 million people left on Earth in small walled communities or the few remaining nations like Fortress Scandinavia or the Umbrella Corporation. But there are 6 billion zombies or zeroes infected by the T-Virus ready to rip anyone’s throat. In a small research camp, Jade Wesker (Ella Balinska) has spent six months researching the Zeroes to see if the virus is mutating and allowing more cognitive control when she accidentally cuts herself and becomes a target for the horde. Back in 2022, three months before the fall, Jade (Tamara Smart), her sister Billie (Siena Agudong), and her father, Albert Wesker (Lance Reddick), have just arrived in their new home in New Raccoon City in South Africa. It has a bland, corporate feeling, but behind the scenes, the new boss of the Umbrella Corporation, Evelyn Marcus (Paola Núñez), is pushing hard to get the new drug Joy delivered to the market. The only issue is just what did happen at their plant in Tijuana? 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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All of Us Are Dead (Jigeum Uri Hakgyoneun/지금 우리 학교는/ Now at Our School): Season 1 – TV Review

TL;DR – A very compelling look at a zombie outbreak at a school and the carnage that would leave in its wake but one that goes on for a bit too long.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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

All of Us Are Dead. Image Credit: Netflix.

All of Us Are Dead Review

The Zombie genre is one that has been played out in many regards. However, if there is one place that can still create something new in this space, it is South Korea, where you can get visually fascinating stories, but ones that also hit on an emotional level. When I heard that there was a new series on Netflix that hit all these marks, well, I had to check it out.

So to set the scene, it is an ordinary day at Hyosan High School, with the students cleaning the school after class. However, while most of the school goes home, one student falls asleep in the Science Lab. When Kim Hyeon-ju (Jung Yi-seo) wakes up, she hears a noise in the supply room, where there is a tiny mouse in the cage that just so happens to bite her. The science teacher Lee Byeong-chan (Kim Byung-chul), notices the bite and kidnaps the student. The next day Nam On-jo (Park Ji-hu), Lee Cheong-san (Yoon Chan-young), Choi Nam-ra (Cho Yi-hyun), Han Gyeong-su (Ham Sung-min) and their friends make their way to school when the missing student is found in an agitated state. People think the science teacher drugged her, but they don’t know that she is turning into a zombie and that one bite is all it will take to spread the virus. 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 – Black Summer: Season One

TL;DR – There are moments of real tension but in the end, it fell a bit flat.

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Black Summer: Season One. Image Credit; Netflix.

Review

Zombies are a concept that and yes I am going to go there, has been done to death. There have been so many different permeations of the living dead and the impact that they would have on the world it is hard to come into this space and have anything new to say. Well, today we take a look at a show that is trying to find some new space, even if it does not always succeed.

So to set the scene, it has been a couple of weeks since the first infection and society is in the state of collapse. There is still hope that the government can contain the spread of the zombies as fighter jets fly overhead and the military is still working on evacuations. We meet Rose (Jaime King) as she is trying to get her family to the evacuation point so they can be taken to the stadium and airlifted out to safety. Well, all of that falls apart as the soldiers discovered her husband’s wounds and drive off with their daughter leaving them behind. All the commotion draws the zombies from nearby and soon those who are left like Kyungson (Christine Lee), Lance (Kelsey Flower), and Ryan (Mustafa Alabssi) have to flee as chaos breaks out. Broken into groups everyone tries to make it to the safety of the stadium. 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 – Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: A Midwinter’s Tale

TL;DR – It emphasises the ‘things that go bump in the night’ theme of the show, but also some of its get out of jail free cards, for a mixed result.

Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: A Midwinter’s Tale. Image Credit: Netflix

A Christmas special is a time honoured tradition of many shows, indeed when I was growing up we would always get this great Christmas in July moment because TV took about 6 months to get down under back then. With that in mind, and with the more schlocky nature of the TV show so far, it felt like this would be the perfect fit for Sabrina. With a Christmas but not themed show. But while it hits all those notes, I was left feeling all a bit meh at the end of the day.

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TV Review – Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: Season One

TL;DR – Sabrina is a show that blends the occult with whimsy in a way I have not seen in a long while. It is a show where cannibalism and finding your one true love go hand in hand, and that is either going to interest you or put you right off.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

 

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Image Credit: Netflix

 

Review

I do not envy the task of anyone who is given the job of rebooting something that has not one but two beloved incarnations. Whether it was the original comic or the 1990s TV series, a lot of people have grown up with Sabrina being a touchstone in pop culture. So, will bringing Sabrina to a new generation create that same moment, well only time will tell, but today we take a look at how the first season came together.

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TV Review – Chilling Adventures of Sabrina – Chapter One: October Country

TL;DR – A fascinating first episode that is both full of charm, determination, and also gets super dark … it had to be spiders …

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

 

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. image Credit: Netflix

 

Review

When I was growing up there was this charming fun show on TV called Sabrina The Teenage Witch. It was this fun romp through the dangers of high school when you have to hide half of yourself away, though in this case, that half was the fact that you are part-witch. It had everything you needed in the 1990s, fun adventures, hilarious scenarios, oh and a sassy talking cat. So when I heard it was being resurrected, I was a bit concerned, and then when I heard it was part of the Riverdale universe I was more concerned because I get why Riverdale is popular, but it’s not for me. But this year we have already had one successful reboot from Netflix of an old beloved TV show in Lost in Space (see review) so I thought I would give it a look and well what an interesting first episode it was.

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