TV Reviews

Thoughts on Black Mirror S5 E3; Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too

via Netflix

Spoilers ahead.

After finishing this episode, I initially felt underwhelmed. Then I sat and thought about it for a while and realized it is my favorite episode of what I believe was a stellar season. I think Black Mirror benefits from only having three episodes max.

The thing that got to me most about this episode was its disturbing parallels to Miley Cyrus’s own life. She talked about drawing from her own experiences as Hannah Montana on Disney Channel in a recent interview. It’s horrific to realize how capitalism will choke the life out of teen pop idols and, in turn, their young and impressionable fanbases without batting an eye.

The same can be said for how this episode dissects empowerment feminism. “Girl power” as a phrase has become so asinine and meaningless. What does that mean? It is supposed to be about strength, but the point is that it only goes skin-deep. Distract the masses by making feminism palatable and male-friendly. Make it harmless and marketable, so the real issues like racism, pervasive sexism, trans rights, and abortion are not in focus.

It’s easy for corporations to slap shallow messages of inspiration on t-shirts and sell it as them being “part of the change” when in reality they’re doing nothing but milking a cash cow, a fad. Wherein women will continue to suffer all over the world because this shallow form of empowerment is virtually meaningless.

As an episode, I liked the way this episode unfolded quite a bit, but I admit I still felt some aspects of it fell flat. I’m pretty confused about the entire sub-plot regarding their dad and the pest control. It seemed superfluous. I mean if it was just about their dad being a pest guy and having the truck, fine, but why add the extra scenes?

It’s a small gripe though, in an otherwise exceptional hour of television.

Also not to be a total hypocrite but can they please release all the Ashley Too songs in this… I need them.

TV Reviews

Thoughts on Black Mirror S5 E1; Striking Vipers

via Netflix

The latest bundle of Black Mirror episodes begins with the compelling tale of two friends who forge a new connection acting on latent affections for one another through the online world of virtual reality video gaming.

Spoilers ahead.

Karl and Danny have been best friends for years but they lost touch as they grew up and moved on. They’re reunited by a fighting style video game called Striking Vipers. In it, Danny plays the character Lance and Karl takes on Roxette. These are their standard choices. But as this is the world of Black Mirror, they are actually transported into the game (through technology similar to that seen in USS Callister) and able to embody the characters physically.

It doesn’t take long for their fight to turn into something sexual. Clearly this game has become an escape for them in multiple ways. Karl feels freedom to explore his gender identity after feeling dissastisfied and disconnected with the women in his life.

Danny is beginning to understand he may be repressing romantic feelings for his former best friend.

All of this culminates with the two men trying to figure out if their fictional bond can transfer over into real life – but neither is actually able to embrace what they truly feel for one another, or even how they feel about themselves.

The ending is deceptively happy. Yes, Danny and Karl continue their virtual relationship, and even Theo, Danny’s wife and the third wheel in their once strong trio friendship, gets to experiment with exciting new men outside of her boring married life with Danny. But no one gets to be themselves.

Theo has to pretend to be someone else at the bar, and both men can only be themselves so long as it is fiction and doesn’t crossover into the real world. They’ll always be left wanting, even if they’re unable to face it.

Unfortunately, while Striking Vipers is a great episode and I liked it, there was a level of heart missing that holds it back from reaching its full potential. Clearly, this is the yin to San Junipero’s yang, but it doesn’t feel as if the idea as fully realized as the former.

TV Reviews

Black Summer: 6 most WTF moments from Season 1

Courtesy of Netflix

What were the most WTF moments from Netflix’s new zombie series, Black Summer? Who died? Who lived? What happened in the end? Find out here.

Zombie fatigue has not struck Netflix as they commission the Z Nation prequel series, Black Summer. However, I give the streaming giant credit for taking a unique approach to the genre. Black Summer is a well-shot, extremely realistic, story of survival. It puts action first and character second. For some people that will be a welcome change, for others, not so much.

I appreciated the intensity of the show and the alternating timelines. We get to see many scenarios from alternating perspective. It’s also worth pointing out the direction of the series, there are some technically brilliant long-shots, the entire eight-episode season is full of them. It adds to the grounded terror of the show. This feels like it could happen.

Let’s recap the 6 most WTF moments of the first season.

Continue reading on Hidden Remote.

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The Resident recap: A potential operator error threatens a surgeon’s career

On this week’s episode of The Resident aptly titled “Operator Error”, Chastain reels from the death of one of their own and QuoVadis makes a move to oust one of the best doctors to protect their brand name.

The Raptor’s career is on the line after Bradley dies on the surgical table. (On another note, I really wish FOX hadn’t spoiled his death in the promo from last week’s episode of The Resident).

Continue reading on HiddenRemote →

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A windstorm stirs up drama on the midseason premiere of Grey’s Anatomy

Grey’s Anatomy picks up right where it left off  — with three elevators stuck in limbo and the people trapped inside them desperate to escape before lives are lost.

Before Grey’s Anatomy went on its winter hiatus, Grey-Sloan Memorial was rattled by a terrible windstorm, one that wiped out the power and caused a shutdown in the elevators. Thus leaving Andrew and Meredith stuck in one, Bailey, Helm, and their organ donor Phoebe in another, and Teddy, Owen, and Amelia in the third.

Continue reading on HiddenRemote →

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5 things we learned from the All American winter premiere

On the winter premiere of All American, Shawn’s death is the first domino to fall in a chain that begins in Crenshaw and ends in Beverly Hills.

It’s been several weeks since we left off with All American and I’ve been chomping at the bit for the new episode after the dramatic reveals and cliffhangers of the midseason finale. I’m pretty shocked Billy is sticking to his lie about his son’s drug test. I figured he wouldn’t fess up right away, but to lie straight to Olivia’s face after she asked him about integrity a bold and self-serving decision.

We still don’t learn much more about Spencer’s father, though Spencer does ask Billy about what the Malibu coach meant when he referred to the job Billy stole from him. Turns out the job was being offered to almost 50 different coaches, it wasn’t as if it were just a toss-up between Cory and Billy. Maybe Billy’s NFL experience did boost him over the edge but it was a job he earned.

Continue reading on HiddenRemote →

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New Amsterdam – A Seat at the Table – Review: Full Chemo

Iggy has a patient again! Finally. I feel like its been ages since we’ve seen him with a new psych patient but maybe it was just the hiatus that made it seem that way. Either way, this guy has an imaginary wolf (and I typed this I heard some howling outside my window… creepy) that plagues his daily life in nightmarish hallucinogenic attack scenarios. Iggy’s job will be to work out why that is.

With his delusions growing, Iggy talks with the patient’s father to get clarity on how they would to proceed on the case. If he has the surgery then part of him could be fundamentally altered. Parts of his personality could change, interests, hobbies, etc. But his dad is willing if it means saving his life. He’d rather lose parts than the whole.

Continue reading on SpoilerTV →

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The Rookie – Flesh and Blood – Review: Turducken

I may have said this last week but THIS was truly my favorite episode of the show so far, wow. Every single pairing was comedy gold or at least heartwarming in some way or other. Also this show just got me shipping about 3 more pairings too. I’m really falling in love with these characters! There was so many fun love/hate scenes in this episode and witty banter, ugh, love it.

Continue reading on SpoilerTV →

Film/Television

The Gifted – hoMe – Review: This is a Losing Battle

With the Inner Circle and the Purifiers on the rise, and the nation more divided than ever, the dream of the X-Men is on the verge of failure. In attempts to revive the Mutant Underground, Evangeline proposes a country-wide meeting.

Meanwhile, Lauren and Andy continue to disagree in their dreams and the Frost Sisters attempt to intervene. Caitlin makes the risky suggestion of connecting with a family member for vital intel, and Lorna tries to secretly investigate Reeva’s plans for the Inner Circle.

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Film/Television

Project Blue Book recap: The haunting story of the Phantom of Flatwoods

On the second episode of Project Blue Book, a woman and her children spot something unexplainable in the woods. Hynek and Quinn are called in to put an end to the small-town hysteria before it spirals out of control.

The case Project Blue Book draws from this week has many names: the Flatwoods Monster, the Braxton County Monster, the Phantom of Flatwoods, but the story always begins the same.

Continue reading on HiddenRemote →