I have been re-watching the every season of Deep Space Nine in these binge batches, and my brother Jomo (RIP) was right: It is Star Trek’s darkest turn, and it’s most heart breaking.
I just finished watching “The Death and Life of Marsha P Johnson”... spent the last twenty minutes or so with tears running down my face. Unexpectedly, it was Sylvia Rivera’s story, woven into the larger tale that broke my heart. Islam Nettles story too, illustrates how little has changed for transgendered women since Marsha’s body was found.
The sequencing of the club scene and the 'handover' that was more like a scramble, was one of the tightest of this entire show, with a single shot fired. I thought it was beautifully done.
Still resonates after an almost mind boggling twenty years.
That double chanté! I thought I was about to lose a favourite and was literally shouting 'NOOOOOOO!" at the screen.
Trying to distract myself with a Game of Thrones rewatch while I wait on the premiere. Because, this is my shit right here.
I've just got around to watching the finale, and as a practitioner of the ATRS, it is incumbent upon to register my disappointment in the production team and @RonDMoore for producing this racist shit for television.
There are any number of ways they could have portrayed the African Traditional Religions, however they chose Hollywood's white washed view of MY religious traditions, instead of anything like historical accuracy, or for that matter anything congruent with truth.
There are any number of practitioners that could have advised them, but they chose to prey upon the traditional view of Europeans towards African religions instead of treating it with respect. I am so disappointed in their handling of this portion of the story, it's my lowest rated episode of this show, ever.
And after three seasons, I find myself questioning this show's integrity. Just to be clear: the kind of hodgepodge shit that you portrayed on screen borrowed from several traditions and did not portray any of them fairly or accurately.
Mini Series - Part 1
Sharon just took off from Caprica with a load of refugees and that weepy fucker Gaius Baltar, leaving Helo behind.
This is such an interesting balance to Star Trek: Discovery... as though the ethos of these two shows have somehow been swapped. This is light and comedic and trots old territory in a fresh way, and Star Trek: Discovery has gone off boldly where Star Trek hasn't really gone before.
That said, I am enjoying this show's humor and the familiarity of it even though it is absolutely NOT Star Trek.
Forgive, but it is impossible not to make the comparison.
Oh... yes! Where ever in space and time you are Jomo, this space battle is for you! #RIP (It's another Janeway!!! Kinda! You'd love her!!)
After a lifetime of love for the Star Trek universe, it's hard to be impressed by some of the iterations between the end of Voyager, and the start of the recent movie reboots. As much as I love Scott Bakula, I panned "Enterprise" sometime after the first season, unable to find a way into the story or caring about that crew.
However, as if the showrunners of Discovery knew what, my intersectional heart was longing for. A powerful new female lead of colour (wearing her natural hair), in a very different take on the Federation and enemies of old. When I realised which enemy of old it was being reimagined—indeed, the extent to which the Federation has been a little reimagined—I became deeply impressed, moment by moment.
I'm uncertain if I like the makeup and costume design for the new 'Others' in the story, and the very 'colourfulness' of their ship interiors, but you know, I might just let it grow on me and see how it goes.
A word here on Sonequa Martin-Green's performance: Yes muh girl! Yes! I like you... A nuanced and compelling performance.
That said, this was an impressive opener. Oh CBS.. you play too much. They banned reviews to pique interest, and I am in for it. Here for it. I'm glad I took the chance and watched, and I'm glad to be so pleasantly surprised. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Teaaarss!!!! Teaaarss!!!! I was so moved! Such a well written episode! One of the best of this season thus far.
Although the scenery moved backward and forward, the story was unbelievably coherent. Caitriona Balfe's performance in this episode, from first shot to last was exceptional. Her face was a complete mirror for Claire's inner world, and the drama was tautly written across every tremulous emotion Balfe put on display.
This character's ability to withstand turmoil is incredible, and her resilience and loyalty to be admired. Say what, she is clearly the soul of this show, and Balfe is perfectly cast.
At the end my last thought was, if Randall's been poked in the willie, then how is he supposed to father the lineage that leads to Frank? But the answer is obvious. Mary & Alex.
Ok! Back to Scotland! Hurrah!
I first watched this movie with my brother back in 1997, at the beginning of an epic animé phase we both went through that lasted almost two years. It remains, in my opinion, the finest animated film in this genre to date. It's almost prescient in it's examination of philosophical humanity, and the rise of AI. Watching it again, it makes me realise it is the reason why I love robot Sci fi. The only sci fi I love better is Robots in Space.
My brother died last year, and this is the first time I've watched this film in a decade and it made me miss him a great deal. Miss him, and appreciate that this was our 'thing' back when we were young and foolish.
One note: I've watched both Japanese sub-titled and American dubbed versions over the years. While I appreciate the American dub, my favourite still remains the original Japanese language film.
Oh I cracked up! This episode had so many funny moments... but now I am truly intrigued by the La Dame Blanche.
With a simple story, set against a revisionist history (as the previous commenter pointed out), this film manages to convey a wealth of feeling between the two leads, and a well stretched fabric of supporting performances by Kingsley and Hartnett. Kinda interesting to have Harnett play a bit of twat here, but you know... I get the need for a foil. Not a bad little film, with some gorgeous landscape shots, but the end seemed a tad too pat and predictable for my tastes. Will be watching Hilmar, as she did very well. Final note: The score was not overly emotional but a very constant support throughout the film.
I didn't expect to be so moved by such a little movie, but with a captivating performance by Emilia Clarke, the witty laugh out loud funny writing, and a heartbreaking but not too clichéd ending, made this film a little overlooked gem.
Sam Claflin acquitted himself nicely, as did the entire supporting cast. Charles Dance and Janet McTeer as Will's parents, were a gelid and steely bonus no matter how secondary their characters were. I liked that they were never positioned in the story as obstacles to anything... Matthew Lewis (Harry Potter's Neville Longbottom) is again, chameleonic in the way he fits himself into characters, and Brendan Coyle (one of my favourites from Downton Abbey) were nicely cast.
However, it is truly Clarke and the screenplay that stand out here. I've never read the book, and probably never will, but I liked the story very much. I also like that it didn't play like a Hallmark movie, and the banter between Clarke and Claflin was well paced and they worked their chemistry very well, right up to the last letter in Paris.
This was a great little film... well worth the watch, just get some Kleenex.
I screamed at several points... the tension was beautifully unbearable throughout. Well made, and pitch perfect.
This episode is one of the best of the season, the writing and tension superb. There is not a single extraneous or wasted scene or moment, and the focus on the story unfolding remaining very sharp.
The salvage mission on the the Anubis by now feels familiar, but I'm glad it's the crew of the Rocinante doing the blowing up rather than running. What they uncover of course are more questions, and almost few answers.
The moment the crew of the Rocinante and Miller meet up in the Blue Falcon, in search of Lionel Polanski, is one of the high points of this season, and one that still thrills me although I think I've seen this episode three times at this writing.
Somehow, and there's a little voice that is telling me this, they will be together for a minute.
One has to feel some type of way for Miller. His heartbreak at finding his answers is heart wrenching. This is some major turning point for Miller. I'm not certain what is coming for him, but Julie Mao will be for him, what the Cant is for the crew of the Rocinante, and maybe for the whole solar system. Either way, this looks like kismet. Never mind the whole, "touch me again and there'll be another body on the floor," bit. It looks like kismet.
One of the things to appreciate with the season winding down, is how it has used detail and visual textures to build a convincing world and story. The little clues we've been getting are beginning to add up.
Listen, I am really digging Amos. He's the last of the Rocinante crew that I've gotten attached to, but I am really digging him.
This show from beginning to end, was not what it appeared. I continue to give Brit Marling mad props for the writing of this story, because while the episodes didn't follow an ordinary format, but a specific arc in the story, the eight episodes felt like long low budget independent film, that managed to beautifully mash several genres together.
Some of the critics have been unnecessarily harsh in its dismissal of many of it's themes as merely 'new-agish', but I found the storytelling to be consistent throughout the entire clutch (I really dislike calling it a 'season' when it streams on Netflix or is a whole season available for watching via another service) of episodes.
As I have previously noted, this is the kind of story that could only have been facilitated by a streaming service, because it mostly abandons traditional television storytelling, and it works.
As for the characters, I was proud like I did something in the last ten minutes of the episode, with a little eye water to boot. The disparate threads of this story came together beautifully, and the acting was consistent in the last few episodes.
It is well worth a binge watch, but I am glad I dragged it out a bit. Highly recommended.
Will there be a second season? It seems almost certain. God help us, we wait long periods between them on Netflix, which appears to have a much longer release cycle than regular network television. However, the quality of the recent productions proves they tend to be worth the wait. I only had an inkling about this one, but it turned out to be well worth the weirdness of the pre-release pump.
This episode is a bridge. It cements the link between all six of the group, it creates a fundamental break between The OA and her parents, while at first seeming to forge it.
Brit Marling continues to be exceptional in her performance, and in the writing of the screenplay. Although we have no Dastardly Hap to hate, we find ourselves losing some sympathy for Nancy, and gaining immense respect for 'BBA', who not only goes to mat, she puts everything she has on the line for Steve.
Steves breakthrough, while at first seeming to be a betrayal, allows The OA to really shine.
I love seeing the team learn the five movements, and how naturally Steve learns the movements, similar to the way The OA and Homer form a strong understanding around the first two movements.
I am deeply impressed with this show. I understand there are some folks who apparently don't 'get' it. It's ok. Those of us that 'get it', 'get it'. It's just not for you. It's clearly for us.
Exceptional episode, that perfectly preps for the finale.
Ah, gotta love those Donkey Balls.
While I am not precisely liking the dubious new addition to the ship's complement, because he feels treacherous, he sure does come up with some good ideas.
This episode had some beautiful moments.
While I am still not enjoying Chrisjen's wooden delivery of dialogue, I very much liked that we got to meet at least one of Holden's parents. It would have been a bit more interesting if we had seen the whole unit of them, but who knows why production felt just his body-mother was required. Frances Fisher does a great job, making a meal of a small role, and we get a great look at Holden's backstory. This late in the season though, I suspect we won't get anyone else's backstory until Season 2. I don't know about you, but I am chomping at the bit to find out Naomi's story.
Miller's sad and wistful goodbye to Octavia, as he heads off into the black chasing Julie Mao; the tense but funny process of getting into the lockbox to find the black ops codes to evade the blockade, these both give us more character depth. Miller is turning into a different kind of man, and the Rocinante crew's democratic, yet effective teamwork makes them a lot of fun to watch as they're grinding through trying to get to the bottom of Lionel Polanski, the Scopuli and the Anubis.
I'm also enjoying the little things in the show: The Belter's patois, although largely incomprehensible, is a nice touch that adds a lot of dimension to the Belter's as an insular, underdog group. That they evolved their own language, says much for the alienation they must have to the rest of the solar system. Jared Harris as Dawes, has the most beautiful sing song thing going on, and it makes his character a much more seductive and enchanting force in the story's play...
Regardless of the next few episodes, which i suspect will be relentless, Sy Fy has done a marvellous job of fueling this production. Despite a few obvious TV gaffs here and there, for the most part the show is really well put together, and the concepts, sets, action sequences and character development almost make you pause, because Sy Fy has gutted us more than once since Battlestar Galactica went off air. I say again, this is the best show I've seen on TV since BSG ended... and that Sy Fy is coming through for us, is something to celebrate.
This show is pure science fiction and it's commitment to creating a believable story, is tremendous.
By far the most illuminated episode of the season thus far. Clearly they are now working hard to get the fifth movement, they're to the point where they want the experiment and are participating, but the dread of Hap finding out becomes now possibly the thing that's holding them back.
Jason Isaacs plays Hap with an almost palpable sense of his rationalisations for his psychosis. Yet, without him there would be no story, right?
The OA continues to show her grit and determination, Homer continues to be the other focal point. Yet, the other three... we get almost nothing about them other than Hap's machinations to enslave Renata in the last episode, and we're two episodes from the end of this season (or whatever the hell Netflix calls these binge watches) my point is, the other three are still sketches.
Still, it's hard to fault the story. The pacing is excellent and remains consistent through all the episodes I've seen so far, and I am really enjoying Brit Marling's performance. She wrote this character for herself and it shows just how deeply she is into the work that The OA is really all you see on screen. I'm very impressed with the way she's built this story, and the execution, although it's not flashy, it's really well done.
With two episodes to go to the close of this clutch of episodes (I like 'clutch' better than 'season' for Netflix stuff), I'm very much curious to see how this comes to a close, and if we will be tortured for another season, the way we're being tortured for more Sense8 episodes.
Still, what a treat this has been to watch.
Hap is monstrous for what he's doing to these people. Homer (Emory Cohen), is tragic, sad, indeed Homer being the lynchpin and Hap mercilessly using him to manipulate the others, break the trust between them... just ugh! Jason Isaacs is doing a magnificent job of making me loathe this character.
The OA is amazing. She's amazing. The 'movements' and the celestial portal... yeah, I'm down. I get it. I SCREAMED when I got it!!!! And regardless of what he's done, Homer remained a soldier and a believer in what they were doing.
Oh this show just slipped into a whole level of weirdness that I super appreciate. The OA, who as I previously noted, while appearing to everyone else to be 'unhinged', is proving to be a strong, tough, relentless pursuer and believer in love and freedom and truth. At the end of this episode, we see just how strong and truly powerful she is.
Oh my, what a good episode this was! Oh how I loathe Hap, but one has to ask this question: If we are working with the holographic universe model, and that which is observed changes to produce the effect that the observer requires, desires, or simply as a reaction to being observed, how much of what is happening with these five people is being made possible by the evil, twisted, horrible, disgusting, awful Hap Hunter?
Oh my... This is certainly one of the best written shows I've seen in awhile. As weird as the ride has been, it's remained consistent and engrossing throughout.
I get how this would never have worked on network television, but finds a perfect niche with the Netflix crowd. Long live the Internet!
The pace slows a bit in this episode, but again the highlight here is the characters in play.
Again I am struck by Chrisjen Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo), and not in a good way. Although her accent is beautiful, I don’t believe Aghdashloo’s portrayal at all. She doesn’t seem to penetrate the character’s motivations and what I am perceiving is her delivering her lines, not so much acting. Consequently, her role seems off and aloof rather than a woman of passion that Chrisjen clearly is, at least on paper.
Which is a pity. Her role is such a juicy one for a woman, that it is a shame she feels like bad casting, and the role could have gone to an actress with more chops. I can see Tilda Swinton playing this role with gelid-eyed ferocity.Hers is the only real problematic portrayal, everyone else is doing a great job.
All of that said, this episode continues to build the story relentlessly from the previous episode.
We have an interesting additional ‘backstory’, that of Diogo (Andrew Rotilio), who we saw in earlier episodes in scenes with Miller where he was warned to 'Stay away from the aqua!’, and his uncle Mateo (Alex Karzis). This sequence gives us an emotional and tense story line, giving you some of the grit and determination of the Belters to make a sacrifice for what’s right, even though it’s clear they’re mistreated and taken advantage of. Although it doesn’t appear as though this character is important, the fact that this dramatic little side story appears, leads me to believe that Diogo, who we last see floating on his own, will become an important secondary character later on.
Regardless of the vicious machinations going on way above their heads, the Belters clearly deserve some justice.
We also get further evidence of the growing close knitting of the crew of the Rocinante. The handle Fred Johnson and his demands deftly, and head into God knows what by the end of the episode. Holden continues to display wit, and his team loyalty.
The byplay between Miller (Thomas Jane) and Octavia (Athena Karkanis) is also looking like something we will watch play out later on in the story. The chemistry between them is there, and I like all the scenes between them. Jane plays his character’s bitterness perfectly with her, and she hits her character’s notes perfectly. Tough but vulnerable, willing to stretch, but not quite bend the rules. Her rescuing of Miller in this episode definitely deserves a brownie point or two.
It is clear that this is a series that requires you to pay attention. It’s easy to miss some details on the first watch, so you cannot ignore anything or anyone at this point.
Well ok! Now we're getting somewhere.
Although, one could not reasonably expect all the answers in episode two, the second episode rapidly advances the story and we finally start to get a sense of why The OA is so seemingly 'unhinged'.
At last, the 'villain' appears. I am also finding the growing byplay between the characters and their rough sketches interesting as well. We get only a little of that in this episode, but I am curious as to what their role is and why The OA needs them to be there. Brit Marling, who plays The OA, and produced, and mostly wrote, is doing an excellent job of conveying all of this character's many textures. While she appears unhinged, she also appears perfectly calm, resigned, aware and purposeful.
I am absorbed as her five listeners to her unfolding tale, and while there are no bells and whistles, this is a story being told in performance and writing, I am immensely curious as to why Hap's creepy serial killer like self is really about. As weirdness goes, this is not Twin-peakish, but it's certainly weird-as-all-out in a very human kind of way.
On to the next episode.
There I am, engrossed for nearly an hour in one of the strangest stories I've been told in a while, and THEN I see the open credits appear. That it came at a point in the story where the 'weird' turned up 'extra', I must admit, my jaw dropped for a moment. If for no other reason, I can say, I did not expect that.
For a first episode, this does very little in terms of telling us more than Prairie... my bad, The OA, is... well what is she? I don't think any of us could guess from this first episode. The basic premise as it stands is: Blind girl disappears. Girl reappears with sight. She's tapped into something we can't see, but maybe some people can 'feel'.
The way the narrative is built, the way it engages you in a subtle way... yes, let's watch on and see where this goes, but as of this writing, I cannot guess as to what is happening.
This show is oddly creepy, but at the same time, inspiring.... I'd invoke 'Twin Peaks' but maybe it's too soon for that.
From last episode’s eye popping escapes, and amping up story wise, we come to this lovely little point in the tale.
Although it lacks the action of the previous episode, it provides this clever counterpoint theme around Miller’s lack of drinking and Holden’s hunt for a cup of coffee, which is perfectly expressed on Holden’s face during the final moments.
Our wider view grows of “The Butcher of Anderson Station” and what does and doesn’t lie in wait at Tycho Station grows, as does the newly minted crew of the Rocinante’s loyalties and clearly democratic structure. For now at any rate.
I do think Miller’s haircut is ridiculous, and his hat foolish, but there’s something dogged and admirable about his character regardless of his jaded anti-hero leanings. His now blatant adoration of Julie Mao is making him a better man already as is evident with his laying off the drink, and he’s on her trail still, getting closer and closer. Dangerously close, I’d say.
I continue to adore Holden’s stubbly jawbone, and crinkly laugh lines. Amos and Alex, I am also digging, and Naomi’s still so damn mysterious as any self-respecting woman should be, that it’s hard not to cheer and gasp at their twists and turns of fate. Despite last episode’s shocking kill off of Shed, I doubt we will lose any more of the survivors from the Cant, at least not this season. This is clearly the core group of antagonists.
All in all this episode tautly advances the story without ever slipping into exposition for it’s own sake. It maintains a tight focus on the next layer of the story, while the flashback elements are perfectly integrated, making it perfectly clear that our rag-tag band of survivors (get it!?) are nowhere near out of the woods yet.
This show gets better and better.
As we say in Barbados, this episode 'up de ting'. The last twenty minutes of this show was beautiful, organised chaos.
Again I am amazed by the production ethics of this show. The gritty 'movie-like' quality and pacing is wonderful, and this episodes twists were well executed.
I like that we get to see a little more of the Martians and the ethos, and the mysterious warship and it's blue masked invaders, all deepen the mystery of what's really going on. We see the hypocrisies and machinations of the Earthers as well as the set up for Belter culture.
We're introduced to OPA head man, Frederick Johnson who has just the right amount of passion and cool nerve, and I am very amused at how he handled the Mormon representative. I am also deeply intrigued by their generational ship.
This episode gives us even more backdrop for the politics at play in the solar system, and nicely sets up the enduring loyalty of the survivors of the Cant. Bless Holden and his matinee idol jawline and pretty, squinty eyes and lovely pouty mouth. Yes, I had to point all of that out. I positively begs to be pointed out.
This episode was well acted, the action sequences were exceptional, the special effects were fucking EYEPOPPING,
It's so nice to see the Sy Fy gave a show some budget and talent. I had given up hope after Battlestar Galactica left the air, but this show gets better, and this is my second time watching this first season.
While the first two episodes lay the ground for the characters, and sets the basic players and plot in motion, here the stakes are upped in a significant way.
The way in which the stories seem very separate, the play with the survivors of the Cant and the Martian Navy, the play on Mars and Miller's probing on Ceres, but also layer by layer appear to grow more intertwined is well paced throughout this episode.
Like no other show I've seen this year, the production aesthetic is richer and deeper, and the interiors while close, never seem claustrophobic, merely a form of texturing. All the space sequences so far have been exceptional, and the Earth-based spaces all strike the right notes of familiar and futuristic at the same time.
I do not like Shohreh Aghdashloo's Chrisjen Avasarala. I love her accent and her styling, but there is something about her delivery that doesn't quite make me believe that she believes what she is saying.
Steven Strait, Cas Anvar, Dominique Tipper and Wes Chatham and all great as Holden, and crew, beautifully playing out the tension, suspicion and steadfast loyalty, as the Mars Navy gets a hold of them and questions them about the destruction of the Canterbury.
All in all, this episode beautifully advances the plot, without ever appearing to play the characters or the story cheap.
I must agree with another reviewer/commenter who said the show has a 'film' feel to it. This is something to note, as the feel of the production is richer than anything I've seen on television since Battlestar Galactica. For me, that's a huge thing.
I am in the middle of a rewatch for the sole purpose of reviewing and in preparation for Season 2, due February 2016. I'm still shocked it took me a whole year to know about this show, but really thankful I have all ten episodes to binge on.
Although the premise of the show was wearing thin with so little to go on in terms of why, this episode is frustrating in you get more with no concrete answers.
I adore the Reilly Dolman's Phillip; his performance the most nuanced of the cast. He is so handsome in an off kilter manner, he is the only character I find engrossing.
Everyone else, and everything else on this show feels off. It's almost like it's trying too hard to be edgy, and without either the visual texturing or special effects to shore up some very obvious plot devices, I find myself wondering if I am going to make it through the rest of this season.
However, I am not a fan of procedural shows, and I know this is colouring my take on this. Either way, this show is lacking some kind of oomph.
Plus there's the obvious question, "If they're trying to save the world, and there are lots of teams running around surreptitiously working to do this, if they reach some critical mass event wouldn't they and the technology they're using all cease to exist? How would they 'get back to their own timeline, or are all these people expected to be stranded where they are'?"
Time travel paradoxes are already popping up with this, and it's episode five. I'm just not sure how much I can suspend my disbelief.
It's engaging enough for me to see what happens in the next episode, but skating on thin ice. I'd still watch a dozen episodes of Quantum Leap, because I like my time travel with some real human connections. I like all my sci fi this way. This is what I think is missing in this show. It's so busy with the premise, that there's almost no real human connection. Either to the team we're following, or with the mysterious 'Future', or with the people supposedly being saved.
Without that, I'm just not interested enough in anyone other than Phillip.