An effortless timeline based story blended with plenty of Lynchian atmosphere that focuses more on interpersonal relations between, mostly the lead, characters rather than any narrative innovation — settling for the usual; troubled rural family, corrupt industrialists, and the alcoholic mother. But the fine performances and the wonderfully decrepit industrial areas make up for that lack, spoiled in the end by a pathetic flash-back/forward Nolanesque attempt to bring things full circle. The resolution is too simple, but still better than some other attempts on HBO like Big Little Lies and Mosaic.
The animation has been the selling point of the first season with the narrative mostly there to provide a semblance of meaning to the imagery. The animation was vivid, fluid, and captures a sense of place while the narrative is a miss-mash of themes that Ellis thinks are adult and textbook trope writing that is typical of most comic book writers. The imagery still remains strong, but some of the dialogue is horribly stilted and the fight scenes with their emphasis on animal brutality simply for the sake of it are grating.
It was clear even in the earlier seasons that HOC wasn’t aspiring for gritty realism, but was just here to kind of turn up the silliness of DC politics with a huge dollop of campiness, shot with the pristine clinicality of Fincher. But as with anything there is always a limit, and clearly that limit has been breached. This season has to be an absolute culmination of it with the show runners scrambling to find any semblance of a plot, a job made doubly hard with the Spacey debacle.
Not sure what the point of basing the premise around a media mogul who controls public narrative is, there isn't anything very novel to draw material from. Also, the writers' grasp of business practices seem kind of dodgy to say the least seeing as they keep everything very vague so as not to end up offending anyone (it's HBO). And that ending was physically insulting to anyone who sat through the whole season. I kind of expected more from Jesse Armstrong. If nothing else, at least some strong insults.
My God, Ribisi and Ireland are back at it again with chewing the scenery with their vocal intonations and facial emotions in every scene that they're in. The rest of the cast somehow manages to keep up with them. The story this time around is just as good, and the dialogue just as good. It's amazing how the writers keep coming up with such consistently realistic dialogue that manages to say so much with so little. Granted that this season does suffer from the infamous everyone-has-a-story-to-tell syndrome, but it's kept in check. I wasn't sure about the psychic thing at first, but it is neatly and respectfully integrated into the story instead of taking the cheap and easy route of making fun of it.
This was a change of pace and scenery that Archer certainly needed going into its eighth season. It would've been boring to have had yet another season at the office. I like that each episode just flows into each other which gives it that sense of urgency and cohesiveness. The slight twist on everyone's roles is delightful and is something that's hard to pull off without it seeming tacky. More often than not the jokes land, and sometimes they land a little too well. My only gripe is with the last episode, something about it just didn't feel satisfying enough.
I don't really see that many of a parallels to Archer. I'm not sure why this is being unfairly compared to Archer and being off-handedly dismissed as an inferior clone. From what I've seen, it seems to be doing its own thing with the rapid-fire jokes and the satirical cop elements. The animation has also been criticized, but I like the unfinished and jaggedness of it. Not everything needs be clean lines and crisp colors. I really hope we get another season.
After Pacific Heat apparently I needed to hear more of Rob Sitch's voice. Utopia feels very similar to The Thick of It, and while not as great as TTOI, it manages to smartly mine the absurdness of office life and working as an "independent" entity for the government. Every episode is more or less the same with Tony getting frustrated about not being able to finish projects and Jim coming up with some or the other excuse to shut it down. But the writers add enough variety and keep switching things up in the office (most often literally) that that repetitive nature of the script doesn't get boring.
The first season was so freaking amazing with the brightly colored cinematography, the funky electronic music, and some truly goosebump-inducing moments. The first episode of the second season was a welcome surprise with its retro aesthetic, and I thought some truly great things were in store, but it was all downhill from the next episode and the show just got increasingly nonsensical and overly sentimental. A massive disappointment.
Delightfully funny with just the right amount of relatable sentimentality. You feel bad laughing at these characters, but you can't help because the jokes are just so damn hilarious.
Started out a bit straight-forward and was almost about to give up, but something kept me going and the show really came into its own towards the end when it becomes more of a character study of Ford, and hopefully we'll be seeing more of that in season 2. Aesthetically it felt like Fincher picking right where he left off his movie Zodiac, with the prominent use of yellows and the set design, given the similar subject matter. Fincher never disappoints.
It was a love story all along, and what a wonderfully emotional one at that. Had tears streaming down my face almost for the entire runtime of the episode. I'd go so far as to say that this is one of the greatest love stories ever told.
The direction and the acting is absolutely terrible, and the script is filled to the brim with cringe-inducing dialogue.
Don't understand why such a banal and predictable ending was built up to such huge proportions. Disappointing. The performances were good all around, but the thriller aspect of the show was weak to say the least.