Tag: Netflix series

Controversial series ‘13 Reasons Why’ not as far fetched as critics claim by AUTUMN

By Autumn Bippert

With the mysterious disappearance of one of their classmates on the minds of Liberty High School students, everyone is trying to figure out what happened to Bryce Walker.

The Netflix original series “13 Reasons Why,” based off of the Jay Asher book, premiered its third season, which takes its own liberties from the original story. 

The series follows a group of students at Liberty High School as they deal with issues including suicide, sexual assault, substance abuse, bullying, and more, following the suicide of a classmate.

Season 1 focuses on the death of Hannah Baker, played by Katherine Langford, and the effects on her friend, Clay Jensen, played by Dylan Minnette, as he tries to figure out the events leading up to her passing based on tapes she left behind.

In Season 2, as Hannah’s friends and family process her death, the Bakers, played by Kate Walsh and Brian d’Arcy James, file a lawsuit against the school for not protecting their daughter.  More sexual assaults that occurred at the high school come to light, and everyone learns that the sexual assaults of Hannah and Jessica Davis, played by Alisha Boe, by Bryce Walker, played by Justin Prentice, weren’t isolated incidents 

Season 3, like Season 2, is loosely continued from the book. The story is picked up eight months from where Season 2 ended, at the Spring Fling where Clay stopped his classmate Tyler, played by Devin Druid, from shooting students at the dance. 

The show flashes back and forth between to different time frames, before and after Bryce Walker is murdered. The whole season is focused around who killed the former antagonist. 13-reasons-why

The new season is told by a new narrator, Ani Achola, who’s played by Grace Saif. Ani’s narration is actually an interview with the police. The audience is left to wonder which crime she is being interviewed about, and how is this new character a part of it?

ani-947b294The 13 episodes show the two timelines and how the prior events affect the current timeline. Once word spreads of Bryce’s murder, everyone is on edge, wondering who could have killed him. Was it Tyler, who had planned to shoot his fellow classmates? Was it Clay, who had shown hatred for Bryce because of what happened to Hannah Baker in Season 1? Or was it anyone of the other people who were also apart of the tapes Hannah had sent out?

What’s visually appealing about the series is the use of lighting to tell the story. In Season 3, when the show was depicting before Bryce’s murder, the scenes were very vibrant and had a light, airy feel. After Bryce’s murder, the scenes were dark, almost monochromatic, with a heavier feel. I really appreciate how the show tells the story with more than one aspect. The best part of the series is the visual storytelling.

Most of the media critiques of the series call the show ridiculous and over the top. However, being out of high school for only two and a half years, a lot of the issues and situations do have parallels to what some high school students do go through. The show is, of course,  dramatized and exaggerated situations.freepressjournal_2019-08_44a645dc-8e8c-40ea-933d-5c7b0f4be260_62394601_491186448377461_1863770294769341367_n

I do believe that the show does a good job of portraying how high school students interact with each other and respond to conflict, which is a breath of fresh air. A lot of shows have such an artificial view of high school and young adults. I always felt that other shows didn’t draw my attention because they were so fake and not close enough to what it’s really like to be 16 to 18 years old. 

Not everyone in high school, or even later in life, will go through some of the serious situations, such as rape, suicide  and abortions, but a lot of people do go through these things. It was more true to real life than most shows that depict high school life.

For its visual storytelling and its ability to show more than a cookie-cutter portrayal of high school, I give “13 Reasons Why: Season 3,” a seven out of 10.

Experience provocative universes in ‘Love, Death, & Robots’

In a world where a bowl of yogurt takes control of the United States government and charges its leaders with fixing the economy via a strict, but perfect plan, the only fallacy, as it is in real life, is human greed.

“Love, Death & Robots” (or “LDR”) is a collection of animated short stories that reach into different genres such as science fiction, fantasy, horror, and comedy. Each episode debuts its own art style, actors, and universe, which kept me at the edge of my seat for witness2every episode.

The first episode in the Netflix series, “Sonnies Edge,” is a sci-fi, cyberpunk action episode where a female gladiatorial protagonist takes control of an alien to fight in what seems to be an underground arena for sport and money. “Sonnies Edge” is also a story about vengeance and strength. The visuals are stunning, with an incredible amount of attention to detail. Each character and monster has its own unique style that clearly sets them apart from the rest.

In the second episode, “Three Robots,” there are three sentient, deadpan robots exploring post-apocalyptic Earth trying to learn more about how the humans lived while on a vacation. Each robot has their own personality, and the humor between them is dark, unattached, and inquisitive. The truth about the end of the world is hilarious and plausible.

From the first episode, “LDR” makes it very clear that some of the episodes are going to be very risqué. The third episode, “The Witness,” is a complete mind-bender that tells the story of an exotic dancer who witnesses a murder. The entire episode is a thrilling chase through a city with lots of blood, nudity, with an intense twist at the end.

The rest of the episodes include anything from stories of Dracula, how Yogurt came to rule Earth, alternate histories where Adolph Hitler died at a younger age, mech suits, cyborgs, and an immortal robot artist searching for the most beautiful thing imaginable. By the end of the show, expect to have seen full frontal nudity of male, female, and infernal bodies alike, and copious amounts of blood, red or otherwise.

Episodes range from 6 to 17 minutes. You can watch a handful of episodes in the time it takes to watch the new “Game of Thrones” (Who wants to pay for HBOgo anyway?), and there is so much more to enjoy.

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Some episodes are adaptations of popular stories such as a rendition of “127 Hours,” titled “Helping Hand.”

The show sports different directors and artists for most works, and differ greatly from one another. The two Alastair Reynolds adaptations, “Zima Blue” and “Beyond the Aquila Rift,” are both solid sci-fi stories. With good twists and beautifully-realized plots, both of these episodes rank among my favorites in the series.

“Love Death & Robots” is the quintessential series to watch in 2019. It’s raunchy, beautiful, intense, scary, and filled to the brim with strong messages that relate to the world around us.  I give “Love, Death & Robots” a nine out of 10.

‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ adds depth of minor characters

Having to choose between her two worlds, Sabrina Spellman stands her ground against the Dark Lord in the second part  of  the Netflix original “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.”

In part 2, Sabrina is devoting herself to her studies at the Academy of Unseen Arts, after signing her name in the Book of the Beast. Despite the dismay of Father Blackwood, played by Richard Coyle, she remains eager to do things her way. Challenging the status quo of how things are done at the Academy, or as she sees how they should be done, Sabrina is more powerful and self-assured than she has been before. So she is seen as a threat by the patriarchal forces that control her world.

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The episodes pick up right where they left off at the end of Part 1, with Sabrina trying to take down the Dark Lord from inside the Church of Night. It does not go particularly well, however. Part 2 also picks up with her power and popularity increasing, while her mortal friends have really complicated, mostly negative, feelings toward her.

This season, the writers and directors have added depth to characters who were previously almost one dimensional. Cousin Ambrose, played by Chance Perdomo, benefits the most from this, getting a tragic story arc that compels him to reveal what it is that he truly wants in the process. Madame Satan, played by Michelle Gomez, Harvey, played by Ross Lynch, Roz, played by Jaz Sinclair, and Susie, played by Lachlan Watson are also granted a newfound multi-dimensionality that catapults them into the narrative spotlight and forces viewers to recalibrate their perspectives on who these individuals are.

With Sabrina’s life getting increasingly dark as she learns more about the Path of Night, she still finds time to try to be an ordinary teen. Harvey, Sabrina’s ex-boyfriend, is still reeling from finding out that not only is his girlfriend a witch, she used her abilities to resurrect her dead brother. That wasn’t outweighed by that fact the she also helped his father stop drinking via a magic potion. While he understandably needs some space, he sees a potential love interest in Roz, who is one of Sabrina’s closest friends.

Sabrina has also moved on with a warlock, Nicholas Scratch, played by Gavin Leatherwood. But can a young warlock truly be as honorable and trustworthy as Nick in a society where men worship the Father of Lies?

Sabrina learns some hard truths in part 2 of the series about who to trust and how to stand up for herself despite her worries.

Part 2 takes the good parts of part 1 and adds more depth to characters and a better story arc. The show has amazing visuals throughout both parts. It also has actors who are amazing at portraying their characters with emotional depth, which keeps viewers invested.

I give part 2 of “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” a nine out of 10.

‘The Umbrella Academy’ series unmasks different breed of heroes

On first day of October in 1989, suddenly 43 women give birth to gifted children. But none were pregnant when the day begin.

Once again, Netflix surprises with a new movie based on a comic book, “The Umbrella Academy.” The adaptation of a comic novel, “The Umbrella Academy” by Gerard Way, the vocalist and co-founder of the rock band ‘My Chemical Romance,’ and Gabriel Bá, is a classic story of superheroes trying to save humanity from an apocalypse with a little bit of family drama.

the-umbrella-academy-netflix-1550864234The series starts with the reunion of the superhero family after the father Sir Reginald Hargreeves (played by Colm Feore) is announced to be dead.

Sir Reginald Hargreeves is a philanthropist and a very wealthy inventor who adopted seven of  thoses 43 children and raises them to basically save the world.

The story shows how Hargreeves was more focused on the children’s powers and only caring about the results that they could bring, instead of caring for them as children. His inability to get involved in the kids’ lives is evident when he does not even take time to name them. That leads the kids to grow up to be dysfunctional and psychologically damaged heroes.

The characters have a pretty strong presence of the heartless father in they lives, but they also had two nurturing figures to count on in Mom, played by Jordan Claire Robbins, and Pogo, voiced by Adam Godley, a super intelligent talking chimpanzee and loyal server to Sir Hargreeves.

umbrella-academy-sir-reginald-1550238393The characters have unique powers and life experiences that are shown in the development of the episodes. Number 1 is Luther, played by Tom Hooper, who has superhuman strength. Number 2 is Diego, played by David Castañeda, who has the ability for super-precise knife combat and also can breath underwater. Number 3 is Allison, played by Emmy Raver-Lampman, who can manipulate a rumor to become reality by speaking. Number 4 is Klaus, played by Robert Sheehan, who has the power of telekinesis and can levitate. He also can posses and talk with the dead. Number 5, played by Aidan Gallagher, is the only son who was not given a name. The reason that he got stuck in a different period of time during time traveling, and when he finally came back, he is stuck in his 13-year-old body.

Number 6 is Ben, played by Justin H Min, whose power is to have many layers of skin. He died at a young age but is present in the series through interaction with his brother Klaus.

Number 7 is Vanya, played by Ellen Page, who is the mysterious piece of the Umbrella Academy. She is the ordinary child of her superhero family.

Other characters who add a lot of action to the show are the time traveler hitman, Cha Cha, played by Mary J. Blige, and Hazel, played by Cameron Britton. They bring extra mystery to the show that is developed and explained during a few episodes, which make it more interesting. As the show progresses, you start to see the reason the characters are present.

A lot of the series happens afters years of the separation of the family. During the reunion, there are flashbacks to childhood experiences. Also, the siblings attempt to reconnect as a family after the father’s death. It show how their personalities end up creating conflicts while trying to prevent a global apocalypse.

One of the aspects that makes the series very engaging and entertaining is not only is it about superheros, you can find a lot aspects of crime, science fiction, romance, and mystery in many of the episodes.

At first, the series did not look extremely exciting, since the first episode starts a bit slow. But before the episode ended, they definitely got my attention and made me ready to see what else was to come.

I give “The Umbrella Academy” a 8.5 out 10.