Tag: TV Show Review

‘Mixed-ish’ shows challenges of growing up in biracial family

by Victoria De Souza

The life of bi-racial a girl in the 1980s takes place in the television world in “Mixed-ish,” with the conflicts that her family went through in new life journey.

“Mixed-ish” is a prequel spin-off from the two series “Black-ish” and “Grown-ish.” The “ish” world of Kenya Barris is introduced through the childhood story of Rainbow Johnson, or “Bow”, played by Arica Himmel.

Created by Barris, Peter Saji and Tracee Ellis Ross, the story presents a closed look at how Bow’s life as a child with a Black mother and a white father in a society where interracial marriages were not very common.

The story is narrated by Ross, who plays the grown-up version of Bow in “Black-ish” when she is a doctor who is married with five kids. Bow tells her story to her kids, So that they know how challenging it was being biracial in the 1980s.

In 1985, when Bow was 12 years old, her life was turned upside down. She was happily living in a perfect world in a hippie commune where there was no racial differences and every one prays, eats and sleeps together. To her, this life was perfect. But to the government, it was a radicalized cult that violated more than 47 Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive (ATF) regulations.poster

After Bow’s parents, Alicia, played by Tika Sumpter, and Paul Johnson, played by Mark Paul Gosselaar, moved to a suburban area to be able to provide a safer and better life for their family, Bow finds herself trying to find her identity.

Being a child of mixed race leads to Bow and her siblings, Santa Monica, played by Mykal-Michelle Harris, and Johan, played by Ethan William Childress, trying to find where they belong.

To Bow’s brother, Johan, the transition to the “real word” is one big adventure in discovering everything around him, from learning how to use a toilet to playing with the ice machines.

On the first day of school, the children find themselves in a situation about not fitting in with any group, since they are half Black and half white. In 1985, these two groups had a very determined separation. The journey to adapt to this new life begins for all three kids, but it is challenging for Bow to choose what side she is part of.

Living in the city, the family has more contact with Grandpa Harrison, played by Gary Colle, and Aunt Denise, played by Christina Anthony, who help the family to feel more included.

“Mixed-ish” brings a point of view not really explored much in “Black-ish,” when Bow is always mentioned to be the hippie and not considered to be fully Black. Also, it adds an extra cultural view into what it was like growing up in a mixed racial family in the 1980s, which was not considered normal.

The series has a lot of potential to grow to become as big as “Grown-ish,” since the mixed race family and children are vast parts of our society. With the changes of time, the multiracial marriages and a different perspective on the stereotypes of a traditional family, where the mother stays home and the husband is the provider, became more accepted.

Episodes are released weekly on the ABC Network and Hulu, offering a little bit more insight into Bow’s childhood.

I give “Mixed-ish” 7.5 out of 10.

‘Jane the Virgin’ captivates viewers with final season

by Desiree Lopez

An aspiring writer is faced with an unfortunate predicament. But as time goes on, her world changes for the better.

“Jane the Virgin” follows the exciting saga of Jane Gloriana Villanueva, a young woman in her 20s, raised by her mother and grandmother, who was accidentally inseminated by a heartbroken and distracted gynecologist.

This show has so many twists and turns, from kidnappings to murders to maimings, the threat of deportation and so many crushing breakups that I almost wept to death. But thankfully, everything ended just as I had hoped, with even more excitement and tears than I had anticipated.

“Jane” first aired in 2014 on the television network, The CW. The actress who plays Jane, Gina Rodriguez, is the reason why this show comes together so perfectly. She played Jane with absolute originality. The show also takes into consideration every side character, background design, and literally every detail from costumes to one-liners. This made the show so meaningful and well thought out. It proves that there was so much work put into this show to make it just right.list_page_p10781393_b_v9_af

The American telenovela takes place in present day Miami, Florida. Jane is 23 years old and enjoying her life as she studies to become a teacher. She is engaged to a handsome detective.

After a routine visit to a clinic, Jane is told that her gynecologist accidentally inseminated her. The news becomes more intense when she finds out that the unintentional sperm donor is her boss. Once the news comes out, Jane’s life begins to fill with many complications.

The show’s director, Jennie Snyder Urman, played around with different kinds of format, tone, and form. It utilized different styles that worked together perfectly to create such interesting content. Because of its dramatic style, the show was a true telenovela. Even the characters – Jane, Xo, and Alba –  loved to watch telenovelas, and they even implemented them into their lives on the show.

Jane is all about family, love, and romance. The whole concept of the show is how the ways of childhood affect the ways of adulthood. It is also about how many people create patterns in their day to day lives, but they’re not always healthy ones. There are many lessons learned by the characters, and even the audience, because of this series.

I cannot think of any other show that I love so much. It’s so sustaining and comforting, as well as dramatic, that it’s easy for it to capture the audience’s attention and keep it for the entire 45 minutes of each episode. There are other series to watch to get this kind of hype and content, but “Jane” is the show that gives the audience what they want… eventually. It is the show where family is a priority, love is in every corner, and romance is essential.merlin_158606955_d147d142-ef3e-4580-8700-03968bef3727-articleLarge

The series finale was, as most people would say, “straight out of a telenovela.” I was so worried that somebody would die, or that Michael would die again, or that Rafael’s discovery of his biological parents would ruin something or everything. I wasn’t expecting to be so unscathed by this finale, but I was. That is how every telenovela should end, and I enjoyed it wholeheartedly.

I definitely will miss Jane’s strong will, Rogelio’s tenderness, and Rafael’s sense of hope. I will miss Alba’s advice, Xo’s adaptability, and Petra’s loyalty. I will really miss how much the show’s director loves television.

I will forever treasure “Jane.” Maybe the reason “Jane” is so easy for me to love is because it’s the rare kind of show that made me feel like it actually loved me back.

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.

‘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.

‘Black Lightning’ offers unique depiction of comic book heroes

Freeland is in shambles, and it is up to one electrifying superhero to save the day.

“Black Lighting” is a new DC Comics television show that airs on the CW. The show centers around a retired superhero with electric powers who gets back into his costume to fight the 100 gang, a criminal organization that causes tyranny within the city of Freeland.

The show recently completed its first season, which delves into the origins of Black Lightning and his desire to rid Freeland of all the drugs, corruption and crime.

Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams) is a school principal who has given up his past life as a crime fighter. After the 100 gang kidnaps his daughters, Anissa (Nafessa Williams) and Jennifer (China Anne McClain), Jefferson suits up as Black Lightning one last time to save them.

After witnessing the negative impact the 100 gang has on Freeland, Jefferson decides to continue his position as the city’s protector with the help of his past mentor and friend Peter Gambi (James Remar), despite his ex-wife, Lynn (Christine Adams), who is disapproving of his efforts. With Tobias Whale (Marvin Jones III), the murderer of Jefferson’s father, leading the 100 gang, Black Lightning will need all the help he can get.

I really enjoyed the first season of this new superhero show. It was interesting seeing Black Lightning, a DC superhero who rarely gets recognition within pop culture, in his own live-action television series.

black lightningThe show does a great job of diving deep into the origins of Black Lightning and presenting the source material with exciting action and interesting characters.

Learning about a superhero I do not normally read about in the comics was very entertaining. I hope to see a second season that reveals more about Black Lightning.

    I really enjoy the overall story arc in this show. Later in the season, Black Lightning discovers that Tobias is behind the distribution of a new drug known as Green Light. This drug is responsible for the appearance of metahumans in Freeland and plays a part in the origins of Black Lightning’s powers.

Seeing Black Lightning facing a huge crime organization was very interesting, as he is a complex character facing many issues. Jefferson is a person who is conflicted by his need to be Black Lightning and his desire to be a role model as a school principal.

I really like how the show represented Black Lightning as a superhero who needs to fight crime in order to find strength within himself to lead his students.

I also like how the show utilizes the rest of the characters. Black Lightning’s allies, such as Gambi, who has a complicated past, and Anissa, who later develops powers and becomes the heroine known as Thunder, develop into intriguing characters as the season progresses.

These two characters were my favorite in this season, as they were not just basic sidekicks to Black Lightning. With Gambi’s experience as a former secret government agent and Anissa’s newfound powers, these characters play an important role in the show by investigating the Green Light distribution.

“Black Lightning” has many intriguing characters who I cannot wait to see again in future seasons. But the acting in this show is one issue that stands out the most.

Despite the characters being interesting and complex, the performances of the actors are dull and do not seem natural. The actors do not have a great chemistry with one another when performing dramatic or lighthearted scenes.

The only performance I enjoyed was the acting of Marvin Jones as Tobias Whale. He is a great villain, as his acting is not over the top or bland, as is the acting of the other actors.

“Black Lightning” is a good show that anyone can enjoy. People who do not read comics can appreciate the story, while comic book fans will enjoy seeing Black Lightning on screen.

With a few flaws and an intriguing, original story, “Black Lightning” has some good qualities other super hero shows do not have.

I give “Black Lightning” an eight out of 10.

‘Legends of Tomorrow’ mixes original story, action in new season

The time-traveling misfits are back to fix history and save the world. But it will not be easy with a time demon wreaking havoc.

“DC’s Legends of Tomorrow” is back on the CW with new adventures and characters. The third season, which centers around time-traveling DC Comic characters within the Arrowverse, begins right after the events of the season two finale.

The Legends now have to fix anachronisms, which are historical misplacements throughout time. Whether it be Julius Caesar in modern day Aruba or a sabretooth tiger in P. T. Barnum’s circus, the Legends have a lot on their plate.

This new season brings back the previous cast, such as White Canary (Caity Lotz), the Atom (Brandon Routh), and Heat Wave (Dominic Purcell), along with the addition of new team members such as Kid-Flash (Keiynan Lonsdale) from “The Flash” and Zari (Tala Ashe). The Legends also face many threats, such as the return of the immortal psychic Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough), and new enemies, such as Nora Darhk (Courtney Ford) and the time demon Mallus (John Noble).

In order to keep Mallus from escaping his dimensional prison, the Legends must fix anachronisms created by the Darhks.

This new season was very entertaining to watch. I really enjoyed the new characters and the creative plots within each episode.

I really liked how this season utilizes characters from the previous seasons and dives deeper into their backgrounds. The relationship between Citizen Steel (Nick Zano) and Vixen (Maisie Richardson-Sellers), or the return of time traveler Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill), are all characters focused on more during the third season.

With new adventures, such as the Legends fighting in the Vietnam War or facing Black Beard’s pirates, the series continues to be really creative and engaging.

Every episode spotlights the characters’ strengths and abilities by putting them in dangerous and sometimes funny situations. The action this season is great, especially when it is a huge fight scene consisting of most of the characters.

The characters are a big part of what makes this show stand out from its Arrowverse counterparts, such as “Arrow,” “The Flash” and “Supergirl.”

The cast has great chemistry, whether it be a dramatic or comedic scene. The characters have different, fun personalities that work well together.

legendsThe different episodes and plots allow for different combinations of characters to tackle certain situations. This makes each episode stand out and really exciting to watch.

Despite the memorable characters and episodes, the third season has some recurring and new issues.

One thing that has not been fixed from the previous seasons is the abundance of characters. The series’ most loved quality is also a part of its downfall.

With the addition of new characters to a big cast, there is not enough time in each episode to fully represent everyone. One’s favorite character could appear in many episodes and then rarely be seen in the other episodes. This has been a problem for me ever since the first season.

A flaw of the new season is how the old and new villains are utilized.

With the return of Damien Darhk, the selection of villains is bland. I really like Darhk as a main villain. But after appearing in season two of “Legends of Tomorrow” and season four of “Arrow,” Darhk feels overused.

Even with new villains, such as the demon Mallus, the threats do not seem too exciting.

Throughout the majority of the season, Mallus remains trapped in another dimension and does not do much. When he does possess one of the Legends, it feels forced and unnecessary, as the characters quickly stop the minor threat.

Regardless of these flaws, the third season of “Legends of Tomorrow” is still fun and suspenseful. Fans who enjoy the previous two seasons will really like this new chapter in the series.

The characters are great, and the adventures continue to surprise me with their creativity and action.

I give “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow” an eight out of 10.

‘Roseanne’ reboot sparks excitement,nostalgia among fans

The great American family is back, and they are more dysfunctional than ever.

“Roseanne” is an old comedic television series that aired in the late 1980s and ended with its ninth season during the late 1990s. The show centers around a middle-class family trying to get through the hardships of life.

The series, which focuses on the titular character’s life as a wife and a mother, has a lot of great characters put in hilarious and dramatic situations. The show has gained a lot of praise during and after its run on television.

After countless demands from fans and many rumors across the media, the series has finally been rebooted.

The premiere for the “Roseanne” reboot, which takes places nearly two decades after the original series, caused a lot of excitement among the “Roseanne” fanbase. The first few episodes of the reboot bring back a lot of the loved qualities of the original series, while introducing new characters and plot elements. 

The premiere begins with Rosanne (Roseanne Barr) and her husband, Dan (John Goodman), living their lives in the same iconic house. After Darlene (Sara Gilbert), Roseanne’s daughter, loses her job, she and her kids, Harris (Emma Kenney) and Mark (Ames McNamara), move into Roseanne’s house.

roseanne-rebootThis story arc was very interesting, as it introduced Darlene’s children and allowed for a lot of hilarious situations. 

Being a fan of the previous series, I really enjoyed seeing Darlene, who is now a mother, deal with her kids and Roseanne. Even though most of the characters have grown, they still have the same, memorable personalities that make them unique.

Seeing Roseanne execute her sarcastic remarks with new supporting characters was very entertaining to watch. The new actors who play Roseanne’s grandkids are really talented and make me excited to see what else is in store for them later in the series.

Despite the performance of the new actors, my favorite characters were still the ones who returned from the original series.

I really enjoyed the return of Jackie (Laurie Metcalf), Roseanne’s sister, as she is my favorite character from the original series. I hope to see her in more episodes, as she did not get enough screen time in the premiere.

Seeing DJ (Michael Fishman) and Becky (Lecy Goranson), Roseanne’s other kids who are now grown adults, acting alongside their co-stars again was very exciting. They are also not utilized in the premiere as much as the main characters.

This is one of my complaints with the premiere, as the supporting characters are the best part of a sitcom. Even though the premiere only consisted of two episodes, I would have liked to learn more about what happened to Jackie, DJ and Becky during the years between the original series and the reboot. I can only hope that the other side characters appear more in future episodes.

Regardless, the interactions between the actors are hilarious. The cast still has the same fun, engaging chemistry that they had in the original series.

Whether it be the characters commenting on running gags from the original series, or the witty, cynical dialogue between the actors, any fan of “Roseanne” or sitcoms will have a fun time with this reboot. 

Set in the 21st century, the “Roseanne” reboot tackles a lot of topics, which allows for more comedic and serious moments that anyone would be interested in seeing in a sitcom.

The reboot is reflective of many recent issues, such as the 2016 presidential election outcome and homosexuality, that people of this generation can relate. It was interesting to see the series progress while retaining the same cynical humor and personality.

The introduction of current events acts as a beneficial plot element, rather than a social barrier that some television shows cannot get past.

The premiere for the “Roseanne” reboot does not have everything a fan wants. But it still holds up to its predecessor with witty humor and memorable characters.

Anyone can find something to relate to in this premiere, whether they have seen the original series or not. This premiere is a clear indicator that past television shows can still thrive years after ending.

I give the premiere for the “Roseanne” reboot a nine out of 10.

New season of ‘Rick and Morty’ darker than ever

The return of Adult Swim’s animated show “Rick and Morty” was long awaited by many fans.

It was an 18-month wait between seasons, since the last episode of season 2, “The Wedding Squanchers” came out Oct. 4, 2015.

The first episode of season 3, “The Rickshank Rickdemption,” streamed online on April 1, 2017.

Season 3 has been by far the darkest season fans have seen yet, with each character having a mental break in one way or another, and leaving many unanswered questions about events that occurred.

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In “The Rickshank Rickdemption,” the main character, Rick Sanchez, is in galactic prison, seemingly abandoning his family to an Earth under federation rule.

The episode opens with a happy reunion with his family in Shoney’s, though it is nothing more than a mental construct created as the Federation’s scientists attempt to mine his brain for useful scientific secrets. But Rick proves to be very difficult to get any information out of. He takes the Federation agent to McDonald’s, circa 1998, when McDonald’s was still serving the Mulan Szechuan sauce, a nugget sauce promoting the Disney movie “Mulan.” This part was honestly my favorite, because, like always, Rick was blowing off something serious for something pointless that most people had forgotten about.

Meanwhile, his grandson, Morty Smith, and his family are back on Earth, which is now being run by the Galactic Federation. Unhappy with their current way of life, Summer Smith, Rick’s other grandkid, decides to save Rick, and digs up the portal gun buried by Rick in the backyard next to his own alternate-dimension corpse.

Morty tries to prevent Summer from doing so. They end up transported to his “cronenburg-world” family, which he and Rick had abandoned previously. After they arrive and destroy Conroy, Morty explains to Summer during dinner this world is proof that Rick does not care about anyone, especially his family. Morty trying to convince his sister, Summer, that Rick doesn’t care about anyone made me upset. It seemed he had given up all faith in Rick.

In the end, Rick comes through, proving he didn’t abandon his family, and destroying the Rick Citadel, a group of Ricks from other timelines who have created their own government.

In episode 2, “Rickmancing the Stone,” the family dynamic starts to change and the dark side of  the characters starts to come out. Morty and Summer are trying to deal with the divorce of their parents. Rick takes them to a “Mad Max”-style world to work out anger while he tries to steal a green crystal from this world. In this episode, more of Summer’s involvement with Rick is more notable, probably because of all the abandonment she has seen lately. I think this is one of the worst episodes of the season. It doesn’t offer as much substance as the others.

Episode 3, “Pickle Rick,” has to be one of the best of the season, because of the comedy and a look at how far Rick will go to avoid his feelings. In this episode, Rick changes himself into a pickle to get out of family therapy with his daughter, Beth Smith, and his grandkids. They figure out what he’s doing and take the anti-pickle serum. Rick goes through an adventure in the sewer to survive and to get to Beth, who took the serum.

In episode 4, “Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender,” Rick starts to get jealous when Morty idolizes these so-called heroes, the Vindicators. Rick and Morty are summoned by the Vindicators to stop Worldender but end up in a deathtrap conceived by Drunk Rick. This is one of the episodes where you can really tell how messed up Rick is. He gets drunk and plans out a crazy “Saw”-like maze for the Vindicators, just for the sake of proving how much better he is than them.

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Throughout the season, each character gets their own episode, giving the fans a view of how they’re all affected throughout the season. Episode 5 gives Jerry Smith, Rick’s son-in-law, his very own episode. After the divorce, Jerry goes into a depression, and Rick takes Jerry on a sympathy adventure to a resort where everyone is immortal when there. While there, Jerry meets some old acquaintances of Rick’s who want payback. They try to convince him to help kill Rick. I enjoyed this episode because it’s different from the normal main characters. It shows that the writers can do more than the normal dynamic.

In “Rest and Ricklaxation,” episode 6, Rick and Morty go on a break to a spa where they remove their toxins, which in turn take a form of their own. This is a wonderful episode, because it literally shows their dark sides and the absolute worst things about themselves. They have to confront these problems and realize that they need all the negative parts of themselves as well for their dynamic to truly work.

Episode 7, “The Ricklantis Mixup,”  gives a look at how the Citadel has rebuilt itself since Rick destroyed it and kill all of the leaders. I suppose some people wondered what had become of the Citadel, but I found the episode pointless. I’m not saying it wasn’t well written, but it was pointless to the story arc of the season.

“Morty’s Mind Blowers,” episode 8, was a fantastic episode. It looks back on all the memories Morty has asked Rick to get rid of for him. At some point, while going through all of these memories, both Rick and Morty lose their memories and have no idea what is happening. Their only clues are all the memories. As Morty is going through them to figure out what’s going on, he starts to get angry at Rick. That makes me wonder if this is foreshadowing and soon their dynamic is no longer going to work, tearing apart their relationship. In the end, their memories get put back to before the whole event.

Episode 9, “The ABC’s of Beth,” is by far my favorite of the season. Rick brings Beth to a world he created for her when she was younger. Beth looks for a long-lost childhood friend trapped there for years. This episode gives more context to their relationship. Beth deals with her abandonment issues with Rick, and realizes that her and Rick aren’t that much different after all. Beth is just as smart as her dad, ever since she was a kid. It also shows how dark of a child she was. During this episode, Rick gives Beth an option to leave her life and explore her potential, telling her he can make a clone and no one, not even the clone, will know she had left.

In the season finale, “The Rickchurian Mortydate,” a lot happens while still maintaining a seemingly pointless adventure. Rick gets tangled up in a confrontation with the President, after he and Morty blow off a mission he requested them for. During this episode, Beth is questioning if she’s the real Beth or not.

The confrontation escalates further and further as Rick tries to prove that nothing, not even the president, can stop him. In this process, Morty steals his portal gun and takes his family, his father included, to somewhere safe. Between Beth questioning herself and the drama of the day, Beth and Jerry get back together. This puts the whole family back to the beginning again, even saying they are “hitting the reset button, it’ll be like nothing changed.” I honestly don’t know how I feel about this ending. So much had happened, and now everyone is going right back to where they started.

Season 3 ending leaves me with a lot of questions. Some of those are what does “hitting the reset button” mean for the next season of ‘Rick and Morty’? Is Beth Smith even the real Beth, or is she a clone? Most importantly, when will Season 4 begin? Are fans going to have to wait another 18 months?

Hopefully the wait won’t last too long for fans to find what season 4 will bring for “Rick and Morty.”

‘The Defenders’ satisfies Marvel fans with exciting team ups

by RILEY GOLDEN//Entertainment Editor

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The underground criminal ninja organization known as the Hand is after the Immortal Iron Fist, and they are willing to level New York to get him.

“Marvel’s The Defenders” is an eight-episode series on Netflix that sees Charlie Cox, Finn Jones, Mike Colter, and Krysten Ritter reprise their respective roles as Daredevil, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, and Jessica Jones in the culmination of what their individual series’ have been approaching for the past two years.

Matt Murdock (Cox) was blinded as a child and developed super hearing abilities that allow him to pinpoint things better than those with sight. Now he is a lawyer by day and Daredevil by night. Between “Daredevil” seasons 1 and 2, the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen stopped Madame Gao’s (Wai Ching Ho) underground Hand operations, confronted and defeated Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio), and encountered the Punisher (John Bernthal).

The other individual Defenders’ series are good, but Charlie Cox does an incredible amount of justice to the role of Daredevil. Sseasons 1 and 2 of “Marvel’s Daredevil” are arguably the best material to come out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to date.

  Jessica Jones (Ritter) is an alcoholic private investigator with superhuman strength. In “Marvel’s Jessica Jones” season 1, Jessica takes a case that leads her to Zebediah Kilgrave, or Purple Man (David Tennant), who she kills. Jessica also meets and hooks up with Luke Cage (Colter).

“Jessica Jones” season 1 is kind of boring, but Cage’s presence is great for the dynamics of the series and Kristen Ritter plays a perfect Jessica Jones.

Luke Cage was in jail when he was beaten within an inch of his life. A doctor at the prison did an experiment on Cage that gave him unbreakable skin and super strength. In season 1 of “Marvel’s Luke Cage,” Cage encounters Cottonmouth (Mahershala Ali), Black Mariah (Alfre Woodard), and Diamondback (Erik LaRay Harvey) and comes out on top. That is, until the prison he broke out of years ago comes looking for him. The stakes never really feel too high in “Luke Cage” like they do in “Daredevil.” The action is cool, and Mike Colter fits the role extremely well.

When Danny Rand (Jones) was 10 years old, his parents’ plane crashed with him on and his parents on board. He was the only survivor. Danny was rescued by some monks from a different dimension, known as K’un-Lun. He was trained by the monks of K’un-Lun and became the Immortal Iron Fist.

In “Marvel’s Iron Fist” season 1, Danny meets Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick), and encounters two of the leaders of the Hand, Madame Gao and Bakuto (Ramon Rodriguez), who also trained Colleen. Danny’s one responsibility as the Immortal Iron Fist was to protect K’un-Lun, and he failed. His guilt from this will follow him into “The Defenders” series.

At the beginning of “Marvel’s The Defenders” season 1, we meet Alexandra Reid (Sigourney Weaver), the leader of the five founders of the Hand, who is dying of cancer.

Luke is getting out of prison when he’s met by none other than Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson), who is there to let Luke know that the law firm of Hogarth, Benowitz & Chow are at his disposal, should he ever need them. Seeing Foggy, Daredevil’s best friend, greet Cage in the second scene of the series is so cool and delivers a solid foreshadow of how awesome it’s going to be to see these heroes and their supporting characters meet each other.    

Cage couldn’t care less and immediately goes to Harlem in search of Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson), the nurse who also gave medical aid to Matt Murdock. Luke and Claire hook up, and afterward, Detective Misty Knight (Simone Missick), a friend of Cage’s, comes looking for him to update him on what’s going on in Harlem and to let him know how he can help.

Matt is working as a pro bono lawyer, trying hard to keep his feet on the ground and off the rooftops, and letting the NYPD do their job. After he finishes the case he was working on, Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll), a close friend of Matt’s, asks if she can get a statement on the case over a bite to eat.

“But when we first see Daredevil, he’s questioning White Hat, and there’s no doubt that this is the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen”

Jessica is still drinking out of contempt for her powers, and she meets up with her friend, Trish Walker (Rachael Taylor), on her way home. When she gets to her apartment, there is a mom and a daughter waiting for her so they can ask her to look for their husband/father. Jessica begrudgingly accepts the case, only to be told by her “friend,” Jeri Hogarth (Carrie-Anne Moss), of Hogarth, Benowitz & Chow, that she should drop it.

After a brief stop in Cambodia, where they may or may not have encountered Elektra – yes, the dead one – Danny and Colleen meet an ally just in time for him to die, but he tells them to track the Hand in New York.

Alexandra is sitting on the roof of a high rise when Madame Gao approaches her and tells her “it’s ready.” New York then experiences a massive earthquake. Right before the earthquake, the husband that Jessica was tracking killed himself in her apartment. After the earthquake, Misty takes Jessica in for questioning.

Some kids break into someone’s store, and the owner tries to shoot them when Matt saves them, telling the owner that they’re just kids. Later, he meets up with Foggy, who tells him his knuckles “speak volumes” about what he has been doing. Matt gets upset when Foggy calls him out, but Foggy tells him he’s there to help. He offers Matt some pro bono cases that he doesn’t have time for, one of which involves Jessica Jones.

Jessica is being questioned by Misty when Matt bursts through the door and tells Misty she can’t question Jessica anymore without him present. This scene is cool because it’s basically Daredevil and Jessica Jones in the same room together, although Matt is the only person in the room aware of it. Jessica doesn’t know who he is and doesn’t want his help.

The information that Misty gave Luke led him to some 18-year-old kid getting mixed up in something bad. So Luke followed him to a warehouse where he sees a man they call White Hat, one of the five founders of the Hand.

The sword wielded by the ally Danny and Colleen met in Cambodia leads them to the same warehouse as Cage. When Danny goes after the kid that Luke was following, Luke steps in to protect him, and a fight breaks out between Luke Cage and the Immortal Iron Fist. This is just so cool. Cage brushes off every attack and throws Danny around until he unleashes the power of the Iron Fist on Luke’s face and sends him flying.

Claire and Colleen bring Luke and Danny together to talk to each other, and they realize that they’re on the same side and can work together to fight the Hand.

Alexandra brings Elektra Natchios (Elodie Yung), Matt’s ninja girlfriend, back from the dead and calls her the Black Sky. Bringing her back to life used up the last of the Hand’s life-restoring substance, which seems to be their largest motivator in this series. Alexandra plans on using the Black Sky to get the Iron Fist, the only thing that can unlock the door to their substance. Alexandra is holding Stick (Scott Glenn), Matt’s and Elektra’s mentor, hostage when he cuts off his hand to get free.

Danny’s and Luke’s investigations lead them to Midland Circle Financial – where Daredevil had his showdown with the Hand – while Jessica’s investigation and Matt’s history with the Hand lead them to the same place.

Danny calls out Alexandra, who’s having a meeting at Midland Circle, and she sicks her ninjas on Danny for an awesome conference room fight. When Danny starts getting pinned down Luke shows up just in time to help. This makes for some sweet tag-team action when Jessica and Matt – with Jessica’s scarf tied around his head – show up to join the party for one rad fight scene that leads them into hiding in a Chinese restaurant.

Danny writes the restaurant owners a nice check so they can stick around, and the restaurant owners insist that they prepare food for them. So the Defenders sit down for a late-night meal and to get to know each other when the Hand comes after them with full force, which is when Matt finds out that Elektra is alive.

As cool as this show is, we don’t get to see Matt suited up until the fifth episode of the season, which is kind of a bummer. But when we first see Daredevil, he’s questioning White Hat, and there’s no doubt that this is the Devil of Hell’s kitchen. The Murdock boys have the devil in them, and the first appearance of Charlie Cox as Daredevil in this series had me on my toes. It was brutal and left no questions about who Matt Murdock is.

Fast forward a little bit and the heroes have gathered all of their friends at Misty’s police station. Danny has been taken by Elektra, and the other Defenders are stuck at the police station, brainstorming how to get out and save Danny.

In the middle of this, Foggy brings Matt a “change of clothes,” his Daredevil suit. This scene is so cool, because it shows Foggy taking steps to accept who Matt is.

So, the drunk private investigator with super strength, the unbreakable man, the Immortal Iron Fist, and the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen go to stop Elektra and the Hand in what is an awesome fight scene between the Defenders and the three remaining leaders of the hand.

Madame Gao was one of the cooler enemies in this series, but Sigourney Weaver’s Alexandra was a weak villain and pales in comparison to Vincent D’Onofrio’s Wilson Fisk from “Daredevil.”

“The Defenders” is a decent culmination of events for these four heroes with super cool team-ups and fight scenes. But it lacks a true villain.

I give “Marvel’s The Defenders” a 7.8 out of 10.

7.8/10

‘Preacher’ brings controversial questions to niche series

by RYAN FITZGERALD//Staff Writer

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Dominic Cooper as Jesse Custer – Preacher _ Season 1, Pilot – Photo Credit: Lewis Jacobs/Sony Pictures Television/AMC

Pulling from comics and graphic novels as source material for new television series and movies has reached an all-time high.

Film-goers will recognize several titles associated with the more famous properties of the comic world, which span the past two decades, including 1994’s “The Crow,” the “Blade” trilogy, and newly-depicted origin stories of several Marvel and DC staples such as “Daredevil,” “Elektra,” “Ghost Rider,” “Hellboy,” “Green Lantern,” “Hulk,” the “Punisher” and, of course, “Batman,” “Superman” and their affiliated adversaries.

During the past several years, cable networks such as AMC and the CW have begun taking hold of rights to a new mature, independent string of characters and properties to work into their future lineup of shows.  AMC, most notably, locked down “The Walking Dead” first, bringing the original 2003 comic series to life in 2010 and making the title one of the most watched series in the history of television.

Following the success of “The Walking Dead,” the CW and Warner Bros. Television established its stake in this new adaptation of comic-centric television by bringing a collection of superhero series focused around several of DC Comics’ more underdeveloped characters, such as the Flash, Green Arrow and Supergirl. Still, these shows are designed to appeal to a larger national audience, as they don’t feature the more gruesome, and arguably, more memorable storyline associated with “The Walking Dead.”

More recently, AMC has reached deep into their bag of purchased material to bring a new, uncanny and unearthly adaptation of a classic graphic novel to television audiences.

The first season of “Preacher” was introduced last year, bringing the same adult-themed content that viewers have come to expect from AMC.

“Preacher” began its run in the comic world under the Vertigo imprint in 1993. Vertigo was created by DC Comics as an outlet to publish new stories that contained more graphic content, explicit violence, profanity and other controversial subjects – all of which did not fit into the restrictions originally set forth by the Comics Code Authority (CCA), which attempted to self-censor the industry. Thankfully, publishers broke with the CCA’s regulation of comic books and their related materials in the late 2000s.

“Preacher” chronicles the story of smalltown Texas preacher, Jesse Custer. He is a man of questioning faith and troubled beliefs who is trying to make good on life by saving the fictional, yet eerily relatable, West Texas town of Annville from Odin Quincannon (Jackie Earle Haley), the demented corporate nut job who undoubtedly suffers from the most severe and violent case of Napoleon syndrome known to man.

But what makes the series (and graphic novel, for that matter) so intriguing, is that at the beginning of the series, as Jesse is stumbling in his faith of God, he becomes possessed by a supernatural creature named Genesis.

Genesis is an otherworldly offspring of the coupling of an angel and a demon…a love child of sorts.  Genesis, as an entity, has no individual will but is composed of goodness and evil, a power that rivals only God himself. It makes Jesse the most powerful individual to walk the Earth.

Upon housing Genesis within his body, Jesse is serendipitously granted a holy tongue, with which he garners the ability to command others, using his words. To complicate matters, upon the creation of Genesis, God has abandoned heaven. The series sets up Custer’s journey across the United States to literally find God and help Jesse overcome the internal paradox of angel and devil, believer of God and lover of sin. He attempts to settle the confliction he feels between follower and apostate.

Throughout the season, viewers are introduced to a plethora of interesting characters, including Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun), the wild, party-friendly, Irish vampire, and Tulip, Jesse’s former lover and partner in crime from a past life that Jesse is continually fighting to forget.

“Preacher” was brilliantly delivered by creators Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. Both producers, who have been longtime fans of the original series, initially considered an unwavering, faithful translation of the source material, but was talked out of that idea by original writer, Garth Ennis – who preferred an approach that was faithful to, and in the spirit of, the original series that would include the best elements of the 1990s run of the comic, yet translate to a television adaptation that would contain fresh and various storylines.

Despite exceptional writing and a narrative that can’t help but drag you into the story head first, the cast is truly what sets this show apart.  Dominic Cooper brings a sense of grizzled charm, with the right balance of bad boy, to the screen to keep viewers vested in his spiritual struggles. Ruth Negga (now an Academy Award-nominated actress thanks to her performance in ‘Loving’), brings grit and spunk to the reckless spitfire that is the character of Tulip.  Other characters from the series make their appearances, including the gay angels, Fiore and DeBlanc, Sheriff Hugo Root and his disfigured son, Eugene (known as Arseface).

Overall, the series will continue with its second season in June, as Jesse, Tulip and Cassidy set out to answer the question set up through everything that happened during the first season: If these is no God, does life have meaning? The end of the first season, and presumably beginning this June, the quest to find God and get answers for the big man’s abandonment of heaven and his supernatural responsibilities will finally begin.

Suicide mystery handled with care in ’13 Reasons Why’

by HANNAH NELSON//Staff Writer

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A new Netflix series turns a tragic tale into a hard-hitting show full of heartbreak, devastation, and guilt.

“13 Reasons Why” covers the story of high school teen Hannah Baker, who comitted suicide. You follow Clay as he receives and listens to 13 tapes that Hannah recorded before killing herself. These tapes are delivered to every person who was involved in Hannah’s death.

On them she describes what each person did to be on the tapes. Most of the people who have listened to the tapes are not even aware of what they did until Hannah tells them.

You see Hannah experience high school through flashbacks to tell her story. She experiences many typical high school drama scenarios. However, as the series continues, situations build and escalate. Hannah goes from dealing with small problems that every person typically experiences to traumatizing situations that completely unravel her life.

This show doesn’t try to sugar coat these issues presented. Even now, suicide is still a delicate situation to talk about, especially for media purposes. However, this series completely changes the game. The content seems to get heavier and heavier with each episode.

Possibly the most forceful part of the series is Hannah’s suicide scene. The episode actually shows Hannah in her bath tub slitting her wrists with a razor. This was a defining moment for the show. It makes the story real and painful. This is something most producers would be hesitant to show, because it is a hard concept to grasp.

But “13 Reasons Why” is focused on pushing boundaries. It’s going to make you uncomfortable, hurt, angry, and confused. Most of all, it is going to make viewers understand that suicide can’t just be ignored. It is a real issue that needs real support.

Since its release, “13 Reasons Why” has exploded on social media. Everyone is talking about this show on Facebook and Twitter. It is easy to see why, as no show has done what “13 Reason Why” has. Not many shows discuss issues such as suicide and rape. From start to finish, every episode is forceful.

There is a problem with all the attention this show has received through social media. The message portrayed in “13 Reasons Why” is worth so much more than just a tweet or Facebook post.  Even though the show may be fiction, it showcases real-life occurrences. The issue of suicide deserves to be acknowledged and spread farther than a social media page.

After watching “13 Reasons Why,” take emotions that you felt and let them empower you to make a difference. That is the real message behind this show. The show is not meant for entertainment. Each episode is going to make you uncomfortable, make you cry, and make you think. While watching, realize that you could be someone’s Clay or Jessica. You have the potential to save a life that you didn’t even know was in jeopardy.

Show that you care about someone who needs it. It could possibly save a life, just as it could have saved Hannah’s life. For many people, this is their real story, whether they are suicidal, have been raped, or don’t see their potential. Let “13 Reasons Why” spark the change for hope, support, and awareness.

If you are looking for a binge worthy show to watch during your free time, this show may not be for you. However, If you want to educate yourself about a tragic issue within our world, please watch this show.