Posts Tagged ‘HBO

01
Mar
13

Louie Season 1, Season of the Witch

Louie Season 1

Louie looks confused.

Comedian Louis C.K. has the funniest show currently airing on TV, aptly titled Louie. You have probably never heard of it. Instead, you spend most of your time watching Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory, and laughing your ass off because you think recycled shit is hilarious. Guess what, dumbass? You need to change the channel to FX and watch Louie. The show is an honest look at the daily life of a single-dad living in New York City who happens to be a comedian and an enthusiastic masturbator. No joke is considered off-limits. In the first episode Louie is accompanying his daughters on a field trip, and the bus breaks down in Harlem. Solution? Put all the black kids next to the windows to ensure the safety of the bus. With all kinds of jokes about race, sex, religion, inadequacy, aging, parenting, and more, there is nothing that Louie won’t touch. His brand of humor can often times be like the British version of The Office. Some situations can be laugh out loud funny, but other situations can just be relentlessly cruel and awkward. At times, the show can be soul-crushing. But no matter what, in every episode, you are always guaranteed to see something completely original and well worth your time.

Verdict: Awesome

Season of the Witch

Cage looks confused, too.

Nicolas Cage’s choices in movies can be considered questionable at best. Horrifyingly shitty at worst. If you check out his IMDB page you’ll see he does 3-4 movies a year. 75% of those are guaranteed to be crap. The remaining 25% has a 50% chance of being good and 50% chance of being awful. Is that enough math for one day? Well, I’ll simplify things. Season of the Witch is absolute crap. And not campy, funny crap like The Wicker Man. It’s stinky rotten crap so putrid you shouldn’t go within 500 yards of it.

The movie offers an interesting parallel to the movie Black Death. In Black Death, Sean Bean led a group of medieval knights to a village to kill a witch responsible for the plague. It turned out she wasn’t a witch at all, the villagers sacrificed the knights to some pagan gods, and HOLY SHIT I JUST REALIZED THAT MOVIE IS A TOTAL RIP-OFF OF THE WICKER MAN! EVERYTHING HAS COME FULL CIRCLE NOW! OH MY FUCKING GOD! Ahem. In Season of the Witch, Cage and Ron Pearlman lead a group of medieval knights to a village where a witch who was responsible for the plague will be put on trial. The key difference between the two movies is that in Black Death witchcraft isn’t real, and in Season of the Witch, it is real.

The movie started off promising with Cage and Pearlman speaking in really half-assed English accents as they killed hundreds of people in literally every battle of the entire Crusades. After that, the movie takes a nosedive into boring mediocrity. Nothing exciting happens, Cage brings in a very restrained performance, the CGI is horrendous, and the story is thread-bare. In the end there is a huge battle against the forces of darkness, and of course the good guys win. Yawn.

To be honest, I wish Cage and Pearlman would have used their regular voices instead of making the movie even worse with their terrible English accents. There is no rule that says every historical movie has to feature people with English accents. That’s a bourgeoisploitation fallacy. The fact that these guys were fighting demons excludes the notion they were going for historical accuracy. Why not just let them speak normally?

As an aside, why does everyone in Game of Thrones have English accents, too? They aren’t in fucking England, and the author is from fucking New Jersey. HBO should fuck off.

Verdict: Shitty

12
Oct
12

Game of Thrones Seasons One and Two

That is what the show is called.

Game of Thrones Season 1

I thought Season 1 of Game of Thrones was really good. I enjoyed the fighting, the nudity, and the midget. Since the rest of the internet also liked Season 1, I will end my review here. There’s not much that I can add to the collective wisdom already out there on the subject. I will pose the rhetorical question, why does Sean Bean die in every role he gets? The world may never know.

Sean Bean

I know, it totally sucks that you always get killed.

Game of Thrones Season 2

Season 2 of Game of Thrones can suck my balls. The season suffered from slow pacing, lack of fighting, really confusing plot (or lack thereof), too many characters, and not enough nudity. Even more nudity wouldn’t have made up for all of the other problems, but it would have helped. I am so sick of people talking about how awesome Game of Thrones is, because either they haven’t seen Season 2, or they just weren’t watching it at all and were on bookface the entire time.

1) Slow Pacing

There was a shitload of talking this season. Not yelling, not fighting, just talking. I do that all the time with teh Brik, so when I watch TV I want to see something more exciting than talking, unless the conversation is interesting. I have ADD and this did not hold my attention for 10 episodes. 10 hours of television, that is all this show takes for a season, and it was about 9 hours too long. They should have cut out all of the talking, or at least run it at 3x speed. Early in the season I had reason to believe that all of this talking meant something, but by episode 2 I realized it was useless filler.

2) Lack of Fighting

I didn’t read the book series, but from what teh Brik told me, there are some pretty epic fight scenes in print. I never saw them on my TV. Did you?

This picture came up when I googled Game of Thrones.

3) Confusing Plot

I think the reason the plot was confusing was because there was so much meaningless conversation followed by so little fighting and the mysterious appearance of new characters that seemingly had no relation to any of the existing characters (see #4). Not to mention that the plots I cared about, involving Daenerys and Arya, got so little air time that it was very difficult for me to maintain interest. My confusion might have been my own fault, but instead of taking personal responsibility I choose to blame the writers.

4) Too Many Characters

Every episode some new asshole would appear and I would have to google who the fuck they were to try to figure out what was happening. If I wanted to do that, I would have just read the books first. I know there are a shit ton of characters in these books, but sometimes when you adapt for TV, you have to change things (OMFG!) to make them work better for television. Don’t punish me for being an average American who is incapable of picking up a book not printed in an extra large font.

If I had this, maybe I would have known who the fuck was on the screen.

5) Not Enough Nudity

I think if more sex scenes and nakedness had happened I wouldn’t have cared as much about #1-4. I can’t guarantee I’d rate the season highly but no one can complain about more nudity, even if it is gratuitous.

The only high point of Season 2 for me was Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister. His character had depth, humor, and enough screen time for me to give a fuck. If the entire show was just about him and they threw away the rest of the subplots I’d be happy. Or if he decapitated Joffrey, either way. I look forward to seeing Dinklage in something more deserving of his talents after he finishes his work in this series.

This is exactly how I feel.

In conclusion, Game of Thrones can fuck off. I really loved Season 1 but I really hated Season 2, and since 2 came after 1, I am left with a bad taste in my mouth. I would not cry if this show was cancelled.

Season One Verdict: Awesome

Season Two Verdict: Shitty

Average: Shitty

12
Aug
11

How to Save True Blood (Bonus True Blood Drinking Game)

True Blood logo

Back in April of 2010 I wrote a review of how badass the first season of True Blood was. And it was good. Really good. With all the blood, tits, and foul language it was easily the television highlight of the year. Since that time I watched season two and season three, although the latter was difficult due to the loud-talkers in the room. Now, season four is currently airing, and I regret to say that compared to the highs of the first season, the fourth season is a sack of shit. So where did they go wrong?

The reason that the first season worked so well (besides the sex and violence) was that the story was simple and straightforward. It centered on the relationship between Sookie and Bill, and the other characters were more or less peripheral. Eric, Jason, Lafayette, etc were all involved to some extent, but they played smaller roles in the central storyline. Really, though, there was just one story, told from Sookie’s perspective, and it worked.

Season two was a little more divided as it had two main stories: one involving Sookie, Bill, Jason, and Eric; and the other involving everybody else. Storyline A with Sookie and the vampires was interesting and held my attention. Storyline B was a non-stop sex orgy which at first seemed awesome, but when it dragged on for 12 episodes with nothing else happening, it started to wear on me. The secondary characters were fleshed out a bit more, which seemed fine. Overall, Storyline A worked really well and Storyline B not as much. But it was still a good season.

Moving on to Season Three, things became problematic. There was still the main storyline with Sookie, Bill, Eric, and vampire king Russell. Simultaneously, they introduced a number of stories involving a shitload of secondary characters. Almost everyone had their own storyline. Sheriff Andy had one, Jason and Crystal had one, Arlene had one, Sam had one, Hoyt and Jessica had one, Lafayette had one, and Tara had one. It was too much. Tara annoys the fuck out of me, and since she cries her eyes out in every scene, I could hardly stomach her own subplot. Arlene is annoying too, and she is not interesting enough to deserve her own plotline. Sam’s family was stupid. Hoyt and Jessica were idiotic. Jason continued to be a dumbass. While the main storyline with Sookie was strong enough to carry the season, the quality of the series was dragged down with all the other unimportant crap that was going on.

Which brings us to the current season, number four. Gone are the days when Sookie was the main character. True Blood has now become an ensemble show. Every character is given almost equal amounts of screen time whether it’s heroine Sookie, or shrill, annoying Arlene.

We have storylines featuring Sookie and her faerie godmother, Eric losing his memory, Bill becoming vampire king of Louisiana, Sheriff Andy as a drug addict, Jason as “ghost daddy” getting raped non-stop by werepanthers (LOL WTF), Tara suddenly becoming a lesbian, Lafayette as a witch, Lafayette’s boyfriend Jesus as a witch, Jesus’ grandfather as a witch, Lafayette and Jesus joining a witches’ coven (I’m detecting a pattern), Arlene’s baby has evil devil powers, Sam is in love with some shapeshifter lady, Tommy becomes Hoyt’s mom’s surrogate son, Tommy plans to rip-off his surrogate mom, Tommy kills his biological parents, Hoyt and Jessica continue their turbulent relationship, Pam gets her face melted off and wants revenge, and Alcide gets into trouble with a new local werewolf pack leader. And that’s by the end of episode five, not even halfway through the season.

Get the picture? There is way too much shit happening. Nobody cares about Lafayette, Jesus, Tara, Hoyt, Jessica, Tommy, Arlene, Sam, or Andy. There is absolutely no need to dedicate equal screen time to each of them. Really, the only people they should focus on are Sookie, Eric, and Bill, and to a lesser extent Jason and Alcide. Those are the only characters that should be get storylines. Characters like Sam, Pam, or Andy can make appearances, but should only show up occasionally, have a few lines, and then be on their way.

The first season worked so well because it was simple and had purpose. It dealt with Sookie’s introduction to the world of vampires, and her relationship with said vampires. The second season was still decent because it only had two storylines, and not a lot of other nonsense to clutter it up. The third season had too much extraneous nonsense, and it got bogged down by the excess weight. The fourth season is a schizophrenic clusterfuck with so much shit going on it has become bloated and messy.

But all is not lost. There is a way to salvage True Blood. So, HBO executives, if you are reading this, take careful notes.

  1. Kill Tara.
  2. Kill Lafayette.
  3. Kill Jesus.
  4. Kill Tommy.
  5. Kill Hoyt.
  6. Kill Jessica.
  7. Kill Sam.
  8. Kill Arlene.
  9. Kill Andy.
  10. Kill Crystal.
  11. Kill Terry.
  12. Kill Debbie.
  13. Kill anyone who started out as a secondary character.
  14. Keep Pam alive, she’s cool.
  15. Bring Franklin back to life, he was a crazy motherfucker.

That’s pretty much it. If they go ahead and wipe out all those people in a giant vampire massacre, the show could be saved.

True Blood doesn’t need a shitload of characters to be good. The book series it is based on has fewer characters than the show, and it is told in the first-person, from Sookie’s perspective. Naturally, being first-person, you are only aware of what is happening to Sookie, and 90% of the books are all about Sookie. The mess of multiple, concurrent storylines isn’t there. Not surprisingly, the book series was a hit prior to True Blood, and it didn’t have to rely on subplots involving evil devil babies and gay witches.

There is no good reason why every character needs to have their own storyline. Perhaps the popularity of the show has given all the actors bloated egos and a trumped-up sense of self-importance so high that they feel the need to be included more often? Yeah, that’s probably it. At any rate, True Blood is dying a slow death. I suspect this won’t be remedied by the end of season four, and will likely continue on to season five. Eventually the weight of all this shit will cause the show to collapse, create an even more convoluted mess than we have now, and bring the series to cancellation. It could still be saved, but if it keeps on its current trajectory, more likely than not, it will end up in the shitpile with the rest of the crap that’s on TV.

Verdicts:

Season Two – Good

Season Three – Average

Season Four – Eh…

Bonus: True Blood Drinking Game

Drink every time:

  • Bill says “Sookie” in his weird husky voice.
  • Sookie uses her magical powers.
  • Sookie gets mad at someone.
  • Jason is shirtless.
  • There is graphic sex.
  • There is graphic violence.
  • A vampire drinks human blood.
  • A human drinks vampire blood.
  • Pam says something sarcastic.
  • Eric acts menacing.
  • Tara cries.
  • Tara overreacts.
  • Sam shape-shifts.
  • Alcide turns into a wolf.
  • Andy gets annoyed with someone/something.
  • A vampire glamours someone.
  • Lafayette calls someone “bitch”, “hooker”, or “motherfucker.”
  • Someone says, “The True Death.”
  • Arlene is the only employee working at Merlotte’s.
  • There is a dream sequence.
  • The episode ends on a cliffhanger.
12
Apr
10

True Blood – Season 1

A long time ago, vampires used to kick ass. Spanning centuries of folklore and leading to modern times, vampire stories have always picqued my interest. Old classics like Dracula and Nosferatu as well as newer fare like Blade and Hellsing have given me countless hours of entertainment. Sadly, though, the street rep of the vampire has really been dragged through the mud in recent years. It has become so bad that I have almost completely given up on the vampire genre as a whole.

One trend that pissed me off in particular is the one that showed the vampire looking normal until they reveal their fangs, and then their faces get all scrunched up and evil looking. Probably the worst offender of this was the Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series and its spin-off Angel. Vampires are 10,000% more terrifying when they look like everybody else. I think that is kind of the point of why vampires are scary. The vampire could be anyone. When that aspect is taken away, then part of the fascinating vampire mythos is lost. Continue reading ‘True Blood – Season 1’




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