Wonder Woman s1e3: Beauty on Parade

Air Date: October 13, 1976

Rating: 9/10

Diana Prince goes undercover in a beauty contest to investigate a nazi spy ring and as an excuse to put Lynda Carter in a swimming suit. Meanwhile, Wonder Woman takes a more forceful approach in uncovering a plot to kill General Eisenhower.

For a TV show from the 70s, this had a pretty high production value. I guess that’s after things like Mission: Impossible, so I guess I shouldn’t be that impressed. Anyway, I liked the plot of this one, even if it was a tad simplistic. I like that they did something without dealing with Nazis directly like in the last few episodes. And I also think that having this as a period piece, with different styles and manner of speech than that of the seventies is a very good idea and you can tell they used this as a base for addressing issues in the 70s. Some of which still holds true today, such as the subject of equality.

There were two scenes I didn’t like and for the exact same reason. The plotline is set up, we know what’s going on, but, in both these scenes, they stop everything to drop an exceptional amount of exposition all at once. The problem with these bits isn’t just that exposition should be used sparingly, if at all, but it does nothing at all to progress anything and the story is noticeably at a standstill until these moments end.

SCORING:

+10: A very fun episode with a lot going for it

-1: Exposition dumping ground

Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends s1e5: Swarm

Air Date: October 10, 1981

Rating: 8/10

After an alien crash lands on Earth, the first thing it connects with is a swarm of bees. After melding with them, Swarm starts converting people into alien-bug creatures to add to its ever growing army, including Iceman and Firestar! How will Spidey get out of this one?

Okay, I’ll admit I may have been a bit harsh on the previous episode considering I had just gotten done with two pretty great seasons of adult-focused superhero shows. It felt like such a downgrade to then watch a show that feels it has to spell out every little detail because it’s oriented at children.

But, speaking of which, does anyone else consider it strange that whenever we see any of the heroes doing normal things before the action starts, they’re almost always on dates? I mean, I don’t think most kids are that interested in the love lives of adults, but I also wasn’t alive during this time so I’m not sure what the kids were into back then.

Okay, I suppose I should actually review this episode…. Well, I actually enjoyed it a lot. Speaking of children of the 80s, this feels like a decent monster movie from the 30s melded with a science fiction film from the same era. Spider-Woman did a few things like that too, so I wonder if there was a resurgence in movies from that era specifically during this time. I quite enjoyed this, for the most part, though a few moments where they had to spell things out as mentioned above really takes me out of it for a moment. Then again, if you read Stan Lee’s comics from the 60s, this isn’t so bad in comparison.

SCORING:

+9: I had a lot of fun with this one, it feels like something out of yesteryear. Kids in the early 80s were into interesting things

-1: Just a few moments that made me think “Oh right, I’m watching a kids cartoon by myself….what’s wrong with me?” Okay, maybe those thoughts are unrelated now that I reconsider it….

Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends s1e4: Sunfire

Air Date: October 3, 1981

Rating: 2/10

Sunfire, a mutant with powers identical to those of Firestar’s, comes in with his uncle from Japan for reasons his evil uncle is hiding from him. Can Spider-Man and Iceman help Starfire to come to her senses before it’s too late?

Okay, just so everyone knows, I’m going by the order their presented on Disney+ but I’m going to put the “correct” episode number found on IMdb as I watch them. I don’t know why anything is out of order anyway or what’s more correct, or anything.

This was a decent episode, though a tad boring for most of it. I think it was more along the lines of having a romantic episode, even though Firestar has dated both Spider-Man and Iceman out of costume in previous episodes, she’s much more interested in this fire guy because they share the same powers? I guess with that kind of logic it’s no wonder she doesn’t expect that Sunfire is secretly working for his evil uncle until it’s too late.

I don’t know if this show is really for me after this one. I mean, it’s meant for someone 20-30 years younger than me, so, it’s not really for me anyway. But, for an adult who likes kid’s cartoons, this one felt all over the place and I’d recommend either the other Spider-Man show from the same era, or Spider-Woman even over this and what I’ve seen so far…

SCORING:

+3: Just a strange episode in general with inconsistent pacing and plotlines that I’m not sure I would recommend to anyone, not even kids

-1: It’s okay Farestar, date as many people as possible, it’s the 80s!

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. s2e11: Aftershocks

MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. – “Aftershocks” – In the midseason premiere, “Aftershocks,” Coulson’s team must deal with the consequences of their war with Hydra as shocking revelations threaten to tear them apart, and Hydra makes a dangerous move that may involve a traitor in S.H.I.E.L.D.’s midst. “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” returns for a dynamic, action-packed second half of season two, TUESDAY, MARCH 3 (9:00-10:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Kelsey McNeal) ADRIANNE PALICKI, HENRY SIMMONS, IAIN DE CAESTECKER, NICK BLOOD

Air Date: March 3, 2015

Rating: 6/10

The team is dealing with the death of Trip in their own way while Skye’s father is plotting something evil and a new villain seems to be on the loose. Coulton and team are trying to keep Hydra at bay, but there might be a new, even greater threat on the horizon.

It’s interesting to see how this show has grown and changed since the beginning of the series. In this episode I think it’s become a bit too melodramatic for my tastes but the actual drama is still there. I do like the touching send off to Trip at the end of the episode, along with a few of the twists concerning Skye. It becomes a decent episode, by the end, though it’s bogged down by unnecessary melodrama, monologues, and filler.

The first third of the episode is especially guilty of this. It got to a point I thought the whole show was going to be one long expositional scene after the other. I’m glad that it eventually gets going when it crashes a truck into the whole thing, but then that turns out to be a lie. I guess I’m saying this episode had a lot of pluses and an lot of minuses but I think it’s better than it is worse.

SCORING:

+6: Decent episode…eventually

-1: Too much exposition in the beginning

+1: A very heartfelt send off to a good character

Jessica Jones s1e13: AKA Smile

Air Date: November 20, 2015

Rating: 10/10

After shooting Luke Cage in the face, Jessica takes him to the hospital where Claire the Night Nurse happens to be on duty. But Kilgrave has plans for her as his powers can now be used over electronic devices. Jessica has to take a stand, but Kilgrave’s powers have grown so much that Jessica’s immunity may have run its course.

This was a good finisher for the season and I think it brings the noire and superhero/action genres together very well. Actually, with that in mind, Claire’s kind of too good for this show. In a noire, everyone is corrupt, even if it’s only because of severe trauma and a minor drinking problem like Jessica, everyone is kind of at fault for something. Claire, however, is a bit of a goody-two-shoes, even though she isn’t, but compared to every other character on this show she is extremely out of place. However, they use her very well on this show, and displays how different Jessica and Claire are as characters. Also, Claire’s response of “it’s five in the morning” to Jessica’s, “Do you want a drink?” line cracked me up. Actually, maybe this show could use someone a little more “normal” like Claire just for humorous purposes like these? Then again, this show is so straight humor might be more than a bit out of place if not done in small doses like this. Just some random thoughts for a show that’s already cancelled…

Anyway, this show does a very good job of completing the arc of the first season. This are just as tense and there’s still a few twist and turns to be had. And this shows that you don’t need epic, highly-choreographed action-sequences, like in Daredevil, in order to have a climactic finish to your first season.

SCORING:

+10: An amazing finish to a (mostly) great first season

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The Boys s2e8: What I Know

Air Date: October 9, 2020

Rating: 10/10

Becca comes to Butcher to get his help in getting her son back. Meanwhile, Hughie and Starlight find dirt on Stormfront that they use to ruin her reputation. Stormfront and Homelander attack back, both for their own personal reasons. Also in this episode, Komiko thinks of something funny.

If you haven’t noticed already, I love this show! It’s not just that it can make me laugh as much as it makes me cringe, or that every character feels like a real person despite at least half of them having unrealistic superpowers. Or that every department, from props, to costumes, to music, to special effects all come together beautifully to create something epic and mind-blowing (sometimes literally…) with every episode. This is a great show because it can do all those things and still surprise you every week without ever being completely sure what’s going to happen next. This is normal humans with basically nothing, so they don’t even have the money to back up their beliefs like Lex Luthor might. These are the goons you’d find at the very bottom of a barrel in a normal comic, the guys Batman would deal with within the first 15 minutes of the night before the Joker shows up or the like, but they’re the only ones crazy enough to stand up to the most powerful among us in a society as corrupt as this one.

I suppose I’m saying I love the members of the Boys as much as I love the show the Boys. It’s not for everyone. Some might find it too gory, others too scary, others still too different from how Supes are shown in other media. But as a super-nerd with a sick sense of humor like me, this show is nearly perfect. I suppose my only complaint is that I wish that the Boys themselves would kill more Supes themselves. I mean, there’s been a lot of superhero deaths this season, but I don’t think even Komiko has killed a single one this season. I know they’re tough to kill, but many have died but there are only two times I can think of with one of the Boys killing any of them is when Hughie blows up Translucent and the other is when Butcher kills Mesmer, both which happened in the first season, and Lucy the Whale doesn’t count… I know this is kind of a weird complaint, but I’m hoping there’s more Boys-on-Supe violence in Season 3.

SCORING:

+10: An amazing, mind-blowing conclusion to season 2, I personally cannot wait until next season

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Assassin’s Creed 2

Release Date: November 17, 2009

Version: The Ezio Collection

Genre: Action/Adventure

Rating: 6.0/10

Play as Ezio, the new Italian assassin from the Renaissance as half his family is murdered under false charges and he’s on a quest for revenge to kill every single person involved in the conspiracy to do so. In completing his revenge, Ezio discovers that he’s not only performing these murders for himself, but that he’s at the center of a secret war lasting hundreds of years between the Templars, who crave control, and the Assassins, who want freedom for all.

Playability 2.4 of 4: Okay, well, the problem with this game is the same as the one before it. Instead of getting harder over time, it just gets more frustrating. It’s much better in this game, but it’s still an issue. What’s particularly disappointing is the combat. Though vastly improved from the first game in the series, it’s still mostly just hold the R-Trigger to block and hit X at the right time to counter. With that in mind, it’s more than a little stupid that there’s so much focusing on countering when there’s many enemies you just can’t counter, like the ones with axes and spears. And archers, in general, just suck to try to run away from considering how pinpoint their accuracy. And I hate people who throw rocks while you’re climbing, which at first is a miner issue, but towards the end of the game you can’t jump on a wall without every guard within shouting distant grabbing a rock until I’m surprised you aren’t just stoned to death every time. For a game that tries really hard to be placed within our own history, this type of stuff is far from realistic.

Fun Factor 2.1 of 3: A lot of the stuff I just mentioned in the above section just bleeds over to here, but it actually is a pretty fun game overall. I especially like the side quests, something the first game was completely devoid of. Though about 2/3 of the way into the game, I had all the upgrades to both Ezio and my Villa, and suddenly I had nothing else to buy. Lack of personal growth makes everything else stagnant. Imagine if in one of the Final Fantasies the level cap was 30 instead of 100, something you’d probably get to about halfway through the game. Without being able to improve your characters anymore, it makes the rest of the game kind of pointless. Which is kind of how I felt about doing anything in this game after I maxed out everything. I stopped doing everything but the main missions after that. It was just to beat it and see the ending after that point, and I’m not sure if that’s something that’s worthy of the effort.

Story 0.6 of 1: Much like the mission-to-upgrades point I just made, the story starts out great and I’m very invested in it, but as Ezio kills more and more conspirators, I just become more and more bored over time. Okay, I like assassinating people and these parts are usually interesting, if not also fun, but there are a lot of them. I feel like this story peaks about 6 chapters in, it feels like Ezio has more than avenged his family by this point. And it’s not even until chapter 9 or 10 until he even knows there’s other assassin’s and he’s actually killing Templars. It’s a fine story, I guess, but there’s so much padding around some very interesting parts, it’s hard to recommend this game for the story alone.

Graphics and Sound 0.5 of 1: Okay, the sound is totally fine. But the graphics are just plain ugly. I think it’s something to do with this updated addition of the game because I do not recall them being this bad on-last gen systems.

Replayability 0.6 of 1: There’s a lot of side missions and things to collect that give the game a lot to do, though nothing left to buy means making money from these things are entirely pointless.

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Jessica Jones s1e12: AKA Take a Bloody Number

Air Date: November 20, 2015

Rating: 10/10

After finding a, up until recently, Kilgrave-controlled Luke Cage, Jessica and Luke team-up in finding the narcissistic psychopath with superpowers. However, as it often is with Kilgrave, everything might not be as it seems.

Something I’ve noticed with superhero shows is that the most intense episode is often the second-to-last episode of the season. Something about setting up the exciting finale where who knows what’s going to happen, but it gets to a point that I pretty much expect everything to amp up to the nth degree on the penultimate episode of a season. This is slightly different from that, still stuff going on as we prepare for whatever is about to happen but more in a way that focuses on character development, relationships, and reality-based drama. Well, until it really ramps up at the end, but I think that’s par for the course on almost any television program.

This was a really good episode. I feel like it takes all the good parts of every other episode up to this point and does something really terrific which flawlessly combines elements of comic books, noire, character drama, horror, and suspense. But I guess nowadays you aren’t a real show until you can juggle five genres at once. This episode is practically a lesson in how to make great television.

SCORING:

+10: Just a really good episode

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Jessica Jones s1e11: AKA I’ve Got the Blues

Air Date: November 20, 2015

Rating: 9.5/10

As everyone is dealing with the aftermath of the last episode, Jessica is gearing up for a final stand against Kilgrave. Meanwhile, Officer Simpson seems to be on drugs and out of his mind. He thinks that Jessica is the one thing standing in his way from taking out Kilgrave himself.

Everything that I thought was making the show fall apart in the last episode or two (or three…) seems to have all of a sudden been fixed. Maybe they finally let the writer’s sleep? Just a theory. But Jessica seems to be back in form, and maybe killing off all those extra characters/plots was only better for the series as a whole? Hmmm…

Okay, the only problem I really had with this episode was the flashbacks. They weren’t terrible, really, and went along well with the rest of the episode. But I feel it doesn’t present us with anything knew, outside of showing us how Jessica herself learned she had powers, something I don’t think we actually had to see.

I do like to see how the story is evolving now. And considering this episode is fairly devoid of Kilgrave it’s like his presence is constantly felt like some evil shadow. It’s good stuff, but pretty intense at points. And I like that it’s playing heavily into noir tropes again. I mean, they were never really gone or anything, but it felt like they were taking the show in another direction for a bit there.

SCORING:

+10: A return to form for the series is very welcome in my opinion

-0.5: Unnecessary flashbacks, but they weren’t very long and fit with the tone of the episode

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Jessica Jones s1e10: AKA 1,000 Cuts

Rating: 4/10

As Officer Simpson goes from being a minor annoyance to a full-fledge supervillain, Jessica realizes she’s immune to Kilgrave’s powers and tries to reason with him. But, after a few people acting particularly stupid, Kilgrave kidnaps most of the minor characters in order to get Jessica to see things from his perspective.

I don’t usually spoil things, and I don’t want to here but this is at least minor spoilers if you don’t want to know anything about the episode at all, then you might want to watch it first:

A lot of the character deaths in this episode didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. I feel it’s more of a systematic writing out most of the side plots by just killing off the main character associated with that particular storyline. It’s very strange that it all happens in one episode as well. But there’s so many of them, one death right after another, that I’m just desensitized by the time the “major character” death happens at the end. And, if there’s any proof that Jessica should have just murdered Kilgrave when she got the chance, this episode basically proves it.

I enjoyed the first half of this episode. It was exciting and, most importantly, well-written. But then something is revealed by accident and the Kilgrave Support Group decides, almost unanimously, that they should attack Jessica Jones. This is convenient for Kilgrave because he’d just been tied up by her, so they free him thinking he’s thinking Jessica’s up to something foul. And it’s plot conveniences just like that which dictates the story for the rest of the episode. It’s just bad writing, plain and simple.

SCORING:

+6: I really liked the first half of this episode, very intense, especially the moments with Simpson and Jessica’s conversation with Kilgrave

-1: Too many deaths all at once make them all meaningless

-1: The last 15 minutes is like a lesson in bad writing, specifically: don’t make things happen because the “plot demands it” work within the story itself to make things happen naturally (or do something else)

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