I posted about my Goals for 2017 last month and I thought I would outline a more simpler post per month.
I’m calling it the Month to Month post. Here, I will outline what I am doing for each month as a goal.
The following reviews were compiled during the March month challenge and are reviews of the pilot only. I can’t say for certainty that they will be spoiler free and I will not take responsibility if the rest of the series is shit. That is your risk, not mine.
- Half of the picks need to be half hours and the other half one hours which are probably dramas.
- No rewatching or try to avoid rewatching series you’ve already seen.
- Only 5 can be variety, game, other variety shows. Excluding sketch based shows entirely because I can watch those on my own damn time.
Let’s see if I can keep up…
Pilot 6: Broadchurch (British, Crime Drama, Suspense, Psychological, Small Town Murder)
Not to be confused with its American remake, Grace Point. This is the OG British version.
Someone told me this was a slow burn show. I have to say, what were they talking about. Yeah, maybe it’s slow as in the panning shots are slow, the overall tone and mood is slow, but is the show slow? Not at all. I wouldn’t go out of my way to say light speed fast, it’s just paced well. Gives the story time to breathe and characters to react but never keeps the viewer without something to chew on.
Well, that sure is a weird way of starting this review. The show is about the murder of a young boy in the small town of Broadchurch. After a vacation stint, DC Miller played by Olivia Colman, comes back believing she would be getting a new position in her department only for it to be given to another DC, a disgraced Alec Hardy played by David Tennant. Miller finds it difficult to deal with the new job situation but also dealing with her first murder case.
The plot moves along with a scenes of a grieving family and many characters doing some very suspicious actions when the authority isn’t looking. The actions are quiet and seemingly damning but to what end, it could be a clue to the boy’s death or maybe just someone being extra careful around the police. It’s hints like that that keep the viewers engrossed, living crumb trails to let them make their own assumptions about every side character in the town.
It’s well written and well acted but more over the camera work and cinematography is the real cherry on a stellar pie. The camera work really helps along the suspense, framing every character and side character to look hella suspicious. Its also in the tone of the actors voices as these DCIs solve this mystery all the while trying to keep a lid on things from the media. Just a tiny inflection can cause a massive change in how a character is viewed.
Good actors, check. Good writing, check. Superb camera work, check. Suspenseful mystery, check.
I can’t say what will happen to the rest of the series from here but if the pace is as steady as the pilot, its far from a slow burn.
Moon Rating: One brilliant cliffside that makes me want to visit Britain again out of one
Pilot 7: 3% (Sci-Fi, Post Post-Apocalyptic, Brazilian, Futuristic)
When I heard about this show, I knew I needed to see it based on the surrounding information about it. Diverse cast, post post-apocalyptic setting, very Hunger Games but in Brazil and of your own volition.
The show is about young adults at the age of 20 who have one shot of getting themselves out of the slums of the world and into the idyllic community of the 3% where they will live the rest of their lives in happiness and without poverty. They must perform through a series of tests to advance to the final level. The tests are hard, most of the characters believe everything could be a test.
The show follows a few narratives but mainly the character Michele, played by Bianca Comparato, who is a young woman, no different anyone else expect that she is a mole of an underground movement that is trying to break the system. Along side with her BFF Bruna, wheelchair into my heart Fernando, and the loner Joana, the show is creating something different then your everyday po-po-apo show.
Other interesting things I noticed was camera work, shaky but might’ve been intentional, and the music was certainly jarring. It’s got some emotion in the score and makes use of traditional sounds of Brazilian music to punch up the music. It’s jarring as in you might not be used to the sound, textural sound is different here than it is in Brazil. The costumes and settings are also key to how they are dressing this show differently. It’s colorful and grey at the same time, it makes use of simple design features but makes questions from them such as the four pointed star shapes on their sleeves that reveals a plug-in or button of sorts. There’s a lunch scene, I’ll say no more. Just pay attention.
I’m no expert when it comes to Brazilian culture but the show oozes it and finds a way too be cool and intense. The actors are giving fairly subdued performances but it’s all in part of the long game, or at least I think it is.
Moon Rating: Seventeen fucked up orange slices out of twenty, you’ll understand just watch it
Pilot 8: Lady Dynamite (Comedy, possibly a Dark Comedy, American, Meta)
Do you like Arrested Development? Did you like the stories and the way they unfolded? Well it’s probably because you like Mitch Hurwitz, the brains behind the show and half the brain behind this show along side Maria Bamford who is someone you should also like because she’s great and very funny.
The show’s premise is a tough one to describe, it follows recently released Maria Bamford and her trials and tribulations in trying to have a simpler life and to find herself again. She recently finished a stint in a hospital, recovering from an unknown mental issue. The pilot picks up where Bamford is reconnecting with her job and her manager Bruce, played by Fred Melamed. Her friends also come into the picture and try to help her with reconnecting with her community, Bamford settles on a park bench to which drama ensues.
The show takes advantage of the metaness between Bamford and the audience by throwing in TV reference cut aways and breaking 4th wall such as a narration to the audience then turning into an absurd hair commercial. It’s well acted as in every side character is a comedian or a comedy writer, everyone’s timing is good if not great.
Admittedly the pilot is not very tight but its jam packed with scenes and gags that reinforce the show’s style which is not your average comedy show. So if your into absurd realities, high energy comedy, and Maria Bamford you should probably give this show a chance and just binge it.
Moon Rating: Ten Vespas with two side cars out of six months worth of vision boards
Pilot 9: Iron Fist (Comic Book Hero, Marvel Comics, Drama, Action, American)
So. Soooooooo… so so so so so… well I guess that’s a show. It’s boring. It’s slow, it’s relying heavily on the viewer liking Danny, asap. Let me back it up for a moment and tell you about this pilot because I don’t really want to relive it but monthly goals right. Fuck.
The show stars Finn Jones as Danny Rand AKA the Iron Fist, a mighty protector of K’un Lun and ultimate warrior who left to New York. Danny Rand was thought to have died with his parents in the Himalayan Mountains as a child but returns as the prodigal son with the teachings of kung fu and Buddha under his arm. Meditating and not needing more than what he already has, he is supposed to be the guy to save New York from the Hand, the same ninja team that was busting up Hell’s Kitchen. Yeah, Daredevil territory.
What’s the catch about this show? You’d think it would be a sick kung fu wire fu epic show with sweet showdowns and highly skilled warriors fighting each other nearly anime style but its not. They have the characters to do that; Colleen Wing, Claire Temple, some bad ass Gao killers, Gao… oh wait that’s like a few people. It’s just a guy trying to find out if he is who he thinks he is or is he an ancient warrior and we all know where this goes. Anyway, all the pilot shows is Danny trying to talk to his old pals and childhood friends Joy and Ward. The whole fucking episode. The whole time. Well, he talks to a homeless dude but then that’s it. The time of the pilot is 57 minutes.
That’s it. That’s all that happens. Send help.
Moon Rating: Five yawns and one symphony of facepalming
Pilot 10: Samurai Gourmet (Japanese, Comedy, Sitcom, Food, Alter Egos)
Since prepping for this monthly goal, I’ve been taking friend’s suggestions anywhere. It’s how I was highly pushed on Chewing Gum and Lady Dynamite. I must’ve tapped into a very special algorithm because as I was adding a few random police dramas I stumbled on this gem on Netflix.
The show is about an old man named Takeshi who has recently retired and is trying to find his bearings in his new life at home. Before as a company man, he was responsible and heavily relied on but now he is watering plants and trying to find something to do with his day. As he accidentally walks to the train station, as he would any work day, he stumbles on a lunch spot and rediscovers his passion for eating.
This idea of eating alone and enjoying it is called “ひとりメシ (hitori meshi)” or “dining alone”.
As Takeshi eats, he starts to find his personality in the adventure of eating. The show takes its time to show you how the food is prepped and cooked, the eating, and the enjoyment of food. It’s almost satisfying like watching SlowTV. Another way of putting it is the show is food porn following by elation. If you’re into that, you should watch this show. Every viewer will probably look at Takeshi eating and drinking beer at lunch time and say “Same.”
Moon Rating: One social norms breaking grandpa having two beers at noon kind of fucking rating
A few things has started to wear on me as I continue on watching pilots which is I tend to like to follow up on shows after watching the pilot and liking it. So far there hasn’t been that many shows that I would just drop in a heartbeat yet. Just one so far and that would be Ultimate Beastmaster. Even if the pilot is so-so, I like following up with at least one more episode to really get a feel for the series. This doesn’t always work since some great shows don’t really get the ball rolling until a few episodes, or with Parks & Rec a few seasons, in but it does help gauge my interests and what really grabs my attention.
It’s tough but there are a few shows I want to finish and I am only ten pilots in. Oh well. Just 21 pilots to go…
Here is a link to reviews 1-5.