Month Long Film Challenge: The Reviews

Last year in June, I watched a new movie every day of the entire month. This year I’d like to reprise that same challenge for the month of July. It was pretty good last year, I only managed to miss a few days worth of movies.

Seems simple enough, amended some rules to change up the movie list.

For reference, here was last year’s list.

**One Amendment**
I realized the phrase “South American” didn’t include Mexican features so a better way of putting that is “Latin American” features. I changed my rules list to better describe the movies I meant I wanted to watch.

WATCH RULES

  • 50/50 Comedies and Dramas; slot sub-genres as best as possible to comedy/drama guidelines
  • Can slot in 2 documentaries
  • At least 2 Latin American films
  • At least 5 any foreign language films
  • At least 7 films by a female director or by a female writer
  • A minimum of 15 shorts can slot in for 1 movie, music videos don’t count
  • No rewatching movies!

Continue reading “Month Long Film Challenge: The Reviews”

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M2M: June Film Challenge List

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.

June’s goal is watching a movie a day for the next 30 days.

The following one line reviews will be as spoiler free as possible. I can’t say for certainty that they will be 100% spoiler free and I will not take responsibility for it.

RULES

  • 50/50 Comedies and Dramas, no documentaries, no shorts. Animated is fine.
  • At least 5 foreign language films.
  • Minimum of 3 should be watched in theatres.
  • At least 5 films made by Canadian production companies/creators.
  • At least 5 films by a female director.
  • No rewatching movies that you’ve already seen.

Ho boy…

Continue reading “M2M: June Film Challenge List”

M2M: March TV Reviews 26-31

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.

Heh.

RULES

  1. Half of the picks need to be half hours and the other half one hours which are probably dramas.
  2. No rewatching or try to avoid rewatching series you’ve already seen.
  3. 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…

REVIEWS

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Pilot 26: Family Tree (Sitcom, Slice of Life, Comedy, Mockumentary)

I was in a bind. I wanted to watch something short and good. At this point I wanted to only watch comedies but I only have so many slots I could watch comedies as per the rules I laid out. Stupid Sylvia and this dumb rules. I was browsing through the HBO catalogue and came across something with Chris O’Dowd starring and I just jumped in.

The show stars Chris O’Dowd as Tom Chadwick and his quirky family. At a recent family dinner, Tom is told he has inherited a chest of curios from a recently deceased Aunt. Inside the chest are nic-nacs and antique photos to which Tom believes they could be photos of his ancestors and goes on a journey to find more about his heritage. The episode revolves around a photo of a British war general, Tom finds a historian who is willing to help him out.

Tom has a sister with a small stuffed animal monkey named the same. Don’t know where they will go with his sister and her monkey but it could be interesting. His parents are a bit on the nonchalant side, somewhat rocky relations there but the pilot doesn’t really delve to much into that.

The show is a slow burn peppered with fine acting and jokes but it didn’t grasp me like some other other comedies on the list. If you like O’Dowd’s work, it’s worth a look into as watching the show wouldn’t be too difficult. It only got one season.

Moon Rating: One slightly race based joke at the end of the episode that seems to be a tried and used joke for so many shows


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Pilot 27: Party Down (Sitcom, Comedy, Dark Comedy, Catering Business)

I’ve had the first season of this series on DVD for a while and have been waiting to binge it through. It’s got a ton of actors and comedians I really like but since I don’t physically see the DVD, I always forget I have it. While looking for more comedy pilots to pad myself with, I remembered I had it and popped in the first episode.

The show stars Adam Scott as a washed up actor named Henry that never made it bigger than his beer commercial he’d rather not bring up, ever, coming back to his old joke as a caterer with his old boss Ron, played by Ken Marino. Episode is really an introduction to what caterers have to put up with and what clients of caterers have to put up with. The false niceness, the quality of work and food, and of course, clients that like to go crazy at their own party while the help watches. Henry is then introduced through mishaps and side plots to the rest of the catering crew with stand outs being Martin Starr and Jane Lynch. He eventually meets Lizzy Caplan’s character Casey who is also a working actor.

The episode was pretty promising as per the shenanigans the characters could easily get themselves into. It is fairly deadpan and on the dryer side of comedy but still manage to pull in slapstick and physical comedy. If you like work genre shows, its certainly in a different vein than office comedies. Also, Adam Scott.

Moon Rating: Five please do your line from your commercial please omigawd


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Pilot 28: Big Little Lies (Drama, Murder, Intrigue, Suburban Life, Adult Themes)

I wasn’t at all interested in this drama. It was about wealthy families on the coast of California, this is not criteria I look for when I watch a drama but a few friends were going off about the show and the press surrounding the finale (which I still don’t know what happened) was mysterious and intriguing. I decided to give it a go and it was a good idea. A VERY GOOD IDEA. Ho shit… I should really never underestimate shows about wealthy people, they really know what going bananas is because there was some serious shade work through this episode.

The show surrounds a few mothers and their families living in a coastal town of Monterey, particularly these mothers are escorting their children who are in the first grade to the primary school in town. The episode is intercut with moments from the end of the series, possibly, as the scenes dictate the next understanding. You know there is a heinous murder, you know it must be one of the women on screen, you just don’t know who it is until the end of the series. At least, that’s the implication. The episode itself gets geared up when it follows Renee Witherspoon’s character Madeline, an upper crust suburban mother who acts like she’s top queen of the mothers at her primary school. Along with her best friend Celeste, played by Nicole Kidman, and the new mother who comes to her aid Jane, played by Shailene Woodley, the trio gets mixed into this strange world that is the little town of Monterey and all the little lies they hide and live through as the viewer sees them.

It really pulls you in, the directing of the pilot is superb as it builds a mystery on top of all the great acting in the show. The edits to make everyone seem culpable was brilliant piece of work. Even the children don’t seen well.

It looks like it might not be your thing but trust me, it’s really quite interesting. Well acted, well edited, well directed, at least give the first episode a spin and don’t read any spoilers.

Moon Rating: Three mothers who don’t know shit about each other fuuuuuuck


Pilot 29: Marco Polo (Period Drama, Far East, Epic Adventure, Netflix)

Period dramas are my bread and butter, I can get hooked so fast. This one might take a few episodes to convince yet but I do like the tone and story.

The show stars Lorenzo Richelmy as Marco Polo, the Italian merchant who is left by his father as payment to the Emperor Kublai Khan, played by Benedict Wong, for safe passage out of China. Here is where the story begins, it is about Marco and the Khan dynasty characters living and scheming in Ancient China. The characters begin their scheming surrounding the taking of a fort city in Southern China, characters who are trying to snake their way into more power. An Asian Game of Thrones, the players are slowly rolled out for the audience to piece together. Marco plays into the story as Kublai takes interest in him as he describes the landscapes and people in a very vivid way. He trains Marco in everything from calligraphy to fight in which he meets one of the most interesting characters One Hundred Eyes the warrior who trains Kublai’s best.

It’s well acted but the pacing is a bit slowed and it’s a bit strange to hear the majority of the show in English although they employ many kinds of languages as per the Khan dynasty legacy. The end of the pilot poises many questions and gets all the first line of characters in a good position to spread out the schemes and risks for the rest of the season.

Moon Rating: One hundred eyes sees all


Pilot 30: Trollhunters (3D Animated, Fantasy, Kids Getting Magical, Netflix)

This show was kind of a quick pick, it’s a Guillermo Del Toro created property and I like his movies well enough.

The show is about Trolls and Trollhunters, created by Del Toro it’s based on a book by himself and Daniel Klaus. The first half of the pilot, or episode one, opens with two troll warriors fighting in a canal. As the sun rises. they move under the shadow of the bridge, as one troll begins to lose he sacrifices himself to the sunlight telling the other troll he will never get the amulet. He falls back and turns to stone, shattering on the ground in the bright light, an amulet in the rubble. Enter Jim, a teenager who has impressive cooking skills, taking care of his mom and on his way to school with his BFF in tow Toby. As they take a short cut to school, it just so happens to cross the very canal that hosted the troll fight earlier in the episode. Jim finds the amulet and continues on to school.

I mean, it’s pretty obvious what happens from here right? The episode goes on to define Jim’s character and to an extent a few other side characters that will shuffle into more importance later. Jim becomes the newest and first human Trollhunter and meets a few “good” trolls in his basement.

The show is pretty cute but there are a few stereotypical pitfalls in just the pilot alone. It definitely has the pacing meant for a kids show. It might be a bit of a snore, perhaps later in the series it picks up momentum. It is unknown to me but if you’re still interested, give it a few episodes to get more of the story going.

Moon Rating: Six troll eyes blinking in the dark


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Pilot 31: Misfits (British, Dark Dramedy, Super Powered, Alternative)

I think I was getting really jaded by this point. I felt like not watching TV anymore after this last pilot. I had been avoiding second episodes and getting kind of sad that some shows people recommended me were not worth my time. I was discouraged and then I turned this show on. It certainly cheered me up.

The show surrounds five ASBO (anti-social behaviour order) young offenders doing community service; Curtis Donovan played by Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Simon Bellamy played by Iwan Rheon, Alisha Daniels played by Antonia Thomas, Kelly Bailey played by Lauren Socha, and Nathan Young played by Robert Sheehan. While painting benches, a freak lightning storm occurs sending massive hailstones sending the five and their probation officer running for cover when they are all struck by lightning giving each of them powers. All the powers are slightly contingent on their circumstance or personality; Curtis can turn back time, Simon turns invisible, Alisha turns anyone who touches her into a horny freak, Kelly can hear anyone’s thoughts, and Nathan appears untouched and not powered. It’s a super hero show with regular people, better than Heroes I swear.

The pilot allows each character to reveal their traits and new super powers in a timely manner. The gang really meshes well, tons of raunchy humour and sexuality throughout the episode with a heavy dose of dark dramedy as the gang needs to figure out themselves and what happened to their probation officer in the storm.

It’s fun, great jokes and character work, you’ll actually like Iwan Rheon for not being Games of Thrones arch-nemesis Ramsay Bolton, the actors are really on and if you like mouthy characters you’re gonna love Nathan Young.

And since this was the last pilot I watched, it could’ve been bad and I just shut the TV off but instead I was able to binge the first season in a sitting since it’s only 6 episodes. It’s exactly the ending I wanted on this long road of 31 pilots.

Moon Rating: Six hours WORTH IT


TOTALS

Comedy: IIIII IIIII IIII
Drama: IIIII IIIII III
Variety: IIII

THAT’S 31!! I AM RELEASED!!!!!! AHHH!!!!!

Here is a link to reviews 1-5reviews 6-10reviews 11-15reviews 16-20, and reviews 21-25.

I die now. Aftermath follow up soon. *dies*

M2M: March TV Reviews 21-25

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.

Heh.

RULES

  1. Half of the picks need to be half hours and the other half one hours which are probably dramas.
  2. No rewatching or try to avoid rewatching series you’ve already seen.
  3. 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…

REVIEWS

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Pilot 21: Insecure (Sitcom, Black Experience, American, We’ve All Been There Stories, Slice of Life-ish)

I had read positive twitter reactions to the show and decided that would be enough to get me to watch. I also wanted to watch a shorter pilot, dramas were really getting on my nerves. Thankfully, it was definitely worth watching.

The show starts Issa Rae as, well, Issa. She’s a youth social worker in a charity that passively uses her as the token black. Along side that is her barely alive relationship with her boyfriend of 5 years. Issa is in a rut and wants to find what she wants to do with her life. With her best friend Molly, played by Yvonne Orji, who brings along her own dating baggage and life at the firm. It’s smart, the dialogue is fresh, its well acted and gives a glimpse into a unique portrait of women.

The pilot has tons of threads going for it, Issa’s monologues speak of the pros and cons of her tokenism at work, finding direction even in a slightly comfortable life, and the perils of bad relationships and being a good friend. The pilot shows promise.

All that in 30 minutes? Do it.

Moon Rating: Ten bathroom mirror raps that make you laugh


Pilot 22: Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (Dramedy, Mystery, Sci-fi ish?, Bubbly, Netflix Production)

I wasn’t entirely sure what I was stepping into other than knowing a few friends had binged the entire series after the first episode. Now I know why, it’s highly engrossing with it’s strange mystery surrounding how they managed to bring plot with no plot.

What I mean is the episode starts off with tension, it’s a panning shot of a hotel suite, dead bodies, blood, and a small black kitten being taken away by a person off screen. There’s a missing girl. Then we have Todd, Elijah Wood’s character, watching his car being pummelled by his landlord because he is behind on rent and now he’s late for work, he works for the hotel from the first panning shot. Subsequently, he was the one who had to check on the suite and was fired for finding it in its state. He pockets a lottery ticket, he sees himself from the elevator in the hotel. Todd meets Dirk Gently with him breaking into his apartment to which he throws Dirk out. Todd and Dirk escape the landlord in the morning where by Dirk meets Todd’s sister Amanda. Dirk explains what a Holistic Detective is and why he is hanging around him. etc etc etc…

All these things are part of the plot but you don’t get to find out how until you’ve watched the rest of the series. In that rambling nonsense I haven’t said everything that was in the pilot either. There was so much more, you will need to pay attention because there is so much unpacking from every scene.

From what I can tell you the mystery will be a deep dive in on-sight clues and definitely every character will connect. The actors were all highly entertaining and the speed in which you get all this information is well paced, well timed. You might miss something if you’re not paying attention. Tough watch if you’re a “play it in the background” kind of person.

Moon Rating: One black cat of immense importance, I think… don’t quote me on this


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Pilot 23: Easy (Dramedy, Sitcom, Short Stories, Possibly Capsule Episodes)

I think this is a serial show? At least it looks to be a show about short stories. I think… It was strange to me, I didn’t really catch all the side characters names but I don’t think its that important. It was a bit cringe inducing, mainly because when it comes to real life portrayals it’s probably gonna be cringey.

The show starts off with couples at a party talking when a man brings up a study about how when a man is the primary child rearing parent the couple will have less sex. They argue loudly, etc. The couple that tears away from the conversation is in that particular predicament and they are also the main perspectives we see in the first episode.

The couple are Kyle and Andi played by Michael Chernus and Elizabeth Reaser. They are stuck in a passive aggressive relationship where their sexual needs are not met but they are trying to keep it together as a couple. It’s a dive into how married couples figure it out together rather than go sleep with other people, you know the dramatic take in other dramas kind of way. It’s interesting to see just what lengths these parents go to try and make it happen.

It was certainly interesting, worth a look if you are interested in encapsulated episodes.

Moon Rating: Five costume related cringe inducing moments, maybe more


Pilot 24: Treme (Drama, New Orleans, Strong Soundtrack, Multiple Storylines)

This show has been on my radar for a long time. I never found a good time to dig in and watch it but suddenly I had this pilots run so I might as well tuck into the longest of the pilots I picked. I didn’t realize it was the longest one at the time but it was worth it.

The show stars a bevy of characters but where is starts from is more important to the culture surrounding New Orleans. Did I mention this show is about New Orleans and the aftermath of its citizens coming back home to a ruined city? It’s really amazing, the first episode starts off with a second line as it gears up to play through the streets of New Orleans. People come out of their homes and off the street to follow this second line. The significance of this is that its the first second line since hurricane Katrina.

From there, its a slow roll out of character threads from a working second line trombonist and his ex-wife, a lawyer working out of two large bags and diners helping residents, her husband the whistleblower trying to talk about the Government’s involvement in the faulty levees, to a struggling radio DJ and musician. The stories are varied but interesting by way their are structured. The pilot is more of an introduction to the lives they lead and how they are reintegrating back into New Orleans. There new slang and language, tough if you aren’t willing to listen and watch along. It’s a very engrossing show, I could easily rewatch the pilot and learn more.

Give it a chance, especially if you enjoy the music and culture that New Orleans produces.

Moon Rating: Seven CDs on consignment but it means nothing, this shit be mine


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Pilot 25: Serie Noire (Dramedy, French Canadian, Writing, Absurdist)

This one is a bit tricky to explain but I will start with that fact that I put this on my Netflix list because Netflix recommended it to me a while back. The title has been taken off and put back on a few times but I finally sat down and watched it. I’m glad I kept the title on, it was a strange and fun watch. This show is French Canadian which I didn’t know when I started up the episode.

The show is about two writers who write for a universally panned crime show in Quebec, Denis and Patrick played by François Létourneau and Vincent-Guillaume Otis. As they are slowly getting back to their old lives since they are sure they won’t get renewed, they both visit their agent’s office to pickup their last cheque when they find out the show has been very popular despite bad reviews and will be renewed for a second season. Denis finds out his wife having an affair with her best friend who recently left her husband and dives back into writing by experiencing more to write about it better. Patrick wants to get on with his old life before Denis and the show, hoping to pick up the pieces with Lea. In the end, Patrick wants to write with Denis and they restart their process to writing the second season of their show La Loi de la justice.

The humour is very stylized as are the cuts, its a nice change up with a different approach to the camera angles and lighting. It’s definitely a dark comedy if ever there was a way to explain the show. Highly entertaining and much of it a bit screwball and a bit spiralling out in a controlled manner. Highly recommended for artistic types and writers just trying to get ideas out there.

Moon Rating: One psycho Marc Arcand breaking one writer’s nose


TOTALS

Comedy: IIIII IIIII I
Drama: IIIII IIIII
Variety: IIII

OH MY FUCKING GAAAWWWWWWWDD…

Here is a link to reviews 1-5reviews 6-10reviews 11-15, and reviews 16-20.

M2M: March TV Reviews 16-20

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.

Heh.

RULES

  1. Half of the picks need to be half hours and the other half one hours which are probably dramas.
  2. No rewatching or try to avoid rewatching series you’ve already seen.
  3. 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…

REVIEWS

Dicte

Pilot 16: Dicte (Danish, Drama, Crime, Female Lead)

A reporter moves from the city of Copenhagen, back to her hometown of Aarhus with her daughter in tow for reasons that is her own. From the pilot, it is shown that the lead character Dicte is here for her own selfish reasons.

The pilot starts with a young teenager giving birth, she is blindfolded but after a safe delivery she insists on holding the baby. It is given early on that she is giving up the baby for adoption, as she sleeps with the baby in her arms someone comes in and scoops up the baby to be taken away. To which we are brought to present day with Dicte, played by Iben Hjejle, who is trying to reconnect with her Jehovah’s Witness parents to no avail. Dicte is a journalist who likes going for the hard details for her readers, there are parts of this pilot that suggest she feels readers have the right to know what is happening in their community. She clashes with a lead detective Wagner who is often depicted trailing behind her or possibly inert to the case as she leaves a trail of evidence for the police.

The show is fun, it has a ton of home life drama in the picture that really steers Dicte’s emotions such as her daughter starting up a relationship with an “immigrant” student who was charged and acquitted for rape. There are a few scenes with her old friends from her younger days and one with her ex-husband as he tries and fails to seduce Dicte for the night.

I wanted to point out that I am not 100% sure why there is a need to label the immigrant characters in the story. It’s possible that due to the newness of the series that the writers wanted to include immigrant storylines but to label the characters in this context is kind of unimaginative. I don’t really know what the views are on immigrants in Denmark but a grain of salt while watching.

All in all, the pilot/first episode was a fun enough romp in a would be universe if journalists and police loved playing cat and mouse games with each other in a non-arrest way. It reminded me of Castle in ways, much of the crime solving was done via Dicte’s meddling. It’s a departure from other crime shows and we can all use a break sometimes. The best part is if you grow tired of the show, the writers have written each arch into two episode parts. The first season is 10 episodes but really its 5 stories.

Moon Rating: One giant mixed bag of “can journalists get away with that?”


Pilot 17: Don’t Trust the B**** In Apartment 23 (Comedy, American, Network Sitcom, Fun)

All I knew about this show was the writer and creator works on Fresh Off The Boat and one of the leading characters is Krysten Ritter from Breaking Bad and Jessica Jones. I didn’t know just how campy and funny it was. I also mistook this show to be a multi-camera sitcom. Just putting it out there.

The show follows June, played by Dreama Walker, as a small town girl about to move to the big city and into a cushy real estate job when on day one is pulled from right under her as the company is she transferred to has been caught embezzling money and she no longer had a job there. It is shortly followed by her apartment she was going to live in gets pulled from under her since the building is frozen in the companies assets. Broke and homeless, June determined change her fate finds a posting for a roommate. There she meets Chloe, played by Krysten Ritter, a stylish New Yorker who takes June under her wing.

After many outlandish and annoying habits and situations Chloe puts June through, it seems she is willing to put up with Chloe’s crap. The scam is that Chloe takes a room mate in and attempts to annoy her out of the apartment after she pays for three months rent.

In comes the pilot’s main plot line, June’s fiancé Steven visits her at her new place with her new room mate with is lab assistant in tow. As suspected by Chloe, she finds out from June’s Fiancé’s behavioural lab subject that the good doctor has been sleeping with other women behind June’s back. To save June, she seduces Steven to prove to June that he’s a scumbag.

It’s a weird twisted little show but if you like fast paced comedy and dark humor, it’s work a look. Not to mention some great physical comedy bits from all the actors. Best side character is definitely Eric Andre’s Mark Reynolds who works with June at the coffee shop. But in all this I haven’t even started talking about the MVP of the show, James Van Der Beek who plays a version of himself. I don’t even want to tell you about his scenes because they are all great and heavy on the Dawson’s Creek nostalgia.

Moon Rating: One butt smashing a birthday cake in the pilot kind of funny


Pilot 18: Chef’s Table (Netflix Original, Documentary, Food, Cooking, Food Pr0n)

This has been in my queue for a long time. I love cooking shows but let me be clear, I love shows about cooking and not really the competition kind. A Cook’s Tour, Martha Stewart, Good Eats, etc, those are my kinds of cooking shows.

The episode starts with a story about the earthquake in 2012 and how it rocked the town of Moderna, Italy. Chef Massimo Bottura regales the viewer of the plate he designed to help the town of Moderna where his Michelin Star restaurant resides, Osteria Francescana. The dish was a reinvented rosotto and its main ingredient is one of the biggest exports of Moderna, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. All of this is given to you with lavish pictures and beautiful story telling before the opening credits.

And wow, the opening credits. A double timed film of a dinner table being set and clips of the chefs to come in the season. All masterpieces for the eye and mouth, I’m sure.

The episode runs through the life of the chef along side of how and when they made big decisions in their career to get them to where they are. For Chef Bottura, much of his decisions in the game were made with and about his wife Lara. They also go over many of his dishes and interview many of the staff that surround Massimo in his kitchen. Loads of detail in every shot of how they even form the dishes.

It’s a rich episode to say the least.

Moon Rating: No rating, it’s too fucking beautiful to rate holy shiiiiiiiit


Pilot 19: Galavant (Musical, Sitcom, Break Up Story, Network, American, Period?, Fairy Tale)

I had read a few things about the show and wasn’t entirely sure if would be my cup of tea. I’m not usually up for musical shows but it was a half hour and I have been growing tired of the hours longs. So I just jumped in and it was surprisingly funny.

The show stars Galavant, played by Joshua Sasse, and anything I could possibly tell you about the pilot episode is summed up in the opening of the episode. Y’know in a song.

I’ll break it down into a point form list…

  • Galavant meets a girl, Madelena and they fall in love
  • The king see’s Madelena and forces her to marry him
  • Galavant goes to the castle to save his love only to find out that she chooses money over love

The story picks up a year later while Galavant continues to wallow in heartbreak, enter Isabella who is a princess with a quest for the Knight Galavant. She tells her tale of woe and is shoved out of Galavant’s house. After another chance meeting in the local pub, she tells him if he does the quest it would entail revenge against the King who took Madelena. So here you can tell that Galavant is all in but the story doesn’t end there. On the flip side, the King wanted Isabella to charm Galavant into a life ending quest so that he could be seen as desirable to his own wife Madelena. As for the new Queen Madelena, it turns out she was quite corruptible by her new found power and wealth as she pushes all of the King’s buttons.

All in all, it’s a quest story about break up and revenge with a bunch of fun songs and highly entertaining characters. But it is a musical through and through, the pilot alone had 5 songs sung by various characters in a span of 21 minutes. Viewer beware.

Moon Rating: Twenty sad pounds gained out of twenty, Galavant!


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Pilot 20: Crashing (Real Life, Break Up Comedy, American, Stand Up, Sitcom)

I’ve been a fan of Pete Holmes ever since my friend showed me his Spicy Interview on YouTube one afternoon. It got me laughing and it made him memorable in my mind. I’ve since seen interviews with him on various shows and tried to catch the Pete Holmes Show once in a while. The show is an extension of the kind of humour Holmes brings, it all edges on common sense and epiphanies to yourself.

The show starts with Pete, obviously played by Holmes and Jess, played by Lauren Lapkus cooking when Jess tries to spice up their dying marriage. They unsuccessfully try and have coitus on the carpet in their living room and it spirals off into watching cat videos. Pete leaves to do a gig because Pete is a totally green stand up trying to become a great comedian. When he arrives at his open mic, which is far out of the city, he comes home only to find Jess sleeping with another man, Leif. This pushes Pete to leave the house and try and find a place to crash. Hence the title of the show.

The pilot shows a great deal of promise, there are details that help reveal his character because not only is he a bad comic but he’s also religious and a homebody. He meets comic legend Artie Lange and as they strike up a friendship, he finds himself at the bad end of Lange’s notorious antics. In the end, Lange becomes invested in Pete’s break up story and ends up offering him a bed on his sofa.

I imagine the rest of the series will be similar to this as in Pete is crashing somewhere and learning the hard facts of comic life and real life. The symbolism of Pete trying to go home multiple times to gain his wife and former life back are just the start of his journey couch surfing into other people’s perspectives on the matter.

It’s a fun comedy, it was funny and made good work of its characters. If you’re a fan of Pete Holmes, it’s definitely one to watch.

Moon Rating: Two stitches on a knife wound caused by Artie Lange out of two


TOTALS

Comedy: IIIII IIII
Drama: IIIII II
Variety: IIII

Just gotta crawl… alittle more…

Here is a link to reviews 1-5reviews 6-10, and reviews 11-15.

M2M: March TV Reviews 11-15

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.

Heh.

RULES

  1. Half of the picks need to be half hours and the other half one hours which are probably dramas.
  2. No rewatching or try to avoid rewatching series you’ve already seen.
  3. 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…

REVIEWS

k_f_t_16x09_MBMBAM_1920x1080

Pilot 11: My Brother, My Brother and Me (Comedy, Advice, Based on a Podcast)

I went into this knowing many of my friends are fans of the podcast show, some had described some of the jokes from the show or the podcast. It was tough to gauge whether I would like the show or not mostly because I don’t listen to a lot of podcasts and more over. I had never listened to an episode of this show.

My Brother, My Brother & Me (or MBMBaM pronounced “mimb-bim-bam”) stars three brothers from Huntington, West Virginia who dish out advice for their listeners. The way of answering the fan questions is what builds the entire show. Justin, Travis, and Griffin McElroy provide in-depth solutions to the questions and often ask others for furthered advice. Those segments are split up on the episode with commentary from a studio from the three brother.

The pilot explores a question about dormitories and haunted items so the Brothers borrow a dorm room from the local university and fill it with what they think are haunted objects from the antique store in town. The in-between segments in the studio provided fun commentary from the brothers but some bits didn’t pan out well for the show. Such as the oldest brother felt there should’ve have been more jump scares so he tries and adds jump scares through the episode which kind of fall flat every time they show up between segments.

It’s a fun show but definitely not my taste. I might follow up on an episode about teaching teens but this is definitely a acquired taste comedy show.

Moon Rating: One scary ass clown doll that shouldn’t exist this is not a rating there’s a scary clown doll in the episode


Pilot 12: PhoneShop (Sitcom, Edgy Language, Retail Story, British, Late Night Comedy)

Man, the Brits love niche shows. I was recommended this show from a friend, wasn’t sure if it was going to be funny but I took the bait. I watched the pilot episode and not the listed first episode.

Its very much of its age. The show premiered in 2009 so the jokes are on the cusp of edgy and sexist. I’ll explain.

The show follows a sales team for a Phone Shop in Sutton, London who are having a one day trial for a new sales man Christopher whom they have dubbed “New Man”. Christopher, played by Tom Bennett, is hapless and kind and struggles all day trying to bag the one sale he needs to be hired on full time. As the boys, Ashley and Jerwayne, on the team try to teach him some sales tricks, they also pepper the show with lewd jokes like the store manager has a masturbation problem and sexist and even illegal pranks such as the boys taking phone pics of girls thongs when they enter the store. There’s even a wall of the pics posted in the back room. The only female character, Janine, isn’t given much to work from other than putting down the boys and attempting and failing many times to be promoted to Assistant Manager. The show doesn’t bode well in that aspect but the dialogue is fast paced and has bite however all the choice lines are given the Ashley and Jerwayne.

I guess if you once were a phone shark in the late 00s then this might be a fun, nostalgic show for you. As for me, I won’t be tuning in for the rest of the series even though its 6 episodes. I can do other things with my time, thanks.

Moon Rating: One out of one mobile phone with a dead battery


Pilot 13: American Crime (Drama, Crime and Procedural, American duh, Intense, Network Drama)

I had seen commercials for this show when it first premiered on ABC a few years ago and kind of wrote it off since the marketing didn’t really grip me to watch it. I kind of wish I had seen it when it did premiere because the show is actually really good.

You follow a series of disconnected storylines, not knowing if they are going to meet up eventually of if its to show the whole picture of how crime infiltrates America. We start off the episode with Russ, a father character played by Timothy Hutton, who is called to identify a corpse as his son. The story unravels a little more when Barb, the mother played by Felicity Huffman, comes in and starts to ramp up the intensity of the murder case as she complains and questions the police and people who are affected by the case. In other time lines we see a couple of junkie loves, an illegal immigrant from Mexico hustling, and a Mexican family torn apart by the unknown threads stemming from the murder of Russ and Barb’s son.

By the end of the pilot, you find out just how all the story lines come together into a tight mess of lies and deception to save themselves from the inevitable. It’s intricate and stylistically shot and the acting is superb. It is very intense and it doesn’t hold your hand through the process, some scenes of seemingly good hearted intentions lead to bad consequences and its really waiting for the viewer to react with the actors on screen.

It’s definitely not really predictable, at least the pilot wasn’t really. I wasn’t expecting all the storylines to come together at the end of the first episode, maybe down the line so that the reveals could be significant but to wonder where it all goes from here is still a mystery worth tuning in for.

Moon Rating: One bottle of shared beer between two lovers pls


Pilot 14: Moyashimon: Tales in Agriculture (Japanese, Anime, Comedy, Slice of Life, School Comedy)

I needed to break up the monotony that was live action and I decided to delve into my pull list from CrunchyRoll. I was worried since I hadn’t logged in for a while that maybe it would be a good idea to utilize something I pay monthly for.

Moyashimon is a bit of a cheat for me. I have the first two manga in the series and they are incredibly interesting and beautifully drawn so I was basically expecting the same experiencing but the anime proved to be just as if not more fun.

The story follows Tadayasu and Kei, two boys from a farming town in Japan who are attending their first day ay Agricultural University in Tokyo. The lead character Tadayasu is afflicted with a strange ability to see microbes with his naked eye. He is instructed to see Professor Itsuki by way of his father. After opening ceremonies, there is a police statement about a missing woman from the university and to report anything suspicious. Tadayasu and Kei on their way through a forested area, a shortcut to Itsuki’s office, find a possible buried corpse when Tadayasu spot microbes in the air. As the police are investigating, the missing woman (who is the professor’s assistant) and the professor Tadayasu appear to explain the rotting seal corpse.

The show is pleasant and beautifully animated, especially when they show the microbes Tadayasu sees. The opening and ending sequences were cute as a button and the music catchy as heck.

Moon Rating: Millions of cute as heck fructivorans out of millions


Abstract_Art_of_Design_Its_Nice_That

Pilot 15: Abstract: The Art of Design (Documentary, Design, Narrative Non-Fiction, Biography/AutoBiography)

After having watched so much fiction, I just wanted a break from it as so I opted for this series on Netflix I have been eyeing up for a while and I was very glad I did.

In my head, its the ManBen for Graphic Designers.

The series is mini-biographical documentary style life stories about design. The first episode showcases the life and work from Christopher Niemann, an illustrator and designer from Germany. His story is about his numerous illustrations he’s done for the New Yorker and how coveted it is to get to be featured as the cover art for an issue of the magazine. He goes through how he likes abstract artwork and how he sees the medium, the style, his processes. He also talks a bit about his time as an immigrant to New York, the drive to be a good designer, what he thinks it takes to continue doing good work.

It’s incredibly inspiring and a great way for any designer and appreciator to learn comprehension skills about how designers do and see work on an everyday basis. It’s not easy explaining the art or the process but by mixing a highly designed communicative scenes with the story Niemann provides, viewers leave with a sense of knowing the work better and that is really the ultimate goal of all artists is to be understood. Also, Christopher Niemann uses Lego to help abstract his work and its wonderful.

Beware designers, it’s highly bingeble.

Moon Rating: Seven out of three abstracted lines to represent numbers that are made of lego


TOTALS

Comedy: IIIII I
Drama: IIIII I
Variety: III

Just past the halfway marker, just 16 more to go…

Here is a link to reviews 1-5 and to reviews 6-10.

M2M: March TV Reviews 6-10

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.

Heh.

RULES

  1. Half of the picks need to be half hours and the other half one hours which are probably dramas.
  2. No rewatching or try to avoid rewatching series you’ve already seen.
  3. 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…

REVIEWS

Broadchurch

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


samurai gourmet

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


TOTALS

Comedy: IIII
Drama: IIIII
Variety: I

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.