“Bojack Horseman” is great and TV criticism sucks

bojack-horseman-season-2“Bojack Horseman” is great and TV criticism sucks

Title says it all. Watch “Bojack Horseman.” It’s on Netflix, it has 3 great seasons, and overall, is a damn good show.

It takes a couple episodes to get into, but after those few episodes you understand what the show is all about. It’s essentially clinical depression with frequent animal jokes, which is perfect!

I was initially turned off to the show after a brutal “59” MetaCritic score for its first season. But here’s the problem with that. The most important thing for a hired critic is to publish, to make money, to get clicks etc. However a lot of the times, for shows, they’re only given 3-4 episodes ahead of time, then they write their review based on those episodes.

I understand the business side of it. A review released after or during a season won’t get as many clicks as the articles posted immediately. But, just like the existence of MetaCritic and Rotten Tomatoes, this hurts the art of criticism significantly.

So what happens with “Bojack Horseman”? Season 2 holds a 90 on MetaCritic, season 3 holds a “89.” This has to be one of the greatest critical gaps on MetaCritic between seasons. If you watch the show there is no discernible change in quality from Season 1 forward.

The most recent season of “Game of Thrones” also received the lowest MetaCritic score of the show yet at 73. Even in the review taglines you can see critics saying they’ve only watched the first few episodes of the season, which were less than stellar.

Moral to this post? “Bojack Horseman” is great and TV criticism sucks.

How “Life is Strange” devastated me

maxresdefaultHow “Life is Strange” devastated me

“Post-Game Depression” is what I heard it referred to on the “Life is Strange” subreddit where people shared their feelings of hopelessness and despair following the Dontrod hit game series.

I’ve experienced this before. It happened when I finished the “Mass Effect” franchise as well as when one of my favorite shows “Community” concluded. There have been games and shows that I’ve loved more, and I could definitely rank several games over “Life is Strange,” but even with those I haven’t felt this kind of post-depression.

For those who’ve played, “Life is Strange” lets you pick between two tragic endings. And the endings aren’t bad like it was for “Mass Effect 3,” or even the saddest outcome I’ve seen in a video game. No, it wasn’t the ending, it was the world. I was brought into Arcadia Bay, I was nosy and explored everything and everywhere, read every journal entry, conversed with all the characters. The characters were diverse, unique, and I got to know them.

Then it was over.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, when post-depression happens, it’s not a result of the destination, but of the journey. Back when I was crippled by not being able to visit the “Mass Effect” characters anymore, I learned that to cure this depression you have to keep playing. You have to keep watching.

And though I could replay “Life is Strange,” I will never experience it for the first time again, but that’s okay. It’s rare, but there will be other games, and other shows, that will have a world worth the depression. I am continually astounded at how art can change and evolve us at an emotional level.

It wasn’t perfect, but I loved “Life is Strange.” I will recommend it with caution to my friends and family. I will likely never play it again, but I will find that same kind of rare investment in the future. And I can’t wait for that to happen.

Updated Oscar Predictions – July 2016

lala-landUpdated Oscar Predictions – July 2016

We’re getting closer! There are still so many potentially great films that we haven’t even seen a still image of yet. TIFF and Venice are just around the corner though and we plan on promptly updating these right after.

Keep it here for the most updated predictions

Here’s what we have for now:

 

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Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
The Birth of a Nation
La La Land
Fences
Loving
Silence
Arrival
Live by Night
The Founder
Manchester by the Sea
Continue reading

Emmys: Updated Winner Predictions

Emmys: Updated Winner Predictions

The Emmy nominations had some unexpected variables from an outside perspective, but it actual was more predictable this year than it has been in the past.

I’m pretty satisfied with my nominee predictions, you can see the full rankings of “most likely to win” along with my personal nominee-prediction score on the Emmys page.

Here’s a quick idea of who I’m thinking will win each category:

Drama Series
What will win: Game of Thrones
Alternate: Mr. Robot

Comedy Series
What will win: Veep
Alternate: Silicon Valley
Continue reading

Pokémon Go – changing the way you play smart phone games

pokemon-go-nick_statt-screenshots-2.0Pokémon Go – changing the way you play smart phone games

I was, and still am a huge “Pokémon” fan. So it warms my heart to see the franchise reinvent itself in what could be the most popular Smart Phone game since “Angry Birds.”

Pokémon was met with insurmountable popularity in the late 90s. I know, I contributed greatly to its popularity. I loved the card game, the series, the Gameboy games, pretty much everything about the mysterious world. But with popularity invariably comes controversy.

The franchise was met with hate by church groups, episodes of the show were censored, and soon, accompanied by popularity, it became one of the most controversial franchises of its magnitude.

The controversy, and even the popularity probably weren’t in executive director Satoshi Tajiri’s mind when he sculpted the franchise. The idea for Pokémon stemmed from Tajiri’s fascination with insect collecting, which he loved to do as a kid. Continue reading

2016 Emmy Predictions – July

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2016 Emmy Predictions – July

“Game of Thrones!” “Game of Thrones!” “Game of Thrones!”

With that said, it should be a pretty big year for HBO as well as Netflix. We’ve got all of our predictions below including GUEST categories and Variety categories as well.

Keep it here for our most updated predictions.

 Drama Series
Game of Thrones
House of Cards
Better Call Saul
Mr. Robot
Downton Abbey
Homeland
Orange is the New Black
Continue reading

SN: “Captain America: Civil War” and how they juggled multiple characters

56d4dfc9cdfd2SN: “Captain America: Civil War” and how they juggled multiple characters

If you know me, I’m not exactly a die hard fan of the post-“Iron Man” Marvel cinematic universe. The villains are consistently stale and the action sequences are often bloated and over-long.

But I did, however, really like “Captain America: Civil War.”

It’s refreshing for a superhero film to deal with politics and ramifications of collateral damage and the civilians who lost their lives in those scenes we are supposed to find amusing.
Continue reading

Oscar: 2016 Cannes Film Festival Winners and what will translate to Oscar

urn-newsml-dpa-com-20090101-160512-90-004988_201605131256_fullOscar: 2016 Cannes Film Festival Winners and what will translate to Oscar

Palme d’Or: I, Daniel Blake
Grand Prix: Xavier Dolan, It’s Only the End of the World
Best Director: Graduation (Cristian Mungiu) and Personal Shopper (Olivier Assayas)
Best Actress: Jaclyn Jose, Ma Rosa
Best Actor: Shahab Hosseini, The Salesman

What will translate to Oscar?

We learned little from this years Cannes Film Festival, but you can make an assured assumption that the titles, actors, and directors listed above will not translate to Oscar.

Of all of them we will keep an eye on “I, Daniel Blake” and how it’s distributed, and may factor in Jose and Hosseini as dark horses as our Actor/Actress predictions narrow.

Of all the films we should see some of the following boosts: Continue reading

Bulletin: Avengers murder dozens in Lagos, meet with Secretary of State

Captain-Lagos-1-720x431Bulletin: Avengers murder dozens in Lagos, meet with Secretary of State

So stop me if you heard this one before. A few of the Avengers were in Lagos, I think it was Captain America, Black Widow, Falcon, and this new girl, have you heard of this woman? The Scarlet Witch they call her. Well do you know what the Scarlet Witch’s mutant super-power is? Some sort of telepathy.

Anyway another tragedy in Lagos as many innocent humanitarian workers were killed in the cross-fire, as is to be expected with the Avengers, when the Scarlet Witch lifted up a man, who was trying to suicide bomb himself, and threw him into a nearby building.

It just… It just baffles me. I understand we live in a different world now. We have aliens, and Gods, and a world where mutants run freely. 10 years ago, anyone with special abilities was kept out of the limelight, then Tony Stark came up with the brilliant idea to shoehorn himself into being a superhero by buying his way there and our government saw profit, like they always have with Stark Industries.

These are the profiteers of war and destruction. You know what pays to fix these buildings? That’s right – your tax dollars. And look, I understand, if you have these special abilities you want to help, you want to do something, but we’ve reviewed footage from New York, from Sokovia, and now from Lagos and there just seems to be minimal effort from our so called Avengers to guide these mishaps away from populated areas.

There has now been some speculation that Secretary of State Thaddeus Ross has met with the Avengers regarding the United Nations proposal – the Sokovia Accords. Some may see this as a good thing, putting these over-powered individuals in check. I don’t believe the Sokovia Accords goes far enough. The justice system has failed us, Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, Natasha Romanoff, all of them are murderers and terrorists and should be held accountable on a judicial level.

We’ll see how the United Nations tries to “share” the Avengers equally among other countries or if the murderous Avengers will even fall in line. I believe they all need to be locked up and be tried for their crimes against humanity.

**Bulletins are parody news articles

Purple Rain: or how I learned who Prince was

Prince-Purple-RainPurple Rain: or how I learned who Prince was

I was born in 1992. I’m 24 years old. So naturally when Prince died I was startled, but not emotional. You see, when I was informed that the music icon had passed away, I knew the name, I knew a few songs, but that was it. The death didn’t have the same affect on me that David Bowie’s death did.

My mother loved Prince. She, and her siblings, grew up in just the right generation to experience his music and performances. Tonight, I just got back from a midnight screening of “Purple Rain” with her, my mother’s day gift to her.

Going into the film she warned me not to be too critical. That it wasn’t going to be “good” in the traditional sense. In a way, she was right. The camerawork was amateurish, the acting was awful, and the editing/story were all over the place. Yet, I still felt passion, an emotion that I don’t normally feel coming out of a film so scotched taped together.

I was among a fervent crowd, feeling out of place (and not wearing any purple), but a lot of the passion I felt came from Prince himself. His acting, like many of the other actors, was not good, but he still demanded an electric presence, especially during the performance scenes – patrons would clap along to many of the hit songs.

I also thought the story was good. There was never a clear resolution, but there were clear moments where you could tell Prince was putting his heart into his character, and drawing out his own personal and professional flaws, laying bare for all of us to see – something his music always did.

Now this movie I literally just saw, “Purple Rain,” is all I’ve seen of Prince, ever. I still don’t know much about him at all, but now I have a clear idea of what he represented on a cultural level.