Posted tagged ‘television’

Master of None Season 2 Review

June 13, 2017

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Netflix’s original dramedy series Master of None is one of the best shows currently airing and season 2 definitely brings back everything you enjoyed about the first season. The show repeats a lot of the same kind of plots dealing with friendships and relationships in the life of struggling actor Dev (Aziz Ansari). Having said that, this season throws a few changes our way when it comes to style.

The season premieres with a bang with the entire first episode taking place in Italy. Writer/director Aziz Ansari really emphasizes the old-fashioned, simplistic feel of Italy in this one, partly with the clever choice to film the whole episode in black and white.

We get a lot of interesting experimentation this season. One episode is presented from the point of view of three separate never before seen characters who just happen to live in New York City. And in another that may have just been the greatest of the season, we get a story that takes place over about 20 years of Thanksgivings with Dev and his childhood friend Denise.

As far as running plotlines throughout the season go, the most intriguing of them was likely the potential romance Dev has with his friend Francesca (Alessandra Mastronardi). Mastronardi plays the role very convincingly. There’s a lot of good chemistry between the two of them. And it’s easy to see why the characters care for one another.

The best of the episodes that focuses on this would have to be the hour-long special “Amarsi Un Po,” which actually plays out more like a movie. The episode even begins with its own unique opening credits sequence with the cast and crew’s names displayed over establishing shots of New York City.

Speaking of good performances from new characters, two-time Emmy Award winner Bobby Cannavale gives a really fun portrayal as Chef Jeff, Dev’s new boss, and eventual friend. Overall, you get pretty much the same level of quality this season that you got from the first season. It’s all definitely worth checking out.

Watch the series on Netflix here: https://www.netflix.com/title/80049714

‘Bordertown’ Pilot – Unoriginal, Unfunny Adult Cartoon

January 8, 2016

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Imagine if you took Family Guy and American Dad!, meshed them together, and took out anything that made those shows likable. You’d have FOX’s new animated series Bordertown.

Okay, to be fair, I’m just judging this based on the first episode. Maybe it’ll improve as the show continues. But honestly, I’m not sure if I plan on coming back again to watch.

So Bordertown focuses on two Southwestern families living on the border between Mexico and California. Our protagonist Bud Buckwald is a middle-aged man and an open racist. This is where a lot of the humor in the show comes from.

And I often really like this kind of racial humor. All in the Family did it well. South Park has been doing it well for years. Family Guy and American Dad! have also done it well in the past. The problem here is that this episode doesn’t really do much new with this kind of comedy. And it’s not really going to be that funny if we’ve heard these jokes before.

So the main plot of this episode is that Bud’s daughter Becky gets engaged to J.C., the son of the Mexican family living next door. And of course, Bud isn’t happy with this and does everything  he can to try and stop it.

But what else doesn’t work about this pilot? Well, as you might have been able to tell by the above photo, the animation here just has a very unappealing look to it. I feel like they animators went out of their way to make everything to look as ugly and bland as possible.

The voice acting isn’t very good either in my opinion. Most of of the characters voices are just really annoying to listen to.

Then there’s the characters themselves. One problem I have is that some of them are kind of underdeveloped, at least at this point in the series. In particular, I’m talking about Bud’s wife. I feel like I know hardly anything about her. Hopefully she’ll get some more development in later episodes.

Is there anything here to enjoy? Well, despite the comedy not being very good overall, this episode did get a decent amount of chuckles out of me. Some of the jokes are a little clever and amusing. And there were a couple of genuinely funny jokes, mainly towards the end of the episode. But overall, I just didn’t like this very much.

I give this pilot a 4 out of 10.

The Knick: Pilot Review

August 15, 2014

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So I just watched the series premiere of the new Cinemax drama The Knick.

The Knick tells the story of Dr. John Thackery, a surgeon living in the year 1900. Thackery is portrayed by Clive Owen, who turns in a very good performance, which could earn him an Emmy nomination come next summer.

Throughout the episode we discover a few interesting things about this character that I can only imagine will make for some very compelling stories down the road.

Something that should be known before watching this show, is that it features some very graphic and disturbing surgery sequences.

I won’t get into detail, but I will say that what I saw in the early scenes of the episode may have been the most graphic thing I have ever seen on television. So if you’re like me, and you’re not used to seeing that kind of stuff, I would just be cautious going in.

Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t let this discourage you from watching the series, but you just need to know what you’re getting into to. And if you’re squeamish, I would recommend covering your eyes a little during the surgery scenes (there’s really only two of them by the way; one at the start of the episode, and one at the end).

Louie Season 1 Review

June 23, 2011

Tonight on FX Network, the Season 2 premiere of one of my favorite new shows Louie airs. So I thought I’d take this time to review season 1.

Louie stars and was created by stand-up comedian Louis C.K., who basically portrays himself on the show. He’s a divorced, stand-up comedian living in New York City with his two young daughters.

Louie’s character is pretty much the whole show. There are no other main characters. There are side characters that pop up from time to time like his single female friend Pamela (Pamela Adlon). We also see glimpses of Louie’s daughters and his buddies. But for the most part it’s all Louie C.K.

I remember the first time I checked this show. I was watching it on television from the very beginning. The episode where Louie chaperone’s his daughter school field trip got me hooked. But as I continued on, I was later turned off by some of the more serious and disturbing episodes the series got into. But a couple of months later I went back and re-watched some of these episodes on Hulu.com. I realized that I missed the point of what they were trying to do. So I came to the decision that Louie was brilliant. Period.

The show works well for many reasons. One is that it is realistic. I believe that most of the storylines are based on real-life experiences that happened to Louis C.K. I think anyone could relate to this character.

It also works because of how simple the plots are. It works perfectly for a comedy show like this. But in addition to all of the great laughs you can get out of this show, the more dark and serious moments that come about later are also very effective.

Fans of Louis C.K.’s stand-up definitely. I think I you’re a fan of anything that he’s done this show is a must-see.

You can now find the entire first season available to watch on Netflix streaming. I highly recommend it. And don’t forget the watch the season 2 premiere tonight, Thursday, June 23, on FX Network.

I give season one of Louie an 8/10.

By: John D’Amico

Happily Divorced Pilot Episode Review

June 22, 2011

Happily Divorced is the new sitcom on TV Land starring and created by Fran Drescher (The Nanny).

Fran Drescher plays Fran, a woman who after 18 years of marriage, discovers that her husband, Peter (John Michael Higgins) is gay. They decide to get a divorce, but must stay living together until he can afford to move out on his own.

After only watching one episode, my first impression of this show is not that good.

The humor in this show just doesn’t work very well. A lot of the jokes just fall flat. I really wasn’t laughing all that much. I think the issue is that the writers were just trying too hard. The jokes all feel so forced. I think the comedy would have been better if they just focused more on telling the story and developing the characters, and just let the humor come out more naturally.

The jokes also seemed really repetitive. It’s like the writers had two funny ideas for jokes and just repeated them over and over. One was just poking fun at the fact that Peter is gay. And the other is the fact that to everyone other than Fran, it seemed so obvious that he was gay and how they are all so baffled that she didn’t have a clue.

And another thing I would like to mention, I think Fran Drescher’s voice may have gotten even more irritating.

I really didn’t enjoy this episode too much. I got a couple of laughs, but I’m not sure if I’ll be tuning in to watch Happily Divorced again tonight.

I give the pilot a 4/10.

By: John D’Amico


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