Posted tagged ‘tv review’

‘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.

Red Band Society: Pilot Review

August 31, 2014

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I always appreciate a well-made dramedy. And lately I have been thinking about how there aren’t really any on TV anymore (at least not any that I personally enjoy all that much). The only one that I could come up with is FX’s Louie (but I kind of think of that as a whole different genre in of itself).

But anyway, I think I may have found a solution in the new FOX series Red Band Society.

A quality dramedy series should have two main goals: to make the viewers laugh, and to make to viewers feel something. And while this show could try a little harder in the comedy department, it mostly accomplished the aforementioned goals.

The show centers around a group of teenagers who live in a hospital, along with some of the people who work there. The show has a good cast of likable, interesting characters. But the standout character here is young Charlie, played by Griffin Gluck, who also acts as the show’s narrator.

The episode had a few of those touching kind of moments (especially towards the end); the kind of moments that, while you’re watching them, make you pause and think “yeah, that’s some good stuff right there.”

Is the show without flaws? No. There are aspects that just come off  as cheesy and unrealistic. For instance, there’s this one character who is often portrayed as a total stereotype of a snobby, popular high school cheerleader. We do get to see a little more depth to the character later on. But a lot of the time, she felt like something out of a cartoon from the 1990s.

But despite some of it’s flaws, I would still like it if people would go and give this show a chance.

So make sure you watch the premiere of Red Band Society on Wednesday, September 17th on FOX.

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).

Garfunkel and Oates: Pilot Review

August 7, 2014

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So I just got finished watching the series premiere of the new IFC sitcom Garfunkel and Oates. And it’s definitely something that I can recommend.

In this episode, our protagonists Riki and Kate, go on a double date and try to see how long they can go without saying a word. What unfolds from this is a very unique plot which carries the episode very well and makes for a lot of good laughs.

Ricki Lindhome and Kate Micucci both do a good job here. They’re funny, they’re likable, and they sing well.

So check out the show tonight on IFC at 10 pm. Or you could just do what I did and watch on YouTube right now: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bla7z9odhc0&list=LLAJrsPWHNeQBbuCHnxWXv4w&index=1

By the way, I would also recommend checking out Garfunkel and Oates’ YouTube channel if have not already done so: https://www.youtube.com/user/rikilind/videos.

Beavis and Butthead Season 9 Premiere Review

October 29, 2011

I’ve never watched Beavis and Butthead before. I just wanted to get that off my chest. But I’ve heard some good things about it so I thought I’d give it a shot.

After being off the air for fourteen years, the classic animated series Beavis and Butthead has returned to television.

The episode has two separate, unrelated narratives that each last for approximately eleven minutes. The plots here a very simple which works for this type of series.

I was very surprised with how funny this show was. In this episode we get to see our two main characters make commentary on pop culture  such as Twilight, Teen Mom, and Jersey Shore. These were definitely the funniest parts of the episode.

These two characters are perfect representations of idiots. And you really have a good time laughing at the dumb things that they do and say.

I now understand the praise that I’ve been hearing about this show a long time now and I really regret not having watched it earlier. I’m definitely going to have to track down the earlier seasons of this show and watch all of them.

I’ll be tuning into MTV next week to watch the next episode for sure and suggest you do the same.

I’m not even sure what to rate it so I’m not going to. But I really liked it.

By: John D’Amico

American Horror Story Pilot Review

October 10, 2011

“American Horror Story” aired its series premiere this past Thursday on FX at 10 pm. I didn’t watch it then. But I did just watch it a few minutes ago on Hulu.com. So here’s my thoughts.

The TV spots for this series got me very interested. They pretty gave you zero information about the show, but I think that was intentional. They wanted people to go in knowing nothing so they would surprised. Unfortunately though I’m going to have to give minimal information about the plot to write this review.

The show stars Connie Britton and Dylan McDermott as a married couple who move from Boston to Los Angeles into a new home. All I’m going to say about it is that the house has a very dark history to it.

This first episode was great. This is probably the only really good new show I’ve seen this fall season. The show is the horror-thriller genre and it’s very scary. There are a lot of really frightening and shocking images that really get under. I’m not generally a big fan of horror but when it’s done well I can appreciate. And this show is done quite well.

The acting in the show is really solid. Connie Britton and Dylan McDermott both do very well, especially Britton.

The two also have a daughter played by a young new actress named Taissa Farmiga. She does a good job as well. We also get a good performance from another young actor named Evan Peters who portrays a troubled patient of McDermott’s character (I forgot to mention he’s a psychiatrist).

So if you haven’t watched this episode already I recommend you go watch it on Hulu. And don’t forget to tune in to watch this Wednesday at 10 pm. I know I will for sure.

I give this premiere an 8.5/10.

By: John D’Amico

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


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