How I Met Your Father: Pilot

0.5/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

A gender swapped version of How I Met Your Mother.

This was rancid, so much so that I won’t be reviewing any of the other episodes. One was enough for me to check out. Maybe the show will pick up, or maybe it will continue in this vein and if so I am glad I have already given up.

Right from the new cover version of the original How I Met Your Mother theme song red flags are going off, firstly because this theme is not good and secondly because it feels a bit too nostalgia baity. Little did I know that nostalgia bait is the key driving force of this show, as it references and outrightly shows various things from HIMYM in an effort to trigger the member berries in what may be the most desperate way I have seen yet.

Moreover, this film was written by a group of ageing, almost certainly white men, who don’t understand anything about how young people now interact beyond what they see trending on twitter as such this episode is constantly cringe, and not a one of the jokes work. Somewhere after our first tinder mention I started to realise this show wasn’t for me.

Finally, and perhaps most obnoxious of all is the flashforward. Yes, very much like HIMYM this show has a future sequence, where they make terrible jokes about how Alexa’s get things wrong and that older women can be sexual too? Is this funny? This section was so painful it made me want to turn the episode off and honestly I wish I did.

Overall, absolutely terrible.

Pros.

Hillary Duff is trying her best

Cons.

It isn’t funny

It is cringe

It relies too heavily on nostalgia

The new cover song theme song

There is no need for this to exist  

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Peacemaker: Best Friends, For Never

4/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Peacemaker, played by John Cena, tidies up after a wild night before and finds kinship in his old friend Vigilante, played by Freddie Stroma.

I think the show really finds its footing in this episode. I thought everything was firing on all cylinders the comedy was strong, the characters were strong, Cena carried on a great performance my only issue with it was that the side characters continue to go unexplored. Yes, there are little nuggets given to us here and there that give us a peak behind the curtain of the underdeveloped side characters, but I wish the show would commit more to this.

For example I thought the show did a good job introducing us to Vigilante, without actually telling us all that much about him. I thought the sequence of him and Peacemaker hanging out and bonding was funny as well as providing us with a nice amount of insight into their friendship. I also liked that this episode gave Harcourt, played by Jennifer Holland, more time to show off and her bar room brawl provided us with a well-executed action scene.  

I also like the White Dragon set up with Robert Patrick and hope that it gets furthered in the coming episodes.

Overall, a strong second episode in what is proving to be a very good DC series.

Pros.

The comedy

Cena

Vigilante

The set up for White Dragon

Cons.

The team could do with more development  

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Peacemaker: A Whole New Whirled

3.5/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Peacemaker, played by John Cena, has somehow survived his seeming death in The Suicide Squad and is now back again working for the government this time being brought in to wipe out butterflies.

I understand a lot of people don’t like James Gunn’s tone or sense of humour but I do. Though I didn’t find this episode as funny as the second, review coming soon, I still found that it had me laughing more than I thought it would.

Cena handles the comedy well and makes Peacemaker a layered character. Despite his grovelling to the Chinese Government Cena has such an affability to him that makes him hard to root against, as such you can’t help but like his Peacemaker and want him to succeed. The supporting cast is rounded out by some new faces and some returning, most of whom are fairly bland though Jennifer Holland’s Harcourt is a nice romantic foil for Peacemaker and the two have great banter together.

My issues with this first episode would be that it is still quite rough in places and is obviously finding its footing. Likewise I would prefer to not see Amanda Waller, played by Viola Davis, again as I feel she is in danger of being overexposed in the DCEU, however I suppose she was necessary for set up.

Overall, a solid start for the series made so by Cena, a funny script and a nice odd ball sensibility.

Pros.

The tone

The comedy

Cena

Eagly

Cons.

A bit rough in places

Bringing back Waller

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The Book Of Boba Fett: The Streets Of Mos Espa

2/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Boba Fett, played by Temuera Morrison, hangs out with some poorly designed cosplayers, gets beat up whilst in his underwear and the Pikes invade.

My, my just when I thought the series was heading in the right direction we get this.

So the Tusken Raider plot line ends very abruptly and with no real closure…. What was the point of building it up so much over the last few episodes if you were just going to have them massacred off screen? I suppose it is leading to some kind of showdown between Boba and their killers but honestly it just feels like it took a moment that could have been really emotionally important for the show and chose to cut it out.

Moreover, everything about the new rainbow vespa gang that Boba Fett befriends this episode is embarrassing. Their design is awful, they don’t look like they fit in the universe, they don’t advance the plot, the CGI used for them isn’t up to snuff, I could go on. It just seems like these characters were forced in so Boba could have underlings and as an incredibly cynical and cheap attempt to boost the shows diversity.

I have written at length about how this show is far too family friendly and is seemingly scared to have Boba Fett actually behave like himself and fight back or even kill, he is only allowed to kill monsters by this show’s rules, and this episode proves that to a tee. Not only is Boba depowered here, we watch this master of hand to hand combat get whooped in his underpants needing to be saved by his new cyber punk friends and honestly it makes the character some what of a joke.

Don’t get me started on the emotional support rancor.

The only reason this episode isn’t getting lower is because I am interested in the Pike war to come and I like the tease of that.

Overall, this show is really starting to show its cracks.

Pros.

The Pikes both in the past and present

The tease for what is to come

Cons.

It almost character assassinates Boba Fett

It wastes the build up of the Tusken storyline

The cyberpunk cosplay biker gang

It has pacing issues and is again too short

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The Book Of Boba Fett: Tribes Of Tatooine

3/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Boba Fett, played by Temuera Morrison, faces challenges to his rule and plans a Tusken Raiders upgrade.

So this episode was better than episode one in that it felt properly paced and had stakes, two very basic asks I known. However, that is not to say it was a strong episode rather that it advanced the show in an uphill direction, hopefully next week can continue this.

I enjoyed Fett’s tense standoff with the Hutt Twins, I thought it was nice to see the coming conflict and the whole scene felt suitably tense, they did a good job with the effects as well here which was nice. However, I would say that the present timeline could have done with a little more, because from here the rest of the episode continues on with the Tusken flashbacks, which are fine but maybe starting to run out of steam at this point.

I also liked the feel of this episode as it felt more grimy and underworld esque, which is how the show should always have been. I still feel like Boba is pulling his punches and the lack of blood is still dampening the action sequences for me though, this needs to change in the next episode.

Overall, better but still not what you would want from a show about the Star Wars criminal underworld.

Pros.

The Hutt standoff

A nice pace

A sense of coming conflict

Cons.

The Tusken flashbacks are getting a bit much

It still feels too family friendly  

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Dickinson: Overview

2.5/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Hailee Steinfeld stars as famed poet Emily Dickinson. However this is not wholly a period piece.

So as Dickinson draws to a close I am left divided. Torn. There were good elements here and a few episodes where the show really sung however, there was also a myriad of problems some of which only became more apparent and egregious as the series went on. As this is an overview of the show itself and all of its seasons I won’t be talking specifics about any one episode particularly instead I’ll tackle it more broadly.

I think the things Dickinson does right are two fold, firstly it taps into the immense talent of Steinfeld and gives her a lot of room to flex her acting chops and secondly it has a strong visual identity that lends itself quite nicely to the screen and leads to some very memorable moments such as when Emily takes a carriage ride with Death, played by Wiz Khalifa.

However, what Dickinson does wrong is largely down to the writing. Firstly the major issue with the show is that about a third of its episodes could be cut and it would make no real difference to the storyline of the show as there is so much filler that to chop it down would probably make it better, this show had no business being ten episodes a season. Secondly, and this one might be controversial, Dickinson is incredibly preachy, at times it gets to the point where it feels like the show is trying to shove the political agenda of it’s writers down your throat and that can of course be off putting.

Overall, I think this series is watchable but it could have been so much more if the political agenda wasn’t there and if the season were smaller perhaps five or six episodes so the writers don’t have to produce so much filler.

Pros.

Steinfeld

The visual style

It is watchable

Cons.

The preaching

The pacing

The humour never really landed for me

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The Book Of Boba Fett: Stranger In A Strange Land

2/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Temuera Morrison returns as Boba Fett, with Fett now becoming a Tatooine crime lord.

For a show supposedly about the gritty underworld of the Star Wars universe this was disappointing. I understand it is a Disney property so we were never going to get anything too hardcore, but the toned down bloodless violence really hit me here and put me off. The violence does not feel real or impressive as it is so clearly forced into a family friendly lens that it is afraid to show anything.

Furthermore, as many people have commented the pacing in this episode is not good, for two very different reasons. Firstly, not a lot happens there are some flashbacks and a few minor events here and there yet this is stretched out for just over half an hour, the pace moves so slowly it feels like they are trying to kill time. Secondly, and somewhat contradictory the episode needs to be longer, though as I say nothing really happens something could have, had the flashback sequences been given proper time to explain Fett’s backstory rather than no doubt splitting it between episodes to fill time, then this episode could have been better.

Finally and perhaps worst of all the look of some of the alien races herein look like cosplayers trying there best to win a convention competition rather than makeup effects, prosthetics and design  that properly reflect the budget of the show.

Overall, a deeply underwhelming start to the series.

Pros.

Morrison is trying

The western feel is well done

Cons.

The pacing

The alien design in live action

It is too short  

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Hawkeye: So This Is Christmas?

3/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Kate, played by Hailee Steinfeld, and Clint, played by Jeremy Renner go head to head with Kingpin, played by Vincent D’Onofrio, and his forces in an effort to save Kate’s mum, played by Vera Farmiga.

I am very mixed on this finale, on the one hand you had some nice scenes between Kate and Clint, they finally started to feel like real partners and both Renner and Steinfeld really nailed the emotion in these scenes. Moreover, the big confrontation between Clint and Yelena, played by Florence Pugh, was executed well, Yelena’s rage turning into a gradual understanding was shown well by Pugh and I would like to see more of the two in the future I thought they worked well together.

However, on the other hand I didn’t like the Echo, played by Alaqua Cox, storyline very much, it all felt very rushed, and if they did bring Kingpin back just to kill him off then honestly that is a slap in the face to the fans from Marvel and one I think they would regret immediately. I am hoping D’Onofrio comes back for the Echo series because right now I can’t see a reason to watch it.

The action in the finale was also just okay, I liked the trick arrows though in the end a lot of them ended up feeling samey or ridiculously over the top, I get that it is a comic book show but this world does have some basic rules of logic to stick to.

Overall, the positive moments slightly outweigh the bad, though not enough to stop this from being the weakest Disney + series from Marvel.

Pros.

Pugh

The emotional scenes between Clint and Kate and Clint and Yelena

A few good jokes

Cons.

Kingpin

The end credits scene no one wanted

Echo    

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Hawkeye: Ronin

4/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Forces close in around Clint, played by Jeremy Renner, as the prospect of getting home in time for Christmas becomes more and more remote for him and the series reveals its big bad.

We got him folks after seemingly weeks of talking about him Vincent D’Onofrio’s Kingpin is here in the flesh. We only get some grainy phone footage of him so no doubt any memorable moments will happen next episode but it proves that we are getting the Netflix Marvel characters appearing in the MCU.

I thought the best thing about this episode for me was Florence Pugh’s Yelena. Yelena was not only the breakout star of Black Widow she is likely to be the breakout star of this show too. We get to see her pre and post snap and see how that affected her and are also given a really interesting scene between her and Kate Bishop, played by Hailee Steinfeld, the two have a lot of chemistry.

As I said in my review for the previous episode the Echo plotline is certainly the weak point of the show. Alaqua Cox has not done enough to make us invested in her character and honestly unless the final episode pulls something fairly spectacular out of its hat her series might be the first Marvel series I skip.

Overall, my takeaway is more Yelena and less Echo please.

Pros.

Yelena

The mac and cheese scene

Kingpin

Kate and Clint feel like a team

Cons.

Echo  

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Hawkeye: Partners, Am I Right?

3.5/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Kate, played by Hailee Steinfeld and Clint, played by Jeremey Renner, are assaulted on all sides and must fight for survival.

I do think this episode is continuing the trend of the last and is heading in a better direction for the show, that is less tied down with teen angst and dysfunctional families and is more interested in expanding the adventure and seeing how that connects to the wider world.

In that regard this episode finally brings back Yelena Belova, played by Florence Pugh, after months of rumours and leaks. Sadly, Pugh isn’t given much to do before quickly being rushed off screen, I suppose she will be developed more in later episodes, also for those of you waiting for Vincent D’ Onofrio’s return as the Kingpin you will be waiting a while longer.

I thought the high point of the episode for me was seeing Kate and Clint bond. We get several nice scenes between the two of them that do land in a satisfying emotional way and that do make you feel warm inside.

I think the series needs to do something better with Echo, played by Alaqua Cox, as right now she is not in anyway likeable and is if anything actually quite annoying, they need to do something to make her more empathetic towards the audience, otherwise she is going to become another Captain Marvel.

Also the start of this episode is quite slow as it returns Kate to her family and has them have a long drawn out scene which honestly is the worst part of the episode. As has been a constant during my reviews of this show I will say again they need to move away from the family drama because honestly it is dull.

Overall, a better episode that marks continued progress in the right direction however I do wish they would leave the family drama out of it.

Pros.

Bringing back Yelena

The heart

Kate and Clint bonding

Cons.

Echo

The family drama      

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