Mother/Android: The YA Genre Just Can’t Seem To Die

2/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Chloe Grace Moretz tries to break free of the YA market by making a science fiction film that feels remarkably YA. Moretz plays a young woman who must navigate an AI uprising in order to get to safety so she can give birth.

It is a shame this year has been so mixed for Moretz she started off with the underappreciated Shadow In The Cloud, and then went on to make Tom And Jerry, a sequel to the animated Addams family film and then this, further and further from grace. This film is by no means terrible, there are some interesting concepts here, however, it never does much with them. Instead it seems content on making this film a depressing melodrama with a YA dystopian setting and a front and centre romance.

Even when the film gets gritty the violence is either not shown or it is surprisingly bloodless, which I guess makes sense if you are fighting robots. However, it just makes this film feel like yet another poor YA film.

Moretz is trying her best however, she doesn’t really bring enough resonance to the part and as such the big emotional twist at the end doesn’t work as much as the film needs it to.

Overall, yet more weak science fiction.

Pros.

Some interesting ideas

It is relatively well paced  

Cons.

Moretz can’t land the emotional delivery

Surprisingly bloodless

It feels like an edgy YA film

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iCarly: iReturn To Webicon

2/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Carly, Miranda Cosgrove, and co go to an awards ceremony only to end up trapped in a forest with Carly’s ex.

Yikes…. Bar the incredibly sexist episode, oh wait there have been a few of those, anyway those aside this is probably the worst episode of the revival series so far.

Why? Well because the premise breaks down to a few out of date jokes about Fyre Fest, and a pointless love triangle that maybe has Carly get back with someone who treated her like dirt, because that is a healthy message to send out to your young fans.

Moreover, the B plot about Freddie, Nathan Kress, and his app is just boring. It really feels like the latter half of the series did not know what to do with Freddie and instead got hung up on the app storyline for some reason. This is a shame as the earlier parts of the series really gave Freddie a lot of great character work.

The only positive thing I have to say about this episode is that I like the romantic pairing of Harper, Laci Mosley, and Double Dutch, Poppy Liu. I think the two have great chemistry and it will be a benefit for the series going forward to watch the two play off each other. Also I am always a sucker for a good romance arc.

Overall, a good episode for Harper, but pretty bad for everyone else.

Pros.

Harper and Double Dutch

A few funny moments

Cons.

The Freddie’s app side plot is dull

The Carly love triangle sends a bad message

Fyre Fest was several years ago, move on

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Our Ladies: Life In A Small Scottish Town

3/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

A group of Scottish school girls head up to the big city, in this case Edinburgh, for a school choir competition, however they are far more interested in drinking, partying and hooking up.

Damn this one is an unexpected punch in the feels, get ready so it doesn’t take you by surprise as it did me. You have been warned.

The premise as I described it to you above seems pretty breezy and fun, and though the film has elements of that there is far more going on below the surface. The plot of this film is far deeper than you might give it credit for and it runs the gambit of commenting on such issues as terminal disease, inequality, homophobia and many more. In many ways, this film tackles both the high points and the low points of life and doesn’t shy away from either.

I found this film to be depressing, but maybe that was the point, maybe you were supposed to leave it reflecting on how these girls have less life opportunities than other people based on their location, gender and class background. However, that is not to say I didn’t find any moments of enjoyment in the film, I did. There are several moments in the film that are not only enjoyable but cheer worthy.

I thought all the performers herein were entertaining and endearing and by the end of the film I cared enough about the characters that I wanted them to have a happy ending, sadly that is not how it pans out.

Overall, a surprisingly dark tale of teenage angst, love and life.

Pros.

A few funny moments

Likeable characters

Well-paced

Cons.

It is too dark

It leaves you feeling depressed

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iCarly: iPlan A Flawless Dinner Party

2.5/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Carly, Miranda Cosgrove, cooks a meal for her new beau and his Grandmother in order to impress them- rather unsurprisingly it goes awry.

This is the definition of average. A wham bam thank you mam no thrills kind of episode. Neither the A or B plots are very good and the whole thing leaves you just going meh.

The A storyline is predictable as hell and plays off the women in competition or hating each other for the sake of it, or worse yet being territorial over a man angle to an eye rolling extent. Clearly the writers of the show were not content with the sexism of last weeks episode and needed to continue it here as well. Moreover, I find it worth noting how much of a big deal the show makes out of the fact Carly can’t cook, not just in this episode where it is plot centric. Does the show care if the male characters can cook? No. However, it does like pointing and laughing at Carly for not being able to, is it because she dared to deviate from a gender stereotype? Maybe.

The B Storyline of Spencer’s, Jerry Trainor, relationship endings felt needed. By that I mean the storyline of his relationship had run its course by the previous episode and there didn’t seem to be anywhere else they could take it, so this was inevitable. It had its wholesome moments, but I am not too sad to see it go.

Overall, the lazy sexism and poor writing makes this one of the weaker episodes of the revival.

Pros.

It is watchable

Freddy, Nathan Kress, continues to be a shining light on a troubled sea of poorly written characters

Cons.

It is sexist

It is played out

It is deeply unfunny   

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iCarly: iCan Fix It Myself

3/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Carly, Miranda Cosgrove, seeks to become a mechanic after she feels ripped off by one and wants to save the ‘life’ of her beloved car Vin Diesel.

This was a very lukewarm episode of iCarly for me. I thought the A plot about Carly trying to be a mechanic was cringe and ended up undermining the points it was trying to make. The first half of the episode focuses heavily on feminist talking points about female empowerment and Carly seizing control of her own life. Then the second half of the episode admits she was wrong to think that, that in fact she should have always just asked the man to fix it and then to push back into regression even further Carly even agrees to go on a date with him. Really guys? The sexism here is ridiculous. The moral of the episode is entirely undone by the pay off at the end.

The B plot about Harper’s, Laci Mosley, cousin faking her kidnapping is better considerably. Though the series is struggling with giving Harper something to do, I think the introduction of her cousin has greatly added to her character and given her a new dynamic to play off. I liked the build up and pay off of this plot and thought it gave Spencer, Jerry Trainor, a number of memorable moments that are also funny to watch.

Overall, I am surprised this episode got made, did no one see how deeply sexist the A plot is?

Pros.

Spencer

The B plot

A few funny jokes

Cons.

It is deeply sexist

Nearly everything about the A plot is awful  

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iCarly: iTake A Girl’s Trip

4/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Carly, Miranda Cosgrove, and Freddie, Nathan Kress, head out on a girls trip that quickly becomes more intimate than either were expecting.

This might be my favourite episode of the revival series so far. I certainly found it to be the funniest, with the episode making me laugh consistently throughout: at both A and B plots.

Moreover, I liked the dynamic between Carly and Freddie in this week’s episode, I thought the two actors played the scenes well and had a strong back and forth together. I think the show is heading in the direction of them getting together, and I am becoming more and more okay with that and if anything this episode suggests that they would actually make not only a good couple, but an interesting one to watch as well.

Furthermore, the series finally seems to know how to use Harper, Laci Mosley, after a long time of giving her nothing much to do. I enjoyed the jealousy angle they had with her character this week when her best friend/cousin becomes romantically involved with Spencer, Jerry Trainor. I think the dynamic between Harper and Spencer has been used already quite a lot by the show but even so there is still a lot of ground to cover and more depth to explore.

Overall, this is probably the best episode of the revival so far, it is fun to watch and funny.

Pros.

Carly and Freddie

Finally giving Harper something to do

It is funny

There are a number of sweet moments

Cons.

We need deeper exploration of the Spencer Harper dynamic beyond surface level competitiveness  

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iCarly: iMLM

3.5/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Carly and co become obsessed with a a new miracle product called sand, which can help with things like courage, calmness and feeling emotion.

This might be the funniest episode of the revival so far; it was not a laugh a minute or anything but there were a good few solid jokes that actually made me laugh out loud.

This episode has further convinced me that Freddie, Nathan Kress, is the best and most well written character on the show, as his character seemingly gets character work in nearly every episode and we know far more, and care far more about him and his life because of it. I think Carly, Miranda Cosgrove, could do with some more character work in the rest of the season as so far all we have learnt about who she is now, post revival, is someone who is scared of celebrating her birthday and that’s about it.

I enjoyed the gimmick of sand and thought the reveal of what it actually is was well done and actually smart in the context of the episode. Furthermore, I like that the show finally gave Harper, Laci Mosley, something to do. She gets to be the one that doesn’t fall for what turns out to be a scam and eventually expose it, which feels very true for her character and in keeping with the personality established.

Overall, a strong episode.

Pros.

It is funny

They finally give Harper something meaningful to do

Freddie

Cons.

Carley as a character needs fleshing out more, she is staring to become a secondary character on her own show

Not all the jokes land

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iCarly: iLoveGwen

3/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Millicent’s mum re-enters the picture prompting hopes that her and Freddie will get back together.

I think the only character that this series seems to understand is Freddie, Nathan Kress, as this and the previous episode proved. He is the only character that the series seems interested in exploring and developing; the rest they don’t really seem to know what to do with.

I enjoyed, once again, seeing the Freddie storyline here I think his relationship with Jaidyn Triplet’s Millicent is easily the best thing about the revival so far, or certainly the most meaningful at least. I thought the idea of having Millicent constantly seeing things that suggested her parents were getting back together, only for them not in the end was both maturely handled and surprisingly heart-warming.

As I said before this episode doesn’t know what to do with any of its characters other than Freddie and Millicent, Carly, Miranda Cosgrove, is awkwardly along for the ride and Spencer, Jerry Trainor, and Harper, Laci Mosley, are forced into a competition for no real reason at all. With Carly you can’t ignore the fact that the way she is behaving is not charming or funny, as she is too old to behave like a child and with Harper and Spencer it is just a joke that you have seen before- still not funny. Harper seems to just be mean to every one of the male characters in the show for some reason, I don’t understand why she has been written this way?

Overall, perhaps a more mature episode of iCarly which is appreciated but is really wastes most of its character and that can’t be ignored.

Pros.

Freddie and Millicent

Further emotional and character growth

Well intentioned

Cons.

Harper

It wastes most of its characters who aren’t Freddie and Millicent

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Fear Street Part 3: The Worst Irish Accents Ever

3/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

The survivors of Sarah Fier’s murderous rampage are transported back in time to see her origin and the truth behind the curse.

There is a twist. A really obvious and blatant one from the start of the film. I won’t spoil it here but suffice it to say that it will hit you in the face several times before it is finally revealed.

Moreover, the Irish accents that our cast are doing in these flash back scenes are particularly bad. They use a lot of the same cast from the previous films to flesh out the residents of Sarah’s township in this one and not a one of them can do an Irish accent, to a point where it becomes laughably bad.

However, therein lies the charm. This film much like the others is dumb fun. There is poor writing and silly moments that are supposed to be scary a plenty, but again it only adds to the charm.

I thought the final showdown was fairly well done it managed some scary moments and it gave everyone what they didn’t know they wanted…… A showdown between all the undead killers for some reason. I did think this final sequence could have been bloodier, but I suppose it is intended for a younger age group.

I thought the flashback storyline with Sarah Fier was interesting as it gave us a good look into the paranoia of witch hunting and provided the most chilling scene of the series with the church mass death sequence.

Overall, a slightly disappointing ending to the series, but still dumb fun.

Pros.

The church sequence

The killer battle royal

The dumb fun

Cons.

The accents

The ending is somewhat disappointing

The twist is super obvious  

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iCarly: iNeed Space

3/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Spencer’s new girlfriend tries to lure Carly and Harper into a cult.

This is a very average episode of iCarly, there really isn’t much more to say about it than that. It is neither particularly good nor bad, rather it is just bland. However, it does say a lot that the B plot revolving around Freddie, Nathan Kress, and Millicent, Jaidyn Triplet, bonding over their own version of the girl scouts, is far better than the A storyline revolving around Carly, Miranda Cosgrove, and the Cult.

I think the reason for this is because the show has been building the relationship between Freddie and Millicent for a while now and it is nice to finally see them share some emotional scenes together. Personally, I thought the scene where she finally called him dad was sweet and very well done. As such this storyline feels weighty to the audience, whereas the Carly in a cult storyline feels the opposite, incredibly throw away.

I do like however, that the series is moving away from ‘internet culture’ based jokes and commentary and is instead dipping it’s toes into more out there storylines where we actually get to know these characters between.

A big issue within the episode for me was Harper. For the most part Harper, Laci Mosley, has been a very so, so character but at this point in the series she is starting to become annoying- I imagine this will only get worse as the show carries on. The reason for this is that all of her jokes fall into three categories ‘straight people are weird’, race jokes, and I don’t know what that is, none of these are particularly funny, at least to me, and as such become irritating the more they are repeated.

Overall, a fine episode, nothing more.

Pros.

Freddie

Millicent

The emotion

Cons

Harper

The A story is boring and throwaway

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