Star Wars The Bad Batch: Entombed

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

The Bad Batch crossover into the new National Treasure series and become treasure hunters.

My, my we are in a bad pattern of episodes with these last two, both of which have been the very definition of filler, and whilst last weeks’ at least gave Tech some nice hero moments this one is even worse and marches into tedious territory quickly.

I think my main issue with this episode is that it didn’t feel like Star Wars to me, treasure hunting is at the core of many great franchises but in my mind never Star Wars, I suppose that is why the sequel trilogy that was very MacGuffin searching heavy was so bad.

Also this was a very Omega heavy episode, and many of you who have read my other reviews know my thoughts on her, whenever she is the primary focus of an episode you know you are in for a bad time and or filler. Honestly, when you compare this episode to the Crosshair/Commander Cody one from a few weeks ago it is night and day.

I am also fairly bored already of the new pirate character, they will never replace Hondo and I question why they are even bothering to try.

Overall, an even worse episode than last week’s filler-fest.

1.5/5

Pros.

It is watchable

Hunter’s reactions were quite funny

Cons.

The new pirate character is deeply bland

Omega is as annoying as ever

It doesn’t feel like Star Wars

It is boring

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Star Wars The Bad Batch: Faster

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

The Bad Batch get involved in riot racing.

This was a filler episode, no ifs ands or buts about it. Nothing even remotely interesting happened here, and even the tease of finding out more about Sid’s backstory fails to move me as she is already a pretty dull character and I would rather know more about Cody or Rex when it came to supporting characters.

The racing plot line was as dull as they come, but it was nice to see Ben Schwartz voice the cocky racing droid that then almost immediately gets smashed. Schwartz brought some fun to what was otherwise an incredibly dry episode.

The only thing I liked about this episode was that again it gave Tech a moment to shine, I am glad of this as other than once earlier in the second season he really hasn’t had many heroic moments and has been somewhat of a forgotten member of the gang, so it is nice to see him having these moments.

Overall, a dull episode that is probably best skipped.

2.5/5

Pros.

Schwartz

Tech having more moments to shine

It is very watchable

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The Last Of Us: When You’re Lost In The Darkness

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Yet another post apocalypse narrative but this time based on a popular, if deeply overrated video game.

The Last Of Us was never my favourite game, hell it wasn’t even my favourite Naughty Dog game, it was very okay and in many senses that is how I felt about this first episode. It was alright, but no different than any other piece of post apocalypse fiction that you have ever seen before.

If you have played the first game, this episode is a pretty faithful recreation of the opening sections of it. I wouldn’t say it is shot for shot the same in terms of adaption as say something like The Sandman was, but it comes pretty close.

I think Pedro Pascal is a very good Joel, truth be told he was the only reason I tuned into this at all.  I think Pascal’s skill as an actor is really highlighted in the scene wherein he loses his daughter, that is a haunting scene in both the game and this first episode. Pascal really nails the emotion here and delivers in the way you would want him to.

My issue with this episode is Ellie, played by Bella Ramsey. Frankly put I think she has been miscast, and was only cast based on the popularity of her character in GOT, she doesn’t feel or remotely look anything like Ellie from the games and it takes you out of it. In the scenes wherein she is chained up in the Firefly safe house and is interacting with her jailors it comes through incredibly clearly that she is acting it feels in no way natural and this when compared to Pascal’s performance really highlights a juxtaposition in acting quality.

Overall, the first episode was on the better side of fine, Pascal brings a lot to the show and it was impressive how close they were to matching the games, but Ramsey is miscast.

3.5/5

Pros.

Giving us Joel and Tess as a couple

It is quite close to game accurate

Pascal is terrific

The emotions really hit

Cons.

Ramsey is miscast and unconvincing

The episode is bloated

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Star Wars The Bad Batch: The Solitary Clone

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Crosshair continues on his journey as the Empire’s killing machine and Commander Cody makes a return.

I thought this was the best episode of The Bad Batch yet, there was something so mature and dark about this episode that I really enjoyed, it played with the idea of disillusionment and clinging on to belief simply for the sake of believing. I thought Commander Cody and Crosshair really played off each other well both on and off the battlefield, and I think bringing back Cody was a stroke of genius.  I think it is highly likely the show will bring him back in the future and that is a good thing, I think this second season is building towards Crosshair defecting from the Empire and re-joining his old team.

On top of all this the action in this episode is fantastic, far, far better than what the show has been putting out in the past and it also really highlights Crosshairs specific set of skills, the trick shot he does to take out the commander droid is a sight to behold and really gives him a moment to shine.

Overall, one of the best episodes of the show yet, only let down by its short length.

Pros.

The focus on Crosshair

Showing off Crosshair’s skills

Commander Cody

The thing this episode sets up for later in the season

The return of more Clone Wars characters

Cons.

It was too short

4.5/5

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Star Wars The Bad Batch: Ruins Of War

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Clone Force 99 battle to get off world.

I thought that this second part of the season opener really delivered on what the first set up, we got far more action which was nice to see and also a greater sense of goings on in the Galaxy at that time and off Imperial intrigue.

I liked that this episode gave Tech a heroic arc, as often he is the forgotten about or overlooked member of the group usually only appearing to offer a Deus Ex Machina escape when things seem dire. I thought seeing him try to fight off the clones whilst being wounded was a nice little bit of character progression for him.

The one thing I didn’t like about this episode which will be very familiar to those of you who read my first season reviews for this show is how Omega and Echo interact. The whole thing of Omega trying to prove her worth and then making things worse and needing to be rescued isn’t endearing it is irritating. In many senses the show would be a lot better off without Omega, but Star Wars just has to have that adult child bonding these days so she sticks around.

Overall, a good episode that really delivered on the action front.

4/5

Pros.

The action

The ending

The wider world tease and Imperial intrigue

Giving Tech his moment in the sun

Cons.

The forced in Echo/Omega plot line and the cheap forced emotion of it

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Velma: First Two Episode Overview

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Mindy Kaling turns herself into Velma from Scooby Doo and creates one of the most grotesque vanity projects I have ever seen in my life.

Who is this for? It certainly isn’t for Scooby Doo fans, as the talking dog himself is not even in this, is it for new fans as it feels like a new show? Well maybe, but if that is the case then have the balls to call it something different and not attach it to the Scooby Doo IP. In my mind this is for fans of Harley Quin as this is basically just the same show, but set in a different fictional universe.

Where to begin with why this show doesn’t work. Frankly Scooby Doo as a franchise was never calling out for an adult take, we never needed to hear the gang talk about sex and drugs and for the most part here it just feels like the show is trying to be edgy. However, the issue is that in its attempts to be edgy it just feels desperate instead, and the comedy, if you can call it that, feels at least a few years out of date.

However, I think worst of all is Velma herself. Kaling takes the very worst aspects of her characters from her other shows and forces them all up to the max to create a truly irritating character that only gets worse. In the two episodes that I watched, and believe me I won’t be watching anymore, Velma went from stupid, to irritating to hateable really quick.

Overall, for once Zaslav should have used his axe for good and should have prevented us from ever having to be subject to this, it makes you truly thankful for and remember fondly the James Gunn films and that is saying something indeed. Truly a trash show destined to not find an audience and fail.

0.5/5

Pros.

It gave me a renewed appreciation for the James Gunn Scooby Doo films

Cons.

It is a vanity project and is in no way Scooby Doo

It is unfunny and the adult humour feels try hard at best

Velma is deeply irritating and unlikeable

There is no Scooby Doo

It feels like Harley Quinn but with different characters

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Star Wars The Bad Batch: Spoils Of War

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Clone Force 99 are back with a mission that sees them return to the base of the infamous Count Dooku.

I enjoyed this episode through a nostalgic lens as it showed us Dooku’s castle from Clone Wars in a way it had never really been presented to us before and we saw new depths and layers to it.

I also liked the fact the Clones are talking about doing more and joining in more formally with the Rebellions efforts, I think in many senses this is the show setting things up for later in the season, but it is an interesting tease as it could go in so many different ways and could end up in a return of some of our favourite characters.

My criticism of this episode would come from the fact that it was a little slow, the action side of things definitely favours the part two of this two parter, but that is not to say that this episode is boring as things do happen just not as many as you would like.

Overall, a solid start to the season that opens a number of interesting doors.

3/5

Pros.

Talking about being involved in the wider Rebellion and teasing things to come

The return to Dooku’s castle

It is good to see the characters back in action

Cons.

It is a little slow at times and the action is a thin

There is some pacing issues with the episode as the relatively short runtime turns into a slog

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The Devil’s Hour Season Overview: Life Repeated

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

A kidnapping takes a turn for the strange when false memories and alternative timelines begin to intersect.

This show was the first in a long time that I binged all in one go, that speaks for itself in many ways. I thought this show was both clever and intriguing from the off, clearly there is more than meets the eye within the goings on but very much like the first season of Westworld this show gives more questions than answers, which is how you would want it to be especially considering it has been renewed for two more seasons.

I enjoyed the direction the show went in, despite it ending up in being more of a science fiction show than a horror show, which giving the title I was expecting. There are some good scares and supernatural moments, but the show later explains this all away in the final episode wherein the science fiction elements are firmly placed front and centre.

Overall, a terrific first season filled with promise.

Pros.

The acting

The original plot

It takes a lot of turns and you never quite know where it is heading

A number of good scares too

What it sets up for the second season

Cons.

It does lose more of its horror elements as the show progresses

4.5/5

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Vardy V Rooney A Courtroom Drama: Maddeningly Stupid

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

The Wagatha Christie trial is brought to the screen in all of its stupid splendour.

This may be a very UK centric review, as I don’t know how well the Wagatha Christie trial is known worldwide, basically for ease it is about a defamation trial between the wives of two footballers that captivated people’s attention earlier this year.

I thought this show was terrific, within it’s two episodes it fully encapsulates the maddening stupidity of the whole thing and shows up just how badly Rebekah Vardy misjudged her lawsuit. The dialogue cut with such a fantastic degree that every line either had you gasping or laughing, truly top notch.

Moreover, this represents yet another fantastic turn for Martin Sheen who easily steals the entire show here with his cutthroat lawyer character. Though the actors playing Coleen Rooney, Chanel Cresswell, and Rebekah Vardy, Natalia Tena, are by no means slouches and do both have their moments to shine.

My one criticism of the show would be that it is too short being only two episodes. I feel if it had one or two more episodes the show could have explored things in more depth, or maybe I just want more bafflingly stupid moments from the legal transcripts to get their proper due on TV.

Overall, a fun moment from an otherwise bleak year rendered into a TV program.

4/5

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Rick And Morty: A Rick In King Mortur’s Mort

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Morty becomes a Knight Of The Sun

This was a particularly weak episode of Rick And Morty, I wouldn’t say it was the worst episode of the series so far, but certainly it is up there.

There is very little to be entertained by coming from this episode, the knight plot line gives way to a lot of quickly tiresome fantasy jokes, with Rick not liking the Knights and thinking them lame because they aren’t in his usual science fiction wheelhouse, all fairly predictable stuff.

The joke of the Knights cutting off their genitals becomes repetitive quickly and the threat that Morty might be forced to do that do never really feels like it will materialise as we all know that Rick will save him as such this episode has no stakes.

The emotional through line of Morty rejecting Rick and how that affects him is an interesting proposition, however, the episode really doesn’t capitalise on it in an interesting way.

Overall, clearly a filler episode.

2/5

Pros.

It is watchable

A few funny jokes

Cons.

The storytelling is lazy

The plot lacks any stakes

The majority of the jokes become quickly repetitive

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