The Defenders

And so I thought it was… OK. I liked it enough to binge it over the weekend, but I can’t say it’s really great. It started off with a godawful boring episode that had me at a point where I didn’t know if I even wanted to continue. It did get better, but it also acted as a reminder of how the Netflix Marvel stuff has never lived up to the promise of that first season of Daredevil. I loved it so much, and I remember thinking that I would rather have stuff like this than Marvel movies. Then came all the series that I haven’t liked — Jessica Jones and Iron Fist I really disliked, Luke Cage I liked the first half but then thought the second half was a bore. And in The Defenders, you basically have Daredevil who is just so much more interesting — including in the acting and action department — than everyone else. Iron Fist is still just a dink — although he fights a little better than in his series. Jessica Jones is just so unlikable again, until maybe just the last episode. And Luke Cage, in terms of his character, is just boring. What I did like about his series was what was happening around him, definitely not him. So the series was OK, but it definitely felt like a TV movie, and not like the blockbuster meetup we were all probably hoping for.

Wet Hot American Summer: 10 Years Later

I was so excited to watch this, and quickly binged it — although it’s pretty easily bingeable with only 8 short half-hour episodes. I love the original movie to bits, and also really enjoyed the other Netflix series we got, First Day of Camp. I’d say this one is a bit weaker than First Day, but it was still hugely enjoyable, and I’d be happy to see them continue to make these for Netflix forever.

The Incredible Jessica James

I don’t tend to watch romantic comedies much, but I’d heard good things about this (a Netflix original movie that just got added), and about its star Jessica Williams — I know she’s a regular on the Daily Show, but I’ve never seen her on that (I stopped watching the Daily Show when Jon Stewart left). I really liked this. The cast is great — especially Jessica Williams, who I now want to see more of — and it was filled with good lines and interesting situations. I think this is the first Netflix movie I watch (yeah, I know they just bought it at Sundance, but still) and based on this I’m now eager to watch more (for some reason, I haven’t been really interested in watching Netflix-produced content other than TV shows and comedy specials).

Blame

I was quite looking forward to watching this film. I’ve never read the manga series it’s based on, but I quite like the stuff that Polygon Pictures has worked on of late (Knights of Sidonia, Ajin), and I really dig the cel-shaded CG they produce. I did quite like the visuals, but I somehow never managed to really get into it, and it took me a few viewing sessions to get through it — I was just kinda… bored. The setting is pretty bleak and lacks visual diversity, and there’s just not much that happens in terms of interesting storytelling. The action sequences are well done though.

Castlevania

I often complain about the lack of animation produced in North American aimed at adults that’s not comedy, and so not only was I extremely excited to watch Castlevania because of that, but also because it’s based on a game series I love, and more importantly, it’s written by Warren Ellis — who I still credit as being the first person who ever commissioned me to write something. We only get 4 episodes (with 8 more episodes already promised), but it was enough to get a good feel for the series, and I really like it. The animation, although done by a studio in the US, feels like a good anime, and the story is dark and interesting — with a good dose of black humor, as you’d expect from Warren. Can’t wait for the next batch of episodes.

GLOW

I’ve had a hard time really getting into TV shows of late (other than Twin Peaks and Better Call Saul), and so was pretty excited to see GLOW finally show up on Netflix. The premise sounded great — the making of a women’s wrestling show in the 80s — and the trailer I’d seen looked awesome. I’ve just watched the first episode, but really enjoyed it, and I think this is going to be right up my alley. I haven’t been in love with anything from Netflix since the second season of Master of None (having a hard time getting into the new seasons of Kimmy and House of Cards), so it’s good to get this.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Season 3)

Strangely, I’m having a hard time finding the drive to watch this new season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. I loved the first two seasons to death, and was super excited to get a new season last month. But I’ve watched the first 2-3 episodes, and they’re just not hitting for me. I don’t think it’s awful, but I’m not laughing like I used to, and I just feel a bit bored watching them — the musical sequence with Titus was a chore to watch for me, yet I’ve loved all the ones he’s done in the past. I’m not sure if it’s just that I haven’t been in the right mood to watch it, and I do plan on watching more, but I’m quite surprised by my lack of enthusiasm for season 3 so far.

Master of None (Season 2)

The second season of Master of None is just perfect (and the first season was pretty damn great too). It debuted on Netflix yesterday, and I watched the whole thing — episodes 1-2 at lunch time, and then 3-10 non-stop in the evening. I just loved it so damn much. Each episode feels like this perfect little movie (sort of like the second season of Louie did), and the episodes directed by Ansari were especially great (loved the opener in black & white). And that episode 6, just fantastic. The strength of the series is that it doesn’t usually go where you would assume it would go with something, and each story is just so captivating (for the most part, I’d say the weakest bit is the whole Chef Jeff bit). I’m just sad that I’ve now watched it all, and have another year to wait for another season (if there is one). Oh, and the ending was just perfect.

Lucas Brothers: On Drugs

I saw this stand-up special pop up on Netflix, and since I’ve found these two to be pretty funny in the past — mostly in cameos — I decided to watch it, and really liked it. It doesn’t have huge laughs, but I found myself constantly giggling throughout — I mostly like their laidback vibe, and the kinda stupid jokes they make (like the “OJ Joke Trilogy” bit).