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.
This week I finally finished watching season 1 of The Expanse. I’d originally started watching the series when it originally aired, and I was liking it fine without being incredibly wowed by it, and just sorta stopped watching it after about 4 episodes. In recent weeks I got in the mood to watch sci-fi again, and having heard that this series was considered to be pretty good (especially with the second season), I decided to give it another go and started again from episode 1. It’s definitely a slow burn that gets much more interesting in the second half of the season, especially the later episodes. I still find that the scenes on Earth with the ambassadors are pretty boring, but I got caught up in the mystery taking place in space. I’m quite looking forward to digging into season 2 soon (taking a little break now to give Killjoys a second try).
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.
Here we are, the 7th (and shorter) season. Two episodes in, we still haven’t gotten to the meat of things, but it’s off to a decent start, after a pretty quiet first episode (but with the delicious Ariya revenge scene at the start), and then a second episode that puts things in motion (naval battle, Jon Snow heading to meet with the Mother of Dragons). I just hope they don’t draw out the Jon/Daenerys meeting too much. Let’s get our war on.
Right now I’m incredibly addicted to watching the first season of Lucha Underground — I’m currently on episode 31 of 39 (they have the first 2 seasons on Netflix). I watched it for the first time back in 2015 while I was still in Japan, and was enjoying it at that time as well, but then stopped around episode 9 or 10 (probably in part due to the move). Getting back into it, I’m just reminded of how much fun it is, and how it scratches the pro wrestling itch I still have occasionally, but that I can’t get scratched from checking in again on WWE (there’s too much of it, and I just don’t care for most of the current roster, and I find most of the matches boring to watch). Lucha Underground has super fun (and silly) stories (and I like that they’re shot in a slick “TV drama” way), the high-flying action is truly exciting to watch, and I just can’t get enough of it.
So even though I haven’t been posting updates on a weekly basis like I was doing, I have in fact still been watching cartoons every Sunday morning. My standby continues to be a couple of Mickey Mouse shorts (I just finished season 2, so from next week will be attacking season 3) and old Merry Melodies/Looney Tunes shorts. For the rest, I’ve been sampling a few things, including some old The Scooby-Doo Show episodes (the Scooby-Doo series I remember the most), but what I’ve watched the most is the old G.I. Joe cartoon, which I loved as a kid. I watched the 5-part “Rise, Serpentor, Rise” that kicked off the second season of the 1985 series, and this morning I watched part 4 of the 5-part “Operation Dragonfire,” that kicked off the first season of the 1989 series (which I didn’t see much of back then). Sure, it’s pretty awful, but I still get a fun nostalgic kick out of watching these. I did try watching some more Steven Universe at some point, but just wasn’t really feeling it. I did really enjoy the five Ant-Man shorts that were recently released, that have an old-school vibe to them.
It’s been years since I’ve watched any South Park (I’d say probably 10-15 years), but these past few days I’ve been playing the South Park Phone Destroyer game, and it got me wanting to check it out again, so I decided to jump into season 20 (the latest season that they have up on the Crave TV streaming service). I’ve watched the first 3 episodes, and man, I’m in for more. It’s still as funny as I remember it being, and the fact that I haven’t watched it in such a long time means it feels relatively new again to me. I don’t know if I’ll then want to go back and watch some more seasons, but for now I’m having a lot of fun watching it again.
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.
I’ve been disappointed by a lot of stand-up comedy specials of late, but I was happy to laugh pretty much from start to finish while watching Sarah Silverman’s new Netflix special. Sure, you need to be a fan of her dark/crass comedy, but if you are, this is pretty classic Sarah, and I loved it.
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.