Monday, July 31, 2017

Master of None 1.09


This episode is almost entirely Dev and Rachel. It all takes place inside their apartment over a period of about a year. They go from sleeping together to moving in together. They go from idyllically happy to fighting over stuff. It definitely felt more real than the Nashville episode. That one was all fun and happiness. In the end they kiss and make up. Things are looking up once again, although the description for the next episode makes me wonder about my assessment of where things stand after this episode.

I'm still not sold on this series. I don't love it. I'm not intrigued by it. This wasn't a bad episode. I think my biggest problem with the show is Aziz Ansari or Dev. I think if I liked him I would like the show as well or more than I currently do.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Halt and Catch Fire 3.02

One Way or Another

Cameron and Donna shop around trying to find more venture capital funding. They are looking to make a move, add what would later be called e-commerce to Mutiny. They don't have any luck. The one bite they get turns out to be sexist BS. Nothing seems to be going their way until they meet with Diane. She is the mother of the girl that Joanie, Donna's daughter, beat up last episode. At first Diane's firm isn't interested, because they've already invested in another firm that is doing something similar and has a head start on Mutiny. After Donna and Cameron change their approach, and ask for money to buy the other company, they get the answer they are looking for.

Ryan continues to try and impress Joe. He is also courted by Gordon, who wants to work with him. Ultimately Joe offers Ryan a job, that he decides to take. Where this is all going I don't know. It feels like the tug of war for Ryan's loyalty and attention might not be over just yet. At one point I wondered if Joe was going to ask Ryan to stay at Mutiny and keep him informed on what's happening there. In a way that doesn't make sense because Ryan is a techie and wants to build something, a product, but it didn't seem outside the realm of possibilities until the end of the episode that he might betray Mutiny.

Gordon is still suing Joe for stealing his idea. He has to give a deposition. Joe isn't at the deposition but then he shows up unexpectedly. He offers Gordon a controlling interest in his company if he will drop the suit and come work with him. Gordon doesn't bite. He doesn't trust Joe. Considering his past history that seems like a wise choice.

Joe has changed his look. He seems to emanate a vibe that seems similar to that of Steve Jobs. I'm sure that is an intentional choice by the producers of the show. He's not a clone of Jobs but both in the way he dresses and acts he seems like the co-founder of Apple.

This episode was a lot more interesting and fun to watch than the last one. I'm not sure why. It might be because it felt like more happened this time around.

Kids on the Slope 1.11

Left Alone

A real rollercoaster ride. Things go from bad to better to great to awful to better to not so great. The episode opens with Sentaro lookings like he is going to run away. Kaoru doesn't let him sneak away. The two fight but it is a one-sided fight and it wakes everyone. Sentaro is unable to sneak off.

Sentaro's father returns. He has gifts for everyone. Things are starting to look up. It seems as though his father may have learned to accept him. Senataro and Kaoru start practicing for the music festival. Ritsouko joins the act. She is going to sing. I love this part. Watching her practice singing "My Favorite Things" while Sentaro and Kaoru accompanied her was very moving for me for some reason. Everything seems to be looking up.

The night before the festival Kaoru leaves the practive space beneath the record store. Minutes after he leaves Sentaro notices Kaoru left behind some sheet music. He jumps on his motor bike and goes after his friend. While speeding down the road after Kaoru he gets hit by a truck. Kaoru and Ritsouko don't find out about the accident until the next day, minutes before the music festival is about to begin.

Kaoru rushes to the hospital. He gets the bad news and then gets worse news as he learns that Sentaro wasn't as hurt badly as his sister, Sachiko, who was also on the bike and suffered a head injury. Things went from bad to awful for a few minutes there but then Sachiko wakes up. Things are only good for a minute or two before it is revealed that Sentaro has disappeared.

Maybe a few too many twists and turns in this episode. Where the hell did the motor bike materialize from? I don't recall Sentaro owning such a vehicle. His family is fairly poor so it doesn't really jive that he would just happen to have one. What was his sister doing riding with him on the bike. He ran after Kaoru. It was a very last minute thing to do. It seems a little odd for her to be on the bike with him, except to increase the drama factor on the show by having a big reveal where it turns out that she's the one who got seriously injured. Then she pulls through and seems fine. WTF?

Okay, despite all my questions after the fact these thoughts were not going through my head as I watched the episode. I was moved by it, I did enjoy it, but I do wonder if it would hold up during a second viewing considering all these thoughts.

Friday, July 28, 2017

GLOW 1.06

This Is One of Those Moments

Sam wants Ruth to be heel (bad guy) to Debbie's face (good guy). Debbie's not interested or ready to work with Ruth. She uses the fact that she's the best thing Sam's got going to force him to try and find her another heel.

Justine has a spat with her new boyfriend after he makes fun of Sam's movies. During practice she finds out that Rhonda is sleeping with Sam, which totally kills her respect for him. She confronts him about it but he blows her off, tells her she should focus on her moves in the ring if she doesn't want to get fired. At the end of the episode she sneaks into his office and steals the video camera.

Sam gives Ruth the day off from practice so he can audition other women to be the heel to Debbie's face. Ruth goes back to the motel. She wants to work on her Russian character, Zoya the Destroyer. She questions Gregory, the manager of the motel. He is Russian. She wants to learn more to make her character more authentic. He takes her to a family event which turns out to be a bris for one of his adult cousins. Ruth entertains everyone by singing songs from Yentl.

Debbie goes through all the other women but none of them work as a heel for her. Ruth comes back just in time and Debbie challenges her. They get in the ring and start going at it.

There was this one moment at the beginning of the episode that had an interesting tension to it. Sam and Ruth were alone just before Debbie showed up. She was going off in her Russian accent and for a brief moment I thought something else might happen, that their relationship might cross a boundary. There was a similar moment in the last episode but in that case they were in the car with Rhonda who got very catty when she picked up on the vibe that was flowing between Ruth and Sam.

Not quite as entertaining as the last episode but this was another good one.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Young Justice 1.09


The team wakes up in the desert of Bialya. They cannot remember what they are doing there and that they are a team. Kid Flash and Robin recognize one another but they are the only two who do. After comparing notes it seems like they have lost the last 6 months of their memories. That's an inconvenience for most of them but for Superboy it is critical. He wasn't even conscious 6 months ago. Superboy attacks his teammates in a feral rage as they try to make sense of what's going on. They are also attacked by Bialyan soldiers.

In a moment alone, Miss Martian manages to restore some of her own memories and then later mind melds with Robin, Kid Flash and Artemis to help restore more of her own and their memories. Meanwhile, Superboy is captured by the Bialyan troops who have a supervillain ally: Psimon. Robin, Kid Flash, and Artemis take care of Aqualad, who is severely dehydrated. Miss Martian goes looking for Superboy who is being tortured by Bialyan scientists. Miss Martina goes to free him but has to deal Psimon.

I love the Wally and Artemis moments. They wake up together, unaware of who the other is. For once Wally makes passes at Artemis instead of Miss Martian. Artemis inadvertently lets drop some information about her father. She covers for it later on by acting like it was a joke. The banter between these two adds a lot of humor to the episode.

M'gann and Superboy's scenes are special but in a slightly different sort of way. She rescues him and then he steps in to help her in the battle with Psimon. This pair's relationship, unlike Wally and Artemis, is helped more by remembering the past. This story seems like a turning point for both couples. Hopefully Wally will stop hitting on M'gann now. I know that he does and becomes more serious about his relationship with Artemis at some point but I don't recall if this is where it all starts to change.

I really liked the psychic battle between Miss Martian and Psimon. It didn't end exactly how I remembered it but I may be thinking of another episode later in the season.

This episode really messed with my head the first time I saw it, as I tried to understand what I was seeing. This is at least the third time I've watched it. It doesn't hit me the same way it did the first time around but it is still a lot of fun. The structure, how the story begins partway through the story, the humor, and the relationship moments make this one of my favorite episodes of the season.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Master of None 1.08

Old People

Dev and Arnold visit Arnold's grandfather. Dev and Rachel visit her grandmother. Arnold gets attached to his grandfather's robotic seal companion.

I liked this episode. It has a bittersweet quality to it. I seem to prefer the episodes where Dev is not the focus.

I'm still not a fan of Dev or Aziz Ansari's acting chops. He lacks subtlety which makes him feel like more of a caricature to me.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Casual 3.08


Alex has sex with Rae, his roommate. They were both drunk at the time and greatly regret it. He spends the rest of the episode avoiding her. He spends time at the office looking online for Val's other half-brother. Judy is there with her son. It's the weekend so no one else is there.

Val tries spending time with Jack, who is still detoxing which means no sex. They go to a museum but she keeps imaging they are making out. Eventually she can't take it anymore and tells him they should part ways, at least for now. The episode ends with her texting him. Trouble. I don't think this is going to end well.

Laura spends most of the episode at Casey's place. She obviously wants alone time with her but there's too many people hanging out at the house. She meets her competition: the boss' wife who is able to size Laura up pretty quickly.

A decent episode. It looks like something may be brewing between Alex and Judy. There's no sign of Leon or Leia but I'm sure that they will pop up again before the end of the season.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Halt and Catch Fire 3.01

Valley of the Heart's Delight

It is 1986 and Mutiny has moved to San Francisco. They are getting ready to launch a new product. They just barely get it up and running in time for a reporter, who joins them for the launch party, to see it.

Donna and Cameron are still thick as thieves and running Mutiny. Cameron is living with Donna, Gordon, Joanie, and Hayley. Gordon feels underappreciated by his wife. He doesn't say that but that's the impression I get. I might be wrong. It might be that he just wants to do more than he currently does for Mutiny, which is maintain the mainframe.

The coders still work in one big room and spend a lot of time goofing off. I don't think I could work in an environment like that. It seems that some of the guys, and they are all guys, don't do anything other than goof off. On one level it seems like fun but it also feels kind of pointless and very chaotic. Ryan, a new addition to the team has some ideas about tightening up security on the network. He tries to explain them to Donna and Cameron. They brush him off and tell Boz to give him a raise, but that's not what he wants. He doesn't goof off with the others. He seems a little more serious minded.

It isn't until later in the episode that Cameron starts to rethink the security issue. By then it is a little too late. By then Ryan seems to have fallen under the thrall of Joe McMillen whose line of business is security. He took an idea that Gordon developed and told it for millions at the end of the previous season. Gordon hasn't forgotten that.

There is some family drama for Gordon and Donna. They have to go meet with the principal after Joanie gets into a fight with another girl. This leads to an interesting meeting with the other girl's mother. She is in the midst of divorce proceedings and seems very no nonsense. Based on what I'm seeing on IMBD it looks like she will be a recurring character throughout the season. It is unclear what role she will play.

There is also a minor earthquake. No serious damage occurs. I looked and there were no serious earthquakes in the San Francisco Bay area in 1986 but that doesn't mean there can't be one on the show.

Things are developing slowly. This isn't an episode that I love. If this was my first exposure to the show then I might not come back for more. I'm not sure if I will stick with this season to the bitter end, which is 9 more episodes, but I'm in for now for at least a couple more.

Kids on the Slope 1.10

In a Sentimental Mood

For the most part this episode focuses on Kaoru and Ritsouko. He wonders about why she knitted gloves for him. He thinks she still prefers Sentaro. At first he is nervous about her seeing him wear the gloves but then he gets over that. He still lacks the confidence to tell how he feels and asks her why she made the gloves for him. Ritsouko is hurt by his question. She tells him about how his words in earlier episodes helped her to believe in herself. The lack of confidence he is displaying now is shaking her own confidence in herself. Kaoru senses what a big mistake he has made and finally comes out and tells her he loves her.

Sentaro has a little drama of his own to deal with. Word spreads about Yurika eloping with Junichi. There was a painting of her's on display in the school. It was the painting that he posed for. Kaoru tries to prevent it from being removed but Sentaro lets it go. Later in the episode, just as Sentaro and Kaoru are planning to compete in the musical competition, he gets word that his father is returning to live with he and his siblings. His father had a drinking problem the last time he lived with them and was physically abusive towards Sentaro. It is unclear if this is Sentaro's birth father or the father of his half-siblings that is returning. Santaro's father, as revealed in 1.04 (But Not for Me) was an American serviceman. My guess is that is not his birth father.

There wasn't much in the way of music but the emotional drama kept my attention throughout. It would be nice to see Junichi and Yurika return at some point in the final two episodes, if only to see him play with Kaoru and Sentaro one more time. At this point there is no indication that will happen.

Friday, July 21, 2017

GLOW 1.05

Debbie Does Something

Sam and Bash are working on finding the show a sponsor. They take Rhonda and Ruth to the opening of a patio furniture store hoping to get the owner interested in sponsoring the show. He blows them off until Ruth puts on an impromptu show in the middle of the ceremony. Ruth, talking with a Russian accent and with a little help from Sam gets everyone smiling and laughing, including the owner of the store.

Debbie knows she has fallen a notch when Sam doesn't take her to the patio furniture store. She asks Carmen, who has been training with Ruth, what she's doing wrong. Carmen and takes her to a wrestling match. At first Debbie doesn't seem to get it. In the middle of one of the matches it all starts to fall into place for her. She understands. It is all one big soap opera. She insists on going back to meet Steel Horse, one of the wrestlers. Then she kicks Carmen out and spends the night with Steel Horse.

Justine has a flirty thing going with a pizza boy. It's a little too much for her. He gives her his number but she overthinks the message he is sending her to the point that she doesn't call him. Arthie, her roommate, winds up stepping in to help her hookup with the pizza boy.

Overall this was the best episode to date. It was a good mix of plot and character developments that moved at a faster pace than in the previous four episodes. There was also a lot of good humor in this one. Thumbs up all the way.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Star Wars: Clone Wars 3.07


Asoka and Padme team up.

Asoka starts having dreams that someone is out to kill Padme. The someone is someone who is believed to have been killed at the end of season 2: Aurra Sing. Padme is scheduled to go to a conference. Asoka insists on going with her to try and prevent her murder. At first it seems like Asoka is wrong but after the first assassination attempt Padme's security detachment starts taking Asoka's warnings more seriously.

Not bad but not great. Pretty good. I like Asoka considerably more now than I did at the beginning of season 1. It sometimes feels like she is the hero of the show, considering the Anakin is eventually going to turn to the dark side.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Teen Titans 2.04

Only Human

Cyborg goes toe to toe with Atlas, a robot, who jumps out of a video game to challenge him. Cyborg can't beat Atlas at first. It isn't until after Atlas has captured the other Titans that Cyborg pushes himself beyond his limits and beats him.

I'm not a big fan of this kind of story or message. Everybody has their limits. Limits should be tested but I get a little tired of stories like this one.

On the whole not an awful episode but I would put it in the same class as 2.02 (Every Dog Has His Day): kind of silly, not much in the way of character moments.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Casual 3.07

The Rat King

Alex and Rae, the new roommate, host a Magic the Gathering Party at their place on a Friday night. It starts as a small group but grows. They don't get around to playing the game because someone sees a rat or traces of a rat in one of the bathrooms.

Originally it looked like the party was just going to consist of Alex, Rae, Val, Laura, and Leon. Laura brings Casey, her boss, with her. Val calls Leia and asks her to bring over her cat, to help catch the rat. Later, Val calls Jack who brings over traps and sticks to catch or kill the rat with. In the end it is the cat who catches and kills the rat.

Laura seems to be sexually interested in her boss. She gets to see her naked but nothing happens between them. It is unclear if her boss is aware of Laura's feelings.

Leia turns out to be the woman who was in bed with Leon in the previous episode. They find a moment alone to share a kiss. They decide to announce their relationship to everyone else. Just as they are about to make the announcement the party breaks up just before the game is about to begin.

This episode was an interesting contrast to the last one  this time everyone was together. I liked it but there was something about the rat that felt like a gimmick and left me a bit unsatisfied.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Master of None 1.07

Ladies and Gentlemen

Rachel and Denise try to teach Dev about some of the stuff they have to put up with as women, stuff that he doesn't know anything about. He helps Denise get some guy who is masturbating on the subway arrested, which makes him a bit of a hero for one night. The next day he loses acting gig on the commercial he was hired to do because the director took his advice and decided to replace him with a woman.

This felt very message heavy, which isn't to say that there wasn't some good humor. I especially liked the part where Arnold goes with Rachel to help her pick up a couch.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

GLOW 1.04

The Dusty Spur

Sam and Bash return from a weekend of brainstorming and doing drugs in Palm Springs. The big idea they come back with is that they are going to have all the women stay in a motel together, the Dusty Spur. Their hope is that it will be a bonding experience for the group. There are just 5 weeks until the first show and the group needs a lot of work before they will be ready.

The room assignments are handed out. Ruth shares a room with Wolf Girl. Things don't get off to a great start. Ruth is convinced that Wolf Girl is her roommate's wrestling persona but what she learns is that her roommate has been dressing like that since long before GLOW started. Ruth is a bit concerned because she hasn't been assigned a wrestling persona yet. She comes up with a few and tries bouncing them off Sam, but he isn't very receptive.

Debbie is the only one who is allowed to opt out of staying at the motel. She changes her mind after her husband tells her that he is moving back in to their home.

Carmen's father comes to take her back home. He doesn't want his daughter wrestling, even though that's what he does for a living. Bash tries to help out by pretending to be her boyfriend but he isn't convincing enough to fool Carmen's dad.

Sam gives Tamme some VHS cassettes of his movies to watch. She shares them with a bunch of the other women. When they are watching one of the movies the film is interrupted halfway through by a video recording that Sam did of himself for a dating service.

There's no reconciliation or big blowup between Ruth and Debbie.

Loving it might be too storing a way to put it but I'm still enjoying the show.

Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

Peter Parker's life gets a much more thorough spotlight in this movie that it did in Captain America: Civil War. The focus is split between his life fighting crime as Spider-Man and his time as a high school student.

Peter gets a sidekick in the form of Ned his nerdy. heavyset classmate who finds out early on that Peter is also Spider-Man. Ned wants Peter to use his super-hero identity to make them popular at school. Peter is a little too busy being Spider-Man to do that.

Peter has a crush on one of his classmates, Liz. The problem is that he keeps running off to fight criminals as Spider-Man: at her party, at the academic decathlon, at the dance. In the comic books there is (or at least was) a character named Liz Allen. She was similar in that she was someone whom Peter had a crush on but whom he felt was way out of his league. The Liz in the movie is clearly modeled after the character in the comic books in that way but there is at least one way that she is significantly different in the movie.

The main bad guy is played by Michael Keaton. He is a man with a salvage business that gets its government contract pulled away from it by the Department of Damage Control. He and some of his employees use the technology which they have already salvaged (but not turned over to the government) to start another line of business making high tech weapons that they sell to criminals. He is the main bad guy but he doesn't have any quality scenes with the hero until the third act.

There are a number of little cameos that were fun to see. Donald Glover (Community) shows up as the criminal who wants to buy a gun but whom the bad guys try to up-sell a much more powerful weapon. Captain America shows up in a few PSA videos that Peter and his classmates are forced to watch. Martin Starr (Freaks and Geeks) shows up as the coach for the academic decathlon team.

I enjoyed Peter's attempts to master the suits full capabilities once he had unlocked them after Ned disabled the Training Wheels app in the suit. I couldn't place the actress who was the voice of the suit when I was watching the movie. It was Jennifer Connelly.

On the whole I really liked this movie. My only real complaint is that some two of the fight scenes that took place at night were very dark. It was very difficult to tell what exactly was happening.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Kids on the Slope 1.09

Love Me or Leave Me

Kaoru is invited to a Christmas party that some other kids are throwing. At first he says no but when he finds out that Ritsouko isn't going he agrees to go. Ritsouko and Sentaro are going to a church function that day. Kaoru doesn't have much fun at the party. On the way home he runs into Ritsouko. She drops her bag and her knitting supplies come falling out. She is embarrassed. She doesn't want Kaoru to know she is knitting him something. He guesses that she is knitting a gift for Sentaro, but he doesn't exactly come out and say that.

Ritsouko throws the yarn and the knitting needles in a trash can on the way home. Once she gets back to the record store she finds Sentaro waiting for her. He gets on his knees and begs for her forgiveness. He is about to say something when she starts laughing. She has figured out what is up. She sees him as a brother and tells him that. He seems very relieved.

Ritsouko runs out to find the knitting supplies she threw away. Yurika sees her digging through a trash can and offers to help. Together they find the yarn. They talk for a bit. Yurika wants to know who Ritsouko was knitting for. Ritsouko won't say but she decides then and there that she is being too passive. This probably isn't the way she put it but she resolves to be more open about how she feels going forward.

About halfway through this episode I thought it was just okay. It felt like it was drifting but there wasn't a lot happening. That changed in the second half.

Junichi receives a letter from a friend and decides to return to Tokyo. His friend is starting a publishing business and wants Junichi to join him. He starts to say his goodbyes. Kaoru tells Sentaro about Junichi's plans after seeing Junichi on the street. Sentaro acts very nonplussed. He is only interested in playing some music with Kaoru. Kaoru slaps him when he doesn't show an interest in the news about Junichi's plans. Sentaro's only response is to walk away.

Later, possibly the same day, possibly the next day, they are back in the music room beneath the record store. It looks for a second like Junichi and Sentaro are going to get into a fist fight but they are more interested in playing music together, at one another. This was the only the second musical moment in the episode, the other being at the party.

Yurika defies her parents and goes to see Junichi off to Tokyo. She has questions. She doesn't understand why he doesn't want her to come with him or why he never tried to get very far with her. He answers her questions and gets on the train alone. When he sees her crying on the platform and spies her parents looking for her he pulls her onto the train just before it pulls away.

The episode ends with Kaoru finding a pair of gloves waiting for him on the piano keys. They are made of the same color yarn that Ritsouko was using earlier in the episode.

So much happens in this episode. I didn't think it was all that much until I started writing it down. I wish there had been more music in this one. I wonder if that is the last that will be shown of Junichi and Yurika?

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Star Wars: Clone Wars 3.06

The Academy

Asoka Tano is sent to Mandalore. She is there ostensibly to teach at the academy but Duchess Satine and the Jedi Council hope she will be able to accomplish a little more than just teaching. Asoka inspires her student to seek out examples of corruption after she teaches them about it. Her students investigation leads them to a black market exchange. The bad guys hunt them down. Luckily for them Asoka steps in and helps them capture the bad guys and prevent a coup d'etat led by the Prime Minister of Mandalore.

Not the best the show has to offer but not the worst either. Definitely better than some of the earlier epsiodes in this season. I am still hoping the show will pick up again and impress me, even if it only lasts for an episode or two.

UnREAL 2.10

Friendly Fire

It is the final episode of the season and the final episode of the season for Everlasting. Darius has a choice to make. Romeo is back with no physical signs that he was shot in the midsection a few episodes back. He advises Darius to pick Tiffany, but Darius looks and acts like he just wants to skip out on the finale.

Quinn amps things up by telling both remaining contestants individually that Darius is going to pick them. Not only is he going to pick them but he wants to get married right away, on the show. Quinn doesn't say anything to Darius about his. He doesn't even know that they are planning to have a wedding. That was totally Quinn's idea.

Rachel is tasked with dealing with Coleman and Yael who are threatening to blow the show wide open. They know about Mary, from the previous season killing herself. Quinn steps in to help Rachel early in the episode. She has dug up some dirt on Coleman, that some of the people in his critically acclaimed documentary were actors. After having security snatch his computer and his files, she threatens to blow the whistle on him if he blows the whistle on the show. That works for a little bit but eventually he can't resist and starts making threats about going to CNN with the real story about Everlasting.

Chet has to deal with losing Tiffany. He doesn't take it well. This is at a point in the show when Tiffany is convinced that she is about to get married to Darius.

Jay isn't crazy about the direction in which the season finale is headed. He wants true love to win out. He pulls a fast one and invites Ruby back for the final show. When Darius can't decided whom to pick she steps out and Darius proposes to her. She laughs and says no but just to marriage. She likes him she just isn't ready to marry him.

Coleman finds Jeremy and sneaks back on the set with him. The plan is to disrupt the final episode with an announcement of the truth about what happened to Mary. Jeremy changes his mind after he hears about what happened to Rachel when she was young. It completely changes his allegiance. He ends up doing something very drastic when it looks like Coleman and Yael can't be stopped. It is an ultimate statement of loyalty but it also casts a very dark cloud over the end of this episode and season 2 of UnREAL.

This season did not end with the sort of fireworks I was expecting. Early in the episode it really felt like that they were building to something monumental. I am happy enough with the way the season ended. It isn't for me so much about where they went but how they got there. There were some shortcuts and things that seemed to be dealt with a little too quickly but for the most part I was happy with this episode and the season as a whole. I will be happy to give the next season a try once it is available on Hulu.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Teen Titans 2.03


The Titans meet a potential new team member, Terra. She has the telekinetic ability to move rocks and earth but her control over her powers is a bit shaky. She has been on the run for a while, probably because she is still learning to control her powers. The Titans invite Terra to come back to the tower with them. Cyborg, Starfire, and Beast Boy are very eager to welcome their potential new team member. Robin and Raven are suspicious but don't share their concerns with the others. Skulking in the shadows, observing Terra's first encounter with the Titans, is Slade.

Terra spends the night at Titans Tower. The next day the Titans get a call for help. They head to a mine where they encounter a bunch of Slade's robots. Terra almost kills Beast Boy when she loses control of her powers but he survives without injury. She runs away, distressed by her lack of control and encounters Slade. She tries to take him down but he isn't that easy to beat. He tells her that he wants to be her mentor and that the Titans aren't really her friends. She goes nuts again. Debris starts flying everywhere. She almost brings the mine down on everyone but Beast Boy talks her down. Slade has vanished by this point.

The Titans return to Titans Tower. They offer her membership in the team but she ends up running off because she thinks that Beast Boy has betrayed her trust in him. The episode ends with Beast Boy glumly skipping stones across the water by himself.

I know that Terra's story is one that comes from the original run of New Teen Titans. I've read some but not all of the issues in which she appears. I know that eventually (in the comic books) it is revealed that she is working for Deathstroke (aka Slade Wilson). I don't recall at what point clues being to be dropped that this is the case. Terra's mental instability is also a plot point in the comic books.

This is possibly the best episode of the season and the series to date but it is also a dark episode. I can't remember any other that has ended on such a down note. Slade is downright creepy. It gave me chills just watching the scenes where he tries sweet talking Terra. Powerful stuff.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Casual 3.06


Alex endures his first day on the job. He's replacing Eric, who everyone loved, big shoes to fill. He doesn't get off to a good start. After he blows off some steam and find an ally, the COO, it looks like maybe he will stick around. At home he is learning to deal with his new roommate who is more popular than he is, cosplays, and hosts Magic the Gathering games at his place.

Val is confronted by the girlfriend of Theo, a barrista with whom Val had sex. She didn't know he had a girlfriend until the girlfriend showed up enraged at her office. Val goes out for a drink with Jennifer whom she hasn't seen in quite some time. This leads to Val giving Jack a call after Jennifer lets it drop that Jack is a sex addict. They agree to meet for lunch. The lunch goes well until Val asks Jack about his addiction. Next thing Val knows Jennifer is acting like she doesn't want to talk to her again.

Val seems to be the one in the downward spiral this season. How irresponsible and stupid of her to ask Jack about something that she was told in confidence, about him, by someone else. Despite all that, the episode ends with Jack and Val texting about giving lunch another try.

Unlike Val, Alex seems to be making his life better. I suppose there plenty of time left in the season for him to mess things up. It is refreshing to see him on what (I hope) is an upward spiral, for once.

Laura goes to work for Casey, as an unpaid intern. It turns out that the work is very similar to the job she just gave up. There is a lot of door-to-door canvasing for signatures. Laura gets bored and winds up having sex with the guy who is showing her the ropes. The sex is very unsatisfying for her.

Overall a very good episode. For the first time that I can remember the three leads did not interact at all with one another in the episode.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Master of None 1.06


Dev invites Rachel to go with him to Nashville. She says yes.It is only their second date and the first one was months (?) before, in 1.01 (Plan B). They kind of sort of had another date but she was dating someone else at the time and it was more like they just hung out together in 1.03 (Hot Ticket). They were a little too cute together in this episode for me. It didn't get real or feel real until Dev screwed up, they missed their flight back to NYC, and had wait 5 hours for the next flight.

This is the sort of episode that makes me go meh. It didn't really excite me or make me laugh or draw me in. It just was. Maybe it is an in-between-er.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

UnREAL 2.09


Rachel goes on quite the journey in this episode as she vacillates between her love for Coleman and her loyalty to Quinn. Jay finds out how fleeting success can be. One episode after replacing Rachel things quickly begin to fall apart for him as the actions of Rachel and Madison completely undermine his plans. Coleman goes over to the dark side and solidifies his pact with Hot Rachel. Chet does what he can to score with Tiffany who is angry about the way she is treated by Darius after their date ends.

Rachel gets revenge on Yael and humiliates her on camera, partly for the sake of the show and partly for personal reasons, during her date with Darius. She spikes the contestants food with (presumably) a laxative. She then refuses to let her make a quick run to the bathroom. When Yael insists she finds that the closest bathroom is locked. This is something that Rachel did earlier in the episode, although it wasn't explained at that time what she was doing. Yael poops herself on camera, although nothing is actually shown other than her crying. Quinn loves it. It is hard to say who has the higher moral ground here, Rachel or Hot Rachel, both of whom do things that are somewhere between questionable and evil.

Jay tries talking Chantal into quitting the show. It seems to work until Madison talks her into staying and doing something bold on her date with Darius: she gets in the hot tub naked with him. Darius loves it. Quinn loves it. The only one angry about it is Jay, who had plans for her.

At the elimination ceremony, Yael gets the boot from Darius. Coleman consoles her about getting kicked off by jumping into bed with her. This is after he reassures Real Rachel that she is the only one for him. The man is evil, plain and simple. This turn on his part may be in character for him but it does seem a bit fast. Not too fast for me, but still a bit out of character for who he presented himself to be initially.

Quinn finds out that she can't have children and loses her cool. She tells John she never wants to see him again. She kicks everyone out of the control room and then starts tearing apart equipment. Rachel is the only brave enough to approach her. Rachel talks her down by letting her know what Coleman knows and has planned.

Everything seems to be set up in the final episode as a showdown between Quinn and Rachel on one side versus Coleman and Hot Rachel on the other side. There's going to be more to the episode than that. no doubt, but that seems to be the most likely central conflict. I can't foresee what sort of twists and turns there will be in the final installment of season two but I will be surprised if Quinn and Rachel don't come out on top. What happens to everyone else? Who will Darius pick? Will Jeremy, Rachel's mother, or John Booth return in the season finale? How will Rachel and Quinn's relationship be affected by the events in the final episode of the season? I have no idea.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

GLOW 1.03

The Wrath of Kuntar

Sam writes a script. He loves it but Bash, the guy who is financially backing GLOW, whose idea it was to start GLOW in the first place, disagrees. He thinks Sam's idea is way too complex. He wants Sam to simplify. Bash is right but Sam can't see that. He explodes when Bash tries to start guiding things.

The episode begins at their training facility but after he's seen enough Bash invites everyone back to his place in Malibu for a party. He takes Debbie in his helicopter but the rest have to make it there on their own. Most of them ride with Melanie in her limousine. Sam and Cherry go in his car. Justine gets a ride with them after she gushes about Sam's films. Ruth and Carmen go together in Ruth's car.

Debbie still doesn't want to talk to Ruth. She is still angry about Ruth sleeping with her husband. Ruth continues to want to try and patch things up but is intimidated by her friend. I hope that Ruth eventually snaps and gives Debbie a piece of her mind, in or outside of the ring. What Ruth did is a betrayal but Debbie's solution to the problem seems to be to try and drink the problem away. Eventually something will have to give.

Bash shows the ladies his room of costumes and encourages them to have fun creating personas for themselves. This drives Sam nuts. He already has a plan, a story for the show. He doesn't appreciate what Bash is trying to do. The right answer is probably somewhere in between what the two visions for GLOW.

The ladies don't have the final say in who they will be some of them are pushed into presenting themselves as characters who are racial stereotypes. If anything this helped to highlight how degrading and improper this was even back then. Hopefully most people watching this will see it for what it is and not just laugh it.

All in all I like this episode. The story continues to unfold slowly. I'm still not in love with the show but it is different enough from everything else I am watching and it is good enough that I want to see more. So far Sam and Ruth are the two leads. I get the impression that Debbie is also supposed to be a lead but for the most part her performance seems a little more one note that of Ruth or Sam.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Teen Titans 2.02

Every Dog Has His Day

Beast Boy is abducted by an alien who is looking for his pet. He is taken by accident but after the alien realizes what he has he won't let Beast Boy go.

This one is heavy on the humor. It works. It is a good episode but it isn't a favorite of mine. There is a little action towards the end of the episode when the Titans battle the alien. Not much in the way of character moments. The ending is a bit left field bizarre but it works for me.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Master of None 1.05

The Other Man

Dev meets a Nina (Claire Danes) at a party. She is DTF and has a super swanky apartment. Dev can't believe his luck, until he sees pictures of her with a man. She admits that she is married. She tries to talking him into staying. He doesn't but she gives him her phone number.

Dev helps Colin (Colin Salmon) with some ideas for a screenplay about a man who turns into a car. This part was played deadpan and was very amusing. Nothing serious here at all.

Dev dtays away from Nina until one day Mark, her husband, cuts in front of him at an ice cream shop. He has sex with Nina. Everything seems cool at first but the second time they go for it Mark comes home unexpectedly. This was played a little too silly to be taken seriously, at all. I kept expecting the other shoe to drop, but it didn't.

Not my favorite episode but not a bad one either. Lots of little laughs.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Casual 3.05

Look at Me

Valerie suffers a bit of regret at hooking up with Byron, the guy from her writing class. She just wants sex. He seems to want to have a relationship. She tries hitting on a barista at her favorite coffee place but he can't even seem to remember her name.

Alex tries to be helpful by going on a double date of sorts with Val and Byron. He pairs up with her landlady whom he meets through a dating app. It goes well at first but only because he is lying to her. He doesn't have a job, although he dis apply for one earlier in the episode, one that seems below what he wants. He leads her to believe that he is a dot com millionaire who recently cashed out. She's down with that until she learns that he's been lying. It all comes apart when his latest AirBnB guest inadvertently spills the beans.

Val suffers through a night of sex with Byron. She doesn't know how to end it so she sleeps with him. The next day she text him to tell him that she doesn't want to get serious. That night in class he reads a story about getting his heart shredded. He doesn't name who did it but it is clear that he is referring to her.

Laura is kind of on her own in this one. She starts to take her job gathering signatures for green ballor initiatives more seriously. That falls apart when a woman questions how much she knows about the people at the top of the organization she works for.

On the whole I liked it. I was surprised that Alex and Val's landlady lasted as long as they did. Laura's transformation seemed a little fast but maybe it wasn't a transformation. She is still in a state of flux trying to find something to cling to or at least that's my read of Laura.

Atari: Game Over (2014)

Against the backdrop of a dig at a landfill in Alamogordo, NM the brief history of Atari Games (1977 - 1984) is told. There is also a spotlight on Howard Warshaw the creator the E.T. cartidge game for the Atari 2600 console. The E.T. game has often been reviled as the worst game ever. There are a number of experts in the movie who dispute this notion, including Warshaw.

Overall this was an okay film. It didn't blow me away. There was some interesting information but I didn't love it. I did like the way the movie was broken down into chapters and the fact that it was only an hour long.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

UnREAL 2.08


Darius is out of the picture for most of this episode. Quinn decides to do things a little different and have the contestants decide which one of them should get voted off the show. Tiffany knows that the other three women hate her. She doesn't think she stands a chance. Chet gets her the answers to the immunity challenge, which is a trivia contest where the questions are all about Darius.

Quinn is one step ahead of Chet. She gives the answers to Chantal and add in a question that was not originally part of the challenge. Chantal wins the challenge and Tiffany is sure that she will get voted off the show.

Rachel does not get as much of a spotlight as she has in the past but there are some interesting twists and turns in her part of this episode. In the beginning she is still in the mental hospital, sedated. She has been there for a week. Coleman wants to visit her but before he does he catches Yael snooping in his office, looking at his laptop. She tells him that she is a reporter and is working on a story about Everlasting. They broker a deal but the exact terms aren't known.

Coleman visits Rachel in the hospital and brings her back to the set. Her mother of course disagrees with this course of action and later comes to the set with another doctor to try and convince her daughter to return to the hospital.

Darius is missing throughout all of this. He left the hospital without notifying the producers of Everlasting. He meets up with Ruby at a diner. He tries to sweet talk her but she isn't buying what he's selling. She is still stinging from the fact that he dropped her from the show. She called Jay, after she heard from Darius and let him know where they would be meeting. Ruby walks out and Jay talks Darius into returning to the show.

Quinn has some personal drama of her own. John Booth still wants her but he also wants to have children with her. She's not up for that. Chet tries making a play for Quinn, for the umpteenth time. She's not up for that either. Chet focuses most of his attention on Tiffany. He still wants her to win in the hopes that it will get him in the good graces of her father who is the owner of an NFL team, a very exclusive club that Chet would like to join. He promises to do everything he can for her. Once it looks like she will probably get voted off the show he suggests that he could start another show for her. She likes the idea and in one of the weirder turns of the show they start making out.

Rachel's mother temporarily backs off her push to bring her back to the hospital when Rachel seems about to reveal something about her mother in front of the other doctor. She tries talking her daughter into it privately but Rachel still won't go back with her. Rachel tells Coleman in confidence what it is that her mother doesn't want her to reveal: she was raped by one of her mother's patients when she was 12. Her mother has managed to keep it under wraps but it is clear that this is something that Rachel has never recovered from. Does anyone else know about this? Does Quinn know? I'm guessing not.

Coleman assures Rachel that they will get through this together but I don't trust him. I think he sees dollar signs. I think his next move maybe to expose her story as a way of advancing his career. Of course he will probably couch it in terms of it being for Rachel's good. At the end of the episode He meets with Hot Rachel, nothing overt happens between them but she is Hot Rachel. I've got a feeling that something is going to happen between them.

Darius returns to the show in grand fashion. He walks in just as Tiffany is announced as being voted off the show and changes the rules of the game. He votes Jameson, the cop, off the show and picks Tiffany to spend the night with him.

There are lots of twists and turns here. I continue to enjoy watching the show progress. I wondered about Rachel's past, why her mother wanted her medicated. I was right about Yael being a reporter but that was kind of telegraphed.

Kids on the Slope 1.08

These Foolish Things

Ritsouko begins to develop feelings for Kaoru. This happens after she sees all the attention he is getting from other female classmates following his performance with Sentaro at the festival. She gets talked into knitting a scarf for him by one of her classmates who is knitting a scarf for a boy she has a crush on.

Kaoru doesn't seem to make anything of all the attention he is getting from his female classmates. He notices Ritsouko knitting a scarf but thinks it is for Sentaro. He confuses things further by telling her that he's sure the guy whom she's knitting the scarf for will like it with out being clear who that guy is.

Yurika catches up with Junichi. She spots him one day. His past is finally revealed. He has been disowned by his father after being involved in political protest movements in Tokyo. He tries to scare her away but she doesn't scare easily. She decides, against the wishes of her parents, that she is going to help him out. She also cuts her hair short.

Sentaro is confused by Yurika's hair cut. He thinks that Junichi broke her heart. He goes to see Junichi only to find that Yurika is there with him. He wasn't ready to see that and runs off. After a jam session, Kaoru advises him that he should forget about Yurika and stop ignoring the one who cares for him. I might be remembering it wrong but it was something like that. Sentaro doesn't know who Kaoru is talking about until later in the episode when he remembers some things that Ritsouko confided in him when they were much younger.

This was a more interesting episode. I don't know what impact waiting so long between episodes had but I'm very happy that I came back to watch another episode. It had been over 5 weeks since I last watched. There is very little music in this one but I'm okay with that. There was more than enough interpersonal drama to make up for the lack of good music. The only music-oriented scene that I recall is the jam session and that didn't last very long.