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The Weekly TV Discussion Post For May 17th, 2020

5 min read
So. Much. TV.
Star Wars Rebels Season 1 Episode 15
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Watching as the current season gets spread out in order to try and have something for the coming weeks has been interesting, but it’s also disheartening – and entirely understandable – as planned spring finales are being adjusted to launch the next season in the fall. That’s going to make for some awkward finales for a few shows I’m sure. but in this time of the coronavirus, it’s the smallest of worries but something tangible that you can latch onto and work with amid the bigger worries. And sometimes that’s a good coping mechanism for many.

At the moment, we just finished our weekly look at the second season of Harley Quinn with its finale as well as wrapping up Star Wars: The Clone Wars. We also did reviews of the finale of See as well as the finale for The Mandalorian and the very enjoyable Star Trek: Picard.

With a bunch of shows wrapped up recently and the last few broadcast shows getting out their abridged finales, I had one new show start up that I have to ensure that I take in slowly. The third season of Bordertown arrived on Netflix and I couldn’t be more excited. The first season in 2016 really engaged me with its Finnish murder-mystery stuff in the Nordic noir genre and getting a second season in 2018 only added to it. I wasn’t sure we’d get a third season but that landed late last year and finally ended up here. It’s a slow moving piece but one that works for me with the nature of the cast and the exploration of the cases but the enjoyment comes from the psychological aspects of how the lead works as well as the gorgeous cinematography that’s just part and parcel with Nordic noir shows.

Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian was a “vanity” project I wasn’t even sure I was going to watch. While I would consume every single thing related to Star Wars as a kid and teenager, I haven’t done that in an age because there’s simply too much. This one, however, got me as I gave it a try as it’s basically a semi-rotating roundtable talking not just about this production but others as well. The first two episodes were really fun and they had the right moments to highlight Dave Filoni and why he’s so important to the property overall in terms of moving forward in the live-action side.

The third episode spends its time with the cast more than the directors, though they have their moments, and it’s a lot of fun even though it’s mostly kept to just a couple of actors. Pedro Pascal is always a delight and downplays himself here nicely since it’s a three-person job to be the title character, but the other two are utter delights. I was really thrilled when I found out Carl Weathers was going to be in this series since he had largely retired from acting and opted to do this since he hadn’t done this kind of special effects project before – only to end up in regular clothes in the end. He’s really interesting to hear talking about the franchise as a whole here coming from someone that was doing a lot of big films when these first came out decades ago. The other is Gina Carano who talks about her unusual path through Hollywood and how she ended up in this series and talking about how it’s the first role to really make a significant impact on her investment in it in terms of character. She’s got some great things to say about Carl and Jon Favreau as well and seeing how she was hired was really interesting too. There’s a lot to like and it has me even more invested in her character.

When the Star Wars Rebels series first aired there were some hard feelings from some fans. Clone Wars had been ended unceremoniously and we were getting the then final season of it in shortened form through Netflix. Rebels was going to skew a bit younger and was bringing us closer to the original trilogy, taking place about five years before A New Hope. I distinctly remember being frustrated by the first season because it was focused on Lothal too heavily and we didn’t get out and about in this big galaxy all that much.

With the seventh and final season of Clone Wars wrapping up earlier this month, I opted to roll into Rebels right after while watching with my daughter because we’d enjoyed the time with the Clone Wars material and she hadn’t seen Rebels. I’ll admit, binging the first season over a week definitely helped to smooth out some of those initial issues I had as well as knowing where it goes as the four-season run goes on, especially in bringing some stories to completion from the Clone Wars era. And knowing that some of these characters are going to see new life in The Mandalorian, some of them in live-action form for the first time, provides for a new way to view the show in catching up on their stories.

But the season is also a lot of fun. You see more of the ties that bind throughout the larger franchise now that we’ve got closure with the previous series and knowing that some of them will see life beyond this as well. Though Rebels crossed over with other characters often as the original film cast show up a few times, a lot of what we got here felt kind of disconnected from the rest. But it feels like now that it’s finally “grappling” onto the larger Star Wars body and becoming a fully-fledged part of it.

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