It’s a new year and a new round of shows getting ready to come on as well as a lot of returning favorites in the broadcast realm. We’ve covered a lot of shows and movies in 2022 and have had a whole lot of fun with them. There were a lot of standouts with Star Wars: Andor being my top show of 2022. And that has me excited to see what 2023 will bring as there are a lot of properties I’m looking forward to.
I’m a bit adrift in trying to start up new shows overall at the moment but still find things to check in on. So what did we end up watching?
We recently saw the start of the third season of The Mandalorian and we’re now on the eighth and final episode of the season. When looking at the two season finales so far this year for Star Wars properties, The Bad Batch outclassed this season of The Mandalorian. It just ran circles around it in delivering strong scripts, good storytelling, and a strong execution. The Mandalorian felt like it needed several more episodes to get to the points it wanted to and it felt like a lot of what we did get was a Cliff’s Notes version just so we could get to the ending. You can definitely see that the seventh and eighth episodes were mapped out first and they worked backward from there to get to it and weren’t sure how to handle everything in-between. I imagine doing it proper would have broke the budget and we got what we did instead. After two pretty strong seasons before this, and some problematic time in the Book of Boba Fett, this is definitely a season that struggled and is likely to see a fan edit that culls 75% of it to make a decent film-length version of the whole season.
Check out our full review.
The third season of Star Trek: Picard got underway as it looks to wrap up The Next Generation work. With the tenth and final episode, the show doesn’t feel like it was done purely to set up a new series even though it does provide the right hooks for it throughout and that was done in a way that felt natural. The final serves as a good capstone for the Next Generation crew and Picard in particular but it doesn’t put it in a place where it felt like their stories themselves were done. But for some, they surely are and this is definitely a strong way to go out. There are plenty of things to take issue with over the course of the season in some of the choices and handwaving moments, but it was largely strong throughout and design to achieve goals that I think it did both well and in some cases quite thoroughly. It’s definitely the best way to close out this particular Picard’s storyline and it has me hopeful for the next next generation.
Check out our full review.
The first of two game reviews this week, Cody takes a look at the The Game of Fourtune PC release. ” The Game of Fourtune is an admirable attempt to blend together games like the flowchart from Zero Escape with the various intriguing games of something like Alice in Borderland. Let’s be clear: the art and character designs range from just barely passable to honestly horrible but that is the one diminishing quality of this otherwise enjoyable game.
If you can look past that and appreciate the usually passable characters in conversations, The Game of Fourtune never fails to mix it up with character moments, various death games, and choices that ultimately matter. While the overarching plot falls short, the journey there is a wild and surprisingly solid ride in terms of writing and characters.”
While I never finished the Drops of God manga, I did enjoy the first few volumes a lot and was glad to see a live-action adaptation announced for it as it’s the kind of project that needs this format to be well-realized. Apple TV+ dropped the first two episodes of the season, coming in at an hour each, and it captures the mood and vibe well of the original with obvious updates for time and other changes. The reality, however, is that it’s a character drama at its core and focuses on two people whose lives have been altered because of one man, Alexandre Leger. For his daughter Camille, he’s changed her into something powerful with how she can sense and understand things but it has come at a cost for quite a long time, hence being cut off for a decade from him. His prize student in Japan, Issei Tomine, has a distant feeling from most everyone but a huge dedication to what he’s been taught. With both of them set to inherit an unparalleled collection after Leger’s death, all of the past is catching up to them in different ways. It’s an intriguing show in that it’s definitely not something that has an American feel through cinematography, character, and certain locations and set design. It’s also capturing the right elements from the manga as the characters move between at last French, English, and Japanese, and with it obvious who doesn’t understand what when these shifts can happen. It’s a slow build over the first two episodes but quickly feels like it’s captivating if this is something you can connect with.
And to wrap up, I want to repeat what I said last week as it’s only getting better. I’m always mixed when it comes to musicals but there are a lot that I do like and enjoy over the years. Grease was something I saw when I was young during the booming days of Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta and it was catchy as hell. This series, taking place four years before that in 1954, looks to delve into things in a similar but deeper way with more space and time to do it and with more complex characters. The thing I found was that this was pretty infectious right from the start because it doesn’t paint it as the film did or a lot of other things looking at this time but rather a bit more of the reality, albeit exaggerated as such as projects are always going to do. The series has thirty original songs written for the season, strong production values, and an absolutely fantastic cast. I can’t recommend it enough.
In catching up on older things that I’ve got in my collection that I’ve revisited while working while trying to avoid streaming so as to not use up my data cap, it’s an odd mix this week. Over the course of the week, I’ve background watched:
- The backlist has been made up of slowly watching Cities: Skylines videos.
- The Boxtrolls Review
- Kubo and the Two-Strings Review
- Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania Review
- Kaguya-sama: Love Is War – The First Kiss That Never Ends Anime Movie Review
- Sword Art Online The Movie – Progressive- Scherzo of Deep Night Movie Review
- Mobile Suit Gundam Cucuruz Doan’s Island
- Missing Review
- The Whale Review
- Point of No Return Review
- Blonde Review
- Wendell & Wild
- Clerks III Review
- Luck Review
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
- Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko
- Hustle Review
- Top Gun: Maverick Review
- The Bob’s Burgers Movie Review
- Chip n’ Dale: Rescue Rangers Review
- Stu’s Show Review
- Star Trek: The Motion Picture – The Director’s Edition Review
- Bubble Anime Review
- Ryoma! The Prince of Tennis Anime Review
- Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Review
- Turning Red Review
- The Batman Review
- Belle Review
- Drive My Car Review
- The Power of the Dog Review
- Robin Robin Review
- BoxBallet Review
- Bestia Review
- Eternals Review
- Encanto Review
- 8-Bit Christmas Review
- Music Box: Jagged Review
- Ghostbusters: Afterlife Review
- Tick, Tick…BOOM! Review
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings Review
- Free Guy Review
- My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission Review
- Dune (2021) Review
- Black Widow
- Jungle Cruise Review
- As the Village Sleeps Review
- Space Jam: A New Legacy Review
- A Quiet Place Part II Review
- Knots: A Forced Marriage Story Review
- School-Live! The Movie Blu-ray Review
- In the Heights Review
- Over the Moon Review
- Feeling Through Review
- Two Distant Strangers review
- Yes-People Review
- A Love Song for Latasha Review
- If Anything Happens I Love You Review
- Burrow Review
- Godzilla vs Kong
- Happy Happy Joy Joy: The Ren & Stimpy Story Review
- Kamp Koral: SpongeBob’s Under Years Preview
- Raya and the Last Dragon Review
- The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run Review
- The Little Things Review
- In Other Words Review
- Earwig and the Witch Review
What did you watch this past week?