We’re heading into the final months of 2023 and it’s a different world to be sure due to the actors and writers’ strikes as there won’t be a broadcast season for the most part, unless you’re interested in game and variety shows. The streaming side offers us a bit more material that was in the hopper already so we’re definitely good other.
We’re in a minor lull at the moment with three main shows we’re watching have ended. We’ve got Star Wars: Ahsoka now underway and this month gives us Lower Decks as we wrap up Foundation as well. We’re hoping to slip a few movies into the reviewing pattern as well.
One show I’ve neglected to write about the past few weeks, and part of is that they dropped three episodes at the start, is the second season of The Wheel of Time. I had a lot of issues with the first season in how it adapted things and some of the production values along with how it was moving through things. The second season doesn’t feel like it’s by a whole new team but rather a more refined and capable team that is able to execute it better. The show continues to look great and even better with all of its details this time around. With five episodes out already of the eight for the season, it’s embracing the scale of the cast and bringing in more characters while also having our core characters split apart – as they were for most of the novels. It’s sticking to specific in-culture terms for various things without going for more generic names and it’s embracing the scale of everything. I really had a hard time with a lot of choices made in the first season but this season just feels far smoother and more engaging.
Next up this week we’ve got our look at the first two episodes of the fourth season of Star Trek: Lower Decks. The end of the opening episode provides a look at what’s to come this season with a journey into Klingon space that goes badly but that has me pretty wary as to what it could be. The main episode itself is a lot of fun as we get some merged body antics with the Cerritos side, which is a pretty standard but very fun thing to try and manage, while the gang on the Voyager deals with pretty much all the big problems that crew had to face in comical form. Not without some danger, but it’s still just a lot of fun. I imagine fans of the original show have a ton of references to find throughout it and it’ll definitely deliver what they’re looking for. It was a lot of fun even for a casual viewer like me and just seeing the progress of the team while still sticking to their lower deck roots is a hoot.
Check out our review of the third episode.
Next up this week we’ve got our look at the fifth episode of Ahsoka. Some stuff here doesn’t work too well, the whole New Republic politics angle and Hera’s role in it is just awkward, but it’s not much different than what we’ve seen in most Star Wars TV shows outside of Andor. And this round at least as a bit simpler and minimal so it didn’t stand out in a bad way. It was good to get some time with Chopper and Jacen and to include Teva as well a bit, though some of his dialogue and actions just felt out of place in the moment and “not realistic” for how it unfolded with a superior officer and the actual situation at hand. But beyond that, there’s a lot to enjoy here depending on the vector from which you’re watching this show. The World Between Worlds material is always divisive among fans but if you’re going to do it in live-action, this is how you do it. The team went big with it in giving us not just Anakin but young Ahsoka and some time with past battles, costumes, and events that just hits a sweet spot to tie everything together properly.
Check out our review of the episode.
Next up, we’ve got a look at the ninth episode of Foundation with its second season. The show delves into a few things along the way, notably the sacrifice that Riose has to go through while doing his duty and his attempts at trying to curb some of Day’s worst impulses, while we also get some decent time with Mallow and Constant since they’re stuck in the Imperial ship. The bits we get with the Foundation Director and others is good and seeing more of their “church” delights me but makes me wish they actually explored all of this more over the course of the season instead of this awful stuff with Gaal and Salvor. The Empire material dominates this episode and we get a big radical change toward the end of it that has me wondering what their intent is because it kind of blows up so many other things as it diverges ever harder from the source material.
Check out our full review.
And as a reminder, Daniel has checked in on the first season of One Piece. ”
Netflix’s attempt to adapt manga juggernaut One Piece delivers due to a deep understanding of the source material, an understanding lacking from many previous attempts to bring manga and anime to the world of live-action. If you’re willing to immerse yourself in this weird world of pirates and plunder you may just find yourself a gem. One that is rough and perhaps a bit unpolished in a few areas, but one that shines all the same.”
Check out our full review.
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What did you watch this past week?