The Mandalorian

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I’ve watched a lot of great sci-fi series lately. Watchmen (which everybody should see), Star Trek: Picard (which was good), The Expanse season 4 (which was pretty good), and Westworld season 3 (which was ok). The Mandalorian, however, was not my favorite.
It’s basically a Western in space, but unlike Firefly which set the gold standard for doing a Western in space, The Mandalorian doesn’t have any compelling characters. The main character (who is nicknamed Mando) is a gruff loner who doesn’t talk much, doesn’t remove his helmet, and doesn’t even have a proper name until the end. So we don’t get much personality from him.

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Westworld Season 3

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As we’ve come to expect from Westworld, season 3 brings us more violence for the sake of violence. It felt like every episode had at least one scene in which a robot slaughters half a dozen humans or so. Sometimes, just to mix things up, the robots kill other robots.

We get it. Robots are really good at killing. Also, in case you didn’t realize how cool murder is, they usually play high-energy music during the mass murder scenes. And of course, all the humans have about as good an aim as your average stormtrooper. Continue reading

True Detective Season 1

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I saw the first season of True Detective recently. I can see why everyone was raving about it. I think it’s undeniable that most of Rust Cohle’s best lines are cribbed from Thomas Ligotti, although at least one was taken from Alan Moore. It was interesting that the villain was into Chamber’s King in Yellow mythos, but I feel like there were a lot of missed opportunities. Rust Cohle has synethesia and sometimes gets acid flashbacks, which could have made this a pretty trippy series, but these aspects of his character don’t really get explored. I did like the scene in which an old man talks about the good old days and his son-in-law says, if the good old days were so perfect, they never would have changed. (I wonder who that line was cribbed from.)

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The Witcher

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I didn’t care much for The Witcher. One problem I had with it is how magic works. Magic can basically do anything: teleportation, telekinesis, mind control, illusion, healing, etc. There’s even a genie that can grant wishes. So anything can happen. (At least we didn’t see anyone raised from the dead, but maybe that’s just because they’re saving that for the next season.)

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Deep Space Nine Season 3

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Continuing my Star Trek rewatch, I’ve reached the end of Deep Space Nine season 3. It’s still a bit rocky, which I think is largely due to the awkward transition a lot of TV shows were going through at the time between trying to have each episode stand on its own and also trying to make each episode a piece of a larger overarching plot. Early seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fall into this same category. Continue reading

Westworld Season 2

I really enjoyed the first season of Westworld, but I was disappointed with the second. Season 1 felt like a complete story by itself. Season 2 doesn’t really add much besides a revenge narrative, which I’ve never cared for. It just felt like violence for the sake of violence. Besides, killing countless robots that can easily come back to life isn’t just boring, it’s also rather pointless. Continue reading

Westworld Season 1

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“Evolution forged the entirety of life on this planet using one tool: the mistake.”

I’ve got to admit the premise of Westworld is hard to swallow. Why go to all the trouble of creating hundreds of realistic robots that need to be constantly cleaned, repaired, cured of infections, and given amnesia, when creating a Virtual Reality version of Westworld would be so much safer and cheaper? Continue reading

Twin Peaks: The Return Part 2

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If you haven’t seen the original series and the prequel movie, Twin Peaks: The Return won’t make any sense (come to think of it, even if you have seen the previous material, it still won’t make sense.) Disappointingly, we don’t get closure for many of the season two cliff hangers. We don’t learn if Leo survived or not (he only appears in a clip), we don’t learn what happened to Annie or Donna or Hank (they don’t appear at all), and we don’t find out how James Hurley got out of being a murder suspect. Continue reading