Thursday, February 19, 2009

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Scrubs, Season Seven:
Last year's writers' strike pooped on this show a fair amount, and only 11 episodes appear on the DVD. However, that can't take all of the blame for this lame season. I felt the fifth and sixth seasons were already running low on ideas but still enjoyed watching them because it was Scrubs -- an inclination I did NOT feel this season. With the primary characters exhausted for storylines, the focus turns to secondary characters who were funny in bit parts, but tedious with extra exposure. The order of the shows makes no sense either -- the season finale was written to appear two or three episodes earlier (before a major character's plotline changes) but shown out of order, both on TV and on the DVD.

Final Grade: D+

How I Met Your Mother, Season Two:
This season is a slight improvement over the first, favouring more character humour than cheesy sitcom humour. It's immediately apparent that you still will not meet the "mother" anytime soon, and that it just provides a backdrop for the other stories to take place. Good, harmless fun.

Final Grade: B+

The Digital Photography Book by Scott Kelby:
My favourite types of instructional texts are those that are just a series of unrelated tips and tricks, perfect for those with ADD. This book does that well, and matches it with a pragmatic "dont need to know all the technical aspects" approach. I probably won't ever use most of these tips in day-to-day photography though, and the book loses a few points for lame humour.

Final Grade: B-

The Musical World of Boublil and Schonberg:
This book is a biography / interview-style book about the composers behind Miss Saigon and Les Miserables. It's not perfect -- it spends a little too much time hyping their most recent (forgettable) productions, but the sections on compositional technique and the challenge of writing cross-language lyrics were interesting, even if you don't know the source material. I will probably never read this book again, though, because Amber honked all over it after I finished. Like many other URI! Zone denizens, she hates musicals.

Final Grade: B

Man with half-empty tank discovers that it's half-full
Google Maps car hits a deer
Lego pharoah floats down the Thames

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