Thursday, April 04, 2013

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Parks and Recreation, Season 2:
Parks and Rec improves drastically over its abbreviated first season, no longer feeling like a poor man's Office. Characters are fleshed out to be more than caricatures, and Amy Poehler is rewritten to be more naively optimistic than stupid. Rebecca has found a new favourite funny TV character in Ron Swanson.

Final Grade: B

Backatown by Trombone Shorty:
This album is a collection of brassy funk infused with hip-hop and soul characteristics. The benefit of funk is an unmatched groove, and the downside of funk is that a few songs are almost too repetitive and need some more variety. The songs without vocals are more successful, as are the ones that seem to channel a marching band from a historically black college. Here's the opening track, Hurricane Season.

Final Grade: B

Breaking Bad, Season 4:
I'm very torn on this season. On one hand, the first 2/3rds drags like Mahler and actually dissuaded me from watching. On the other hand, the plot and climax are a perfect distillation of organic storytelling, wrapping almost every plot point from the first four seasons together in a satisfying, yet slightly ambiguous ending. The show continues to sacrifice watchability for quality, and while the result is masterful, it's not always interesting. It needs to take "slow burn" lessons from The Wire, a show which managed to have both a satisfying season climax as well as satisfying forward progress in every episode. Bottom Line: If you get annoyed by long, lingering shots of artistically framed faces with no dialogue, the beginning of this season will annoy you, but the pay off is probably definitely worth it.

Final Grade: B

Weather.com:
When we planted our tomatoes on Tuesday night, the ten day weather forecast showed no below freezing days. Not two days later, it's 27 degrees outside and our plants are waiting out the frost under buckets, with potential casualties. Plus, the weather.com website has started autoplaying video clips with sound.

Final Grade: F

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