Thursday, October 30, 2014

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Armed and Dangerous by William Queen and Douglas Century:
In the midst of Sons of Anarchy viewing, I reread William Queen's book, Under and Alone about going undercover with a biker gang, and then picked up this book to pass the time on the plane home. This companion book details his attempts to catch a mountain man criminal in the hills of San Bernadino. The main case isn't particularly exciting, and the author seems to realize this, as he spends more time on tangential cases before reaching a rather ho-hum climax. I finished it in about two hours on the plane and had to start reading Ender's Game again to finish the flight.

Final Grade: D+

How I Met Your Mother, Season Nine:
From a technical viewpoint, this season already had two strikes against it -- the entire season takes place over a single weekend (drawing out the already overlong story), and one of the cast was off filming a movie (requiring contrived green screens and a solo storyline to keep him involved). This show is at its best with its quick one-off flashback jokes and at its worst when it tries to be serious or tease at the main storyline. Once the season finally starts wrapping up, it gets pretty good. Unfortunately, the season finale, while properly set up within the context of this season (so it's not really a twist ending), is illogical and useless against the character development set up in the last four seasons of the show. Had the show lasted only 2 seasons, it might have made sense, but after 9, it just felt like a slap in the face.

Final Grade: C-

Sons of Anarchy, Season Five:
Each season of SoA gets grimmer and more intense, becoming more of a stylized, violent family soap opera. This season isn't as good as the fourth, but kept me watching in spite of the occasionally unnecessarily long run-times of episodes.

Final Grade: B-

Tah-Dah by Scissor Sisters:
There's a number of good songs on this album, but nothing particularly different than their other albums. In this case, that's just fine.

Final Grade: B+

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