Thursday, April 16, 2015

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

The Book of Postfix by Ralf Hildebrandt and Patrick Koetter:
I purchased this as a PDF book when I was setting up my short-lived cloud mail server, after getting annoyed with the vast number of online tutorials that threw out a bunch of settings to change without actually explaining what those settings did. This book has a nice, consumable format, using one chapter to explain a concept and a follow-on chapter to provide common usage patterns. You are unlikely to be in its target audience, but it was just what I needed at the time.

Final Grade: B+

The 100, Season One:
If you can get through the obligatory CW show tropes (unnecessarily hot teenagers in various love polygons looking longingly at each other), this science fiction show finds its footing very quickly and actually becomes rather smartly written. I was hooked by about the fourth episode, and enjoyed the unexpected plot developments within this LOST meets Firefly meets Battlestar Galactica Without Annoying Cylon Sex Dream Sequences show. The main character is pretty unsympathetic and wooden (and the main love triangle is worthless), but the supporting cast (including Desmond from LOST and Sierra from Dollhouse) more than makes up for it. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: B+

The IT Crowd, Season Two, Three, and Four:
The remaining 18 episodes of this show are hit-or-miss, with a continuing reliance on absurdity as a primary laugh generator. However, it's always charming and a few hilarious episodes such as "Are We Not Men?" in Season Three are well worth the price of admission. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: B-

Sherlock, Season One:
This is a very well-done show, and a neat modern take on the subject matter. However, you need the attention span to be able to focus throughout each of the 3 ninety minute episodes. If you're like me, and married someone who consistently falls asleep at the 44 minute mark (which is perfect for primetime dramas on DVD), and then watch each episode at a rate of 1 per week, you'll find yourself losing the momentum and forgetting the rapid-fire details form the previous sections. As Evil Mike said a while back, treat it like a miniseries of movies rather than a show, and try to watch an episode in its entirety. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: B+

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