Friday, November 10, 2017

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Acoustic Songs in a Church by The Hoosiers:
This is a collection of Hoosiers songs recorded purely with acoustic instruments, apparently in a church venue. I'm not totally sure who the intended audience is supposed to be other than long-time fans, but the songs are fun from a nostalgia perspective. I definitely like the fully orchestrated versions much better, but this is a $6.99 plate of MP3 tapas that's pleasant enough for what it is.

Final Grade: B-

Pinewood Smile by The Darkness:
Last of Our Kind was a great album, and this fifth album is a pretty weak follow-up. There are a few good songs in the mix, but overall, it seems like a retread of much that has come before without much character to stand on its own.

Final Grade: B-

Master Of None, Season Two:
It took us forever to get through this season (5 whole months) because of its slow pace and uneven delivery. The episodes that progress a main plot forward are fun, but there are many pit stops for random experimental ideas that are interesting but not particularly compelling. Whenever the plot momentum drags to a halt, Aziz's acting style starts to get very grating -- he's fine as a Tom Haverford, but not nearly as polished in a starring role. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: C+

Riverdale, Season One:
This show is a modern reimagining of the old Archie comics with more edge and a murder mystery baked in. It starts out with potential, but ends up relying on one-dimensional uneven characterizations that change solely to further the plot. The murder mystery is not very solvable in advance, and does a lot more "tell" than "show". Additionally, there's some laughably awful developments in the final episode that make it feel like the writers ran out of ideas. Overall, it plays out like a D-list version of Veronica Mars. Looking back, I'm a little amazed that I finished the season, but it was easy to have on in the background while Maia complained about various hot-button issues or drank milk. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: D+

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