Monday, April 16, 2018

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Assassin's Quest by Robin Hobb:
The final book in the Farseer Trilogy outstays its welcome by being longer than the previous books but with less going on. What's sad is that there is a very fulfilling conclusion in the final pages of the book, but it feels almost like an afterthought. If that section had been expanded upon and the previous, repetitive sections of people walking somewhere and being sad had been trimmed by a good 25%, the book would have been much more satisfying.

Final Grade: C

The Joel McHale Show with Joel McHale:
This is a fairly silly show (with one new episode released every Sunday) in which Joel McHale makes fun of clips from various reality TV shows and random famous guest stars stop by to do amateur skits and plug their new shows (essentially a reboot of The Soup from the E! network). The humor is hit-or-miss and the skits generally fall flat, but there are just enough hilarious clips to make it worth a watch. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: B-

Black Mirror, Season Four:
The problem with this season is that there aren't enough new, thought-provoking ideas to build episodes around. Instead, this season felt more like the writers were exploring "What if we told other stories in the same worlds we had already created?" Over half the episodes dealt with the concept of the "cookie" that contained a person's consciousness, which is fine, but something we already explored in earlier episodes. The episode, USS Callister, is probably the best mix of fun and horror, and Metalhead is easily one of the worst episodes ever created. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: B-

Colony, Season Two:
Perhaps I'm spoiled by quality shows with shorter, complete seasons (like Fargo), but I find Colony to suffer from a plodding, network pace in which new plot information is methodically spoonfed to allow for the show to possibly carry on for years. If the plots of the first two seasons (26 episodes) had been compressed into a single 20-episode season, it would be much more compelling. As it is, I worry that the show is going to pull a LOST on me (a real danger since the creator of LOST is also the creator of this). Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: B-

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