Friday, November 16, 2018

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Bodyguard, Season One:
This show is like a British version of Homeland, Season One (before that show spun out into tedium). In just 6 hour-long episodes, it maintains a strong intensity and uneasiness that resolves in a satisfying, logical conclusion. Its success rests on the ability to depict realistic characters that don't just exposition-monologue their feelings for the audience -- everyone seems like a threat at various points in the show, but the resolution is weighted towards character motivations rather than cheap plot obfuscation devices (unlike Westworld, Season One's vague timeline approach to storytelling). Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: A

Wax by KT Tunstall:
The follow-up to the similarly designed KIN album, this is a pleasant collection of rock charts. None have gotten stuck in my head yet, but I'm not disappointed by the album.

Final Grade: B

ASUS RT-AC68U:
I haven't had much luck with routers this year. After using the rock-solid Linksys EA7500 for several years, it died in May's lightning storm. I bought the exact same router as a replacement and it somehow managed to slow all of Internet speeds to 1 MB down / 5 MB up. It wasn't until last month that I finally got around to finding the root cause. This time, I replaced it with the ASUS router which kicked speeds back up to 70 MB down / 5 MB up with minimal configuration. The router's UI is really nice and offers good visualizations of all devices on the network and options for bandwidth prioritization. Still going strong a month later!

Final Grade: B+

Killing Eve, Season One:
This BBC show offers a fresh spin on the tired spy genre (it felt more like less muted version of Amazon's The Patriot, whose second season was just released and sits in my queue). The cat-and-mouse between assassin and intelligence service takes a backseat to quirky characters. This is one of those shows that can quickly switch from dark violence to absurd humour while still retaining its watchability. I didn't care for the conclusion much, but it sets up the next season passably.

Final Grade: B+

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