The final season of the Star Wars side adventure goes to some unexpectedly moving places.
Into a television landscape suddenly devoid of Star Wars content, The Bad Batch swoops in with its third and final season, a darker yet not grittier adventure that loops its way into the greater Universe’s timeline while still managing to surprise an audience who knows how much of this story ends.
Picking up some time after the end of Season 2 (though there are several short time skips throughout the initial eight episodes), Omega (Michelle Ang) remains imprisoned in the Imperial scientific testing facility in Mount Tantiss. Ostensibly there to assist cloning expert Nala Se and fellow female clone Emerie (Keisha Castle-Hughes), it’s clear to both Omega and the audience that she’s there for more nefarious purposes, including mysterious bloodwork that Emerie has been conducting on all of the clones and of which Nala Se is insistent that Omega not be a part. Omega is the shining star of this season from the first episode; determined, loyal, and brave (not to mention generally smarter than all of her brothers), Omega is the sort of female character on which Star Wars (and internet controversy) thrives. Decried from her very introduction, Omega has cemented her place as the heart of the Bad Batch, both the series and its namesake group. Continue Reading →
The AppleTV+ spy series retains its humor but gives viewers its most tightly plotted effort yet.
Slow Horses Season 3 reiterates how the series differs from so many other TV shows. While critics frequently discuss film as a director’s medium, television tends to be more showrunner—and thus writer—driven. While Horses indeed derives many of its pleasures from the writers—the returning trio of Will Smith, Jonny Stockwood, and Mark Denton once again man the pens—each season’s unique tone owes to its single director.
James Hawes made the series’ debut season a workplace comedy where the occasional gun battle might break out. Season 2 darkened or ditched much of the comedy for a bleaker, higher action affair under the direction of Jeremy Lovering. In Slow Horses Season 3, Saul Metzstein doesn’t push the team back into the offices. If anything, Slough House appears even less than in Season 2. However, he does re-up some of the mismatched colleagues’ humor, particularly when it comes to the team’s most recent additions, gambling addict Marcus (Kadiff Kirwan) and drug addict Shirley (Aimee-Ffion Edwards). He also further deepens the emotional stakes with a light touch, adding depth to ever-growing complications. Continue Reading →
The sea is always a great setting for a story. It’s both soothing and menacing; water is cleansing and purifying, and a consistently replenishing source of food. But it’s also dangerous and uncompromising. Water is one of nature’s greatest antagonists, it can get into virtually anything, softening it, weakening it, eventually breaking it apart. But nothing on earth would survive without it. It’s a brilliant metaphor for so many things, as it’s constantly changing and moving and covers wondrous and monstrous secrets. It works even better in visual mediums like TV and film because it’s beautiful to both look at and listen to. The CW’s new eco-thriller, The Swarm, makes good use of its watery locations in establishing an aura of tranquil menace: everything seems calm and orderly, but there’s trouble bubbling up just below the surface. Continue Reading →
While Anna Winger’s new series Transatlantic is visually and textually lush, it opens a stark portrayal of the refugee experience. It’s painful, watching as they struggle with the terrain, carrying everything they have in their arms. You hear every labored breath, see every sweat stain. This long opening sequence sets the tone for the rest of the seven-part series–it isn’t glamorous or glossy, just beautifully filtered misery, fear, and hope. Continue Reading →
Daisy Jones & the Six
The story of Daisy Jones & The Six begins, fittingly, at its dramatic end. The show opens with the members of the titular band taking their seats for a series of talking-head interviews before a title card that reads, “On October 4, 1977, Daisy Jones and the Six performed to a sold-out crowd at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois.” Despite being one of the biggest bands in the world at that time, “It would be their final performance.” From there, we jump back in time to learn exactly how Daisy and the five members of the Six (yes, five) became a band. Continue Reading →
Hello Tomorrow! is a lot like its lead character Jack Billings (Billy Crudup). It looks great, for one. For another, it keeps dancing in the hopes that you won’t catch on to exactly how hollow its charms are, even when the music stops. And, like Billings, you almost want Hello Tomorrow! to get away with it. Unfortunately, they’re both running confidence games that they can’t land. Continue Reading →
“Out there, back then…” That’s when The English takes place. “And in between…I wanted to kill a man for the murder of my child. You wanted back your land, stolen from you.” That is what The English is about. Continue Reading →
Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi
Part of the joy of Star Wars: The Clone Wars was that it could go anywhere. One week, you could watch physical manifestations of the light and dark sides of the Force duke it out with Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi. The next, a multi-episode arc about a tiny frog alien leading a bunch of misfit droids on a wacky mission. The quality wildly varied from episode to episode, not really hitting its stride until season 2. However, big swings in tone and creative influence ensured even the weakest installments demonstrated admirable ambition. Continue Reading →
North Carolina, 2032. Flynne Fisher (Chloë Grace Moretz) is a skilled gamer. Pro gaming (usually helping some rich schmucks win victories they couldn't on their own) is a viable way for her and her cyborg'd-former-Marine brother Burton (Jack Reynor) to earn extra cash. They live with their ailing mother Ella (Melinda Page Hamilton) a half-step ahead of financial ruin in a town more or less run by spiritual-cousin-to-Road-House-villain-Brad-Wesley Corbell Pickett (Louis Herthum, Westworld). Continue Reading →
There’s no easy way to live your dream. But if you and your quirky, goth friends can open up a business that conjures up fake macabre events for money, it becomes a very real possibility. HBO’s Los Espookys, one of the best shows of 2019, returns after a long COVID hiatus with a second season abundant with the show’s trademark deadpan humor, random visual gags, and, above all, its big heart. Continue Reading →
Mike Pondsmith, creator of the tabletop RPG Cyberpunk—which video game studio CD Projekt Red adapted into Cyberpunk 2077 and which in turn led to the creation of Studio TRIGGER (Promare)'s 10-episode anime Cyberpunk: Edgerunners—said this: Continue Reading →
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law
Thanks to all the pre-release press with show creator and head writer Jessica Gao, viewers already know what She-Hulk: Attorney At Law won’t be: a courtroom dramedy. Unfortunately, after the first episode, “A Normal Amount of Rage,” it isn’t clear what kind of show it will be either. Continue Reading →