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 Prime series remains its big, fun, very violent self.
Jack Reacher (Alan Ritchson), the “has toothbrush, will travel” man, has returned to television and not a moment too soon. Reacher Season 2 is exactly the kind of low-commitment viewing one craves as the year ends and the holidays overtake everyone’s lives. While a large, jolly man busies himself filling many of our stockings, who better to enjoy than a large, angry man knocking bad guys out of their socks? Especially when, like this time, it’s personal!
Reacher and Neagly (Maria Sten, back from Season 1 and fully second on the callsheet this time, thankfully) first met when they were members of the 110, an investigative military police unit. As seen in flashback, the group is the last time Reacher had anything approaching a stable group of friends. In the present day, several team members have gone missing, suggesting that perhaps someone is targeting them. Reacher connects with Neagly and the two join up with the only other two 110 members they can find. O’Donnell (Shaun Sipos) is the unit clown and womanizer turned family man and inside the beltway fixer. Dixon (Serinda Swan) is a forensic accountant/warrior who shares an obvious but unconsummated crush with Reacher. Continue Reading →
Our Flag Means Death
It’s always the surprise hit quirky shows with the most to live up to in their second season. A bad sophomore outing, especially after quickly gaining a cult following, could make or break, say, the plucky little pirate romance known as Our Flag Means Death Season 2. Luckily, David Jenkins, Taika Waititi, et al. keep things fresh and fun without reinventing (or stealing) the wheel. Continue Reading →
The Wheel of Time
Big-budget fantasy lovers have reason to celebrate this week with Amazon Studio’s The Wheel of Time Season 2's debut. With some careful tweaking by Showrunner Rafe Judkins, Robert Jordan’s epic fantasy of feminine magic and quests of destiny came to life in an impressive if uneven first season. Now, the stakes are higher, the dangers subtler, and the ever-expanding cast of characters more compelling. Continue Reading →
Who Is Erin Carter?
In Who is Erin Carter? ’s precipitating event, the titular character (Evin Ahmad)—a British ex-pat living in Spain and trying to make a living as a substitute teacher—must fight a masked gunman during a grocery store robbery. At stake is the life of nearly blind daughter Harper (Indica Watson), who cowers unseen under a display of oranges. Continue Reading →
Star Wars: The Bad Batch
Welcome to 2023, Star Wars fans, and welcome to another season of The Bad Batch. Our band of unruly brothers (and sister) is back again, still running less-than-legal missions for Cid (Rhea Perlman) and finding themselves in every possible scrape as they do so. The first season of The Bad Batch was an adventure-filled romp through the aftermath of the Clone Wars and Order 66 (though not without its issues, as we’ll discuss later) and Season 2 is off to a strong start with its two-episode premiere: “Spoils of War” and “Ruins of War”. Continue Reading →
George Carlin's American Dream
This review is also a story about my father. Please indulge me for a moment. Continue Reading →
Pam & Tommy
Throughout Suspicion, Rob Williams’s English language adaptation of False Flag, teases of revelations and insights dangle in front of the audience. These remain teases. Even when the show’s final twist hits, it reveals new information without deepening our understanding of the characters. Continue Reading →
The Beatles: Get Back
Frightening, funny, and ffffffffff…Mike Colter in those sweaters! Continue Reading →
When Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel hit shelves in 2014, it was a standout in science-fiction. HBO’s adaptation can’t help but hit differently in 2021. It’s a post-apocalyptic tale about what’s left of the world after a deadly flu ravages the populace. The parallels to current events are glaringly obvious. Continue Reading →
There’s a sort of inflationary issue in the True Crime genre these days. This presents an immediate hurdle to HBO’s new “based on a true story” limited series Landscapers. Continue Reading →
Blade Runner: Black Lotus
Los Angeles. 2032. 13 years after Blade Runner Rick Deckard completed his last job for the LAPD. Ten years after the nuclear blackout that wiped the city's history clean. Four years before the brilliant but utterly vicious industrialist Niander Wallace will successfully lobby for the re-legalization of the artificial humanoids called Replicants. Seventeen years before Replicant Blade Runner KD6-3.7 will be assigned to retire rogue Replicant Sapper Morton. A young woman named Elle (voiced by Jessica Henwick of the upcoming The Matrix Resurrections) wakes up in the back of an automated shipping truck. Her memory is a shamble. The only clues she has to her identity are a mysterious device she cannot unlock, inexplicable and ferocious combat skills, and a beautiful tattoo of a black lotus on her back. Continue Reading →
Monsters at Work
TV shows based on hit movies are nothing new. However, programs like The Real Ghostbusters and Buzz Lightyear of Star Command had only the barest connection to their source material and had no chance of scoring any of the performers from the original features. In the age of interconnected cinematic narratives, though, the new Disney+ cartoon Monsters at Work, a sequel to Monsters Inc., goes in the opposite direction. Continue Reading →
Star Wars: The Clone Wars
A thirty-plus-year veteran of film and TV scoring, Kiner's a chameleon who can work with the themes and motifs set by other composers and spin them into broader, more dynamic cues demanded by the rigors of television storytelling. That's borne out in his work for Star Wars, especially, where at this point he's written more music for the universe than John Williams himself -- while he finds moments to work in familiar motifs and themes, Kiner also carves out room for experimentation, which you can hear in the more synth-heavy scoring for Clone Wars: The Final Season. Continue Reading →
It’s the season finale of The Mandalorian Season 2, and I hope we’re all prepared to feel our feelings. Last time, Mando and the Grogu Rescue Crew (Boba Fett, Fennec Shand, and Cara Dune) sprung former Imperial sharpshooter Migs Mayfeld (Bill Burr) so he could help them get access to the Imperial intranet and get the coordinates for Moff Gideon’s light cruiser. The mission was a success, though not without its problems, as Mando (Pedro Pascal) was forced to use the terminal instead of Mayfeld, necessitating the second-ever removal of his helmet since taking the Creed. They got the intel and headed out (sans a released Mayfeld) to face off against Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) and get back that little green guy. Continue Reading →