Sweet Tooth Season 2


It had been quite a while since the first season of Sweet Tooth on Netflix dropped. It was so long ago that I simply hadn’t remembered a second season was coming, and I was shocked when I saw that season two of Sweet Tooth, the show based on a comic from writer Jeff Lemire, showed up on the streamer service.

Christian Convery played Gus, aka Sweet Tooth, after appearing in the big screen movie Cocaine Bear (as one of the biggest scene stealers in the show). Convery does a fantastic job as the titular character in this series and he brings such a solid emotional feel for the character and a more mature and powerful presence.

I was a little disappointed that the show kept Gus and “Big Man” Jepp, as played by Nonso Anozie, apart for such a length of time this season. It made me think of the old days back when LOST would go out of their way to keep Jin and Sun away from each other. However, this show picked up dramatically when Gus and Jepp reunited. The interaction between the two is one of the most vital parts of Sweet Tooth.

The villains of this season were very compelling and menacing. General Abbot, played by Neil Sandilands, easily advanced this character into a horrible person with selfish plans. But even worse is Dr. Aditya Singh, played by Adeel Akhtar, whose scientific research into a potential ‘cure’ for the Sick took him to some dark places and, even if his motives are pure, his actions are much like many of the mad scientists we have seen before. He has lost plenty this season and he seems to be even more obsessed in Gus and the other hybrids.

The secondary hybrid characters were cute and had their moments during the season, but they were definitely in the background. There were some shockingly cringy special effects during the season, especially with the arrival of an alligator-hybrid child named Peter. Some of these effects were a drawback to the story and pulled me out of it.

The show effectively used flashbacks to further the story, especially the origin of Gus and what had happened to his mother Birdie (Amy Seimetz)

The finale for this season did have a cruel misdirect that I did not appreciate much. When they made it look as if Gus had been shot and killed by Abbot, only to reveal that the funeral they were having was for Aimee (Dania Ramirez), who had contracted the Sick, was a cruel trick.

Season three is clearly set up as the group is headed off to Alaska to try and find Birdie. Hopefully, it won’t be as long of a wait between seasons this time.

Season two of Sweet Tooth is on Netflix.

Wednesday Season 1


I had not been interested in watching Wednesday, the new Netflix series based on the characters from The Addams Family. I had always enjoyed the Addams Family, but the most recent versions of the show have been lacking. However, I had time on Sunday without having much of anything to watch so I decided to give a few episodes a chance. Later that night, I finished the eighth episode as I binged right through the show. I loved it and I was totally in on the entire show.

I found the central mystery of what was happening on Wednesday to be engaging. The other Addams Family characters outside of Wednesday were used very well, fitting into the storyline beautifully. Using Thing as a regular character was brilliant and I loved how the secondary characters all seemed to bond with the living hand. Uncle Fester (Fred Armisen) was done perfectly and in just the right amount.

Wednesday Addams, played by Jenna Ortega, is our main protagonist despite the fact that she is dark and brutally cruel. He scene where she tosses the piranha into the swimming pool to attack the bullies who had stuffed Pugsley into a locker was rough. The show did not just dismiss the action as a joke either. It told us that Wednesday might have faced attempted murder charges, which is not something that the sitcom would touch.

Wednesday was shown to be pretty unlikable and withdrawn from people who seemed to want to reach out to her. Some of the early episodes had moments that showed her in a bad light and the show used this as a plot point. Wednesday reminded me as a dark version of Sheldon Cooper from the Big Bang Theory. She did things that were mean-spirited, but she did not necessarily understand how she was being cruel.

Watching her slowly realize that she needed more help from people than she wanted was great and seeing the character develop, even slightly, was thrilling.

I did not think taking Wednesday and placing her in a school where she could blend in with the werewolves, sirens, gorgons etc. was a good idea, but she still stood out as being an outsider. Plus, there were normal humans around too, but they were accustomed to the “outcasts.” The show struck a perfect balance between the bizarre and the normal.

I enjoyed all of the secondary characters, from Enid Sinclair (Emma Myers) to Sheriff Donovan Galpin (Jamie McShane). I found just about every other student at Nevermore school to be interesting. They all had their arcs through the season as well.

I am a huge fan of Edgar Allan Poe, so I enjoyed the references to the writer. The similarities and differences between Nevermore and the city of Jericho were wonderfully designed. Both had their secrets and their dark histories.

The show does a great job of making every character seem to be the monster that was killing people in the woods. There was some real tense moments and I did not want to see Eugene Otinger (Moosa Mostafa) killed by the monster. Some of the characters became important to me.

Everything was not perfect. I was not in love with the finale. It was fine, but there was just something about it that did not work as well as most of the rest of the series. I think part of it was the turn to evil by Tyler (Hunter Doohan), the sheriff’s son who turned out to be the monster, a Hyde. I think I wanted him to be manipulated instead of lying about his statis.

There also seemed to be a lot that was forced in that final episode, including the return of Joseph Crackstone (William Houston). Maybe because it felt like it came out of nowhere.

Despite the finale not quite being up to snuff when compared to the rest of the show, I loved Wednesday, and I would be excited to see another season.

Tim Burton directed several of these episodes and was an executive producer as well.

The show feels like a combination of some of my favorite shows. There is some LOST here. Some Twin Peaks. Some Harry Potter. Some Marvel. It was a lot of fun.

Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities S1 E1

“Lot 36”

So I have decided to dedicate some time to watch the new anthology series on Netflix from Guillermo del Toro, Cabinet of Curiosities. Dedicating time to a new series can be a daunting task because of the time issue, especially with Netflix because the series are usually all dropped at once in the binge format. I am going to try to watch this on a regular basis and not binge it. Maybe every few days I will hit another episode, trying to stretch this out over a few weeks.

This could work well considering the show is an anthology show and every episode is a different story and not a continuation.

The first episode featured the wonderful Tim Blake Nelson and one of my former favorites from General Hospital, Sebastian Roché. Tim Blake Nelson played an ex-vet who buys storage lockers to try and make money from the salvage to pay off some debts. He comes across a certain unexpected object in the storage locker that brought him much more than he thought.

This was a fun start to the series. It takes some weird twists in the storyline that I did not expect during the first act. I guess I should have anticipated that with Guillermo del Toro in the directors seat. He has always been one to work with the creepy end of the spectrum and this is no different.

I will say that the ending to the episode kind of came too quickly. As it was building up during the show, it took a weird switch and then was done. It did feel rushed at the end.

I did like a lot of this show and I am looking forward to continuing watching this anthology series.

Cobra Kai Season 5


I had intended on doing a write up after each episode of Netflix’s hugely successful series, Cobra Kai, after the fifth season episodes dropped. However, when I started watching the show Friday afternoon, I just did not want to take the time in-between the episodes to write. I just wanted to get to the next episode and, before you knew it, I was done with the series. So instead, I decided to do a season 5 overview instead.

Season five was just tremendous. I think it may be my favorite Cobra Kai season yet. It was just so enjoyable and it actually seemed to break some of the series’ own typical trends. There were a very limited amount of group fights between the kids of the show. It seemed in past seasons, the kids of the different dojos were constantly physically fighting, and, while there was some of that, the giant fight scenes were kept to a minimum. That made the fight in the finale feel much more important.

Another thing they switched up this year was the re-introduction of Mike Barnes. As a long time fan of General Hospital, I was looking forward to the return of Sean Kanan, who played AJ Quartermaine on the soap. Just about everyone speculated that Terry Silver would call on his old associate Barnes, the bad boy of karate, to help him out with his new plan. However, the show took that expectation and twisted it, bringing back Barnes, but making him a decent guy who has overcome his horrendous past to build a better life. I loved the use of Kanan in these episodes mainly because of the switch up.

Chozen is one of the best aspects of season five. I was really worried about him though because as soon as he made that phone call back to Kumiko’s voice mail, I was sure that he was doomed, and it sure seemed as if I was right about my fear when Silver left Chozen sliced and diced faced down in his fountain, bleeding from a series of sword cuts. Thankfully, Chozen survived, continuing to prove he was the biggest bad ass on the show.

I also loved the maturing of Johnny after learning that Carmen was pregnant with his child. He still approached everything with the immaturity of Johnny Lawrence, but he was trying his best. Plus, the friendship between Daniel and Johnny finally seemed to be able to put the past away. In every other season, Daniel and Johnny try to make amends only to find themselves on opposites once more. Not this season, which was epic. Once Johnny got back from Mexico, the friendship really became an important part of the show.

Daniel was put through the ringer this season. Building on his borderline paranoia over Terry Silver, Daniel was becoming someone we did not recognize. He went from someone out of control when it came to Silver to someone in total control in the finale. Daniel had a great arc this season.

It was also epic to see Miguel and Robbie finally put their anger with each other away and become friends. In the fight between them this season, they used flashbacks to their infamous school fight to perfection. It built beautifully on what they had done before and what they had learned in the previous seasons.

Tory Nichols and her story arc was excellent too. At first, working as a mole inside Cobra Kai for John Kreese, and then eventually arriving to Sam and the others in her “Rogue/X-Men” moment. There was a lot of getting past old baggage between characters this year.

Speaking of Kreese, he showed how much of a bad ass he still was. Yes, I thought he had actually died in the finale, but I was fooled. I have no idea where he will go now, but I am there for it.

There are scenes and evens that happen in Cobra Kai that would not work in a lot of other series because it would be just too corny. However, it all works beautifully in Cobra Kai for some reason. There are plot points and moments that should never work, but fit into the tone of this series perfectly. Season five just flew by and it blended each episode together with a wonderful cast of characters that spanned the gamut from oddball to sinister, and it does so with a smoothness that just should not work. And yet it does.

Cobra Kai season five was just exceptional and, even though most of the main threads seemed tied up nicely, I hope there will be more Cobra Kai to come.

Stranger Things S4 Vol. 2 E9


“Chapter Nine: The Piggyback”

Two and a half hours is longer than a lot of movies, but the final episode of Stranger Things in season four is better than a lot of movies. There were so many emotions and anxious moments in this finale that it really put a satisfying period on the best season of Stranger Things we have had. Some of the early episodes had a few storyline that dragged some, but every one of them was fire in this episode.

I was not a huge fan of the Russian arc for most of this season (with the exception of Hopper’s awesome escape) but it felt too dragged out and too separate from the story being told in the season. That changed with the use of the Demogorgon and we got a fantastic struggle with Hopper, Joyce, Murray in the gulag trying to help the kids by killing these monsters. Tying it back to the main story really brought a relevance that had been missing. Then the connection between Hopper and Joyce came through the screen.

Max offering herself up as bait was frightening and I was legitimately crying as she raised from the ground. Lucas was fighting with Jason and when Jason stepped on the Walkman and broke it, I audibly cried out. Jason deserved his fate when the “earthquake” came through the house. Even with Eleven there, I was scared for Max. I couldn’t believe that they would kill her after the drama of episode four, but they did it anyway. Thankfully, Eleven was able to save her, sort of. It seemed as if Max may be alive but is lost in her mind.

The death of Eddie was also painful as he went out a hero. Having Dustin there made the loss all the more painful. Eddie was a major player here, with his metal performance of Metallica and his efforts to give the party more time. His death by the bats was horrible and painful.

We learned that Vecna/Henry/1 was behind everything that was happening with the Upside Down. It is not the Mindflayer. Instead, Vecna survived the finale (according to Will, who said that he could feel him now that he was back in Hawkins). He was hurt, which sure seemed as he should be with the saw-off shotgun and the fire that was consuming him. I was pumping my fist when Eleven arrived and pulled Vecna away from Max the first time. That was an amazing arrival.

Mike’s words of love helped to inspire Eleven in her battle with Vecna. This was another thing I thought might come from Mike’s dying words, but I am grateful that my prediction was off.

The earthquake that ravaged Hawkins was horrific and frightening. It is still amazing that the town is so blinded by their denial. I did enjoy the falling action, catching up with the characters after the “victory” over Vecna. The California crew arriving back in Hawkins reuniting with their friends, Dustin with Eddie’s uncle, Hopper and Joyce making it back from Russia, and Hopper’s emotional reunion with Eleven were all great moments. Jonathan and Nancy’s reunion was awkward as could be as they both have clearly grown apart but are afraid to admit it. Then, the huge cliffhanger with the storm clouds which should lead us into season 5.

This was great. Emotional. Exciting. Painful.

Can’t wait for season 5.

Stranger Things S4 Volume 2 E8


“Chapter Eight: Papa”

At first, I was just going to write up both episode 8 & 9 together in one post, but I decided that I wanted to split them apart. I did watch them back to back, which was a commitment of four hours. The 8th episode was an hour and a half. It did not feel like that though. These episodes flew by as the storylines continued to come together.

This has been a great season so far, though there are a few early story bits that did not work well. However, these storylines (basically the Russian gulag and the west coast crew) fired on all cylinders in this volume of the show. Mike and Will became huge pieces for the episode and the Russian tale became so much more than it had been on the build.

Episode 8 gave us some serious kick ass action from Eleven. Her confrontation with Brennen had me screaming at the TV and then her crashing of the helicopter that was trying to shoot her was amazing. Eleven’s reunion with Mike was emotional too.

Speaking of emotions, Will was talking to Mike, trying to convince him that Eleven would always need him because he was the heart of the group and he showed the mysterious painting. That made me happy because I had considered them looking at the painting after Will died. There have been plenty of rumors about which characters might die in this volume and it has made me anxious about all my favorites.

Thankfully, Matthew Modine was the first to go and that made me happy. I’ve wanted this guy to get offed the minute after he walked into the present day section of this show. It is all the better too that it was not Eleven who killed him.

Going back to Will, his monologue to Mike in the back of the pizza van about feeling different and not knowing how people will react was not just about Eleven and Mike. It was clearly about how Will feels different because (as plenty of people have speculated) Will is gay. The show has not said the specific words, but he is obviously implying it. And the words were beautiful and Will’s pain was powerful.

The Hawkins crew went about preparing for their plan to kill Vecna/Henry/1 by going to a gun shop and beefing up their weapons. They ran into Jason and his basketball vigilantes doing the same thing.

Part of the Hawkins crew plan was to offer up Max as bait so they could catch Vecna/Henry/1 in the Upside Down while he is mentally traveling to the regular world.

A great set up for the finale. The Hawkins crew with the A-Team “setting up the trap” section of the show was a great ’80s throwback. The nostalgia of the series has not been as relevant in this season’s episodes as it has been in the past.

Episode 9 is 2 1/2 hours long, which is longer than many movies so the conclusion is certainly going to be epic (since I have already watched it, I can let you know for sure).

Stranger Things S4 E7


“Chapter 7: The Massacre at Hawkins Lab”

Okay, that was the end of Volume One of Season 4 of Stranger Things and it was fantastic.

The final two episodes, including the oversized 2 1/2 hour 9th episode, drop on July 1st. Thankfully, though, there was no horrific cliffhanger making me yell at the screen when it went to black,

Of course, it went to black several times so I had that terrible feeling multiple times.

The biggest reveal in this episode is how they connect Vecna to the orderly at Hawkins Lab and to Victor Creel. I did not see it coming and I really liked how it all developed. Of course, the orderly that had been approaching Eleven in the flashbacks turned out to be Henry Creel, son of Victor, who turned out to be the mysterious One from Hawkins Lab. He also was the one who slaughtered all of the kids in the lab. I said last write-up that I thought there was going to be a twist coming and that Eleven did not turn out to be the person who killed the kids, despite that is what the show wanted you to think, and I was right.

However, I never guessed that Eleven would open a door to the Down Under and that would cause the creation of Vecna. I like that a lot because it gives Eleven an even deeper reason to be involved in the upcoming final struggle with Vecna besides the fact that she needs to help her Hawkins friends.

No Mike crew in this episode. I very much expect them to arrive at Nina Project near the beginning of episode 8.

Hopper threw down with the Demogorgon in the Russian prison camp while Joyce watched on. The intensity of the confrontation was cool and the reunion of Hopper and Joyce was great, but I am ready for them to be out of Russia.

Dustin truly is a rock star. His theories have been 100% on target all season long and he has to be considered one of the MVP of the Haskins group. It is Dustin or Nancy.

When Vecna stepped in and took over Nancy, I was literally yelling at my screen.

Now that the first 7 episodes are in the book and we have a month to wait for the last two episodes, I can look at the first part as a whole. I found it somewhat uneven and I was not a fan of several of the storylines that took place. It definitely built to a strong final few episodes.

Favorite Episode: I’m torn between “Dear Billy” and “The Monster and the Superhero”. It is one of those. I would lean toward “Dear Billy.”

Least Favorite Episode: Still Chapter 1: The Hellfire Club” by far.

Best Actor: It is Millie Bobby Brown for the whole season, but I would say that the best single performance was Sadie Sink in episode four.

Most Underused: Will Myers. Why can’t Noah Schapp get his own storyline. He is a great actor, but it seems as if this show constantly sticks him in the background.

Best New Character: There are a bunch, but I have grown to like Eddie. I was not a fan of him in episode one, but he has become a much more enjoyable character so far.

Worst new character: I have no interest in Argyle.

Favorite Storyline: The Vecna investigations in Hawkins.

Worst Storyline: Hopper in Russian prison camp

Other Pros

  • Dustin. He has been awesome this season.
  • Paul Reiser. Always good to see him.
  • Jason as the charismatic leader of the Hawkins flash mob.
  • Victor Creel. Great cameo from Robert Englund
  • The special effects and look of the show is brilliant.
  • Vecna. Great villain. Absolutely menacing.
  • Murray. And then Murray as Yuri.
  • Characters interacting. This show does individual conversations extremely well.

Other Cons

  • The group all split up. I want them all back together.
  • Dumb ass parents.
  • The government led by Lt. Colonel Sullivan
  • Not enough Erica Sinclair
  • Lack of Jonathan. I’m fine with Jonathan and Nancy seemingly growing apart. I always liked her with Steven more anyway. But that does not mean that we have to turn Jonathan into a stoner waste.

July 1st should be a big day for Netflix.

Stranger Things S4 E6


“Chapter 6: The Dive”

Are you s#*%ing me?

So far in this season, Stranger Things has avoided doing the black screen cliffhanger, where they are at a desperate moment, full of tension and then they go black screen and head to credits. They had a chance when Max was running up the hill from the Upside Down hoping to escape Vecna. They threw a black screen up at that moment, only to return for the resolution before the episode ended. My emotions appreciated it.

This time, though, they couldn’t help themselves.

Poor Steve is stuck in the Upside Down with some kind of demon birds eating at him as he screamed and kicked in hopes of getting free and then…

Black screen.


Great episode with the tension and frightfulness that Steve, Nancy and their group was facing to the humor of the crew at Suzie’s house searching for the address of the Nina Project.

Things are setting up nicely in Russia too as Murray and Joyce showed some really good planning and some serious backbone when dealing with Yuri. It is looking more and more like we are getting a Hopper, Joyce, Murray confrontation with the Russian Demogorgon gladiator style. The whole Hopper is a prisoner angle has been my least favorite so far in the season (outside of Argyle turning Jonathan into a stoner plot point), but I hope that everything that they have been building to in this season is going to be worth it in the end.

Then, I really want Dr. Brenner to die. I hate “Papa” so much. We continue the search into Eleven’s past to try and regain her powers. I am beginning to think that there is something coming in this story that is going to be a twist. The first scene of the season implied that Eleven massacred the entire project, but I am not sure that is the truth right now.

Then Jason seems to have an ability of the oratory nature. We have seen that all season with his pep talks to the basketball team and his friends, but after Patrick was murdered, it looks like he might be taking a step toward charismatic leader. I was wrong about him seeing Patrick’s death and accepting Eddie’s innocence like I speculated about last time. In fact, he doubled down, claiming Eddie is a vessel for the power of the Devil and he got the townspeople whipped up into a mob to search for Eddie.

There is one more episode remaining in the “Volume One” part of season four. It is a 2 1/2 hour episode and I am afraid that it is going to leave us off in another cliffhanger. Episodes 8 & 9 are going to drop at the beginning of July and I am just hoping that it is not a horrible cliffhanger like episode 6 left us with.

Stranger Things S4 E5


“Chapter 5: The Nina Project”

After not seeing Eleven in episode 4, she is front and center in “The Nina Project” as Dr. Brenner returned and we see he is working with Owens to get Eleven back. I have to say, I really hate Brenner and I hope he finally dies for good.

It’s hard to tell exactly who is involved with whom here. I guess the government agents shooting up Joyce’s house last week were with Lt. Colonel Sullivan and not with Brenner. I was surprised that Owens was involved with Brenner, but he certainly looked as if some of the things Brenner was doing did not sit well with him.

Eleven does regain her powers and so who knows where this is going now as Eleven accepted the hand of “Papa.”

Meanwhile, our group found their way into the Creel house looking for clues. They realized that Vecnu was in the Upside Down opposite of this house. They are following their flashlights through the house, much like they have done during every season so far.

Mike, Jonathan, Will and Argyle bury Unknown Hero Agent Man and end up figuring out what Nina was… and discover they need a hacker and Mike suggests Dustin’s girlfriend Suzie in Salt Lake City.

Murray and Joyce escape from their bonds on the airplane and they fight Yuri, rendering him unconscious. We get some karate from Murray the black belt. The plane then crashed in the woods in Russia, I assume.

This episode felt like a transitional one to set up the final two episodes. With Patrick being killed as Jason was swimming after Eddie in a rowboat. Perhaps this will show Jason that Eddie is not the person behind Chrissy’s murder.

I think a lot of what is in this episode is important but it is nowhere as intense as the last couple of episodes. As I said, this is building for an awesome final two episodes, getting all the pieces into place.

Stranger Things S4 E4


“Chapter 4: Dear Billy”

What an episode.

This was the best episode so far of season 4 of Stranger Things, by far. Every ne so far had had some issues for me, but “Dear Billy” was just intense and totally compelling with every plot piece to every story beat.

Easily the most emotional part was the whole Max section as she went around delivering letters to the people she loved in expectation of her dying at the hands of Vecna. This led to the best sequence of the series so far with Max in another dimension, confronting Vecna while Steven, Dustin and Lucas desperately try to snap her out of the the trance that she was in.

Tie that sequence in with the excellent use of Nancy and Robin confronting Victor Creel (played by the iconic Robert Englund) and finding a piece to the puzzle that could possibly help prevent Max’s death.

This entire act was just breathtaking and steeped in character. Sadie Sink is just an exceptional actor and she nailed this scene.

Then, the agents arrived at Joyce’s house, guns a blazing, killing one of the two cops assigned to protect Mike, Jonathan and Will. The second cop took out a bunch of the government agents in a fire fight in the house in an impressive one shot. He took a bullet trying to save them, but they all found themselves in Argyle’s pizza van. Mike, Jonathan and Will had already planned on ditching the cops and finding their way back to Hawkins before the strike team struck.

What has been my least favorite part of the season so far has been Hopper and the Russians, because it feels like such an outlier to the story. It’s last season’s leftovers. However, this episode’s Hopper scenes were just fabulous, exciting and just a thrill a minute. I did not think about a betrayal from the pilot, Yuri. I do remember that the Russians have a Demogorgon so perhaps that is how this aspect of the plot will tie in and make it feel like a Stranger Things element. Still, Hopper’s escape, eating peanut butter to recapture was just beautifully done.

No Eleven in this episode(outside of flashbacks), though her presence was felt.

Stranger Things S4 E3


Chapter 3: The Monsters and the Superheroes

I am now fully on board.

I was very disappointed with the first chapter of the season four Stranger Things because it spent so much time with people I did not know. Looking back now after episode three, I understand why they told this story the way that they did and I can appreciate the effort.

Chapter Three was full out plot progression on all areas and it just just thrilling. I was compelled by every story going: Eleven and her inner struggles and police troubles, Lucas and his confliction between friend groups, Nancy and Robin’s investigation into the Victor Creel clue, the desperation of Mike to help Eleven, Dustin and Steve trying to help Eddie by figuring out what was happening with Vecna, Hopper’s soon to be escape attempt… so much going on and it is all firing on all cylinders right now. I am very happy.

There is so much tension right now and it gets even more ramped up by the return of Paul Reiser’s Sam Owens. Perhaps his supposed ability to give Eleven her powers back is a bit of a contrivance, but he certainly delivered a fantastic monologue to Eleven in that diner to convince her to come with him. Paul Reiser is a great actor and he brought that gravitas to the scene and kicked Stranger Things into high gear.

And then…Vecna has targeted Max. When his voice said Max for the first time, I nearly cried out. I love Max and specifically Sadie Sink, who is one of the best young actresses on the show, and I do not want to see her all bent and cracked out of shape. I don’t know how they’re going to stop Vecna from claiming Max, but I am so invested in them stopping him.

I want this season to end with Mike telling Eleven that he loves her. That is the only way it must work.

I am so happy that I feel that things have really been elevated, even if Eleven hitting Angela with the roller skate is going to be swept away easily, as Paul Reiser insinuated.

Stranger Things S4 E2


“Chapter Two: Vecna’s Curse”

That was much better.

Interesting that of the two new series that I am watching, Obi-Wan Kenobi had a first episode that I absolutely loved and a second episode that I was disappointed with. Now, Stranger Things season four had a first episode that I did not like much and a second episode that I liked way more.

My complaint about Chapter One was that there was too much focus on characters that I did not know or care about. Chapter two is just the opposite as we see so much more with our main characters as the story kicks into high gear.

I will say that I was not a huge fan of the answers about Hopper. His whole Hopper in the gulag bit is not what I would want, but Joyce and Murray stuff helped make that storyline more engaging. In a show with so much fantastical things happening, Hopper’s story feels very mundane, or pedestrian. Maybe it’ll pick up as other sections of the plot have done.

Mike arrives in California and meets up with Elle. There is some issue going on with Will, but we will see more of that as the season moved on. Elle gets tormented by Angela at a roller skating rink, showing Mike that Elle had been lying to him about how positive her life in California has been. After Angela and her minions embarrassed Elle, she came back and hit her in the head with a roller skate in a terribly violent encounter. She kept flashing back to the slaughter in 1979.

My favorite parts of this film was the story going on in Hawkins. With Dustin and his crew searching for Eddie to get him to tell his story about what happened to Chrissy and with Nancy and Fred following the story and having Fred be the next victim of Vecna.

We got a name to pay attention to as Enoch from Agents of SHIELD (Joel Stoffer, playing Eddie Munson’s father) told Nancy the story about Victor Creel. Victor Creel will be a major piece of this season, I am sure.

This episode took a huge step in the right direction for me. There is a lot of horror elements that make the show stand out. It looks great on the screen and the effects are top notch.

Stranger Things S4 E1


“Chapter One: The Hellfire Club”

Okay, I have finally been able to start Stranger Things season 4, which debuted on Netflix Friday. I had several other commitments to watch and could not start until this evening.

What the hell did I watch?

Season fours premiere episode was really odd. Sure, we saw our favorites from the past season and learn where they are currently at, the show threw at us a ton of new eccentric characters, giving them an excess amount of screen time.

Who the heck is Chrissy?

At first, I was kind of into what we were seeing, but as the focus increased on the new characters, I got less and less interested. I liked the way some of the characters we knew from before were being portrayed. There were plenty of troubles for our heroes as their friendships have been tested, and their lives have been messed up.

Max (Sadie Sink) is clearly struggling since her brother was killed in the finale of season three. Her troubles were engaging as we saw her withdraw from the group and break up with Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin). Speaking of Lucas, he has joined the basketball team and is finding that he is being pulled away from his friends. The whole basketball game story was bizarre and made little sense.

Jane, aka Elle aka Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) is going through plenty of typical high school problems in her new school in California. She was involved in several scenes right out of the “mean girls” playbook, which are made even more difficult since her powers seem to be gone.

Of course, maybe that is a good thing since we saw a flashback to 1979, with a distinctly de-aged Millie Bobby Brown murdering the entire group at Hawkins National Laboratories. That opening scene was great and intense and really set the tone…

Except it didn’t.

The tone of the rest of the show was pretty campy. Every once in awhile, there would be a tense scene that did not feel so hokey, but they seemed to slip into the unknown. By the second half of this episode, I was not sure what I was watching and was hoping it would end.

There was quite a bit of disappointment over this episode. The use of characters that I did not know was oft-putting for me and the characters I did know seemed to be acting in manners that didn’t fit or were painfully cliché.

I hope this gets better.

Murderville S1 E4-6

Spoilers for the Murderville series

I completed the Murderville series this weekend that I started a few weeks ago. I came out of it with the same idea of the show as I had after watching the first three episodes. Murderville was a mixed bag of a show. The guest star is the key to whether or not the show would work.

The last three episodes featured two really strong ones, both of which screwed up the ending accusations. That was not that important. The fact is, both Sharon Stone and Ken Jeong had some chops with acting/improvisation that allowed them to do more than Annie Murphy (although as a member of Schitt’s Creek cast, she should have been better than it turned out).

One of the keys is that the more the guest star does, the less Will Arnett has to do and when he is more contained, the scenes are so much better. When Arnett goes too wild, things are considerably less entertaining.

I did not expect Sharon Stone to be as engaging as she was. Her episode turned out great. I expected Ken Jeong’s episode would be hilarious, but Sharon’s was every bit as great and might be my favorite of the six.

List of episodes in order of my favorites:

  1. Sharon Stone
  2. Kumail Nanjiani
  3. Ken Jeong
  4. Conan O’Brien
  5. Annie Murphy
  6. Marshawn Lynch

How badly do I want to see Colin Mochrie or Ryan Stiles on this show? Maybe together. No way that Will Arnett could keep up with them.

I do like that our final case was solving the murder of Terry Seattle’s long time partner.

It was up and down but it was an easy watch and the episodes went quickly. I would most likely watch a season two if Netflix greenlit it.

Murderville S1 E3


After the weaker episode for 2, I was riding on episode 3 to determine if I planned on continuing on with the remainder of the six episodes. I had a hopeful feeling because the guest star this time was going to be Kumail Nanjiani.

Murderville Episode 3 Clues, Killer and Ending, Explained: Who Killed Seth  Gourley?

I was pleased that they brought out a few different type of improv games to intersperse with the story. They did not do the Will Arnett tells celeb what to do over the microphone. Instead, they had Kumail do several others, including the Two people sing with one voice improv game. That was a neat change. I liked how the general format did make a change, perhaps with someone who was more used to the comedic world.

I have to say though that Kumail did laugh more than some of the others. He was hiding his laughing in most every scene. It also felt that Will Arnett had to ham it up less with Kumail than he did with the last couple of celebrities.

And, Kumail nailed the killer, in a very impressive manner. He nailed a specific detail about the case that really was a good pull.

Murderville Season 1 recap and ending explained - MediaScrolls

I will be watching the last three episodes of this show (looking forward to Ken Jeong).