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The All-New TT: Television Time Mini Reviews

Adrenaline

Post Reader
(He/Him)
Every twist on Westworld: This thing that you thought was happening at one point in time was actually happening at another!
 

ThornGhost

lofi posts to relax/study to
(he/him)
What We Do in the Shadows is...not good this season? It's slipping into that routine that shows sometimes do where they separate out the main cast to interact with newer characters and the chemistry just isn't there. Nadja seems like she's greenscreened into every other scene she's in anyway. Maybe just the result of rushed or pandemic production but I'm not into it.
 

jpfriction

A most radical pontiff
(He, Him)
Yeah, not unhappy with any episodes yet, but nothing great either. Hopefully Colin Robinson gets back to his old self sooner rather than later, apparently he’s the secret sauce.
 

Rascally Badger

El Capitan de la outro espacio
(He/Him)
I'm missing Colin Robinson, but otherwise I think its fine, if not quite at the pinnacle the first three seasons were.
 

John

(he/him)
I quite liked this week's episode with the Familiar Battle Royale, but agree that Nadja's Nightclub scenes are really poor, and Nandor's search and aquisition of a bride sucks too. I'll differ and say I like the creature that crawled out of the chest cavity of dead Colin Robinson quite a bit, and Lazlo's absolutely horrendous parenting is a treat. The creature's "hey Lazlo, guess what" repetition is spot on with how my kids act, and I love how cheesy and bad the CG is on their weird body and head.

It is three separate shows though, I'm sure COVID production related, unfortunately. Hope they merge it all, make the nightclub go bankrupt, and forever keep Gizmo hanging in the lurch.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
Oh hey, I’d been wondering when more of that was coming. But dang, it’s a Hulu-first series innit? I don’t suppose it’s possible to watch anywhere else yet?
 

John

(he/him)
You can watch on FXNOW if you've got an actual premium tv subscription, but otherwise it's Hulu in the US, and only on FXNOW in Canada because it hasn't made it to Disney+ up there yet.
 

jpfriction

A most radical pontiff
(He, Him)
The creature's "hey Lazlo, guess what" repetition is spot on with how my kids act, and I love how cheesy and bad the CG is on their weird body and head.

I had to ask my daughter to please stop prefacing every damn thing she tells me with "do you want to know something?" just yesterday.
 

John

(he/him)
We finished up Season 3 of Umbrella Academy, and I really liked just how surreal everything got in an already fantastical show. Elliot Page's transformation into Viktor took the center stage, but I thought that every character had enough growth by the end of the season that it wasn't just a reset to start. Well, maybe not Five, but Five and the actor who plays him is perfect as is.

By the end, I wish that more of the Sparrows had survived, but the final reset turning Hargreeves into a Blade Runner-ish Tyrell Corp, plus removing all the Umbrella's powers sets up some interesting stuff for a future Season 4. If it doesn't get renewed, I'm still happy with where everyone ended up, even non-gorilla Luthor just wandering the globe looking for Sloane.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
I'll differ and say I like the creature that crawled out of the chest cavity of dead Colin Robinson quite a bit, and Lazlo's absolutely horrendous parenting is a treat. The creature's "hey Lazlo, guess what" repetition is spot on with how my kids act, and I love how cheesy and bad the CG is on their weird body and head.
I agree with you all around. This arc has been my favorite part of the season so far.
 

Rascally Badger

El Capitan de la outro espacio
(He/Him)
I feel bad for the guy who plays Klyden on The Orville. In the latest episode he was forced to run through the woods, naked save for his outer space potato man latex. It was one of the least dignified thing I've ever seen an actor do.

Bortus had to do the same, but at least he gets to be a likeable character.
 
I feel bad for the guy who plays Klyden on The Orville.
I'm gonna go in the opposite direction. I thought that scene was hilarious. The actors are clearly having a ton of fun. It's both humorous, and I like that the scene plays everything very seriously. The juxtaposition of some alien ritual being objectively ridiculous on top of the show portraying that same scenario as very serious is probably Orville humor at its best. There were several similar moments in this season (series?) finale. Like the point where a certain lost item reappears and Lamar sulks off in dismay about how messed up/strange their line of work is. Actually got a chuckle out of me versus bad puns about the rigidity of trees.

This season finale really felt like the people making the show knew that this might be the end for them. And if they were going to go out, they'd go out in a way that would serve as a satisfying series finale. I thought it was an almost overly saccharine and sentimental episode, but I get why they'd want to go that route and have a dignified ending. Which I think was a kind of bold choice. There's a lot of long term character development arcs wrapped up in this episode, but done in a way that leave the door wide open for more stuff later on. And I think it's both extremely fitting for the show Orville is, that this episode - of all episodes - was the most direct and loving tribute to Star Trek that the show has had to date. Dedicating the entire B-Plot (Really like 1B, really) to very carefully and clearly explain what the Prime Directive is and why it's important is probably The Orville at its most sentimental. Especially when lately, I've heard a disturbing number of Star Trek fans rail against the entire idea, and Orville fans thump their chests that this wasn't a thing in the Orville.

If this had to be the end, it was a very good end. If this is a series finale, and you ranked it against all the other Star Trek series finales, for me it would fit in right behind The Undiscovered Country at the top, and All Good Things... I had some problems with this season, but I thought it was overall the best season of the show by a lot, and it slowly won me over as the show went on. It addressed a lot of problems I had with the show previously, and filtered out most of the problematic stuff I had with Orville. I'd welcome a renewal, but if this had to be the ending, it was a satisfying one.
 

jpfriction

A most radical pontiff
(He, Him)
A couple brand spanking new Beavis and Butthead episodes dropped yesterday. First one involves an escape room. Spoiler alert, they are not very good at escape rooms. Hilarity ensues.

Couch riffing was two tiktok videos and a country song. They were great.
 

Rascally Badger

El Capitan de la outro espacio
(He/Him)
The Rehearsal Episode 4; He can't be allowed to keep doing this. How does he keep finding another level to this?
 

Rascally Badger

El Capitan de la outro espacio
(He/Him)
New episode of the Rehearsal. Holy shit, wtf. Best show of the year, Nathan Fielder should not be allowed on television.
 
Season 3 of For All Mankind wrapped up last week, and had a great finale. Not as good as the last one, but still a really strong season. I love this show. Glad it's getting a much deserved 4th season and that Apple is seemingly a better steward of media than a lot of other streaming services. It's a shame more people don't even know about this show, let alone watch it. I'm pretty sure a lot of people here would enjoy it.
 
The most basic of descriptions: “What if the space race never ended?”

A fair bit more detailed description: For All Mankind is speculative historical fiction. Its initial scenario takes the thought exercise of, "What if the Russians landed on the Moon first?" and runs with it. And watching the butterfly effect of that scenario as the paths of this fictional world and ours diverge is fascinating and enthralling. The effect in-universe is immediate. IRL when The Eagle landed and Neil Armstrong famously set foot on the moon, public interest in the space race waned and gave Nixon clearance to defund NASA and cancel all the planned Apollo missions from 18 and onward. Here, with the surprise gut-punch to America's pride and worldview, Nixon doubles down on NASA and immediately starts reaching for the next milestone in the space race.

The show was created by Ronald D. Moore - one of Star Trek TNG's primary producers/writers, and the guy who created the Battlestar Galactica reboot. And FAM is very Star Trek in its ethos. The entire thesis of the show orbits around the idea that NASA is this national treasure, and a belief in the investments in it producing exponential benefits to society. So in very short time, we see the tangible benefits of NASA continuing to be fully funded in the world of FAM - both societally and technologically. In Season 1 alone, we see the fast tracking of women in space leading to the public support to push the Equal Rights Amendment over the finishing line to be codified into law. And Nixon's humiliation on the moon is a tipping point in his presidency that leads to him being a one-term president and the nation is saved the immense trauma of the Watergate scandal. This effect compounds by orders of magnitude in Seasons 2 and 3 as the timelines diverge. Which, if you're a history buff like me, is just utterly enthralling to watch all the little details put into the show's setting.

It's a gorgeous show btw. The budget they put into making the show look and feel completely real is pretty insane. It's Apollo 13 levels of accuracy to reality and budget thrown at the screen. And the show does a really good job of being hard science fiction by keeping everything grounded and realistic. If you've got a predilection for hard sci-fi there's no other show like FAM. It's even more hard than shows like The Expanse because of how grounded the scenario is and how it relies completely on real science and rejects anything fantastical/out of reach of us IRL.


I have a few nitpicks/criticisms of the show that I can get into later, but none of them come close to keeping me from enjoying FAM to the fullest. If it's not the best show on TV right now, it's definitely a top 3 easily. It's an Apple TV+ show, so you'll need a subscription to that service to watch it. Good news is, Apple gives away 3-month trial subscriptions to pretty much everyone, and the service is one of the cheapest streaming services at $5/mo. Season 3 having just finished, you could binge watch all of the show in pretty short order. It is definitely worth $5 to do so. (Plus there's a startling amount of good content on Apple TV+ these days like Severance, Ted Lasso, Foundation, Fraggle Rock, etc.) I swear I'm not an Apple shill! Apple sucks!

On a side note, it's almost embarrassing the plethora of good science fiction TV we're being inundated with right now.
 

FelixSH

(He/Him)
Thanks for the in-depth reply, this sounds pretty interesting. Will definitely keep it in mind.

Also, you liked Foundation? Great, I forgot about that one, but really need to watch that one.
 
I promise if you're not totally hooked on For All Mankind after like, 3-4 episodes, I'll eat all the crow you want.

I liked Foundation, but I'm not sure it totally worked? It's a gorgeous show and has a lot of high concept ideas. But the source material it's adapting is a very inconventional story, and the route the show took to do kinda has some problems. I think it's an interesting thing worth watching, but I have a hard time giving it a recommendation unless you just really like high concept sci-fi shows and are running out of other things to spend your time on.
 

FelixSH

(He/Him)
I just really, really love Asimov, and need to watch this show, just because I'm way too curious not to watch an adaptation of his work. Even if people told me it was a garbage fire. "Interesting" is probably ideal for me, I'm always interested in stuff that takes weird routes to get to some place, so I will at least get something out of that interpretation.

I think ten years or so ago, some action-movie guy (Roland Emmerich, maybe?) wanted to do a Foundation movie, and I would have watched even that. Would probably have been hilariously stupid, at least.
 

FelixSH

(He/Him)
One more question, regarding For All Mankind: What topics should I know about, before going into the show? I know, I don't need to know about much, but as a take on alternative History, I would really like to know the stuff that actually happened, at least in broad strokes. It sounds like it is US focused? My general knowledge about History post WW II is rather lacking, so a simple list of topics would be pretty nice.
 
One more question, regarding For All Mankind: What topics should I know about, before going into the show? I know, I don't need to know about much, but as a take on alternative History, I would really like to know the stuff that actually happened, at least in broad strokes. It sounds like it is US focused? My general knowledge about History post WW II is rather lacking, so a simple list of topics would be pretty nice.
Yeah, that wiki article is pretty in depth. If you'd prefer a more audio/visual primer though, the old film "The Right Stuff" is a really good film that's on the long side, but it's a really good primer for showing the whole space race, starting from Chuck Yeager breaking the sound barrier, up through the beginning Apollo missions. (There's also a recent TV show adaptation that I can't vouch for/haven't seen.) Apollo 13 is also a classic that'll prime you on a lot of the NASA culture and lingo as well behind the space program, and definitely serves as inspiration for some of the crisis-in-space aspects of For All Mankind.
 

Büge

Arm Candy
(she/her)
So, For All Mankind is basically "What if a copy of From the Earth to the Moon fell through a wormhole from another universe"?
 
I dunno what you're getting at. But you know how a movie like Inglorious Bastards or some of Tarantino's more recent films are an alternate history fanfic of how things should have happened? FAM is like that but it takes itself a lot more seriously, has a classic Star Trek optimism outlook on human nature/the things we can achieve if we work together, and is very well thought out regarding the cascading ramifications of the changes in history piling up on one another.

If anyone needs like $5 thrown their way to sub to Apple TV+ for a month to watch it, I'll venmo you the money. This is not a joke, send me a PM and I'll hop to it.
 
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