Tag Archives: series

Watchmen (HBO Series)

Watchmen is an HBO live action series based on the iconic graphic novel created by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. It takes place in an alternate world where superheroes are real and cellphones don’t exist. It is brought to the silver screen by Damon Lindelof, the same guy who co-created Lost and The Leftovers. He knows how to tell an exciting and intriguing story with amazing characters. It’s HBO’s best new show of 2019 for a reason.

I had a bit of a head start when it came to watching the Watchmen (see what I did there?), because I own the comic and the Zack Snyder film adaption, so I’m quite familiar with most of the characters and the world they inhabit. Lindelof gives the show a twist by making it take place thirty-four years after the events of the comic. Some original characters return, some are missing, and there are new characters to learn about. Regina King leads a stellar cast that also includes Jeremy Irons, Tim Blake Nelson, Louis Gossett Jr., Don Johnson, Jean Smart, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, and Hong Chau just to name a few.

The first season consists of nine episodes, each one running about an hour. It’s meant to be a complete story so it ends with a satisfying conclusion. They still set it up for a potential second season, but this season could be all we get from Lindelof and I’m ok with that. There’s nothing wrong with perfection.

As usual, I will refrain from talking about the plot. It takes a few episodes to get going. There are a lot of characters to introduce and it takes time to discover who they are and what they want. It’s nonlinear with lots of flashbacks and reveals. I was intrigued by the show before it aired and I tried to hype it up to my girlfriend, but she didn’t read the comic and wasn’t impressed with Snyder’s film version, and I ultimately watched the whole show without her. When I finished I wanted to watch it again, this time with her. It was too good not to share.

I made her watch the first episode last week. Then Christmas chaos rolled around and we were too busy to watch anything. We were finally free last night and we binged three episodes in a row. It didn’t matter that she didn’t ever read the comic. That shows how great the show really is. When we watch it, we actually watch it. Like our phones are turned off and we pay attention to the television screen and nothing else. It’s not just for comic book nerds, it’s for anybody who likes action, mysteries, villainous plots, philosophy, alternate histories, and blue wieners.

Who watches the Watchmen? People with good taste. Like me. You should have good taste too. Watch the Watchmen. And spread the word. Everyone deserves to have blue wieners in their life.

Critically Rated at 17/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by by Brendan H. Young

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2015 MLB Postseason

Sorry that I haven’t been posting on a regular basis, but it’s the 2015 MLB postseason and I’ve been a little distracted. It’s harder to blog when you’re going directly to the bar after work to catch the game. It’s a little strange watching the games without the San Francisco Giants taking part, but it’s an odd year so that’s to be expected.. When the Giants are playing I’m either focused on offense or defense. It’s kind of nice watching teams that I’m not invested in because I can see the whole game

This has been a pretty exciting postseason. There have been a lot of memorable moments so far. Kyle Schwarber’s mammoth homerun that landed on top of the Cub’s scoreboard, Jose Bautista’s bat flip to end all bat flips, Daniel Murphy’s heads up baserunning and homerun tirade all stand out. All of the Division Series went to a pivotal Game 5 except for the Cubs vs. Cardinals.

Now the Kansas City Royals and the Toronto Blue Jays are battling it out for the American League pennant and the Chicago Cubs are trailing the New York Mets for the National League pennant. The winning teams will go on to face each other in the World Series. It doesn’t matter who wins. No matter what it will be good for baseball. All the competing teams haven’t won the World Series in decades. If your team isn’t in it, you should be rooting for the Cubs. Not for the fact that they haven’t won in over a century, just so that Back to the Future Part II is right. We don’t have hoverboards or flying DeLoreans, but I’ll take a Chicago championship.

Critically Rated at 14/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

Jose Bautista's bat flip

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Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp

Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp is a 2015 Netflix original series and a prequel to the 2001 cult classic film Wet Hot American Summer. Don’t watch the show unless you’ve seen the movie. The movie is required viewing. You won’t pick up on half the jokes and you won’t appreciate it as much if you haven’t seen the movie already. The movie is an absurd comedy about the last day at a summer camp. The humor is not for everybody but you will love it if you can open your mind a little.

The movie has a large ensemble cast featuring Janeane Garofalo, Paul Rudd, Molly Shannon, Elizabeth Banks, Amy Poehler, David Hyde Pierce, Bradley Cooper, Christopher Meloni, Michael Showalter, Michael Ian Black, A.D. Miles, Zak Orth, Ken Marino, Joe Lo Truglio, Marguerite Moreau, H. Jon Benjamin, and Judah Friedlander and they all came back for the prequel series. The film is about the last day of camp and the show is about the first day of camp. All the actors are playing three-month younger versions of their characters despite everyone being fifteen years older in real life. If you thought it was funny watching twenty-year olds pretending to be teenagers, wait until you see forty-year olds pretending to be teenagers.

There are eight episodes, each about a half hour long, and each one is about a certain time of day: Campers Arrive, Lunch, Activities, Auditions, Dinner, Electro/City, Staff Party, and Day Is Done. All the episodes were directed by David Wain, who also directed the movie and co-wrote both projects with Michael Showalter. The end result is a TV show that feels like a really long movie. It’s very easy to binge watch and you probably will end up binge watching it. It’s hilarious, filled with jokes and gags from beginning to end. The style of humor is very diverse. It’s slapstick, it’s witty, it’s brash, and it’s subtle. It warrants repeat viewings. I just finished the series and can’t wait to watch it again.

Critically Rated at 15/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young


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TV Shows are Better than Movies

Movies used to be the premier form of Hollywood entertainment. They were the pinnacle. They had the best actors, the best directors, the best stories, and the best effects. But then HBO started making their own shows. They had the budget to hire quality actors to portray quality characters. Characters are the most important part of storytelling. If you don’t care about the character, then you don’t care about what happens to them. And a TV series allows a character to get developed over multiple episodes and seasons. You get to know their personality, their quirks, their pet peeves, and you feel like you truly know them.

AMC has a lot of amazing character based dramas, like Mad Men and Breaking Bad, with interesting characters and intriguing storylines. The Walking Dead not only has great characters but also feels like a zombie movie that never ends. And it has more graphic and creative zombie deaths than anything in the movies. There are shows like True Blood that are extremely sexual and violent and Spartacus (which makes True Blood seem like a family show). The quality writing on television is extended to Cartoon Network. Even the worst season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars is better than anything the prequel trilogy has to offer.

In the old days, any actor could be on TV but only a few actors could transition to the big screen and be a box office draw. Now movie stars want to be on television. The Simpsons and Scrubs are famous for their celebrity cameos and guest roles. Former Hollywood heavyweights like Keifer Sutherland got a career boost by turning to TV. Dustin Hoffman, Steve Buscemi, and Sean Bean put aside film opportunities to star in HBO shows. Kevin Spacey, Christian Slater, William H. Macy, Alec Baldwin, Kathy Bates, Zooey Deschanel, Danny DeVito, Christina Ricci, Laura Linney, Don Cheadle, and Glenn Close have all chosen television over film. Who needs to go to the theater with that kind of star power available on a weekly basis?

With HBO hits like The Sopranos and Sex in the City, other networks started paying more attention to quality programming. Premium cable channels like Starz and Showtime stepped up their game. Basic cable networks like FX and AMC had to keep up and they did. And the major networks took note and started taking more risks. We get shows as diverse as Lost and Community and everybody wins. The production quality and star power of television shows is only going to increase. It’s a good time to be a couch potato with a Netflix subscription.

Critically Rated at 16/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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