TV Series Review – Orange is the New Black Season Six

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Season six of Orange is the New Black continues the story of Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling) and the other inmates of Litchfield Correctional Institution in the wake of the three-day riot that took place during the previous season. This season shakes up the cast and setting once again with a number of the inmates having been transferred to prisons in other states, resulting in numerous absent characters. Plenty of characters return as well, having been transferred to the maximum-security prison (“max”) within Litchfield Penitentiary. This season introduces a number of new inmates who are already entrenched in the life and politics of max as well as the new guards who oversee them, with some returning.Read More »

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TV Series Review – A Series of Unfortunate Events Season Two

IMDb Summary

After the loss of their parents in a mysterious fire, the three Baudelaire children face trials and tribulations attempting to uncover dark family secrets.

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Image from IMDb

Picking up precisely where the previous season left off—with the characters remarking that they feel as if they’ve been waiting for a year—season two of A Series of Unfortunate Events continues the misadventures of the Baudelaire orphans Violet (Malina Weissman), Klaus (Louis Hynes), and Sonny (Presley Smith) as they try to escape the relentless pursuit of Count Olaf (Neil Patrick Harris) while trying to uncover the mysterious past of their parents. Based on a book series of the same name, this season adapts books five through nine, each book split into two episodes for a total of ten episodes this season.Read More »

TV Series Review – Stranger Things 2

IMDB Summary

In a small town where everyone knows everyone, a peculiar incident starts a chain of events that leads to the disappearance of a child – which begins to tear at the fabric of an otherwise peaceful community. Dark government agencies and seemingly malevolent supernatural forces converge on the town while a few locals begin to understand that there’s more going on than meets the eye.

Set in Hawkins in the fall of 1984, the story continues as supernatural forces once again begin to affect the town.

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Stranger Things season two — or “Stranger Things 2” — is the second season of the supernatural drama series produced by Netflix, released on October 27, 2017. It came as a surprise to me that I didn’t actually review season one last year. I actually had to double check. Nevertheless, like many others, I was swept away by season one’s amazing cast, intriguing story, and nostalgic style. I was born in the 90s, so I’m not as emotionally attached to the 80s the way other people are, but a lot of it still resonated with me. Even if I wasn’t as into Stephen King books or Spielberg movies when I was a kid, the themes, concepts, and even just window dressing populated the media of my childhood.Read More »

TV Series Review – The Defenders

IMDB Summary

Marvel’s The Defenders follows Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist. A quartet of singular heroes with one common goal – to save New York City. This is the story of four solitary figures, burdened with their own personal challenges, who realize they just might be stronger when teamed together.

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The Defenders is a Netflix miniseries set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), bringing together Matt Murdock aka Daredevil (Michael Cox), Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), Luke Cage (Mike Colter), and Danny Rand aka Iron Fist (Finn Jones) from their respective series to team up against a common enemy. This crossover series has been teased since before any of the Netflix series began, and has been slowly building with each new series. It’s here that we see the culmination of unresolved plot threads and the growth of seeds planted from these previous stories.Read More »

TV Series Review – Orange is the New Black Season Five

This review contains spoilers for events prior to this season.

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Leaving us with the nail-biting cliffhanger that was the finale of the last season, season five of Orange is the New Black was going to be a different sort of beast. This isn’t something I’d put together leading into the new season, but once it started it quickly became apparent that the developments at Litchfield were not going to blow over in an episode or two. Even by the conclusion of this season, Poussey Washington has only been dead for about four days. The events are that condensed.Read More »

TV Series Review – Iron Fist Season One

Summary from IMDB

Danny Rand returns to New York City after being missing for years, trying to reconnect with his past and his family legacy. He fights against the criminal element corrupting his world around him with his incredible kung-fu mastery and ability to summon the awesome power of the fiery Iron Fist.

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It’s always troubling to see ideas in a story that could be really compelling but are executed upon poorly. While I did not hate the show, I constantly had this struggle with Iron Fist. There were elements that did work: supporting characters that grew on me, some stand-out actions scenes, villainous characters that got under my skin, and themes that came across decently well. There were good motifs and themes apparent enough to pick up on too, even if they weren’t done as effectively as they could have. If I had to pick one issue above all others that holds this series down it’s the plot, which as it developed fell nothing short of a disjointed mess.Read More »

TV Series Review – A Series of Unfortunate Events Season One

A Series of Unfortunate Events is a new black comedy drama series, developed for Netflix, based on the series of children’s novels by Lemony Snicket (real name Daniel Handler). The series follows the misadventures of the Baudelaire orphans Violet (Malina Weissman), Klaus (Louis Hynes), and Sunny (Presley Smith), who are forced to move to different homes following the death of their parents. They are relentlessly pursued by the villainous Count Olaf (Neil Patrick Harris), who is determined to secure their wealthy inheritance for himself. The first season adapts the first four books in the thirteen-book series, dedicating two episodes to each book for a total of eight episodes.Read More »

TV Series Review – Luke Cage Season One

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Luke Cage is the latest superhero series created for Netflix set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The series was created by Cheo Hodari Coker and stars the titular Marvel Comics character Luke Cage, played by Mike Colter. Having gained unbreakable skin and super strength from a sabotaged experiment in prison, Luke Cage is a fugitive from the law trying to live a low-profile life in Harlem to keep his past from catching up with him. When violence in the community hits close to home Luke risks being exposed, using his abilities to fight the criminal element that exploits and threatens the community.Read More »

TV Series Review – The Get Down Part 1

IMDB Summary

The Get Down focuses on 1970s New York City – broken down and beaten up, violent, cash strapped — dying. Consigned to rubble, a rag-tag crew of South Bronx teenagers are nothings and nobodies with no one to shelter them – except each other, armed only with verbal games, improvised dance steps, some magic markers and spray cans. From Bronx tenements, to the SoHo art scene; from CBGBs to Studio 54 and even the glass towers of the just-built World Trade Center, The Get Down is a mythic saga of how New York at the brink of bankruptcy gave birth to hip-hop, punk and disco — told through the lives and music of the South Bronx kids who changed the city, and the world…forever.

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Though promotional material had caught my eye, I might not have gotten to The Get Down without the recommendation of a friend. It is a Netflix Original series created by Baz Luhrmann, the first part of season one released on Netflix on August 12, 2016. Described to me simply as the origins of hip-hop mythologized, the series more than exceeded the implications of this idea. While well-grounded in the setting of the South Bronx in 1977, the series has a prominent musical flair, accented with disco and Kung Fu movie styles of the time. It walks a tightrope between reality and larger-than-life eccentricity near flawlessly, depicting many characters and circumstances as mystical or miraculous without getting carried away enough to break the audience’s captivation.Read More »

TV Series Review – Orange is the New Black Season 4

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Following the completion of season three, I wasn’t sure what to expect from Orange is the New Black going forward. As I said in my review last year, the season didn’t have a crystal clear focus. The cast continued to be stellar and the characters compelled me as they were further fleshed out, but a lot of the season felt like the series was getting a little too comfortable with itself. Many ill winds were blowing for Litchfield that season however, promising a lot while only going as far as laying a foundation. Season four built upon this foundation a phenomenally structured season, making good on the foreshadowing of season three, and giving us their darkest season yet.Read More »