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7 TV Reviews

Black Mirror (2011-?) 4x01

USS Callister
Jesse Plemons of ‘Game Night’ stars alongside Jimmi Simpson and Aaron Paul in this over-hyped episode which is a homage to the ‘Star Trek: The Original Series’ era. There is weird acting and ship shaking and weird lighting. There is Space Fleet, naff VFX, heightened passion and one had excessive expectations for this ep. The crew slavishly worship the captain (Plemons) and he makes out with all the female crew.

I don’t think William Shatner would like this ep. The Space Fleet scenario is actually a deep immersion game. In real life the ‘captain’ is an incel with nefarious motive who works for a VR gaming company. People who play the game veg out in creepy fashion. The incel, Robert Daly, wants a level of control over how he is perceived. He’s committed to his narrative.

The ‘crew’ are his digital clones of Daly’s real co-workers. This ep is starkly mundane and not hugely absorbing. Daly has all the comics, toys, VHS, DVDs and blu-rays of his beloved vintage Space Fleet show. There is a Netflix joke. Daly dislikes his boss (Simpson of ‘Westworld’) who in the game is his XO. In real life the boss does not speak to Daly with a reverent tone, in the game it is very different.

The USS Callister digital clone women wear lust-inducing outfits. Daly exists in mournful silence. He seems lonely and ignored. This tries for contemporary resonance. In the real world there are smart doors. Daly made a Space Fleet mod to play in and takes out his frustrations on his digital clone crew. His crew take a while to fight back against Daly’s grave provocations. He likes to punish them if they don’t follow his whims.

Daly’s dominant emotion is anger and he uses his XO as a footstool. In real life a new work colleague shows up. Daly has malevolence, malignity and unspeakable malice. He has no emotional substance. The world is not as he wished it to be, he wants people to be compliant around him. It is not explained how via SCIENCE he makes digital clones. But he makes another one, this one of the new girl with weird hair and big eyes.

The digital clone of the girl ends up in the Space Fleet mod; she hangs out in the ship’s weird bar and meets her digital clone co-workers including the snotty receptionist. There is swearing and exposition flies about how they are in a mod inside the Infinity Game reskinned to look like Space Fleet and ruled by Daly. New girl aka Nanette is made to play along.

Another digital clone has to play the baddie as he waves a huge gun in a quarry. Even a monster is a digital clone of a co-worker. There is a lot of overacting and Nanette hates the LARP that’ll never end. Daly is not virtuous and you serve his every whim or you’ll face unspeakable consequences. The creepy deep immersion gaming goes on. This is endless monotony. Daly does soul-crushingly bad stuff.

Nanette blackmails her real self to save the USS Callister crew. This ep induces sincere teeth clenched rage as you wait and wait for it to end. The crew escape the mod and end up in the Infinity Game with a universe to explore. This is not substantive. Daly’s rogue game code and controls are deleted. So what happened to Daly? Is he trapped in his deleted mod? Is he dead? This was disappointing and Daly was never a respected presence.

Best Lines:
“You village idiots.”

“A toxic workplace.”

“Starey.”

“Beatle thing.”

“Phlegm shots.”

“It’s loyal space crew.”

“Like on purpose.”

“Space thing.”

“This tasteful getup.”

“Insufficient smiling.”

“From which there is no escape.”

“No one dies here unless I want them to.”

“There’s no genitals in Space Fleet.”

“Your philosophical position regarding sentient code.”

~
GLOW 1x05-1x07

Debbie Does Something
The girls have a curfew. There is training. Bash (Chris Lowell) lurks. Debbie is not yet willingly embracing wrestling. The gang need a sponsor for their show. Debbie tries to be Liberty Belle. Debbie’s still plunged into despair over Mike. Ruth annoys and is the worst. Pot is smoked. There is a sort of mention of Jake The Snake Roberts. This was dull.

Ruth comes up with a Russian villain gimmick. Sam gets a lot of screen time. Justine bores. This was onerous to watch. There are midgets and knock offs of Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Million Dollar Man. Debbie screeches and Carmen smiles. A poster that mentions Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks is seen.

Best Lines:
“That’s a work out bustier.”

“Make you die.”

“Custom firepits.”

“Lewis Gossett Jnr, Richard Gere thing.”

“Say no to dope.”

“Porn you can watch with your kids. Finally!”

“In Soviet Union television watches you.”

“Working class hero.”

“Steel Horse’s woman.”

“Bitch shut up after that.”

This Is One Of Those Moments
Sam points out that Debbie and Ruth are the perfect face and heel. Ruth is now Zoya The Destroyer. Debbie is not persuadable. Will wrestling be career changing for them and their pivotal relationship? Ruth names her moves: potato soup, rough toilet paper, the breadline and hammer & sickle.

Ruth and Debbie’s scandal stalled friendship can’t be fixed, yet. Justine is untouchably preposterous. Ruth crashes a family function. The motel owner thinks Ruth and co are hookers. Welfare Queen is hilarious. Debbie is unable and unwilling to forgive Ruth. Beirut prances. This was okay.

Best Lines:
“Ripping off DePalma isn’t a genre.”

“I have woman, sometimes.”

“Hungry Man Dinners.”

“We didn’t all work in factories and write sad poetry.”

“She might be nice present for him.”

“Actress whore.”

“Your boring baby.”

“Build settlements all over your ass!”

“Turnips, snow and misery!”

Live Studio Audience
The girls advertise. Wrestling names include Beat-Down Biddies and Scab. There is a sense of drama. There is a training montage and a rap. The show is low rent and Ruth wears a Russian fur hat. There is toilet graffiti. Liberty Belle wears a stars and stripes leotard. Carmen has nerves and hides. The Beat-Down Biddies wear KKK robes for their match with Junk Chain and Welfare Queen. The crowd get into it.

This was mediocre. The KKK match induces shock and awe. Bash has money issues and no sense of financial management. Ruth as Zoya has a ghetto blaster playing Russian music. Then Mike shows up at an inopportune moment to ruin the show. He is a baneful twit and says he will divorce Debbie.

Best Lines:
“You sound like a protestant.”

“I want the whole room to boo me.”

“Hollering about some food stamps.”

“What is Bill Cosby gets mad at us?”

“Inappropriate social satire.”

“Casper looking racist idiots!”

“Defect or die!”

“Stupid American Barbie.”

~
The Handmaid’s Tale 2x10

The Last Ceremony
Emily goes through the ceremony. Her commander grunts away ignoring how he is flying in the face of god by creating this male separatist society. Eden and the new Eye chat. Gilead has implemented fear. Offred has a false labour. The neo-puritanical society has no supportiveness for Offred. Eden is scandalised. Serena Joy coos over the bump. Aunt Lydia and the Handmaids lurk.

The Marthas prepare food for the expected labour. The Commanders pass out cigars. There is mention of a pregnant wife. There is a black Commander and an Asian wife. Nick is in the room with the Commanders. Serena Joy sits in a white dress pretending to be in labour as a harp is played. This is a moral necessity to Serena Joy. So she is not pleased when it is revealed that Offred’s labour is false.

Serena Joy still backs the intent of Gilead, if not the intended effect. Serena Joy has outraged rapture. The Commander sleazes. Serena Joy wants to send Offred to a new district. How are the districts divided up? Offred asks the Commander for help. She does not get what she wants. The Commander yells and makes ominous purposeful statements and has the conqueror’s contempt for the conquered. Offred taunts him unwisely. The Commander is callously indifferent. Offred tries to establish kinship with her unborn child.

Serena Joy and the Commander decide to bang the baby out of Offred. Eden cheats with the new Eye and comes to a realisation. The Commander sets Nick and Offred up. Offred met Hannah. Stephen Kunken guest stars. Hannah doesn’t recall her mother. The Martha has to remind her who Offred it. The brainwashing is strong in Hannah aka Agnes. What happened to Nick? Is he dead? What’ll become of Offred? Whose house are they at? This was not good.

Best Lines:
“I’m not his mother anymore.

“Why don’t you care?”

“Her name is Agnes now.”

“I have new parents now.”

~
Quantico 3x04

Spy Games
I haven’t seen 3x01-3x03. There is a new team and new threats. Owen and Harry lurk. Ryan married Shelby. Alex has a husband and a child? There is no season long arc or flashbacks. Harry is a violent idiot. Alex speaks Russian. Shelby’s hair is now vanilla blonde and how is her v neck dress staying on? A guy with big hair lurks. The royal family of a made up land are in peril.

Where are Will and Sebastian? Harry hallucinates and is an arse and gets way too much screen time. There are terrible new opening credits. Where is Dayana? An emir is dying. Alex knows sign language. Marlee Matlin is in this. It’s all about oil or something. An annoying redhead lurks. Where is Clayton? Ryan’s in the FBI again despite being publicly burned. Harry’s in the FBI?

There is mumbling and way too much Harry. The redhead has to wear a slutty waitress outfit. The baddie is obvious. A dude with a fake UK accent lurks. This was BAD.

Best Lines:
“Make a death pact.”

“Dark money.”

“You’re like a bad country song.”

~
Star Trek: Discovery 1x02-1x04

Battle At The Binary Stars
There is a flashback to 7 years ago. Burnham was Sarek’s ward. Spock never mentioned her. Sarek wore a glittery high collared Elvis outfit. Burnham is annoying. There is lens flare. Burnham didn’t go to Starfleet Academy apparently. Burnham has no proportionate reactions and has a credibility issue and an unshakeable determination not to comply with rules. She has no idea of camaraderie. 24 Klingon ships have moral aggression. The Klingons have holographic communication. There is nice VFX.

There are Klingon flashbacks. A bad dude invented the cloaking device. There are interesting ship names and a space battle. Cute bridge guy, Connor, dies and the ships are decimated. Who bombed the Vulcan learning centre? T’Kuvma is not the big bad as Burnham kills him starting a war. The dead star walking dies and her body is left behind. The ship is lost and Burnham is court-martialed. This was okay.

Best Lines:
“Outcasts and vermin.”

“I am the enemy.”

“Query denied.”

“Respect is earned as is friendliness.”

“Against us.”

“You are nothing.”

“We hailed. They fired.”

“We do not desire to know you.”

“Ethical protocols.”

Context Is For Kings
Burnham’s a convict. The USS Discovery shows up. There is a fancy looking shuttle. Why is the USS Discovery so far from the front lines? Landry is security and Burnham is billy-no-mates. Exposition is spewed. The former bridge bunny is on the USS Discovery and looks different. There is a fight. Saru is the XO of the USS Discovery.

Captain Gabriel Lorca (Jason Isaacs) has a tribble and is light sensitive. There is foreshadowing. Burnham meets Cadet Tilly. Even in jail, Burnham has had her eyebrows done. There is weirdness on the USS Discovery. Paul is a jerk. There is a breath scanner and something weird in the engineering section. There is bad ADR. Paul annoys and does not like Lorca. There is Lovecraftian weirdness and a monster.

I’m not sure what is going on. Lorca invites Burnham aboard. There is talk about the Geneva Protocols. This was good. The USS Discovery has an organic propulsion system. Lorca has intense blue eyes. There is more foreshadowing. There is a mention of Amanda and Spock. There is a weird lab.

Best Lines:
“Miners for the war effort.”

“She and 8000 others are dead cause of you.”

“The future came.”

“Hunger and need and want disappeared.”

“Black alert.”

“Bloom failure.”

“That war monger Lorca.”

“Nothing’s normal.”

“You were always a good officer until you weren’t.”

“Unsanctioned war.”

The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not For The Lamb’s Cry
Landry is a bad ass. Lorca yells. There is muttering about theoretical physics. Voq prattles. The Klingons ate the dead captain. An Admiral (an actress from ‘The Practice’) talks. The Klingons attack. It is 6 months since 1x02. There is a House Kor mention. The ship’s hull spins. There is an Elon Musk mention. Landry is mauled and dies. What did the USS Glenn find? The poor monster. This was good. Voq is ditched and dismissed.

Best Lines:
“Rank: none.”

“The crew was trying to keep something in.”

“Hawking radiation firewall.”

“Tell your threat ganglia to relax.”

“Containment pen.”

~
The Mist (2017) 1x01

Pilot
This has okay opening credits but opens with bad acting and violence and goes downhill from there. This is based on the Stephan King novella. Annoyingly bland people run around committing violence. A poor man’s James Frain stars. This excites hostility for being gratingly historic and not even entertainingly stupid.

Nobody listens. A whiny bitch mother whines. This is very slow moving, like the mist. There is sexual violence and violence against women. This was farcical; there is an Arrowhead mention and racism. Bugs, birds and insects flee the mist. Frances Conroy is the villain to be. She’s more interesting than anyone else. There is personal indignation, moral outrage and detachment.

Dangerous and volatile people prance around a plot devoid of nuance. There are hints about a BFF. There is a Black Spring mention. What did the whiny bitch mother do? Bugs attack. There is death and nobody made decent life choices. There is immiseration and bad VFX. One watches this was an increasing level of disbelief. This was boring and not disquieting. There is no moral sentiment and the dreadful whining mother needs to go.

Best Lines:
“White male aggression.”

“Bankrupt educational system.”

“Sure ain’t what it used to be.”

“That weirdo.”

“Did something bad.”
“Not to anyone good.”

“Fed up with you people and your need for attention.”

~
Wild Wild Country (2018) Parts 1&2
A long slightly padded somewhat confusing documentary about an Indian guru who moved his cult to Oregon in 1981. This sparked a battle that involved prejudice and racism. The locals didn’t like the cult. Jonestown was brought up a lot. There actually was a connection to Jonestown and Nike. A land war was set off. The cult built a city in Oregon on a large ranch. Why did the cult leader inspire such devotion? What did they believe? How was it all funded? This was confusing and bizarre and was it all bigotry?

Best Lines:
“Immoral sex.”

“Isn’t deemed respectable.”

“The strangers arrived.”

“Spot Europeans by the shoes.”

“Living in a forest.”

“For what?”
Tags: black mirror, glow, handmaids tale, quantico, review, star trek
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