Review: ‘The Wire’ presents its case – beginning the all-time classic

I’ve watched and currently watch a ton of TV shows. There’s a reason I have a blog where I write about them. But there has always been 1 show on my list of things to watch that I’ve just never gotten to. That show is The Wire. Heralded by many as the greatest TV show of all time; I knew that one day I would have to watch it. Call it a critic’s right of passage. Well with me moving back home for the summer and a decent amount of time on my hands I decided it was finally time to crack open the great TV novel that is The Wire. I have a review of the first 7 episodes of Season 1 coming right up.

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Review: Season 2 of ‘Better Call Saul’ goes out on a high note

When Better Call Saul was announced I wasn’t sure what to expect. Saul Goodman was a character that I had love from Breaking Bad but didn’t expect to see a spinoff from. One thing I knew for sure was that this would not be some cheap cash-in to extend the Breaking Bad brand. No, Vince Gilligan (who created BB) and Peter Gould (who created the character of Saul) would give us something worthy of our time.

Flash forward to now and Better Call Saul just wrapped up its second season. I was sold on the show from the get go but I was not expecting the show that we got this year. Better Call Saul has not only justified its existence, it has become the next must-watch drama in American TV. I have a review of the season two finale “Klick” below.

SPOILERS BELOW. So only read if you’ve watched the episode or don’t care (which you should). 

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Checking In: ‘The Walking Dead’ ends season 6 with a pathetic cliffhanger

I’m so done with this show. Sorry, let me back track a little. AMC’s The Walking Dead ended its sixth season on Sunday, April 3rd with the episode “Last Day on Earth” and boy oh boy was it awful.

The thought that went through my mind the most after I finished watching “Last Day on Earth” was; “How did a show that I genuinely enjoyed for several years take such a sharp turn south?” Man does it hurt to write that…just a month ago I was praising that the show had turned a corner into some great new territory. Well the award for “Fastest Change of Matt’s Opinion” goes to The Walking Dead. Let’s take a closer look, shall we?

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Review: Netflix’s ‘Daredevil’ returns in season 2 for more vigilante hijinks

Going into the end of my spring break I wondered what I was going to do to fill my last weekend home before returning to school. Thankfully I didn’t really have to look far to figure that out. On March 20th, Netflix released all 13 episodes of Daredevil season 2, one of four shows the service is producing in partnership with Marvel. Naturally, with all the episodes being available at once I had to finish them as fast as I could and I have my impressions of the season below.

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Review: ‘The Walking Dead’ delivers its best episode in a long time

Spoilers Ahead.

Excuse me while I try to compose myself.

Wow………….That. Was. Fantastic.

When The Walking Dead returned from its midseason hiatus I found myself questioning why I was still watching the show. Was it because of how popular it was? Did I like watching people kill zombies? Your guess is a good as mine but what I can tell you is that tonight’s episode singlehandedly justified why I’ve continued to watch a show as inconsistent as TWD.

This episode delivered the most breathless action sequence the show has produced since “No Sanctuary” back in season 5. More than that, the show presented a moral dilemma to our heroes that we hadn’t yet see them deal with. All that together makes “Not Tomorrow Yet” one of The Walking Dead‘s finest hours.

Picking up where “Knots Untie” left off, the people of Alexandria successfully negotiated a deal with The Hilltop that would provide them with the food they desperately needed. The catch? Rick and the gang have to eliminate an menacing group called “The Saviors.” We are more than accustomed to seeing our “heroes” retaliate against those that have attacked them but never have we seen them be the first to strike. The people we’ve watched for the last five and a half years are becoming that which they had long sought to keep from becoming.

Naturally this doesn’t sit well with several members of the group. Morgan (Lennie James) continues his insistence on being able to survive without killing anyone. While even Carol (who by all accounts is the most vicious character on the show) seems to be fed up with the amount of death being dealt (she’s killed 18 people btw). But the best material came from Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Heath (Corey Hawkins) both of whom had never killed another human before and the quandary they found themselves in.

Both men were not looking forward to ending the life of another human, even if they were part of a group as terrible of The Saviors. Yet both knew that if they were to survive it had to be done. The moment when Glenn kills the sleeping savior is just heart-wrenching even as you realize that this group likely would have come to Alexandria and killed a lot of our main characters. Especially touching is when Glenn kills the other guy in the room so Heath doesn’t have to. Depressingly enough though, a firefight breaks out and both men are forced to kill for their own survival, rendering Glenn’s gesture a moot point.

Here is a group of people who had long taken the moral high ground in this post-apocalyptic world of ours. Yet here, they were tasked with striking against those who had done nothing (yet) to wrong them. But if they don’t do this then they have no food and it is likely these “Saviors” will make their way to Alexandria. It’s an impossible situation that is illustrated wonderfully by the show.

This being The Walking Dead and all, even a “victory” such as this is rather hollow. Make no mistake, our “heroes” just did a horrible thing but at what cost? They didn’t eliminate all of The Saviors and worse still, those that weren’t at the base when the group attacked have now captured Carol and Maggie. So for the first time in a long time I’m very much looking forward to next Sunday.

I’m the type to procrastinate on writing blog posts (because they do take time) but I knew as soon as I finished watching the episode I had to write about it. So here I am, typing words as fast as my mind can process them. Hopefully the above was coherent enough for you. If you’ve been lagging behind on TWD now is the time to catch up. With the arrival of Neagan (the most celebrated antagonist from the comics) imminent, things are about to get very dire – then again, this is The Walking Dead, things are always dire – for our characters.

That was good. That was very good.

Some stray thoughts:

  • That guy Carol was flirting with? According to IMDB his name is Tobin and he’s been in 11 episodes of the show. I don’t remember him at all. Granted, TWD has been very hit or miss with establishing it’s tertiary characters. That little bit about him telling Carol how he believes she fights as hard as she does? That was worth it though.
  • No Carl this week, didn’t miss him.
  • It’s slightly more unsettling to me just how good the group has become at combat. I suppose it’s a sad fact of the world they live in.

What did you think about “Not Tomorrow Yet”? Did you find it just as intense as I did? How do you think the group will deal with what happens next? Let me know in the comments below.

Too Much TV: The changing television landscape and how to cope with it.

“I just don’t have time to watch another show.”

That’s something I myself have said multiple times in the past year. Gone are the days of linear TV viewing, where the only way to watch an episode was on a specific day at a specific time. Now we have networks, cable channels, streaming outlets, and even Playstation producing original content! According to FX CEO John Landgraf, 409 scripted series aired in the last year. There are now more original shows on air and more ways to watch them than ever before. So the question is; how does someone keep up in this era of “Peak TV?”

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