Sense8 Television Review

Netflix_Sense8_promo_artWow, Netflix sure has a way of bringing unique, thought provoking stories to the small screen. So many shows have come out recently that have blown me away. First, Daredevil was epic, then Grace and Frankie was better than expected and now Sense8 has done it again…for the most part. The thought-child of the Wachowski’s and J. Michael Straczynski, Sense8 is a sci-fi drama that tells the tale of 8 people who can all sense and communicate with one another from across the world. Continue reading

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Marco Polo (Episode Ten Review)

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Note: This review will be very short, both due to a large stream of reviews that are also in the process of being written and the fact that the final, season review will be coming out soon.

With Marco Polo coming to a close, they did not disappoint. The episode comes to an epic conclusion, practically tying up the big plots of the season while setting the stage for new ones next year. Relationships progress, friendships are built and new alliances are formed. In terms of finales, they couldn’t have done better.

The performances made the finale even better. All around, this episode had great performances and a gripping story. The action sequences were top-notch in this episode, making it an all around success. The finale gave the most complete look at what the series has to offer in the coming years, and that makes for exciting TV. A review of this season will be coming shortly, but for this episode I can only give it one score.

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Marco Polo (Episode Eight Review)

MarcoPoloBodies have begun to fall in Marco Polo. The series is now at the tail end of the first season and has done a remarkable job constantly improving from it’s few early weak episodes. The story lines are developing at a proper pace and characters are developing more and more. I think episode stands out as the first episode where Marco Polo has overtaken Kublai Khan as the most interesting character in the series. That’s not to say that Kublai has dwindled in quality, but it’s a testament of how well Lorenzo Richelmy has stewed into the role.

The scenery is once again breathtaking, but it’s been a common facet with the series. The palaces, the exterior shots and pretty much everything in between has been a breath of fresh air. It is nice to see a show with a steady amount of character development. I’m not sure where the show will go story wise in season 2, which there apparently will be, but I’m sure wherever it goes, I will happily follow.

I promise that the first season review will have more to it than just a rehashing of me talking about how amazing Kublai Khan is. It will be more in depth and long, I promise. The last few review will be shorter in preparation for the long series review, but I hope when it is released, hopefully at the start of the new year, it will be worth your time.

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Marco Polo (Episode Seven Short Review)

MarcoPoloI’m going to keep this review pretty short and sweet, mostly due to the full plate of reviews and articles lined up for today and the week as a whole.

Plot

Marco and Hundred Eyes sneak into the walled city in an attempt to rescue/capture Mei Lin’s daughter in hopes that Mei Lin will ally herself towards the Mongols and give them any information that they have. There are other minor plots involving the she-warrior and the Khan’s bastard son as well as other webs trailing back to the Chancellor and his evil doings.

Pros

Great performances from Kublai Khan, the Empress and Marco Polo. The Empress and Mei Lin are starting to get more interesting, proving that characters are more interesting when they’re onscreen more often with their clothes on than off. The tension in the Walled City is amazing. One of the more compelling episodes of the series, it further proves that the series is moving in the right direction.

Cons

The biggest problems are the same recurring problems that the series has run into. While it is showing potential to move past my gripes, it is still weighed down by them.

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Marco Polo (Episode Six Review)

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With the series past its halfway point, one would think that the intensity would pick up in preparation for the finale, especially in a series as limited as this. It’s never a guarantee, but with the distant screams and intense music at the start of the episodes, it seems clear that Netflix understands this. The beginning of the episode immediately informs you of an important question that had been left unanswered for the first five episodes. It does so swiftly and lets the title card appear before any further action commences.

What action occurs post opening is minuscule, but the series continues forth on plots established in prior episodes. The question still remains of who attempted to kill Kublai Khan and just how much Kublai trusts Marco. Two very important issues and one of the two seems to be partially answered in this episode. It’s nice to see the series is wrapping up a lot of major questions since I’m not sure if this will just be a limited series or if there are plans for a second season.

At this point in the show, I’ll mostly write about the performances of Marco Polo and Kublai Khan with more about the other characters saved for the finale review that I plan to be much longer than these short, episode centric reviews. But having mentioned Polo and Khan,both performances were solid in this episode. There were a lot of different story lines throughout the beginning of this episode, but these two characters intermingled in each of them or were involved a great deal in some.

I should run a tally on how many minutes per episodes there is a nude body on this show, it’s probably a lot. The nudity doesn’t effect my score, but their inability to have strong female characters does keep preventing it from having a perfect score of five. I do find some of the women in the show are becoming more than just exposed breasts, as more interesting story’s are being introduced. I have no problem with sex or nudity, but there needs to be a balance between strong characters and plots and the nudity that television loves to use. I feel the need to look up the cast lists at times because I’ve seen some characters breasts more than I’ve heard their names. Now I don’t know if I just haven’t noticed it before, or if the music is a new addition, but the music they used in this episode was fantastic.

Overall, it was another solid episode, with great plot advancement and fantastic character interaction. I can’t see this show as a binge-watching type since some of the plots and relationships are too intricate and can be too much to handle. That’s not a bad thing, just an observation. It is a great start to the second half of the show.

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Marco Polo (Episode Four & Five Review)

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This review contains spoilers for episodes four and five of the Netflix series, Marco Polo.

So I’m combining my review for these two episodes since the main plot of these two episodes flow into one another. The episodes finds Kublai questioning Marco’s allegiance and then giving him an ultimatum about what to do with his father and uncle, who had recently returned from their travels. The two committed crimes against the Khan, and for that they were to be punished, it was up to young Polo. Before Marco can give Kublai his opinion, the two are attacked by assassins, who successfully poison Kublai Khan. Polo then must determine where the assassins came from and goes on a journey to figure it out.

I’d say I liked both episodes equally. The acting was still great and the story following Marco Polo was probably the most interesting that he’s been involved in. The fifth episode in particular was placed almost solely on his shoulders and he did so to great effect. His story is finally reaching a point where it’s interesting without Kublai Khan. That being said, the series still needs him and the fifth episode sort of floundered without his presence in the majority of it. The side plots going on in the episode were interesting enough, but they were lacking the gravitas that Kublai Khan provides in the show. When he’s on screen, I can’t take my eyes off of it. That’s in no way a criticism of the show or the lead actor, the writers just did a great job making Kublai more interesting than I had previously thought.

Both episodes had their fair share of nudity, but the fifth episode might have had the strangest orgy in the history of TV. I can’t even explain it, it’s that weird. I do find it unfortunate that the series feels that it has to rely on gratuitous female nudity to succeed since the show contains great action and an interesting story without it. There’s no sign the nudity will cease, but at this point all the people who didn’t like that aspect of the show have probably quit watching it.

While both episodes had a lot of meat, and I don’t mean like that, they were probably the weakest of the show. They weren’t bottle episodes, nor were they boring in the slightest, but compared to earlier episodes, it left a lot to be desired.

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