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

Marco Polo (Episode Two Review)

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This review will have minor spoilers for episode two of Marco Polo

OK, I know I said not to expect a per episode review, but I couldn’t help it. The first episode was great, and the second episode built upon itself, in some good ways and other not so good ways. This review will probably be much short than the previous, but with the longest review probably being the final one. But anyways, let’s delve into the review.

The episode starts out strong and continues forth with the same momentum. No major characters are introduced, though a minor character is introduced that deals almost entirely with Marco. The relationship between the two characters gives the audience the ability to see Marco interact with a character who, while a higher status than Marco, isn’t in the same leadership position as Kublai Khan and his family. Speaking of Kublai Khan, this episodes centers mainly around him, and is incredibly strong because of it. At this point in the show, he might just be the most fun character to watch. He’s complex and just so well acted.

The story follows mostly Kublai Khan and his struggle against his brother, who wants control. The conflict is bloody and seemingly settled in this episode, but no one can ever be sure. The acting between Kublai Khan and his brother is the biggest strength of the episode, showing a love/hate relationship with great emphasis on both aspect. Another story line involved the Chinese consort and her relationship with young daughter as well as she has problems with her brother’s leadership. She has a very interesting fighting scene where she is completely nude and killing quite a few people. Did she need to be naked? Hell no. The only thing I can take from this is that it will be a common point in most of the series. While I don’t mind nudity, I’d like for there to be a solid reason for it to be there. While one could argue that she stripped her robe in this to make fighting easier, it’s a weak defense at that. Well, at least she did actually kick ass in this scene.

I’d say the weakest part of the episode was the lack of Marco in it. Sure, he’s still the main character in the episode, but there was a lack of interesting story involved with him. When he was onscreen, it was more exciting to watch Kublai Khan and his struggles.

Consensus: Overall, it was a slightly weaker episode, with lots of development for Kublai Khan and minor developments for many of the other characters. 2 hours in and the feeling of this being a movie has not worn off, it’s still particularly strong and has the makings of being one of Netflix’s best shows.

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Marco Polo (Episode One Review)

MarcoPoloFrom the beautiful opening shot it becomes plainly obvious that this isn’t like the other Netflix original series. The shots are wide, the set pieces grand. The Mongol costumes are extravagant and before the opening credits appear, you’ll likely be hooked.

The locations are just breath-taking, the grandiose rooms and beautiful nature shots are enough to amaze even the most casual of watchers. The cinematography easily capitalizes on this and takes full advantage of what nature, and man-made structures, provided them. The camera movement at times can be overly shaky, but many of the shots, especially the panning shots, are typically smooth like butter. Mmm, butter. The special effects are surprisingly great, but then again, it’s well known that this is a big budget TV show and they used their money well. Even the wide shots that are more computer generated than real look beautiful, which just goes to show how much effort was put in the visuals.

The tale of how Marco Polo came to end up where the Television series starts is far more interesting than one would have previously guessed. It involves a lot of travel, obviously, but the previously mentioned shots help as well as the performances given by the many different actors. One such performance is from the show’s lead, Lorenzo Richelmy. While an unknown in every sense of the word, he quickly proves his worth with a noteworthy performance. Benedict Wong as Kublai Khan is amazing. He transformed for the role, looking nothing like his more recent previous films and acts with such an effortless intensity that you can’t help but fear his power.

The biggest issue is that the only time you really hear a female character speak is in between moans as she is engaged in sexual activities. It would have been nice to have more female characters introduced, in a different fashion than that. But with this only being one episode in, there are enough opportunity for that to change. There is a lot of sex and nudity, take that as you will.

This review is a bit short, mostly because it’s only based on the first episode. Don’t expect a review for every episode, unless the series stays at this sort of level and requires a per episode review. The first episode is well done, one of the best I’ve seen since the House of Cards first episode. If the series can improve on itself, or even just stay on par, it will be one of the best shows in recent memory. I personally can’t wait to watch the other episodes.

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Pramface (Season 1 & 2 Review)

If any of you guys read my tweets (follow me if you don’t ;)), then you most likely know that these past few days, I have watched way too much of the short series Pramface. Having finished both season one and two, I’d like to review the two seasons. The show follows Jamie and Laura. Two strangers that meet at a party and have sex. Next thing they know, Laura is pregnant, forcing the two strangers to get to know each other. The relationship is made weirder as Jamie is a 16-year-old school student and Laura is 18 and spending her first year at University. Continue reading

House of Cards (TV Series Review) [Part 2 of 2]

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Italicized means it’s been mentioned in the Part 1 review.

After being passed up for Secretary of State, a congressman begin an intricate plan of revenge on the new President. His wife deals with the troubles of expanding her foundation and the congressman becomes allies with a young reporter, hungry for the next story. The second half also deals more with the congressman’s attempt take down the president, which somehow relates to getting a congressman elected to be the next governor of his state.

Pros

Kevin Spacey is amazing! His character is evil but you can’t help but love him. The supporting characters are also fantastic, the show is extremely well acted. I think Robin Wright and Kate Mara stand out alongside Spacey as giving A+ performances. David Fincher directed the first 2 episodes, which were really good. The story is great, and pretty unpredictable. I love what I’m seeing so far. Actually come to think of it, I forgot to mention Corey Stoll who does a great job playing a Congressman who can’t handle the tough side of the job. He too gives a human quality to what could have been just another supporting character. 

The second half also features great performances from Spacey and Stoll, as well as Mara. The acting is just top-notch on this show, I’m blown away. Now be warned, there is a lot of sex in the show. If that’s not your cup of tea, then you should at least give it a chance. While there is a lot of sex, there isn’t that much nudity, you pretty much just hear lots and lots and lots of sex.

Cons

Some might not appreciate Spacey’s breaking of the 4th wall. Episode 3 was a bit weak in my opinion. I really wish Fincher had directed more as his style and direction could have really been utilized with the last couple of episodes. There was one episode that just felt useless, it featured Spacey returning to his old school and spending a day living in the past with his old friends. It was a good episode, but didn’t tie in very well with anything else going on. It was useless, and they made it that way.

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House of Cards (TV Series Review) [Part 1 of 2]

This review is for the first five episodes.

HouseofCardsposterPlot

After being passed up for Secretary of State, a congressman begin an intricate plan of revenge on the new President. His wife deals with the troubles of expanding her foundation and the congressman becomes allies with a young reporter, hungry for the next story.

Pros

Kevin Spacey is amazing! His character is evil but you can’t help but love him. The supporting characters are also fantastic, the show is extremely well acted. I think Robin Wright and Kate Mara stand out alongside Spacey as giving A+ performances. David Fincher directed the first 2 episodes, which were really good. The story is great, and pretty unpredictable. I love what I’m seeing so far.

Actually come to think of it, I forgot to mention Corey Stoll who does a great job playing a Congressman who can’t handle the tough side of the job. He too gives a human quality to what could have been just another supporting character.

Cons

Some might not appreciate Spacey’s breaking of the 4th wall. Episode 3 was a bit weak in my opinion.

Score (to date): 5/5

Score Prediction: 5/5

Revolution (TV Series Review) [Part 2 out of 3]

Revolution_Title_CardPlot

In a future where all the power is lost, a girl must travel with her uncle to save her brother from the dreaded Monroe army. Over the course of events, we discover that her uncle was once the Monroe armies second in command and that he was once best friend’s with the evil general. And other stuff happens, too.

Revolution_InfoboxPros

The action is pretty good for a TV show and the same goes for the chaotic setting that I’ve come to love so much from watching it. The main plot and back-story is also pretty interesting.

Cons

Sadly, everything else is just wasted potential. The acting is just decent and some of the episodes are very, very boring, to the point that I called it my “review time”, meaning I would put the finishing touches on my queued up review. I must say the last few episodes before the winter hiatus were pretty good, though.

Score

Season (to date): 3 out of 5

Meeting Prediction? No

Raising Hope (Season 3 Review) [Part 2 of 3]

RaisingHopeIntertitlePlot

The Chance family keeps on keeping on as the now 3-year-old Hope grows with us, the viewer. Storylines involved walks for A.B.S. (Angry Bowel Syndrome) and Sabrina and her skill with taking care of Hope.

Pros

So far, the season has been good. The episodes got better as the season progressed, which is good because some episodes were a bit boring. Burt and Virginia are really stealing the show this season. I love their bickering and they feel like an actual married couple. Jimmy and Sabrina also have good chemistry and Hope is just the most perfect little girl, without actually being “perfect”.

Cons

The season has been boring, but that’s about it. And that was only a few episodes.

Score

Score (to date): 4.5 out of 5

Meeting Prediction: Yes

Doctor Who (Series 7 Review) [Part 2 of 3]

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This past half season we’ve seen old and new enemies and companions leave. The Christmas special, which I consider the mid-way point, introduced the new companion, though she will be a bit of a familiar face for Whovians. The episode also brought back evil snowmen and a human who found himself a servant to one.

Pros

What a brilliant first half. I mean the episodes pulled at my heartstrings, especially the last ones before Rory and Amy’s departure. God, those were sad. The aliens and special effects were also great. I have no complaints with the acting, everything has so far been perfect.

Cons

Nothing, well at least for me.

Score

Season (to date): 5 out of 5

Meeting Prediction: Yes

 

Vegas (TV Series Review) [Part 1 of 3]

 

Plot

The case of cops vs. mobsters in the growing city of Las Vegas. You have a stand-up rancher, turned sheriff, against a big city mobster and his casino thugs.

Pros

The acting is great, but that’s a given when you have Dennis Quaid and a great supporting cast filled with many, many familiar faces. The scenery is also great, Vegas has never looked better. Well, I’ve never been there, but it’s a saying.

Cons

While the show is new and unique, I can’t imagine it lasting that long. Shows like these are perfect with short seasons, that way the storylines are drawn out over a long period. I’m not saying the show is doomed, I just have a hard time imagining myself watching this show for the typical 22-24 episode season. 13 would be better. At the time of writing this, I have been unable to find any information on the season length, but knowing “big networks” it will most definitely be a long one. I’ve also read that there are a lot of factual errors with the show, which is a big no-no.

Season Score (to date): 3.5 out of 5

Season Prediction: 4 out of 5

Fun Fact: The lead character, Sheriff Lamb, is based on the real life sheriff and he serves as a consultant for the series.

 

 

NCIS (Review) [Part 1 of 3]

 

Plot

A group of NCIS agents investigate military deaths and last season they found themselves the target of a madman who blew up the facilities. The season starts with the aftermath and it is pretty gripping.

Pros

They didn’t hold back with this episode and they seem to be nearing a conclusion to the storyline within the next three episodes. The characters are back and it looks like the character of Palmer looks to be getting a bigger role this season. Other than that, the series as usual.

Cons

I’m not sure what this season will bring, but it has to improve which gets harder as shows progress in years. People are also growing tired of “cop dramas” so they’ll have to stay fresh to keep their millions of views, including me hooked.

Episode: 4/5

Season Potential: 4.5/5

 

Doctor Who (Series 7 Review) [Part 1 of 3]

 

Plot

The Doctor must help his biggest enemies, The Daleks. Also, Rory and Amy are having a bit of marital problems and they appear to be in need of outside help.

Pros

The episode is a great premiere. All the characters return and help add the realistic aspect to this sci-fi show. The episode leaves a few questions that will hopefully be answered later in the season. I’m unsure if I’m excited for Amy and Rory to leave. In the past couple of years, I’ve grown to really like them but some fresh blood might improve the show even more.

Cons

The episode was great, but I fear it might not have left enough questions to be answered, but I hope more things will pop up in the coming episodes.

Score

Episode: 4/5

Season prediction: 5/5

 

Bishop’s Top 10 (TV Shows) Part 1

Wait, didn’t I just do a Top 3 a couple of weeks ago? Yes, I did. But now, this is the top of ALL-TIME. Just to let you know before I move forward, this list may have choices leaving you scratching your head. I just want to remind you once again, that I am practically just like you and love random TV Shows for random reasons. That being said, I’m guessing you will see a lot of Sci-fi. Anyways, on to Number 10.

10. Castle

Well isn’t this a shock, my third favorite show of last year is the 10th best show that I can remember.  I named the reasons already, but I’ll state them again. The show has some of the best chemistry ever…and it has Nathan Fillion, one of the greatest television actors of today. Now there probably are a bunch of shows that could make it on the list that didn’t, but Castle is one of the shows where I could see it be in an even better place in a couple of years.

9. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Also Angel)

Buffy and Angel were great supernatural shows and the love between them was also one of the best of its time. Honestly, I think the later seasons of Buffy weren’t as good, which probably led to its eventual cancellation. But now, as years have gone on, I can look back at the show and remember all the good times I had watching it. With Angel, I feel the opposite. The first season was OK, but it got better and better until it finally came to an end. My favorite character was probably Doyle, whose (SPOILER ALERT…do I really need to put that?) death was one of the saddest of the 90’s TV Shows. (END OF SPOILER) With that, these two shows can share the #9 spot, battling demons and vampires together.

8. The IT Crowd

Now you’re probably thinking that I’m crazy. A comedy at the #8 spot? Well let me first say this was a difficult decision. I knew one British comedy would be on here, and it was either this or Red Dwarf. I love both show, but I think this one had more laughs and did so in less time. I love both shows, though, and Red Dwarf is definitely one of the best. I think the actors in the IT Crowd were hilarious and I am still hoping they get together one more time to do that one movie or special thing that they have talked about for some time.

7. Firefly

Nathan Fillion again? Yes, and for good reason. This sci-fi series was very underrated when it came out and was cancelled way too soon. Its cast was fantastic and several of the actors have been major characters in some of the most exciting shows; including Chuck, Suits, Castle and Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles…and many, many more. The show was unlike anything that I had seen before and since. Now this show has an unfair advantage since it ended up having one of the best movies I have seen in years, and I did take that into consideration. Without it though, it probably would have found itself at the top of this list at #10 or so.

6. Supernatural

Now I was unable to see the most recent season, but I will probably see it when it comes out on DVD and Blu-Ray. So I’m just going by the seasons I have seen. The first season of Supernatural was dark and scary. The later seasons were dark, scary and funny. These later seasons have some of the best episodes of the series, they literally had me laughing the entire time. Well until the end when they deal with demons, vampires or the always awesome ghost. The show has two great leads and is definitely the best supernatural drama around.

Now comes the end of Part One of this fun little look inside my favorite TV shows of ALL-TIME. Later this week, or even maybe tomorrow, you will find the conclusion to this epic countdown. I hope you enjoyed these, and please tell me what you think.

Bishop’s Top 3 (Part 1)

OK, so these next few days, weeks or months I will be doing Bishop’s Top 3. Part 1 will be my 3 favorite new shows from last season. So here we go!

Honorable Mention

Once Upon a Time was epic at some points of the season, but others felt too soap-opera-y. It still was an enjoyment to watch, though. Terra Nova was a fun show to watch, too bad it was cancelled. Same goes for The River. All of these shows were new, different and deserved being mentioned in this category. Terra Nova and The River will surely be missed.

3. New Girl

New Girl was one show where I hated it when I saw the commercials on TV. It looked stupid and unfunny, so I avoided it. Eventually, I was able to watch the 2nd episode, which I sort of enjoyed. As the show progressed, I began to enjoy the majority of the characters. The stupidity changed to quirkiness, and I was eventually engrossed in the series. My two favorite characters would have to be Nick and Schmidt. I can’t wait to watch next season, which will hopefully be as good as the last half of the season. Now on to #2!

 

2. Person of Interest

What can I say, I love a good action show. This stars Jim Caviezel, also known for playing Jesus in Mel Gibson’s film, The Passion of the Christ. In the show he sort of reminds me of Batman, which may be due to the series being created by Jonathan Nolan, writer of those epic Batman movies. Each episode is like a mini-movie, a trait that made me love the short-lived series, Human Target. If you were unable to watch this show and you love action movies, I strongly recommend that you find a way to watch this. The finale may not have been the greatest one of the year, but it was still a great episode that set up many possibilities for next season. I can’t wait to see more.

1. Grimm

No one is probably surprised by this. It is the only TV series that I have reviewed twice. At least, I think it is. I have been doing this for quite some time now. Anyways, this show has everything I love. It is creepy, funny and has action. I know this isn’t everyone’s favorite show, but I love it. If you loved Buffy, Angel or any creepy, campy supernatural shows, you might just fall in love with this show too. It has great characters, episodes and progression. The first episode differs greatly from the last, to a point where it is evident that the show found its own identity. Grimm’s best feature is that there is nothing like it on TV. Yeah, yeah, Once Upon a Time deals with fairy-tales, but to a different extent than Grimm.

All shows mentioned here were great, but what were your favorite shows? Be sure to speak your mind.

Once Upon a Time (Review)

OK, so we’re nearing the end of the season and you’re probably wondering why I am doing a review now of all times. Well, reason number one, is the fact that I’ve literally had this review sitting incomplete on my computer since the series started. Now, I do want to say that if you’re reading this and you haven’t seen the series, don’t worry. I try not to reveal big plot spoilers in these reviews just in case you want to see it. Anyways, here’s the review…

This past year not one, but two shows premiered dealing with fantasy topics. This one sort of jumped out of the gate right away. It had huge ratings and looked amazing. For those who don’t know, the series takes place in two universes. The world of ours, with real people and such, and the fantasy world, a world with dragons and fairies and witches. Now the evil witch has sent the fairy tale characters into the city of Storybrooke, the setting in the real world.

Just from that alone you can see why America was so interested in the series. Now with the separate episode story lines, things get a bit different. Some episodes are amazing, with interesting characters in both worlds receiving great development that helps make everything more interesting. They kill off some characters who added to the series early on and they were later forgotten about. Now, not only has the series been getting a bit soap-opera-y with a story that has droned on far too long.

Overall, the performance given by the actors is surprisingly good. The leads and the supporting cast all add something important. My only problem is some characters have been absent for weeks. One in particular, Raphael Sbarge of Mass Effect fame, has been absent for weeks. He plays the character of Jiminy Cricket as well as the psychiatrist in Storybrooke. It is not a lead role, but it does add a great aspect to the show.

While the show has taken steps back instead of improving, I still have to say that I enjoy it. I give the first season of Once Upon a Time a score of 8 out of 10.