Wow, 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
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.
From 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
This review is for the first five episodes.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Season (to date): 3 out of 5
Meeting Prediction? No