Category Archives: TV show Review

‘Gotham’ Finally Unveils Its Batman

After five years spent watching Fox’s extra dark take on the origin of the dark knight and the most elite members of his infamous rogue gallery, we finally get to see Bruce Wayne unveiled as Batman.

Just like with Smallville, years back, we watched how Bruce went from young naive kid through various tests and trials into the caped crusader, protector of Gotham city.

Bruce Wayne (as played by David Mazouz) went from dorky, defenseless boy to mean-faced, unwilling disciple of Ras Al Ghul in season three of the show. Anyone familiar with Batman lore knows that the immortal Ras and his League of Assassins plays a pivotal role in modelling young Bruce into the guardian Gotham so desperately needs. This, coupled with the fact that at the end of the penultimate episode Bruce leaves the city for further training in an unspecified place, only to return 10 years later, fully formed as the Bats.

Though a different actor plays the character, we get to see Gotham’s take on the beloved dark knight, and I think it was decent.

Take a look and judge for yourself:

In the same vain that Bruce became Batman, his existing rogues, such as fan favorites – Ed, Nygma and Selina – became more accurate versions of their comic book counterparts as The Riddler, Penguin and Catwoman. Even the Joker wasn’t left out, as Jeremiah Valaske wholeheartedly took on the mantle.

One thing I liked about Gotham during its run was the consistency with its story telling; it might have been the most popular shows o air, but it knew what it was doing, and we’re it was going. And might be fondly remembered for ending right.

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This Is Us: Beth and Randal Pearson Are Still Together!

This year, I don’t think I’ve been as happy as I was the moment I found out RnB (the internet name for Randal and Beth) never got divorced.

With the introduction of the flashforward timeline at the start of the just concluded third season, I’ve held my heart in my mouth this entire time thinking the worst has truly come for one of TV’s most perfect couple of all time. Luckily, for me (and many) it happened to be a case of the network baiting us all along… Another period in a married couple’s life, and that they were able to work out their differences.

This Is us isn’t a supernatural show, so I’m sure RnB’s future is set in stone; and there shall be no surprise, last minute changes to their marital status. They’re safe.

The season three finale did reveal a whole lot of interesting stuff about the rest of the Pearsons – like Rebecca living a very long life, enough to see her grandchildren, possible great-grandchildren, and even Kevin’s child (shocking! 🤣). The cliffhanger about the state of her health isn’t much of a cliffhanger to me; I believe she’s had a great time, more than most people would ever ask for.

Are you happy Beth and Randal were able to fix most of their problems at last? Do tell.

Rinzy Reviews ‘Carmen Sandiego’ Season One (2019)

Release Date: January 18

Network: Netflix

Starring: Gina Rodriguez, Finn Wolfhard, Rita Moreno, Kimiko Glenn, et al.

***

Carmen Sandiego is one property that’s been around for a long time now, but might not be as popular as some of its counterparts age-wise. Thanks to Netflix, this status is sure to change.

Who is Carmen Sandiego?

A mischievous orphan who enrolls into V.I.L.E. academy – a school for thieves. It doesn’t take her long to discover she doesn’t belong there. Subsequently, she leaves, and soon starts to mastermind ways to take stop the evil organization from causing more harm’s worldwide.

The nine thirty-minutes episodes of the season addresses this issue in a back-and-forth manner that mostly gives educative exposition to the nefarious activities of V.I.L.E.

The show doesn’t do much to keep you invested storywise; but what it fails in that angle it makes up for with good animation and idiosyncratic characters like Detective

It’s educative and witty: perfect combo for kids and adults.

Rinzy’s Rating: 3/5

Fiona Gallagher Is No Longer Shameless

The 9th season finale of Shameless aired last night, and we had to say goodbye to Fiona Gallagher.

😦😧😲😢😥

Fiona’s been one of the strongest character on the show. If you’ve been a fan f the show from the very beginning, you’d know there’s no shortage of ill-luck afflicting the Gallagher’s; Fiona’s had her fair share, even going as far as venturing into entrepreneurship only to lose everything.

I liked the way the Emmy Rossum played character was written off; a wonderful send off to arguably the most important character since the start of the show. Her scene with Frank is easily the most emotional of the entire episode.

Shameless has been renewed for a 10th season. It’s left to be seen just how gravely Fiona’s absence will affect the rest of the characters – her siblings, Vee, Kelvin.

I’m not even sure how I’ll feel watching the show next season knowing fully well there’ll be no Fiona. The writers and producers will have to come up with a really engaging story so that Fiona’s absence won’t become the bane of the show’s existence.

Bonus though: Ian’s returning. Lip’s girlfriend is still pregnant, Liam’s becoming more independent, and Carl’s being dragged back to school. There’s no shortage of drama in the life of the Gallaghers. And that’s a good thing. 😁

Rinzy Reviews ‘The Umbrella Academy’ Season One (2019)

Release Date: February 15

Network: Netflix/ 10 episodes

Starring: Ellen Page, Robert Sheehan, Aidan Gallagher, Tom Hopper, Mary J. Blige, et al.

***

The Umbrella Academy is Netflix’s latest attempt at embracing the superhero genre. Being that the streaming giant’s recently said goodbye to the Marvel’s Defenders, its timing is perfect. And it sure looks like a worthy successor to raise the flag of superheroism on Netflix.

Over the course of 10 episodes, The Umbrella Academy tries to mostly be a time travel story, but it sure is other things. On October 1, 1989, 43 women around the world give birth at the same time. This is peculiar because none of them started the day pregnant. Sir Reginald Hargreeves, an eccentric billionaire adopts seven of these children, and starts the Umbrella Academy – a school for the gifted to help make the world a better place. Sir Hargreeves is crazy enough to give these children numbers – one to seven – in place of names, and detaches himself from having any form of emotional attachment to them, a duty he leaves for their mother – a robot named Grace. She eventually gives them names, except Number Five.


The main plot revolves around the children, now adults, reuniting to solve the mystery of their father’s death, the threat of the apocalypse, and more.

As the main plot unfolds, a lot is revealed about the family’s backstory. Some of which turned out impressive, and others not so much – like Luther and Allison’s incestuous relationship.

The Umbrella Academy is awesome storywise, but is heavily plagued by poor pacing, lazy writing, and horrible dialogues. Like in episode 8, when Allison finds Vanya in the cabin and tells her about Leonard being a murderer and all. The way that entire scene played out made me cringe; and that’s just one of many. These issues were evidently spread throughout the episodes, making it very difficult for me to decide which of them is the best, technically speaking.

The writing doesn’t fit the pacing of the story. The whole story takes place under eight days. Eight days to meet someone and fall blindly in love, like in the case of Vanya. I mean, who does that. And… the entire thing about the siblings easily turning on their Vanya, making it a case of Vanya vs. The world didn’t look good. I mean, these guys are retired superheroes; in no world is making such a decision as easy as depicted here.

Talking about Vanya, she’s got Marvel’s Phoenix level kind of power. Truly terrifying stuff. But if there’s one thing about her the show didn’t quite expatiate, it’s the fact that she’s got mental issues. There’s no doubt about that. She’s desperate for love, attention and acceptance from just about anybody since her family had refused to love her unconditionally. This is the reason she remained blind to all of Leonard’s wiles and tricks even when they became glaring.

The cast is great and the visuals are awesome. My favorite character is easily Number Five, and this is by no small measure because of Aidan Gallagher’s portrayal. The entire premise of a 58-y/o in a child’s body is so believable, you forget the character is been played by an actual 15-y/o. I see great things in his future, great things.

The season ended with more questions than answer. And was quite disappointing. It made all 10 hours invested in the season look meaningless, as we’ve got to wait for next season (should it get renewed) to reward our patience for this one. A poor shot at a cliffhanger, if you ask me. Doesn’t make much sense. But that doesn’t mean The Umbrella Academy is a bad show. On the contrary, it’s a decent one, and you should enjoy it.

Side notes:

1. We’re never told how Ben died. I hope it’s something that’s addressed in the next season. We didn’t get to see a lot of him, but he seems like an interesting character.

2. Whoever cast Mary J. Blige in the role of Cha-Cha has some answers to give. Even though there wasn’t much to work with, a more fitting actress would’ve brought a much needed depth to that role, and made the character remotely interesting. Hazel’s actor, Cameron Britton, escapes this judgement by a margin.

3. For a commission that safeguards the time-continum, The Commission’s office security is quite porous; this is evident in the countless times Number Five enters and leaves unregulated. Even Hazel gets to enter and put a bullet in someone who’s suppose to be high up the leadership board. You can imagine.

Rinzy’s Rating: 3/5

Rinzy Reviews ‘Weird City’ Season One (2019)

Release Date: February 13

Network: YouTube Premium

Starring: Dylan O’Brien, Awkafina, Steven Yuen, Rosario Dawson, et al.

***

Weird City is the real deal. It’s the latest series to mirror Black Mirror. Pun heavily intended 😁. Co-produced by heavy talent Jordan Peele, YouTube Premium’s six-episodes, SciFi, anthology series addresses various topics of everyday life.

Every episode features new set of actors playing new characters, and they’re connected Easter eggs and the fact that they’re all set in the titular weird city – a place where there’s a literal line (like the Wall President Trumps hopes will keep the Mexicans away) that separates the haves (those above the line) and haves not (those below the line). The series attaches big names to it, which helps to build credibility. But the fact that the show aims to tell a really impressive story is what makes all the difference.

Weird City is Black Mirror reconstructed; only this time it’s much more light-hearted. I’m not saying it’s a replace for the Netflix hit, but that it gives you an idea of what might Black Mirror might’ve been if it’d decided to embrace more humour.

Those living below the line have lifestyles similar to what’s obtainable in the present way real world. It’s those living above the line that provides the bulk of SciFi and comedy I believe the show will be revered for. If there’s one thing that’s obvious about those living above the line it’s that they’re sick in the head 😂. Countless humor abounds from their eccentric lifestyles. From the craziness of the one that’s the one in the Dylan O’Brien starring first episode to the second episode preaching against the dangers of gym-obsessed, and episode three, my personal favorite… There’s enough new, weird materials to go round in this Weird City. And I’m sure you’ll love it.

With contents like this, I’m likelier to take YouTube Premium shows more seriously.

Side note:

My quick ratings of the individual episodes.

Episode one – The One – 3.5

Episode two – A Family – 3

Episode three – Go to college – 4.5

Episode four – A smart house – 3

Episode five – Chonatan & Mulia & Barsley & Phephanie 4

Episode six – Below: Glail and Charlotta – 3

Rinzy’s Rating: 3.5/5

Rinzy Reviews ‘The Punisher’ Season Two (2019)

Release Date: January 18

Network: Netflix/ 13 episodes

Starring: Jon Bernthal, Ben Barnes, Georgia Whigham, Amber Rose Revah, Josh Stewart, Annette O’Toole, Corbin Bernsen, et al.

***

The major theme of The Punisher season two is family. On different fronts, the show tries to explore what that word really means. Frank, Curtis and Russo’s history in the army easily comes to mind; but there’s also the fact of Russo (now Jigsaw, in a manner of speaking) banding together another set of war veteran misfits looking to fight another war into his Frank-Castle-Killing-Club. Billy Russo, even with his PTSD and memory loss, is worse than ever, and easily motivates these persons into fighting his personal war with the Punisher. Talk about a charismatic leader.

There’s also Amy, the girl without a family, and how some wrong life choices land her in Frank Castle’s laps long enough for him to begin to see her as his daughter. Lastly, there’s the person of religious assassin John Pilgrim, and how every murder he’s committed in the name of the Schultz has been in service of his two sons and (eventually) late wife.

This central theme of family spins two entirely separately stories connected only by the antihero – Frank Castle aka The Punisher. Even though he doesn’t really do much punishing anymore as at when the season begins, it doesn’t take long for one (or two) nasty persons to do something to get him angry enough to willing murder gratuitously. In this case, it’s a group of crazy people who shoot at his newfound bartender girlfriend (or more accurately, sex mate he was beginning to catch feelings for). This is enough motivation for Frank Castle to be drawn into the many crazies of Amy’s world, which all turned out to be the Schultz parents sending assassins (including John Pilgrim) after her simply because she’s using photos of their son kissing another man to blackmail them.

The second plot is what really retcons both seasons of the show. It deals with the consequences of the fallout between Frank Castle and Billy Russo in the season one finale. After Frank successfully enacted his revenge on Billy by brutally disfiguring him, the doctors manage to salvage his face, but with severe memory loss and PTSD from the events of that night ay the park, Russo is still a bitter, angry man desperate to fill in the blanks. Some things never change. But luckily for him, he has a psychologist with a sad past enough to get her triggered as she helps him heal. Together, they go further down the drain – committing unspeakable crimes in their bid to stay together as destined true loves.

Agent Dinah proves to still be an interesting addition to the show. I enjoyed every moment with her dealing with her fallout from Russo last season. PTSD is a big deal and, just like Russo, she too has her fair share of it.

Frank Castle’s war veteran friend Curtis features more prominently this season, and manages not to be much of a bore.

For the better part of it, The Punisher‘s second doesn’t really improve upon its first season, I thought it was a tad weaker. But it’s a wonderful watch, with enough emotion to go with the grit allowing you care about Mr. Castle and Russo and all the death and destructions they cause in their wake.

Rinzy’s Rating: 3.5/5