Roy Tang

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Watching Lately: December 2019

Been watching a lot of things this December.

I finally got back on The Expanse after finishing S1 more than a year ago. I only finished S2, but it was already a vast improvement over S1. S1 felt like a lot of meandering around until the characters actually ran into the plot. S2 was stronger, faster-paced, and there's always a lot of things going on in each episode. I really like this series now, looking forward to S3 and S4 when I have the time.

Netflix-wise, I enjoyed their recently-added Jeopardy series (always a great show to have playing in the background), the new documentary The Movies That Made Us (loved their selection of movies to feature), and the second season of Final Space (a fun sci-fi space romp if ever there was one).

Speaking of crazy sci-fi, Rick and Morty I've caught up with the recently released S4 as well. This series seems a lot more self-aware now, and a lot more unafraid to make fun of tropes and genre conventions. I liked the heist episode.

Broadcast-wise, I enjoyed the front half of the Arrowverse's Crisis of Infinite Earths crossover. It had that same feeling as Avengers Endgame where I knew what was likely to happen based on comic book knowledge, but I didn't think they could do it, but they did it! Whenever discussion of this crossover leaked over to the mainstream TV subreddits/forums, there was a lot of criticism of how it looked so low-budget, but I think any expecations of them being able to provide Avengers-quality costumes and effects on a broadcast TV show budget are unrealistic. The Arrowverse shows certainly have a lot of flaws, but this type of multiversal crossover isn't something that could have been achieved without all the setup of the past eight years (and even beyond, considering older shows like Smallville and 90's Flash), and that's something comparable to what the MCU has built, even at a fraction of the budget. I'm sure I'll have more words for this series and the Arrowverse in general when the back half airs in January.

A friend also somehow tricked me into watching Sky High, a rather old and campy and totally predictable superhero-type movie. I did finish it so I guess I enjoyed it.

The nieces were over this weekend so I finally got to watch Toy Story 4. I was a bit skeptical that they decided to add another installment when I felt the trilogy was already pretty tight. I have to admit I was surprised with the direction this movie took and the ending it gave, which leaves an opening for future movies in the franchise, though they might already be quite different.

I watched Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker before Christmas, here are my thoughts on the film and the trilogy. WHile I wasn't entirely happy with it, I did enjoy watching the film and I recognize that it was a good retelling of Star Wars for new/modern fans.

I also rewatched The Last Jedi for the first time about a week later, it was still pretty good, especially that third act. (Casino subquest still felt superfluous). I did come out a bit more disappointed that ROS didn't follow through with some of the themes of TLJ. I can only assume there are a couple of alternate universes out there where both Rian Johnson's direction and JJ Abrams direction came true for the Skywalker saga ending.

Speaking of Star Wars, I enjoyed the ending of The Mandalorian, although it did have a couple of weaker episodes in the middle that felt like filler (or maybe just there to seed characters for the eventual second season). The final two episodes are pretty good, and we get the payoffs of actualy learning the Mandalorian's history and all. I do find it ridiculous that the Jedi and the Force are still unknown enough that the Mandalorian has never heard of them considering it probably hasn't even been more than 30 years since Palpatine took down the Republic, which had literally an entire council of Jedi as an advisory body to the Senate and featuring prominently in the Clone Wars. Do they not have recorded history? Lol. In any case, I'm looking forward to season 2 whenever it lands.

THat's it for the decade!

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Last modified at: Oct. 23, 2020, 4:35 a.m.. Source file

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