Stranger Things Season 3 Lives Up To The Hype!

Stranger Things is Netflix’s biggest show, not by viewership, that is The Office, but by mindshare. Everyone talks about Stranger Things and looks forward to bingeing it when it comes out. Media outlets post articles about it in the months and weeks leading up to its air date, and then think pieces are released after. It is must stream TV, and you have to stream it before spoilers are everywhere. The only place you can watch it? Netflix. Netflix needs the show to be good, and season three might be its best yet. Season one is was a mystery, season two expanded the lore, and season three amps up the action and tension.

A couple years have passed since season two, and the residents of Hawkins Indiana are going about their lives. After all Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) ended the threat at the end of season two, so there is nothing to worry about. Unless of course the Russians are trying to bore holes in to another dimension. That would probably be bad.

What I love about season three is that it really leans in to the 80’s action movie tropes. Of course their are Russians, and if you are fan of movies from that decade, there are a lot of other fun things you will notice as well. While, tropes and call outs are fun, the best part is still all the characters, they are as good as you remember them. Mike (Finn Wolfhard) can get a little annoying, but he is supposed to be. Stranger Things season three is also much more tightly scripted than two. It builds and builds until everything blows apart.

If you are a fan of Stranger Things, you have probably already seen season three, but if you are not a fan, it is well worth watching. I don’t think Netflix knew what Stranger Things was going to be when it greenlit the series, but now it needs it, and if it keeps getting better, we may start to need it to. I hope we don’t need to wait another two years for season four.

Good Omens Mostly Lives Up To Its Title

I was beyond excited to learn that Niel Gaiman himself was bringing Good Omens to life on Amazon Prime, and he mostly succeeds. Still, it wasn’t a perfect interpretation. There are pacing issues, and there is a lot of stuff from the book that is in the show, but it isn’t given enough time to breath or land properly. It is worth watching, but it doesn’t quite live up to its source material.

If you have never read Good Omens, then you should. Immediately. Sure, that would make this summery paragraph useless, but it is better for you if you have read Good Omens and then waste a couple seconds reading a pointless paragraph then having not read Good Omens. It is a classic. A lot of people like to say ‘modern classic’, but I don’t want to qualify it. However, you will not be reading it in the next couple of minutes, so here we go. An angel, Aziraphale (Michael Sheen), and a demon, Crowley (David Tennant), have been on earth since the beginning, and they have grown to love the world and its inhabitants, so when it is time for the apocalypses to begin, they will team up to stop it.

Since one of the authors of Good Omens, Neil Gaiman, took it on himself to adapt his co-written book to screen, I feel like he tried to stay too true to the source material. It all feels crammed in without the space or care it needs. The show either needed to be longer to let everything happen more naturally, or Gaiman needed to get out the red pen and narrow the focus a bit. Which is what the BBC radio play did, and it was fantastic. Now, this series was never going to live up to the book. The book combines Terry Pratchett’s amazing humor and wit with Gaiman’s lyrical and fairytale like prose. It was an almost perfect chimera of the two authors’ strengths. The show on the other hand, tells the story, and is quite charming, but it can’t quite reproduce what made the book special.

What makes Good Omens truly worth watching are the leads. Sheen and Tennant are amazing. They have one of the best on screen friendships I have seen in quite some time, and any time they are together, the show starts to sing. However, any time they are not on screen the show gets a bit hoarse, so it is good they have so much screen time, and that is not to say the other actors are not capable, quite the contrary, but these two’s chemistry elevates everything.

Good Omens the TV series is good, but coming from a book that is superlative, and then a BBC radio show that was excellent, good doesn’t quite feel good enough. Especially right now when there is so much excellent TV to watch, so in the end, I still recommend Good Omens. It is worth watching for Tennant and Sheen alone, but honestly, you should read the book, and if you have done that, find a copy of the BBC radio play. Then finally watch this mini-series.

HBO’s Chernobyl Shows The Horror Of Lies!

Chernobyl, HBO’s new miniseries, is one of the best pieces of horror media ever created. It is constantly showing you something awful, and while there is some body horror here and there, the horror on display in Chernobyl is the abuse of the power and the lies used to sustain that power. Abuse that was left unchecked and almost brought about a worldwide disaster.

If you are not up on your history, you may not know what happened at Chernobyl, but most people know the name. This show does a great job of getting most of the details across, and if nothing else, the feeling of what happened in the Ukraine. However, the showrunners do admit to changing a few things to make the show flow better, but because the creators want the full truth out there, they also released a podcast where they walkthrough everything that happened in fuller detail.

You will follow Valery Legasov (Jared Harris) as he fights to get the Soviet Union to do what needs to be done to get this disaster under control. The Soviet Union at the time was unwilling to admit any flaws, and as such they didn’t want to admit the Earth threating disaster was really that bad, which made Valery’s job very difficult. Of course once his job was complete, they want him to cover it all up. What is worse, is that all of this could have been avoided had someone just told the truth.

While melting nuclear rectors and decaying bodies sold the show, it is really the stellar cast that makes it work. Jared Harris and Stellan Skarsgård are the able anchors of Chernobyl. They both can do so much acting without even talking. Thoughtful stares, tense looks, and all manor of facial expressions are expertly done. Emily Watson was a great addition to the cast, and even if her character was a composite of many different scientists, they make her an unwavering voice for the truth that this show desperately needs.

I get that not everyone has HBO or Sky, so Chernobyl may be hard to find for a while, but when it does hit other platforms, it is a must watch. If you do have HBO or the Sky Network, you should watch Chernobyl immediately. It reminds us why we need governments that are honest and don’t try to show us how infallible they are, but that truly do what is best for their citizens.

This Patrol Is Anything But Doomed!

I tell you what, my DC Universe subscription is really paying off. Titans had a slow start, but then found its footing. However, Doom Patrol started off good then got even better. When the show was backdoor piloted in to Titans people got a little worried. It looked campy and Titans hadn’t yet found its stride. It turns out all that worry was for not. Doom Patrol might me be my favorite thing on ‘TV’.

Doom Patrol is about an eclectic group of meta-humans and cyborgs that just want to find their kidnaped leader, The Captain (Timothy Dalton). Unlike most ‘superheroes’, whos powers are things most anyone would want, the Doom Patrol’s powers come from disabilities or trauma, and they aren’t so much a team as a group of people who endure each other’s company.

What I loved about Doom Patrol is how well written the characters are. The entire show is a long character drama, but with the weirdest and wildest and most comic-book-y-est things ever committed to screen. Nothing is too strange or off-putting for this show. Butts with legs and sharp teeth that eat people? Check. Rats that have the same backstory as Batman, but then follow a darker path? Absolutely. A slightly overweight Brendan Fraser saying the ‘F’ word a lot? The Doom Patrol has got it covered.

Speaking of Brendan Fraser, this cast is fantastic. Timothy Dalton, Brendan Fraser, Alan Tudyk, Matt Bomer, Diane Guerrero, Joivan Wade and April Bowlby make up just the main cast. Plus, there are tons of talented extras that come and go as well. Though you can tell that they tried to save money by keeping the team separated for a few episodes, Dalton is usually out of the picture because he has been kidnapped, and Bomer and Fraser usually are just needed for voice work since their characters’ faces are covered or made of metal. Still, they do not waste the talent they signed on for this show.

Listen, we are living in not just the golden age of television, but also the golden age of comic book media, so there are a lot of things to watch to get that superhero fix. However, you should still give Doom Patrol a chance. I am guessing there will not be a lot of shows like this ever made, and I am hoping they bring it back for season two because season one as fantastic. It is streaming right now on DC Universe in the USA and in some other countries on Netflix, so give it a watch.

The Game Of Thrones Has Been Won!

Season eight of Game of Thrones has been a wild ride. The spectacle has never been greater. It pushed what ‘TV’ can be to new heights, but at the same time it was in such a hurry to wrap everything up that all the character moments felt forced and out of place. I will not spoil who wins, but I don’t think it was the audience.

A lot of people have been saying the reason season eight wasn’t what they wanted was because David Benioff and D. B. Weiss no longer had any books to work off of. Just a bullet pointed list of what was going to happen in the books. My guess is that Benioff and Weiss didn’t really like all the spectacle and action. They liked all the dirty politics and intrigue, but with a zombie army and an impatient queen with dragons there wouldn’t be any time for that, so they just pushed through all craziness to the ending. For better or worse.

In the end season eight wasn’t the best of what Game of Thrones has offered, but it wasn’t near as bad as Twitter is saying it is. Even with this truncated and fast forwarded season, this show still gave us seasons three through six, which was some of the best television ever, and that is something to be thankful for. Maybe your player didn’t win the throne, but we still got dragon battles and a zombie army, which is pretty sweet.