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Critical reviews of U.S. TV shows
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June 2017

Posted by The TV Critic on 24 June 2017 | 6 Comments

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Season 3 of Fargo was much the same as the first two. Entertaining but unemotional. I'm a Big Lebowski fan so I enjoyed the nods but I don't need to see a Season 4.

Better Call Saul was similarly consistent. Its a very well made show and the Jimmy story had real high points. However it remains hard to get too emotionally invested in a show whose conclusion is pre-determined. Everything involving Gus was pretty dull for example. There is also a sense that Jimmy's transformation into Saul stops and starts as needed. I'm not too bothered by that as we all have good and bad impulses. But that runs into problems when it comes to his relationship with Kim. Half way through the season she was pretty clear that she would not be a part of any more grifting. Yet in the end she seemed to nod along with his horrible scamming of retirees. It also seemed strange how little affection they showed one another. And I mean all season. In the first few episodes I was constantly wondering if I'd forgotten them breaking up. Clearly their relationship is doomed but not addressing the absence of intimacy seems odd.

The Leftovers is the best television show I've seen since I stopped reviewing regularly. Its no surprise that the format established on Lost would be successful in a different setting. Damon Lindelof understands better than anyone else in television that emotion is key to everything. I thought the third season was wonderful. I have plenty of quibbles but the overall effect was magical. I never believed anything supernatural was going on and watched the finale fully assuming Nora was lying. But having listened to interviews since I suspect that the opposite was intended. I don't mind either way which is the essence of the show. Bravo. 

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  • I first watched and didn't really get it. I was waiting for the plot to be the focus of the film. But then I kept watching the scenes with Walter flipping out because I found them funny. Then I rewatched realising it was a character and mood film and not about the plot. And since then I've loved it. Its endlessly quotable and amusing. I've become more of a fan of the Cohen Brothers the more TV shows have let me down.

    Posted by The TV Critic, 23/07/2017 12:50pm (2 years ago)

  • What are the things you liked about The Big Lebowski?

    Posted by Krean, 21/07/2017 6:52am (2 years ago)

  • Could you imagine if the Walking Dead was done over with the Guilty Remnant substituted for the Zombies? :) For me, The Leftovers took of starting with S1E5: Gladys. That was a powerful episode for me and gave me a reason to care about the Guilty Remnant clan. Before that they appeared to be a stereotype of Goth culture clad in White (instead of black) with an EMO stare you down high school vibe. What's the point in living? There's no family, we are all already dead man...

    Posted by Fluids, 11/07/2017 11:26am (2 years ago)

  • First note: been very busy with school recently, haven't been able to post in the forums, so this post is a bit of catch up.

    Better Call Saul continues to impress me, as I'm a sucker for continuity/references/call backs, I enjoyed seeing Lydia/Tyrus/Victor in the Mike/Gus business. Gus' inclusion in the season, besides one episode where he was arguably the main focus, was less intrusive on the narrative than I expected, which I think worked. The end of the season focussed more on Nacho, which is why I thought that "half" of BCS was successful.

    I have to give high props for the pill swap scene, for actually making me care about Nacho, when we could reasonable assume it would work. Kudos to Michael Mando's performance.

    As far as ranking the seasons, not an easy task, although I suppose I might have to place season 3 slightly lower than the first two, possibly because a lot of the Mike-material was a big meandering; like the playground construction scenes; not to mention I'm still curious if we are meant to think he continues to be manipulated my his daughter in law for money.

    Already going to start counting down the days until season 4.

    Posted by Ben F., 02/07/2017 5:55pm (2 years ago)

  • I like the first and second seasons of Fargo. I thought the third season for me didn't have enough plot inertia or suspense drive as Season 1 or 2 had. The pacing was uneven for me. Also it's getting formulaic with the protagonists and supporting villains being every day people roped into wrongdoing with workaday seasoned bad people.

    Better Call Saul, I would have to agree there is a lack of showing chemistry between Jimmy and Kim, however that could be Jimmy becoming the Soul less Saul. Then again, he was hurt by his brother; he reverse grifted the elderly ladies. He is transforming some senses and still transitional in others (into Saul).

    Posted by Fluids, 26/06/2017 12:50pm (2 years ago)

  • I didn't watch Fargo season 3 yet. I agree with it being rather ordinary, but I haven't had the motivation to continue it yet.

    Better Call Saul delivered again this season. I think season 3 was the best so far and I continued to enjoy Jimmy's transformation to Saul and his relationship with Chuck. I enjoyed the Mike and Gus scenes for what they were in this season but they weren't quite as compelling as I had hoped. Nacho came into his own in this season much like Kim last season, and I'm really engaged with his story now. Chuck's death and Hector's stroke provides the catalyst for change next season and I'm very excited to see where the show goes from here. And on a side note "Chicanery" was Definitely the best episode of the show for me so far, which helped this season.

    I was hoping you would post your thoughts about The Leftovers because I hugely enjoyed the final season and it has been the best show on television this year without a doubt. I will post a thread in the forums about my opinions on the entire series in the future once I have time, probably in a few months. It was nice to see Damon Lindelof create a fantastic final season to a great show and I wish he had found a way to do the same with Lost.

    Posted by Aaronic, 24/06/2017 6:02pm (2 years ago)

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