‘My head doesn’t work right. I thought maybe these people, could fix me. Sounds stupid.’ – Maniac, 2018

Hello everyone! How are we this lovely Monday? I hope well! I am exhausted, but not too exhausted to not bring you a good ol’ blog post! I just hope you forgive that my reviews are smaller and more concise for the time being!  I’ve been settling into working, so haven’t been watching or reading much – however, I had this to finish off, which means you’re getting a review of one of the greatest things I’ve seen on Netflix this year – Maniac. 

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Maniac poster, starring Emma Stone and Jonah Hill – Maniac, Netflix, 2018

Maniac follows Annie and Owen, two random people who put themselves up to participate in a pharmaceutical trial. Annie is pretty done with life, taking drugs, living in a hovel and stealing most of her father’s money. She’s more fixated on her broken relationship with everyone than trying to actually fix them. Owen, a younger son of a rich family (and probably the most normal, which is saying something) has struggled his whole life with schizophrenia. Neither is happy – they want to get better. So when Dr. James K. Mantleray claims, via his trail, that he can repair anything about the mind it draws them and ten other strangers to the facilities of Neberdine Pharmaceutical and Biotech for a three-day drug trial. Let’s just say it goes a bit crazy, and nothing goes as anyone would like. But what else were we expecting when it’s being run by an AI with emotional issues.

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Owen and Annie deal with their emotions, face to face – Maniac, Netflox, 2018

If you can’t already tell, I loved Maniac. I found it really realistic to the real 80’s (not that I was alive then). The use of the AI in the old style computers was amazing, and I loved the high colour palettes used. Even the stark whiteness of the lab contrasted so well to the dream sequences.
The writing was superb. I found myself falling in love with all of the characters, each of them were unique – the lab techs and the test subjects. Their conversations were candid, and sometimes funny, but the actors really got behind their characters. From what I’ve read, they did a lot of method acting. For instance – Justin Theroux only managed to get into the character of James by playing his awful wig as just that – an awful wig that James puts on every morning to cover his bad bald spot. They all played into their character’s small madnesses and insecurities – Owen worried about his mental stability, James worried about his mother etc.
I know this is a limited series which is what I’m both happy and sad about. Owen and Annie’s story is over, they have an ending. But not all the characters do; and I want to know what happens to them. What happens to the AI? What happens to the company? What happens to everything. Maybe even what happens to Annie and Owen, if they make it where they want to go.

You should see Maniac. It’s a good sci-fi show. It’s deep and alluring. I loved it. Go and watch!

[Header: Maniac, Netflix, 2018]

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RIP Telltale, 2004-2018

Hello, and good Monday to everyone! This week has been busy for me, and so I’ve not watched anything really. But there has been stuff to talk about that I want to discuss with you. It won’t be a long post but I think it will be a sad one. I cried about this when it first came out, believe it or not. I’m sure that literally everyone in the gaming (and probably every other) community knows what’s happening here, but let’s just dive right into it.

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Game of Thrones, Borderlands, The Wolf Among us and The Walking Dead – Telltale Games, 2004-2018

In a very sudden, and almost tragic, turn of events – Telltale is shutting down. It’s come pretty out of the blue. And I have to say – the way it’s been handled is pretty awful.
Early in the weekend this press release arrived on the internet:
Today Telltale Games made the difficult decision to begin a majority studio closure following a year marked by insurmountable challenges. A majority of the company’s employees were dismissed earlier this morning, with a small group of 25 employees staying on to fulfill the company’s obligations to its board and partners.   “It’s been an incredibly difficult year for Telltale as we worked to set the company on a new course. Unfortunately, we ran out of time to get there. We released some of our best content this year and received a tremendous amount of positive feedback, but ultimately, that did not translate to sales. With a heavy heart, we watch our friends leave today to spread our brand of storytelling across the games industry.”

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The Wolf Among us, Tales from the Borderlands and The Walking Dead – Telltale, 2004-2018

These 250 employees were given no notice. No severance pay was given to any of them. Some of them were hired a week ago. One poor guy moved across the States to work here. Their health insurance only lasts one more week. According to an ex-dev, Emily Grace Buck, these people were working for pittance, doing over time for free and working paycheck  to paycheck. She has also confirmed that –
They will not be completing the last season of The Walking Dead. There is no news on those customers who have brought the season pass getting their money back, or at least partial refunds. This will be interesting – what happens when people purchase a season pass and it never gets fulfilled? This will set president for new season passes, and what happens when a company goes bust before completing it. Everything has been cancelled, other than the Netflix show for Minecraft: Story Mode.

Without a shadow of a doubt, this has been an awful situation, and handled very badly. The fact that they were hiring last week actually sickens me. I am shocked, however, that things seemed to go from fine to awful in 24 hours. I am interested to see how this all turns out.
Like I said in the intro, I am very upset about this. The Telltale games were some of my favourites, and I will hold them all dear to my heart. There have been 2 I have spoken about on here; Batman and The Guardians of The Galaxy, but I also loved every other one I had played. I am kind of glad I haven’t brought The Walking Dead past the 1st season (I was waiting till the final ended, and getting a pack of them to binge). We shall just have to see what happens.

Have you heard about all of this? What are your thoughts? Which were your favourite, and least favourite, Telltale games? Leave a comment down below.

[Header: Telltale Logo, Telltale, 2018]

“Which one of you is my Grandad’s girlfriend?” – Trust, 2018

Good afternoon, Monday-ers! How are we all this week? I hope well! I’ve had my first week of my PGCE, which means that I am officially a trainee-teacher, woo! But this does mean I’ve had less time to watch and read things than I would have liked – it’s all been tiring! Therefore, what I’m reviewing I admit to not having finished. I am half way through. This is unlike me, and I hope it won’t happen again. But I just had to talk about it! So, without further ado, I bring you Trust, a story about the Getty kidnapping. It’s a bit shorter than my usual reviews, but that’s purely because I’ve not seen all of it.

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John Paul Getty III getting kidnapped – Trust, FX/BBC, 2018

Before I begin this review, I think I should explain the kidnapping itself. John Paul Getty III was kidnapped in the in Rome when he was 16. He had toyed with the idea of getting himself kidnapped by petty criminals but he changed his mind because both of them started getting work modelling for photographers. He was blindfolded, transported, and imprisoned in a cave. The kidnappers issued a ransom note demanding $17 million in exchange for his safe return. When that message arrived, some family members suspected that the kidnapping was merely a ploy by Getty III, as he had frequently joked about staging his own kidnapping to extract money from his wealthy grandfather.

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Donald Sutherland as Getty Snr. I think he really looks the part! – Trust, FX/BBC, 2018

I have really enjoyed watching this show. I am engrossed with all of it. From what I’ve heard it does a better job than the Scott movie adaptation, but this I need to watch. Perhaps when I’ve done that I can give a comparative review of both.
Where I’m at currently at in the show is a little… boring? It’s the explaining of how he was captured, but I feel like it’s too explanatory. I think it would have been better to see most of the story from Gail’s (Getty III mother) perspective in this part. We’ve seen her going crazy over it, but I feel like we should know what she’s doing more to get Getty Snr’s attention. I am hoping it picks up later on, when we see his body parts being cut up and sent back to his family – to show that the kidnappers are not joking.
The acting is superb though. Even though there has been a few slumps in pacing, I’ve not felt like I haven’t engaged with any of it. I want to find out what happens next. I mostly want to see how it ends – How Getty III came back to his parents and grandfather, how his grandfather lived his last three years of life, if anything else crazy happens to them! I wasn’t alive when this originally happened, so I can’t wait to find out what does!

If you can get on to the BBC iPlayer, I really recommend watching it. I know it was on FX in America, but am unsure where you can see it there. But please do! It’s well worth the watch!

[Header: Trust, FX/BBC, 2018]

‘I like the way you speak words’ – Final Space, 2018

Good Monday everyone! How are we all this fine day? This week I start back at uni, to begin my teacher training – but don’t worry, I won’t forget about you. I will keep posting here! I’m in the process of setting myself up a youtube channel over here where I’ll be talking about my love for all things ‘comic’, (like I do here), as well as how to juggle teaching and life! I want to tell you guys all about my training and how I cope!
This weeks review is from a show that came to Netflix a few weeks ago, but I’ve only just got around to reviewing it. It seemed like everything came out at the same time, and I had to prioritise what to watch and review whilst writing my dissertation. Well, now that’s all out of the way, I bring you a review of a great cartoon – Final Space. 

 

Gary Godspeed is an astronaut, who was imprisoned upon the Galaxy One, a prison

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The Gang saving the day – Final Space, Netflix, 2018

ship in which he is basically held in solitary confinement. One day he encounters Mooncake, a small green alien that says “chookitty” a lot. For some reason (obviously explained in the show) Mooncake is wanted by the evil alien, the Lord Commander – so he can get to ‘Final Space.’ Gary and Mooncake, along with other friends Gary meets – Avocato and Quinn to name two – to discover what on Earth (haha, unintended space joke) ‘Final Space’ actually is.

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Quinn and Tribore investigating something for The Infinity Guard – Final Space, Netflix, 2018

Let’s just jump right into it. I really liked Final Space. So much that I binged it as quickly as possible. What I am enjoying about adult cartoons at the moment is the fact that, like with Disenchantment, they’re easy to watch as well as touching on real life issues. Gary is completely head over heels in love with Quinn, even though he met her for five minutes, five years ago. The series explores Gary’s feelings on a grand scale. He’s the unlikely protagonist – a man who is honestly emotionally unhinged. He’s gone stir-crazy on the ship with nothing but KVN (an annoying robot who eats all his cookies), the worker bots (who all try to just kill him) and HUE (an AI who is basically his jail-guard). His emotions are plain to see and are raw, you know exactly what’s going on even though he’s a 2D cartoon. God, have I missed good 2D cartoons. Now-a-days we rely too much on 3D rendering, when most good shows can get across their message without the CGI graphics.
The ending was a bit meh, though. Like… it was definitely trying to tell people it was a cliffhanger. It was just a really… disappointing one.

You should watch Final Space. It wouldn’t take you very long to do at all, and you’ll love the characters as much as I do. It’s an easy watch, that doesn’t fail to interest the audience in what ‘Final Space’ actually is.

[Header Image: Final Space, Netflix, 2018]

The Day Clive Russell Called Me a ‘Diva’ – St. Albans Comic Con, 2018

Good Monday everyone! How are we all? I have had an eventful weekend! Saturday I got a tattoo and yesterday I was at St. Alban’s inaugural Comic Convention! It’s amazing to have a convention on our doorstep, and I was lucky enough to be allowed to take a load of pictures and give you my honest opinion on what I thought of it. Spoiler alert – I loved it! Before I move on, I just want to give a big thank you to Paul, of Creed Conventions, for allowing me in as press, letting me talk to everyone and anyone there, take loads of pictures and being an overall great guy!
Anyway, without further ado – here’s my thoughts (and pictures – feat. some amazing cosplayers!) on St. Alban’s Comic Con!

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St Albans Comic Con! – St Albans Comic Con, Creed Conventions, 2018

All the stall owners were willing to have a chat with me, and let me take photos of their stock for my page. They were so lovely to chat to. I spoke to many of them about cosplaying, their favourite Harry Potter characters and even just how they were. I got given a free sticker of Yuri from Doki Doki Literature Simulator from Kira Hopcroft because she “likes to throw stickers at people.” Everyone’s work was amazing, and I brought myself some badges, phone charms and even a Star Wars top from The Zombie Survival School. The man running, (who’s name I never got, woops!), even let me hold a couple of his replica swords! My friend Luke, who manages Chaos City Comics and I’ve spoken about before (he designed my logo), told him that he shouldn’t let me play with that! I don’t know if it’s because he doesn’t trust me or not! I’ll have to find that out myself later!
Everyone was so interested in finding out why I was taking photos and chatting to everyone. They all wanted to know about my blog. For instance, Hertfordshire Libraries was interested in finding out about my blog. They even said that they had seen my stuff around and were looking forward to seeing what I had written today. I’d love to keep in contact with them all – they had some great recommendations on their stall, including My Little Pony and Kick-Ass. They told me which library would be best for me to go to to get the Graphic Novels that I wanted, and it’s only down the road! You can bet that I’ll be there a lot!

I also met some lovely celebrities! During a chat with Amiee Richards, who played Marcella in Game of Thrones, I told her that it was sad that she died as she did. She smiled and shrugged at me before saying “It happens to everyone.”
In my slideshow you’ll see a picture of Clive Russell, who played Blackfish in Game of Thrones and Lord Lovat in Outlander, where he’s staring directly into the camera. Afterwards, I jokingly said to him “You look a little bored, are you alright?” He laughed and shook his head, protesting that he was just making sure he looked bored for the picture. He later called me a “Diva” when I was having my picture taken on the Star Throne. I am taking that as a massive compliment. I wished I had asked him which he liked filming more, Game of Thrones or Outlander, as I’m such a big fan of both. But he told me he hopes to be back next year, so fingers crossed I can remember to ask him then!
Hannah Spearitt, SClub and Primeval fame, and I had a lovely chat too. She was interested in finding out about my life, about why I was there as press taking photos. As I left I said it was nice to finally be able to talk to her and tell her that she’s been a big part of my life for many years. I was probably being an embarrassing fan girl at times, but she told me that it was lovely to be able to talk to and meet me. I hope to see her at another Comic Con soon, hopefully back at St. Albans.

I felt so welcomed and happy to be there. I loved every second of it!

Pictures below!

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A thank you from me, for taking time out of your day to talk to me – (In no particular order)

Dave Gibbons, Lee Bradley, Micheal Pasquale, Kira Hopcroft, Chaos City Comics, Luke Ridge, Sam Rogers, James from Subworks, The Zombie Survival School, CatCreations, Paul Johnson, Sophie West, David Leach, Herts Libraries, Tasha Cosplay UK, Anita Mensah, Clive Russell, Hannah Spearitt, Amiee Richardson, Rock Pop Candy, Creed Conventions… and everyone else who put time, money and effort into making the convention a great success. I hope to see you all next year.

[All photos are my own]

‘Singing While Working isn’t Happiness… It’s Mental Illness’ – Disenchantment, 2018

Hey everyone! How are we all on this lovely, and probably rainy, bank holiday? I’m currently at the ‘St. Albans Vegan Fair’, enjoying some dairy free chocolate. I like vegan chocolate. Don’t at me.
This weeks review is about a new show on Netflix, from a well known creator – none other than The Simpsons’ Matt Groening. We’ve had the modern day (with said Simpsons), the future (with Futurama) and now the past – with Disenchantment. Without further ado – here we go! (It’s a short but sweet one this week!)

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Riding out of town – Disenchantment, Netflix, 2018

Set in the medieval fantasy kingdom of Dreamland, the series follows the story of Bean (Tiabeanie, who knows what made her parents choose that), a rebellious and alcoholic princess, her, frankly stupid, elf companion Elfo (so named as he is an elf, and the male tradition with names is adding an -o to the end, seems to be a -y with females) and her “personal demon” Luci. Antics etc ensue.

 

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Princess Tiabeanie on her throne – Disenchantment, Netflix, 2018

I like The Simpsons. Even new episodes. I like Futurama. There’s nothing that’s going to make me hate this show. Matt Groening is an icon of mine, and I have loved his work since I was a child.
There’s been a lot of complaints about this not being as good or as funny as either of the predecessors. With that argument, I point people back to when Futurama first aired. People slated it. Then they loved it. That will happen with this. Bean is one of the most relatable characters Groening has created in my opinion – everyone’s been a teen that hates their parents at some point.
Unlike its sister-shows, it’s story goes from one episode to the next. You can’t dip in and out. I actually think this is a blessing, and not a curse. For one, it means everyone watches it all. But two, it means it gives the show a nice continuity that it wouldn’t have had before. I love a series that entangles it’s narrative over more than one episode.

Also the plot is made with it’s one liners. Such as that of the title. Elfo is pure hilarity. I don’t want to spoil any of the plot, but each bit is juicy and gorgeous to watch. It’s just good tele. Good binge watching.

Go. Binge. It’ll take you less than a day. It’s the bank holiday! Go do it!

Have you seen Disenchantment? What did you think? Better, worse or equal to it’s sister-shows? Leave a comment down below. 

‘He touched her hoo-hoo!’ – Insatiable, 2018

Good Monday, everyone! Sorry I’ve been a bit awol recently, but I am back! Don’t you worry!
As I said before, I’ve been doing a lot of binging television whilst I’ve written my dissertation. That is now all done (scary times!) so I am here, enjoying a nice break! I can finally enjoy summer!
As I said last week, I’ve been watching a lot of series and Insatiable was the first one. I have a few bones to pick – not with it. With it’s hate. This will be a different review than I usually do. I won’t be going into the story of the show, but how the story has caused so much controversy.

Let’s start with the headlines. Here is a selection of three; From Buzzfeed and Popbuzz. They all hate on the show.

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The Netflix Poster – Insatiable, CW/Netflix, 2018

They are incredibly unhelpful. This is my issue with sensationalist media; if it’s not PC in any way, it’s the devil. As someone who was a bigger girl, and has lost a lot of weight, I resonated a lot with Patty. I too have wanted revenge for the bullying I have had. Patty has some obvious mental health issues mixed in with this all – she used food as a comfort, and that gets taken away from her.
One of the main issues people have with this show is that it apparently tries to tell the audience that being fat is bad for you. But honestly, I’m not sure we can argue that it’s good for us. The Western world is more obese than ever, even our children are obese, and that is not good. Obesity leads to all kinds of health risks, so when I see people who are massive, not just chubby or a little overweight, but massive, tell me that they refuse to help themselves, even after a doctor has said they need to – it really gets to me. I was only few stone over weight and I was struggling to get up the stairs, I can’t imagine how overweight children feel.

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Debby Ryan in a fat suit, being bullied as Patty – Insatiable, CW/Netflix, 2018

I think what people forget with this type of sensationalist show is that exact word – it is sensationalist. It’s out to start a controversy, a discussion. It’s also important to remember that this is a CW show – it is aimed at teenagers, like Riverdale. It has some of the same issues tackled as Riverdale (underage sex, having to grow up too quickly). I unfortunately think that this is a case of ‘if there’s something to hate – let’s hate it’. Perhaps it tried to tackle too many issues all at once, but I’m not angry at it. The show’s producer, Lauren Gussis, experienced this fat-shaming herself, whilst at school, but because she’s skinny now, people think she’s not allowed to tell this story. That’s completely unfair to her own narrative. We forget that this is how she was treated, and she’s getting that out there.
Debby Ryan, who plays Patty, said that “We knew that this conversation [about weight] needed to be had. We knew that this societal brokenness needed to be addressed, but we didn’t know how badly it needed to be addressed.”

I for one am glad they addressed it. I hope that more teen dramas highlight issues like this, and continue to give them in a controversial way.

Did you watch Insatiable? What did you think? Do you agree with me or disagree – love it or hate it? I would love to hear your thoughts! Leave a comment down below! 

 

No Review 13/08/18

Hey everyone! No review this week as it is crunch time with dissertation and I have been writing nothing but! I am so sorry for constantly ducking out recently, but there’s a lot of work to do at the moment! Whilst I’ve been binge watching tele as I work, it’s not been possible for me to pay attention enough to binge and have an opinion enough to review, because I’m just so snowed under!

In a couple of weeks I have just under a whole month off, so I will be doing a big backlog of posts to get my ready for my first week of a real proper job (I know, scary times!)

I will be back next week with my review of Insatiable, where I want to discuss if it is really as controversial as it seems!

Is there anything you’d like me to review! I love hearing your suggestions! Keep them coming! Leave a comment down below! 

‘Liv, you ate the girl’s temporal lobe. Going to the police with her potential murderer is the least you can do’ – iZombie, 2015-Present

Happy Monday everyone! It’s me, I’m back! How is everyone doing? Well, I hope. For anyone curious, I passed my maths test so no more revision needed for me! Which means a lot of binge watching has been going on! Without further ado, I want to talk to you about my new obsession – iZombie.

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The whole cast, from left to right; Peyton, Clive, Ravi, Blaine, Major and Liv – iZombie, The CW, 2015 – Present

iZombie is about a Seattle medical resident Olivia “Liv” Moore, who is turned into a zombie while attending a boat party. Liv isn’t like our stereotypical zombie, not stupid or wandering aimlessly. In fact she’s got more abilities as a zombie than when she was a human. Liv decides to take a job at the police morgue and eat the brains of the corpses she autopsies. Her boss, Ravi, finds out her secret when he caught her feasting on a brain of on of the victims. Soon he becomes Liv’s friend and confidant, and as a scientist, he is intrigued by her condition. She finds out that whenever she eats a dead person’s brain, she temporarily inherits some of their personality and experiences flashbacks of that person’s life. In the case of murder victims, the flashbacks offer clues about the killer. Liv decides to use this new ability to help Clive solve crimes. Though she initially passes herself off as a psychic, Clive eventually learns the truth about her and zombies. Meanwhile, Ravi works to develop a cure for Liv’s affliction, in the hope that one day she will be able to resume her human life.

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Liv Moore, a pun on the words “Live More”, our protagonist – iZombie, The CW, 2015 – Present

What I love about iZombie is how interesting each of the characters are. I haven’t watched a single episode where I haven’t thought “I can’t wait to find out what happens next!” I will be sad when my binge watching gets to the end, when I run out of episodes and have to wait for season 5 to air sometime next year.
There are probably a couple characters that do annoy me. For example, Major’s moods change like the wind. His love for Liv is there one minute and the next he thinks she’s insane. I kind of felt like he wasn’t realistic – but that may be the idea.
My favourite characters are by far Ravi and Peyton, who have come into their own in the storyline. I think they’re better main characters than our actual main couple!
Along the way Liv meets other zombies, including Blaine DeBeers. I think he’s a great antagonist, who actually has his own story ark. He’s not just a bad guy for bad guys sake. He has reasons for being bad, which are really compelling to watch.

I think The CW do some really good shows. I’ve loved pretty much all of them I’ve seen; Riverdale, Reign, Gossip Girl. They’re right up my street.

Have you seen iZombie? What did you think? Love it or hate it? Who’s your favourite character? If you haven’t seen it, would you? Leave a comment down below.

 

 

No Review 30/07/18

Hey all! This week has been super busy (writing for my dissertation and revising for an exam) that I’ve not had the time to do any reviewing this week! Fear not, there will be a review next week, I promise! I’ve been watching a lot of iZombie as I’ve been working, so I’ll probably have all that watched by next week!

Tell me what you’d like to have me review, it can be anything – books, movie, comics, tv! You name it, I’ll try get it done!

What do you want to see me review? I’m up for anything! Leave a comment down below!