I guess I’m gonna have to get Showtime for a bit…
Home Game is a Netflix documentary series about local sports. It starts great, but by the end of the series there are a few very skippable episodes.
Oooh, this is up my alley.
Oh My General!!!
Watched Get Even, mainly because my cousin is in it playing Mika, a significant supporting character. It’s about four girls in school that are brought together to fight injustice in their school.
The show is not what I thought, I was expecting a light, low stakes episodic show but it’s more like a high stakes thriller that’s set in this weird high school for rich kids.
It’s on Netflix world wide and BBC iPlayer in the UK.
I watched Next in Fashion and am currently watching Making the Cut… I wish the contestants from Fashion were in Cut because good grief. Despite having seamstresses, less unrealistic deadlines, a higher budget, high caliber judges, and a huge prize pool, the Cut contestants’ work just looks crap. There aren’t very many looks to pick a winner from. Meanwhile, despite the contestants having to do the entirety of their own construction, most episodes of Fashion had several strong candidates (even though I felt like racism was an issue: for the non-white designers a look could be “something I’ve seen before” but the white British designers the look was “classic”).
Oh man. I just finished Ares. At first, it seems like the classic outsider enters secret society storyline, but weird, graphic, and dark. But if you see the world a certain way, the symbols will seem more than merely surreal, until the final episode, where the meaning is shouted into the back row. A great break from white ahistorical & racist fantasy, with classic horror styling.
The Animaniacs reboot is premiering on Hulu on November 20.
Yeah, looking back, I can’t say I had too many “wow” moments. Some, but a lot of what I saw put out there was kinda normal and safe.
I appreciated Sander the most though. There was a shirt in one of his collections somewhere that I remember specifically thinking I wanted.
So this isn’t a recommendation per say, but more of a rant.
Nuri and I watched Another Life on Netflix. It’s a sci-fi show that, to be honest, mashes up a whole bunch of different established sci-fi tropes into one show. It’s basically a continuation of our “watch Katee Sackhoff in more shows” pasttime. It’s kind of middling - I don’t think it commits any particular sins, it’s got enough meat to keep it interesting, and it generally plays it mostly safe.
There’s an artifact from a mysterious alien race that lands on earth, nobody knows how to contact it, scientists are trying to speak its language, Earth sends a ship into space to find the homeworld, ship gets lost and careens off course, there’s a neckburster, a bunch of mishaps occur along the way, they eventually figure out what the aliens are really after (shock of shocks they’re not friendly), etc.
The show is not good so I’m not saying “go watch it” - it’s basically bad on the level of Star Trek or SG-1, with less good writing and acting and more overwrought drama. Imagine like, Riverdale but in space, and you might be somewhere in the ballpark. Relationship drama and secret agendas and brainjacking aliens. Boring normal sci-fi show. The first one or two episodes are particularly rough, and then it smooths out and finds something resembling a groove.
So I took to the internet to read reviews and was…surprised at the vitriol aimed at this show.
Did we watch the same show? Again, it’s not good, but it’s not actively bad. It rehashes some well-established sci-fi tropes from great franchises. It does nothing original, but that’s fine, not everything needs to be some new compelling masterpiece. Sometimes I just wanna watch space drama with Katee Sackhoff running the show, it’s cool.
So I dug into reviews and even to reddit, and I think this show is being brigaded by toxic sci-fi dudes. I noted a number of reviews that boiled down to “lol why are people so emotional,” “lol Millenials in space,” “a ship run by SJWs,” “the science wasn’t extremely accurate,” and “the script should’ve been tighter like in TNG or SG-1.”
I think there a bunch of dudes leveling disingenuous and inconsistent standards at this show because it’s not exactly the perfect science fiction they want because it dares to depict women (and even a woman of color) in charge of stuff. The cast is diverse, and it depicts emotional issues instead of cold hard logic problems. I also noted several people taking issue with the trans enby actor in the show (bunch of transphobic commentary), so I’m increasingly convinced there’s an agenda behind these reviews.
And I’m just like…why? Why spend your energy on hating on some mediocre sci-fi show? Is your life so fragile that watching a cisdude kiss an enby person sends you into a rage spiral? Because like, if it is, harden the fuck up.
I was slightly warm to the show - I’d call it 5 or 6 out of 10 - but now seeing all these shitty dudes mad at it, I’m going to watch season 2 and enjoy it even more knowing that somewhere out there some neckbeard is super mad that it exists. Die mad about it.
Whoa! I watched the first two eps of that show, and while I was like “eh, it’s mediocre” I didn’t think it was deserving of hate!
Your comments mirror what my, admittedly, limited assessment of the show would be. I’m shocked that people would be actively hateful towards it.
It gets less mediocre but never “good.” But I had some fun with it. I’m totally a sucker for “scientists investigate mysterious space obelisk and discover the terrible secret of space.”
The reviews I saw for Another Life basically made it seem like the science made no sense, most plot beats made no sense, and character motivatons and interactions not being consistent. Keep in mind this exposure I had was purely from the lens of Expanse fans, who gave it a shot and came back wholy unimpressed. The lot of them essentially concluding that “its a way worse show”.
I’m aware there’s plenty who are going to throw toxic hate at it for the casting or character choices and that’s obviously not cool or a reason to hate on the show in my eyes. I don’t have a problem with social progress being the focus of a sci-fi show. Like Drama but in Space is something I’d love to see more of.
But I want to live in a world where that drama and/or more positive social messages are coupled with quality plots, solid writing, and actual science and orbital mechanics. I’m in that camp where like… We know what motherfucking space is now, we should start fucking acting like it in our space shows. Even if the writing is kinda bad, at least like have cool and accurate science as the foundation. Otherwise why pretend to be in space? Why not just set it on Earth? There can be bad sci-fi set on Earth. Or just make it total space fantasy. Star Wars doesn’t need to concern itself with orbital mechanics.
I suppose this is a valid critique here. I saw several people who were like “I tried this after The Expanse and wtf.” But IMO, not all science fiction needs to be The Expanse, nor should it, honestly.
Space fantasy is legit. I classify Star Trek as space fantasy/space opera in retrospect, particularly DS9. My primary beef is that reviewers were making comparisons to works like TNG and SG-1 which are very clearly filled with bullshit non-science and then saying “why couldn’t it be more like this?”
Character motivations seem fine to me, if you remember that people are emotional and not robots. Like, in episode 1, we see a character make a dangerous decision in order to not have this super vital mission take…14 more months. “That’s stupid,” says the Internet, “why would anyone make that choice? It’s not logical, the show is garbage.”
And those people ignore that the decision was an extension of an argument between two characters - one whose command was subverted outside of their will, and the other just trying to get the job done. Viewed through that lens - someone lashing out in frustration because their authority and position of respect was undercut - it makes perfect sense.
I am somewhat reminded of non-scientists bitching about Prometheus, where people the world over said “what kind of idiot scientist would just touch an alien lifeform with their hand,” and literally every biologist on the planet was like “finally I am correctly represented in popular media, I too would do that stupid fucking thing because I could.”
Science fans would have you believe that there are perfectly logical beings who make the correct choice all the time because they can brain through it, but scientists themselves don’t actually do that. Learning via experimentation means constantly doing things that seem incredibly stupid to other people, because you don’t know until you run the experiment.
That’s the whole basis of science, but there is this popular notion that you can know things before you have the evidence, and that’s inherently antithetical to what science is. We go off into the dangerous unknown and poke shit because that’s how you get to know shit, and in contrived contexts our perfectly “rational” approach seems like batshit lunacy because it is.
Anyway, that’s my rant about the “non-rational decisions” talking point I keep seeing tossed at science fiction media.
That’s a good point that humans, even the science ones, are still dumb meat beings for the majority of decisions and just do stuff.
So speaking of Netflix Space Dramas we get this today:
So, I mean it looks kinda like what I’m asking for right? It’s a drama, but it’s in space, the physics looks like it’ll be a factor hopefully as there’s a pretty good understanding of how a mission to Mars would actually go. Their ship has centrifugal habitats from the looks of it so there will be some spin gravity factored in. Maybe they’ve got some good microgravity scenes, some EVA. I have hope!
It does seem like the trailer is really playing up the drama bit more than the science bit. Which is fine. But seems like there will be a lot of normal sort of relatable drama for most peole, not “the best and brightest in the entire human species at the moment” drama. Which, maybe I’m just an idiot here, or maybe I’m only seeing what the trailer highlights because they’re trying to appeal to normal people, or what. But it gives me pause. If the show premise was “20 years after the first humans land on the Red Planet, a science team is going to Mars to survey a potential new location to establish a mining and launch facility to make return trips more practical” and then main character is someone who always dreamed of going to space, who is the VP of a new aerospace architecture firm, and is basically on the mission to be the “boots on the ground” representative from one of the 4 different firms that will be in charge of putting up this possible colony and facility, and she has some family problems at home, like many people do, and kids wondering why mom volunteered for the mission, and various accidents happen through the flight that cause a lot of drama among the crew. And it’s mostly normal people put into this situation; yeah this trailer would be perfect for that. And I’d be way on board with the idea of normal working person thrust into this wild adventure.
But I’m concerned because while it’s true that all humans do dumb stuff, there are some humans who basically would not be major sources of, lets say average human emotional complications; they are the ones a nation should choose as the first people to go on a mission to, say, a new planet for the first time in history. So why does it seem like in this show, that’s not what happened? Is there any good reason besides “the show needs drama! and a bunch of calm and mission-oriented Neil Armstrong types who can solve tough problems and act methodically when shit is hitting the fan isn’t compelling”?
Like I know a lot of people in aviation and aerospace, actual fighter pilots and airline pilots, people who worked on the Apollo program, and like, I just don’t buy the drama Away is trying to conjure, for the premise of the mission its selling. This show seems like it’s trying to tell the right story with the wrong setup.
Case in point: 1:29 in the trailer she asks “you’ll have to trust me” and the Russian response “trust must be earned, commander”
What in the absolute fuck is this? Unless the show pulls some “there was a last minute switch of crew” shenanigans, those two and many more, would have trained, for literal years, on this mission. They would have both had exemplary records of prior service and missions where they have demonstrated above and beyond levels of leadership, competence, and ability to work as a team. Every person on that mission would be tight as family after having trained and done simulations for years. Even if the American commander was thrust into the mission role at the last minute, as happened in Apollo 13, they would still have been part of the backup crew who had been training just as hard for just as long with the same group of people. There would be no reason for anyone on that mission to doubt for a half a brain cycle that they are all extremely competent and trustworthy for their respective nations to have spent billions of dollars in putting that person on that rocket. And that’s the sort of “what are these writers on about?” that is so frustrating.
But, this is a lot of conjecture for a short trailer. I look forward to seeing if Netflix, after many lukewarm attempts with trying to make a space show, can get it right.
I had similar complaints about another show on Netflix called “MARS” with a similar premise (trying to make a foothold for permanent human habitation on Mars) that was told both with current real scientist and astronauts explaining the challenges of traveling to and living on Mars documentary style and a near-future dramatic story of those people sent on that mission. In the dramatic story part the people were supposed to be smart and well trained and carefully selected, and yet they kept having all kinds of interpersonal drama and it was like they were uncertain of what they each were good at and capable of doing to help the group. There should have been so much "hey, let’s do the thing we trained a bunch to do " or “this is your area of expertise, what do you think we should do with this problem?”. It was maddening.
Randos: “WHY WOULD THEY TOUCH THIS UNKNOWN CREATURE WITH THEIR HAND”
Geologists: “Dunno, but shut up, lemmie lick this weird rock real quick”
I remember looking up reviews a while ago & they were all like “exceptionally mediocre”, but before any brigading. I wouldn’t mind some new brainless space story, but i’m a little burnt out on new TV shows – absentia and alienist were both very grimdarkgoreporn which I just kind of rolled my eyes at & stopped watching.