TV Review – Moonbase 8

Moonbase 8 (Showtime)
Written by Fred Armisen, Tim Heidecker, Jonathan Krisel, & John C. Reilly
Directed by Jonathan Krisel

On the surface, I should love this show. I’ve been a big fan of Tim Heidecker’s whole career, John C. Reilly is terrific, and I have enjoyed all the Armisen/Krisle collabs (Portlandia, Documentary Now). Krisel has also directed episodes of Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, Check It Out! with Dr. Steve Brule and Baskets. All of this is precisely in my comedy wheelhouse, mainly through the 2000s and 2010s. Ultimately, I enjoyed Moonbase 8 but didn’t necessarily love it. 

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TV Review – Wandavision Episode 7

Wandavision Episode 7 (Disney+)
Written by Cameron Squires
Directed by Matt Shakman

Episode seven of Wandavision reveals many things, but I would argue it is not one of the best-written episodes in the bunch we’ve seen. It’s honestly a little clunky and awkward at moments and clearly was flagged as one to push the plot forward without doing much character development. These sorts of episodes are likely to be the standard from now on in the MCU shows because I doubt they will spend much time letting characters sit around and talk. While I love the reveals we got, it also felt like The Vision’s delay was as much a part of the in-universe mechanisms around Wanda as it was the writers padding out the show to hit nine episodes.

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TV Review – The Best of Batman: The Animated Series Part 3

Shadow of the Bat (Season 1, Episodes 57 & 58)
Original airdates: September 13 & 14, 1993
Written by Brynne Stephens
Directed by Frank Paur

Shadow of the Bat does many things and feels like a movie boiled down into weekday afternoon animation. It’s the best modern presentation of Batgirl we’ve ever gotten outside of the comic book, and it really showed how poor she was brought into the films with Batman & Robin. What’s interesting here is how separate & independent Batgirl is from Batman & Robin, the characters. Her origins are born out of a story centered around her, and the established heroes play supporting roles in this two-parter, with Robin being the more prominent of the two, in my opinion.

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TV Review – Wandavision Episode 6

Wandavision Episode 6 (Disney+)
Written by Chuck Hayward and Peter Cameron
Directed by Matt Shakman

The sitcom world of Wanda Maximoff reaches the early 2000s, so we get a pretty brilliant Malcolm in the Middle homage. Of all the sitcom nods in the series so far, this one felt the most confident, in my opinion. Having the twins narrate directly to the camera was a beautiful touch, and Pietro felt like a variation on Malcolm’s older brother/Francis character. The show does a pretty excellent job balancing the in-sitcom story and SWORD plot happening outside the illusion. Once again, there are hints and teases towards the finale, which is three episodes away now.

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TV Review – Wandavision Episode 5

Wandavision Episode 5 (Disney+)
Written by Peter Cameron and Mackenzie Dohr
Directed by Matt Shakman

Wandavision did something I didn’t see coming. But we will get to that in a moment. We’re now past the mini-series’ halfway point, and I think the overall premise is straightforward. As I’ve said for a while now, Wanda is the main problem here, possibly with some outside manipulation. We see some security footage of Vision’s body being reclaimed by her, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this was spurred on by promises from some supernatural being we haven’t met yet. But that wasn’t the biggest surprise of the episode.

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TV Review – Wandavision Episode 4

Wandavision Episode 4 (Disney+)
Written by Bobak Esfarjani and Megan McDonnell
Directed by Matt Shakman

I’m going to be a little snarky here. I am genuinely baffled by people on social media acting surprised or wondering what the twist in Wandavision is. I don’t feel like the show has hidden much from us that can’t at the least be easily inferred. I may be biased because I carved out a large chunk of dedicated brain space for comic book knowledge & tropes long ago. Everything we have seen so far, including this most recent episode, feels is telegraphing the plot beats to the audience. It felt obvious to me who the villain was in this mini-series from the second episode or so. 

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TV Review – Search Party Season Four

Search Party Season 4 (HBO Max)
Written by Sarah-Violet Bliss & Charles Rogers, Christina Lee, Emily Heller, Jordan Firstman, Matt Kriete & Andrew Pierce Fleming, and Starlee Kine
Directed by Sarah-Violet Bliss & Charles Rogers, John Lee, and Alia Shawkat

Every season I ask myself, “Where could this show go next.” When I step back and look at the four seasons of Search Party that have been made, it is quite hilarious and stunning how its creators can morph and shift the narrative into something surprising. Sarah-Violet Bliss & Charles Rogers continue to explore, ruminate, skewer, and satirize Millennials. It’s clear they are a part of a particular gentrifying class in New York City, but they are honest about their peers’ neuroses and incredibly harmful psyches. These characters exist in a world where it’s stunningly easy to compromise your values; you’re encouraged to do so. And anytime someone tries to escape, they are inevitably roped right back in.

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TV Review – The Best of Amazing Stories Part 3

Go to the Head of the Class (Season 2, Episode 8)
Original airdate: November 21, 1986
Written by Mick Garris & Tom McLoughlin and Bob Gale
Directed by Robert Zemeckis

Hot off the heels of 1985’s summer hit Back to the Future, Amazing Stories brought Robert Zemeckis, Robert Gale, Alan Silvestri, and Christopher Lloyd back together again for this silly horror tale. The producers understood what a big deal they had on their hands and made this only the second hour-long episode of the anthology joining Spielberg’s The Mission. You can also see the production value is a little higher here with some really impressive animatronics for a series that would show its budget in many weaker episodes.

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TV Review – Wandavision Episode 3

Wandavision Episode 3 (Disney+)
Written by Megan McDonnell
Directed by Matt Shakman

As promised by the trailers, this episode moves us into yet another era of the American sitcom. This time around, we’re in something around the late 1960s/early 1970s. The faux theme song has hints of The Partridge Family, while Wanda & Vision’s house’s interior is a definite nod to The Brady Bunch. We’re also introduced to the fact that Wanda is experiencing an accelerated pregnancy, going through trimesters in a matter of hours. This is something the couple tries to keep hidden from the neighbors along with their powers, but it proves difficult when Wanda’s powers go haywire as she goes into labor.

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TV Review – The Best of Amazing Stories Part 2

Remote Control Man (Season 1, Episode 10)
Original airdate: December 8, 1985
Written by Douglas Lloyd McIntosh & Steven Spielberg
Directed by Bob Clark

By 1986, Bob Clark had directed films like Black Christmas, Porky’s, and A Christmas Story. Quite an eclectic filmography. He was brought on to helm this comedic entry into Amazing Stories. Walter Poindexter is a paper pusher at the bottom of his corporate ladder, put upon by a shrieking housewife and two rotten sons. All Walter wants to do when he gets home is watch some television, but his wife sells the set while he is at work. Driving through the city, the man comes across a strange store that seems to grant the person’s ultimate wish. In this instance, Walter is given a magical television whose remote control brings the people out of the shows and into his home. 

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