Category Archives: Television

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The Watch List: Bojack Horseman

Netflix is there for you when you’re in bed ill, it’s there when you’ve had a bad day at work, and it’s there when it’s just a normal Tuesday evening and you have nothing better to do. When we think of Netflix it will mostly be for the sheer amount of movies and TV shows it has available (especially if you live in the US, land of the free…), but increasingly Netflix is the place for really good original content; and Bojack Horseman is another fine arrow in an impressive quiver.

At first Netflix branching out with original content was deemed an experiment, but one that it managed to succeed straight away with House of Cards; the show that got me to subscribe to Netflix in the first place. It hasn’t always worked, anyone remember Marco Polo? But the underrated Knights of Sidonia and the phenomenal Daredevil reboot has shown the quality and diversity that Netflix is able to support.

Bojack Horseman actually started last year on the service, and seemed to receive mixed reviews from critics, but Netflix deemed the show successful enough amongst its audience to commission a second season pretty quickly. Season two has just come out as I found out from an email from Netflix that I didn’t pay much attention to it, at first. Then a few days later I started seeing a few people that I follow on Twitter, and whom I respect their opinions, tweeting about not just how great the show is in general, but how brilliant the second season was turning out.

Intrigued I decided to give the show a try, because that is the beauty of Netflix, all it costs you to try out a show is your time because everything is included (except for everything US Netflix has that everyone else doesn’t). After a deliberate sitcom parody the true nature of Bojack is unleashed and pretty quickly you will know whether or not Bojack Horseman is the show for you. The show has an 18 rating, which is kind of understandable given some of its content, but the show feels more adult in the sense of how the world is viewed rather than being offensive just for the sake of it; this is not Family Guy.

What also helps the show is that there is some continuity overall as some events either directly carry onto the next episode or will pop up later. But each episode works perfectly well on its own. It is also helped by the supporting characters, Bojack is a great character, one you’ll enjoy watching, and possibly share his world view (I found myself agreeing with him multiple times), but he is not a likeable character. He is lazy, arrogant, and self centred. He also treats his “friends” with little regard, but then again they aren’t exactly perfect people, but this is LA, where everything is superficial.

Praise does need to be given to Will Arnett, as despite almost seeming a little too much like Will Arnett or his take on Batman in The Lego Movie, his tone and delivery are perfect. The cynicism is so precise and damning that, to quote another writer on their Twitter, makes you ask ‘why will I never get to write anything this funny and important and good’.

Am I saying that Bojack Horseman is the best show ever? No, that would be stupid, these days with so many options and increased diversity of content, that becomes a pointless exercise. There is greater choice than ever before, and therefore more to take up our fleeting lives whilst we try to make something constructive out of them. In between trying to achieve something, anything, meanwhile, we can feel a little bit better about ourselves, a little bit worse about the world around us, and watch Bojack Horseman.

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Sara’s Summer Season Starters

By Sara Da Silva


Summer is my least favourite season due to the overwhelming heat and the fact that my hay fever makes everything more difficult. There is one good thing about summer though: the TV schedule. Some of my favourite shows have returned and some new shows have kicked off with a bang. Let’s talk about that.

And be warned, there will be spoilers.

Graceland

My level of excitement skyrocketed when I realised that Graceland was back on TV.  We went months not knowing if Mike had died, but luckily for us that American beauty is sticking around. Season 3 already has it all: drama, suspense and perfect moments of comedy. So much happened in just one episode. We have a new villain: Ari from the Sarkissian mob family, Paige was almost killed, Carlito is keeping Lucia hostage, Mike now has a drug problem, Charlie is still pregnant despite being tortured, and no one is doing their chores.

This is a show that just keeps on giving, and if despite my constant urging you have not yet watched this show, then go do it now.

Teen Wolf

The show continues to mature as the seasons go by.  This season already looks like it’s reaching new levels. Episode 1 played around with flashbacks, so it was all a little bit hectic. The episode started off with Lydia in a mental hospital, and without giving any explanation, contained flashbacks to the start of senior year. Teen Wolf has a habit of leaving the viewer with questions, but I suppose that’s part of its charm. Lydia’s character has a history of being sidelined but it seems as though the show will explore her character and banshee powers more thoroughly. Finally.

Following Teen Wolf tradition, the start of the new season introduces some new characters. Theo, played by Pretty Little Liars’ Cody Christian, is an old fourth grade friend of Scott and Stiles, who turns out to be a werewolf. We can already tell that he’s going to play a major role this season. Teen Wolf isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, I’m well aware of that, but if you’re a fan of the show already then you’ll enjoy this episode. I’m excited to see how this season progresses.

Humans

We’re 4 episodes in to Humans and it has not yet disappointed. I admit I started watching this show because I found out Colin Morgan was in it and I’m still not over the Merlin finale, but I stuck around for so much more. Humans takes place in a parallel present day suburban London in which Synths, humanoid service robots, are the newest tech on the market. I don’t want to give too much away about this show because it’s definitely something that needs to be experienced. If I had to compare it to another show then it would probably have to be Black Mirror. It’s not as insane, but it’s just as intriguing. Bravo Channel 4 on producing some genuinely brilliant television.

The Watch List: Sense8

By Sara Da Silva


Warning: Beware of spoilers.

As all my television shows come to an end, I find myself in need of new shows to binge watch. My latest target: Sense8. This Netflix original tells the story of eight strangers who find themselves to be mentally and emotionally linked.

Each “Sensate” has their individual story, however, these stories are ingeniously interlinked. Will Gorski is a Chicago police officer who is haunted by flashbacks of an unsolved murder from his childhood. Riley Blue, who becomes Will’s immediate love interest, is an Icelandic DJ living in London with a troubled past and a complicated drug-filled present.  Wolfgang Bogdanow is a Berlin locksmith/safe-cracker of Russian decent who is involved in organized crime with his partner-in-said-crime Felix Bernner.

Next on the list is Capheus, a Matatu van driver from Nairobi, who has a deep love for everything Jean-Claude Van Damme, and who is desperately trying to raise enough money to buy medicine for his mother who is dying of AIDS. Sun Bak, one of the show’s most badass characters, is the daughter of a powerful businessman in Seoul, has a master’s degree in economics and has a hidden passion for kickboxing. Nomi Marks is a transgender hacktivist living in San Fransisco with her girlfriend Amanita. Kala Dandekar is a Hindu pharmacist who is engaged to a man that she does not love. And last, but certainly not least, Lito Rodriguez, a closeted film actor who gets into some trouble with his boyfriend, their live-in “beard” and the man who believes that she belongs to him. These characters are so completely different from each other so there is never an opportunity to be bored.

The show successfully incorporates all story lines together by introducing two characters: Jonas Maliki, a fellow Sensate from a different cluster of eight who wants to help the new cluster, and Whispers, a Sensate determined to neutralize newly broken out Sensates.

Due to the connection between the Sensates they are able to communicate, utilise each other’s knowledge and skills, and feel each other’s emotions, which makes for some very interesting scenes. I never thought seen a man experience the pain of a female’s menstrual cycle could be that satisfying. By the end of the season they are all using each other’s skills to escape some pretty sticky situations, for example, Capheus uses Sun’s kickboxing ability and Will’s police skills to defeat some local gang members.

Not only is Sense8 a science-fiction drama, but it also focuses on issues that aren’t usually involved in such shows: gender, sexuality, race and religion. One of my personal favourite things about the show was that it was filmed in 9 different locations: London, Berlin, Chicago, San Francisco, Seoul, Reykjavík, Mexico City, Mumbai and Nairobi. Now that’s dedication. This is definitely a show that is binge-worthy if you have a couple days spare.

I have the utmost faith in Netflix originals and you should too.

Reaction Time: Orange is the New Black Season 3

By Sara Da Silva


It took me longer than anticipated to watch season 3 of Orange Is the New Black. Personally, I feel as though this season wasn’t the strongest but it was still an enjoyable watch. There will be spoilers ahead, you have been warned.

A fairly large portion of the show focused on the relationship between Piper and Alex, which I don’t think is interesting anymore. Piper, despite getting used to the prison environment and actually growing a pair, is still unbearably whiney. She has also turned into quite the stone cold bitch, if you pardon my French, as we saw in the finale episode. One thing the writers did right, however, was introduce Stella Carlin played by the gorgeous Ruby Rose. Now this woman has women everywhere questioning their sexuality.

There are two things that this show does really well: backstories and tackling difficult issues. We grow to appreciate the characters so much more as we understand their lives before prison. For example, Tiffany’s history of sexual abuse offered great insight into her character and really aided with her character development in terms of her time at Litchfield and her interaction with the new guard: Coates. Modern television often fails to represent all types of people and issues due to the fear of controversy, however OITNB tackles a wide variety of topics this season: sexuality, rape, depression and transphobia. It gives a voice to those who have never before been represented on television.

Intertwined with the serious issues, OITNB is no stranger to comedy. Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren continues to be my favourite character as she begins to write her science fiction erotica that becomes extremely popular at Litchfield. In addition to that hilarity, it looks like there’s a new Dandelion in the prison. Crazy Eyes and Maureen Kukudio’s budding romance is all kinds of adorable.

Speaking of adorable romances, Red and Healy’s relationship makes for very happy watching. But, as always, the heartbreak is not far away as Dayanara has just had her baby and Bennett is nowhere to be found. We were all rooting for you. I’m hoping that he will somehow redeem himself in season 4.

The season ended on a pretty lighthearted note with the inmates temporarily free, but for how long will that last? The season has left us with so many questions: Is Alex actually dead? Will Bennett come back? Will Healy leave his wife for an unconventional romance with Red? I suppose we’ll have to wait for the next season to find out.

Reaction Time: Game of Thrones Season 5 Finale

By Sara Da Silva


This season has definitely had its ups and downs and controversial moments. The season finale of Game of Thrones certainly had a lot to offer, but left nations heartbroken.

Spoilers Ahead, Oh lord, Spoilers ahead.
Arya Stark crossed off another name on her kill list: Ser Meryn Trant, who she blames for killing Syrio Forel. Despite becoming a complete badass, she quickly learnt that the Many-Faced God should not be played with.

In Winterfell, everything that could have gone wrong, went wrong. Stannis Baratheon’s army was being swiftly defeated, even after having sacrificed his only child in the previous episode. Selyse, Stannis’ wife, was found hanging from a tree. I guess she just couldn’t deal with the guilt of not preventing her daughter’s murder. The Red Priestess abandoned Stannis just when he needed her the most, and after all that, Stannis finally met his demise at the hands of Brienne of Tarth. You go girl. Despite not seeing a corpse, the cut to black would suggest that he is dead, but this is Game of Thrones we’re talking about so we cannot be undoubtably sure. During all the commotion, Sansa Stark and Reek, who reclaimed his identity as Theon by pushing Myranda to her death, managed to escape by jumping off the wall into the snow below. I hope it was a cushioned fall.

Over in Dorne, Jaime revealed to Myrcella that he was in fact her father but it turns out she knew all along. So that was a sweet reunion. But of course, in true Game of Thrones fashion, it didn’t last very long. Just before boarding the ship, Ellaria Sand finally received some justice by delivering a poisonous kiss to Myrcella, who went on to die in her father’s arms.

Cersei continued to deny her affair with Jaime, but did admit to sleeping with Lancel and so has been allowed to return home before she will be officially judged. The path home was a very long one however. With her hair cut short and stripped of her clothing, Cersei had to travel through crowds whilst Septa Unella repeatedly chanted “shame” behind her. Bravo writers, you made me feel something that wasn’t pure hatred for Cersei.

And last, but certainly not least: the final scene. My beloved Jon Snow was murdered by the men of the Night’s Watch. Whilst readers of the books anticipated his cruel end, I was not aware of his impending death and did not react well to it. I know I should stop becoming so attached to these characters because they all seem to die in horrible ways but I just can’t help it. I can understand why the men of the Night’s Watch did not want to be led by a man who allowed their brothers to die to save the Wildlings, but leaving him in a traitor’s grave is just harsh. They do not understand the threat that is fast approaching. Winter is coming in the form of the undead. The question stands though: is Jon Snow really dead? I have seen countless rumours and theories flying through the internet. I am reading through the books now so I guess I’ll find out soon enough. For any non- readers, you’ll have to wait a while to find out. Good luck with that struggle.

Sara’s Summer Grab Bag

By Sara Da Silva


Strangely, for Britain, summer has arrived early. I’d have thought we’d still be having frequent bouts of rain but maybe I was wrong. Or maybe I have just jinxed it. Either way, summer is no time for staying inside and binge watching 10-season long TV shows, unless you’re me. So, here’s a list of some one-two season television shows for you to sink your teeth into.

1. Firefly

The fandom was outraged when they found out that Firefly was cancelled after just one season. But, as it is so short, it’s pretty easy to catch up on and be entertained. You should definitely watch this classic if you haven’t yet, it’s a necessity.

2. The Tomorrow People

My heart breaks to tell you that The Tomorrow People was cancelled. It went too soon. I guess ratings weren’t high enough. But still, I absolutely adored this show.
It tells the story of “the tomorrow people” who, as a result of evolution, have adopted superhuman abilities, and are thus being hunted by a genetic cleansing organisation called Ultra. The premise has definitely been overdone in the science fiction universe, but this show will still leave you feeling satisfied.

3. Pushing Daisies

Oh, Pushing Daisies, why did you have to leave me so soon? If only I had the power to reanimate this show like Ned had the ability to bring back the dead with a single touch. The story was so wonderfully told and the cast were delightfully brilliant. My fingers will permanently be crossed in hopes that Pushing Daisies will be adapted into a movie or musical.

4. Graceland

You’ve heard me rave on about Graceland in previous articles, but seriously you must watch this show. There are 25 episodes in total, so that’s 17.5 hours of glorious television time. Season 3 of Graceland is scheduled to begin on the 25th of June. So, if you watch 2 episodes a day you’ll be ready for the new season to start, that’s doable, right? The anticipation might very well be the end of me.

5. Orange is the New Black

June 12th. That date has been in my calendar for some time now. It’s the date that the third season of Orange is the New Black premieres on Netflix. Like Graceland, it’s a show that desperately needs watching. I’m 100% sure that I’ll be binge watching the episodes as soon as they’re uploaded onto Netflix. It’s every binge-watcher’s dream.

Sara’s Season Finale Rundown

It’s time to say farewell to a few of our best-loved TV shows, but luckily it won’t be for too long. The next few weeks will be filled with season finale episodes and probably a lot of cliff-hangers and surprising twists. Some have already ended and my emotions are currently running wild. Be warned, there will be spoilers.

Arrow: ‘My Name Is Oliver Queen’

As far as season finales go, ‘My Name is Oliver Queen’ was pretty great. Oliver finally reveals his plan to save Starling City; the team finally works as a team again and stops the spread of the virus; and Oliver kills Ra’s just before being shot by a police sniper and then saved by Felicity dressed in Ray’s ATOM suit. The finale was strangely positive. Something that I’m certainly not used to when watching Arrow. I guess Malcolm Merlyn becoming the new head of the League of Assassins balances out the episode. Surely that can’t end well.

The season finale of Arrow seemed very, well, final. Oliver and Felicity rode off into the sunset after killing Ra’s al Ghul, but what now? If we didn’t know that Arrow had been renewed for a fourth season or that DC’s Legends of Tomorrow was being made, we probably would have assumed that that was it. Luckily it isn’t, and hopefully Oliver will be back fighting crime in no time. Maybe not as the Arrow, even though that might break my heart.

I’m very intrigued and nervous about how they’ll handle the next season. But I have the utmost faith that the writers won’t let me down.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D: ‘S.O.S’

No, no, no, no, please no.

If you watched the finale of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D then you’re well aware of why my heart aches. Fitz and Simmons were finally going to realise that they’re meant to be together and then the Kree stone decides to rip my heart out by absorbing her. Really writers? You do this to me?

At least Bobbi didn’t die saving Hunter and Coulson only lost an arm. But, and there’s a bit but, the Terrigen crystals have taken on a new form: ordinary fish oils that will be sold in supermarkets. Oops. Oh and Ward will be out for revenge as he accidently killed Kara who he thought was Agent May.

We find out towards the end of the episode that Skye will be leading a team of powered people, which appears to be a nod to Marvel’s Secret Warriors. Well at least I hope it is. Perhaps this is how Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D will link to Captain America: Civil War, but we’ll have to wait till 2016 to find out.

But at least we can still get our MCU fix through Ant-Man, which comes out in July.

Reign: ‘Burn’

Excuse me, what? So much happened in such a short period of time and the finale left us with so many more questions.

So, Mary told Conde that she was pregnant with his baby but it was all a ruse and she stabbed him. I’m not going to say I was surprised. Amidst the chaos of the siege, Catherine had Lola and Francis’ baby abducted so Conde would be blamed, and then killed, but Francis found out and she has been exiled. Oh, and Conde escaped. After all that, Catherine is now in England plotting with Queen Elizabeth against Mary. We’ll have to see how that plan pans out.

Up next in the list of crazy castle happenings: Kenna is pregnant with Renaude’s baby, but he was just hanged for treason. Kenna and Bash’s marriage (yes, she is/was married) fell apart once Bash found out that she was carrying another man’s baby. But, being the resourceful woman she is, she has found her next target: a shy young king. Delphine, Bash’s side chick, turns out to be a crazy witch who bound their souls together before almost being burnt at the stake.

And last, but certainly not least, the big cliff-hanger: Francis and Mary rekindled their flame, if you know what I mean, but we also found out that he’s dying. So, there’s that.

Like I said, we’re left with more questions than answers: Where on Earth is Conde? Will Catherine really betray Francis by working with Queen Elizabeth? Will Mary’s love really be the end of Francis, just like the prophecy said? I guess we’ll have to wait and see in season 3.

If you have never seen this show and you are very confused by everything I have said then I urge you to go watch it. Yes, it can be very historically inaccurate at times but once you’re past that then you’ll have a great time. Trust me.