Stellar cast, top notch production quality, and a very interesting premise - kind of the Hollywood take on the Murdoch family.
However, now in season 3, the fatal flaw of the show has become very apparent.
It seems both writers and production are so hung up, on presenting "fictional Murdoch and his family" in such a bad light, that not a single character in the show has any redeeming qualities, whatsoever, nor is there any significant development of any of said characters... they have become perpetual caricatures.
So by now the show is simply going nowhere... they are all still fighting over the same thing, and nobody learns anything nor changes, in any way shape or form.
It renders the show entirely without purpose, except as a social commentary on the decadence of "the very rich"... and we all got that message in season 1, so perpetuating it is both uninteresting and lacking creativity.
I had high hopes for this one, but have stopped watching it, simply because the story no longer has purpose.
Reading all the bad reviews that came before this - and knowing they can only be based on the first 3 episodes - I have no idea what those people are on about.
I seems like they have either watched another show - or that they are huge fans of "big action that makes no sense", and thus disappointed we haven't gotten much in the way of "alien action" yet.
I think this has all the hallmarks of a hit series, "the next Walking Dead" (in terms of viewership) if you will, but is cleverly not falling into the trap, of going from 0 to a 100 in 3 episodes, so that you have nowhere left to go but ""stupid"... and yes, for the record, The Walking Dead became stupid a long time ago... this seems to be crafted with more thought for longevity, as of yet.
Yes it is slow paced, yes the character development is slow, yes we are yet to learn where this story actually goes, how all these people, all over the world, relate to each other, and not least who the aliens are and what they want... but remember, anything really good (in terms of TV shows), often starts slow.
Now in fairness, I may of course be just as wrong, as I claim others to be, because we are yet to see the resolution - we are yet to learn what the actual premise of the show is - we still really only know "alien invasion", have gotten an idea of the main (multinational) cast - and not much more.
But my thinking is, that nobody would develop a show this slowly, unless they had an ace in the hole.
So far the acting has been impeccable, the action realistic (baring in mind this IS sci-fi), the reactions of the cast (both main and supporting) believable and realistic, the scenery well put together, the CGI well made, the storyline unusual and interesting - and the tempo, as said, is right up my alley.
I shall be watching closely, with fingers crossed.
For now it is an 8, with room for both improvement - and a huge drop - depending on where the story takes us the rest of the premiere season.
Of all the Disney characters - many of which I loved as a kid - Cruella de Vil was always the one I disliked the most.
It always seemed like a pointless and overly unrealistic character - I mean, come on, who hates puppies so much, that it becomes their obsession to kill and skin them?
So despite liking Emma Stone, I watched with some hesitation, expecting a movie as over the top and shallow - dare I say "annoying"? - As the Glen Close one.
Instead, I found an interesting (though still wholly unrealistic) origin story, in a fairly "dark" backdrop of 1970's London - but with little funny gems dispersed evenly throughout the script, without it ever feeling forced.
Think Devil Wears Prada meets Kingsman.
Joel Fry and Paul Walter Hauser, are very funny sidekicks, who both manage to not fall into the all too common trap of of becoming cartoonish.
Especially Paul Walter Hauser's work with the dogs is hilarious, and whoever got the idea to dress a dog as a giant rat, is a genius!
Emma Thompson is also excellent as the antagonist, and Emma Stone as the protagonist is simply charming, giving a franchise building performance - especially if they allow for the character, to not develop into the end we all know from the original Disney story. - It would be far more interesting if they took it elsewhere.
And yeah, some stuff is still over the top and unbelievable, but hey, so is Iron Man and a great many other movies based off cartoons.
I highly recommend it, and it's a great date movie by the way, because of all the fashion references AND the action.
"Gossip Girl" in alternative history Victorian times
That's pretty much it.
If you liked Gossip Girl, if you like period pieces, and you like a "woke" version of alternative history, where people of colour and alternative sexuality are held in high regard, and afforded all the rights and privileges they did not have in real history, this is most definitely the show for you, and you will love it.
Otherwise it's a "meh" show, that only just tops mediocrity, because of all the secondary qualities like costumes, score, locations and such being excellent, while the primary qualities of directing, script and acting are very mediocre indeed.
I for one will be giving season 2 a miss, and only watched season 1 because of Covid.
I am shocked by the raving reviews.... it is becoming increasingly clear to me, that IMDB has a problem with paid reviews.
I think this show is unbelievably dumb, and seems to cater to some 80s American prejudices, about England and football (soccer).
An average English Premier League club, is a 200 million a year operation, with anywhere between 50 and 100 coaching staff on hand to service the players.
I recommend people check out "All or Nothing Tottenham Hotspur" on Amazon, which will give you idea how idiotic the premise of Ted Lasso is.
And yet for some reason, the show depicts it like Ted Lasso just took over an American high school team, with apparently no other staff than the quaint grounds keeper and an incompetent team manager.
It's as if you want to do a show about the Vatican, but for budget reasons you use a small church in Cleveland, with 1/20 the extras, and pretend that is what St. Peter's Basilica in Rome looks like.
The whole thing is laughable.
If you want to depict a small club with a tight knit community and odd personalities, write the show in that setting...... don't pretend it's something it's clearly not...... it makes everything else in the plot seem fake and irrelevant.
To make matters worse, the another premise of the show is, that this American Football national champion coach (Jason Sudeikis), has taken a job managing a Premier League (soccer) club (which in itself is ridiculous).
He then travels to England and on his first day on the job demonstrates - to the press no less - that he has zero understanding of the game, including the most basic rules, nor does he know anything about the league, the club or the players.
So the show clearly wants us to believe, that national champion coaches are morons, who don't care to prepare, to study, to gain even a basic understanding of the job they are supposed to do.
The whole thing is ridiculous.
It reminds me of a bad American "fish out of water" B-comedy.... and that is being generous..... think Air Bud or King Ralph.
It's absurd to me, that such a show can get written and produced, and nobody has bothered to research the primary subject matter.
I like Jason Sudeikis, but this one is a stinker, sorry.
having just completed watching season 3, this show has most definitely grown on me, to a degree where it has become binge watching worthy.
I don't want to give any spoilers away, but let me just tell you, by the end of season 3, this has become a modern day drama of Shakespearian proportions.
In the initial concept for the show, it is similar to Braking Bad in many respects, but I think this show is better.
Jason Bateman (who also directs the show occasionally) is simply fantastic, as the emotionally stunted "ordinary" man, who slowly progress into becoming a criminal mastermind.
Laura Linney is giving the performance of her career, as the frustrated, slightly neurotic, but yet completely controlled former professional woman turned housewife turned criminal, who is in a constant struggle between her conscience, her need for security, and her ambition.
The kids of the family, who are usually an afterthought in many shows, are both magnificently portrayed by up and coming stars Sofia Hublitz and Skylar Gaertner, who both lend debth to their characters.... and this is coming from someone, who usually find kids actors distracting and irrelevant in most dramas.
And finally Julia Garner is giving an Emmy-worthy performance as the hillbilly, trash talking, wise ass local, who is constantly the catalyst for story development.
I highly recommend the show, even if the first season can seem kind of boring to some, it all makes sense later on, in a show that was clearly planned for a multi-season run from the outset, and the story is thus allowed to develop and build slowly.
In some respects, it reminds me of the excellent Banshee show, though it remains to be seen, if it is as violent..... but the uneasy feeling is there.
What drops the pilot in rating a bit, is a prolonged scene in the protagonists sisters apartment: After she has been discovered by the chief of police and given permission to search the place, she never turns on the lights, but keeps searching by a flashlight alone..... it irritated me immensely, because it made no sense ;)
Other than that, the story line is interesting (so far), Rosario Dawson a compelling protagonist "with an edge", and the supporting cast is very good indeed, as is filmography and score.
I will be watching closely to see, if the show fulfills the promise.
First of all, I have to say - all the 1s and 2s, as well as all the 10s, is a sign of dishonest people trying to counterbalance those that dishonestly like/dislike the show....... You people are all ruining culture, both sides of the equation, and need to grow up, whatever your age.
Rant over, now to the review:
I'm an avid fantasy fan, I read George R.R. Martin way before the show (which I loved) got made, I've read many other fantasy writers through the years, and watched many failed - and a few successful - attempts at the genre, in both movies and on TV.
Just so you understand, that I am not a novice to the genre.
However, I have absolutely no prior knowledge to "The Witcher", having neither read the books nor played the game.
That particular writer sort of passed me by.
To compare with GoT is rather obvious, and in many respects, The Witcher is almost as good. The fights are great, the costumes are great, the scenery is great (albeit missing the oppulence and attention to detail of GoT), the monsters are good (though more cartoonish and clearly lower budget than GoT).
So far so good, we are en route to a solid 8.
However..... where the director has totally failed his audience (and where GoT really succeeded in season 1), is that GoT educated us all on the history, geography and politics of the world we were supposed to lose ourselves in.
That is completely missing from The Witcher.
Instead, you spend the first half of the season, trying to make sense of a world you have zero prior knowledge of, and is barely explained anything about, while dealing with a bunch of weird jumps in the time line, that seem to have very little actual purpose to the story, except to add to the confusion.
Having completed Season 1, I still have no idea how the continent looks, what countries are there, where they are situated, how they differ culturally - nor do I have any sort of back story, to explain how this whole world landed in this situation, or what an "Witcher" actually is.
It's like the director thinks, that the interesting thing to us the viewers, is to speculate on what the back story of The Witcher actually is...... like it was some sort of "fantasy mystery story", but set in a world we are given absolutely zero knowledge of - making it impossible to guess anyway.
That totally misses the mark - just tell us who these people are, and get on with telling a great story, while we can all understand what is going on - and why it is going on.
Some simple graphics/maps and a narrator giving us a bit of "historical" (yes, I know it is fantasy) background - and some graphics (even some arbitrary fantasy dates) denoting a change in time line - and this show would have left me with a totally different - and much more positive feeling.
Now it gets a 6, with potential for growth, if they fix the logical issues for season 2, because the basic premise of the show and the acting of the main cast, is actually pretty great, especially Anya Chalotra playing Yennefer is a great find, and clearly destined for stardom.
Everything in this movie is great...... except one thing, which detracts from the whole experience, throughout the movie:
De Niro, Pacino and Pesci have the posture, muscle tone and mannerisms of the geriatrics they truly are.
The technology used to make them look younger works well on faces, but as soon as you look beyond that, everything else starts to bother you, you start to look for the signs, that these are elderly gentlemen playing young versions of themselves.
It would have worked when they were in their 40s or 50s, but now, it just makes the whole story seem ridiculous, because none of them can truly pull it off.
Great story, great script, great cinematography, great score, great cast, etc. - but it still ends up being a below par Scorsese movie, because of insisting geriatrics "play themselves as young".
The first 3 episodes are pretty much the setup for the show.
Where it takes us from here remains to be seen, as episode 4 (presumably) is where the show starts to find its permanent form, and the characters start to develop, now that all the pieces are put in place.
It is clearly going to become a very story driven show, so whether it becomes a 10 or a 5, will be all about the story, and that is still an unknown quantity.
The cast is fantastic, albeit so far a little type cast, the overall production quality top notch, so at this point, based off the first 3 episodes, I give it a hopeful 8...... the hope being that it will become similar, to the excellent and much too short lived "The Newsroom".
As opposed to the completely ridiculous "See", The Morning Show can actually become a hit for Apple.
Bring on the story.
Having just completed watching the Season 1 Finale, I am now calling this show an unmitigated hit, and amending my score to a 10.
If this is handled right, it could be the "TV land West Wing", that "The Newsroom" never got a fair chance to be.
Every single character on the show has developed beautifully, on uneven arcs that come together perfectly in the season finale, while the general story has very elegantly acted, as the vehicle for the development throughout the season.
Great story, great production quality, great acting, great score, etc.
I'm calling it now: Best new TV drama of 2019.
During season 2, I kind of felt the show was going a bit off the boil, getting a bit stagnant, and the main characters started to engage with each other less and less, and instead live in their own separate storylines, which annoyed me a bit, since the season 1 chemistry was so great, and the show was starting to feel disjointed.
That is, until I had watched the season 2 finale.
No spoilers - but depending on the outcome of the final scene, to be revealed in season 3, the show is absolutely back on track, with the season finale possibly being one of the most riveting of any TV show, in recent memory.
Big budget, good cast - Momoa doing his usual modern day impression of Arnold still works, like in GoT and the much underrated Frontier.
But after episode 2 I have to give up on it......... the writing is simply too dumb.
We are supposedly in a post-apocalyptic world, where humans have lived without sight for centuries, and yet the writers chose to drop a line like "God sees everything, and if he does not, I will" into the script.
Or a queen who gathers her blind subjects for a big speech, and starts it with: "BEHOLD!".
I mean, I know we live in the era of Trump, but come on, a bit of thought put into the words your actors are saying, would be rather nice.
I am a latecomer to the show, have just binge watched the first season, and I am completely surprised this show is a hit.
I think it is at best average, because it is marred by a terrible script, that makes no logical sense for the most part.
I mean, sure, the russian hitwoman is cool - albeit clumsy and unprofessional for a "hitman", not to mention constantly carrying out high profile International hits, without any sort of real preparation - but Sandra Ohs character and everyone in her MI6 "intelligence" organisation are even worse. - They seems entirely untrained and incompetent - think the British version of "The Office" - a bunch of bumbling idiots, making obvious mistakes a child would know to avoid, solely to artificially create dramatic situations to drive the overall story.
If this was a humorous social commentary on the ineptitude of British intelligence services ("spy version" of Veep), it would make sense, but it is not....... It's supposed to be a serious drama, where the bodies keep piling up.
It gives you completely idiotic scenarios, like when the hitwoman is chasing Sandra Ohs character and 2 others (all unarmed) in the woods (1 of whom she is actively pursuing to murder) - and let's not forget, a highly trained sniper apparently keeps missing a middle aged woman running away in a straight line, 100 yards away - They then reach a car, get in, start it and drive for a few yards...... when Sandra Ohs character decides to stop the car and get out, to walk back and TALK to the hitwoman, who was seconds before shooting at the car.
Or when Sandra Ohs character is going home for a break and a shower (she knows the hitwoman is after her, close by and knows where she lives), she refuses an escort, because " a walk will do good", and is ofcourse promptly attacked at her - completely unguarded - home, and ends up being taken hostage.
You would normally say "you can't write this stuff"...... but apparently you can.
I will NOT be watching season 2, this show is simply too dumb for me - sorry.
If you wan't to watch a good spy show I recommend "Berlin Station", which is an excellent show in the genre.