Doctor Who Season 11 – Ep. 3 “Rosa”

The Joker On The Sofa

Doctor Who decides to drop all the pretense for once and I’ll be damned if it isn’t powerful.

SUMMARY

The Doctor (Jodie Whittaker), trying to get home with her companions, Graham, Ryan, and Yas (Bradley Walsh, Tosin Cole, Mandip Gill), becomes annoyed when the TARDIS refuses to go back to 2018 and instead lands the four in Montgomery, Alabama in 1955. Ryan, being black, quickly runs into some trouble and has to be bailed out by none other than Rosa Parks (Vinette Robinson). It turns out that today is November 30, 1955, the day before her famous arrest.

E3 - 1RosaParks.png Yes, Rosa Parks bails out the Doctor.

The reason why the Doctor and crew are there is that the TARDIS locked onto a time-travel energy signature. It turns out that Krasko (Joshua Bowman), a time traveler from the future, has come back to stop Rosa Parks in the hopes that it will…

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Futurama Fridays – S1 E4 “Love’s Labours Lost In Space”

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This episode welcomes one of the best characters produced by the series: Kif Kroker! Okay, fine, this is the episode that welcomes Zapp Brannigan into the world and we should all love it for that.

SUMMARY

Leela’s (Katey Sagal) social life is in the toilet due to her cycloptic nature (and the fact that she judges other people with physical deformities). Amy (Lauren Tom) takes her out to meet guys at a bar called “The Hip Joint” and the rest of the crew comes along because we needed funny vignettes. At the end of the evening, Amy, Fry (Billy West), and Zoidberg (West) all find companions for the evening, while Bender (John DiMaggio) goes to see a saucy puppet show, leaving Leela all alone.

S1E4-1LizardTongue.png If your standards can’t incorporate a long, prehensile tongue, get better standards.

The next day, Professor Farnsworth (West), gives the crew a charity mission that they’re…

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Doctor Who Season 11 – Ep. 2 “The Ghost Monument”

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We go straight from the intro to a pretty classic episode of Doctor Who, complete with spaceships, running, beeping alarms, and, of course, the Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) trying to get everyone out alive.

SUMMARY

E2 - 1SpaceSpace is big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. – A Doctor Who Writer.

Picking up immediately where the previous episode left off, with Graham (Bradley Walsh) and Ryan (Tosin Cole) floating in space. They’re rescued by Angstrom (Susan Lynch), a pilot who is in the middle of an intergalactic race. Meanwhile, the Doctor and Yas (Mandip Gill) have been picked up by another racer named Epzo (Shaun Dooley). While Angstrom is doing just fine and lands safely on planet Desolation, Epzo’s ship is out of gas and taking hits, resulting in the Doctor having to help him make a crash that they can walk away from.  Epzo…

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Doctor Who Season 11 – Ep. 1 “The Woman Who Fell To Earth”

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I love Doctor Who. I’ve loved it since I first saw it on PBS as a child, not realizing that the episodes I was watching were more than 20 years old at that point. When it came back, I was elated. I’ve enjoyed the majority of the episodes since the revival, putting two among the best episodes not only of the series, but of television in general. It’s truly a magical show for me and I was completely thrilled that someone requested that I review this season for the blog. I will try to have these up ASAP after airing, but life will get in the way sometimes, so Tuesday at the latest.

So, Allons-y! (if any of you are named Alonzo, then I am so f*cking happy right now)

DoctorWhoS11E1 - 2Falls.jpg Where we last saw our hero….

SUMMARY (SPOILERS – In River Song’s voice)

Ryan Sinclair (Tosin Cole), a young…

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Netflix Review – Tuca and Bertie: Energetic, Stylistic, and Fun

Lisa Hanawalt, the production designer from BoJack Horseman, gives us a show about two women dealing with their lives in a strange, strange world.

SUMMARY

Tuca (Tiffany Haddish) is an irresponsible and formerly alcoholic toucan. Bertie (Ali Wong), a robin, is her neurotic best friend. At the start of the show, Tuca has just moved out so that Bertie’s boyfriend Speckle (Steven Yeun) can move in with Bertie, but she still lives in the building. Tuca is unemployed while Bertie works for Conde Nest magazine publishing. The general theme of any episode is “something happens, hilarity ensues or doesn’t.”

TucaAndBertie - 1Pamphlets.png
Sometimes they distribute flyers for a spontaneous workplace seminar.

END SUMMARY

So, everyone who reads this is aware that I think BoJack Horseman is one of, if not the, best shows currently on television. It’s smart, it’s funny, it’s subversive, and it’s stylistically unique. This show is also all of those things, just in very different ways. Do I think it’s as good? No, but I can see some people thinking it’s much better. It really just comes down to taste. Part of it is that I think women will relate to this show more than men.

TucaAndBertie - 2Leads.jpg
Though it is not solely made by women, the majority of the crew is female.

The art style of the show is very frenetic and extremely variable. The coloring, movement, and even character designs can alter from scene to scene depending on what’s happening. The movements can be extremely quick, as can the cuts, even compared to other animated shows. This is largely used because the two main characters are often energetic, bordering on manic, although in very different ways. For the most part, though, you never lose track of the plotlines even when the quick cuts and style changes are happening.

TucaAndBertie - 3HandOfGod.jpg
They also sometimes insert random things like the hand of the grocery store.

The gags in the show run basically the full gamut of humor. There are sight gags, often based on the anthropomorphic characters, as well as brick jokes, puns, gross-out humor, dirty jokes, and slice-of-life observations. Part of what makes this work is that the world that the show takes place in is so off-kilter and wacky that literally anything feels like it could happen. While BoJack (yes, the comparisons are going to happen, just deal with it) has anthropomorphic animals, this show has anthropomorphic everything. There are plant people, potato people, bird people, lizard people, car people, building people, body part people, and honestly I think at one point I saw an anthropomorphic representation of the concept of loneliness but that might just have been my cold medicine. Anything can be alive if it can be used for a gag.

TucaAndBertie - 4PlantLady.png
For example here’s a topless plant lady who uses turtles for decoration. Because why not.

A few other things set the show apart. For example, things that would normally just be one-off gags that animation uses that would be undone in the next shot, like a character’s boob talking or a mirror image commenting on their appearance, are not only not undone but are sometimes plot elements. It’s like watching Family Guy using the cutaway gags to actually accomplish something aside from filler. It’s not quite the same as BoJack Horseman’s “canon ensues,” where things that would be reset in a sitcom are instead incorporated into later episodes (most famously “Hollywoo”), but it’s similar. The show also is more than willing to feature nudity and sexuality, exemplified by the building with bare breasts that is part of the opening sequence.

TucaAndBertie - 5ChipDance.jpg
And sometimes they’re just dancing around corn chips.

The other thing that the show does well are the dramatic moments. While, like I said, most of the series is fast-paced and off-kilter, when there are actual serious things to address, such as sexual harassment, the show does treat them with the gravitas that they deserve, even if they quickly follow it up with a joke. The show’s focus is often on issues facing women as well as people in their thirties and people with anxiety issues, many of which are not really “resolved” within the episode, which is somewhat more realistic than other ways of handling it.

The voice talent is all superb, particularly the leads and recurring guests Richard E. Grant and Reggie Watts.

Overall, I liked the show. I recommend giving it a try. It takes a bit to really give you an idea of how it works, and it’s not going to work for everyone, but I look forward to more of it.

If you want to check out some more by the Joker on the Sofa, check out the 100 Greatest TV Episodes of All TimeCollection of TV EpisodesCollection of Movie Reviews, or the Joker on the Sofa Reviews.

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Firefly Fridays – Episode 1: “Serenity”

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Image result for Firefly posterAlright, some a-hole, who will likely share this and identify himself in the process, has asked me to review all of the episodes of Firefly. Since one of the episodes made it into my personal top 10, and because I love this series, I’m going to grant this request. I’m going by the DVD episode order, not the production order or airing order. If you have a problem with that, take it up with the rest of the internet, there are plenty of people who will care. However, you can freely yell at me over what I will put at the end, as I rank the episodes using the time-honored “Serenity Scale” to create a solid determination of what is the best and worst of this series. While most of you might think that “Objects in Space” is already my number 1, that is on an objective basis, while this…

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Futurama Fridays – S1 E3 “I, Roommate”

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Welcome to the third episode of the series. This was the first episode of the show to air on Tuesday, with the first two having aired on Sunday after The Simpsons. It hurt the ratings but, since the show didn’t get cancelled for many years, clearly not too much.

SUMMARY

Fry (Billy West) has been living in the Planet Express building and his lifestyle is clearly hurting the business. He leaves food out (mostly Bachelor Chow, now with flavor!), uses a high-volume Chemical Burn Shower to bathe (having been in one for chemical burns, it’s not good on the hair), burns the ship’s exhaust to get his hair dry, eats a 29 million-year-old alien mummy (which the Professor (West) wanted to eat), and just generally gets in everyone’s way.

S1E3-1BachelorChow.png Thank you for not drawing a more elaborate ass.

Leela (Katey Sagal), Bender (John DiMaggio), and the Professor confront Fry…

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