Joker’s New Season Updates

I give a quick review of shows that have new seasons out which I have reviewed previously. Letterkenny, Sabrina, Cobra Kai, etc.

Letterkenny (Season 9) – Hulu

The US is not on fire in this shot, and therefore is inaccurate.

If you aren’t watching Letterkenny, there’s not much I can tell you other than you are missing out on one of, if not the, funniest shows on television. Despite how long the show has been going, the clever writing and great performances never fail to keep me laughing the whole time. It’s absolutely amazing how hard this show subverts the idea of rural people being idiots and does it in an honest way. Then again, it’s Canada.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Season 4) – Netflix

Wow, this got really mutilated when I posted it originally. Still too lazy to re-do it.

Sabrina comes to a strong conclusion by having the lead character face off against the 8 Eldritch Terrors, 8 monsters pulled straight from the mind of H.P. Lovecraft. It changes a lot of the dynamic of the show since it focuses less on her trying to balance her mortal and witch lives, but it allows the series to really start swinging for the fences and some of those attempts pay off. It helps that they finally do the straight throwback to the original sitcom, in one of the funniest episodes of the series. It does feel like the ending is a bit rushed and a little odd, but I don’t know how much it was forced by Covid. Either way, it was a pretty good ending to the series.

Cobra Kai (Season 3) – Netflix

There is no fear in this dojo.

There is no fear in this dojo and there is no quit in this show. Despite changing networks, the Karate Kid continuation just keeps switching up the character dynamics in believable ways and ends up delivering a season worthy of the name. It does play up the reality of having dueling “karate gangs” in the year 2020, namely that it’s freaking ridiculous. It also manages to deal with the Karate Kid sequels in a way that makes me almost not dislike them. Impressive.

The Haunting of Bly Manor (Season 2…kinda) – Netflix

Jean Jackets are a thing in this time period.

I realize this is technically not a second season of The Haunting of Hill House, but it feels like it is. What the Haunting of Hill House nailed in terms of terror and gruesome imagery, this season… mostly missed. The story, however, is just as strong and the performances are solid. It also pulls in more stories than just the main narrative and it helps to keep the show a bit more compelling. It’s still a little slow, but if you can deal with that, you’ll like it.

Transformers War for Cybertron Trilogy: Earthrise (Season 2) – Netflix

There will be oil. Because that’s Tranformer blood. Get it?

Much like the first season, this is a very dark adaptation of Transformers. It still suffers from a lack of actually explaining backstories, but it does a hell of a lot better than last season, where I felt like I’d have been lost if I hadn’t watched Transformers as a kid. However, this season does have a lot of great character moments. If you only were okay on the last season, this one will be a step up. If you liked the last season, you’ll love this one.

Transformers: War for Cybertron: Pure Nostalgic Goodness – Netflix Anime Mini-Review

We get a darker take on the classic series, even if it’s just a taste.

SUMMARY

The planet Cybertron was once peacefully populated by robotic life (somehow, that term is accurate). Then, a new faction of synthetic organisms arose, the Decepticons, led by Megatron (Jason Marnocha). They began a war for control of the planet. Their only opposition ended up being the Autobots, led by Optimus Prime (Jake Foushee). The war has raged for years, and now, the Autobots stand on the edge of defeat. Hope comes in the form of the rogue Cybertronian Bumblebee (Joe Zieja) and the possible source of all life on the planet, the Allspark. The battle for the future of the planet is on.

Robots not in disguise.

END SUMMARY

If you have never watched a Transformers property before, this show is not for you. It is not interested in really giving you any introductions to the world or the characters, nor is it interested in fleshing out a ton of the backstories of any of them. Given the sheer number of Transformers featured as secondary characters, this may overwhelm a lot of viewers. However, in some ways, I appreciate this kind of setup, because it prevents a lot of the overdone exposition which is common in many Transformers series. Also, it’s not like Transformers needs to be complicated. There are good robots and bad robots and some of the bad ones turn good or vice versa. Good ones are usually the underdogs, bad ones usually end up losing. 

Starscream betrays someone. It’s a formula.

Actually, this adaptation has way more moral ambiguity than most of the previous series. At the beginning of the show, we see Megatron, typically shown to be a mass-murdering conqueror, talking about honor and attempting to resolve the war without having to kill all of the Autobots. At the same time, we see Optimus Prime, typically the ultimate symbol of goodness, considering some darker and less honorable tactics than we usually wouldn’t associate with him. As the series progresses, they both end up moving more towards their traditional roles. The series seems to indicate that their actions throughout the entire war are as much about their personal feud as they were for their principles. 

Rock them and sock them robots. Too sophisticated for the ’em.

The war for Cybertron has long been a part of the mythology of the Transformers, but this show is the most explicit version that I can remember. While the Autobots are usually shown to be fighting a losing battle, this show makes that painfully clear by having most of the planet in shambles, all of the autobots injured or battle-damaged, and random robot remains strewn about the locations. While it is bloodless, since they don’t have blood, this would resemble the battlefields from the film 1917 otherwise. Moreover, a big part of the struggle is to find enough energon to survive, something that both sides are having trouble with. That means that the two armies are both starving to death throughout the series. It makes this whole series darker than any I’ve seen before. 

The battle damaged figures will be very popular.

The biggest problem with the show is that it really just doesn’t have a lot of time. At 6 episodes, the plot feels a bit rushed, even without the backstories. Since this was only the first chapter, though, there are plenty of opportunities to expand in the future. On the lighter side, I do enjoy the fact that the show makes some fun references, including a recurring Blade Runner joke, and that it does point out sometimes that many of the Transformers look like others, only with different colors. Since many of the toys were made by taking the same figures and giving them new patterns, this is kind of a fun shot at the nature of the show being to sell toys. 

Gotta catch ’em all… wait…

Overall, I enjoyed it. I admit that I’ve only dipped into the franchise a few times since Beast Wars, but this was a solid miniseries and I look forward to the next installment. Thank you to the readers who recommended this series.

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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