What I’ve Been Watching – June 2017

Hello, readers!

Here’s another post about what I’ve been watching lately.

Lost

Lost was a divisive show back when it was on the air. Fans loved it, but many people I know said it started out well and then lost the plot… a pun that they always followed up with a self-congratulatory laugh as if no-one had ever thought of that joke before.

Personally, I loved it and I really applauded the attention and care the show placed on each character. It also took more risks with it’s story than I was expecting and it was never afraid to evolve from realistic into fantastical… the very same reason I consider Fringe to be as good as The X-Files, if not better.

Elle and I are currently re-watching all of Lost at a leisurely pace… generally every Sunday. We’re nearing the end of season 1 and I’m enjoying it as much as the first time, if not a little more. Firstly, it has aged well due to expensive production values and the strong characterisation – these are people I’m genuinely interested in. Secondly, I know how it all turns out!

This is the best thing of all. I’m watching the mystery unfold with the benefit of hindsight and it’s great! I don’t need to wonder about Hurley’s numbers, as I know what they mean. I don’t need to wonder about the light that Locke sees shining from the hatch, or what the monster is, or if there are others on the island, or if the plane crashed for a reason. All of it gets answered… and it is done so in a subtle way instead of clumsily spelling it out for the audience. It’s an absence of hand-holding that suits the show’s themes like a glove.

Go 8-Bit

Go 8-Bit is a tough program for me to write about. As a huge video games enthusiast, I love that there is finally a mainstream show on TV about games. I tuned in for the first season of Go 8-Bit and called it the best thing on TV, for no other reason than it was a show about video games.

However, with season 2 currently airing on Dave it’s getting harder and harder to ignore the things that irk me about it. It frequently stars guests that haven’t played games since they were children, which is baffling to me. It’s like Top Gear picking guests to appear on the show who learned to drive when they were younger but don’t really drive anymore.

I mean why choose these people are guests? It reinforces that stigma of “adults should have grown out of video games by now.” I can only assume the show does this so casual viewers can relate to the guests… but I assume the majority of viewers are gamers like me. Who knows?

Another thing that irks me is the humour. The manner in which the hosts keep joking around makes it feel like they’re embarrassed to be talking about games, so they have to be funny so there’s some other reason for the show to exist. Some of the humour just feels really forced… particularly in the new additional show Go 8-Bit DLC.

I’m still watching both Go 8-Bit and Go 8-Bit DLC as there are still some genuinely funny jokes to enjoy in each show. But each week I’m moving closer to forgetting about them and watching an IGN video podcast instead… where people just sit down and discuss games as normally as they would discuss films or anything else.

Wonder Woman

At last, the DC Extended Universe strikes gold. We’ve had a divisive Man of Steel, a severely misguided Batman v Superman, and a confident but messy Suicide Squad. Now Wonder Woman has thrown her standalone film into the mix and given the DCEU what it sorely needed… a conscience.

Wonder Woman is a solid origin story with decent characters, elegantly choreographed action, and a moral centre to the title character’s journey. The lessons Diana learns about the world by the end of this film are exactly what was missing from the last three DCEU films. It reminds us that superheroes are all about compassion, sacrifice, and helping those who can’t help themselves.

She starts off with a single-minded purpose but expands her perspective during her journey, so in the end she has evolved into someone wiser. In that sense, Wonder Woman feels like the DCEU equivalent of Captain America. She starts off with a single – borderline naive – purpose and then goes on to learn about the machinations of the world. She’s also the moral compass – the hero who just wants to do what’s right no matter what anyone else is telling her.

Sadly, the film falls into a trap that has ensnared so many superhero films before it… Trying to make the final act seem epic by throwing in a big-super-punchy-evil-monster-guy. The final fight lacks the imagination and careful thought of the film’s previous action scenes. But beyond that, this is a film to be commended and it’s certainly the first DCEU film to hold it’s own against the MCU.

The Defenders Trailer

Speaking of Marvel… brace yourselves because The Defenders are about to assemble!
If you’re not familiar with this, it is a crossover of four separate TV shows from Marvel called Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist. These title characters are now starring in a joint show called The Defenders, which is basically Marvel’s television equivalent of the Avengers.

The shows themselves vary in quality. Daredevil and Jessica Jones are both excellent. I prefer the action-heavy Daredevil while Elle prefers the more investigation-based Jessica Jones. Luke Cake has a lot of substance but is more good than it is fun. Iron Fist has very little substance but lots of silly action, making it more fun than it is good.

So overall, I’m very excited to see how The Defenders turns out. It also stars Sigourney Weaver as the main villain, which I’m actively excited to see! In the meantime, I have this brilliant trailer to keep my hype levels going 🙂

Until next time, thanks for reading folks!

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