Category Archives: Just My Opinion

TVx3 Podcast – Jenny & Kyle Joined Jason to Talk TV!

Last week, I spoke with Jason (@theTVaholic) & Kyle (@kyool) on Jason’s TVx3 podcast. That’s always a lot of fun, especially when I’m feeling pretty passionate about a show or two! This time, we talked not only cancelation and renewal news, as well as our own TV recommendations (hint: mine was this season of SEAL Team!), but also about recent episodes of 9-1-1, The Big Bang Theory, FBI, & The Rookie plus the first episode of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Be sure to check out the podcast and see what the three of us thought. As always, it’s entertaining because of how awesome we are similar or differing our opinions can be, depending on the show! Find the podcast here on TV times Three.

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Shameless Midseason Finale Recap

I don’t know if the UK version of Shameless, which inspired the American iteration is any good, but I do know that I love Showtime’s version like Gay Jesus loves LGBTQ rights. After the midseason finale in October, the show is on hiatus until January 20th. Recent announcements from Emmy Rossum (Fiona) & Cameron Monaghan (Ian) about each of them retiring from their roles on the show leave the fandom worried about the future. But season ten has already been contracted, and we will go on without them. Perhaps this will see Frank returning to the folds of the major family arcs more often, whereas the first half of this season he felt like a third-tier character. Also I expect Liam, who finally started talking last year at like age 8, to continue to emerge as a central character. He’s about the age that Karl was when the show first started. Notably, he’s also smarter already at age 9 than full-grown Karl will ever be.

One fun story that will still be in play when they return in January is Frank’s budding romance with clinically insane psychoanalyst Ingrid Jones (played by the always marvelous Katey Sagal!). The last few episodes, she had been off her meds and having a torrid love affair with Frank that led to a few knife attacks and lots of broken glass. In Ian’s last episode, he went back to prison for blowing up the van as a publicity stunt when leading the youth Gay Jesus movement. The switchback happy ending was that Mickey, who we presumed was in Mexico, was in the same facility and arranged to be Ian’s cellmate. Wow. Small world, I guess, but those two will be happy off-screen, we can presume. Lip has a new love interest and is a sponsor now for a younger AA member. He’s arguably the most “got their shit together” Gallagher of the season so far. Though, Debbie has also been fairly responsible, while raising Frannie, working as a welder, and testing the waters of a lesbian relationship. Karl has a militant new girlfriend who is working on helping him get into West Point, and poor Liam is back in public school after a year’s worth of a free ride at a fancy private school.

The biggest spectacle coming into the mid-season finale last month was watching Fiona crash and burn. For a year and a half, she had her life going so well. She’s a realtor on the rise who owns a diner & an apartment building. She’s also invested in a large retirement home development project, which was where things started to go awry. New inspections came up and she needed to throw an additional 25k at the project, but her investments were already overleveraged and she couldn’t get another loan. Finding out that her bf Ford was actually married was the straw that broke the camel’s back, and she wound up getting into a drunk driving accident and totaled her car.

Debbie helped her salvage some money for the vehicle and also put Ford in a giant metal pillory so that Fiona could blast his bare ass with paintballs as revenge for his deception. So Debbie is really on point lately. Her financial situation was balanced out by Max, her partner in the retirement home project, who offered to buy her other buildings in a way that let her stay in the investment. Because she lost the apartment building, she had to move back into the Gallagher house with the rest of the family. So her last seven episodes on the show have her back in the neighborhood. I can’t wait to see how crazy it all turns out. We miss Ian already and will value our last few months with Fi.

Don’t miss it when Shameless returns to Showtime on January 20.

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Daredevil Season 3 Recommendation!

So admittedly, not every season that Netflix puts out in their corner of the MCU is a smash hit, but they were coming in hot off the second season of Iron Fist when they dropped Daredevil season three a few weeks back. The prior season had served to be more a Punisher vehicle than a strict “Matt Murdock” story. I gotta be honest though… After this latest saga about the “Man Without Fear,” I am super amped for whatever ninja baton to the face that Netflix MCU throws at us next.

Speaking of things thrown at us, there are two major villains in this season, both Bullseye and the previously infamous stigma: Kingpin. Bullseye has this superhuman power to hit anything perfectly on target, no matter what crazy ricochet it requires. He’s a legit real main bad guy for Murdock, as per the comics, so this was a good look. Wilson “Kingpin” Fisk is back up to evil, despite being locked up after season one of this show.

At the end of Defenders season one, we saw that somehow Matt had escaped certain doom (that killed Elektra) to be rescued by a bevy of nuns. This Daredevil season picks up right there and toys with themes from the classic “Born Again” comic book arc from the mid-1980s. With Mother Maggie taking care of Matt as he recovers, Foggy & Karen are out there fighting the evils of NYC as a lawyer & reporter can. We learn a lot about the background of these central characters with the biggest reveals coming about Murdock himself.

While we’re on the topic, here’s what’s news for the MCU in general… There are no current plans for Defenders season 2, but an eventual return to the title with different characters is being teased by Jeph Loeb; for some reason Jessica Jones season 3 is still in production, and Punisher season two is due in the spring; Iron Fist & Luke Cage have both been canceled, but there are hopes that they may merge into a single Heroes For Hire title. Last interesting little factoid I discovered in researching for this blog: Matt Murdock was NEVER a member of the “Defenders” in the comic book, but Hulk, Dr. Strange, Silver Surfer, & Namor all were.

I don’t wanna spoil too much, but I do want to encourage you to watch this season if you haven’t yet. On a night like tonight, with very little new on to watch, maybe consider binging Daredevil season 3!

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Doctor’s Orders: The Verdict on the Female Doctor

When it was first revealed that the Doctor who would supersede Peter Capaldi would be a woman, it didn’t take long for a Twitter storm amongst misogynists to brew.

Which mainly told us that people fear change. Doctor Who is pretty much a British institution. We’ve had 12 male Doctors, so it’s only natural that some narrow-viewed people thought the boat shouldn’t be rocked and the role should be gender specific. My favourite comment so far which I’ve stumbled across on social media comments sections is “I accept that she’s female, but does she also have to be Northern?”. Of course, there were a lot of crasser things being stated. But it taught me a lot about inclusivity and diversity in the media. Which should come as no surprise, given that viewers have been conditioned to like an archetypal casting and role.

Casting Jodie Whittaker was definitely a gamble for the showrunners. They would have had better odds if they played Cleopatra and enjoyed a few spins over at Egypt Slots.

Was Jodie Whittaker the Woman for the Job?

Now that we’ve seen three episodes from Jodie Whittaker, now we can finally make a verdict on her suitability to the role. A lot of people make the mistake of judging a new Doctor on their first episodes, yet first episodes after regeneration never really tells us much about what kind of Doctor we’re dealing with.

Whilst more people favoured Matt Smith or David Tennant to Peter Capaldi, he was still a hard act to follow. His intensely aggressive monologues captivated us, and we saw how he dealt with his grief and his anger in a better way than we’ve seen with the former Doctors. So, of course everyone would have had to get used to the change between the actors and the temperament of the Doctor. It’s no secret that the screenwriters like to mix it up between the Doctors, and could any actor or actress match the potent angst of Capaldi?

After the first episode aired, I waited for the fallout from angry fans affirming their beliefs that a woman was never fit for the role, yet there was nothing but admiration for her stellar acting and unique approach to the role. Sure, she was a little ditzy and “blonde,” but that can be forgiven – she had just regenerated. But there was so much to love about her, including the fact that she got her first outfit from a charity shop and her ability to stand up to a monster with a face made of teeth despite not even knowing herself. From the start she was authoritative, not overly cocksure with herself, and in short, pretty God damn fabulous.

Whilst Jodie Whittaker may be the perfect for the role, the casting and the writing for the companions is still rather questionable. Firstly, we all know that the Doctor works better with one companion. From the first episode we were overloaded with the four companions. Even though by the end there was only three, there was little opportunity to truly get to know each of their characters. It was even more difficult considering the fact that all they did was run around proclaiming variations of “oh my God” and “We’re going to die.” Yet, after the third episode “Rosa,” the chemistry between the characters seems to be coming together seamlessly and the rest of the season holds a hell of a lot of promise. The third episode was the first opportunity in this series to see the real humanity within the Doctor. There was no over-the-top melodramatics and a hell of a lot more gravitas.

Whether it’s relevant that the fact we have a female Doctor and the episodes seem to be becoming more poignant and relevant to issues faced in 2018, that’s a matter of opinion. Yet, it’s undeniable all the same. In the first episode they didn’t set out to save a whole race of people as they usually do. They set out to save one (rather annoying) character with whom we had a brief encounter at the start of the episode. Which portrayed the message that each life is important. Which was further reinforced as you saw him practicing self-care telling himself that “he’s special.”

The second episode was a little hit and miss, yet the third episode truly pulled the emotive punches. A lot rested on the third episode, as they met Rosa Parks back in 1955 and were faced with the responsibility of ensuring that history went according to plan. There was no threat from grotesque monsters. Just a racist time-travelling agent who wanted to disrupt history to make sure that equality was never a possibility. There was so much emphasis on the fact that little moments in history can change the world. It was clear that the Doctor along with her companions was highly affected by what they stood to lose if history went off course.

The Feminine Touch

Now, if you can imagine Christopher Ecclestone, David Tennant, Matt Smith, or Peter Capaldi dealing with the weight of that situation? The 13th Doctor has a hell of a lot more empathy than those who took the previous roles, so the future episodes hold a hell of a lot of promise for the series. Younger fans may not have got the excitement of exploding spaceships, chase scenes, and the threat of iconic monsters such as the Daleks. But more mature audiences didn’t fail to let the stark message behind Rosa resonate. Especially the scene where the racist police officer came in search of Ryan and Yaz because they had been “upsetting people in the town.” It happened in 1955, and it’s still happening today in 2018.

In episode four, they’ll be tackling arachnid enemies in modern day Britain, so, it will be interesting how they intend to carry on the emotive structure of the episodes we’ve seen so far. Yet, with that said, episode three was still worlds apart from episodes one and two. The trailer for episode four is now on YouTube.

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The Games Making Us Swap Remotes for Joysticks

Photo by Nuna Cardosa / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
This “atompunk” beauty is one of our favorite games

We’ll admit it! As TV enthusiasts, a video game needs to be pretty special indeed for us to put down the TV remote and pick up a controller instead. As advanced as the video gaming industry has become, with simulations and emulations available in abundance, not every game released manages to hold our attention. There are some games, however, that have interesting stories, engaging content, and compelling characters who keep us tuning in, much like our favorite TV shows. Here’s a rundown, in no particular order, of some of our favorites:
 
Fallout 3

Even though this franchise has been around since the late nineties and contains a total of seven different titled games with another one in the works, the fifth game in the series (confusingly titled Fallout 3) is our top pick from this crop of games.

This post-apocalyptic, “atompunk retrofuturistic” RPG is incredibly vast. It’s an open world game, so you can wander, and wander, and wander – which probably makes it one of the definitive immersive video games. The attention to detail in each environment would make even Stanley Kubrick quake in his boots. Add some special guest voice stars like Heroes’ Mr. Linderman himself, and you have yourself a winner. Released way back in 2008, it’s still so popular that a new mod has even been released for it this year.
 
Jump with us to read more.
 
Red Dead Redemption

Source: PokerStars.com / Used with Permission
“Ride ’em, Cowboy!”

Before we had Westworld through which to live out our Wild West fantasies, there was Red Dead Redemption. This iconic game had us hooked from the moment we saw the released footage of its gameplay, and with its eagerly-anticipated follow-up, Red Dead Redemption 2, due for release any day now, it’s definitely time to give this one a re-visit.

RDR has drawn critical and cultural acclaim for everything – from its gripping gameplay to immersive, interactive elements, like being able to play Five-Finger-Fillet in a full-on Wild West Saloon. Then there’s all the gunfights, missions, and hours of roaming open plains on horseback that you can enjoy as the lead character John Marston. Despite almost being ten years old, RDR definitely withstands the test of time.
 
 
Super Mario Bros III

Okay, it’s a bit of a retro choice, and if you’re not playing it on an original console, the feeling isn’t quite the same… However, Super Mario Bros III is one of those games that we’ll happily forgo time spent watching the gogglebox for. And if you don’t feel the same after watching this nostalgic clip below, then what are you reading this article for?
 


Source: YouTube
 
Batman: Arkham Franchise

In much the same way we’d never be able to prefer one Game of Thrones season over another, so it’s the same for the Batman: Arkham franchise. Whether it’s trying to stop the mayhem unleashed by the Joker in Arkham Asylum, facing down eight of Gotham’s most deadly assassins in Origins, or dealing with the king of terrifying lunatics, Scarecrow, in Arkham Knight, each of these games based on DC’s most noir of all characters is truly gripping in their own right. If you want to take your Batman: Arkham immersion one step further, check out Rocksteady’s own virtual reality experience, Batman: Arkham VR. Although, we can’t promise that you won’t return with bats on the brain if you do…
 
South Park Stick of Truth

Okay, it’s another slightly retro pick, but since it has only just been given a release date for Nintendo Switch, this hilarious game is a lot more relevant to today’s audience than you might think. From the deranged geniuses Trey Parker and Matt Stone, South Park the television series, the movie, the tie-in album, and yeah, the video game really shouldn’t need much of an introduction!

Why do we love Stick of Truth? Let us count the ways… For starters, it actually has a really simple premise and, despite all the lunacy that unfolds, the characters similar to what we know and love from the TV show. Plus, that 8-bit Canada level will always have us chuckling to ourselves with its Legend of Zelda homage.
 
 
Would you add any games to this list? Let us know your picks in the comments below.

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