Category Archives: Recaps & Reviews

Recap/Review – Dragon’s Den – 08/15/17

Dragon’s Den first aired back in 2005 and has since contributed 15 series of investment entertainment to the world. In the most recent episode, five investors pitch their ideas to the Dragons, with ideas ranging from gluten-free cakes to colorful pocket squares. The judges decide on who to invest in based on the product, the numbers, and the people. It’s all or nothing in the cut-throat business world!

It must be a daunting prospect to enter the realm of seriously successful investors and come under their scrutiny, but that is exactly what each entrepreneur must do if they are to secure the cash and assistance they need to carry their business to the next level. The odds of becoming rich are not great, but with a Dragon on your side, they are pretty much guaranteed.

The first entrepreneur to enter the Den was Australian Sarah Hilary with her “Be Tempted” range of gluten-free cakes. She came prepared with a temptress whose role it was to hand out snacks and wink at the Dragons to sweeten them up. Sarah presented a pretty classic story: She went gluten-free but couldn’t find enough delicious cakes on the market, so she made her own. We’ve heard it all before, and so had the Dragons, but did her numbers add up and would they be willing to invest £75,000 for just 5% of her business?

Hilary stumbled and fumbled over her figures; never a good move in the Den. Despite outlining a £500,000 turnover since 2012 and describing her connections with high-end stores like Harrods, she stuttered when asked to share her gross profits, and it quickly became obvious that her £1.5 million valuation of the business simply didn’t add up.

That was enough to turn off most of the Dragons, who couldn’t see an opportunity to make their money back and weren’t satisfied with the overvaluation and lack of business strategy. Tej Lalvani picked up the pieces of her shattered pitch, offering the full amount of money but demanding 40% of her business. The pair settled with a 10% buy-back, and the first deal of the day was made!

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Recap/Review – The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt – 6/5/17

A few years ago when 30 Rock went off the air, I almost thought for a minute that there would be nothing left for me to laugh at. I picked up some other comedies and got through it somehow. And then Tina Fey returned to TV – almost. Her latest brainchild, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt was actually nixed by NBC before it aired a single episode. The project was then sold to Netflix, where it has gone on to complete three seasons. Most recently, season three came out last month, just in time to fill the vacuum of all our favorite shows going on summer vacation.

The show features perennial cutie pie Ellie Kemper as a cult survivor who was kept in a bunker for 15 years and led to believe that the world outside had been destroyed. Kimmy and her sisters were rescued in the pilot, and ever since she’s been living in New York City with her new best friend/roommate Titus Andromedon. Titus is in many ways a caricature of a struggling gay black man trying to make it as a singer in the big city, but he is based on the actor who portrays him, so it’s not as grating as it sounds. Fey herself appeared in the first season, for three episodes, as a satirical version of OJ lawyer Marsha Clark, when Kimmy had to face her captor in court. She returned in season two as Dr. Andrea Bayden, an alcoholic psychiatrist who gets entangled into Kimmy’s life when she moonlights as an Uber driver.

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Recap/Review – 12 Monkeys Season 3 – 5/28/17

Like a phantom fleeting at the corner of your eye, blink and you just might miss it. With the light bulbs flickering… An audible draining of the air from space that just impossibly popped in or out of existence… That is what 12 Monkeys season three was like for me. Last weekend, Syfy decided to take a page out of the Netflix playbook and drop the whole season at once. They staggered it slightly, airing blocks of shows on Friday, Saturday, & Sunday, but I had it all finished by brunch Tuesday.

Based on the 1995 Terry Gilliam sci-fi film of the same name, both stories are iterations of a 1962 French film entitled La Jetée. A central theme in all versions is time travel from a post-Apocalypse to a time before the disaster, in hopes of averting it. Also central to all three incarnations is causality in time travel, unalterable tragedy, and love that burns eternal outside of time and space.

Season three began in the far future, where the last one ended: with time-displaced scientist Cassandra Railly being held hostage in the year 2163 by the elusive cult the Army of The Twelve Monkeys. Railly, over the last two seasons, had been working with fellow traveler Cole to stop a virus that was released by the Monkeys in about 2016. In late season two, lost in time, untethered from their team in 2040, the two of them had made a simple life in which they finally explored their love for each other. Shortly thereafter, the Monkeys lured her to their base, the time-traveling city Titan, to kidnap her. Their reason was startling: she was now pregnant with a baby that was destined to become the messiah of the Monkeys, the foretold Witness, who has guided them through looping timelines the whole run of the show.

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Recap/Review – Rick & Morty

On April Fool’s Day a couple of weeks ago, Adult Swim totally flipped the script on their fans and dropped the season three premiere of Rick & Morty in several places at once without advanced warning. The joke was for us, not on us this time. Since season two ended in fall of 2015, all of us diehard fans have been fiendishly salivating for a new episode like Kalaxian Crystal addicts twitching for our next fix.

One of the only ongoing gags between show runners Dan Harmon & Justin Roiland and their fans has been how impossibly long it takes to make each season. Every few months a new release date rumor circulates, and they tell us “no, wait longer.” So the surprise release was a way of paying back the fans for their patience. The only issue now is: the rest of the season won’t come out till this summer, so as rewarding as it was, it is still a major tease.

For anyone who has been living under a rock or who doesn’t like funny TV shows, Rick & Morty is a sci-fi comedy cartoon that airs on Sunday nights on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim programming block. It follows the adventures of awkward and dumb teen Morty Smith and his super genius grandfather, Rick Sanchez. Through Rick’s inventions that allow interdimensional travel, the duo find themselves in dozens of hilarious adventures on alternate Earths, in space, or in their own neighborhood. The linchpin of the humor is often based in Rick’s over-the-top Nihilism and utter disregard for everyone in the multiverse who is not him. Or when he faces off against the consolidated power of The Council of Ricks, he even disregards versions of HIMSELF that are from different time lines. Bottom line is the show is hilarious, self-aware, and as twisted as it gets for cartoons these days.

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Recap/Review – Archer Season Premiere

It’s that time of year again, folks. For the better part of a decade, sometime by spring, the crew over at FX churns out another season of Archer for the rabid fans. The kind of people who shout out “Holy Shit Snacks!” when surprised or who can’t help saying “phrasing” then giggling when someone mentions how “hard” a task is. This year, in the eighth season, the show finds itself shifted over to FXX for a change. Other than that, the other major shakeup is that this time around, 99% of the show takes place in a coma – in Archer’s three-months-to-date ongoing coma that we found him in at the start of last week’s season premiere.

In the waking world, Lana & Mallory, the two most important women in Archer’s life had a brief chat after Woodhouse’s funeral, reflecting on Archer’s fate and bringing us up to date on the situation via rather snappy exposition. Mallory wondered what dreams he must be having, and presto blammo, we sank into Archer: Dreamland, as the newest season is branded. Woodhouse’s death was something we knew had to happen, as the legendary George Coe who provided his voice passed away in 2015. They worked around that issue last year by simply having him be missing the whole time, but this year we finally got closure. And we learned what happened after Archer got shot and left to drown in a pool at the end of season seven.

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