Tag Archives: Amazon

If We Controlled Your Remote… 12/13/19

Have you ever been at a loss as to what to watch? Too many shows to pick from? We’re here to give you our opinions on what we feel is worth watching. Check it out and then let us know in the comments below what you’re choosing for tonight!

Kyle’s Choice

Tonight, after a year and a half, the sci-fi drama The Expanse finally returns to TV for its fourth season, now as an Amazon original series. The first three seasons originally aired on the Syfy channel and are also available on Amazon Prime as well. The series is set 200 years in the future, where the Earth is governed by the UN. Low on resources, some humans left Earth to settle on Mars. There is a cold war brewing between the planets, and stuck in the middle are the Belters, who live on Ceres, a mining community in the asteroid belt. In the first season, we met the ragtag crew of the Rocinante, which included Earther captain James Holden, Martian pilot Alex Kamal, Belter engineer Naomi Nagata, and Earther mechanic Amos Burton. A mysterious alien protomolecule was discovered by the Protogen corporation, which had goals of weaponizing the creature. Earth, Mars, and the Belter’s Outer Planets Alliance (OPA) also wanted to get control of it. The molecule was incredibly dangerous, and Protogen launched an experiment on Eros Station, killing everyone aboard. Belter detective Joe Miller sacrificed himself helping the Roci crew destroy the molecule (or so they initially believed). The Roci crew had obtained a sample of the molecule, which Naomi ultimately gave to OPA leader Fred Johnson, since Earth and Mars already had their own samples.

In the second season, the crew discovered that Protogen had been experimenting with the molecule, trying to turn children into super-soldiers, but this ultimately just resulted in turning the children into carriers, spreading the alien creature. Meanwhile, on Jupiter’s moon Ganymede, Martian Marine Bobbie Draper and her unit came under attack by a strange new creature – a human/protomolecule hybrid that was the result of more Protogen experiments. She headed to Earth to talk about her experience but found that no one wanted her to tell the truth. She ended up partnering with UN Deputy Undersecretary Chrisjen Avasarala, who was also experiencing a coup, as her trusted partner was trying to frame and eliminate her. Later one of these protomolecule hybrid monsters also attacked the crew of the Roci.

In the third season, the protomolecule that the crew tried to burn up in Venus re-emerged from the planet, flying into space and forming a large ring. The Rocinante had a documentary crew aboard, but it turned out that one of the crew was the sister of one of the people killed on Eros, and she was out for revenge. Using her footage, she made Holden look like a terrorist. The Roci found itself under pursuit, and they had no other option than to enter this mysterious ring. While other ships had been wiped out when entering the ring, the Roci somehow made it through unscathed, but now other ships were following. The OPA was convinced that the ring posed a danger to all humans and that they had to blow it up. However, Holden had a vision, taking with the protomolecule as it took on the form of Detective Miller, which told him that the ring used to be a gateway to other worlds. After a brief skirmish with the crew of the OPA ship, Holden managed to shut down that ship’s engine to prove to the molecule that they weren’t a threat. Shortly afterwards, nearly 1300 Stargate-like portals to other solar systems appeared in the sky.

Today, Amazon has released season 4 of the series, which picks up 8 months later, following the fourth novel of the series, “Cibola Burn.” Thousands of Ganymede refugees are eager to find a new home in these new solar systems, but the UN first wants to ensure that there are no alien threats. They have set up a blockade to prevent others from entering the ring, but before doing to, a Ganymede ship managed to slip through, landing on Ilus and establishing the New Terra colony. The UN discovers a protomolecule structure on the planet, and UN Secretary Chrisjen Avasarala is afraid of another Eros situation. So she enlists the help of Holden and his crew to head down to the planet to check things out, negotiate with the settlers, and report back their findings. However, there is already political unrest brewing, as the settlers just want to be left alone and are prepared to protect their colonial claim. And things are about to get worse as the company sends a ship of its own with its own ulterior objectives, and unknown creatures are awakening on the planet.

I checked out the first couple episodes of the season, and I have to say, this is probably my favorite season of the series yet. I didn’t really notice any huge difference so far between the Syfy and Amazon episodes as far as runtime or content – the show never really held anything back in the past, especially in regards to Avasarala’s language. It still feels like the same show but with an interesting new setting for the season. I look forward to seeing what other civilizations and planets will be explored and what new alien threats await the Rocinante crew this season. How will Naomi deal with her first visit to a planet’s surface? How will these new planets affect the fragile peace between the Earth, Mars, and Belters? With so many ready-to-go planets, what does this mean for Mars’s huge terraforming project? Will the Earth see more people fleeing to these new worlds? Does the UN really think they can control all of this and hold back those anxious to explore this much larger new world? The series has already been renewed for a fifth season, so there are plenty more adventures to come for the Rocinante crew.

I’ll also be watching/recording Marvel’s Runaways, American Housewife, Fresh Off the Boat, The Blacklist, and Van Helsing.
 
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If We Controlled Your Remote… 11/1/19

Have you ever been at a loss as to what to watch? Too many shows to pick from? We’re here to give you our opinions on what we feel is worth watching. Check it out and then let us know in the comments below what you’re choosing for tonight!

Jenny’s Choice

I’m probably the most excited I’ve been about a premiere than I have been in a while… Season two of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan premiered overnight last night, and I can’t wait to watch. The overall season one story of Mousa bin Suleiman, his wife Hanin, and their children is done. No returning for them. (If you remember, he was an up-and-coming terrorist, and even though his motives might have been good – providing good lives for his family and fellow Muslims – the way he went about it wasn’t good, and his wife was planning on taking their kids and running. She did, but the oldest – their son – sided with and stayed with his father. Jack Ryan (and more on that awesomeness in a minute) ended up taking Suleiman down at the hospital, where the plan had been to set off a dirty bomb while the POTUS was there. There was almost an issue with Cathy’s (Jack’s love interest, the daughter of his former boss) safety, but Jack saved her just in time.

We can’t forget Grier, either. He’d been demoted after his actions in Karachi, and he and Jack didn’t have a great start. But what started out as a very contentious relationship between Jack and his new boss turned into a great working relationship, and when he was reassigned to Moscow at the end of the season, this time because of his good work throughout the Suleiman problem, he decided to take Jack along with him.

Jack… Oh, Jack Ryan. After the first season wrapped, I went and watched all of the Jack Ryan movies, and I gotta say, I like the show better. I mean, I liked some of the movies more than others too, but I absolutely loved John Krasinski in the role. He’s much younger than the movie actors (since this is the origin story, duh…but still…), and that is more interesting for me. And Krasinski, who was most notably known for his role in the comedy The Office, plays the dramatic role like he was born for it. I can’t wait to see how he does in season two!

Don’t miss the complete season two out on Amazon now!

I’ll also be watching The Great British Baking Show finale, American Housewife, CMT’s Nashville Squares, Hawaii Five-0, & Blue Bloods.
 
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If We Controlled Your Remote… 10/18/19

Have you ever been at a loss as to what to watch? Too many shows to pick from? We’re here to give you our opinions on what we feel is worth watching. Check it out and then let us know in the comments below what you’re choosing for tonight!

Kyle’s Choice

Earlier today, Amazon released all eight episodes of the new original series Modern Love from writer/director/producer John Carney (Once, Sing Street). The romantic anthology series is based on a New York Times column of the same name, with each star-studded episode telling a different romantic tale about someone finding love in New York City. However, not all of these stories are the typical boy-meets-girl type of tale. The idea of “love” varies from tale to tale. The first season’s all-star cast includes Anne Hathaway, Tina Fey, Dev Patel, John Slattery, Brandon Victor Dixon, Catherine Keener, Julia Garner, Andy García, Cristin Milioti, Olivia Cooke, Andrew Scott, Shea Whigham, Gary Carr, Sofia Boutella, and John Gallagher Jr.

I checked out the first two episodes and was pleasantly surprised by how incredibly well-done this series is. The first episode finds a single young woman (Cristin Milioti, How I Met Your Mother) dating under the watchful eye of her doorman, who is like a father figure to her. While the second episode finds a reporter (Catherine Keener) and a successful dating site owner (Dev Patel) each reflecting on second chances with their lost loves, but their stories take very different paths. Each episode feels fresh and different but with the same general tone that provides a nice blend of drama, romance, and humor. While each episode is only 30 minutes long, they are so densely packed and detailed that afterwards you feel like you’ve just watched a feature film. The characters are well-defined and developed, and each episode tells a complete story. I’ve really enjoyed what I’ve seen of the show so far and look forward to checking out the remaining six episodes, especially given the amazing cast list!

Check it out now on Amazon!

I’ll also be watching/recording Looking for Alaska, Living with Yourself, American Housewife, Fresh Off the Boat, The Blacklist, and Van Helsing.
 
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If We Controlled Your Remote… 9/6/19

Have you ever been at a loss as to what to watch? Too many shows to pick from? We’re here to give you our opinions on what we feel is worth watching. Check it out and then let us know in the comments below what you’re choosing for tonight!

Jenny’s Choice #1

I was a little bit ticked off when I started working on the schedule for this week and realized The Great British Baking Show premiered last week on Netflix, and my main source didn’t have it listed when I was doing the schedule last week. But I was also very excited since that meant the show was back, and I love it! Unlike the previous season (but like the seasons before it), they didn’t drop the full season at once. Episodes will air weekly overnight on Thursday night/Friday morning, which means last night, they dropped episode 2.

I won’t spoil last week’s premiere, which I’ve already watched, since this is the first time I’m bringing it up. But I will say it’s a fun mix of contestants again this season (and one young guy is so nervous, he cuts his fingers 3 or 4 times in the first episode! LOL) and the hosts and judges are still as fun and kooky as ever.

Check out episode 2, “Biscuits Week,” now on Netflix.
 
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If We Controlled Your Remote… 8/30/19

Have you ever been at a loss as to what to watch? Too many shows to pick from? We’re here to give you our opinions on what we feel is worth watching. Check it out and then let us know in the comments below what you’re choosing for tonight!

Kyle’s Choice

Early this morning, Netflix dropped the first season of the new series The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, a 10-episode prequel to Jim Henson’s groundbreaking 1982 fantasy feature film. The series is set a thousand trine after the bird-like Skeksis arrived on the planet Thra and tricked Auhgra (Donna Kimball, The Happytime Murders), the guardian of the Crystal of Truth, into entrusting them with the crystal. The crystal is a source of life for Thra, connecting all of the beings on the planet. The Skeksis declared themselves the Lords of Thra and the sworn guardians of The Dark Crystal. They soon discovered a way to steal power from the crystal, allowing them to rejuvenate themselves and in effect become immortal. However, over the thrine, the Skeksis became overly gluttonous, constantly seeking more power from the crystal, until there was no more left for it to give. The Emperor skekSo (Jason Isaacs, The OA), fearing the loss of their immortality, tasks The Scientist skekTek (Mark Hamill, Child’s Play, Star Wars) with finding a new source of energy. The Chamberlain skekSil (Simon Pegg, Mission Impossible) overhears this and sees an opportunity to help further his own goals and starts plotting something nefarious.

Meanwhile, the seven clans of fairy-like Gelfling who live on the planet are much alive and well (as the film opens, there was only one surviving Gelfling left). The various clans each have their roles and purpose and all work together as a well-oiled machine to keep the planet in balance. The Gelfling are blissfully unaware of what the Skeksis have been up to. They see these creatures as their saviors and are happy and eager to participate in the annual tithing ceremony, where they give an offering to their Lords in thanks for all they have done. However, the Gelfling start to experience some unusual things that have them start to question the status quo.

Rian (Taron Egerton, Kingsman) and his girlfriend Mira (Alicia Vikander, Tomb Raider) work at the citadel, where they serve as guards for the Skeksis and their Podlings. Head of the guard is Rian’s father, Ordon (Mark Strong, Kingsman), who doesn’t take his son seriously. Rian wants to prove himself to his father, so when he and Mira see a giant spider-like creature called a Spitter roaming the castle, he decides to handle the matter himself, recruiting best friend Gurjin (Harris Dickinson, Maleficent 2) to assist. Meanwhile, in the city of Ha’rar, Gelfling queen All-Maudra (Helena Bonham Carter, The King’s Speech) is preparing for the tithing ceremony. Her youngest daughter, princess Brea (Anya Taylor-Joy, The Witch), is a bit of a rebellious free thinker. She has a thirst for knowledge and is eager to learn new things. She joins her mother and sisters for the ceremony, but what she witnesses doesn’t sit well with her. She is the first to suspect that the Skeksis are hiding something and may not be as benevolent as they appear to be. So she returns to the library to do some research, but the Librarian (Toby Jones, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) suggests she leave things be. And elsewhere, deep in the caves, Gelfling Deet (Nathalie Emmanuel, Game of Thrones, Four Weddings and a Funeral) is feeding the normally peaceful creatures that live off the land, when they suddenly turn on her and attack. These normally docile creatures are suddenly behaving quite unusually, which causes her much concern.

The Skekis’s misuse of the crystal has produced some unfortunate side effects. The crystal has become infected, and in turn Thra and its creatures are becoming consumed by The Darkening. The Gelfling are starting to notice that all is not as it seems, but if they don’t wake up and rise up soon to put a stop to the Skeksis, it could mean the end of the planet and life itself. The one thing they have going for them is that the Skeksis are so arrogant and look down upon the Gelfling. They have ruled for over 1000 thrine and believe that even if the Gelfling do manage to discover what they are up to, they are too weak and have no power to do anything about it. And this may be their undoing.

The series’ star-studded voice cast also includes Eddie Izzard (Ocean’s Thirteen), Caitriona Balfe (Outlander), Harris Dickinson, Shazad Latif (Star Trek: Discovery), Gugu Mbatha-Raw (The Cloverfield Paradox), Lena Headey (Game of Thrones), Hannah John-Kamen (Killjoys), Natalie Dormer (Game of Thrones), Theo James (The Divergent Series), Louise Gold, and Kemi-Bo Jacobs (McMafia) as the Gelfling, and Awkwafina (Crazy Rich Asians), Benedict Wong (Doctor Strange, Deadly Class), Harvey Fierstein (Torch Song Trilogy), Andy Samberg (Brooklyn Nine-Nine), Ralph Ineson (Game of Thrones), Alice Dinnean, Keegan-Michael Key (Key and Peele), Neil Sterenberg, and Ólafur Darri Ólafsson (True Detective) as the Skeksis.

Before checking out the premiere of this series, I re-watched the original film, since I hadn’t seen it in decades. I must admit that I wasn’t really a fan. It felt a bit dated, the puppet performances were a bit wooden, and the characters (especially the Skeksis) had harsh, screechy voices. However, watching the premiere of the Netflix prequel series was a very different experience. The show does a great job of setting up a much vaster world as it explores in greater detail the backgrounds and motivations of the various beings and creatures that live on Thra. In the pilot, we follow three different Gelfling stories as well as that of the Skeksis. And this will further expand over the course of the season. The show feels fresh and modern while still maintaining the aesthetics of the original, making use of Jim Henson’s creature shop to once again bring the characters to life. However, the Gelfling and Skeksis feel much more alive in this incarnation and seem to express more emotion. While there are light moments of physical humor and puppet smooching (that is what they call it in the closed captions), the series does get pretty dark quite quickly and may not be for really young viewers (though the series is only rated TV-PG). By the end of the first episode, I was all-in. After a horrific event, one of the Skeksis gives this amazing speech that just shows how arrogant these creatures are, and I would love to see them get their comeuppance. I look forward to seeing how this story plays out and how the Gelfling will finally discover that they have been oppressed all these years and rise up to overthrow the Skeksis. However, I’m a little nervous about their chances of success, seeing where things are at in the film. So will all of their efforts be in vain? This looks like it will be a solid production with an all-star voice cast and certainly worth checking out.

Catch the entire first season now on Netflix.

I’ll also be watching Carnival Row.
 
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