Category Archives: Television

Queen’s Gambit

The Queen’s Gambit is a 2020 American seven part drama based on Walter Tevis’s 1983 novel of the same name. The title refers to “Queen’s Gambit”, a chess opening.

Beginning in the mid-1950s and proceeding into the 1960s, the story follows the life of Beth Harmon (Anya Taylor-Joy), an orphaned chess prodigy on her rise to the top of the chess world while struggling with drug and alcohol dependency.

The series won two Golden Globe Awards: Best Limited Series or Television Film and Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film for Taylor-Joy. She was also nominated for the Critics’ Choice Television Award for Best Actress in a Movie/Miniseries and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie.


Started on a whim, this quickly became a captivating series charting the rise of a Chess champion. It’s easy to see why is gained all those awards. Everything about it is excellent.

MItchell’s Back

Back is a British sitcom starring David Mitchell and Robert Webb. After the death of his father, Stephen (Mitchell) is set to take over the family business, the John Barleycorn pub in Stroud, Gloucestershire. His plans are interrupted when Andrew, a former foster child briefly raised by Stephen’s parents, returns to his life eager to renew his relationship with the family.

David Mitchell seems to be specializing in middle aged neurotic British characters. And this is one of his best. You just want to slap him and get him to be more assertive. This is illustrated early in the series when a woman gives him a smile and dumps a sick dog on him. He also seems to have trouble getting back his ex-wife, who he obviously still loves.

Robert Webb is also great as Andrew, sporting a smile somewhere between self-satisfied and devious he manages to slide himself into the family and cause chaos.

The ending doesn’t entirely resolve Stephen’s problems. However there is a second series yet to hit Netflix.

Shit Creek

Schitt’s Creek is a Canadian television sitcom created by father and son Eugene and Dan Levy that aired on CBC Television from January 13, 2015, to April 7, 2020.

The series follows the formerly wealthy Rose family’s trials and tribulations. After Rose’s business manager embezzles the family business, Rose Video, the family loses its fortune and relocates to Schitt’s Creek, a small town they once purchased as a joke.

I started this as it had gained a number of awards and seemed to be widely praised.

The premise is similar to Arrested Development. However I gave up on that show as it was just about the uninteresting problems of rich Americans.  This has a similar failing. The rich people in among the lower classes. Everyone seems to be a stereotype of something and for the half season I saw it, nobody moves past this. It also becomes clear that for the comedy to work, nothing would change.

There is one good thing about the show… Chris Elliot.

The better show with a similar premise is Cuckoo.

 

Archer #11A

Archer Series 11

The series begins with Archer waking up from his coma, returning to the real world of his activities as a spy. However, since he has been in a coma for three years, much has changed and Archer must adjust to it, albeit with much reluctance.

11.1 “The Orpheus Gambit”
11.2 “Bloodsploosh”
11.3 “Helping Hands”
11.4 “Robot Factory”
11.5 “Best Friends”
11.6 “The Double Date”
11.7 “Caught Napping”
11.8 “Cold Fusion”

It’s a return to the old formula, but Cyril is now top dog. And despite what Archer thinks, it looks like it is going to stay this way.

 

Disenchantment 3B

Disenchantment Series 3 – Episodes 6-10

26 “Last Splash”
Elfo and Bean are about to escape, but Elfo reminds Bean of one lasting member of the freak show: Mora. They rescue her from her tank and barely escape on a steamboat, with the help of Mora. Along the way, Elfo begins a strange relationship with the steamboat, while Bean opens up about her feelings for other people with Mora.

27 “Bad Moon Rising”
Bean returns to Dreamland, distraught over her time with Mora, still believing it was a hallucination, but looking back at it lovingly. Oona, who has returned to Dreamland to attend Derek’s wedding-gone-wrong, comforts her and secretly believes her that the mermaid encounter was real.

Matt Berry as Prince Merkimer

28 “Hey, Pig Spender”
Prince Merkimer begins to feel depressed since his body and a pig’s body were switched in the beginning of season one. Meanwhile, a terrifying monster covered in leaves and mud begins to terrorize the poorer villagers on the outskirts of Dreamland.

29 “The Madness of King Zøg”
Zøg is locked up in the castle’s insane asylum, and begins to speak gibberish. Bean convinces Odval to let her speak to her father, and she is able to get through to him, but later, after a visit from the ghost of Dagmar, he escapes and wanders about the city, confused.

30 ” Bean Falls Down”
Princess Bean is crowned queen after Zøg is deemed unfit to be king and is taken away for treatment with Chazzzzz. The mysterious green smoke reaches the castle, and turns out to be Big Jo and his lesser-known assistant, Porky, who want to make amends for what they did to Bean, Elfo, and Luci.

 

Disenchantment 3A

Disenchantment Part 3 (1-5)

21 “Subterranean Homesick Blues”
Dagmar welcomes Bean, Elfo and Luci to the home of the Trøgs. While Bean wants to leave, the complex tunnels prevent her and she reluctantly decides to stay.

Bean’s mother Dagmar

22 “You’re the Bean”
After Dagmar’s secret is discovered, Bean, Elfo and Luci end up in a dungeon where they encounter the pirate Leavo, now as prisoner. After the trio escape with the help of Trixy, a plan is devised to take advantage of Bean’s resemblance to her mother. She dresses in Dagmar’s clothes and attempt to gain the Trog’s help while Elfo distracts Dagmar as a masseuse.

 

23 “Beanie Get Your Gun”
Derek welcomes Bean and Zøg back into Dreamland. He pardons Bean, and relinquishes the crown back to Zøg. Zøg’s erratic behavior raises some concern, and Bean tries to investigate its cause.

 

24.”Steamland Confidential”
Bean and Elfo go after the Arch Druidess, while Luci stays with Zøg (who is having a mental breakdown) in Dreamland. When they arrive in Steamland Bean infiltrates the Gunderson factory to find the Arch Druidess, and Elfo is taken into a upscale explorers club impressing everybody about his past tales when a strange man notices a pin on the clothing he stole. At the factory Bean meets a man named Gordy while working there. In the end she realizes that Gordy is actually Alva Gunderson the founder of the company.

Richard Ayoade as Alva Gunderson

25 “Freak Out!”
Bean wakes up the next morning and gets mail from Alva, and it opens up to reveal an image of the two of them kissing on a bridge. She runs away and he does everything he can to get her back. She then tries to find Elfo, who is held captured at the freak show and falls in love with his neighbor, a headless psychic named Edith.

 

Star Wars Rebels S04E09-End

Star Wars Rebels Season 4 (to the end)

Now we move into 0 BBY and the events of ‘A New Hope’. The characters are well formed and work together. There is still the question of how Admiral Thrawn will influence the story and what will become of everyong.

Thankfully, despite everyone ‘missing’ all those laser bolts and surviving, they do kill off a major character.

Near the end things get more mystical and overtly science fiction, with doors through time and space. But there is a lot more mysticism, mainly due to the inclusion of large (>3m) dogs that can travel large distances with ease.

Then at the end the story focuses on the rebels attempt to re-take Lothal. Admiral Thrawn comes back to cause trouble, but ultimately the rebels succeed (surprised ?).

In an end piece five years later, Zeb takes Kallus to Lira San to show him that he didn’t truly exterminate all of the Lasat species, and that he is welcomed there as one of them. Hera and Rex continued to fight with the Rebel Alliance, and it is revealed Hera gave birth to her and Kanan’s son, Jacen Syndulla.

Sabine teams up with Ahsoka Tano to search for Ezra, leaving behind a mural on Lothal depicting the Ghost crew.

Star Wars Rebels S04E05-08

Star Wars Rebels Season 4

4.05 “The Occupation”
The rebels are informed by Ryder Azadi that the Empire is building a new and improved version of the TIE Defender. So it’s off to destroy something new.

4.06 “Flight of the Defender”
The Ghost crew scouts an Imperial air field where the new TIE Defender is being tested. Sabine hits upon the idea of stealing its flight data recorder to obtain the information the rebels need about the TIE, but unfortunately Grand Admiral Thrawn appears to witness a combat demonstration of the new fighter.

4.07 “Kindred”
Ezra, Jai Kell and Zeb move to secure the TIE Defender’s hyperdrive before the Imperial recovery team can find it, but Thrawn has already dispatched an additional helper for the search: Rukh, an assassin and unerringly accurate tracker.

4.08 “Crawler Commandeers”
After the Lothal rebels have taken shelter in the ancient settlement, they discover a Mining Guild ore crawler stripping Lothal’s surface for raw materials passing by, and decide to hijack it to establish contact with Hera and the Yavin rebel base.

 

Southpark 23B

Southpark Season 23 (6-10)

23.06 “Season Finale”
Randy is accused of bombing private marijuana fields, and wants President Garrison to help him defend himself; the White family adopts two kids detained by ICE after the death of their son.

23.07 “Board Girls”
Strong Woman deals with a transgender athlete who has her own agenda. When the girls want to join a boys’ gaming club, the boys object but the girls prove to be strong gamers.

23.08 “Turd Burglars”
Kyle begins worrying over the fact that he has millions of microbes living all over him. Cartman, Kenny and Stan steal feces from Sheila in exchange for the new Star Wars game.

23.09 “Basic Cable”
Scott Malkinson’s hopes of romance with new girl Sophie depend on him getting the streaming platform Disney+, but Scott’s dad Clark embarks on a mission to stop streaming shows in South Park.

23.10 “Christmas Snow”
Santa visits South Park and takes all the joy out of Christmas with his warnings about driving under the influence. Randy helps the townspeople get into the festive spirit by selling them cocaine.

Star Wars Rebels S04E01-04

Star Wars Rebels Season 4

4.01-02 “Heroes of Mandalore”

Sabine, Kanan and Ezra lead Clan Wren in a raid on a Clan Saxon outpost to rescue Sabine’s father who is being held captive by Clan Saxon on behalf of the Empire. The outpost turns out to be a trap to capture Sabine but they are rescued by Lady Bo-Katan of Clan Kryze. Sabine gives Bo-Katan the Darksaber, making her the true leader of Mandalore.

Note : This is the first episode to take place in 1 BBY.

4.03-02 “In the Name of the Rebellion”
Ezra, Kanan and Sabine arrive on Yavin 4 to join the main group of the Rebel Alliance. Hera’s squadron also arrives, having barely survived an Imperial ambush, which Bail Organa attributes to an Imperial communications relay on Jalindi. So it’s off to destroy the communications relay dish.

They board an Imperial cargo shuttle disguised as a regular civilian spacecraft, and discover a group of prisoner engineers from the planet Coruscant who are being shipped to Jedha for an apparent project. They also find a giant kyber crystal, which they plan to haul out of there with the prisoners. Chopper attempts to get the prisoners out of harm’s way via escape pod, though they are stopped by the Empire.