I’m going to try and not go on too much of a rant against this book. I’ll just start by saying, that this is not a good book. I was not expecting this to be a good book. This is not an entertaining book. I […]
Time to talk about the newest Netflix show, this time the anthology series, Love, Death, + Robots. It’s an interesting experiment in show making an anthology series, but not just an anthology series, but a completely animated one.
Let’s start out by talking about what an anthology series is, since the term might not be familiar to everyone. When you think of a television show, you generally think of something that has the same characters throughout the whole season or series, and possibly there will be a plot going through the whole season. An anthology series is just short stories with completely different characters, completely different plots and settings, and in this case, completely different animation styles. They do, however, tend to be around a similar subject matter, in this case, love, death, and robots.
So how does it work to watch a show?
I think that it’s an interesting idea for a series. There are some of the episodes that are extremely well done, there are some that are just okay, and there are some that a pretty poor. However, in all of them, the animation is very strong, even in the more basic animations, and they tend to match the animation style very well to the story for the episode. Some of the stories have hyper realistic animation, while others have a more stylized feel or a sillier feel. And that’s the case with the subject matter, some of the episodes are silly, some of them are just lighter feeling, while some others try and be extremely heavy.
For me, that’s the issue with some of the episodes. They try and act like they are deep and clever, and while they might have very good animation, they tend to actually be pretty flat and heavy handed story telling. Overall, I would say that the anthology suffers a fair amount from that, there are just enough scattered throughout that you feel like it’s trying to beat you over the head with an idea, that isn’t particularly well presented, in hopes that it will be considered smart. This is often a weakness in the short film/short episode format though, because you don’t get a chance to develop characters, and you’re trying to condense an idea into a short period of time. And that’s something that short films really lean into.
But with the storytelling, there are a number of the episodes where I want to see more of what is going on. There are some worlds that are created which are very interesting and you feel like there is a lot more to the world to be explored. This is a positive and a negative, because you know you aren’t likely to get more ever, but you definitely want to have more, and those stories feel the strongest. I guess the best way to describe it is that the those episodes felt like they had a living world around them versus just this one static slice of the world that was cut out to make the point they are going for.
I do want to add in a disclaimer that while this is an animated series, it is not a kids series. It’s not even the Simpsons, it’s much more adult than that, and there is a lot of sex, nudity, language, violence, and gore throughout the show. So be careful when you watch it and who you watch it with, because, it does use a pretty heavy hand on some heavy subjects.
So what do I think of the show?
It’s a hit or miss show for me. There are some worlds that I definitely want to explore more and stories that captured me, there are other parts that are too heavy handed. I can recommend it for appreciating the various animation styles as some of the animation is amazing, and all of it works with the stories being told. But there are a number of the stories that are just too much and feel a bit like a waste of time to watch, because you get the point they are beating you over the head with at the very beginning, and after that it’s just the stuff in the disclaimer.
This is going to be different from my resolutions and those for Nerdologists, because these are some of the big things in 2019 that I’m really looking forward to.
- Tainted Grail: The Fall of Avalon -This board game I kickstarted in December but should have the first wave being shipped in August, happy birthday to me. The game takes Arthurian legend and puts a dark twist on it as you are the B-team that is trying to stop the fall of Avalon. The game has some really cool mechanics, and the Rolling Solo Youtube channel did an amazing preview for it that explains it and shows some great game play for it.
- Avengers: Endgame – The list isn’t in any order, but this is one of the things I’m looking forward to most this year. The trailer looked great, and I want to know how they are going to undo what Thanos has done. Or maybe they just filmed a whole Spider-Man movie that they are never going to release to keep us off the track that Spider-Man is going to stay dead. No spoiler tag, the movie has been out for a while now, so if you haven’t seen Infinity War, that’s your own fault.
- Gloomhaven: Forgotten Circles – Another board game, but this time an expansion for my favorite game of all time. I don’t know that it really needs an expansion because the game is huge, but I’m not going to complain about more content for a game that I love. I am curious to see what locations and what story it will add to the game as well as finishing off the content that we have before we get into that game.
- Captain Marvel & Spider-Man: Far From Home – Marvel Superhero movies, of course I’m excited for them. I really am excited to see how they’ll set-up Captain Marvel for Avengers: End Game, and while I joked about Spider-Man staying dead, I’m still waiting impatiently on the trailer for Spider-Man: Far From Home. I’ll always been looking forward to Marvel movies, and seeing new heroes on the big screen is cool.
- Godzilla: King of the Monsters – The trailers look amazing. And I really like the most recent Godzilla movie as well. There’s just something about watching a ton of giant monsters on the big screen battle it out that is so amazing. The cast seems interesting for the film, and there appears to be a bit of a plot there, but really I’m in it for Godzilla fighting all the other monsters, and that’s all the plot I really need.
- Stranger Things Season 3 – The 4th of July, so if you can’t get out and watch the fireworks in the real world, I’m sure there will be plenty of fireworks as our favorite people from Hawkins, Indiana take on whatever new monsters seeks to come through from the Upside Down. I’ll always been waiting for this show to come out, and even though I know it’s going to stay on Netflix, I am still tempted to get the physical copy of the show, because the show boxes look cool.
- Dark Season 2 – This time travel show is just amazing and I can’t wait to see what happens in season 2. I feel like the show is going to change a lot, so I’m not sure how well it will work because of that, but the first season was a masterpiece. I also want to say Rain Season 2, but I need to finish off season 1 first, but thus far season 1 of that has been great as well. Dark is just more moody and captivating in a lot of ways.
- Jump Force – Fighter game with all the Jump Magazine characters duking it out. It’s going to be a silly game, but it just looks like a lot of fun. Face off with Goku vs Naruto or Ichigo vs Vegeta. A silly game like that is always good and fighting games are fun because you can sit down and play them for a few minutes without feeling like you get sucked into the story and must play for hours on end.
- My Hero Academia 4 – This show just keeps on meeting my expectations, though there is a ton of crying in it, and it’s one of a few animes that I’m watching that is still coming out. The characters are good, the story is good, I just want more of it.
I’m sure there a number of things I’ve missed. I’m certainly hoping for something from Brandon Sanderson or Jim Butcher book wise, but nothing is announced. And I know there are some board games that I’ll be likely to pick up as well, but these are they heavy hitters of what I’m looking forward to.
What are some nerdy things, shows, books, movies, etc. that you’re looking forward to in 2019? Is there anything huge that I missed? I’m sure that there is something that I’m going to be kicking myself about, but I can’t come up with it right now.
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The final of the current Cloverfield movies. Like Cloverfield and 10 Cloverfield Lane, Cloverfield Paradox goes in a completely different direction than the previous films. This is, what I would call, the early 2000’s TV Sci-Fi version of Cloverfield. The plot tries to be pretty dramatic with the earth in a power […]
I just wrapped up watching Dark, a new-to-me show on Netflix. Dark is a German show surrounding the town of Winden. It seems generally like a normal little town, with the most interesting thing being a nuclear power plant that was built in the 50s. But in the year 2019, Jonas Kahnwald’s father killed himself, and then several months later, a kid went missing from the town. Then another kid disappears, and from there, the mystery around the town and a 33-year cycle of disappearances start down an eerie path.
This show lives up to its name, being a very dark show and very atmospheric. On their own, the shots of the forest surrounding Winden and the slow pacing give the viewer a feeling of always being on edge; this is then enhanced greatly by the soundtrack. Dark is a slow burn, but in the best way possible. Everything about it aesthetically builds into this, and you connect pieces and see how 2019 ties into 1986. You get to see characters as they were growing up, and then as they are now, and you see things in a different way than you often do for a TV show. There is also an idea in this show of not really knowing who people are, so as you explore more in 1986, you start to really see how the characters in 2019 became the way that they are.
Dark is a show that needs to be watched in German with subtitles though, in my opinion, in order to get the full feeling of the show. It’s too distracting when something that takes a couple of words to say in German takes five in English, or vice versa. I can watch dubbed anime most of the time because the mouths don’t really match up with the words anyway, but in this show, with the difference between German to English being more obvious, it was too jarring. And as it is a well paced show and a slow burner, there aren’t many moments that are just rushed through — because of that, you never feel like you’re rushing through reading the subtitles and missing what is happening on the screen, so I really would recommend using the subtitles.
Another thing that I’ve seen as a criticism of Dark is that it doesn’t wrap up more than a couple of the mysteries very satisfyingly. I liken this to a number of Brandon Sanderson books, in which one orverarching story is split into four or five parts. There’s almost always some payoff for each part of the story, and you feel like you’ve wrapped up that part, but it doesn’t wrap up the story as a whole. Dark is very much like that as well, and the only annoying thing about that is that I really want the next part of the story to be available now. For some, this might be annoying and might make it worth waiting for the second season to come out before watching the first (apparently, 2019 is when season two will reach Netflix, though I’m hoping it will sooner). However, if you’re looking for a new show that’s intense, creepy, and eerie, I wouldn’t bother waiting, as Dark is probably the best show I know of for that.
Overall, I loved this show. It hits the right notes for me — it’s a creepy show without being focused on jump scares or anything like that. It feels intense, it draws you in, and the characters are compelling. It’s a show where all the characters feel like they are some level of grey, where they aren’t bad, but aren’t entirely good. They also aren’t just grey for the sake of being grey, because that often just makes a character feel like a bad guy; they all have specific motivations that are tough, and they genuinely believe that they are doing the right thing or are doing something out of deep and strong emotions. Dark tugs at your heartstrings and keeps you wanting to know what will happen next.
I’d recommend Dark for most people. For some people it is going to be too intense; for some it is going to be too creepy. Kristen half-watched it because she thought it would be too creepy and scary, and I think with what it deals with, it might have been too much for her in some ways. It doesn’t go overboard on the scary or creepy aspects, but it also doesn’t let up on them. So watch the trailer before you watch the show if you are someone who isn’t sure about creepy shows, because this one is dark and intense.
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Today, we’re continuing along with our series of articles about getting to know your nerds — this time, we’re going with Television Series. I didn’t talk about this last time, so I’ll mention it now — what criteria do I have for picking my favorites […]