the boys review

The Boys, Amazon’s new anti-superhero series, is so nihilistic and cruel that it’s either unbearable, or the perfect show for the current era we’re in. There’s a longstanding argument about whether or not entertainment loaded with unlikable characters can be enjoyed. It can – as long as the characters are well drawn, and there’s at least some specter of empathy lurking beneath it all. The Boys is not a show like that. It is void of hope, and void of heart. But that’s also the point. In the end, it’s a conflicting show – I’m horrified by what it’s selling, but I’m supposed to be. I walked away feeling utterly miserable. So…mission accomplished, I guess?

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the terror infamy review

We find ourselves in terrifying times. Racism continually prevails. Fear is stoked daily. And there’s no end in sight. The Terror: Infamy understands this, and faces it head on. The latest season of AMC’s horror anthology show looks to the past, while also looking to the future. “Look at how little things have changed,” the series seems to be saying. “Look at how many horrible mistakes we’re making all over again.” Using the reprehensible World War II-era Japanese internment camps as a backdrop, The Terror: Infamy manages to mine horror from painful reality, while also dipping into the supernatural.

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Veronica Mars trailer

It’s become old hat for a cult TV show to get revived in some capacity now, but rare is the TV show that gets two different revivals across different mediums. Veronica Mars is that rare show. First, it was brought back from the dead because of a passionate crowdfunding campaign that led to a movie released by Warner Bros. Pictures in the spring of 2014. Now, Veronica Mars is back again with an eight-episode fourth season airing on Hulu starting on Friday, July 26. Where the Kickstartered movie felt haphazard and mildly uninspired, this revival is incredibly well-written and conceived, a return to form at least as good as the show’s second season.

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3Below Season 2 Review

Netflix has released the second season of 3Below, a sci-fi Dreamworks CGI animated series overseen by fantasy maestro Guillermo del Toro. 3Below is the second series installment of del Toro’s Tales of Arcadia animated trilogy, following the critically acclaimed Trollhunters. Season two concludes the 3Below saga, but is it a worthwhile finale?

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Culture Shock Review

(Blumhouse Television and Hulu have partnered for a monthly horror anthology series titled Into The Dark, set to release a full holiday-themed feature the first Friday of every month. Horror anthology expert Matt Donato will be tackling the series one-by-one, stacking up the entries as they become streamable.)

Cue the celebratory fireworks and break out grandma’s potato salad recipe, because Gigi Saul Guerrero’s Culture Shock takes advantage of Into The Dark’s full conceptual potential. Her July 4th treatment has been earning praise from critics and festival audiences as the franchise’s most accomplished title to date, which it certainly is. Guerrero’s American-bred nightmare vaults over March’s Treehouse as my favorite Into The Dark tale yet, brimming with patriotic anxiety and tragic relevance. Life inspires art in an explosive display of hatred under the guise of nationalism, drawing inspiration from the most obvious places: our backyards. 

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The Handmaid's Tale Unfit Review

June’s (Elisabeth Moss) quote, “It’s an acquired taste seeing others in pain,” sums up frequent reservations about the increasingly tortuous content of The Handmaid’s Tale, particularly in an age where bodily autonomy in the USA is more fraught. “Unfit” examines how pain can drive the heart to commit callousness. However, the episode is marred by the show’s white woman-centricity, with June (and her fellow white-dominated Handmaid sisters aside from Janine) tormenting a black female character of prominence, Ofmatthew/Natalie (Ashleigh LaThrop) in this case. 

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stranger things 3 spoiler review

(In our Spoiler Reviews, we take a deep dive into a new release and get to the heart of what makes it tick…and every story point is up for discussion. In this entry: Stranger Things 3.)

When Netflix provided me with screeners to review Stranger Things 3, they included a laundry list of spoilers that could not, under any circumstance, be mentioned in the review. As a rule, I try to avoid any and all spoilers in a general review, but this list was daunting to say the least. Now, the cat is out of the bag. Stranger Things 3 dropped on July 4, and I’m guessing if you’re reading this, you went ahead and binged the entire season over the holiday weekend. That means its time to head back to Hawkins, and delve into the details that Netflix was so hellbent on keeping a secret.

Spoilers follow – obviously.

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The Handmaid's Tale Under His Eye Review

Little is getting better in Gilead, which is pretty much the norm for The Handmaid’s Tale. But things are getting better for the selected few. Serena Joy (Yvonne Strahovski) is touring a potential new house in D.C. It’s an unrestored house littered with the remnants –smiling photos of a nuclear family, a crib, broken glass – of another family life, evidence of seizures. Despite her discomfort, the debris is only incidental to Serena, who will claim a space of those who were terrorized by Gilead theocracy.

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stranger things 3 review

The kids of Hawkins, Indiana aren’t really kids anymore. Demogorgons and other slimy monsters are plenty scary, but not nearly as scary as the passage of time. In Stranger Things 3, the third season of Netflix’s mega-hit series, characters who once seemed so childish and young are on the cusp of young adulthood, and facing down the future. “One summer can change anything” says the tagline for the season, and it’s an apt description. After a lackluster, slipshod second season, Stranger Things roars back more exciting, and emotional than ever, with a third season that moves things forward at a thrilling pace, and sweeps us along with it.

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The Handmaid's Tale Household Review

June (Elisabeth Moss) betrays a smile when she witnesses children dashing into the arms of a doting Commander. But her elation evaporates. Children in a low-birth rate era are sacred to Gilead, and even to Handmaids enslaved by Gilead, but June can also imagine the untold circumstances that brought the children into the arms of an official, one of the many rapists who runs the theocratic Gilead. “Household” offers the first glimpse of a blended Gilead household, with adopted children (stolen from parents deemed sinners) and a birth child (born from the Handmaid the Commander raped).

With a pleasing guest appearance by Christopher Meloni, the high-ranking Commander Winslow seems like a swell father and husband with a fruitful family life revered by Gileadians. Even for a second, the Handmaid June was fooled into believing in this loving familial image. Wife Serena Joy (Yvonne Strahovski) is relishing the sight of this familial stability. June comprehends the dystopia, but for Serena Joy, Gilead is looking more utopian than before. “Have you seen their Handmaid?” June tells Serena, referring to the Winslow’s Handmaid with her mouth sewed shut.

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