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Tag: HBO

Review | Avenue 5

Posted in Film & Television

I’ve had Avenue 5 in my downloads list for quite sometime now but somehow managed to put off watching it until now, it seemed my wife and I reached the point where we’d caught up with all the weekly shows as well as the binge-worthy ones. I believe I presented it as – “Well, might as well check this one out, it’s like the Orville, but with a luxury cruise ship instead of an exploratory one…oh, and it has House in it and Josh Gad – Gaston’s right-hand in the live-action Beauty and the Beast.”

That was enough to sell it – so we watched it all in two days.

So some important things to know, season one consists of 9 half-hour episodes, it ends leaving you wanting more and HBO have already renewed it for a second season – this last point is especially important due to how season one ends, so it’s better to know this going in for obvious reasons – especially given the cutthroat nature of prime spots, viewership numbers and all that other shit that goes on in the background that pretty much controls the fate of your favourite shows.

So why write an piece on this show in particular? Well, I enjoyed Avenue 5, it’s light-hearted yet clever at the same time, and the melting pot of characters including Hugh Laurie (obviously) make this the perfect distraction for the COVID-19 induced lock-down most of us seem to find ourselves in. Besides, black-comedy space shows are welcomed amongst the wealth of Star Trek reboots, Star Wars sequels and other endless space-operas trying to make their mark in the sci-fi department. Seth MacFarlane had the right idea with The Orville – a show that’s certainly humourous, but at the same time, oozes charisma, wit and has a penchant for clever story-telling.

So, without giving too much away – Hugh Laurie plays Ryan Clark, captain of the luxury cruise spaceship Avenue 5. Despite having to placate the thousands of spoiled, self-absorbed and often-times just plain shitty passengers (there’s a Karen on board, *eek*), the nightmare is compounded when the ship’s engineer is impaled to death and the ship itself is knocked off course, turning an 8 week journey into a 3 year nightmare.

Thankfully for us, this creates the perfect condition for humour as the funny and quite-frankly ubsurd (at times) interactions of Herman Judd (Josh Gad) – billionaire owner of the Avenue 5 whose name is quite literally plastered all over the ship, Head of Customer Relations, Matt Spencer (Zach Woods, Silicon Valley), no-nonsense Iris Kimura (Suzy Nakamura) and second engineer Billy McEvoy (Lenora Crichlow) all play off of one another beautifully, oh, and not forgetting the absolutely deplorable Karen Kelly (Rebecca Front), who as you can imagine really lives up to being a Karen.

So why haven’t you heard of Avenue 5 you might ask yourself? Fuck all marketing from what I can see and relatively low IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes scores are most likely the cause, but don’t let the idiotic opinions of aggregation sites deter you, Avenue 5 is an enjoyable watch, that opens itself up to a lot of potential for upcoming seasons should this cruise ship manage to navigate itself up and above the ocean of shitty, heavily-marketed mediocrity that seems to so-often plague our screens.

Score: B+

Game of Thrones – A Retrospective [Spoilers, Ahoy!]

Posted in Film & Television

Ever since it first aired back in 2011, Game of Thrones quickly became the most watched and easily the best series ever made as its viewership continued to grow with each passing season.  Now it’s 2017 and we have reached the end of the 7th season with one final season scheduled to hit our screens sometime next year.

Keeping in line with a 10-episode structure since season 1, fans (myself included) were disheartened to hear that Season 7 would only consist of 7 episodes.  Thankfully, my spirits were raised given just how good this season proved to be as it once again retained (increased certainly) its ultra-high production value and concluded with a feature-length final episode.

I have also read that season 8 will consist of 6 feature-length episodes so it will undoubtedly be the spectacle everyone expects it to be.  Given the fact that we now have to wait a year for this fantasy epic to conclude, I’ve decided to re-watch GOT from the beginning and possibly begin reading the novels, although since season 6, the series started to diverge quite a bit from the novels.  I would also like to ensure that I finish Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One before the film adaptation releases next year as well as Neil Gaiman’s American Gods (before I watch the much-talked about series) although time is not always so merciful.

Needless to say, there were also many revelations revealed in season 7 as well as the very satisfying death [finally!] of the slippery Petyr Baelish.  The Night King’s newly-acquired frost dragon destroys The Wall – a colossal fortification that stretches for 300 miles and is 700 feet tall, which has kept the undead out of the Seven Kingdoms for centuries and Jon Snow is revealed to actually be Aegon Targaryen who ends up sleeping with his aunt – fan favourite, Daenerys Targaryen.

Further to the popularity of the show, The Hound has inadvertently spawned a new meme/fan-favourite in the form of “Dumb Cunt” a bad-ass wight (season 7, episode 6) that even has his own discussion thread here.

‘Stark sisters’ Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams have also found additional popularity in the form of their hilarious carpool karaoke antics, so all-in-all, The Game of Thrones has proven to be something of a phenomenon. Hell, just Google any of the actor’s names and you will find a multitude of articles pinned to the landing page.

Game of Thrones is so popular that it even has a presence in other high profile shows such as The Big Bang Theory where Sheldon and Leonard purchased a replica of Longclaw which proceeded to become a permanent fixture in their apartment.

There is just simply too much to talk about when it comes to Game of Thrones and I’m pretty certain the phenomenon has been the subject of many student’s thesis’ exploring the sociological impact it’s had and so forth but the simplest piece of advice I can offer is that if you have even the faintest hint of interest in the fantasy genre, that you check out Game of Thrones – it’s not overly fantastical in the beginning as it slowly introduces the supernatural/magical elements as the story progresses so its accessible to both seasoned fantasy fans and novice watchers alike.  In closing, I suggest that you just don’t form any attachments to the characters too soon as everyone is fair game in Game of Thrones.